Best Subwoofers “The List”

Best Subwoofers For Home Theater AND Music.

Everyone wants better bass, whether they realize it or not. Even people who scoff and say it’s not important, or that they aren’t interested, are quickly “converted” once they actually hear the difference.

It’s UNDENIABLE, and so much better than what most people are used to! From blockbusters to Diana Krall, nearly everything sounds better when you can actually hear ALL of the bass.

This isn’t about loudness, almost any typical sub can be loud. It’s about DEPTH. Your local theater can rarely dip under 40 hertz, while many of these subwoofers will routinely drop to 14 hertz in room, which is most likely lower than you can hear.

Most subs are relatively quiet under 30 hertz, compared to their output above 40 hertz. The Blue line represents a subwoofer that is powerful down to 14 Hertz in room. I personally can’t hear under 17 hertz, making this subwoofer truly “full range”. It actually gets a little louder as it goes deeper, better matching human hearing. Above measurements taken from my listening position using Room EQ Wizard.

The majority of subwoofers, easily more than 90% of 10″-18″ subs (regardless of wattage), are TOO SHALLOW, both in extension and presentation.

Depth of presentation is important, because your hearing fades as the frequency gets deeper. Some people assume that’s why they can’t the deep stuff, but truly it’s the typical subwoofer that is to blame.

Few can plumb the depths like they really should.

Competent and clear thunder, but only when thunder is called for. Good bass is not about what your neighbors can hear (like that guy next to you at the stoplight), it’s about what YOU can hear.

If you have an extra-large room (greater than 25×25), you may need to look at the bigger subs, while those with large rooms and smaller have no such limitations on this particular list, so long as you go dual like you should. You can always turn a sub down, and it should always be volume matched to your main speakers, regardless of room size. (How I level match by ear)

Big subs like these don’t mean overpowering “boom boom”, they mean “articulate” sound reproduction, which will include blowing your mind with movies like Jurassic Park and Hacksaw Ridge, and shows like my personal favorite, Cosmos. Amazing content with proper subs.

Cosmos was particularly surprising. It’s not all about punch, but a lot of low rumbling sounds too. It’s an impressive series too, bass aside. Dr. Tyson has a great way of explaining things.

If the source material is bass heavy, these subs will respond appropriately, while still remaining balanced and not at all intrusive with regular content.

Tom Petty’s (RIP, I love his music) “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” will NOT rock your world with bass, it just wasn’t mastered that way.  Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, however, is truly an experience if you enjoy their music.

Metallica’s new album, “Hardwired… To Self Destruct” is excellent for bass.

These subs should all do as they’re told, no more, no less. They should be thrilling, but not intrusive.

These subwoofers are known for great bass, a DRASTIC departure from more commonly known names that tend to inflate their numbers, and yet lose composure at lower levels. All of these should play with real authority to 20 Hertz, not just make “measurable noise” at that depth.

It’s my opinion that a subwoofer is not a quality subwoofer if it can’t play the entire humanly audible bass spectrum, from 100 hertz down to 20 hertz, with clear, low distortion authority. Impeccable manners are also a must, and more rare than you might imagine.

Since I have not listened to every single sub out there, these are not subs I can personally vouch for unless “VERIFIED”, but they generally have great reputations. No subs over $2,500 will make the list for the sake of value and relative sanity.

As you can see, the list is pretty short. Keep in mind that going dual is SUPER important, and I would make it a STRONG priority rather than getting the largest sub possible.

If you are going this far, you might as well do it right! You will need a pretty big room to strain any of these if you listen at “normal person” levels (loud, with plenty of oomph, but not ear damaging, headache inducing loud).

If you want serious power, more authority, and super convincing realism (a truly believable thunderstorm in your room), go with the higher end models, like dual PB13 Ultras or PB16 Ultras. I would consider it a mistake to buy one of these to use as a single, splitting your budget for other subs on this list would yield MUCH better results.

Gotta go dual! Seriously, it’s everything!!

Most of my audience, would be thrilled with ANY of the following in a dual setup. There isn’t a dog in the bunch, and even the smallest will challenge structural integrity when pushed, that I can absolutely verify!

This will be an evolving list that will change as I listen to more offerings. Generally, ported offerings produce greater output and depth of presentation, and therefore better value over a sealed sub, but that’s just my opinion.

Many prefer sealed, and I can respect that. See my Ported vs Sealed write-up for more on that.

I find ported subs much more comfortable to listen to, and highly recommend them over sealed for sensitive ears, like those prone to headaches, sensitive ears in general, autism spectrum, and pets. My own ear sensitivity is why I don’t review sealed subs anymore, but I do respect their positive qualities.

Even the most persnickety audiophiles would have a hard time picking these apart in any “meaningful” way.

SVS 

Subwoofer 101 is the world’s first SVS affiliate! Follow these links before ordering to support the Subwoofer101 website and YouTube Channel. Ordering Factory Direct through these links ensures full Bill of Rights, including 1 year trade-up and other benefits that might not be included from dealers (like return period, etc…).

PB12-NSD BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL (Click here to order Factory Direct)

($) 12″ Ported. The predecessor to the PB-2000 (my personal favorite so far for performance, price, and size), these subs have been produced for a small production run for BLACK FRIDAY ONLY!! Originally $799, these are $499 for the sale, and once they are gone, they are gone!! While these are available, they have dethroned the PB-1000 as the “Smartest Buy in Bass”!! Get them while you can, and go dual!! If you miss the Black Friday sale, watch the SVS Outlet, gently used products that have the same Bill of Rights and warranty as new, including free shipping and 1 year trade up! 

 

PB-1000 (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($) 10” Ported. Verified!!– Highly recommended for duals under $1,000, most compact and affordable on this list, VERY strong value!! Isolation highly recommended for wood sub-floors. “Smartest Buy in Bass” due to ecomomics, performance, and the 1 year trade-up. Get started with quality dual subs, and trade up if you feel the need!

SVS PB-1000 10″ Ported Subwoofer, 300 watts RMS, 700 watts peak, true 19 hertz depth.
PB-2000 (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($$) VERIFIED!!!  12″ Ported, 500 watts RMS, 1100 peak. My favorite sub for value, size, and 100% full range bass performance down to 14 Hertz measured in my room. Isolation highly recommended for wood sub-floors. My “Go-To” subwoofer to recommend.

SVS PB-2000 12″ Ported Subwoofer, 500 watts RMS, 1100 watts peak, TRUE 17 Hertz performance, 14 hertz measured in my room. VERIFIED, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
PB12-Plus (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($$$) 12” Variable Ported, isolation highly recommended for wood sub-floors.

SVS PB-12 Plus Variable Ported 12″ Subwoofer, 800 watts RMS, 2300 watts Peak, TRUE 16 Hertz Performance.
PB13-Ultra (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($$$$) 13” Variable ported. Very large rooms, excellent home theater application. Previous SVS flagship. Isolation highly recommended for wood sub-floors.

SVS PB-13 Ultra 13″ Variable Ported, 1000 watts RMS, 3600 watts peak, TRUE 14 Hertz performance.
PB16-Ultra (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($$$$) VERIFIED!!! 16 inch Variable Ported. New SVS Flagship, 1,500 watts RMS, 5,000 peak! True 13 hertz performance, remote control, 8 inch voice coil. For those who want the best of the best. Comprehensive smart phone app with thoughtful adjust-ability including: 3 band graphed PEQ’s, multiple sub adjustment, presets, display lockout, port tuning, room gain compensation, etc, etc, etc… Ultra low distortion, ultra high output. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors. Measure before ordering, very large, very heavy(175 pounds!), truck freight shipped on a pallet. Realism and impact is off the charts!)

SVS 16″ Variable Ported with 8 inch voice coil! 1500 WATTS RMS, 5000 WATTS PEAK! True 13 Hertz performance. Isolation STRONGLY recommended for wood sub-floors. LARGE, HEAVY, AWESOME!!!
PC-2000 (Click Here To Order Factory Direct

($$) Verified! 12″ Ported Cylinder sub, comes with the Soundpath Subwoofer Isolation System, same internals as the PB-2000. Down firing subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. The Isolation System helps for wood floors (comes stock, no need to order more isolation).

PC-2000 12″ Down Firing Ported Cylinder Subwoofer, 500 watts RMS, 1100 watts Peak, TRUE 17 Hertz, 14 Hertz measured in my room. Down firing are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood subfloors.
PC12-Plus (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($$$) 12” Variable ported. Cylinder sub, taller, measure before ordering. Down firing subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors. Great value option, lower price than PB-12 plus, same internals.

SVS PC-12 Plus 12″ Variable Ported Down Firing Subwoofer, 800 WATTS RMS, 2300 WATTS Peak, TRUE 16 Hertz Performance. Down subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors.

 

PC13-Ultra (Click Here To Order Factory Direct)

($$$$) 13” Variable Ported. Cylinder sub, very tall, measure before ordering. Down firing subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors. Great value option, lower price than PB-13 Ultra, same internals!

SVS Ported 13″ Down firing variable ported subwoofer. 1000 WATTS RMS, 3600 WATTS PEAK, TRUE 15 Hertz performance. Down firing subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors. Great value option, lower price than PB-13 Ultra, same internals.

 

 

Outlaw 

While Outlaw is not a direct affiliate for Subwoofer 101, you can order them on Amazon to support this site.

Ultra X-12 (Click Here To Order On Amazon)

($$) 12” Variable Ported down firing. Down firing subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors.

Ultra X-13 (Click Here To Order On Amazon)

($$$$) Verified. 13″ Variable Ported down firing, New Outlaw Flagship, THX Certified, though I preferred a setting that was different than the THX mode. Down firing subwoofers are OK for concrete, but may not be ideal for wood sub-floors. Isolation HIGHLY recommended for wood sub-floors. Excellent for hiding subwoofers as end tables, so long as top is protected from scratching.

 

HSU
VTF-2

($$) 12” Variable Ported

VTF-3

($$$) 15” Variable Ported

VTF-15

($$$) 15” Variable Ported. Verified MK-1. High output, very large rooms, true 16 hertz performance.
Single sub

Rythmik
LV12R

($$) 12” Ported

FVX15

($$$) 15” Variable Ported

FV15HP

($$$) 15” Variable Ported
$= less than $500 delivered or $1,000 for dual

$$= more than $500 delivered or $1,000 for dual

$$$= more than $800 delivered or $1,600 for dual

$$$$= more than $1,400 delivered or $2,800 for dual

Ported = With ports, not sealed.

Variable Ported = Ported, with inserts to change the tuning.

Each brand has it’s own flavor, so to speak, but any of the above subs should satisfy with gusto in most home theater setups (a lot of which are in living rooms like mine).

The smallest, least expensive entry will perform with outstanding depth, clean bass, unobtrusively, but with movie theater quality bass and impact (EASILY deeper than most theaters) that will impress and satisfy when called upon. By no means is the most economical sub to be avoided. See my 1 big sub vs 2 small subs comparison for more on that.

The smallest dual ported subwoofer setup worth having.
The smallest dual subwoofer setup worth having. The early days, before discovering the benefits of isolation, Atmos/DTS:X, increasing subwoofer gain, and turning the speakers in toward the listener. It’s like seeing yourself on a bike with training wheels…

Dividing your bass budget to include 2 matched subs is the ONLY way to go, and any sub on this list in a dual configuration should put a Cheshire grin on your face. If not, your sickness is much worse than mine, and you are in serious trouble! Fortunately, all offer in home review periods. Some require you pay for shipping, others do not.

SVS, who have been supportive of this site since I first contacted them, offers free shipping, even if you send it back (something that could cost hundreds). Their Bill of Rights is one of the most comprehensive customer protection packages in the industry.

If you decide to go with one of the above, please follow the links shortly before placing your order to help support this site. For those that are not linked, please be sure to tell them you heard about their subs on this site.

Phone orders for SVS are NOT tracked for the affiliate program, only website orders.

International SVS orders can go through Amazon (click here), if it’s available. In the USA and Canada, it’s best to go Factory Direct (click here) through my links to ensure full Bill of Rights, including 1 year trade-up. Canadian orders aren’t tracked through SVS, while Amazon orders are, but going factory direct is better for Canadian customers for the Bill of Rights.

You can follow any SVS link for any SVS product, so even if you click a link for a subwoofer cable and buy a PB-16 Ultra or vice versa, it’s all good, and I truly appreciate the support!

The same is true for Amazon orders, and you can visit my very own “Amazon Influencer Page” here (click here)! Anything you order 24 hours after going to my Amazon page could help this site and my YouTube Channel. The more support I get, the more I can explore the hobby and report my findings.

Eventually, I would like every listed maker to be a Subwoofer 101 affiliate and become a portal for all quality subwoofers. SVS was the first to support this site, but I hope they won’t be the last!

Hopefully this will simplify your search for great bass!

36 thoughts on “Best Subwoofers “The List””

  1. Hello!
    Could you please tell your opinion about svs pb-12 nsd sub.
    i have this one on sale, not so far from my locatiion for 540$, and just want ton know worth it or not?
    Thank you very much.

  2. Hi Pavel, Hard to say if it’s “worth it”, I’m not sure what a new SVS would cost you with exchange rates, but it should be a decent sub if well cared for. SVS also sells used subs with full warranty and trade in benefits, just the same if it were new. http://bit.ly/OutletSVS

  3. Would you recommend a dual PB-10 setup at around $900 or the HSU FV15HP for $1k? I want to get very loud and deep but be musical. I play a wide variety of music and this is for a 2.1 or 2.2 setup. I will likely be using a pair of 6.5″ bookshelf speakers and my Denon 2308 AVR.

  4. I did a videos series on this and an article! For sure, I found that 2 small “quality” subs (http://bit.ly/PB-1000 affiliate link) to be superior to a large single sub, no matter the brand (SVS, HSU, etc..). Swiss Cheese Bass is something that happens with single subs: https://youtu.be/865RhwRLUM0

    Any sub on this list will get you done in a dual configuration. Especially for music, duals will be better because you can hear all of the bass. I think you would like the PB-1000’s a lot, I sure did. If you wanted more, you’d have a year to upgrade at full price thanks to their http://bit.ly/SVSBillofRights

    My favorite so far is the PB-2000, but the PB-1000’s are outstanding as well. You can see the graphs here: http://www.subwoofer101.com/pb-1000-vs-pb-2000/

    To reinforce the point, I would make duals a priority.

  5. hi, i have a pair of klipsch rt-10D’s they sound really good. after reading all about svs and such i am really considering a couple of pb-2000’s are you familiar at all with the klipsch and do you think it would be wise to replace them with the pb-200’s would i hear/feel the difrence or are my klipsch around the same ballpark thanks

  6. I’m not intimately familiar with the RT-10D, but it does look to be a better than average sub, with a DSP, decent power, etc… It doesn’t look like it quite has the depth as the PB-2000 would provide, in room they go down flat to 14 hertz, while the RT12D rolls off at 22-23. Ed Mullen reviewed the RT-12D (not the 10D) in that link, and he’s the head sound expert at SVS. You can compare his in room graphs to mine, if you’ll forgive my room nulls at 72-78 hertz. The shape of the 2 graphs tells me the PB-2000’s should provide a greater overall sense of depth.

    My suspicion is that the PB-2000’s would provide more impact, especially at depth. What’s nice is that the Bill of Rights will allow you to decide for yourself, with free shipping both ways if you need to return them (US and Canada). I would be curious what you thought of them in comparison. I think the isolation feet are a good idea too.

    Let me know what you end up doing!

  7. Thank you very much for your response and I will definitely let you know if I do get the svs subs. I think I have to sell my subs 1st. I’m going to think about it and maybe put them up for sale and hopefully they sell

  8. Yes, and I highly recommend it. Any sub from the list should be better in a dual configuration. I did this comparison and it was definitely better. 2 vs 1 After going back to the single VTF-15 for a week, I coined the phrase “Swiss Cheese Bass”, because there just seemed to be stuff missing in random spots. Here’s the video I did on it: Swiss Cheese Bass

    For sure, bass was more even, you could hear all of the bass, and there was more of a “movie theater” feeling, but deeper compared to most THX theaters.

  9. Hello I found your site from doing research on youtube and was wondering for the setup im doing will a PB-1000 be enough.I have a Denon x2200(i think) and the pioneer Andrew Jones 5.0 floor speaker set.My room approximately 14×14 and about 10 feet from floor to ceiling.Its also worth mentioning i live in a row home and dont want to upset the neighbors too much.Ive narrowed my choice between the PB-1000 and Outlaw Ultra x12.It will be used about 85% for movies/tv shows and 15% music.My questions are Is the PB-1000 powerful enough?Is the Outlaw overkill for my small room? Which one sounds the best?Ive read and watched alot of reviews for the PB-1000 so i have a good feel of what im getting with that but it doesn’t seem to be too many reviews and no videos at all on the x12 but it is highly recommended by alot of posters over at AVS forums.If you were me which one would you get?Im sure they both will sound great considering im upgrading from the Monoprice 9774 5.1 set lol but I just want to be sure i make the right choice

  10. Hi Jay,

    Is your row home floor solid, like concrete, or is it a wood? I would say the PB-1000 is plenty and so is the Outlaw, which I haven’t heard yet. I would tend to stick with forward firing subs if your floor is not concrete, and also pick up some isolation feet. Of course the Outlaw can be turned on it’s side to be front firing, but you still want some form of isolation.

    To further protect against upsetting your neighbors, try running the sub gain down and the AVR trim up. Say that you’d normally run the sub gain at 50% and AVR subwoofer trim at -3.0, instead try running the sub gain (the dial on the sub itself) at 15-25% and AVR subwoofer trim at -1.0 to +3.0 or whatever sounds right. Of course, adjust the sound to whatever sounds right to you, but what I found was that lowering the gain on the subs and compensating on the AVR still gives depth, just not as powerful dynamics, which should help with the neighbors. It’s not magical, but it might help. Nothing will allow you to play Deadmau5 at 2 am without the local PD paying you a visit. It’s good to tread carefully in shared wall situations.

    That said, and as crazy as it sounds, I’d still run dual subs, and not for the output. I’ve got a video on apartments coming up.

  11. Thanks for responding.The sub will be in my basement which is concrete with wall to wall carpet.I do plan on getting dual subs eventually but I only have around $700 to spend right now.I have kinda backed off the PB-1000 because I read it isn’t good for concrete,its lacking in mid bass,and a few people complaining about dead zones.Im thinking either the Outlaw x12,HSU VTF-2 MK5,or Rythmik LV12R.I want something with good output(any of these will most likely have good output in my small space) but sound quality is extremely important to me.

  12. All of those subs are good, but I can’t agree with any of those problems with the PB-1000. Pretty much all of those complaints can be traced back to single subwoofer use and standing wave problems, particularly dead zones. You get “Swiss Cheese Bass” with a single sub, with random frequencies missing depending on where you sit. I can assure you that (and I’ve measured this) the PB-1000’s do not have any dead spots, rooms do. I would argue the same point for any of the subs you mentioned too, if someone said something like that about any of those. I’ve seen a lot of incomplete and misleading subwoofer reviews that can be attributed to single subwoofer use. Sound quality is extremely important to me too, and I wouldn’t recommend a bad sub.

  13. So I talked to you a while back about upgrading my dual klipsch rt 10d’s to pb2000 and I did! Wow I thought I had some good subs considering they where $1700 MSRP at one point, but there is no comparison the SVS sound so much cleaner and the depth and punch is amazing i feel the bass now! never heard anything like it. It’s like a whole new world lol. You where right the impact is so much greater on these. So just wanted to let you know how it went thx for the comments.

  14. Hi,

    I currently have the Tannoy TS2.12 500w Sub which is rated at 21hz at -6 DB.

    I can’t help but feel I’m missing the sub 25hz range, don’t get me wrong it sounds good in movies and music, however sometimes at least with music I feel it lacks the depth at really low frequencies.

    Looking at the PB1000 it’s rated at 19hz -/+3db
    Do you think I’ll get a noticeable bump in loudness at 20hz vs my current Sub? Unfortunately the 2000’s are out of my budget, due to my accommodation I think a 500w Sub is far too much unless I want to get the neighbours angry lol.

    Would appreciate your advice.

    Thanks

  15. I don’t think your feelings are unfounded, most subs get quieter as they go deeper. I think any rating at -6 db is a red flag. See the graphs on this page, PB-1000 vs PB-2000. In short, I’m sure the difference will be undeniable. Go dual when you can, it will be even better. Watch for my apartment video coming up…

  16. Thank you for getting back to me, I have ordered the PB-1000, will be interesting to see the differences, got a week wait unfortunately. Will post back after I’ve done some testing.

    Thanks again.

  17. Have you any experience with the Definitive Technology Super Cube 4000, 6000, and 8000. If so how would any of those stack up with the SVS pb1000 and 2000 or even the SVS sb 1000 and 2000.

  18. I owned the Supercube 2000 briefly and returned it, it was the last “regular” sub I owned. It had decent output for the size, but it doesn’t belong on “The List” since my biggest issue was lack of depth. It got quieter as it went lower under 30-35 hertz, which is pretty typical, and the main reason for starting this site. The SVS subs easily dominate under 40 hertz, and have a flatter response overall.

  19. What are your thoughts on the sb13-ultra compared to the pb13-ultra and the pb16-ultra vs sb16-ultra? I always hear the SB is tighter bass but the PB is louder. I already own the sb13 and am thinking about upgrading to either an sb16 or pb16. I listen to mostly movies but enjoy music from time to time. My room is 23’x20′. I’m just lost on the decision. Even though return shipping is free you know it’s not practical because of the size and wieght of these devices. I want to make a single decision and want it to be the right one. Thanks!

  20. Ported are generally better for movies, as they have more oomph down low, but I also like them for music, which is uncommon for sure (most prefer sealed subs for music). The question is whether you plan to go dual or not. I’d go dual PB-12 Plus over a single PB-16 Ultra, as awesome as it is. Here are my thoughts on Ported vs Sealed. I consider duals to be vital for proper bass.

  21. What about an sb16-ultra paired with my existing SB-13 ultra? Would the differences between the two models cause issues with the sound? What do you think?

  22. I don’t have any experience with the Ultra sealed subs yet, so I checked with Ed Mullen at SVS to get his take.

    Per Ed: The two models have similar group delay curves so integration shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

  23. Just picked up an Onkyo 9700 THX HTIB about a month ago and so far I am very happy with my purchase, tested it after a month of babying it with Tron Legacy and John Wick but the sub seems to be a weak link. I do listen to music with the setup also. I’ve been researching SVS and am thinking the 16 Ultras will be massive overkill. In your opinion what would you recommend? SB2000, PB2000, PB12 Plus or PB13 Ultra

  24. It depends on your budget and what you want to do. Whatever subwoofer you go with, you’ll want 2 of them, so it’s best to split your bass budget to do so. Dual PB-2000’s are the best bang for the buck, and as you go up in price you get more realism, headroom, and raw power. I LOVE the PB-16 Ultra, but if I could only afford one, I’d go with 2 PB-12 Plus instead for about the same money. The PB-2000’s are the simplest, pretty much plug and play, where the Plus and Ultra series offer a lot of adjust-ability, but that also means you need to pay attention a bit more. Not a bad thing, you can really customize the sound.

    Any of these will scale nicely, and your Onkyo speakers would start to struggle before these subs ever broke a sweat, but if you set the crossover at 80-120 hertz you should be in good shape and it should be plenty loud. If you stick with your setup, no problem, bass will never be an issue so long as you aren’t totally insane. If you decide to drop $5,000+ on AVR’s and speakers, they’ll handle that beautifully too. Good bass is funny like that.

    I think a pair of PB-2000’s would make your jaw drop, and maybe even cause you to giggle. If you think you need more, you can always take advantage of the 1 year trade up policy. Some might tell you that would be overkill with your setup, but I have no such reservations. If you really like cranking it up, but the AVR or speakers begin to struggle, bump the crossover up a bit more (always keep the speakers set to “Small” BTW) which transfers more of the power load to the subwoofers. Your AVR probably sets your speakers at 60-80 after room correction, but you can run them as high as 150-200 hertz if you want. I like mine at 90 hertz, even with towers that can drop to 32 hertz. Hope that helps!

  25. hey.I im thinking about buying SVS pb 2000 for 600 dollars or the JL Audio Fathom f-110 for 1,000 dolllar, who do you thing plays the best.thank you for all anwsers

  26. See my Ported VS Sealed write up for whether you’d prefer sealed or ported. I will say the PB-2000 would make it less expensive to go dual down the road, something I consider vital, and you don’t want to mix subs. Sometimes you can find a PB-2000 in the factory outlet, which have all of the same policies as brand new, including full warranty, return policy, and free shipping.

  27. I noticed M&K subs didn’t make your list. I have an MX350. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on the brand and how you think they stack up against some of your other suggestions. I have an older 5.1 system using B&W speakers. My mains are DM604 S2s. I’ve been very happy with the combination but always open to suggestions on ways to improve the setup.

  28. Looking at the M&K line, it has some features I’d be interested in exploring, but one thing that concerns me is price. It’s conceivable that with room gain, the response could be flatter in room than the graphs I’ve seen would indicate. I have not tried the push pull design in a home theater environment, so I don’t really know how it would translate, or how it impacts room gain compared to ported and sealed subs, which react a little differently.

    That said, I’m not seeing the typical earmarks I look for when hunting for subwoofers to add to the list (DSP, published graphs, etc…). Maybe you could help me out? There are some sound tests on YouTube, which have a sweep from 150-10 hertz, or some variation, dipping down into the teens. A great subwoofer in my opinion will be as loud or louder at 20-25 hertz as it is around 50-60 hertz. You can download an SPL meter app to check what your output is at 50-60 hertz vs 20-25 hertz. I’d be curious what you find. Even without the app, you can usually tell whether it trails off or not.

    Most subwoofers get quieter once they reach under 30-40 hertz. The subs I like, in contrast, get a touch louder as they go deeper. The deep tones should be undeniable and clearly distinguishable, and most subs fall short in my opinion. Just making noise at 20-25 hertz does not count to me, I want REAL output, and a lot of people have never really heard true depth like that in their home theater. I can hear down to 17 hertz, and most subs on this list will deliver beyond that in their “in-room” response. I’m a big proponent of dual subwoofers. It appears that dual PB-2000’s would cost less than a single MX350. The PB-2000’s go down to 14 hertz in my room before they start to get quieter, according to the measurements I’ve taken.

    I don’t know how the MX350 will do under 30 hertz, so I can’t say for sure that the PB-2000’s would outperform them at depth, but the chances are pretty good unless the MX350 bucks the usual trend. If it had DSP, the chances of bucking that trend would be better. There’s a reason the list is so short, a ported sub rarely has any real output down to 20 hertz, and doing it with composure and authority is even more rare. Again, not being super familiar with the push/pull design personally is the one thing that has me unsure.

    If you can, please let me know how that sub does with those listening tests. If it starts to trail off and get quieter as it goes deeper, it’s much like 95% of subwoofers out there. If it sounds really impressive and powerful to you under 30 hertz, I’ll want to take a closer look. I wasn’t aware of M&K until I saw your comment, and if they belong on the list, I’ll definitely add them.

  29. Hi, I’ve been reading your articles and watching your YouTube videos for a couple of months now (great info!), and I’m hoping you can steer me in the right direction.
    I have a dedicated 2nd floor theater, 15ftx18ft, with a 10 ft ceiling and set up in a 5.2.2 Atmos config (Pioneer VSX-1131 AVR). I’m currently using two old Sony subs (sa-wm40 and sa-wm500), that I’ve been wanting to replace as soon as time/budget allowed. One sub is located along the back wall, and the other is along a side wall. I listen to 80% movies/tv and 20% music.
    I’ve had my eye on either a PB-1000, PC-2000 or a HSU VFT2-MK5 for awhile now, but I’m not sure which would provide that “feel it in your clothes” bass that I enjoy at my local cinema.
    I have a local store that is an authorized SVS dealer, so I’m leaning toward one of the SVS’s but the HSU’s price/performance is also enticing. What would you suggest?

  30. Wow, sorry this went so long unanswered. Not sure how I missed it. The higher the RMS wattage, the more you will feel it in general, even at the same volume. I’d also stick with forward facing subs, wood subfloors are a little challenging with down firing subs. With wood subfloors, I would also get isolation whichever way you go. Any of those subs should provide what you’re looking for, arguably better than the theater.

    With SVS, going through a dealer is OK, but the Bill of Rights may not fully apply. As an affiliate, going through my links ensures factory direct benefits. I know a lot of people were upset because they bought PB-13 Ultras through dealers, and weren’t able to upgrade to the PB-16 Ultra under the 1 year trade up program.

    Going factory direct ensures benefits like the 1 year trade up. Visit SVS and look up their Bill of Rights. If you’re unsure whether your dealer has full Bill of Rights support, call or chat with SVS to be sure. My understanding is that it can vary. Emailing them would eliminate any confusion regarding your particular store.

    Again, I’m sorry it took so long to respond!

  31. I prefer ported subs to begin with, as I find them more comfortable to listen to. The ported subs on this list would have a lot more power under 40 hertz, it’s a more impressive experience. If this list were to include sealed subs, I’d look for subs with a deeper presentation. Even within this list, some subs have a deeper presentation than others. Even though 2 different subs will reach 14 hertz in room, 1 can have a deeper and more powerful presentation overall. Hard to find a specification that will truly nail that down, but graph shape is a good indicator.

  32. While I have no doubt the Outlaw M8 is a good subwoofer for it’s size, it wouldn’t make the list like the other 2 Outlaw subs do. Just not deep enough. A sub must be able to hit 20 hertz with authority to make this list. You’re definitely on the right track with duals though. The extra money spent on dual subs from this list would be noticeable over the M8.

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Bass defines your home theater

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