The Best Studio Monitor Subwoofers

The Highest Rated Studio Monitor Subwoofers

Disclosure

We recommend all products independently of 3rd parties including advertisers. We earn advertising fees from:
• • • • •
Sweetwater
• • • • •

Amazon

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
• • • • •

As a recording engineer I can attest that a studio subwoofer is a sure-fire way to improve your music production.

While they add much-needed low frequency information to the entire listening environment, they also enable your main studio monitors' woofers to have less movement from low end. This frees up the cones to reproduce midrange frequencies more accurately. Sub frequencies are omnidirectional so having a singular source for lows also prevents low frequency buildup from untreated rooms. All of this contributes to better overall sound quality and clarity from your system.

Below we present you with our November 2019 updated studio monitor subwoofer recommendations, as determined by the latest user and expert reviews, ratings and forum discussions.

The Best Studio Monitor Subwoofers

KRK 8s2

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$349
KRK 8S2 8" Powered Studio Subwoofer

KRK is known for their aesthetic, pricepoint and distinct sound quality. Over the years, KRK has refined their "house sound" with generous amounts of low frequencies to better lean towards critical listening. The KRK 8s2 complements their new generation monitors by offering faster bass response, a footswitchable bypass, and tweakable crossover.

Features

  • Frequency Response: 35 - 133 Hz
  • Crossover Frequency: Can be adjusted between 70 Hz and 100 Hz.
  • Max SPL: 112.8 dB
  • Power Rating: 109 Watts
  • Driver: 8" Glass Aramid Composite Woofer
  • Input Connectors: XLR L/R, 1/4" TRS L/R, RCA L/R, 1/4" Footswitch
  • Output Connectors: XLR L/R, 1/4" TRS L/R, RCA L/R
  • Controls: Input sensitivity, Polarity, Standby, Ground lift, Volume, Crossover, Power
  • Dimensions:13.3" X 11.57" X 14.25"
  • Weight: 26.01 lb.

Pros

Users were pleased with the amount of low frequencies the subwoofer puts out despite being smaller than most. One user noted that the 8s2 felt well suited for critical listening and mixing.

Cons

Some issues arose with the auto power off feature especially when mixing quiet sound sources.

Overall

KRK monitors tend to be flattering with their house sound. With the KRK 8s2, they have refined their signature thump with more refinement; enough for critical listening. Get it if you want great low frequency energy and the control to switch between just your mains with now low roll off or with the sub on. Be wary if you prefer mixing quietly as the auto power off threshold is set high with no way of adjusting it.

JBL LSR310S

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$399
JBL LSR310S Studio Monitor Subwoofer

JBL needs no introduction, having been in the sound reinforcement business for over 7 decades now. So it is not surprising to find the LSR310S in this list, a powered subwoofer with a 200W amplifier and a down-firing 10" speaker, tailored for studio monitoring use. It features a ported cabinet design that improves bass response at low playback levels, and reduces turbulence to ensure clarity. Other features include selectable crossover settings and level control.

Features

  • Low Frequency Response: 27 Hz
  • Crossover: 80Hz
  • Max SPL: 113dB
  • Power Rating: 200 Watts
  • Driver: 10"
  • Input Connectors: 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS
  • Output Connectors: 2 x XLR
  • Controls: Phase switch, High Cut control (80-120Hz)
  • Dimensions: 17.65" x 15" x 15.65"
  • Weight: 34.3 lb.

Pros

One user put it nicely, the JBL LSR310S is physically and sonically imposing, and most of the reviews agree that it sounds much bigger than expected. Many describe it as having clean and tight sounding lows, and that it integrates well with the JBL LSR308, which resulted in a fuller sound that helped many with their mixing and production duties.

Cons

Lack of overall volume came up a few times prompting other users to provide tips on how to better position or setup the unit for improved results.

Overall

If you're looking for a quality subwoofer from a reliable brand that matches well with JBL speakes or any hi-fi sound signature monitoring setup, then check out the JBL LSR310S.

Yamaha HS8S

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$450
Yamaha HS8S Studio Monitor Subwoofer

At time of publication these were the highest rated studio monitor subwoofers.

Yamaha's vast experience and machinery have made them a tough contender in the music gear market, and when they pull together their resources, you can expect top rated, high-quality products, case in point is the Yamaha HS8S Subwoofer. Weighing in at just 27.6 lbs, this compact subwoofer is meant for home studio use, with just the right balance of power and quality, while taking up very little space. It has a 150 Watt amplifier that drives a relatively small 8" speaker and features low and high cut filter switches that lets the speaker handle different types of music.

Features

  • Frequency Response: 22 Hz to 150 Hz
  • Crossover Frequency: Can be adjusted between 80 Hz and 120 Hz.
  • Max SPL: Not Specified
  • Power Rating: 150 Watts
  • Driver: 8" Cone Type
  • Input Connectors: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4"
  • Output Connectors: 2 x XLR
  • Controls: Phase switch, Low Cut switch, Low Cut control (80-120Hz) High Cut control (80-120Hz)
  • Dimensions: 13.8" x 11.8" x 15.3"
  • Weight: 27.6 lb.

Pros

The Yamaha HS8S continues to best its competition with its high ratings, with many professing that it has the right combination of features for their home recording needs. From tight punchy bass to room rumbling sub frequencies, many are impressed with its versatility, with some of them commending Yamaha for adding adjustable low/high cut filters. The overall market response is that it does the job done nicely, well worth the money.

Cons

There are a few experienced users who feel that the low frequencies are weaker at lower volume settings, but they do note that it works great in the mid levels. There are also some who found the volume to be lacking for bigger rooms.

Overall

With its versatility and clarity, this space saving compact sub-woofer should be your first option for your home or project studio. The HS series monitors tend to have less low frequency content than most of their competitors so augmenting them with a matched subwoofer gets you a great, fast-resolving monitor setup.

ADAM Audio Sub8

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$900
ADAM Audio Sub8 8.5" Powered Studio Subwoofer

ADAM has been a darling brand of many professional and project studio engineers. Their line of studio monitors cover budget territory to high end masterpieces. To tie it all together, the creation of the ADAM Audio subwoofer series, the Sub8 is their smallest subwoofer in the lineup. Despite the smaller cone, it is capable of a low frequency response of up to 28hz.

Features

  • Frequency Response: 28 Hz - 150 Hz
  • Crossover Frequency: Can be adjusted between 50 - 150 Hz.
  • Max SPL: ≥110 dB
  • Power Rating: 160 W / 240 W
  • Driver: 8.5" (210 mm) Paper Cone
  • Input Connectors:2 x XLR, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo
  • Output Connectors: 2 x XLR, 1 x Dual RCA Stereo
  • Controls: Phase switch, Volume, Crossover Frequency, Auto-power mode, Satellite Filter switch
  • Dimensions: 16" x 10" x 15"
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs.

Pros

Users note the Sub8 has a way of revealing the best Kick and Bass interactions because of its fast transient response. This allows mixers to intuitively tweak their low frequency content better.

Cons

No notable negatives aside from a very small number of shipping issues.

Overall

Not quite top of the line, not budget level either, the Sub8 by monitoring powerhouse ADAM Audio is a hit with small and medium size studios because of its rapid low frequency response and seamless integration with existing ADAM products. Whether the badges on your monitors say ADAM, KRK, Yamaha or others, the Sub8 seamlessly melds with them -- just be sure to get yours from a reputable seller.

Focal Sub6 Red

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1499
Focal Sub6 Red 11" Powered Studio Subwoofer

Don't let the "6" fool you: The Focal Sub6 Red has a 10.6" woofer in its enclosure. This ensures full bass extension. The rear firing laminar port is designed for maximum linearity. Couple this with a gorgeous wood finish and you have a top-tier subwoofer.

Features

  • Frequency Response: 30Hz - 250Hz
  • Crossover Frequency: Can be adjusted between 80 Hz and 120 Hz.
  • Max SPL: 116dB SPL
  • Power Rating: 150 Watts
  • Driver: 10.6" W composite sandwich cone driver
  • Input Connectors: 2 x XLR
  • Output Connectors: 2 x XLR
  • Controls: Adjustable subwoofer level. Low-pass cut-off frequency setting, Phase adjustment, Polarity adjustment, Subwoofer switch (mute), 2.1 “Bypass” (external remote control), High-pass frequency selection, Releasable high-pass
  • Dimensions: 4.94" x 13.56" x 17.31"
  • Weight: 50.7lb

Pros

Many praise how a complete set of Focal monitor speakers and the Sub6 Red sound greater than the sum of its parts. The Sub6 is said to have great low frequency resolution which means the bass is tight despite it having one of the largest woofer diameters in this guide.

Cons

No consistently reported negatives. Pricey.

Overall

The Focal Sub6 Red is a top-tier subwoofer that has more than enough low frequency push to satisfy even the most discerning bassheads. Get it if you are looking to get only the best and have the cash to spare.

Things To Consider When Buying a Studio Monitor Subwoofer

  • Crossover Frequency and Integration

    The frequencies below the crossover are the ones that go to the subwoofer, and to get the best results the crossover frequency should be at the point where your main monitors start to roll off. Most studio subwoofers come with switchable crossover frequencies which makes integration and matching to your main monitors easier.

  • Frequency Response

    This specification pertains to the frequencies that the subwoofer can handle. For casual listening you'll often want the lowest possible, but for studio monitoring, a slightly higher frequency response is preferred for better clarity, allowing you to really hear your recordings and make correct adjustments.

  • Power Rating

    Power rating dictates the overall loudness or volume of the unit. If you want to avoid tiring your ears while monitoring, or you prefer not to bother your neighborhood, you'll want one that has just the right volume to get the job done.

  • Speaker Size

    In live sound reinforcement, the bigger the speaker size, the better the subwoofer will perform. But this is not necessarily the case for studio monitoring, while there are still those who prefer bigger speakers for the extra low end thump, there are many who go for smaller speakers with their added warmth and clarity.

  • Positioning

    While subs are not as position sensitive as your main monitor, you still have to consider where you'll be putting them in your studio. The usual placement is on the floor, right around the center of your two main monitors, but there are no hard rules since studio rooms vary widely. It is best to try the speaker in different positions until you find one with the smoothest and cleanest sound. If you get floor reflections, you can place the subwoofer on a low stand. The goal is not to over-emphasize the bass, but to make it clearer and easy to listen to, so you can make correct adjustments as you mix and work on your tracks.

Studio Subwoofer Selection Methodology

This guide was first published on January 18, 2017 written by Alexander Briones and the most recent major update was published on November 18, 2019 written by recording engineer Raphael Pulgar with contributions from Alexander Briones.

We looked into all the studio subwoofers available from major online retailers in the USA and selected the most promising 14 models to go on our short-list for further analysis - you can see them in our Music Gear Database. For this update, we gathered the most recent ratings and reviews that are relevant and ended up with over 1,000 sources. We fed these into the Gearank algorithm, which gave us rating scores out of 100 which we used to select the highest rated options which we've recommended in this guide. For further details on the Gearank process see How Gearank Works.

If you have any questions or suggestions about studio subwoofers please post them in the comments section below.

Comments

Post a Comment or Question

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <b> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.