I’ve been researching the subwoofer for home theatre systems, and getting the best value for money is always on my mind. But, most of the lists of budget home theatre system subwoofers I found online only wrote a brief summary, without much evidence why they are the best.
So, I decided to put together my own list of the best home theatre subwoofers on a budget based on concrete data, here’s what I found.
So, what is the best home theater subwoofer on a budget? The best home theatre subwoofer on a budget is the Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Wireless Subwoofer. Not only does it have amazing reviews, but it is under $200, is completely wireless, and comes with a free soundbar.
I evaluated all of the lower-priced subwoofers using additional criteria, and there are a few others that offer unique benefits to the Polk Audio Signa S2.
Read to discover how I chose the best home theater subwoofers on a budget and how each of them measures up.
My Selection Criteria For Choosing The Best Home Theater Subwoofers On A Budget
Before, selecting the best home theater subwoofer on a budget I put them through some rigorous screening to ensure they are high quality, and I’m not stuck with a lemon.
My Best Home Theater Subwoofers Selection Criteria Are:
- The average review rating from previous customers on Amazon.com
- The number of ratings the product received on Amazon.com
- The sound quality
- How easy they are to set up and use
- How the price compares to other similar home theatre subwoofers
|1. The average review rating from previous customers on Amazon.com|
|In my opinion, the best way to gauge how good a product is is to look at previous reviews. Amazon is the biggest online marketplace in the world according to Webretailer.com. Which means they sell the most products. And is an excellent source for seeing customer reviews.|
And luckily, Amazon is proactive about getting reviews from customers by asking for them after the product has been delivered. Amazon estimates that 10% to 20% of people who buy products leave reviews. So, I chose the average review rating for the subwoofers as one of my main selection criteria.
|2. The number of reviews the product received on Amazon.com|
|As you might remember from high school statistics the more people that leave reviews the more accurate the average review is. |
It also means that more units of the product were sold by the company, and/or that people were so satisfied with it that they went out of their way to leave a review. Both are big positives for the budget subwoofers I’m reviewing.
|3. The subwoofers sound quality|
|Some subwoofers claim to have good sound quality, but without actually testing it, it’s hard to know. So, I combed through the reviews left by previous customers to get a feel for what people thought of the sound quality as compared to other home theatre subwoofers.|
|4. How easy they are to set up and use|
|Electronics, in general, are quite difficult to set up, but some have interfaces, and remotes, that aren’t very intuitive. Or, other issues that make them difficult to set up and use. So, I looked at what people had said about easy to use, and also to install.|
|5. How the price compares to other similar home theater subwoofers|
|Some budget subwoofers perform as good if not better than big-name subwoofers such as Sony. However, because their brand name isn’t well known you might not have heard of some diamond in the rough subwoofers.|
Using this criterion I looked through customers’ comments to see what people generally thought about how they compare to other home theater subwoofers on the market. And subwoofers they had used in the past.
And finally based on my selection criteria… Here’s the list of the best subwoofers on a budget.
- Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Wireless Subwoofer
- Klipsch R-100SW 10″ Subwoofer
- Monoprice 60-Watt Powered Subwoofer – 8 Inch
1. Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Wireless Subwoofer
The number of ratings the product received on Amazon.com
At the time of writing this, the Polk Audio Signa S2 has over 5,900 reviews. Working backward from the estimates that Amazon has given, about 59,000 to about 120,000 of these budget subwoofers have sold on Amazon alone. This is a very large number and gives me a lot of confidence in recommending it.
Polk Audio Signa S2 sound quality
One reviewer commented that they tested all of the subwoofers in Bestbuy and this one sounded the best. Also, it has a voice isolate feature which is excellent for boosting the dialogue. Dialogue is people’s voices on TV shows and movies
Some people find the dialogue difficult to hear, especially if they have a hearing issue. And a soundbar works really well to improve the clarity of the dialogue.
I recently wrote an in-depth article which you can find here: Can a Soundbar Help Someone With Hearing Issues? about how a soundbar helps people with hearing issues, and as an added bonus this subwoofer comes with a soundbar.
A large number of customers have left raving reviews about how good the quality is on this subwoofer, even in large open plan rooms.
How Easy They Are To Set Up Polk Audio Signa S2 Subwoofers
Some customers have said that the remote needs to be at the right angle to work for it to work. Others have said you need to be within 3 feet of it, for the remote to work. It appears that the remote doesn’t work exceptionally well, which is a minor drawback of this particular home theatre soundbar.
It powers off after 10 to 15 minutes of not being used. And you have to manually press the power button on it, to turn it back on. But, in my opinion, if you turn it off for 10 to 15 minutes you’re likely leaving the room. So, it’s not that big of a deal once you get used to it.
It works with both HDMI-ARC and an optical cable. But, you need to use one or the other. When you use just the optical cable you have to use two remotes – one for your TV and one for the subwoofer.
How The Price Compares To Other Similar Home Theater Subwoofers
People have said in their Amazon reviews that this soundbar is superior to similar Sanyo, Samsung, and LG soundbars.
Customers have said that it is not audiophile status – which is the absolute best sound you can get. But, almost all customers have been thoroughly impressed with the sound quality.
Final thoughts about why I ranked Polk Audio Signa S2 where I did
This home theatre subwoofer across the board was exceptional. And the fact that it comes with s soundbar, bumped it up to the top of the list.
If you’re looking for a subwoofer with a free soundbar, or a subwoofer soundbar combination this is my number one recommendation for the best subwoofer on a budget, based on my selection criteria.
However, I think the number 2 ranked subwoofer on this list has much more visual appeal. And will look nicer in your room. So, I recommend comparing how they look and see which one you prefer. Also, the subwoofer that I ranked number 2 on this list doesn’t come with a soundbar.
If you like what this home theater subwoofer has to offer click here: Polk Audio Sigma S2 to buy it on Amazon.
2. Klipsch R-100SW 10″ Subwoofer
The number of reviews the product received on Amazon.com
This subwoofer has over 1,591 reviews on Amazon. This is a high enough number that the average review rating is very accurate. And you can buy this subwoofer with confidence.
Klipsch R-100SW 10” Subwoofer sound quality
One customer has said that the bass on this subwoofer can be turned up really loud, and sounds incredible. Others have said that they’ve said they’ve owned a few subs before but this one was far superior and the bass is absolutely incredible.
Most customers say that it has more than enough bass. And even at low settings, it has very crisp and boomy bass. I would thoroughly recommend having it on the absolute lowest setting before playing anything because it has some serious bass.
How Easy They Are To Set Up And Use Klipsch R-100SW Subwoofer?
Many customers have reported that it is easy to set up, and the guide explains how to set it up and adjust the settings in a way that’s clear and easy to understand. They say that you simply need to plug it into the wall and plug the cables into your TV or receiver.
How the price compares to other similar home theater subwoofers
The way it looks is really nice. One customer has claimed it’s far superior to SVS subwoofers. Others have said that I have paid 4 times the price for a subwoofer, which wasn’t as good as this one.
Interestingly a lot of customers have said that the new updated technology that newer subwoofers include such as this Klipsch model is much better compared to the subwoofers with the same specs that are a few years older.
This to me means your better off buying a brand new cheaper subwoofer than saving cash by buying a used high-quality subwoofer. Because you’ll get a brand new subwoofer that has any wear and tear, and the sound quality will be largely the same.
Final thoughts about why I ranked Klipsch R-100SW 10” Subwoofer where I Did
I ranked this soundbar number 2 on this list because it was equally as good in regards to the reviews and review ratings as the number 1 ranked subwoofer. However, it doesn’t come with a soundbar. Which is an added bonus of the number 1 ranked subwoofer above.
Based on the reviews most customers find this subwoofer to be really visually appealing, and in my opinion, it looks better than the number ranked subwoofer on this list.
The major difference between this subwoofer and the number 3 ranked subwoofer on this list is that the number 3 ranked subwoofer is less than half the price. So, if you’re on a really tight budget then definitely consider the number 3 ranked subwoofer below.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide. If you like what this home theater subwoofer has to offer click here: Klipsch R-100SW to buy it on Amazon.
3. Monoprice 60-Watt Powered Subwoofer – 8 Inch
The number of reviews the product received on Amazon.com
This subwoofer has over 540 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing this. This is a fairly high number of reviews but is high enough to cement its place on this list of the best home theater subwoofers on a budget. This subwoofer has the lowest number of reviews out of subwoofers on this list.
Monoprice 60-Watt Powered Subwoofer sound quality
Customers have said that the bass on this subwoofer is very strong. And strong enough to garner a complaint from an upstairs neighbor. But, not that that’s what you’re buying a subwoofer for.
Most people say that it isn’t good as the designated sub for a party. But, for watching movies and music via your home theater system it works really well.
A lot of customers have said that it sounded better than they expected
How Easy They Are To Set Up And Use Monoprice 60-Watt Subwoofer
Over 5 customers who have bought it said it was easy to install. It doesn’t have a remote – the controls are at the back of the subwoofer.
If you’re running it through a receiver you can turn it up or down with that, and the same if you’re plugging it into a soundbar. I recently wrote an article about how to add a subwoofer to a soundbar, you can read it by clicking here: Can I Add a Subwoofer to My Soundbar?.
How the price compares to other similar home theater subwoofers
Some customers have said that it sounds better than other subwoofers that are priced much higher. And another customer has said that it sounds better than a $600 subwoofer that they replaced with this one.
It’s a bit tricky to compare this subwoofer to other subwoofers because it is priced so low at only $80. But, based on the reviews and it’s rating count, in my opinion, you won’t be disappointed.
Final Thoughts About Why I Ranked Monoprice 60-Watt Powered Subwoofer Where I Did
I ranked the Monoprice at number 3 because it didn’t have nearly the amount of reviews as the other subwoofers on this list. However, it is still a solid home theater subwoofer.
And it is about half the price of the other subwoofers on this list. So, if you’re on a really tight budget, or want a secondary subwoofer for a kid’s room, etc. then I’d definitely pick this one up. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
If you like what this home theater subwoofer has to offer click here: Monoprice 60-Watt to buy it on Amazon.