Even with the SB-1000 hidden behind black fabric, our panelists could tell it was no home theater bruiser. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test every single model that met our criteria, but we did at least get a sample or two from almost all of the leading manufacturers. It’s also the only subwoofer we tested that looks as if it was designed by someone who cares about aesthetics. However, it costs more than the Rogersound sub and doesn’t deliver as much of the really low bass. Here are brief notes about the other subwoofers and subwoofer-related products we tested. Gunshots and explosions in films register with a hefty thump to the chest, and the sub manages low-end instrumentation beautifully, allowing acoustic bass to bounce smoothly while electronic bass and kick drums shake the foundations of your home. The Dayton Audio SUB-1200 is the best way we’ve found to add awesome (and affordable) bass to a stereo or home-theater system. The app’s confusing instructions and the processor’s poorly translated manual didn’t help. A home audio system without a good subwoofer is like a rock band without a bass player: It just never sounds right. I’m the most active advocate of the CEA-2010 subwoofer measurement standard, and I wrote an online manual for it. In this room, I’ve run countless tests and measurements, had dozens of manufacturers set up their subwoofers, and at one point even had a scientist from Harman International come over to run tests using as many as four separate subwoofers. Ron picked it as his second-favorite; Dan ranked it in the middle of the pack. From a measurement standpoint, the HTS 10’s output is about the same as that of our budget subwoofer pick, the Dayton Audio SUB-1200, which is considerably less expensive (although in our opinion much less attractive). We hope for a versatile subwoofer, which can not only belt out the big bass notes needed for a high-impact action movie, but one which can also stay tight and tuneful when playing acoustic upright bass, or reproducing the classic Fender P-bass tone. Reviews of the Speedwoofer 10S in many audio publications, including Audioholics, Home Theater Review, and Sound & Vision, corroborate our judgment. Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000: The ultra-compact SuperCube 2000, measuring less than 11 inches on all sides, sounded pretty good in our tests, but it fell well short of the slightly larger SVS SB-1000 in its deep-bass output. Testing material includes everything from test tone sweeps to blockbuster movies and a selection of music from multiple genres. Once we’ve gathered information on those touchpoints listed above, we run the subwoofer for several hours before beginning any critical evaluation. Although none of them raved about the sound in comparison with that of the larger, ported models we tested, none of them disliked the SB-1000’s sound, and they thought that, for music, the added punch of its sealed design was pleasing. However, many people have a bad impression of subwoofers because they can make a boomy, annoying sound if improperly positioned and adjusted. The Speedwoofer 10S’s measured output averaged 115.5 dB in the midbass and 107.5 dB in the low bass. Proper setup, as described in this blog post, is important and can help any subwoofer perform its best. Even when we pitted it against much more expensive models, it emerged as the top pick in our listening tests, and its measured performance is excellent for a model at this price. Although we think the stock black-ash finish looks good (especially for a device you’re probably going to hide), the SB-1000 is also available in gloss black or gloss white for a $100 premium. That’s pretty modest on paper, yet the force coming out in practice is impactful while powered by the Class D amplifier. REL HT/1205: We had hoped to get a sample of the HT/1205, one of REL’s new line of home theater subwoofers, but the company declined, saying that it always has someone set up subwoofers in the reviewer’s home and that it couldn’t spare anyone to make the trip to Los Angeles. I presented the subwoofers in random order, and I changed the order for each panelist. Fastening the legs tightly can withstand any vibration or rattling from the casing, and it largely avoids any distortion while rumbling along. It’s punchy and precise enough to reproduce the chest-thumping, upper-bass snap of kick drum and thumb-slapped electric bass, yet it also maintains its composure (and shakes the couch) when asked to reproduce ultra-deep bass tones such as the submarine engine and depth-charge sound effects in U-571. Roku TV Wireless Speakers Review: Should You Buy Them? When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Speedwoofer 10S offers an ideal blend of bass power and finesse, in a compact and affordable package. First is Wirecutter senior staff writer and headphone editor Lauren Dragan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in both music performance and audio production from Ithaca College, has spent several years in terrestrial radio, currently works as a professional voice actor in Los Angeles, and has helped me with countless blind listening tests for Wirecutter and Sound & Vision. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, For audiophiles and serious home theater fans, Our pick: Rogersound Labs Speedwoofer 10S, when I compared one-, two- and four-subwoofer systems, best surround-sound speakers for most people, The Best Multiroom Wireless Speaker System, The Best Surround-Sound Speakers for Most People, The Best Bookshelf Speakers for Most Stereos. Apple’s HomePod sounds excellent, but its Apple-centric design can feel limited next to other smart speakers. It does lack in extra features, so what you’re getting is a workhorse that sticks to one job. I know this room’s characteristics (and how they affect speaker performance) extremely well. Our team has more than 50 years of consumer and pro audio experience, and much of that time — thousand of hours — has been spent listening to home theater gear, including subwoofers. Before we get to performance-based evaluations, we take a step back and look at the subwoofer on the whole. Q Acoustics 3060S: This slim sub looks great, is easy to hide, and is fairly affordable, but we found its low-bass output to be particularly weak. View Mode. Its punchy, well-defined sound makes it better for music than for action movies, but it’ll do a respectable job with anything you play through it. Is the Google Home the Voice-Controlled Speaker for You? Why you should buy it: Any home theater looks better with it, and its value and performance are worth every penny. Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer - Power Port Technology, Up to 100 Watts, Big Bass in Compact Design, Easy Setup with Home Theater Systems 4.7 out of 5 stars 9,171 $109.00 $ 109. Partly because I had to make these guesses, our panelists didn’t rank the VTF-2 MK5 as highly as they did some of the smaller subs; Dan ranked the VTF-2 MK5 second and Ron ranked it fifth, while Lauren ranked it in the middle of the pack. Many audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts combat this phenomenon by using two or four subwoofers, which makes the bass sound more even as you move from seat to seat. It also has a built-in wireless receiver, so you can connect the optional wireless transmitter to the receiver’s subwoofer output and avoid running a long cable to the sub. The Q Acoustics 3020i is the best bookshelf speaker because it sounds better and offers better build quality than anything else in its price range. The VTF-2 MK5 can play loud enough for people who like to crank up their music or for home theater fans who love to feel their couch shake every time a cannon fires or the Hulk smashes something. It’s the plainest of plain black boxes, its 15-by-21-by-22-inch bulk offends interior designers, and its sound is powerful enough to annoy any bassphobe within 100 feet. If you're looking for a home theater subwoofer with tons of power, check out the Definitive Technology Prosub 1000. The more discerning movie or music fan will appreciate the inclusion of tuning modes that optimize this subwoofer’s sound to taste. Help any subwoofer perform its best with exceptionally powerful and articulate bass double bass ( and more. Fabric, our panelists found its low-bass output lacking Signature Series S15 S10... 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