Best Subwoofers to Buy Right Now in 2020

Ready to up the ante on your AV investment and take your theater or music setup to the next level? Trade that puny boom box for a subwoofer built to deliver deep, palpable bass that reminds you you’re alive and tricks you into thinking for a moment you’re circling the track in a Shelby Cobra while watching Ford v Ferrari? The editors of Sound & Vision have singled out five outstanding yet reasonably priced subwoofers you must consider if your answer is “yes.” All made our coveted 2019 Top Picks of the Year list and are presented here in ascending price order.

Paradigm Defiance V12 Subwoofer: $649


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
A member of Paradigm’s Defiance series, the V12 is a step down from the $1,300 X12 that impressed us with its ability to energize a large room. Reviewed as part of the award-winning Monitor SE 3000F speaker system, the V12 produces 120 watts vs. the X12’s 650 watts but is nonetheless equipped with a 12-inch driver, an app that puts all of its controls at your fingertips, and compatibility with the excellent Anthem Room Correction (ARC) system. In short, the Defiance V12 lives up to its name, delivering solid performance with movies and music. It even has a slot for an optional wireless connection module.

AT A GLANCE
Plus
A solid performer
Feature-rich apps ease setup and room correction
Wireless connection option

Minus
Pedestrian styling

Full Review Here


PSB SubSeries 250 Subwoofer: $700


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
Reviewed as part of PSB’s award-winning Alpha T20 tower-based speaker system, the SubSeries 250 is well appointed and demonstrated a knack for agility and tunefulness over ultimate output capability, making it an ideal choice for music. That’s not to say it’s a slouch with booming movie soundtracks — it is not. As Michael Trei explained while watching the James Bond classic GoldenEye, the 250 “unleashed plenty of deep bass energy as Bond managed to pull a plane up just before crashing, the engine's low throb making my floor vibrate and teacup rattle.”

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Tuneful bass makes it ideal for music
Plentiful controls and connections
Attractive design
Compact

Minus
Limited output
Might not add much when used with bass-capable tower speakers

Full Review Here

DALI SUB E-9F Subwoofer: $799


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
Reviewed as part of DALI’s award-winning Oberon 5.1 compact speaker system, the SUB E-9F is, in the words of veteran audio reviewer Dan Kumin, a “little brute” that proves it is indeed possible to add a “meaningful octave of bass at useful power levels” with a woofer that’s smaller than 10 inches — in this case, a 9-inch driver powered by a 170-watt Class D amplifier. “The E-9F had plenty of grunt to add the sub-40 Hz fundamentals right up to THX-reference level… which is loud indeed.” Impressive from a subwoofer that’s only one cubic foot.

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Delivers clean, dynamic bass with movies and music
Super compact
A solid value

Minus
Plain design and finish

Full Review Here

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