Which Is The Best Subwoofer?
There is not one specific subwoofer that can be considered the best; what you prefer will be based on a range of factors, including your personal tastes. There are things to consider, however, along with some great options to think about. Let’s look at some of the ways you might go about choosing the best subwoofer for you, along with a range of models that you may want to take a closer look at.
The big questions
When deciding on what subwoofer will be best for you, there are a few questions that you must always consider. These are:
What main speakers do you have, and are you using them to watch movies or to listen to music?
This type of question will determine a lot of the qualities that you will be looking for in your subwoofer. If you are using high-end floor standing speakers such as the Golden Ear Triton Three+ Floor Standing Speaker, for example, you’re going to want a more competent subwoofer than if you were using a cheaper bookshelf speaker that only just makes it into the 60Hz category.
What are your room dimensions?
The larger the room, the more power and subwoofer needed to drive it. This can save you money as you may not need to spend as much as you thought to get the results you require in a smaller room.
In addition to considering the size of an individual room, you also need to consider the layout of the space. You need to think in acoustic terms about how bass traps might affect your listening experience. This means you need to consider how open plan layouts and openings may affect the subwoofer you choose.
More in-depth information
Next on your list of considerations should be the speed and the character of your system. Your sub should complement this, so if you have a system with a rich, slow sound, you may want to go with a warm and rich-sounding sub. In general, you want a match of speed and dexterity to ensure the best results.
You will also want to consider depth in terms of low bass extension. This will relate to how deep your current main speaker choices extend in your room. If you don’t understand how to judge this properly, ask for advice and don’t simply go on a speaker manufacturer’s spec sheet. This is because the quoted low frequency extension will be based on how the speakers perform during anechoic chamber testing and not in a real-world environment. The numbers included in the manufacturer's specs can be off by more than 20Hz, so keep this in mind. Don’t get hung up on numbers, as a whole world of factors come into play. You want to think about what your speakers deliver for you, in your room, and not in an artificial environment.
You also need to be wary of the 20Hz myth. This is the idea that you can achieve the magical 20Hz for a very low price. The fact is that if you pay less than $1,000 for a sub, you are not going to get 20Hz. Even if you pay more, you need to ensure that achieving this magical number is important to you and that the subwoofer you choose doesn’t just force the behavior and extort performance with digital equalizers to the point that your sub will sound disgustingly disconnected.
The Bottom Line
The best subwoofer for you will be based on your expectations, your room, and your system. It may also be influenced by any future plans you have for your system and how much you have to spend. Be realistic about what you can achieve with your budget and go for a natural result and good blend rather than unrealistic performance and over-reaching subwoofers that will soon lose their appeal.
As we have said, it is impossible to tell you exactly what the best subwoofer will be to buy, but we can make some suggestions that you may want to consider.
1. The technologically-advanced, digital B&W PV1D Subwoofer is renowned for its stability, perfect balance, rattle-free performance, well-distributed pressure, dynamic and controlled drivers, and an amplifier that can generate 400 watts.
2. The JL Audio F110 V2 10” Subwoofer is ideal for medium-sized rooms and is a good choice for listening to music and enhancing home theater systems.
3. Billed as "the most innovative" sub ever, the Totem Tribe Sub (Double 8”) Subwoofer offers a hugely comprehensive low frequency spectrum, along with super-high output levels.