Best Subwoofer 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

No home theatre is complete without a subwoofer for adding a bit of depth and boom to your telly viewing.

Whether you’re rewatching the latest action blockbuster and want to recreate the sound you experienced in the cinema, or an episode of Midsomer Murders and like the grisly scenes and dramatic music to be emphasised, subs really do add to the viewing pleasure.

But everyone has different requirements, as does every setup and programme. Maybe you already have a soundbar and want something to match it, or are thinking of buying one so need specific requirements. It is also worth noting you probably want something which looks good, not just sounds good.

There are different sizes, connection methods and power levels. And you’re going to want it to be just right. Thankfully, these are some of the top picks available right now – and we have reviewed them, so you know why.

The Best Subwoofers – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Samsung SWA-W700 Wireless Subwoofer
  • Type: Wireless Subwoofer
  • Power Output: 350W
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions: H33.8 x W32 x D32cm
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Wharfedale Diamond SW150
  • Type: Wired Subwoofer
  • Power: 150W
  • Connectivity: RCA Cable
  • Dimensions: 33 x 37 x 33cm
  • Frequency Response: 35 - 110 Hz
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Echo Sub
  • Type: Smart Speaker Wireless Sub
  • Power: 100W
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Dimensions: H20.2 x D21 cm
  • Frequency Response: 30 - 200Hz
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Best Subwoofers

YAMAHA MusicCast SUB 100 Wireless Subwoofer

One of the lowest frequency responses we have seen, and this is evident as soon as it is turned on. Yamaha’s items have been gaining a lot of traction over the past few years, and this relatively new sub is a perfect example of why.

Auto crossover frequency technology allows you to fine-tune the settings to help sync everything up seamlessly, so you won’t get screen scenes miles ahead of the sound. Then there is Twisted Flare Port technology, which delivers everything tightly and clearly, so your experience is the best it can be.

As it is wireless, you have a lot of freedom over where you place it. You just need a power point, and you’re good to go – ensure your other items are also wireless too, of course.

It is designed to be paired with the MusicCast BAR 40 Sound Bar and is also compatible with many other speakers and accessories in the Yamaha range. This doesn’t mean it won’t work with your chosen setup, however. Just check the compatibility.

Everything is controlled through the dedicated app, so there are not too many garish big buttons and dials ruining the look. Everything is encased within an attractive body, and the speaker cones are behind meshing, so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

It isn’t just your TV sound which it can improve, either. Music is instantly elevated, no matter how bassy and deep it is. From house to electronic, it never struggled. Even when playing slow, softer songs, we heard little details which we had previously been unaware of. Certainly an impactful device, well worth the cost – after all, it is a little ahead of the game so will last for years.

We like

  • Huge difference in sound
  • Very low-frequency response
  • Attractive and sleek

We dislike

  • Very Yamaha centric - may be best for those with a system by the brand

Final Verdict

Another brilliant addition to the Yamaha collection, with app control and wireless connectivity - certainly the definition of modern

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wireless Subwoofer
  • Power: 130W
  • Connectivity: WiFi
  • Dimensions: 37.3 x 25.2 x 41.8cm
  • Frequency Response: 28 - 300Hz

+ Downloads

YAMAHA MusicCast SUB 100 Wireless Subwoofer

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Q Acoustics 3060s Active Subwoofer

A very stylish offering which doesn’t even look like a subwoofer at first glance. Don’t be put off though – the sound certainly delivers.

It is one of the slimmest available, yet unlike some of the other slim offerings, isn’t ridiculously tall as a result. There are rubber feet and spikes included to raise it off the floor, or it can be wall mounted with suitable brackets.

All of the connections and controls are hidden behind a little magnetic hatch and are down facing, so as discreet as possible. Perfect if you like the clean, minimalistic look but your media setup is in dire need of something which can give you a bit of a deep rumble.

There are also four different casing colours available. Arctic White, Carbon Black, English Walnut and Graphite Grey are solid colours, and we love how Q Acoustics seemingly understand that plain old black just simply doesn’t cut it for some people who worry about aesthetics.

In terms of sound, there is plenty of bass there to make those everyday watches a lot more dramatic. It does all of this without getting too ahead of itself, as well. No distortion or crackling or evident straining.

Obviously, every eventuality will need a little catering in terms of the level, volume and crossover required. But it is an easy woofer to get to grips with.

We like

  • Fabulous sound
  • Great shape and colour choices
  • Slim for popping anywhere

We dislike

  • Designed more for use with the 300i speaker range (but still a great standalone)

Final Verdict

By far one of the most stylish, yet still manages to pack the necessary pointers in. We simply just love it

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Subwoofer
  • Power: 150W
  • Connectivity: RCA Cable
  • Dimensions: 48 x 30 x 15cm
  • Frequency Response: 35 - 250 Hz

+ Downloads

Q Acoustics 3060s Active Subwoofer User Manual

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Yamaha YSTFSW050BL

A slim and neat design, this Yamaha is ideal for anybody who wants the power of a subwoofer but doesn’t necessarily have space or layout for one.

It is one of the oldest models on our list, but its size and design made it a real frontrunner when it first came out, and the fact it is still available says all you need to know.

The frequency response can reach between 30-150 Hz, so no matter how deep and punchy or gentle the bass is meant to be, you will hear what the creator had in mind. It offers the perfect level of enhancement for your TV – you won’t recreate a club night in Ibiza, but you will certainly feel an immersive difference.

Perfect for use with a soundbar of a hi-fi system, the connection uses an HDMI cable so as long as you have space and an appropriate port, you should be good to go. Arguably easier than faffing about trying to connect it to your network and get everything in perfect synchronicity. It can also be connected to an amp for music tasks.

Cost-wise, it falls in our ‘under £100’ bracket, so is fabulous if you maybe want to purchase an entire sound system on a budget, or you simply want to see what the fuss is about.

We like

  • Smaller dimensions
  • Simple to control and set up
  • Great value and build for price

We dislike

  • Need to turn it off separately to driving source

Final Verdict

Compact, simple but still packs a punch - great for the price tag and perfect for any room no matter the size

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Subwoofer
  • Power: 100W
  • Connectivity: HDMI
  • Dimensions: 35 x 16.3 x 35cm
  • Frequency Response: 30 - 150 Hz

Wharfedale Diamond SW150

Giving an extra level of lows that you are missing, whether you are listening to music or watching a film. Wharfedale may not be the most well-known name when it comes to audio technology, but the Diamond lives up to its name.

It can be as subtle as you want it to be but also performs ridiculously well when maxed out without any loss of quality or distortion. Whether the kids are watching the Lion King, or you are watching the new Marvel action movie, the exact level of perfection is just a dial-turn away.

We wouldn’t say it is the most booming out there, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, you can indeed have too much power. Instead, it offers a natural extension to the lower end of the noise scale. For this reason, don’t risk it on heavy drum and bass any time soon, but anything a bit softer will be brought to life.

Bear the size in mind – it is rather huge. Some people have commented that there is a slight rumbling/humming noise when it is turned on, but this isn’t something that we experienced, so we assume they were isolated incidents.

For the price, you get a really impactful woofer. You may be on a bit of a budget and want to spend under £200, yet still get the best for the money. This model certainly delivers, plus you’ll have enough money left over to add another device to your collection.

We like

  • Value for money
  • Good range of bass for every occasion
  • Detail still comes through

We dislike

  • Not for the big booming scenes

Final Verdict

It has been on sale for over ten years, but is still going strong and a firm user favourite. Just as powerful as some over twice the price and recently released

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Subwoofer
  • Power: 150W
  • Connectivity: RCA Cable
  • Dimensions: 33 x 37 x 33cm
  • Frequency Response: 35 - 110 Hz

+ Downloads

Wharfedale Diamond SW150 User Manual

Download

Q Acoustics 2070Si Active Subwoofer

Giving out a warm, hearty sound, with just enough bass to really add something to your television marathon.

If you want to create a bit of a surround sound feel, then it will connect up to other Q Acoustics speakers via Bluetooth. Instructions on the overall setup are clear, and it is an all-round easy experience.

Bear in mind the dimensions – it is slim but quite tall, which should suit most spaces yet will limit its placement within a display cabinet or on a TV stand. We do love the fact it comes in both black or gloss white, however, so whatever your decor or needs, there should be a close match at the very least.

The two smaller cones add even more punch compared to those which use just one large cone, so a lot of design thought has been put into this. It isn’t going to be the most booming on the list, which is evident by the frequency response range, but for the everyday little something extra it is ideal without pushing the viewing pleasure overboard.

It isn’t the absolute cheapest on the list but still falls under £200. A perfect entry-range model, or for someone who just wants to add a bit of extra depth to their already busy home cinema system.

We like

  • Attractive design
  • Great for everyday and movies

We dislike

  • Not really for music

Final Verdict

A pleasing sound delivery which never gets too much. As long as you don’t want to get your bass to the extremes, it makes for a lovely addition

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Subwoofer
  • Power: 150W
  • Connectivity: RCA Cable
  • Dimensions: 18 x 56 x 19.5cm
  • Frequency Response: 50 - 150Hz

+ Downloads

Q Acoustics 2070Si Active Subwoofer

Download

Echo Sub

This won’t worry the subwoofer market leaders as it is purely for anyone with an Amazon smart speaker, but it is a worthwhile addition to your setup.

There is no denying that Alexa’s are handy to have for playing music. But there is also denying that they don’t exactly rival ordinary speakers when it comes to sound quality. No smart speaker does.

The Echo Sub certainly raises the smart speaker bar, though. It is the first of its kind, and output can reach 30Hz, which will create a lovely low rumble. Because it is a wireless connection, it can be placed almost anywhere which is ideal if you have a large open room or need the sound to reach a particular area.

It is wrapped in soft charcoal fabric to complement the latest Echo’s. The shape is a little tubby but does match the Echo well so we can’t complain. We do actually prefer the rounded shape compared to some of the bulky, sharp subs we have reviewed.

Setting it up is simple thanks to the video tutorial on the Alexa app, and you can even connect it to two separate speakers if you want a more surround sound feel. When giving a command, you do need to tell it to play through the subwoofer – bear this in mind.

Should you already have an Echo product, then it is a worthwhile purchase which can improve your listening experience (if this is indeed what you use it for). Not yet made the leap into the smart speaker world? Perhaps you were put off by the fact it isn’t really a music speaker? Well, hopefully, this Sub will encourage you to make the jump and get with the times.

We like

  • Easy pairing
  • Great sound no matter the volume
  • Good value when you have a few items compared to other setups

We dislike

  • Syncing issues - sub starts playing before the Echo

Final Verdict

Obviously rather limited to what you can pair it up to, but a pretty genius and needed item nonetheless which will please Amazon smart speaker users

+ Specifications

  • Type: Smart Speaker Wireless Sub
  • Power: 100W
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Dimensions: H20.2 x D21 cm
  • Frequency Response: 30 - 200Hz

Samsung SWA-W700 Wireless Subwoofer

Perfect for deep bass, cancelling distortion and clean setup, this wireless subwoofer from Samsung is just what we’d expect from this brand.

Because it connects wirelessly, you can place it anywhere in your room and it will still communicate with your soundbar. Perfect if you have your sleek design and placements and don’t want to disturb this with a relatively bulky appliance.

It goes as low as 27 Hz for brilliant deep sound. If you’re watching a big booming movie, then you’re going to feel as though you’re there in the comfort of your own home. It cancels out distortion before it is even created, so you always have the sound that the creator imagined. There is no muddying of vocals in music, either.

We say that it is bulky, but actually, the size is perfectly acceptable to keep it on display. In fact, if we are being honest, it looks so seamless and jazzy that we’d actually love to have it on show. You want people to know that the perfect sound was intentional, right?

Because it connects via Wi-Fi, we expected a few issues. They didn’t occur, though. You will need a good connection, but it keeps it well. No wonder it has a host of glowing reviews and 5* across the board.

We like

  • Unbeatable results
  • Nice design
  • Wireless connectivity

We dislike

  • Size - may struggle fitting to a small space

Final Verdict

Outstanding sound and a notable improvement made. You couldn’t wish for better

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wireless Subwoofer
  • Power Output: 350W
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions: H33.8 x W32 x D32cm

+ Downloads

Samsung SWA-W700 Wireless Subwoofer User Manual

Download

Sonos SUB Wireless Subwoofer

Sonos and good sound are two things which go together just as well as garlic bread and pasta. Our expectations were high, yet this still exceeded them.

It has been designed to be compatible with Sonos PLAY and PLAYBAR systems, so if you already have these set up, then you’re on to a winner. This subwoofer is the perfect complementary addition to your wireless sound system, improving quality tenfold. Even if you think it is already pretty astronomical.

Bass is delivered with intensity, which is even felt. It can sync with other Sonos speakers in different rooms so that music can be played throughout the house. Or, pick a different tune for each separate device straight from your iPhone.

Up to 32 people can add their own music to the playlist queue. So if you want a party but don’t want to be the DJ, just let everyone know they can use their Apple device to pick what they want. No responsibility, and also no blame if someone picks a bit of a clanger. It is also compatible with Android when picking music.

You get the Ethernet cable required to give it the wireless connectivity, and in terms of design, it is well up there. The price is high, and it is a complete dust magnet thanks to the smooth, sleek exterior. But the sound is worth it.

We like

  • Design
  • Sound quality
  • Easy to connect to system

We dislike

  • Price (worth it if you’re a sound lover)

Final Verdict

Offering you so much freedom and control over your music and films, this is a top option for anyone already a fan of the Sonos brand (or anyone who wants to see what the fuss is about)

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wireless Subwoofer
  • Power Output: N/A
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions: 40.2 x 15.8 x 38 cm

+ Downloads

SONOS SUB Wireless Subwoofer Product Guide

Download

YAMAHA NSSW050 Active Subwoofer

Able to work with any compatible device, this Yamaha adds a notable amount of weight and boom to your sound.

Distortion is minimised, and Yamaha Active Servo Technology II ensures that you have both a stable bass and accurate, clear sound. Whether you are listening to techno, watching the latest blockbuster or having to hear every word of the must-watch drama everyone is talking about, you’re in safe hands.

Because it works with any existing kit, it is seamless to install and get up and running. It is small, so it should fit comfortably in any space, and it also doesn’t look too garish.

The price is absolutely brilliant when comparing to other subwoofers on the market. Granted, it isn’t quite as booming and powerful as those at the higher end. But when comparing, we’d still say it was a steal.

We’d like auto on and off ability. But if you’re only going to be using it when the family are settling down on the sofa with some popcorn, then the chances of it being left on are minimal anyway.

We like

  • Cost
  • Size and look
  • Very easy to connect up

We dislike

  • No auto button - all manual control

Final Verdict

Perfect for the price - for anyone who isn’t fussed about absolute mind-blowing sound but still wants a boost

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Subwoofer
  • Power Output: 100W
  • Connectivity: RCA x 1
  • Dimensions: 29.2 x 29.1 x 34.1 cm

+ Downloads

YAMAHA NSSW050 Active Subwoofer User Manual

Download

Help and Resources

Subwoofer Buying Guide

Size

This is important not only because you probably want the sub to be as discreet as possible and slot into a chosen space, but also because the larger the woofer, generally the more power the sound. This is because the speaker cones will likely be larger. Think about how large your room is and the other items in your collection as well as the space you have

Frequency Response

This can often be an exception to the size rule. As time moves on, so does technology. If you want very deep sounds, look for a frequency at a maximum of around 30Hz. If you are more likely to watch comedy shows or the soaps, then a smaller one with a minimum of around 50Hz is good enough

Power

This usually refers to the amp driver power. The higher this is, generally the more impactful the bass. You likely don’t have to go to the extremes – most sit around the 150W mark – but if you are using for everyday tasks, then one at 100W (which could be cheaper) will suffice.

Price

Ranging from around £100 to over £1000, the price usually indicates just how powerful and ‘good’ the woofer is. But there are a few exceptions.

Many of our top-rated ones fall well below £500, and you can even find some absolute gems for under £200 which are still quality. If this is going to be part of a full setup with multiple components, then you aren’t going to want to spend too much on every individual item, but it could still be worth investing to get the most out of all your other electronics, too.

FAQs

Where Should My Sub Go?

Consider the placement you wish for it to go and the shape and size of the room. You want to ensure the woofer will give out the right footprint to fill the room with sound, or at least let it reach your sofa.

You will need to connect it to a power outlet, and then to the rest of your system if it isn’t wireless. For this reason, it could be worth investing in a wireless option – they are certainly the future, we think.

It could be worth buying an isolation platform or stand to absorb some of the bass yet not ruin your listening experience. Deep sounds can sometimes cause shelving or glass to rattle, especially in a more closed or small room.

There is a good chance you’ll have to test a few placement locations before you settle, but in most cases, the best placement is at the front of the room, near main speakers, or in a corner where the sound waves can bounce off surfaces. Walls make great surfaces due to the solidity.

What Is The Best Setup For A Subwoofer?

A sub is best when paired with a soundbar when you’re jazzing up your home cinema system. The former adds the deep booming tones, and the latter increases clarity and higher noises.

This is an alternative for a 5.1 system, made up of multiple accessories, but can still be added to with speakers to recreate this.

Even if your soundbar or soundstage comes with built-in base drivers, it is understandable if you want to further this power. They can still sound thin, particularly if you are an action movie fan.

Again, check there are enough (and suitable) connections on the rear of your sub and other items so they will comfortably connect.