10 Best Studio Subwoofer Reviews [To Add More “Punch” To Your Mixes]

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Investing in the best studio subwoofer to pair with your monitors is sure to add more bass presence to your productions. If things sound too thin, or you’re just looking to bring that feeling of pumping low-ends to your studio, then a great subwoofer is the way to go.

Studio subwoofers are somewhat of a complicated subject among producers and sound engineers though. Some say they’re not absolutely necessary, and others swear by them. In reality, finding the right studio monitor subwoofer for your needs comes down to a few key factors.

All of the most popular songs out there today have one huge characteristic that they share in common. I’m talking about bass! Nowadays, music is heavily influenced by a deep and ever-present bassline. So, as a producer, the best way to create and monitor bass-heavy sequences is with a studio subwoofer.

With that said, if you have a very small room with poor acoustic treatment, a studio subwoofer could be counter-productive. Low frequency ranges are certainly the most reflective, so make sure your music space is properly treated before considering a subwoofer.production

Now, with that in mind, a studio monitor subwoofer can have some major benefits for music production purposes. Let me break this down a bit for you guys…

Quick Picks

Top Pick

Yamaha HS8S

Yamaha HS8S

– Fair price for what you get
– Full of great features
– Very punchy sound for its size

Adam Audio Sub8

Adam Audio Sub8

– Incredibly powerful for its size
– Comes with all the bells and whistles
– Included remote control is a nice touch

Presonus Temblor T10

Presonus Temblor T10

– Affordable
– Very good sound quality
– Included footswitch


Advantages Of Studio Subwoofers

So, the disadvantages of studio subwoofers should be pretty clear. Again, in a poorly treated room, they can create a muddy representation of your source material. On top of that, you probably don’t need a studio subwoofer if you’re not making music that relies heavily on bass like dubstep, trap, future bass, etc.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some of the advantages that come with having a subwoofer paired with your favorite pair of studio monitors:

  • Less burden on your studio monitors – even a high-end set of studio monitors has their own limitations, especially in low frequencies. This is where a monitor subwoofer can be beneficial. You can calibrate your monitors differently and give up some of the low frequency range to your subwoofer.
  • Monitor the entire frequency range – it’s true that monitors generally have a frequency range of 55-20,000Hz, so everything below 50Hz is non-existent. A studio subwoofer can reproduce sound down to the edge of human hearing, also known as 20Hz. Having the ability to monitor and manipulate the entire range of frequencies possible is certainly advantageous.
  • More accuracy in the low-ends – as I said before, music nowadays is bass-driven. With a clearer, more powerful low-end reproduction, you can tweak those precise details more easily. Adding a monitor subwoofer to your monitoring arsenal can certainly help to improve bass dynamics in your songs.
  • Better ability to identify phasing and other conflicts – one of the most common issues that arises in the mixing process is phasing, which is essentially two signals cancelling each other out. This happens when two waveforms that are almost identical, but are set to a very slight timing difference. A lot of phasing can happen in the low-ends unintentionally, so a subwoofer can help to make those issues stick out. In fact, some options have a built-in phase switch for this very purpose.
  • Help to pinpoint a specific emotion or feeling – we all know what it feels like when you listen to a song with a heavy bass drop or a satisfying bassline. It’s hard to recreate that feeling in your sounds with equipment that’s too thin. A subwoofer can give you the ability to create those amazing moments in your music with a better reference point.

Related: Home Recording Studio Setup Guide

The Acoustic Treatment Factor

Now that we’ve identified some of the benefits of having a studio subwoofer, it’s time to figure out if it’s right for you to invest in one.

The next few sections of this article will lay out all of the potential problems, as well as some of the factors to consider when looking at subwoofers for your music-making space. First up is the room treatment factor. With this, I urge you to take a look at the area where your studio exists and assess the situation.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does my room seem to absorb low frequencies before I hear them?
  2. How small is my room? Is this the right environment for enhanced bass?
  3. Are there too many parallel surfaces in my room?
  4. Should I get bass traps for the corners of my room along with my new subwoofer?
  5. Do I mainly create bass-heavy music? How much treatment do I need?

Those are just a few examples of what to think about here.

I have written a complete guide on acoustic treatment for home studios, so head there first if any of those questions have raised some red-flags for you. 

Related: The Ultimate Acoustic Treatment Guide

Studio Subwoofer Placement

Just like studio monitors, subwoofers have a guideline to follow for proper placement, but there is one major difference between the two.

Studio monitors generally put out frequencies that are more “directional” than a subwoofer. Higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths, therefore they have less of a chance of creating standing waves.

The best studio monitor subwoofers on the other hand produce low frequencies that in turn have much longer wavelengths. The longer the wavelength, the more it will bounce off of surfaces and distort the sound quality.

In some ways, the placement of a subwoofer is harder to dial in than monitors. Finding that sweet spot takes some trial and error, but there is a general outline of the idea to help you out.

The overall goal is to put your subwoofer in a spot that gives it the flattest frequency response possible. It should sound like a natural companion to your monitors without drowning them out. 

So, avoid placing the subwoofer too far away from your monitors. Definitely do not put it in the corner of your room. Secondly, don’t place it behind your monitors in any way. A good spot is slightly off center and slightly in front of your monitors.

Some Technical Factors To Consider

Now that you’re back from learning about your studio acoustic treatment, it’s time to dive into the more technical aspects of subwoofers themselves. Initially, we should talk about the different types of subwoofers.

Studio Subwoofer Types

There are two main subwoofer designs that then come in a few different variants. Let’s break it down. The first thing to talk about is ported vs. sealed.

  • Bass Port – a subwoofer with this design features a noticeable hole somewhere on the box. This port acts as a vent for the bass response. This creates a more “forceful” sounding low-end. A ported subwoofer will generally have a larger footprint and will produce an all around louder sound with slower transients.
    • Pros
      • Great for large studios with adequate treatment
      • A great companion for louder monitors
      • Creates a very “boomy” bass response
    • Cons
      • Might overpower other sounds in smaller studios
  • Sealed Box – a sealed box subwoofer is completely enclosed allowing the driver to pulse back and forth with more control. There is no vent here so low frequencies will be tighter and more precise.
    • Pros
      • Perfect for small studios
      • Better for monitoring low-end subtleties
      • Not overpowering
    • Cons
      • Harder to fine-tune acoustically speaking

Now let’s talk about the other studio subwoofer variants. First up is the direction in which the subwoofer faces.

  • Front Firing  – as the name implies, front firing woofers face outward toward the listener. With the sound firing directly at you, it makes for an easier listening experience. Not only that, but the subwoofer will have a more accurate sound.
  • Down-firing – these woofers face downward toward the ground, which creates a satisfying amount of reverberation. The issue with these types of subwoofers is that they are much harder to dial in without overpowering your monitors. That being said, if you have a level of technical expertise, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

Next up is the difference between active and passive studio subwoofers. What we’re referring to specifically here is the type of amplifier that’s required to power the subwoofer.

Active (otherwise referred to as “powered”) subwoofers have a built-in amplifier.

Passive subs need an external amplifier. Either option will do just fine for most situations, and neither one is really better than the other per se. 

Some folks say that an active studio subwoofer is the best way to go because it’s easier, more convenient, and you don’t have to spend extra money on a standalone amplifier.

Sound Pressure Level

An easy way of explaining SPL is this: the more power there is to the subwoofer, the higher the SPL is. I’ll say this numerous times if I have to, but you really don’t need to go crazy with the power in a subwoofer. They’re already powerful enough.

Active vs. passive amplifiers aren’t in question here, but the SPL measure on a subwoofer is what will make or break the quality of sound in your studio. If you go for a sealed sub, then a higher SPL won’t hurt. It’s the exact opposite for a bass ported one though, of course.

On spec sheets you’ll see, “Max SPL: 116dB” and this doesn’t mean the higher the better. Anywhere between 110dB and 120dB is plenty high.

Crossover Frequency

This specification refers to the frequency point in which the subwoofer takes on the job of handling the bass. Most subwoofer options will let you adjust this to taste with a built-in high-pass filter or give you a guideline to follow on their manufacturer site.

Some subwoofer options have an included footswitch as well, giving you the ability to bypass the sub entirely. This is a great feature in terms of functionality and efficiency.

You can monitor the bass situation in your studio by toggling the footswitch on and off and make sure everything is in sync sonically.

From there, you can fine-tune the crossover frequency, if your subwoofer has the ability to adjust it that is.

Frequency Response 

I’ve mentioned this term a few times thus far. When looking at the specifications of studio subwoofers, you’re going to see the frequency response listed. What you’re looking for is a subwoofer that can reproduce an adequate amount of the low frequencies.

We all know that humans can only hear frequencies between 20Hz and 20kHz. Unlike studio monitors, subwoofers can typically only achieve a maximum of 20Hz to 300Hz, which is actually exactly what you’re looking for. 

Related: Frequency Response Guide

Power Rating

Just like with most audio technology, the power rating refers to the overall loudness that the device can put out. The general rule of thumb here is to make sure you give yourself a little headroom.

What I mean is that you should look at a subwoofer with a power rating that’s high enough to handle whatever volume you need at an optimal level. Basically, this just gives you more control over the important parameters of the subwoofer.

The Size Of The Speaker

You must be thinking that the bigger the speaker size the better, right? Well, not necessarily in this case. Actually, you should be looking for a subwoofer with a speaker size that’s just right for pairing with your monitor speakers.

For instance, if you have a pair of 8-inch monitors, a good subwoofer would probably be a 12-incher. Alternatively, if you have 5-inch monitors, a smaller, 8-inch subwoofer would be best. Again, the whole idea is to avoid overpowering your monitors and muddying your mixes.

Connecting & Installing Your Subwoofer

On the surface, it might seem like the installation process is complicated, but it’s really not. It’s known as a 2.1 setup and all it entails is plugging your subwoofer into an audio interface or directly connecting it to your studio monitors.

Essentially, you’re creating a signal chain that runs through your subwoofer and to your monitors, or you’re just letting the monitors work in unison with the subwoofer itself. 

The only thing to look out for here is the type of cable you need.

Some options use ¼ inch TRS, some use RCA, and there’s also some that use XLR. One more thing, if you decide to get an active subwoofer, make sure to plug the power cable into the same outlet as your monitors, no matter if it’s a wall outlet or surge protector. This will help to avoid any potential grounding issues.

Related: Audio Interface Technical Guide

Related: Thunderbolt Audio Interface Buyer’s Guide

Brand Matching

Let’s say you have a pair of studio monitors from KRK, but you want a subwoofer from Yamaha. This won’t be an issue right? Well, actually yes, it can be.

If we’re talking about compatibility, then going for the same brand is a good idea. The last thing you want is any conflicts between your new subwoofer and your favorite pair of monitors.

With that, if your brand of monitors doesn’t make a subwoofer, then just do the extra research to make sure everything will work right together. Chances are though that you won’t have a problem finding a matching subwoofer from your brand of monitors though.

Related: Small Studio Monitors Buying Guide

What I Suggest

So with everything we’ve talked about in mind, what do I think is the best route to go for most home studios? Well…

  1. Go for a sealed subwoofer if you’re just looking for warmth and added low-ends, but don’t want to go overboard with a ported one.
  2. Get a 12-inch sub if your studio is quite large, 8-inch if it’s pretty small. 10-inch is a great balanced size as well.
  3. Make sure it has an adjustable crossover frequency or a built-in high-pass filter for additional functionality and control.
  4. Invest in a subwoofer from the same manufacturer as your monitor speakers.
  5. Last but not least, a front firing design with an active, built-in amplifier is the way to go.

That’s just me though. These suggestions are simply what I find to be the most universal based on what the average home studio is like. I will include options from all styles and variants on my list and let you decide for yourself.

Speaking of that darn list, I think we’re finally ready to get into my list of the best studio subwoofers options on the market today.


Best Studio Subwoofer List

I will remind you that proper acoustic treatment should definitely be your first step here. If you’re already there, well then here we go. The best studio subwoofer options out there today are…


Top Pick

Yamaha HS8S

“It’s a perfect combination of all the best specs and features while still being easy to use.”


Pros
  • Fair price for what you get
  • Full of great features
  • Very punchy sound for its size
Cons
  • No footswitch

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 8″  
  • Driver Type: Cone  
  • Total Power : 150W  
  • Frequency Range: 22Hz-150Hz  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR  
  • Height: 13.8″  
  • Width: 11.8″  
  • Depth: 15.3″  
  • Weight: 27.6 lbs 

Taking the top spot on my list is the Yamaha HS8S, unsurprisingly. This subwoofer is the closely related family member to the HS line of studio monitors, which are widely popular. Yamaha is a company that needs no introduction, and you know you can expect the utmost quality with this subwoofer.

The main reason I’ve chosen this studio subwoofer as the top contender is due to its user-friendly nature. It’s a perfect combination of all the best specs and features while still being easy to use. This is the best option in my opinion for those of you with small studios, or those who want a subwoofer that’s plug-and-play.

Now, the Yamaha HS8S is a down-firing, bass ported, powered subwoofer with an 8-inch driver. It features all of the best control options like a phase switch, low-cut and high-cut controls, and even an adjustable crossover frequency between 80Hz and 120Hz.

The sound you get out of the Yamaha HS8S powered subwoofer is top-notch as well. There’s something about that bass port on an 8-inch driver that just creates an amazingly punchy sound that’s accurate and satisfying.

Another plus-side to this subwoofer is its size and weight. Coming in at only 27.6 lbs, you can easily maneuver this thing or even take it with you if you so desire. Keep in mind that this is a subwoofer meant for small studios. With it being only an 8-inch driver, those of you with larger studios won’t see much benefit from it.

All in all, the Yamaha HS8S can be described in one word: balanced! It’s a wonderful all-around option that will suit most home studios just fine.


Runner-Up

Adam Audio Sub8

“The Adam Audio Sub8 has an amazingly powerful 8-inch driver. A lot of that power can be attributed to it’s 160w ICE amplifier.”


Pros
  • Incredibly powerful for its size
  • Comes with all the bells and whistles
  • Included remote control is a nice touch
Cons
  • Pricey
  • No footswitch

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 8.5″  
  • Driver Type: Paper Cone  
  • Total Power : 160W RMS, 240W Music  
  • Frequency Range: 28Hz-150Hz  
  • Crossover Frequency: 50-150Hz  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: ≥110dB SPL @ 1m  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Height: 16″  
  • Width: 10″  
  • Depth: 15″  
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs. 

Next up is a premium subwoofer option from the folks at Adam Audio. They’re best known for making ultra high-end studio monitors with an ultra high-end price tag. This subwoofer fits that description as well.

That hefty price-tag does afford you some great features though, and a very good sound quality. The Adam Audio Sub8 has an amazingly powerful 8-inch driver. A lot of that power can be attributed to it’s 160w ICE amplifier. All of this helps to create a boomy low-end that is hard to believe from such a small subwoofer.

Now, onto the features. This powered subwoofer comes with all the best controls you’d expect like high-pass filters and adjustable crossover frequencies. Most parameters can be configured via two onboard motorized knobs, but there’s also a wireless remote that you can do this with too. Pretty cool!

The Sub8 studio subwoofer is designed to be a perfect match for numerous Adam Audio monitors. If you are a lucky owner of any of  the A7, P11A, ANF10, S1A or S2A monitors, then this subwoofer will be the companion you’ve been looking for.

Again, the Adam Audio Sub8 does come with a heavy price-tag. That being said, if that’s not an issue for you, then this is a top-tier subwoofer that simply sounds great.


Well-Rounded

Presonus Temblor T10

“The Presonus Temblor T10 is marketed as one of the most accurate studio monitor subwoofers out there, and I tend to agree with that.”


Pros
  • Affordable
  • Very good sound quality
  • Included footswitch
Cons
  • Some concerns about longevity

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 10″  
  • Driver Type: Glass Composite Cone  
  • Total Power : 250W  
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-200Hz  
  • Crossover Frequency: 50Hz  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 113dB  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR (L/R), 1 x XLR (sub out), 2 x 1/4″ (L/R)  
  • Other I/O: 1 x 1/4″ (sub bypass footswitch)  
  • Height: 15.75″  
  • Width: 12.60″  
  • Depth: 15.75″  
  • Weight: 39.46 lbs. 

Now for the first 10-inch option on this list. The Presonus Temblor T10 is marketed as one of the most accurate studio monitor subwoofers out there, and I tend to agree with that. This puppy uses a 10-inch glass-composite low frequency transducer for sound reproduction, and let me tell you, it sounds darn good!

I find 10-inch studio monitor subwoofers to be the perfect middle-of-the-road size that’s suitable for pretty much any studio. The Temblor T10 takes that up a notch. This subwoofer boasts a hefty 250w amplifier and a bass reflex port. That in conjunction with that great driver I mentioned helps to create a very detailed sound quality.

What’s even more impressive is the fact that this powered subwoofer manages to stay lightweight and compact. It won’t take up a lot of space in your studio, but you’ll know exactly where it’s at when it’s pumping. 

The Temblor T10 subwoofer does come with all the expected features as well. You get a switchable high-pass filter, plenty of connectivity, and even a footswitch for bypassing. 

The one downside to this subwoofer is it’s build quality. While it is affordable compared to others on this list, there are some users who’ve reported issues with it’s longevity. There are even reports of this subwoofer failing after only a few months. These claims are far and few between, but it’s worth pointing out.

At the end of the day, Presonus is a well-known company in the audio world. People absolutely love their audio interfaces, studio monitors, and headphones. This subwoofer lives up to Presonus’ name in quality, and it’s sure to match perfectly with a set of their monitors.


Very Powerful

KRK 10S2

“The overall sound quality is most suitable for those of you who mainly deal with EDM and other such genres that rely heavily on bass.”


Pros
  • Footswitch compatible
  • Very powerful
  • Amazing bass response
Cons
  • Definitely too loud for poorly treated rooms

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 10″  
  • Driver Type: Glass Aramid Composite cone  
  • Total Power : 160W  
  • Frequency Response: 28Hz-156Hz  
  • Crossover Frequency: Variable – 60Hz/70Hz/80Hz/90Hz  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 117.2dB  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″ TRS, 2 x RCA  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″ TRS, 2 x RCA  
  • Other I/O: 1 x 1/4″ (footswitch)  
  • Height: 15″  
  • Width: 14″  
  • Depth: 16.06″  
  • Weight: 34.5 lbs. 

Ah yes, a product from KRK. I mean, we all know just how popular KRK’s studio monitors are. You can’t google a picture of a home studio without seeing a pair of them. Well, here is their excellent powered studio subwoofer to match.

The KRK 10S2 is a front firing, bass ported, powered subwoofer that uses a 10-inch glass-aramid driver. With that, there is the Class-D active amplifier that puts out 160 watts of power. So yes, this thing is super powerful and very punchy.

The overall sound quality is most suitable for those of you who mainly deal with EDM and other such genres that rely heavily on bass. The reason I say this is because this subwoofer gets loud! This is both a good, and potentially a bad thing. 

The general loudness of this subwoofer remains clear, tight, and accurate, but it can easily become muddy in a small space that’s poorly treated. It does feature crossover frequency adjustments of 60Hz, 70Hz, 80Hz, and 90Hz so you can find the perfect spot with your monitors so it doesn’t overpower them.

In summary, if you have a well treated room and are looking for incredible power at a great value, then the KRK 10S2 subwoofer is a solid choice.


User-Friendly

Mackie MRS10

“It has great accuracy, the low frequencies are tight and abundantly present.”


Pros
  • Excellent sound quality for the price
  • Included footswitch
  • Plenty of connectivity options
Cons
  • Lower power output than others

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 10″ subwoofer  
  • Driver Type: Glass-aramid composite cone  
  • Total Power : 120W (240W Peak)  
  • Frequency Range: 35Hz-180Hz (-3dB)  
  • Crossover Frequency: 40Hz-180Hz  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 119dB SPL  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″ TRS  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″ TRS  
  • Other I/O: 1 x 1/4″ (sub bypass footswitch)  
  • Features: Polarity switch  
  • Height: 15″  
  • Width: 12.6″  
  • Depth: 15.2″  
  • Weight: 33.1 lbs. 

Mackie is a company best known for making mid-range audio electronics. They do dabble in some high-end stuff, but generally their repertoire consists of reliable equipment that doesn’t break the bank. The MRS10 studio subwoofer is a good example of that.

The MRS10 is a subwoofer designed to pair perfectly with most of Mackies line of studio monitors. It’s a front firing, sealed, powered subwoofer with a 10-inch driver made of quality glass-aramid composite. Everything on thing is powered by a 120w amplifier that puts out enough power for most studios, but might not be loud enough for larger ones.

Again, this is a mid-range option. You do get a lot of the bells and whistles found on other options on this list, but the power output is just slightly below average. You do get an adjustable crossover knob, a polarity switch, and more than enough connectivity options. In fact, the connectivity is probably the best part of this subwoofer. No need to worry about adapters!

Sound quality wise, the MRS10 subwoofer performs very well. It has great accuracy, the low frequencies are tight and abundantly present. No matter what level of gain you set this subwoofer at, it just will not introduce any distortion. All around a solid sounding device.

So, if you’re one of the many who owns a pair of Mackie monitors, the MRS10 will be a wonderful addition to your music production space.


Feature-Rich

JBL LSR310S

“The JBL LSR310S studio monitor subwoofer is a testament to the company’s mastery of sound reproduction.”


Pros
  • XLF setting is great
  • Very fair price
  • Sound quality is top-notch
Cons
  • Build quality is questionable

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 10″  
  • Driver Type: High-excursion, down-firing driver  
  • Total Power : 200W  
  • Crossover Frequency: 80Hz  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 113dB  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR  
  • Enclosure Material: MDF with Black Vinyl Wrap  
  • Height: 17.65″  
  • Width: 15″  
  • Depth: 15.65″  
  • Weight: 34.3 lbs. 

One of the most well-known names in audio is JBL. They’ve been doing what they do for a long time, and almost everything they put out is great. The JBL LSR310S studio monitor subwoofer is a testament to their mastery of sound reproduction.

JBL makes some of the most popular studio monitors as well, and this subwoofer is designed to complement them. The JBL LSR310S is a down-firing, ported subwoofer with a 10-inch driver that’s powered by a 200w Class-D amplifier. 

The sound quality of this powered subwoofer is very good. This is mainly attributed to JBL’s patented Slip Stream Port that uniquely supports the driver with its double-flared design. On top of that, JBL includes another innovative feature with their XLF (or Extended Low Frequency) setting.

The XLF setting on this powered studio subwoofer is made to emulate the tuning of modern dance clubs. Basically, it creates a real-world reproduction of pumping bass frequencies in a club-like environment. This is a very obscure feature that actually works very well. It’s hard to describe what this feature sounds like, you’d just have to hear it yourself to understand.

Just like other subwoofers on this list, you get all of the most crucial features too. Select-able crossover, polarity control, and all the connectivity options you need are all there. The only downside to this subwoofer is its build quality. Some users have expressed that their units gave out in under a year. These reports are in the minority, but should be brought up nonetheless.

The JBL LSR310S is a great subwoofer overall though. You get a premium device at a not-so premium price as well. At this price-point, it really is worth taking a look at.


Unique Design

Behringer Nekkst K10S

“With 180 watts of total power, the K10S is boomy, punchy, and amazingly powerful.


Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Very good transient response
  • Included phase switch
Cons
  • Not easily compatible with other brands of monitors

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 10″  
  • Driver Type: Glass Fiber cone  
  • Total Power : 300W  
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-150Hz  
  • Crossover Frequency: 40Hz-150Hz variable  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: Maximum 117 dB SPL @ 1m  
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Height: 15.5″  
  • Width: 14″  
  • Depth: 15.9″  
  • Weight: 38.4 lbs. 

Have you ever wondered what a subwoofer would sound like if it were made by a renowned company and a master speaker designer? Well, the Behringer Nekkst K10S is the answer to that mystery.

This studio monitor subwoofer was made by Behringer in collaboration with KRK founder Keith R. Klawitter. It’s a front firing, sealed, powered subwoofer with a 10-inch driver cone made of resistant glass fiber. It goes without saying that this thing is a beast!

With 180 watts of total power, this subwoofer is boomy, punchy, and amazingly powerful. The great sound quality this bad boy puts out comes down to the design of the box itself, a design that Keith Klawitter had a big part of.

The front port is uniquely made with a curved baffle around it. Something about this design has made this subwoofer perform almost like it’s a ported design. There is no distortion to speak of and the transient response is unparalleled.

If that wasn’t enough, the Nekkst K10S subwoofer also comes with a few features found in options at a much more expensive price. There is a phase switch, all the necessary connectivity ports, and of course, crossover control.

That leads me to the one downfall of this subwoofer. The crossover knob is specifically labeled for Behringer’s Nekkst line of monitors. The entire threshold calculation is based on that. If you were planning on using this subwoofer with other brands of studio monitors, then finding the crossover threshold will be tricky.

Despite that, the Nekkst K10S is an exceptional sub. The best part is, it’s really affordable and one of the cheapest options on this list. 


Premium Pick

Focal Sub6

“The Focal Sub6 is designed to handle the lowest ends of the frequency spectrum with ease and no distortions.”


Pros
  • Included footswitch
  • Very attractive design
  • Premium sound quality
Cons
  • Very expensive

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 11″  
  • Driver Type: Composite glass sandwich “W” cone (Glass/Fiber/Glass)  
  • Total Power : 350W RMS  
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 250kHz  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 116 dB SPL @ 1m  
  • Input Types: 3 x XLR  
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR  
  • Other I/O: 1 x 1/4″ (footswitch)  
  • Height: 14.93″  
  • Width: 13.56″  
  • Depth: 17.31″  
  • Weight: 50.7 lbs. 

Here we have the most premium option on this list besides the Adam Audio Sub8. The Focal Sub6 is a very versatile studio subwoofer that not only sounds premium, but has the looks to match that standard.

The Sub6 is a sealed box, active subwoofer with an 11-inch driver made of a high quality “sandwiched” composite that consists of a W-shaped glass/foam/glass design. This unique cone design makes for a pretty awesome sounding subwoofer. Also, this thing puts out 350 watts of power!

This powered subwoofer is designed to handle the lowest ends of the frequency spectrum with ease and no distortions. This makes it a perfect option for a number of different jobs, including complicated sound design procedures.

As expected with it’s hefty price-tag, there are some pretty fancy features included on this subwoofer. You’ll get a footswitch for A/B testing, a polarity switch, an amazing variable phase selector, and a high-pass crossover control.

Most impressively, this subwoofer boasts a frequency range of 30Hz to 250Hz, truly defining the term “extended low frequency.” So, with all this praise I have for this subwoofer, why isn’t it higher on the list? Well, simply because of that lofty price.

As I stated at the beginning of this review, this is a premium sub. All of these great features and that incredible sound quality comes at a price that’s hard to swallow. You can easily pair this thing with most sets of monitors out there, but is that price worth it? It depends on your budget.

If you can afford it, this is the epitome of top-tier in this category and one of the best studio subwoofers out there. The Focal Sub6 is sure to up your low-end game in your music production process and it’s a great fit for mid to large-sized studios.


Compact & Convenient

Presonus Eris Sub 8

“The Presonus Eris Sub 8 was explicitly made to compliment small monitors in a small space.”


Pros
  • Modest price-tag
  • Perfectly compatible with Eris monitors 
  • Small footprint
Cons
  • Only suitable for small studios
  • Not many extra features

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 8″  
  • Driver Type: Paper-composite Low-frequency Transducer with Rubber surround  
  • Total Power : 100W Peak Class AB  
  • Input Types: 2 x 1/4″ (left/right) , 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Output Types: 2 x 1/4″ (left/right), 1 x Dual RCA Stereo  
  • Features: Low cut (80Hz, 100Hz), Over temperature protection, RF interference protection
  • Enclosure Type: Front Ported  
  • Enclosure Material: Vinyl-laminated MDF  
  • Height: 15.1″  
  • Width: 9.8″  
  • Depth: 11.7″  
  • Weight: 22.2 lbs. 

We’ve almost rounded out this list, and this option comes in at a most fitting placement. The Presonus Eris Sub 8 is a cool little subwoofer that’s a wonderful addition to the popular Eris line of studio monitors.

This modest subwoofer was explicitly made to compliment small monitors in a small space. It’s a front firing, ported subwoofer with an 8-inch glass-composite driver. The amplifier has a power output of 100 watts, which is plenty for what this subwoofer was made for.

The sound quality is above-average, but not by any means the best thing you’ve ever heard. It’s plenty loud and the transient response is definitely adequate. Overall, it handles low frequency reproductions quite well. That being said, this studio subwoofer is certainly not as punchy or powerful as other’s on this list, but it’s not designed to be.

Now, there are a ton of great features found on this subwoofer including high and low-pass filters, a polarity switch, and a number of connectivity options. Surprisingly, these are features found in subwoofers that have a much higher price.

That’s actually the best part about this sub: the price point! It’s one of the best values on this list. Although it has more of an average sound quality, it’s a good fit for a small studio. 


Budget Pick

Mackie CR8S-XBT

“It has a one-of-a-kind tone that’s rich and accurate, and low frequency points are very present.”


Pros
  • Another option with a remote
  • Comes with a great suite of software
  • The best value on this list
Cons
  • Only suitable for small studios

Specs:

  • Powered: Yes  
  • Speaker Size: 8″  
  • Driver Type: Polypropylene-coated  
  • Total Power : 200W Class D  
  • Crossover Frequency: 40-180Hz (adjustable)  
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 112 dB SPL @ 1m  
  • Input Types: 1 x Dual RCA Stereo, 2 x 1/4″, 1 x 1/4″ (from CRDV remote), Bluetooth  
  • Output Types: 1 x Dual RCA Stereo, 2 x 1/4″  
  • Enclosure Type: Sealed  
  • Enclosure Material: MDF with Black Vinyl Wrap  
  • Height: 14″  
  • Width: 12.6″  
  • Depth: 16.2″  
  • Weight: 24.5 lbs. 

We’ve come to the final pick on this list. Now, don’t let that deter you, the Mackie CR8S-XBT is definitely the best value on this list. Let me tell you why.

First and foremost, this is a front firing, sealed subwoofer with an 8-inch polypropylene-coated driver with a 200 watt amplifier. Yes, I said 200 watts! At such a low price, it’s hard to believe it puts out that much power.

How does that power translate to sound quality though? Well, let’s just say that this studio subwoofer sounds sublime. It has a one-of-a-kind tone that’s rich and accurate, and low frequency points are very present. It doesn’t have the punch that you might expect, but boy does this subwoofer sound clear.

So, this subwoofer is Bluetooth compatible, but I definitely don’t recommend using Bluetooth for music production. The subwoofer will definitely lag behind everything else if you do. You do get all the necessary connectivity options just to clear that up.

There are some notable features as well like a polarity switch, a sub-level switch, and an adjustable crossover knob. In addition to that, you get a great collection of plugins and other software bundled with the subwoofer, including Pro Tools First.

As you should expect, this isn’t the most powerful subwoofer out there. It runs in the same lane as the previously mentioned Presonus Eris Sub 8, and it’s specifically designed for smaller studio monitors. This subwoofer will probably not even work well in a medium-sized home music space.

So with that in mind, this is still a very affordable option for beginners. That’s actually who I recommend this subwoofer to the most. It will be a perfect starter-subwoofer for those of you just starting out on your music production journeys.

Conclusion

Okay, so there you have it guys. That is my lengthy guide of the best studio subwoofers. We’ve covered a lot, so I’ll keep this short.

My overall favorite subwoofer has to be the Yamaha HS8S. It’s simply the best all-around performer that checks all of the boxes, especially for small to mid-size home studios. On top of that, it pairs perfectly with one of the most popular sets of studio monitors made by Yamaha.

With that, every subwoofer option on this list has a lot to offer. The reason I covered so much ground in this article is because there is a lot to consider here. So, even more so, it felt fitting to include as many different options as I could for any type of studio.

My only hope is that this article has provided you with some useful information on your hunt for the right sub for your needs.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line!

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Jeremy Bongiorno
I have been a musician and producer for over 15 years. My goal is to provide reliable, honest information and hopefully help to improve the quality of life in your studio.

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