Best Subwoofers Under $1,000 for 2020

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
For many people, $1,000 seems to be some kind of magical tipping point where things get ‘expensive.’ It is not a tipping point based on anything rational, of course, and is simply a prejudice based on the addition of another digit in our decimal numbering system. Nonetheless, that mental block tends to cap budgets for certain non-essential items, and one of those items is certainly subwoofers. We can see evidence of this in the wide range of choices in subs around this price point. We at Audioholics have decided to cater to this irrational bias by creating a list of our preferred choices in this range that don’t exceed $1,000 to help those shopping for subs with this budget in mind.

READ: Best Subwoofers Under $1,000 for 2020
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Martin Logan made the list but this didn't

 
S

stalag2005

Full Audioholic
Martin Logan made the list but this didn't

I have the x12 and love it.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic General
How about dual RSL Speedwoofer 10s subs? That's what I am going to soon from 1 PB1000. I like RSL in general though, my speakers are RSL so the 10s fits perfectly.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
Teetertotter?

Teetertotter?

Audioholic
My $400.00 MRSP, Klipsch R-100SW, 150/300W, at sale price $200.00, has worked very nicely in my 5.1. I have the gain at 1/4 turn producing enough clear/distinct booming. My basement room is 12X10 with 55" 4K, TV, 8 feet from viewing and audio listening. Life is good.
 
Last edited:
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
How do we go to talking about under $500 subwoofers when this is a $1000 subwoofer thread?

There is a best $500 subwoofer thread :)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
My $400.00 MRSP, Klipsch R-100SW, 150/300W, at sale price $200.00, has worked very nicely in my 5.1. I have the gain at 1/4 turn producing enough clear/distinct booming. My basement room is 12X10 with 55" 4K, TV, 8 feet from viewing and audio listening. Life is good.
Hopefully you can step it up some day and experience the difference a better sub can bring. Should be no "booming" really.
 
J

jeffca

Audioholic Intern
I find it interesting that this list only includes ported designs.

Ported designs offer drastically inferior performance when it comes to group delay and time domain performance. They also are heavier, larger and more expensive. Their only advantage is that you can efficiently throw more low-end bass into the room with generally less THD on the lowest notes. For movies, ported designs are fine, but they are less than optimal for music.

For music, do ported designs sound terrible? Absolutely not, but they are not as accurate as sealed subs.

When you consider, though, that the way for a port to work, its contribution to the subs output has to be 360° out of phase with the output of the cone. Then you then have to run a steep high-pass filter just below the tuning frequency of the port. Depending on its design, that can cause the lowest bass from the sub to be another 360° or more out of phase. For a 31Hz, low B bass note, the fundamental frequency could sound like it started 70 feet (or more) to the rear of the initial transient caused by playing the note.

The good news is that all of this temporal mess comes in gradually as the signal goes lower and the human ear is, to a good extent, but not completely, immune to it.

For music, Rythmik's L22 servo sub costs $950, has two 12" drivers and two 300Wt amps. It will perform as well on movies and outperform all subs listed here on music.
 
L

lp85253

Senior Audioholic
How do we go to talking about under $500 subwoofers when this is a $1000 subwoofer thread?

There is a best $500 subwoofer thread :)
Last time i did somathat math type stuff $500 was still within that under $1000 category...
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I find it interesting that this list only includes ported designs.

Ported designs offer drastically inferior performance when it comes to group delay and time domain performance. They also are heavier, larger and more expensive. Their only advantage is that you can efficiently throw more low-end bass into the room with generally less THD on the lowest notes. For movies, ported designs are fine, but they are less than optimal for music.

For music, do ported designs sound terrible? Absolutely not, but they are not as accurate as sealed subs.

When you consider, though, that the way for a port to work, its contribution to the subs output has to be 360° out of phase with the output of the cone. Then you then have to run a steep high-pass filter just below the tuning frequency of the port. Depending on its design, that can cause the lowest bass from the sub to be another 360° or more out of phase. For a 31Hz, low B bass note, the fundamental frequency could sound like it started 70 feet (or more) to the rear of the initial transient caused by playing the note.

The good news is that all of this temporal mess comes in gradually as the signal goes lower and the human ear is, to a good extent, but not completely, immune to it.

For music, Rythmik's L22 servo sub costs $950, has two 12" drivers and two 300Wt amps. It will perform as well on movies and outperform all subs listed here on music.
We keep on having to debunk this nonsense. It's true that port output is a cycle behind the driver, but many of the subs on this list are all tuned too low for that to matter. The tuning frequencies on these subs hover around the lower end of the frequencies that human hearing can discern. Very little musical content lay below 30 Hz, and what musical content does lay down in that range isn't going to suffer much from the group delay of ports. Most sealed subs are totally inadequate for attempting to reproduce sound in that range above a quiet level since the driver is quickly pushed to its excursion limits in deep bass and can produce lots of nonlinear distortion which is much worse than the phase distortion of ports. What's more is that most sealed subs that are available have protective high-pass filters on them which hike up group delay in these lower frequencies anyway, not that it matters much in terms of audibility.

Basically, there is very little reason to go with a sealed subwoofer over a well-designed ported sub for any type of content.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
How do we go to talking about under $500 subwoofers when this is a $1000 subwoofer thread?
It's all @Hetfield 's fault! :D
He suggested dual <$500 subs as a good option!
The problem is he has a point (although I think the sweetest spot is somewhere around dual $750 subs vs a single $1500 sub)!
I should qualify this last statement as room/LP dependent, however, it has definitely been my experience that this is more often than not!
 
Last edited:
C

corey

Senior Audioholic
Maybe it's my bad for bringing up dual subs, but I think it's a valid alternative when talking bang for the buck in subs. Adding a second receiver, or dual main L/R's is not going to do much but mess things up, but dual subs is a good solution to LF standing waves, and makes a very audible difference between seats.

I have no doubt that pretty much any room would be better with a pair of PB-2000 Pro's than a room with a pair of PB-1000's, but to stick to this thread's $1000 area: How/What would forum members (and Audioholics staff) choose between 1 PB-2000 Pro and 2 PB-1000's?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
We keep on having to debunk this nonsense. It's true that port output is a cycle behind the driver, but many of the subs on this list are all tuned too low for that to matter. The tuning frequencies on these subs hover around the lower end of the frequencies that human hearing can discern. Very little musical content lay below 30 Hz, and what musical content does lay down in that range isn't going to suffer much from the group delay of ports. Most sealed subs are totally inadequate for attempting to reproduce sound in that range above a quiet level since the driver is quickly pushed to its excursion limits in deep bass and can produce lots of nonlinear distortion which is much worse than the phase distortion of ports. What's more is that most sealed subs that are available have protective high-pass filters on them which hike up group delay in these lower frequencies anyway, not that it matters much in terms of audibility.

Basically, there is very little reason to go with a sealed subwoofer over a well-designed ported sub for any type of content.
Yes. This.
 
E

ecrim

Audiophyte
We keep on having to debunk this nonsense. It's true that port output is a cycle behind the driver, but many of the subs on this list are all tuned too low for that to matter. The tuning frequencies on these subs hover around the lower end of the frequencies that human hearing can discern. Very little musical content lay below 30 Hz, and what musical content does lay down in that range isn't going to suffer much from the group delay of ports. Most sealed subs are totally inadequate for attempting to reproduce sound in that range above a quiet level since the driver is quickly pushed to its excursion limits in deep bass and can produce lots of nonlinear distortion which is much worse than the phase distortion of ports. What's more is that most sealed subs that are available have protective high-pass filters on them which hike up group delay in these lower frequencies anyway, not that it matters much in terms of audibility.

Basically, there is very little reason to go with a sealed subwoofer over a well-designed ported sub for any type of content.
I‘ve never heard this perspective expressed before. It seems like a very broad generalization to apply to “most“sealed subs. You can’t make a blanket statement like that without examples, data to back it up etc. Are you saying that JL audio sealed subs, bowers and Wilkins db series subs, paradigm prestige, persona subs which are sealed designs with massive drivers, dual drivers, huge surrounds for massive excursions are distorted and not good for music. You could not possibly be implying that. It doesn’t pass the laugh test let alone the measurement and review standards you have adhered to in the past. I’ve owed two entry level rythmik sealed subs both of which were clean and fast. I was running modded Magnapan mg 12’s. Most ported designs were too slow to keep up. Right now, I’m running Persona 3Fs with an old paradigm servo 15 sub a sealed sub. Sound is tight deep and fast not distorted. So maybe you have measured some sealed subs that you found not up to snuff. But the blanket statement made in your response to debunk issues with ported subs seems an over reach.
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top