The Best Studio Monitor Subwoofer for Home Recording Studio [2020 Guide & Reviews
Having a solid low end is very important since its all about bass when it comes to recordings. If you want the right bass output, a subwoofer will help you get things set. Just having studio monitors is not enough. We not only use them for mixing and mastering the sound but also use for general day to day tasks. You always need a good output source with your studio monitors.
However, sometimes all you need is a better bass, for which a subwoofer will suffice. Sometimes, people who have access to the best, top of the line studio monitors don’t get their expected results only because they don’t have a proper studio subwoofer.
Purchasing a proper subwoofer can be pretty daunting, especially if you don’t have the know-how of technical aspects, but don’t worry, we have come up with a detailed guide to help you find the best subwoofer for your studio. We have not only highlighted the best subwoofers on the market but have also made sure the picks are from every price bracket so that you can choose a subwoofer according to your budget.
However, before we get into reviewing the top 8 subwoofers for home recording studios, we will give you a brief buying guide in case you the eight best subwoofers for home recording studio mentioned in the article don’t satisfy you.
What are the studio monitor subwoofers?
Before we move forward to the buying guide, for those who don’t know, let’s see what a subwoofer is. It is basically a specialized speaker that we use to produce bass, i.e., low-frequency sounds. Most people ignore a subwoofer because they are not an essential part of the playback; however, if you need high-quality and crisp playback music, a subwoofer can do wonders.
When it comes to professionals, during the making of audio, they don’t usually use subwoofers since it can throw off balance due to the prominence of bass, but while listening to the final piece, for a complete picture, it is recommended that one uses a subwoofer.
I am moving on to integrated and separate subwoofers. Some studio speakers come with integrated subwoofers, which are ideal for background music but can be inconvenient for music makers since they cannot be turned off. Hence, separate subwoofers give you much more control.
How to choose the best studio monitor subwoofer?
Certain factors need to be considered while investing in a subwoofer. Since you will be spending the right amount of money on your subwoofer, you better put in some effort. The factors you need to consider are:
First things first, the size of the subwoofer affects its bass, but at the same time, you have to look out for the space you have in your studio. Most of the time, home studios are small and compact, and since they have a lot of equipment, you just cannot get a big speaker or subwoofer. Thus, a compromise between the size and quality of bass has to be made. The larger the subwoofer, the deeper and louder, will be the bass. Subwoofers usually come in different sizes ranging from 8 inches to 18 inches. The larger subwoofer you can fit into your home studio, the better.
You might also need good sound-isolation, so take a look on how to soundproof your room.
One of the most important aspects of a subwoofer is its technical specifications. For newbies, these specifications can get tricky sometimes, but don’t worry, with time and experience you will get there. The most essential technicalities of buying a subwoofer are:
Type of subwoofers:
After the technicalities, let’s move on to the two main types of subwoofers available on the market. The way sound radiates from it defines the types. Most commonly used subwoofers are:
Enclosure usually refers to the type of encasement being used for the subwoofer system. In subwoofers, the two most common type of enclosures are:
Mostly, while buying anything, a layman does not concern him/her self with the wattage of equipment; however, when it comes to the subwoofer, wattage plays an important role. It decides how powerful of a bass the subwoofer can produce since this wattage will determine the efficiency of the in-built amplifier. If you have a small home studio, wattage between 100 watts to 150 watts will be more than enough.
Along with your studio subwoofer, you will definitely need one pair of the best studio monitor speakers in 2020.
The best studio monitor subwoofer in 2020 – Reviews
We have handpicked a list of 8 best subwoofers for your home studios. Real and unbiased reviews are as follows:
1. KRK 10S2 V2 10″ 160-Watt Powered Studio Subwoofer
This straightforward and minimalist 10 inches subwoofer comes with a ported enclosure at the bottom and a wide sound covered area. It is a pretty reasonable choice for any professional or home-based studio. Construction-wise, the subwoofer has an all-steel grill making it pretty durable and top-notch reinforced medium density fiberboard.
All this adds to the heavy 34.5 pounds weight and maximum durability of the device. Even spilled drinks cannot stop you from recording thanks to the reinforced medium density fiberboard. The working and operation of this device are also very simple. It is equipped with a bypass footswitch control, which allows the users to turn off the subwoofer and send full audio to the recording monitors.
Port turbulence is one of the most common issues professionals face; however, thanks to the unique shape this subwoofer features, the port turbulence is minimized. There is a unique customization in the front part of the subwoofer. It produces incredibly low-frequency extension giving the bass an edge over other models. If you want something that will act as a perfect complement to your recording studio monitor, this subwoofer is an ideal crossover, and a hi-pass filter that can be used according to your convenience is a perfect choice.
10S2 V2 studio subwoofer will make a great combination with the KRK Rokit series. Take a look at the best studio monitor speakers for more.
2. JBL LSR310S 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer
JBL has been ruling the subwoofer market with its 70 years of experience. The company is well-known for using the best methodology and tools. This subwoofer is no less; if you want something that will take the low frequency of your audios all the way down, then this 10-inch subwoofer will give you the best experience ever. It comes with JBL’s very own patented slipstream port. JBL’s custom made 10 inches down-firing driver couple it.
For depth and power, the company has incorporated a 200-watt amplifier, which can add a powerful bass to any studio monitor. The professionally balanced inputs and outputs ensure proper and crisp audio with top-notch bass.
The best part about this device is its extended low frequency (XLF). It activates the ample bass tuning that we usually see in club and DJ music. In case you want to create or record something that will be used in clubs, this feature will inspire you. Apart from this, we have selectable input sensitivity that broadens the range of compatible devices. Additionally, it prevents the danger of overload by giving the user an ability to use high output professional equipment. The maximum peak input level for this subwoofer is +20.3 dB. The subwoofer comes with an extensive guide in its package. The guide can help the user understand all the controls.
3. Yamaha HS8 Studio Subwoofer
Yamaha’s studio monitors and subwoofers have become a standard in the industry. With their accuracy and added bass or treble frequencies in the case of the subwoofer, the Yamaha products are one of our favorites. This particular 8 inches bass-reflex powered subwoofer comes with top of the line sound technologies. It belongs to the second-generation HS series Yamaha subwoofers and comes with their range of newly developed transducers.
This new technology not only provides a very smooth response but also has a wide range of bandwidth. With the advanced magnetic field design, these transducers ensure a regulated flow of the magnetic field. As a result, the user gets seamless and natural sonic transitions. Especially important for users who don’t want unrealistic bass.
The amplifier is an essential part of any subwoofer. Mainly because it decides how much power and bass the woofer will produce. In the case of this Yamaha subwoofer, the amplifier unit added is matching with the transducer. It has a bi-amp design so that the woofer and the tweeter, each have an amplifier of its own. Thanks to the bi-amp setting, this subwoofer continuously delivers high-quality and HD sound. As far as the control and connectivity of the subwoofer are concerned, the manufacturer made sure the controls are simple yet have detailed operation to allow them to adapt to the surface acoustics and varying sized and shapes of the room. The subwoofer is compatible with a range of different types of equipment and mixers.
4. Polk Audio PSW111 Compact Powered 8″ Subwoofer
If you want a punchy bass but don’t have a lot of space in your home studio, then this Polk subwoofer can be the answer to all your problems. It specifically comes with a downward-firing port so that you can easily use it in small and clustered spaces. The on-point geometry of the subwoofer makes sure accurate and natural bass is delivered in case of every audio, whether it is a song or a movie.
People familiar with subwoofers and their working would know that distortion at higher volumes is pretty common. However, in the case of this woofer, the distortions have been balanced out. It provides a brighter sound at extreme volume levels, ensuring an even more thrilling and enriched experience.
The loudspeaker accompanies the subwoofer is a high-efficiency speaker. A 150 watts amplifier which provides a 300 watts peaks drives the speaker. If you want something powerful with a small footprint, nothing can beat this subwoofer. Taking only one square feet space, this subwoofer will fill your room with incredible sound. The best part is, to install this subwoofer, you don’t need any kind of extra equipment, software or drivers. It is compatible with all other systems without any hassle and connections. On top of everything else, the manufacturing of the subwoofer is extremely durable, sturdy, and reliable.
5. Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer
Specifically designed for movies and music, this Klipsch R-120SW subwoofer is designed to give you an extra oomph in the bass. It comes with an all-digital 400 watts amplifier that powers the front-firing system. The spun copper IMG woofers make it special and more efficient as compared to the other subwoofers. An IMG is basically an Injection Molded Graphite woofer cone. It is very light but rigid. At the same time, it results in extremely low-frequency response and minimal distortion. Providing a clean, natural, and deep bass. This, combined with the high-efficiency amplifier, delivers true to sound accuracy reproduction with maximum output detail.
The subwoofer is equipped with low pass crossover and phase controls, which allows the user to customize the bass so that the low-frequency tones blend with the sounds of the speaker. This not only ensures the ideal level of bass for a room but also helps in increased the range of devices this subwoofer is compatible with. As far as the construction of this subwoofer is concerned, be assured, the company has used top of the line products. The reinforced MDF construction makes it durable and sturdy, also, on top of reducing the number of vibrations and improved sonic accuracy.
6. Mackie Studio Subwoofer, 10-inch (MRS10)
This 10-inch subwoofer by Mackie is designed to provide a powerful, deep, and extended low-end sound for your home and professional studios. Most of the users swear by this subwoofer due to its extended compatibility and HD bass. The artificially added bass is the worst thing we can find in most subwoofers.
Weak bass not only throws off balance but also sounds fake. Thankfully, in this case, the manufacturer has put in extra effort to enhance the listening experience by adding the perfect amount of dynamism and accurate low end. Thus, we don’t get an artificially added bass, which can ruin the whole experience. This also helps in an accurate mix translation, i.e., in the end, you get an idea of what the sound you created will really sound like.
An ultra-wide listening sweet spot is every music makers dream, well with this subwoofer, you can fulfill it. The logarithmic waveguide that Mackie has added to its subwoofer provides an improved stereo imaging aimed at increased transparency and consistent audio over a broad area in the room. Apart from this, we also have detailed acoustic alignment, which offers balanced sound over the complete frequency spectrum. However, this is only for desktop monitors. The adjustable crossover is a cherry on top since if you cannot optimize the frequency according to your room, the acoustic design and the accuracy of the monitor are all in vain.
7. Rockville Apm10b 10″ 400W Powered/Active Studio Subwoofer Pro Reference Sub
This beautiful Rockville 10-inch subwoofer comes with an amazing 400 watts peaks power with 200 watts RMS power, which is higher than other subwoofers in the same price bracket. Rockville subwoofers are among the best in the industry mainly because they put in a lot of research and effort to develop premium yet reasonable subwoofers.
Let’s talk about the subwoofer’s enclosure first, as compared to other subwoofers; the company went with the top of the line MDF wood. The cabinet is built with the perfect amount of air space to optimize the sound quality. Also, unlike other subwoofers, this subwoofer has a chic and dandy aura to it. It will surely enhance the aesthetics of your studio.
The subwoofer, apart from coming in three enclosure options, also comes with a class D amplifier. It also has an auto-switching power supply. We also have a standby LED indicator on the back, which makes things pretty convenient. The rubber woofer surrounds added to the system ensures that the distortions are minimum, and the sound quality is top-notch. The front-firing system makes this subwoofer ideal for larger studios. Since it was built in collaboration with sound engineers, the port turbulence and delivery distortion are minimal. Also, we keep the controls at the back of the subwoofer. In this way, they don’t disturb the aesthetics, and the clean yet modern look stays there. The controls include volume control, crossover frequency control, phase control, and treble control.
8. Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer
This dynamic balance subwoofer is a 10 inches uniquely configured device. It provides bass with an added depth. For the most part, it brings life to your movies and music. In most cases, at high volumes, the balance goes out but not in this case. The woofer has a design to keep the balance intact even at louder volumes.
This thrilling balance results in a rich, deep, clear, and crisp sound. The best part is, it blends with every type of music. This is why we play all the demanding nodes without any distortion. If combined with Polk devices, this subwoofer will give the best sound quality. It comes with a built-in 50 watts RMS amp making it ideal for small home studios. However, you can also pump up the amplifier to 100 watts of dynamic power. The resonance-free drivers and materials used to ensure extended use.
Its laser-based Klippel technology is the best, which not only analyses the distortion but also optimizes the woofer’s motor structure along with its voice coil alignment and suspension. All this results in a smooth, unimpeded movement, not to mention all this is over a broad spectrum of lower frequencies to make sure the system provides the best and most efficient performance even at high sound volumes. Apart from this, the subwoofer comes with a unique configuration. It uses specially designed and tuned ports for maximum bass impact.
These were our top picks for the best studio monitor subwoofer for home recording studio and music production!
How to connect studio subwoofer to studio monitors and audio interface?
If you already own a pair of studio monitor speakers, you probably know how to connect them to your audio interface. From the output of the audio interface to the input of monitor speakers. If you also want to add a monitor subwoofer, the connection will be like this:
From TRS output of audio interface to TRS input of the subwoofer, and then one more cable, from TRS output of subwoofer to TRS input of the monitor speakers.
Check out also:
- The best professional USB audio interfaces
- The best audio interface under $200
- And the best Thunderbolt audio interface
Subwoofers are an essential part of any studio, whether in a professional setting or a home-based studio. You can easily dubb them as the last piece of the puzzle. Adding them to your system not only increases the quality of your sound-system significantly but also improves the transparency of the overall frequency response. Anyone who mixes electronic music or any other bass-heavy music should definitely invest in one.
This article was all about helping you find the best subwoofer for your studio. The highlighted models are top of the line as well as reasonable.