In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the best studio monitor subwoofers you can buy in 2023.
Having a solid low-end response is so vital when it comes to music production, especially if you’re into more bass-driven styles of music.
However, we know how confusing it can be to try to comb through hundreds of different options and opinions as to what subwoofer to buy.
So, we wrote a list that can hopefully guide you in the right direction.
Do I need a subwoofer?
While there are many benefits to having a subwoofer, simply buying and sticking one in your room without a clear plan doesn’t necessarily lead to better music productions.
Without getting too scientific, let’s first just make sure that everybody has a basic understanding of how sound works.
All audio waves have a particular frequency which is the rate of vibration of the sound, this is measured in how many vibrational cycles occur per second, otherwise known as hertz.
These waves are made up of a series of variations in air pressure, which once emitted out from the initial sound source, spread across the room.
Eventually, the waves will meet a room surface (whether it be the floor, wall, or ceiling), and will then reflect back into the room.
This effect can be rather subtle and unnoticeable in mid to high range frequencies, but low frequencies can be more troublesome due to their wavelength.
The physical distance a wave must travel is the time it takes to complete one vibrational cycle.
High and mid range frequencies may have wavelengths that amount to anywhere from an inch to a few feet, however, low frequencies move much more slowly and can often have wavelengths that exceed the actual dimensions of your room.
If your studio space has parallel walls, these lower frequencies will reflect back and double up on themselves, causing interference, or cancellations and reinforcements.
This leads to build-up in certain locations of the room where you may find that bass is particularly strong in one area, only to be fully absent in another.
All this is to say that if you are currently experiencing these issues, a subwoofer will absolutely not solve your problems. You should first focus on either:
- Acoustic treatment for the room
- Finding a better environment for your studio
Do not bring a subwoofer into the equation until you can account for these issues. If none of this applies to you, then let’s get on with our list of the best studio subwoofers of 2023.
These are the best subwoofers for your studio monitors:
Compact and budget-friendly
The KRK S10.4 comes in weighing about 35 pounds, and sporting the same yellow cone that we’ve come to expect from KRK products.
It has a frequency of response of 30 Hz 110 Hz, which might not classify as an “extended range”, but is definitely enough to help you dial in your 808 kicks.
It has a compact design and is very budget friendly, so if you’re setting up your home studio, the S10.4 offers a lot of value.
The S10.4 is also very portable, so if you often find yourself moving in between spaces it’s a good option to consider.
The gold standard
These are designed to go along with the Yamaha HS8 studio monitors. The subwoofer delivers a great deal of power and is fairly portable.
The HS8 monitors only go down to 38 Hz, so a subwoofer can really help you dial in the lower frequencies to your music. The frequency response runs down to 22 Hz and tops out at about 150 Hz.
Yamaha has included a switchable low cut control that can be set to anywhere from 80-120 Hz to aid in tapering low end out of the XLR outputs.
Adam Audio Sub8
Adam Audio has built a solid reputation for itself by making honest and accurate-sounding speakers for two decades now.
The Sub8 is no exception to this rule. With a frequency response of 28 Hz – 150 Hz, a max SPL of 110dB, and a 160W ICE power amp, this subwoofer boasts power, heft, and accuracy.
The Sub8 is especially ideal for engineers who find themselves slogging through long-running sessions, where overheating can often disrupt workflow and efficiency.
Adam has accounted for this with the ICE power amp, which allows for low heat without sacrificing the quality of its performance. It’s also specifically designed for smaller spaces up to 20 square meters.
The MRS10 subwoofer delivers very accurate and natural sound quality for a solid asking price. It’s housed in an all-black exterior which is stylish and modest, and only weighs 33 pounds.
It has a frequency response of 35 Hz – 180 Hz, which doesn’t quite reach as low as some of the other subwoofers on this list. Actually, your studio monitors may already reach down to around 40 Hz depending on what you have.
If this is the case, however, we recommend you look into other monitors that can add more to your setup. A difference of 3-5 Hz below what your monitors are capable of isn’t a worthwhile expense.
Great for film
The Focal Sub6 is housed in a wooden cabinet with a classy red burr-ash finish, and its sound quality follows suit. It has a fairly wide frequency response of 30 Hz – 250 Hz, as well as a max SPL of 116 dB.
The low end is superbly accurate, and can handle low frequencies with amazing precision and little to no distortion.
The Sub6 can make a great choice for anybody who works in sound design or film where you have to relentlessly monitor the low end. It isn’t the most affordable option on this list but it’s well worth the price if you’re a working professional.
PreSonus Temblor T10
Cheap and massive
The Temblor T10 offers power for a lost cost. With an incredibly wide frequency response of 20 Hz – 200 Hz, the Temblor T10 goes lower than any of the subwoofers we’ve mentioned here for a fraction of the price.
The main caveat is its massive size and weight, but we think it’s worth it for the quality of its performance.
The bass here sounds tight and precise even at loud volumes, with very little distortion. It has a footswitch connector, a footswitch, as well as a high pass filter and low pass filter.
If you’re looking to level up your audio production for low cost, the PreSonus is an amazing option.
In conclusion, take your time when it comes to buying a subwoofer and really make sure that your studio can handle the extra bass response.
We know we already went over some of this in the beginning of this article, but if you haven’t invested towards proper sound treatment for your room, we recommend you try to take care of that before bringing a sub into the equation.
If you’re noticing issues with your current setup, a subwoofer will not ameliorate it.