Best Compact Subwoofers of 2020

There are multiple different brands and subwoofers available, often making it hard for beginners to find the one they need. Since we have an explicit interest in all things related to sound, we had to do some digging to find the best compact subwoofers. In this article, you can learn more about the subwoofers and the features that make them great.

If you’re interested in learning about the difference between a subwoofer and a speaker, you can learn here.

What is the best compact subwoofer?

My absolute favorite subwoofer for small spaces has to be the Polk Audio PS11. It features a slick all-black design, can go up to 300w at its peak, and is the bass sounds super clean.

Top Pick: Polk Audio PSW111

Polk Audio PSW111 Compact Powered 8" Subwoofer
Source: Amazon

The Polk Audio PSW111 Compact Powered 8″ Subwoofer is an 8-inch subwoofer that does not take up too much space in your home. It is driven by a 150-watt amplifier that has a maximum power output of 300-watts at its peak. With universal settings, the subwoofer will easily integrate with all your existing systems and speakers.

What We Like:

Sleek Design: The first thing that will probably catch your eye is the sleek design. It is modern and matches most home décor.

High Efficiency: It has a high power output of 150-watts for an 8-inch sub. However, it can peak at 300-watts if needed.

Sound Quality: Compared to many of the subwoofers in the same price range, it has some of the best sound quality.

What We Didn’t Like:

Durability: If the system is not installed correctly, you might find that the capacitors tend to burn out. Be sure to read the instructions when setting it up.

After something bigger? Check out my klipsch R100SW vs R10SW comparison.

Yamaha 8″ 100W

Yamaha 8" 100W Powered Subwoofer
Source: Amazon

When it comes to brands, Yamaha is one of the leading brands for great sound. However, they are often overpriced. The Yamaha 8″ 100W Powered Subwoofer is one of the affordable subwoofers from the Yamaha brand. A new twisted flare port is responsible for reducing the distortion while handling all the different sounds.

What We Like:

Clear Bass: One of the reasons you buy a subwoofer is for the additional bass. The technology in this unit will give you beautiful deep bass.

Compatibility: One of the reasons that this unit is popular is due to the easy integration with almost any current sound system you have.

Affordable: It might only have a power output of 100-watts, but it is also not as expensive as many of the others.

What We Didn’t Like:

Placement: It is said that to get the best sound quality, you need to have it placed at an angle toward you.

Polk Audio PSW10

Polk Audio PSW10 10 Powered Subwoofer
Source: Amazon

If the 8-inch Polk does not give you enough sound for your home theater system, the Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer is bound to rock your home. It is one of the simplest units that you can integrate with your existing system, and it does not cost a fortune like the 8-inch version. However, it is a little big.

What We Like:

Integration: The best feature is the ability to integrate the system with almost any of your current speakers.

Power: Not only does it produce 100-watts of power, but the RMS can add an additional 50-watt as well.

Price: While we do not like to be repetitive with features, but the price stands out a lot with this unit.

What We Didn’t Like:

Size: If you need a compact subwoofer, this unit might be a little large and hard to hideaway. It is also heavy to move around.

Kanto SUB6

Kanto SUB6 6-inch Powered Subwoofer
Source: Amazon

Most of the subwoofers on this list are for your home theatre system. However, many people use a subwoofer for more than this. If you need something smaller to move around your home or even put in your car, the Kanto SUB6 6-inch Powered Subwoofer might be one of the best investments that you could make.

What We Like:

  • Peak Power: For a compact subwoofer, the peak power is generally 100-watts. However, this unit ramps it up to 200-watts.
  • Size: The size of the unit sticks true to the word compact. It is a versatile and lightweight subwoofer to be used anywhere.
  • No Vibrations: It has a protective grill and some advanced technology that reduces the vibrations from loud sounds.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Price: Unfortunately, you need to be willing to dole out a couple of bucks for this unit. However, it is worth every penny.

PSB SubSeries 100

PSB SubSeries 100 GLSB Compact Powered Subwoofer
Source: Amazon

PSB is one of those brands that you never hear about. However, many people choose the brand for replacement speakers. What many of you might not be aware of is the PSB SubSeries 100 GLSB Compact Powered Subwoofer. It is compatible with most of the common brands that you choose for buying new speakers.

What We Like:

  • Design: The 5.3-inch size of the unit makes it ideal for smaller apartments and allows you to hide the unit if needed.
  • Compatible with top brands: No matter which brand you choose for your speakers, you can easily integrate this subwoofer.
  • Power: Since it has a power peak of 100-watts, you might not rate it highly. However, the sound speaks for itself.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Bass: For beginners, it will offer you all the sound that you need. However, experts believe that it does not offer enough bass.

Here are the best budget subwoofers you can buy.

What is the best subwoofer on the market?

After much research, the results show that the best compact subwoofer is the Polk Audio PSW 111. The sound produced is just superior to the others and we found it to be the perfect size, so there should be no issues finding placement for it.

How To Buy A New Compact Subwoofer

It is not easy for everyone to simply stroll into a store or go online and buy the best compact subwoofer. Fortunately, we have isolated a few of the most important features. These features are made in such a way that beginners can also understand them. Here is what you will need to look for in the best compact subwoofers:

Design

The first one might seem obvious, but you will need to pay some attention to the design. Yes, we all like something modern and sleek, but oftentimes you need something that fits. The size of the subwoofer is an important thing to look for. A smaller unit might not allow you to integrate as many speakers, but it can replace some of these speakers and give you better sound.

Where You Will Use It

Not all subwoofers are the same. Aside from the size, they have a few features that can make them compatible with certain home theatre systems. Before you buy a new subwoofer, you need to determine where you are using it. Keep in mind that these subwoofers are not the ideal options for your car. You might need to make a few modifications to have them fit in your car.

Power Output

When it comes to subwoofers, you don’t need to consider the standard power output only. Most of them have a standard power output while giving you an additional number for the peak power output or RMS. It is important to consider both of these, as it could help you from burning out the capacitors with your volume or your speakers.

Bass Quality

The bass quality is probably the hardest thing to determine if you are not physically present and testing the subwoofer. However, you need to consider doing some of your research to find out more about the bass quality. One of the main reasons for buying a new subwoofer is the bass quality and it will naturally enhance your current sound.

Compatibility

You probably knew this feature was coming. However, it is of no use if you buy a sound system and it does not integrate with the current hardware you are using. You can look at the description to see if it might be compatible with your current system. However, most modern brands try to make their units universally compatible.

Brand

Not to scare you, but you might come across amazing deals that seem too good to be true. In such cases, you need to trust your gut, as there are many knock-offs on the market today. We recommend sticking to the brands that you know or that you have done your own research on.

Wrap-Up

A compact subwoofer is definitely a great addition to your home. If you are serious about something small that packs a lot of punch, the options mentioned above will allow you to hear a sound improvement. Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section, and if we missed any of your favorites.

About Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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