Best Powered Subwoofers for Pure and Deep Bass in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 31, 2017
Do you think you have an ear for some deep pure bass sound? The audio system manufacturers have prepared numerous solutions for the low frequencies lacking in your sound system. We are talking about powered subwoofers, and we have 5 best options for you to choose from. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Peak power
Speaker diameter
Frequency response
Enclosure type
Dimensions
Inputs/outputs
Custom settings
Power
Warranty
 
PROS

The Sonos subwoofer enables establishing a wireless connection with other audio devices such as smartphones and tablets and controlling this subwoofer from the connected mobile device.

CONS

Has no controls on the case.

OUR VERDICT

The unusual design of this subwoofer is a token of innovation in acoustic system engineering that offers wide possibilities of the model use and flexible installation options for its users.

detailed parameters
Peak power

Not specified

Speaker diameter

Not specified

Frequency response

Down to 25Hz

Enclosure type

Sealed, front-firing

Dimensions

389 x 158 x 402 mm

Inputs/outputs

Wireless connection, Ethernet port

Custom settings

Join button

Power

Not specified

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The Slipstream vent technology ensures you hear even the lowest notes while preventing the hum and rattle. Slipstream is an effective way to use the speaker, integrated amp and case in a mind blowing combination.

CONS

Requires some effort to mount in a vehicle trunk.

OUR VERDICT

Being one of the best solutions for music fans, the GT-BassPro 12 is a great complement to the audio system of your car that lets you enjoy an authoritative bass that is neither smeared nor boomy.

detailed parameters
Peak power

450 W

Speaker diameter

305 mm

Frequency response

40–150 Hz

Enclosure type

Front-firing sealed enclosure

Dimensions

570 x 369 x 305 mm

Inputs/outputs

RCA, high-level input

Custom settings

Bass configuration

Power

150 W

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This subwoofer has multiple inputs to connect to different types of receivers.

CONS

The low limit of the range covered by this model doesn't allow it go as deep as some competitors.

OUR VERDICT

With such an outstanding price/quality ratio, the SW150 model is really a hit.

detailed parameters
Peak power

Not specified

Speaker diameter

250 mm

Frequency response

35–110 Hz

Enclosure type

Ported, front-firing

Dimensions

330 x 330 x 370 mm

Inputs/outputs

RCA Line-In, RCA Line-Out, speaker level inputs (left/right), speaker level outputs (left/right)

Custom settings

Volume level control, crossover control, power on mode switch, phase switch

Power

150 W

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The elaborate design of the curved reflex port on this device makes the air flow out smoother, minimising the sound distortions.

CONS

The system connector supply control works only with the Yamaha YST receivers.

OUR VERDICT

Yamaha managed to create an elegant subwoofer with easily accessible controls. The NSSW200 performs its main task of providing you with a lush and precise bass rather well.

detailed parameters
Peak power

Not specified

Speaker diameter

200 mm

Frequency response

28–200 Hz

Enclosure type

Ported, front-firing

Dimensions

306 x 290 x 351 mm

Inputs/outputs

RCA Line-in, RCA LFE Input, speaker level inputs (left/right), speaker level outputs (left/right), system connector

Custom settings

Volume level control, crossover control, power on mode switch, phase switch

Power

130 W

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The availability of the wired control with a 6-metre cable enables you to easily configure all sound parameters right from the driver's seat.

CONS

The downside of the model's compact design is not that deep and powerful bass comparing to some competitors.

OUR VERDICT

The TS-WX120A features a compact design making it possible to mount the woofer right in a passenger compartment of a vehicle. This feature provides an opportunity for small car owners to experience an improved low register sound playback even used with their current audio system.

detailed parameters
Peak power

150 W

Speaker diameter

200 mm

Frequency response

30–160 Hz

Enclosure type

Compact

Dimensions

280 x 70 x 200 mm

Inputs/outputs

Not specified

Custom settings

Bass level configuration, phase switch, subsonic filter, remote control

Power

50 W

Warranty

1 year

What is a Powered Subwoofer

Powered Subwoofers are low-frequency speakers that have an integrated amplifier and are designed to add some quality bass sound to your music setup. These woofers can complement your main audio system sound with the bass it initially lacked and increase the overall informativity. They are designed to be used with the high and mid-frequency loudspeakers, which less effective in providing low frequencies. With the help of powered subwoofers, you will enjoy listening to your favourite tracks and watching movies more than ever.

If you are a driver and want to equip your vehicle with a quality sound system, you should look for the best car speakers to experience a great dynamic sound on a road trip.

What Features to Compare

Sound Performance

When choosing a low-frequency loudspeaker, or just a subwoofer, pay attention to the sound performance. The bigger the driver is, the deeper the bass you can get. Nevertheless, consider that a bigger speaker means bigger dimensions of the whole device. And, of course, the main characteristics are the power and the frequency range. A 100W subwoofer is sufficient for small compartments to complement the general audio. However, if you want to make your sound system powerful or if you’re aiming for professional equipment, look for models with higher wattage. We can divide the frequency range of subwoofers into three parts: lower bass (20–40 Hz), middle bass (40–80 Hz), and higher bass (80–160 Hz). Mainly, a subwoofer operates in a range between 40 and 200 Hz, while the top models can go as low as 20 Hz.

Enclosure Design

Pay attention to the device’s enclosure design to ensure you can install it properly. The driver is designed either as front-firing or down-firing, and the peculiarity of the subwoofers is that this direction is not as crucial as for the high-frequency speakers. However, if you want to feel all the bass nuances, look for a front-firing model. On the other hand, a down-firing device provides a better sound propagation since the sound waves are directed to the floor and spread all over the place, although you will need to pick a perfect place to install this type of woofer. When it comes to the enclosure, it can be a sealed or a ported (open) one. A sealed body design provides higher density sound and more accurate bass and the air doesn’t flow inside-out, and higher sound pressure level for the given input power. These subwoofers are a perfect solution for those who love jazz, classical music, and acoustic music. Ported enclosure woofers have a special ventilated port, also known as the reflex port, which utilizes the driver more effectively. The case is this reflex port allows to output the sound waves produced by the driver's cone when moving backwards. These models are suitable for those who love rock, hip hop, and electronic dance music.

Settings

Ensure the subwoofer provides the ability to customise the sound according to your needs. Besides the standard volume knob, it is crucial to have frequency controls (bass and mids) to tailor the sound. It is also important to have the phase control in order to have no sound delay with other speakers. To connect a subwoofer, it needs to have a line-in port or an RCA plug. This plug connects to the sound source or the receiver, and some model subwoofers allow connecting them directly to an external amp, bypassing the integrated amplifier. It is great to have an opportunity to connect via special terminals for a better sound synchronisation.

...Read more ...Read less

Sonos SUB

Unlike Anything You've Seen Before

The very first look at the Sonos subwoofer makes you wonder about the way this device produces the sound and about its enclosure design. Its construction is really unusual, featuring 2 low-frequency drivers facing one another, resulting in an impressive bass sound. While the regular design models produce palpable vibrations that you can feel when touching the enclosure, the Sonos subwoofer produces no vibrations at all. The drivers are accurately positioned to neutralise the vibrations and produce quality sound. Wherever you decide to install the woofer, on the floor or under the bed, you will definitely enjoy the rich bass. However, you need to make sure nothing blocks the sound output of the subwoofer. Otherwise, you may experience a dull sound. We’ve also liked the rubbered racks that stick to the bottom of the body and are really convenient to use.

Review of Sonos SUB Powered Subwoofer

Cables Are So Yesterday

The next important thing to mention is the ability to establish a wireless connection in case of this model. You will find a special Join button which synchronises the woofer with your other devices. When the connection is established, a coloured LED indicator will inform you about it. You can configure the Wi-Fi connection to your home network parameters thanks to the compatibility of the subwoofer with 802.11 b/g/n standards and ability to work together with dual-band routers (2.4 GHz/5GHz). Also, the subwoofer has an Ethernet input, letting you connect to the Internet using a wire. It restricts the options for disposition but lets you have a more consistent connection.

Sonos SUB Powered Subwoofer in the use

A Cutting-Edge Control Feature

We would like to emphasise that this subwoofer is compatible and can be used with an outstanding app that lets you not only configure your favourite playlist from any mobile device, PC, or laptop but also create a unique playlist for each room. If you’re lucky to have several speakers made by Sonos, including the subwoofer, you can use the application to switch between the tracks on each loudspeaker separately. Thus, you can turn on some blues music in your living room, hip-hop in the entrance room, and rock in the bathroom. Actually, this app turns any of your mobile devices into a sound system remote control.

Detailed review of Sonos SUB Powered Subwoofer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Sonos SUB
Sonos SUB
 

JBL Car GT-BassPro 12

Pro Sound

Being one of the greatest successors of the GT5 series by JBL, this particular subwoofer comes with all the major engineering solutions to fill your car trunk with some intense bass sound. To maximise the bass output and decrease a potential chuffing or a disturbing hum, the manufacturers implemented the Slipstream technology to ensure that deep and low-frequency sound rocks your vehicle. The built-in 150 W RMS amplifier with a peak power of 450 W comes as an addition to the powerful speaker making this set capable of producing pure bass even at the lowest frequencies. What about the frequency range, the numbers are definitely above average. You can experience a wide range of low frequencies thanks to the subwoofer's 40–150 Hz frequency response. The nominal driver impedance of 2 ohms works perfectly for the integrated amplifier, providing a good balance of maximum volume achieved and sound distortion.

Review of JBL Car GT-BassPro 12 Amplified Subwoofer System

Multitude of Options

Even though this device is designed to improve the stock or custom audio system in your car, the control panel of this subwoofer still has a plenty of custom settings and input options. The regular line-in and high-level inputs let you connect to nearly any type of audio source that one can find in a car. When it comes to sound settings, it also has a low-pass filter that lets you cut the undesired higher frequencies that can reach the woofer's speaker driver. Besides the regular usage, the bass boost and level (the same as the gain knob) controls may help you fine tune the work of the phase control to reduce the acoustic interference that occurs when the woofer and main speaker are configured to cover the same sound spectrum region. Also, you can use the auto turn on mode which turns on the subwoofer once the sound signal is supplied to it.

JBL Car GT-BassPro 12 Amplified Subwoofer System in the use

A Power Enclosed

To handle serious significant heat dissipation, the enclosure of this model is sealed and has a special motor structure venting. Indeed, the power handling for this model (RMS) reaches 275 W. However, you shouldn't worry about distortion at high gain levels. To prevent this issue, the manufacturers gave this model a progressive spider that fights distortion even at the highest output power levels. The body of this model is quite bulky and demands some effort to install in the trunk but after spending some time you will be able to enjoy the rich bass it produces.

Detailed review of JBL Car GT-BassPro 12 Amplified Subwoofer System

JBL Car GT-BassPro 12
JBL Car GT-BassPro 12
 

Wharfedale Diamond

An Irreplaceable Device

The main advantage of this subwoofer is that you won’t find any model of the quality it offers at such a modest price. Although it is considered cheap and affordable, the performance it delivers is stunning. The maximum power sound output the device offers 150W. The woofer operates in a frequency range between 35 and 110 Hz, and even though this range is not that wide for modern subwoofers, still, you get a good response in low-frequency register on this piece of equipment. The speaker sports an impressive 250 mm size and boasts a sharp look. The enclosure has a sealed type, to reduce the speaker wobbling and prevent its mechanical damage. This subwoofer is a great solution for those who like listening to blues, jazz, and records with high-quality bass parts in general.

Review of Wharfedale Diamond Subwoofer

Forget About Receiver Compatibility Issues

We really appreciated the capability of the speaker to connect to different types of receivers and amps as it offers both linear and AC plugs. The RCA plugs are used for line-in signal input, providing an LFE connection in case your receiver has a respective audio output of this type. By the way, we recommend using single-wire screened cables with a corresponding plug. You can also make use of a stereo connection if you have a cable for this connection type. If the receiver has no line outs, use the AC out.

Wharfedale Diamond Subwoofer in the use

Or Almost Irreplaceable

We would like to introduce you to a similar model by the same manufacturer. We’re talking about the SW-250 subwoofer. It has some significant distinctions from the SW-150, including its down-firing design that ensures an even sound waves distribution. It has a great indicator panel on the top front side. To apply your settings, you can use the remote control which lets you configure the low-frequency filters, phase control, or create a preset with 4 custom settings. This model is the best option if you want to use the control conveniences this model offers for the price.

Detailed review of Wharfedale Diamond Subwoofer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Wharfedale Diamond
Wharfedale Diamond
 

Yamaha NSSW200

Hidden Potential

The Yamaha NSSW200 subwoofer has several design features that make it a unique product. The reflex port makes the air flow whirl and disperse, making the air current smoother. This constructive solution provides minimum external noise, making the sound that NSSW200 produces pure, accurate, and realistic. The position of the reflex port is also important since it is placed on the speaker side so you can put the subwoofer back to a wall without decreasing the sound quality. It has no feedback coil which results in purer sound. The technology implemented in this subwoofer is a double feedback circuit that increases the fidelity of audio reproduction. The Advanced YST II technology provides more control for the speaker driver’s cone movement, making it react to an electric signal with more precision, which results in even higher overall sound quality.

Review of Yamaha NSSW200 Powered Subwoofer

Convenient to Use

Besides giving the speaker sharp and elegant looks, some of the design elements are arranged very conveniently. The power button is placed on the top front panel, which also has the volume knob. It is positioned at 45 degrees to the horizontal for a better convenience. It even features such small but useful interface details as the LED indicator above the power button that allows you to configure the device with one hand even in darkness. The back panel comes with AC plugs made as spring terminals, which are far easier to connect than spring poles.

Yamaha NSSW200 Powered Subwoofer in the use

Great Automatic Control System

Although this subwoofer is compatible with the vast majority of receivers and sound sources, using it with the Yamaha YST series receivers allows you to get the most of this audio gear. The proprietary connector plug that blends with the speaker design enables a device automatic operation with YST receivers. Switching the NSSW200 to the standby mode when connected to one receiver of the mentioned series enables an automatic subwoofer turning on/off when the receiver turns on and off respectively. With that, you will need to turn on fewer devices when you want to enjoy some music as well as turn them off after the listening.

Detailed review of Yamaha NSSW200 Powered Subwoofer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Yamaha NSSW200
Yamaha NSSW200
 

Pioneer TS-WX120A

Space Saver

Some cars like hot hatches, sports coupes, and tuned cars have their passenger compartments and boot space sacrificed for an outstanding driving performance. Considering the fact that such trendy vehicles are usually equipped with sound systems some of their owners may want to tune and enhance the bass in their cars as well. One of the best solutions for this is to use the Pioneer TS-WX120A subwoofer. The model is as small as 28 x 20 x 7 cm and weighs only 3.7 kg. Not only this acoustic gear is good looking it's also made slim enough to fit even under a seat of your car. Pioneer implemented many solutions and technologies to keep this high-quality subwoofer on the small and lightweight side. To achieve such a small weight without compromising the design durability, the woofer cone is made of aluminium. For additional protection, the speaker is covered with a sturdy metal mesh grill. Offering an impressive peak power of 150 W this tiny device reproduces the sound in a frequency range between 30 and 160 Hz. The bass range covered is wide enough to allow you enjoying an impeccable bass on records of nearly any music genre. In addition, the speaker has a high sensibility of 98 dB/mW, which makes it easy to drive. The speaker coil impedance is 2 Ohm, meaning that two such subwoofers in direct coupling make a total impedance of 4 Ohms, whereas a parallel coupling of two such subwoofers results in 1 Ohm of total impedance.

Review of Pioneer TS-WX120A Amplified Subwoofer System

Comes With All the Needed Accessories

After taking a look at the metal bottom of the TS-WX120A, you will notice not only mounting holes of various size, power supply, and ground connections but also the plugs for the wired remote control. It is convenient that the manufacturer includes the wires for RCA and speaker level input together with the mounting hardware in the TS-WX120A supply package. As for the power and ground wiring for connecting the subwoofer to an amplifier, you can also find them in the package. We recommend you to make sure you got the user's manual and the warranty card bundled to know you have a genuine licensed product. Another advantage of the package this model comes in is that the included wired remote control cable is 6 metres long, which is usually more than sufficient for an installation in a car.

Pioneer TS-WX120A Amplified Subwoofer System in the use

Easier Than Driving With a Stick

With its ergonomic design, the remote control enables a quick and easy configuration of the subwoofer sound parameters without distracting you from driving your car. The bundled remote control is fitted with huge knobs that allow you to adjust the gain level, phase control, and low-pass filter settings. Moreover, to prevent accidental adjustment the controls are made not to operate like regular knobs. To use any of them, you need to press on a knob with your finger and turn it. This seemingly insignificant feature makes the controls much more convenient. Finally, it is worth noting that this model comes with a scratch-resistant polyurethane finish. Owing to the finish you can even put your luggage on the speaker with no risk of damaging or scratching the speaker case.

Detailed review of Pioneer TS-WX120A Amplified Subwoofer System

Pioneer TS-WX120A
Pioneer TS-WX120A
 

FAQ:

Q: What to do to get a deeper bass with my records?

A: To get the bass that sounds deeper, we recommend aiming for a bigger subwoofer in a sealed enclosure. The output power of the amplifier used is also crucial for the powered woofers. With that, the more power the amp and speaker are capable of delivering, the better will be the reproduction of low frequencies.

Q: Does the reflex port position on the subwoofer matter?

A: The port is used to output the antiphase sound waves produced by the driver when its cone moves backwards. With that, the port is initially designed to provide an effective and precise acoustic addition of frontal and antiphase waves from the speaker. Thus, the port position affects only the subwoofer usability in terms of its installation as you need to have no obstacles on the way of the sound coming from it.

Q: Does the subwoofer shape impact its sound?

A: Yes, it does. Actually, the speaker case geometry conditions the resulting sound as well as the driver and amplifier (if any) it uses. The manufacturer chooses the speaker shape and dimensions to achieve a specific sound and not for aesthetic reasons only. Though you can't change the shape of your subwoofer you can tune the sound it produces by installing it in different positions and places in the room or vehicle (less tuning options), in which you use it.

Q: What is the difference between sealed and ported woofers in a nutshell?

A: A sealed enclosure provides a clean and accurate sound while being relatively compact. However, this accuracy usually comes at the price of higher demand for the input signal power. In their turn, ported subwoofers utilise an acoustic energy of the driver installed in a more effective way due to their design. In general, ported woofers provide the same loudness level at lower input power. On the other hand, the ported design is more demanding in terms of the woofer positioning and tuning.

Q: How to keep your subwoofer in a working condition?

A: Well, there is nothing complicated you need to do for the maintenance of your woofer. You need a dust free cloth to clean your loudspeakers (a soft brush is also an option). We recommend to always lift the woofer if you need to replace it and never drag. Otherwise, you may damage the speaker wiring, which will cause troubles with the sound. It is also highly recommended to observe the input signal polarity and make sure the subwoofer input impedance allows connecting it to the amplifier output.

Q: Does my bill skyrocket if I tend to forget to turn off the subwoofer?

A: If you turn on the standby mode on your subwoofer, it will consume nearly nothing until it receives a signal. Even if your woofer has no standby mode, still, it will consume much less energy when turned on in the idle mode than it does when it plays music.


Sources:

1. Joshua Crane Home Theater Subwoofers Buying Guide, CRUTCHFIELD. June 29, 2016.

2. How to Choose the Right Subwoofer for Your Sound System, eBay. July 20, 2013.

3. Geoffrey Morrison How to pick up the right subwoofer, CNET. March 13, 2013.

4. Scott Steinberg Choosing a Subwoofer, Digital Trends. March 13, 2009.

5. Brent Butterworth How to Choose Subwoofer for Surround Sound or Stereo, Home Theather. October 12, 2015.

6. Subwoofer How to Guide, Parts Express.

7. Steve Munz Sealed vs Ported Subwoofers: Which Is Right For You?, Audioholics. April 01, 2014.

8. Subwoofer, Wikipedia.

Other reviews
Publish Date: 2017-08-31 11:49:31