Before making your purchase, you should know (if you don’t already) why do you need a subwoofer? Or What are the features you should look into while you are buying the best subwoofer under 500. Don’t worry, I am not gonna give you a long-winded, extremely techy or nerdy answer.
The answer is simple: A subwoofer is one of the speakers you need to buy to get complete full-range sound experience. It is a kind of speaker that takes care of the lower frequencies or bass.
For your music show, purchasing a quality concert combo amp alone is not enough to extend the bass; so having a subwoofer is crucial. Otherwise you will be missing out on a lot of sounds and full range, music listening experience.
So it is recommended to invest in one of the best subwoofers. Okay, now, let’s start the list. The following are the best subwoofer under 500 bucks.
10 best subwoofer under 500 review
1) Polk Audio PSW10 - best home theater subwoofer under 500
Whether your system has no subwoofer or came with one that wasn’t up to mark, I got you covered. The Polk Audio PSW10 is small yet, powerful subwoofer that is designed to fill in the gaps of a subwoofer less stereo-system. It is about 10 inches in size and has a built-in 50 watts RMS amp.
The amplification gets doubled which means you can make the subwoofer sound very loud and get that perfect home theater experience.
Moving on, the subwoofer components are sturdy and rigid and the system does not move while playing music at high volumes.
By featuring resonance-free dynamic balance driver materials and Klippel distortion analyzer, it makes sure that the balance driver material stays solid in their place. While also being able to move fast and optimizes the motor structure, suspension and voice coil alignment of the subwoofer for efficient performance.
All good things aside, there are some draws. The lowest frequencies come out as a bit distorted and at higher volumes, the sound gets a bit messy. But features like Klippel measurement technology certainly helps make the sound feel smoother.
NOTE: Don't crank any powered subwoofer to its highest volume at the time of installation. You need to break in the subwoofer first. Only then you can better sound quality and increased product longevity.
2) Bic Acoustech PL-200 - best powered subwoofer under $500
The BIC Acoustech PL-200 is a front-firing subwoofer that is powered by an inbuilt 50 watts RMS continuous amplification power subwoofer. The BIC Acoustech offers you greater performance than the BIC America F12.
Usually a low budget subwoofer falls apart after some period, but that is not the case with PC-200. Its 1000 watts dynamic peak output competes with the top-of-the-line expensive subwoofers at its middle-range. So you will be impressed with the sound quality that is delivered by this subwoofer at this price range.
With its 12-inch injection-molded woofer with heavy duty surround, it offers you consistency between units and thus it ensures that the sound quality remains high. What I am extremely impressed by is the wide frequency response of the BIC PL 200; a solid 21-200 Hz
While I tested this subwoofer, I found a drawback, which is, at higher volumes 60% gain the subwoofer starts shaking… or rumbling. Other than that one major drawback, I could not find much wrong with this thing.
You can invest in this subwoofer for its amazing peak performance. You get a wide frequency response range along with robust build and premium design. The bass is rich and heavy however, remember, ‘you get what you pay for’ and it applies here.
3)Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer- best subwoofer for music under 500
Okay, we have seen a few subwoofers that are great overall, and now we have Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer geared towards those who want great sound in their home environment. The R-120SW is a 12 inches high excursion spun-copper imp woofer with a built-in amplifier amplification power of 200 watts RMS and 400 watts at peak.
The IMG woofer cones here mean injection-molded graphite that offers ultra-low frequency response with a minimal cone breakup. So you can quickly get the most profound and cleanest bass possible.
This subwoofer offers many controls, allowing you to adjust the sound to your liking, It also provides a flexible placement, so you are guaranteed high performance and deep bass no matter where you place this subwoofer.
Apart from this, this subwoofer gives you options like subwoofer gain, a low pass crossover filter, and a phase control that filters the frequencies too low. That said, this subwoofer has a frequency response of 29 hertz – 120 hertz.
Now, let’s come to the sound. The sound is phenomenal, and when compared to the previous option, this subwoofer also has a rich and heavy bass, and the overall sound quality is impressive. Worth looking!
4) Rockville SS8P - best portable subwoofer
This best subwoofer under 500 for your car is all you need to complete your music listening experience. The SS8P is an 8-inch subwoofer with a 2.8" thick enclosure which slides right under your seat. It has a peak power of 400 watts with 100 watts of RMS and so it offers tremendous sound.
This under-the-seat sub comes with an inbuilt amp and the installation process is fairly easy. It comes with auto on-off feature meaning once it is hooked up, the subwoofer will boost up along with your stereo automatically.
This subwoofer features a frequency response of 20Hz - 150Hz covering those lows well, a low pass filter: 50Hz - 150Hz, bass Boost: 0 - 12dB @ 45Hz and a built-in subsonic Filter @ 20Hz. THD: < 0.4%. Also, this subwoofer despite being slim, delivers extremely powerful sound.
There are some safety measures to be taken care of, as subwoofers in your cars tend to heat up like a thermal protection circuit, a short protection circuit and an overload protection circuit. All these technical things aside, what matters really is that this subwoofer sounds great and will not disappoint you. And, if you are disappointed, there is a 90-day refund you can apply for.
So, in conclusion, this subwoofer will enhance your music listening in your car by 10 fold and not take too much space in the process. Just slide it under the seat (it will not burn if your seat cover is fabric) and vibe to the music.
5) Klipsch Reference R-10SW - best car subwoofer under 500
This best subwoofer under 500, front-firing subwoofer packs a punch! The Klipsch Reference R-10SW is a powerful 10" subwoofer that has an inbuilt fully-digital amplifier that delivers 150 watts of continuous power, but shoots up to 300 watts with dynamic power.
The advantage of having a fully-digital amplifier over a classic one is that it reduces the noise you may encounter at higher levels of gain. This front-firing subwoofer has a cropper-stun cone driver which delivers the sound and amplifies it much better than other affordable speakers.
This thing also features Line/LFE inputs for compatibility with almost all receivers. The frequency response on this thing bottoms out at 32Hz and goes up to 120Hz.
The 32Hz is a bit high, notes below that will be something you will miss out on so that is a tad bit disappointing, Boasting both low pass crossover and phase control, some gaps are covered between the lows and mids however there will be some gaps at the limits of its FR, that is, 120 Hz.
The sound quality on these is just awesome with fantastic bass and a very reasonable price despite the solid construction of this thing.
I am personally a big fan of the copper and black design and looks really cool to me, This subwoofer has a sleek design with scratch-resistant, textured vinyl with wood grain. This is a great choice for casual listeners as audiophiles will have an issue with missing out on a wider range of frequency response.
6) Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim - best home subwoofer under 500
Here’s something for those that want to improve the sound quality of their TVs because most TVs sound horrible. The Signa S2 is an ultra-slim TV soundbar and wireless subwoofer built to drastically improve the sound of your TV.
This best subwoofer under 500 isn’t too big, it’s rather compact and is designed to look sleek and goes almost unnoticed under the screen. This Signa S2 houses bullet-in Bluetooth technology allowing you to stream directly through your phone, the package includes a wireless subwoofer for giving you that theatre-like experience and add bass.
Well, spoiler alert, there isn’t much of a theatre-like-experience, we will get to that, The soundbar has 2 full-range drivers at the left and right side with a couple of tweeters down in the middle while the front-firing subwoofer has a 165mm driver, which isn’t much, but does an okay job at providing you with good bass.
The frequency range on this thing is 45Hz to 20KHz and offers connectivity via HDMI, Bluetooth and 3.5mm Aux. Now, this thing is great for TVs, far better than the stock stereos, however, it will not deliver you the sound you would expect from a subwoofer.
However, it is a convenient, easy way to improve the sound quality of your TV and mind you, the sound quality is decent. There isn’t much flexibility in terms of sound however it is performance-tuned by Dolby Digital.
7) JBL Bar 2.1 - Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Another best soundbar on our list is none other than JBL. This sleek and slim, well-built soundbar with a frequency range of 40Hz to 20kHz and 100 watts of power. And this turns the below-average audio TV resemble that you might get from a home theatre and it better if it is going boast features Dolby digital and JBL Surround sound.
This thing covers most common connectivity methods as it has an HDMI, aux and USB wired connections, all located at the rear. In front, you will find a metal grill with a led display behind it that displays basic information like volume, source, etc.
Now, coming to the subwoofer that comes with the soundbar. The subwoofer is wireless, so goodbye to the mess wires create. This best subwoofer under 500 has a 6.5-inch bass driver with 200 watts of power (combined total of the two being 300 watts).
Bassheads would know JBL is known for its fantastic, crisp sound quality and heavy, deep and rich bass, and they deliver that here. Now, I did not find anything significantly wrong with this product by JBL, except that bass seems to distort at high volumes, and there is a lack of surround experience. Other than that, this is a fantastic product.
8) ECHO SUB - POWERFUL SUBWOOFER FOR YOUR ECHO
It seems everyone has an Amazon Echo now. Well, that's not really surprising seeing the convenience factor they offer and the speaker, in itself, is very good. It has bass, good mids, and highs. However, it hasn't applied to the bassheads or audiophiles, wanting that full, complete, full-range sound experience… they can get now.
The Echo Sub is a 6" woofer that delivers rich, heavy bass at 100W after you have paired it with your Echo or Echo plus. This helps make the already fairly good music listening experience that an Echo itself provides to the next level.
This thing fits the design of the Amazon Echo perfectly, so the aesthetic that you might have created simply blend in. It is tiny compared to other subwoofers, weighting about nine bounds and being an 8-inch cylinder. This thing is a must-have if you use an Echo device as it will give you a better, "fuller," more meaty sound.
However, there are some major faults that I found in them. The fact that you can only use it with an Echo device, IMO, is not a drawback. That is expected. An Apple charger will charge an Apple device; I am okay with that. However, the major drawback is that it does not really give the sound you would expect from a subwoofer.
Sure, no denying that it certainly adds a ton, but it is not at the level which you would expect from a subwoofer. Even that can be explained with the small size of it.
What is beyond me is why this thing does not have Bluetooth or AUX 3.5mm support, meaning you can only listen to your music through Alexa or the accessible through the Alexa app to use this subwoofer. If you can look past that and you already have an Echo device, hey, look no further.
9) ACOUSTIC AUDIO PSW-12 - BEST MUSIC SUBWOOFER UNDER 500
Okay, so this best subwoofer under 500 is extremely impressive with all the features it offers at the price point at which it offers them. However, there are some red flags. The red flag is that the company has not specified the continuous power consumption of this thing. Indeed, a maximum of 500 watts peak power is extremely impressive but that’s like sprinting, it will not last.
What you need to know more is how much is the continuous power consumption of a subwoofer. Other than that, the other red flag is that there is a severe lack of information in terms of the warranty. Now, if you can look past that, this thing seems almost too good to be true.
With its massive 12" down-firing long-throw driver, a frequency response of 24 - 250 Hz. This thing delivers booming bass along with a cover over a wide range of frequencies and all that at such an affordable price. There is not much left to say or more information to provide. So, I will leave you with this. If you can look past the red flags, this thing the best deal on paper.
10) Yamaha NS-SW050BL - best studio subwoofer
Yahama is a brand associated with music and motorcycles, both need to sound good. Do they deliver that here? Well, the NS-SW050BL has an 8” cone woofer with 50 watt of continuous consumption and 100 watts at peak. This subwoofer under 500 is small and looks very neat, it has a minimalistic design, yet it offers such range and such a full sound.
It is not very loud obviously, being only 100 watts at max, but not everyone listens to their audio at extremely high volumes and it sounded fine to me.
The warm and rich bass pleasantly surprised me as I was not expecting such good sound from something so “underpowered”.
With its impressive frequency response range of 28- 200 Hz and advanced Yamaha active servo technology II, this almost does not feel like a budget subwoofer. I have nothing to complain about. This music subwoofer is a great pick!
Buyers guide for the best subwoofer under 500.
One of the crucial factors to check is the size of the subwoofer. The size of the subwoofer determines not only the air circulation inside the subwoofer but also the place where it will be placed. The bigger is not always better. So you must focus on what works for your surroundings and choose the size of the woofer.
For instance, if you are searching for a subwoofer for your bedroom, then an 8-inch or 10-inch driver is enough. Meanwhile, if you are pairing your subwoofer with the floor-standing speakers, then you need a 12-inch woofer to match it.
The word power in this place refers to how loud your subwoofer might sound when played. Measured in Watts, you need to check two values to represent the power of the device; they are RMS and peak power. The RMS refers to the amount of power that the subwoofer can continuously handle. At the same time, peak power means the total amount of power that the subwoofer can handle within a specified time in short bursts.
Driver or cone
The cone is one of the two subwoofer parts that move where the oscillation pushes and pulls the cone to create sound waves. The driver also referred to as a transducer, is a mechanical component of the subwoofer that can convert the audio signal's electrical energy into mechanical energy to create sound.
Ported or sealed subwoofers
The subwoofer is the main component of the speakers that are capable of producing the lowest frequency ranges. That said, you can find different subwoofer cabinet designs in the market, and among them, two types are commonly preferred. They are ported and sealed in design.
The ported subwoofer comes with one or more ports. The port design allows the air to escape out of the box, whereas the sealed subwoofer comes in a sealed box. There is only one way for the bass to leave the cabinet, so there is no port or passive radiator in a sealed subwoofer.
The electrical resistance of a subwoofer is called impedance, and it is measured in Ohms. You need to check whether the impedance and the amplifier match perfectly.
As mentioned, the subwoofer is designed to deliver the lowest audible frequencies, measured in hertz. So check if the frequency of the subwoofers is available between 20 and 200 Hz.
1. How do you install a subwoofer in a factory system?
You need some tools and equipment like a subwoofer box, RCA cables, speaker wires, amp, tape, and a screwdriver machine to get this done. In my article install powered subwoofer to a factory stereo, I have mentioned the step-by-step procedure about this topic. You can refer to that article and follow the steps to get this installation done quickly.
2. Can you fix a blown out subwoofer?
If your subwoofer shows some distorted sounds or has suddenly stopped working, then probably you need to repair the subwoofer. There are chances that the subwoofer's coil has blown due to excessive power load. You can fix the issue by replacing the cone with a new one and replacing the foam surround.
3. Should I purchase a Subwoofer?
Yes, there must be at least one single subwoofer to boost up your listening experience. A good subwoofer can improve the sound quality immensely, whether you are watching a movie or simply listening to the music. Though the woofers present in the floor-standing speakers and bookshelf speakers are capable of delivering good bass, they can never go as low as a subwoofer. So it is crucial to include a single or dual subwoofer in your audio speaker set up to enhance your overall sound experience.
4. Which size subwoofer is best for the home?
Subwoofers with 8inches or 10 inches are best for home. If you have big floor standing speakers and a center channel, it is crucial to have a 12 inches subwoofer to match the combo.
5. What size subwoofer has the deepest bass?
It depends on where you place the subwoofer. Usually, 15-inch subwoofers tend to deliver the most powerful and deepest bass concerning their big size. Since it is large, it can be used in large trucks and SUVs only. If you have space constraints or want to fix the subwoofer in a car, then go for a 12-inch subwoofer.
And that’s the list for best subwoofer under 500 folks. Choose a subwoofer which satisfies your expectation and budget. I hope that you found what you were looking for. Also share your views about this article in the comment section 🙂
Gibson is a blogger and reviewer, whose passion is helping people with all the aspects of music through the blog he provides. Also, he is an artist and loves to create his own tunes by purchasing good quality musical tools. With his own experience, he has provided a great list of tools for you in this blog. Seeking the best quality musical tools? Read this blog and end your music thirst!