5 Best Powered Subwoofers Under $500 for 2020

Benni777

Benni777

Audioholic Intern
I'm curious as to the Emotiva SE12 @ $400. Perhaps not the best of the bunch but wonder how it performs? Below are the website specs:

  • Driver Complement
    • Active driver: 12” downward firing heavy duty, long throw subwoofer with a vented steel frame, 2" voice coil, NBR surround, and treated paper cone.
    • Passive radiator: 12” front firing passive radiator with a steel frame, rubber surround, and treated paper cone.

  • Electrical Specifications
    • Amplifier: 200 Watt RMS, 400 watts peak. Cool running, audiophile quality, high efficiency Class D amplifier.
    • Protection: Acoustically transparent limiter.
    • Frequency response: 28 Hz - 200 Hz (+/- 3 dB).

  • Inputs:
    • Stereo left and right unbalanced RCA inputs.
    • LFE unbalanced RCA input.
    • Speaker level left and right inputs.

  • Outputs:
    • Stereo left and right unbalanced RCA stereo inputs with user-configurable 60/80/100 Hz high-pass, 12 dB/octave bass high pass RCA output.
    • High Pass THD >.005%

  • Controls:
    • Volume
    • X-Over Frequency (low-pass)
    • High-pass Crossover Frequency
    • Phase

  • Power mode
    • AC power: User selectable line voltage; 115 VAC/60 Hz (6.3A Fuse); 230 VAC/50 Hz (3A Fuse).

  • Cabinet:
    • Heavy, acoustically inert MDF cabinet, covered on all sides with tough attractive textured vinyl. Includes a removable sculpted fabric grill with heavy vibration resistant MDF support frame.
    • Feet: Permanently attached feet with anti-slip rubber pads.
    • Enclosure Loading: Tuned passive radiator.

  • Mechanical


    Dimensions:

    • 15-3/4” high x 15-3/4” wide x 15-3/4” deep unboxed.
    • 17" x 17" x 17" boxed.
    • Feet: Permanently attached feet with anti-slip rubber pads.
    • Weight: 46 lbs unboxed. 50 lbs boxed.

  • EXTRA


    The Airmotiv SE12 Flex Sub can be configured in a variety of different ways, making it the perfect solution for adding a subwoofer to virtually any surround sound system, or for adding a subwoofer and bass management to almost any two-channel system.
    • System Configuration #1: A surround sound preamp/processor, A/V receiver, or stereo preamp, with built-in bass management and a subwoofer output.
    • System Configuration #2: A surround sound preamp/processor, A/V receiver, or stereo preamp, with a subwoofer output, but with no built-in bass management.
    • System Configuration #3: A stereo preamp or processor that has line-level connections to a separate power amp but lacks a separate subwoofer output.
    • System Configuration #4: An AVR or integrated amplifier that has no line level outputs or internal bass management.
    • System Configuration #5: You have a stereo receiver or integrated amplifier, which has no subwoofer output or bass management, and that you wish to use with a subwoofer and a separate power amplifier.
 
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XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
Regarding the Emotiva just based on comments here it would seem SVS would be better option after shipping and you could return it. Not great comments back here either:


I’m not expert as you’ll see by my earlier comments so hopefully others can add their two cents.
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
Anyone see any downside to SVS outlet items or tried their outlet? Seems like most only $50 off but $50 is $50.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Anyone see any downside to SVS outlet items or tried their outlet? Seems like most only $50 off but $50 is $50.
Our outlet specials offer huge savings on gently-used speakers and subwoofers. All outlet special products are guaranteed to look and perform like-new (unless otherwise specified below) and carry our full 5 year Unconditional Warranty and complete Bill of Rights coverage.

They describe condition and have pictures to view. And still have the 45 day return policy. I don't see a Downside
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Anyone see any downside to SVS outlet items or tried their outlet? Seems like most only $50 off but $50 is $50.
Our friend @Pogre has had great luck with the outlet as well as others. Most of the time you can’t even tell anything is wrong. It’s all cosmetic. Nothing to worry about.
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
I know this is the 5 best under $500 thread but didn't see a thread for the under $1000 so posting here since it continues my earlier conversation. Apologies if it doesn't belong here.... (going back a but one of my questions was two 1000's or one 2000 type/size subwoofer - most agreed get the 2000 and save for another) :)

After some of the recommendations and back-and-forth I'm strongly leaning towards the SVS PB-2000 Pro - was hoping in the outlet perhaps but SVS primarily because of the no-hassle returns. However, and don't we all find ourselves "justifying" more money, with the PB-2000 only $100 away from the SB-3000 would the 3000 make more sense? I can't swing a PB-3000 and I read that ported is better for movies which would be the primary use but...

I'm sure SVS has done that math on this and with them this close I'm guessing the ported 2000 outweighs the unported 3000 for the intended purpose but not sure.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
for me the criteria of a good sub is for it NOT to call attention to itself, any sub that does is not worth listening to IMO.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
After some of the recommendations and back-and-forth I'm strongly leaning towards the SVS PB-2000 Pro - was hoping in the outlet perhaps but SVS primarily because of the no-hassle returns. However, and don't we all find ourselves "justifying" more money, with the PB-2000 only $100 away from the SB-3000 would the 3000 make more sense? I can't swing a PB-3000 and I read that ported is better for movies which would be the primary use but...
You should have posted this on your original thread so we can follow it I don't remember your room size dimensions and volume

But in my opinion I'd rather have a ported sub then a sealed subwoofer
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I know this is the 5 best under $500 thread but didn't see a thread for the under $1000 so posting here since it continues my earlier conversation. Apologies if it doesn't belong here.... (going back a but one of my questions was two 1000's or one 2000 type/size subwoofer - most agreed get the 2000 and save for another) :)

After some of the recommendations and back-and-forth I'm strongly leaning towards the SVS PB-2000 Pro - was hoping in the outlet perhaps but SVS primarily because of the no-hassle returns. However, and don't we all find ourselves "justifying" more money, with the PB-2000 only $100 away from the SB-3000 would the 3000 make more sense? I can't swing a PB-3000 and I read that ported is better for movies which would be the primary use but...

I'm sure SVS has done that math on this and with them this close I'm guessing the ported 2000 outweighs the unported 3000 for the intended purpose but not sure.
There is a $1k sub round-up article coming soon.

For your purposes, the PB-2000 Pro would be much better than the SB-3000. The SB-3000 is a great sub when size is a factor, however if you can accommodate a larger sub, the PB-2000 Pro will have a lot more deep bass output.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
I know this is the 5 best under $500 thread but didn't see a thread for the under $1000 so posting here since it continues my earlier conversation. Apologies if it doesn't belong here.... (going back a but one of my questions was two 1000's or one 2000 type/size subwoofer - most agreed get the 2000 and save for another) :)

After some of the recommendations and back-and-forth I'm strongly leaning towards the SVS PB-2000 Pro - was hoping in the outlet perhaps but SVS primarily because of the no-hassle returns. However, and don't we all find ourselves "justifying" more money, with the PB-2000 only $100 away from the SB-3000 would the 3000 make more sense? I can't swing a PB-3000 and I read that ported is better for movies which would be the primary use but...

I'm sure SVS has done that math on this and with them this close I'm guessing the ported 2000 outweighs the unported 3000 for the intended purpose but not sure.
Iirc the pb2k pro has about three times the output at 20hz than the sb3k does. Can’t remember your use case off hand, but it seems that it was mostly movies. Imo, the 2000 pro wins. And of course save for a second...
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
Sorry thought this was the original thread but 14x18x8 (18ft side has the fronts) and a large opening (4.5ft) on front right corner to a hallway and another room.

Sounds like the PB-2000 Pro wins over the SB-3000 and frankly I'm happy to hear that!
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Sorry thought this was the original thread but 14x18x8 (18ft side has the fronts) and a large opening (4.5ft) on front right corner to a hallway and another room.

Sounds like the PB-2000 Pro wins over the SB-3000 and frankly I'm happy to hear that!
Agreed. Especially when you consider the price. FWIW, I’m a fan of the PC version. Best part is, you can try for free!!!
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
Does anyone have concerns on these subwoofers that use phone apps to do all the work? These all have full manual control or a web server you can access if the app doesn't work? I always seem to run into tons of abandonware for apps on IOS in particular whereby the vendors just give up support on old products which would ruin some of the main selling points long term. These guys are expensive enough I'd expect to hang on to them. I've had my front towers for over 20 years.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Does anyone have concerns on these subwoofers that use phone apps to do all the work? These all have full manual control or a web server you can access if the app doesn't work? I always seem to run into tons of abandonware for apps on IOS in particular whereby the vendors just give up support on old products which would ruin some of the main selling points long term. These guys are expensive enough I'd expect to hang on to them. I've had my front towers for over 20 years.
I don’t worry about that from SVS which does offer controls on the subwoofer. But elac, is a company that offers subs with NO on board controls. To me, that’s just stoooopid. Abandonware! That’s a good one. How true...
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
After a lot of back and forth and help for the forum here I finally made the plunge and ordered the PC-2000 Pro. I spoke with SVS and was told the PC-2000 Pro and PB-2000 Pro performed the same and I just overall was impressed with what I've been hearing from others on customer service for SVS so decided to go with them. Delivers next week! Can't wait! Frankly though if HSU or Monoprice had the same return policy as SVS I'd have probably given them a shot but I just couldn't take the chance of not being able to return it easily with such a heavy and expensive item.

I appreciate everyones help!
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Junior Audioholic
View attachment 41879
not happy return instore to any target store.
Now you tell me. :)

Insane they sell this and the 15 inch. I assume you get 5% off with red card too. I might just indulge myself and try the 12 and see how it stacks against the PC-2000 pro.

I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that target carries this
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
A very interesting marketing hookup on both sides I think.....
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Now you tell me. :)

Insane they sell this and the 15 inch. I assume you get 5% off with red card too. I might just indulge myself and try the 12 and see how it stacks against the PC-2000 pro.

I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that target carries this
I wouldn't second-guess your purchase at all. That's PC2000 is a Beast
 

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