7 Best Active Subwoofers for Your Home Theater – 2024

Norvan Martin
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Active subwoofers have built-in amplifiers and so do not require an external amplifier. For this reason, active subs are often more expensive than passive subwoofers that require an external amp.

If you can afford it, you can always pay a premium price to get a sub with all the bells and whistles and top-tier sound quality. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot get a decent device within your budget. Several subs on the market have good audio quality and features, as well as price tags that don’t break the bank.

Let’s discuss some of the best inexpensive active subs you can get.

Best Overall
SVS SB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Ultra...
Best Value
BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing...
Best Sound Quality
Klipsch R-100SW 10" Subwoofer, Incredibly Deep...
SVS SB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Ultra...
BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing...
Klipsch R-100SW 10" Subwoofer, Incredibly Deep...
Best Overall
SVS SB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Ultra...
SVS SB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Ultra...
Best Value
BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing...
BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing...
Best Sound Quality
Klipsch R-100SW 10" Subwoofer, Incredibly Deep...
Klipsch R-100SW 10" Subwoofer, Incredibly Deep...

What to Look for in a Good Subwoofer

There are always some features to watch out for when you want to purchase something. These features tell you how good the object is and whether it will work for you. In active subwoofers, here are some features to check for.

  • Sound Quality

This is undoubtedly the most important criterion for choosing a good subwoofer (or any other audio device). The sub you choose should always produce clean, natural sound without annoying noises or distortion. It should properly accompany quiet portions while rising gently for higher pitches.

  • Low Frequencies

Subwoofers specialize in deep bass tones. So, the sub you choose should do that well. A sub that doesn’t produce enough bass is practically useless.

  • Internal Amplification

Passive and active subwoofers differ because the active subs have internal amplification to increase the audio signal strength. Check if the sub has sufficient amplification. With low amplification, the sub might be overshadowed by the other audio components. 

  • Build Quality

Getting a cheap subwoofer does not equate to getting mediocre components. Get a sub with a sturdy build and long-lasting materials.

Best Budget Active Subwoofers

This is a selection of the best budget active subwoofers with good sound quality, build quality, and enough power to give you deep,  chest-thumping bass.

You shouldn’t expect top-of-the-line performance, but you will get excellent sound quality from these subwoofers.

1. Best Overall: SVS SB-1000

This good subwoofer manages to get all the important things right. At 13.5×13×14.6″ (HWD), this subwoofer is compact enough to fit in tight spaces, despite having a 12-inch driver.

It’s sufficiently powerful, with a 300W RMS and 700W peak power rating. The sound quality is excellent, with deep bass tones, airy midtones, and highs that are never muddy. The sub-output spans 24Hz to 260Hz on the frequency spectrum. It is a sealed subwoofer, so it needs to be used at high volumes to match the output of a ported subwoofer.

This sub is an example of thoughtful construction. It has a vented pole piece to prevent overheating and massive dual ferrite magnets for high-quality sound with low distortion. Everything is enclosed in a sturdy cabinet in a variety of colors.

View at Amazon

Pros

 

  • Works well in small rooms
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Effective thermal management

Cons

 

  • Might require high volumes to work well
  • The bass might feel shallow 

2. Best Value: BIC America F12

BIC America is well-known for its affordable and high-quality audio devices. Well, you won’t be disappointed with the F12, one of their most popular subwoofers. It measures 21×19×22″ (HWD) and weighs 42.7 lbs. 

BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing...
  • Powered subwoofer with 12-inch injection molded long throw woofer; BASH designed amp
  • Patented BIC "Venturi" vent eliminates port noise
  • Adjustable crossover, adjustable volume control, automatic signal sensing

The sound quality is superb, especially with low tones. There’s very little distortion, even at high volumes. It produces bass tones clearly and middle or high tones with precision. The frequency response is 25-200Hz. It’s rated at 150W RMS and 475W peak power.

The components are housed in an MDF board and black laminate. There are rubber feet that improve traction and prevent excessive vibrations while working.

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Pros

 

  • Has magnetic protection to eliminate noise
  • Easy to install

Cons

 

  • It gets hot during prolonged sessions

3. Best Compact: Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X10

This subwoofer is a compact device with a shallow and slim enclosure measuring 19⅛×13½×5¼” (WHD). The enclosure is covered in a carpet felt to protect the components and reduce sound muffling. It doesn’t win any design awards, but it works well.

Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X10 Prime R2S Single 10-Inch...
  • High-flow, low-noise port design
  • Constructed with 5/8-Inch MDF
  • 10 AWG input terminals

The RMS power rating is 200W, and the peak power rating is 400W. The frequency response is 38-250Hz, which is enough for most users. 

Like all Rockford Fosgate devices, this sub has excellent sound quality. It reproduces bass, midtones, and high notes with surprising clarity. There’s also little distortion at high volumes.

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Pros

 

  • Compact design
  • Sufficiently powerful
  • Comes with everything you need for installation

Cons

 

  • The felt cover is not waterproof
  • Basic design 

4. Best Sound Quality: Klipsch R-100SW 10” Subwoofer

This sub uses a digital amplifier with a peak output of 300W. It uses a single large woofer cone made of spun copper in the classic Klipsch style. The enclosure is also classic Klipsch, with a sturdy black enclosure.

Klipsch R-100SW 10" Subwoofer, Incredibly Deep...
  • 10" front-firing spun-copper IMG woofer
  • All-digital amplifier with 300 watts peak power
  • Volume low pass crossover and phase control

The frequency response lies between 32Hz and 120Hz. That’s not much range, but the subwoofer makes full use of it. You get thumping bass, airy mids, and crystal-clear highs. This subwoofer is the perfect choice if you want a clean overall audio experience.

View at Amazon

Pros

 

  • Spun copper woofer cone
  • Fully digital amplifier
  • Accurate sound

Cons

 

  • Needs specific cables to install
  • Inefficient below 60Hz

5. Cheapest: Polk Audio PSW10

This subwoofer delivers decent sound quality while keeping a budget price tag. The subwoofer measures 16.2x14x14.4″ (HWD) and uses a 10-inch driver. It is well-designed, with a silver front and a grille to protect the woofer cone. The subwoofer’s cabinet is made of durable and smooth MDF boards.

SALE!!
Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer – Power...
  • POWERED SUBWOOFER FOR EXTRA BASS and PUNCH – A 10-inch Dynamic Balance woofer and a uniquely configured...
  • LOUDER CLEARER SOUND EVEN AT HIGH VOLUME – Enjoy a thrilling yet balanced music experience with rich, deep...
  • DOUBLE THE AMPLIFIER POWER TO 100 Watts of Dynamic Power with its in-built 50-watt RMS amp. Sophisticated...

The internal amplifier lets the sub deliver 100W RMS, which might be too low for some users. The sound quality is decent; you get pleasing bass, airy mids, and sharp highs. With the small frequency response range of 40Hz-160Hz, the bass will sound shallow sometimes.

View at Amazon

Pros

 

  • Has inbuilt protection against power fluctuations
  • Fast and easy installation

Cons

 

  • Slightly low sound quality
  • Lacks LFE  

6. Best down-firing subwoofer: Theater Solutions SUB8S Active Subwoofer

The Theater Solutions SUB8S slim-powered subwoofer amps up your home cinema with its 250 watts of power. It creates a powerful and enveloping sound atmosphere. The thin build makes it easy to slide into all sorts of home theater arrangements.

SALE!!
Theater Solutions SUB8S 250 Watt Surround Sound HD...
  • SLIM HOME THEATER POWERED SUBWOOFER - Standard RCA inputs easily connect to your home theater receivers...
  • 250 WATTS PEAK POWER - Integrated high efficiency power amplifier, 35 - 150 Hz at 8ohm with 24dB per Octave...
  • 8 INCH DOWN FIRING WOOFER - High efficiency Low Frequency woofer with high rigidity PVA Treated cone, bottom...

This subwoofer picks up sounds easily and plays a broad spectrum of tones, which means the bass comes through crisp and lively, improving how everything sounds. It’s built tough to keep kicking out great audio for years, and it’ll work with many different sound systems thanks to its flexible impedance.

View at Amazon

Pros

 

  • Get a rich sound with 250 watts of power.
  • Its thin shape means you can put it anywhere in your entertainment room.
  • The clear bass is both loud and covers all the sounds you want to hear.
  • This toughly-made speaker will last for ages.
  • It works with lots of different sound systems because it has flexible impedance.

Cons

 

  • Some users may desire a deeper bass, necessitating a larger subwoofer.
  • Limited color options might not suit all design preferences.

The Skar Audio Single 10″ 1200W Loaded SDR Series Vented Subwoofer Enclosure is ideal for anyone who loves car audio. It packs a punch with its 1200W power, guaranteeing deep and powerful bass.

Skar Audio Single 10" 1200W Loaded SDR Series...
  • SDR Series Single 10-Inch D2 ohm Loaded Subwoofer Enclosure
  • Peak Power: 1,200 Watts | RMS Power: 600 Watts
  • Pre-wired Internally for a 1 Ohm Final Impedance Load at the Terminals for an Easy Installation

Its vented box improves the sound, giving you clear and forceful audio. The 10-inch subwoofer is sensitive and handles a broad range of low sounds, so you won’t miss a beat. It’s well-made, sturdy, and gives off great vibes, making sure you get top-notch performance every time.

View at Amazon

Pros

 

  • Strong 1200W power rating gives you booming bass.
  • A vented box improves the sound.
  • It’s highly sensitive with a broad frequency range to capture deep tones in detail.
  • This subwoofer is durable, thanks to its robust construction, which also prevents unwanted vibrations.
  • It has a handy, single 10-inch subwoofer setup.

Cons

 

  • In small cars, the size might be too big.
  • If you want to tweak your sound, there aren’t many options.

Conclusion

That’s it! A guide to the best budget active subwoofers. Moreover, choosing a subwoofer can be a tedious task because of the cost sheer number of brands and feature sets available.

However, you can find good budget options as we have presented here. If none of the subs on this list appeal to you, read the section on what to look for in subwoofers and find one that matches your needs.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin