The 10 Best Subwoofers to Buy Right Now

“I feel the earth move under my feet…”

There’s no denying the allure of deep, powerful bass—how it conveys emotion and adds palpable dimension to music or the soundtrack of the latest Hollywood blockbuster (you can now officially cross The Interview off your list). As any audiophile will tell you, a good subwoofer is an essential ingredient of a serious sound system. But the sad truth is that for every decent subwoofer there are dozens of bad “subwoofers” that destroy musical passages and intense movie scenes with rude noises and boomy bass.

At Sound & Vision, we’re constantly looking for subwoofers that outperform the competition and rise to the top of their price class. Here’s our list of the best subwoofers you can buy with recommendations in three price categories: less than $1,000, $1,000 to $4,000, and $5,000 and up.


SVS SB-2000/PB-2000 Subwoofer: $700/$800

Build Quality

Summary: For rooms smaller than 3,000 cubic feet, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than what either of these subwoofers offer. Movie fans will likely prefer the ported PB-2000 but if you listen to a lot of music, go with the sealed SB-2000.

Plus: Room-friendly form factor (SB-2000) • Outstanding build quality • 45-day in-home trial period
Minus: No built-in parametric equalizer • Best for moderate size rooms

allanmarcus's picture

"will win you over with its (literally) explosive performance."

Really? The sub will literally explode and get wood and speaker parts all over the place? Then it will win me over because it exploded? :-)

Warrior24_7's picture

Just make sure that you put you ear and head reeeeal close to it when it does it to get the full effect.

mnc's picture

I'm surprised you didn't include the PSA XV-15 since it won your $800 subwoofer shootout. Also, where is the review for the new HSU?

Bob Ankosko's picture
Our review of the Hsu VTF-15H MK2, which appears in the February/March 2015 print issue, will be posted soon.
Devin Chen's picture

Which is the best? it's JL Audio e110 Subwoofer, SVS SB13-Ultra Subwoofer, or M&K Sound X12 THX Subwoofer for Outdoor movie?

mnc's picture

When will you be reviewing the PSA XS30se? I am VERY interested in how it compares to the SVS SB13-Ultra.