There are a lot of subwoofers out there, but is there a best subwoofer? Best subwoofer for home theater? best subwoofer for sound quality? Depending on what you are trying to accomplish there definitely can be a best a subwoofer. Here, I’ll take a look at some different subwoofers I have used and what I think they are really good at. So if you have been interested in a subwoofer, here are some to think about.
The Best Subwoofer I’ve used: Versatility
Dayton Ultimax 18
The Dayton Ultimax 18 is by far the most versatile subwoofer I have ever come across. This 18″ subwoofer has massive power handling of 1000 watts RMS and 2000 wats peak and it’s generous excursion of 22mm, this subwoofer can really do it all. Seriously, you can do a small sealed, a large ported or even an infinite baffle. This sub is built so well, you literally can pick about any alignment and it will do it and do it well! If you want a relatively small box, you can put it in as small as a 4 cubic foot box and it’ll still tune it down close to 30hz. What to go deeper or lower in bass which makes it one of the the best home theater subwoofers. You can easily do that by by building a box about 11 cubic feet and tuning it do to 16 hz! That is incredible!
And if you really want to go all out, just build it as an infinite baffle. Although, I would recommend dsp for that option. Honestly, there aren’t that many subwoofers that work so well and are so versatile. This is probably my favorite home theater subwoofer. Having said that, if the ultimax 18 is too big, you can get this in sizes 8, 10, 12 and 15. Add in the fact, these are dual 2ohm voice coil, you have the ability to wire this either in a 4 ohm (home use) or 1 ohm (car use) to get the most out of your amplifier.
The Best Subwoofer: Sound Quality
If sound quality is most important to you, the CSS SDX12 is the subwoofer for you. This 12″ subwoofer utilizes a proprietary XBL underhung motor that offers 1000w RMS power and 2000w peak and an incredible 28mm of excursion. That is the same amount of power the Ultimax 18 can handle with more excursion capabilities…and this is a 12″ subwoofer! But what is even more incredible, is that if you buy the passive radiator version of this subwoofer, you can use an 18.5″ cube and tune this down to 20hz. This is true home theater subwoofer territory out of a very small enclosure. That is pretty unheard of. But what is the most impressive is the sound quality this puts out. It is almost dead silent. You don’t hear any motor noise.
In fact, you keep turning it up, because you don’t hear the subwoofer straining at all. Only until you hear the T yoke hit the top plate, do you realize you are overpowering it. It is incredible. There aren’t many subwoofers that I have tested that have this clarity. And definitely the only one I can think of that has this clarity along with the deep bass needed for home theater. If you are looking for a subwoofer that is great on music and can be good for movies, take a look at the CSS SDX12. I think you’ll be in for a treat.
The Best Subwoofer: Price
The ISO 100 is between $80 to $100….for four subwoofers. That means each subwoofer costs about $20-$25. Now I don’t love the GRS 10SW-4 by itself, but in this build, it is an incredible value. It is probably the cheapest way I know to get true 20hz bass for a home theater subwoofer. Basically, this subwoofer consists of four of the GRS 10SW-4 in an isobaric configuration. By doing this, 4 subwoofers now share the same amount of space you would need for one subwoofer, while maintaining a 4 ohm load. That means you can still use cheap power. In fact, this whole build can run off a 250 watt amplifier. What is incredible, is that this subwoofer, when build will perform similar to an ultimax 18. Watch the video below for more information about it. But if you want cheap bass that can dig deep, the ISO 100 is your sub.
The Best Subwoofer: Small Form Factor
Tang Band W5-1138smf
Let’s be honest, I love the tang band W5-1138smf. It is by far my favorite small subwoofer. Why? Because it can dig deep, with authority in a small form factor. This is the same subwoofer that I used in the famed Dinas and in my redesigned Voxel build. That is due to the fact, that these can get loud and play really well, all the way down to 35hz. For a 5 1/4″ sub that is amazing!
This sub can be used in a lot of way, but one issue with it, is it can really move a lot of air. So I found the best way to use this with a the Voxel Passive Radiator version. In this version, I add a passive radiator which takes away any concerns with port noise (chuffing) due to the air being pushed out of the port. This makes this subwoofer an absolute beast. When I first played the Dinas at Midwest Audio Fest a guy thought I was punking him. He thought for sure I was hiding a 12″ subwoofer somewhere. Keep in mind, these were being played in a huge warehouse and he still couldn’t believe the amount of bass they put out.
So if you are looking for a small subwoofer, take look at the w5-1138smf. ANd if you want something fun to do with them, check out the Dinas or the Voxel passive radiator. I think you would enjoy them.
What’s your favorite Subwoofer
So you’ve heard my favorites. What are yours and why? Leave them in the comment section or the forum.