Best Compact Subwoofer

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Today’s average buyer may think that modern subwoofer must be large and non-transportable. In the other case, it would not be decent. However, this is a common misconception; the newest models proved that the subwoofer does not have to be huge and can take only a little piece of your room. And here in this article, we will help you find your best compact subwoofer.

But be aware that we do not consider devices of a non-standard design (for example, flat), due to the fact that the geometry of such devices does not allow to produce high-quality sound (bass needs volume). Only models of a standard design with minimal dimensions were included in our rating.

Compact subwoofer reviews

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BIC America F12 - best overall

Our rating
7.3/10

BIC America F12

From the outside, the BIC America F12 Subwoofer is a rectangular, simple black box. It is 9 kg and measures in at 17 x 14.75 x 17.25 inches. The enclosure is constructed from MDF board with a black laminate. On the ground, four rubber feet keep it from drifting when the bass gets things shaking and help stabilize the woofer.

The F12 is the best compact subwoofer for home theater, and it’s well earned. It has consistent volume, great frequency separation, an impactful and powerful bass response. The latter seems louder than it actually is, and is one of the best performers from our listening tests. Even at the lowest frequencies, it can handle, the bass exhibits more clarity than other subs we tested.

Its sensitivity is 90dB. The F12 has 12" Injection-molded woofer with heavy duty surround. It provides 475 watts Dynamic Peak, 150 watts RMS continuous. The best small subwoofer has an impedance of 8 ohms.

It is great for watching movies with Dolby or DTS HD Audio that have heavy bass. Thee BIC F12 performs just as well as other subs well beyond its price. Not only does it clearly represent the low notes, but you can also feel every bit of it. We didn’t notice any muddiness or distortion even at pretty high volumes. As long as you find the right location, this sub sounds great with anything you throw at it. BIC America F12

The BIC America F12 Subwoofer is not very expensive, but it certainly doesn’t sound like it. With its clean and articulate bass response for both audio and video applications, even at high volumes, the sound is clear while still shaking the room.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS): 150 W
  • Driver size: 12"
  • Driver placement: front
  • Frequency response: 25-200 Hz
  • Dimensions (W x H x D), cm/in: 27.9 x 30.8 x 33/19 x 21 x 22
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • I like room filling sounds and clarity
  • At low levels, this subwoofer delivers that with faint sound leakage that can be heard out to the curb

Cons

  • It can get worryingly hot at high-usage twice. I was not able to use it for more than 4 hours heavily at a time

SVS SB-1000 - best performance

Our rating
7.6/10

SVS SB-1000

I would call the SB-1000 subwoofer universal simply based on its specification. A 12-inch radiator and 300 W of power allow it to be used in rooms of different sizes, and if we are talking about a larger movie theater, you can simply increase the number of subwoofers - for a movie, the depth of the bass is enough. Another obvious and important fact is the size of the model. A cube with a face length of 34 cm is a very compact size for a powerful subwoofer working from around 24 Hz. It is easy to calculate that 34 cm is about 13 inches, respectively, the speaker of 12 inches caliber occupies almost the entire area of ​​the front panel. In addition, it is a long-stroke, which allows for high sound pressure, which makes it the best compact powered subwoofer regarding performance.

To minimize distortion in the emitter, two powerful high-class ferrite magnets are responsible, a magnetic system with a field in the gap, a long voice coil, and a rubber suspension with a large range of motion. To reduce compression, a through-hole was made in the magnetic system to exhaust air from under the central part of the diffuser.

The built-in amplifier SVS Sledge STA-300D operates in class D and provides 300 watts in operating mode and more than 700 watts in peak. It has a built-in digital processor that harmonizes the speaker with the case and helps to get a linear response. SVS SB-1000

The volume, frequency, and phase control look and function quite analogously. The processor does not seem to be involved in this part of the sound path. The SB-1000 has a complete set of inputs: stereo high- and low-level, as well as LFE, combined with a low-level. The presence of high-level inputs will be convenient when connected to an amplifier with two pairs of terminals. There is also a low-level stereo output with a fixed cutoff frequency of 80 Hz. The latter will allow “unloading” the power amplifier without a processor in the system.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS): 300 W
  • Driver size: 12"
  • Driver placement: front
  • Frequency response: 24-360 Hz
  • Dimensions (W x H x D), cm/in: 28 x 30.8 x 33/13 x 14 x 13.5
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • The subwoofer produces high-quality sound in both musical and cinema mode while providing sound pressure and bass depth comparable to significantly larger models
  • It looks discreet, but modern, and assembled, by the way, very high quality

Cons

  • If you approach the issue of quality very meticulously, you could probably get a little more musicality or a little more power
  • Some users will not appreciate the bright LED

Yamaha NS-SW050 - best budget

Our rating
4.3/10

Yamaha NS-SW050

Yamaha has been manufacturing various components for Hi-Fi systems for a long time. Yamaha speakers stand out among similar devices for their operational characteristics, proprietary sound, and a wide selection of models where it is easy to choose the option of power, dimensions, and the stylistic solution you need.

NS-SW050 is an active subwoofer Series Advanced Yamaha Active Servo Technology (Advanced YST). This technology combines an amplifier and a speaker in one operation cycle, which allows you to transfer the maximum undistorted signal directly to the sounding element. The new Twisted Flare Port horn delivers clear, low-pitched overtones from 28 to 200 Hz.

Design features. The mini subwoofer is equipped with a single woofer cone speaker, 8 inches in diameter, which is paired with a built-in amplifier with a power of 50 W (peak 100 W). The classic bass-reflex enclosure adds powerful sound to the volume and allows you to reproduce the “bottom” with a good response and great detail even of the most subtle nuances of sound. The controls are represented by the volume control and the power button. High-sensitivity input, characteristic of the entire Advanced YST series, provides maximum input level.

Yamaha’s Advanced YST II (Yamaha Active Servo Technology II) technology utilizes negative impedance and DC to more efficiently control the speaker cone. Using the Advanced Negative Impedance Converter (ANIC) circuitry, this system dynamically optimizes the speaker's effective impedance, thereby improving linearity. This means a more stable and accurate reproduction of low frequencies, not to mention an increase in sound quality. Yamaha NS-SW050

The slightly rounded body with a sloping front wall looks stylish and elegant. Without attracting too much attention, this subwoofer will certainly become a pleasant addition to the interior of your listening room or the room where your home theater is equipped. Thanks to the presence of three color options (black, white, and walnut), you can choose the modification that is best suited to other speaker systems.

The NS-SW050 compact home subwoofer is the perfect complement to traditional stereo systems or Hi-Fi home theater systems and is the best budget subwoofer.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS): 50 W
  • Driver size: 8"
  • Driver placement: front
  • Frequency response: 28-200 Hz
  • Dimensions (W x H x D), cm/in: 29.1 x 29.2 x 34.1/11.5 x 11.5 x 13.3
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • Thanks to the deep sculptural lattice, it looks less square
  • Matte black finish ideal for most home cinema and sources

Cons

  • There is no cord inside the kit

Acoustic Audio PSW-8

Our rating
6/10

Acoustic Audio PSW-8

Acoustic Audio subs is a well-known name for home audio enthusiasts. It has extended on the success of their PSW series with the new powered subwoofers called PSW-8. This eight-inch down-firing powered subwoofer has got a sleek and sophisticated design, which makes it very pleasing to your eyes.

You will find plenty of interesting features in this subwoofer. There is an internally based bass-reflex enclosure, down-firing speaker, and an inbuilt amplifier. On top of that, this robust subwoofer has 300 W peak power. The frequency rate is 26 Hz-250 Hz, the sensitivity rate and impedance rate of the sub are 97db and 8-ohm, respectively. Acoustic Audio PSW-8

The RMS and maximum rate of this subwoofer are 150 and 300 watts, respectively. A high RMS rate means that this subwoofer will be able to run on your desired level for a long period of time without damaging itself.

Which means you can watch the whole season of game of thrones in one night without having to worry about blowing your amplifier.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS): 90 W
  • Driver size: 8"
  • Driver placement: down firing
  • Frequency response: 26-250 Hz
  • Dimensions (W x H x D), cm/in: 23.8 x 31.4 x 25.9/9.4 x 12.4 x 10.2
  • Full specs

Pros

  • I have pushed it up to 80%, and I can say that if this is your volume level, this sub will not disappoint
  • The bass is low and clean and powerful enough

Cons

  • It performed well on songs but not so well on movies, hit bottom often even turned down

Pioneer SW-8MK2

Our rating
6/10

Pioneer SW-8MK2

Pioneer employed Andrew Jones - renowned audio engineer to design several decent but inexpensive loudspeakers, including their new flagship SW-8MK2 small home subwoofer. This unit remains a very popular budget subwoofer despite being a bit old.

The design is quite plain, boilerplate to most budget-tier subwoofers. It is a washed-wood cube with the port on the side. It’s a down-firing sub. This means you’ll need to place it on a hard surface in order for the driver to function optimally. It is quite light and relatively small, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to move/place. Pioneer SW-8MK2

I’ll say that the benchmark specs aren't excellent. A 100 watts peak power subwoofer will augment a similar budget-tier pair of main speakers, but anything higher grade, or a bigger spaced room, and the SW-8MK2 will possibly underwhelm. The response floor of 38 Hz is just not that perfect either. We do prefer to see a sub go to at least 25 Hz or lower.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS): 50 W
  • Driver size: 8"
  • Driver placement: down firing
  • Frequency response: 38-150 Hz
  • Dimensions (W x H x D), cm/in: 27 x 27 x 30/12.2 x 12.2 x 14.2
  • Full specs

Pros

  • It can be adjusted to any furniture. The sub appears very rhythmical, crisp, and musical
  • The sound displays even better when applying RCA plugs instead of customary speaker wires

Cons

  • Some hard-rock songs are accompanied by the scratching sound. The reason for is clearly not the recording nature
  • The model becomes extremely hot while testing

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