When assembling a home theater or serious music system in your home, you can save on bass and feel great. But adding a high-quality subwoofer to your audio system dramatically changes the ability to emphasize low frequencies and improve overall sound quality. Despite the fact that dozens of companies create subwoofers that expand the boundaries of sound quality, fortunately, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to significantly improve your sound system. Even if these budget subwoofers never offer the same size and lower frequencies as the higher quality subwoofers, the best subwoofer under 500 can significantly affect the sound quality. At a given money range, the price/quality combination is the best.
To determine which subwoofers costing less than $500 are the best quality for the money, we examined a number of features that determine the subwoofer low-frequency output. We examined the output power, which controls the maximum volume that a subwoofer can produce, and the frequency response, which describes the range of frequencies that a subwoofer can reproduce. We also looked at the size of the diffuser, which determines how much air the subwoofer can move with each vibration and therefore affects the sound quality.
Finally, we summarized our favorite subwoofers below $500 in the market for today.
The active model SB-1000 is the youngest among the closed subwoofers of this American brand. The case (and this is a regular cube with a side of 330 mm) is quite rigid. At the same time, it has rounded edges that impede internal resonances. Although the internal volume is small, it has a solid 12-inch head, which occupies almost the entire front panel. It is equipped with a soft rubber suspension with increased displacement amplitude, a high-temperature coil, and a proprietary dual magnetic system. The digital amplifier (peak power 720 W) is one of the most powerful among the participants in the test. In addition, among other things, it has a DSP that works as a limiter. The signal to the subwoofer can be fed through both linear and high-level inputs. Of the useful tuning options, we note the possibility of smooth phase adjustment.
Despite the wide range of adjustments for the crossover filter, the most accurate sound is obtained at a cutoff frequency of around 90 Hz. At the same time, solid energy capabilities and a confident depth bass can be noted, which allows the subwoofer to work adequately even with massive floor acoustics. Dynamic qualities are no less convincing.
I am convinced that this model is the best subwoofer under 500. Why? The device literally effortlessly coped with all the proposed material, without underestimating the scale of what was happening. Here the merit of a powerful and skillful amplification path clearly holding the course of the diffuser. At a very high volume, the sound loses a little in harmony (not the most inert case affects), but there are no noticeable artifacts here. Temperature control is critical when working with such a powerful amplifier and motor in a compact sealed enclosure, which is why SVS implemented a unique ventilated gear and an efficient, powerful voice coil to support the SB-1000 subwoofer without affecting performance or noise. The case is firmly fixed and soundproofed, so the bass you hear is always light and clean, even at the highest levels of transmission. The SB-1000 is the lightest and smallest SVS subwoofer, making its frequency response from 24 Hz to 260 Hz ( /- 3dB) even more impressive.
The Klipsch R-12SWi front driver subwoofer can be placed in the most suitable place in your room without the need for cable routing. 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity delivers CD-quality sound.
The Klipsch R-12SWi is the best wireless powered subwoofer under $500. It is equipped with a 12-inch IMG graphite impregnated copper driver that provides low-frequency reproduction with minimal distortion. The built-in digital amplifier provides ample power with high performance and fidelity. The low crossover and phase control allows you to clearly synchronize the low-frequency sound of the subwoofer with the sound of the remaining speakers of the Klipsch system, as well as establish the optimal level of bass.
R-12SWi has a robust housing made of veneered fiberboard with a matte finish. The on / off indicator is located on the front panel.
On the back of the Klipsch R-12SWi is a traditional set of controls. There are volume and frequency controls for the input filter, as well as a switch for the absolute phase of the signal. Klipsch R-12SWi is equipped with linear and LFE inputs. However, the peculiarity of this model is that it provides the possibility of wireless connection to the signal source.
For this purpose, the Klipsch R-12SWi has a built-in receiver, and a transmitter paired with it is included with the device. The latter can be connected to the LFE or line output of an AV receiver or stereo amplifier. The signal is transmitted at a frequency of 2.4 GHz without compression, which provides a wide dynamic range of sound and accurate frequency transmission.
The ability to connect wirelessly greatly simplifies the placement of the Klipsch R-12SWi in a room - in fact, the user only needs to take care of the presence of an electrical outlet near the subwoofer. The subwoofer develops significant sound pressure and works out without distortion the most dynamic special effects of modern cinema films.
This is an outbreak in the world of subwoofers, the SVS PB-1000 plays below the limits of human hearing, up to 19 Hz and lower, but it is cheaper than subwoofers with the same low-frequency expansion and output power. Simply put, it's the deepest, lightest, and most authoritative bass you'll find for less than $500. Even the best home theater subwoofer under 500 can’t come close to that level of low-frequency output and expansion.
Given the deep bass extension and loud SPL sound without sacrificing musicality, the PB-1000 challenges expectations at every level. The front-firing driver is equipped with two high-quality ferrite magnets and FEA-optimized internal engine technology that provides extreme deflection for high power with extremely low distortion. The performance of 10-inch drivers competes with 12 and 15-inch drivers in much larger cabinets.
The lightweight cone material of the SVSound PB-1000 long-stroke driver delivers massive LFE and subtle musical tones with realistic realism, making the subwoofer an ideal option for both home theater and music lovers. Durable rubber edging also provides long-term performance, even when the ported subwoofer extends to its performance limits over extended periods of time.
The PB-1000's controlled ported subwoofer is an integrated SVS Sledge STA-300D amplifier with a sophisticated DSP, ideal for a unique ported cabinet configuration, and an equalization curve optimized for improved transient response and room gain. Averaged for a 300 W RMS average power and a peak power of 700 watts, the Sledge amplifier provides precise control of the subwoofer at all drive levels, so you can switch to reference volumes and maintain the accuracy of the frequency response. Experience the PB-1000 with the most sophisticated bass line or soundtrack, and it will remain true to the original content without compromise. The advanced DSP also provides fine-tuning sound reproduction, as well as easy setup and integration into any home theater or stereo system.
When it comes to filling the lower octaves of our favorite audio content, only a few, if any, ported subwoofers fit what the SVS PB-1000 achieves for the price. Its ability to transmit breasts and loud LFE sound effects, as well as thin and thin bass in music, television, and movies, does not meet the expectations of the performance level previously reserved for much larger reference subwoofers.
The Klipsch R-112SW subwoofer with nearly 22 kg of weight is a decent choice if you are looking for a home subwoofer under 500. The dimensions of the 12-inch model also attract attention. Its MDF case is adorned with matt black polymer plywood. This provides a clear contrast with the copper-colored ceramic membrane. This material designed by Klipsch is characterized by a very good stiffness to weight ratio and remarkable damping properties. The reviewed unit is powered by a Class D digital amplifier with a 300 W RMS power. This allows the subwoofer to have a frequency response of 24 Hz to 125 Hz and sound pressure of 118 dB. This is more than enough for an exciting home cinema evening.
All controls can be found on the back of the chassis. Forced gain control is accompanied by a controlled low-pass filter and a phase switch that allows you to rotate the phase 180 degrees. The connections are the line level and LFE input for multi-channel sound systems.
The working display in the form of an LED is located at the front, top left. It will also tell you when the R-112SW is in standby mode. Using the selector, you can set the mode. If the switch is set to Automatic, the subwoofer will turn on as soon as a signal appears.
Absolutely free from criticism is the flagship Sub Klipsch, but no. Firstly, testers complain about the lack of remote control. On the other hand, I would like to have a continuously adjustable phase controller.
It has not only outstanding depth, pressure, and accuracy, but also extreme level stability, dynamics, and high impulse accuracy. These qualities are especially noticeable in equivalent bass effects, like in a home theater.
Overall, the Klipsch R-112SW leaves a very positive impression. You will not find a cheaper entry into the league so quickly. In conclusion, the Reference R-112SW subwoofer lets you not only hear but also feel the influence of your most desired music and movies.