We all appreciate good music when you hear it, but for studio professionals, there is more to music than the two to three minutes result which for some would not be possible without a good studio subwoofer. A subwoofer is essentially a speaker responsible for reproducing the low-frequency sounds we popularly known as “bass.” A subwoofer is not essential for music production, but it is recommended for those moments when one doesn’t want to compromise on the quality of the sound output required.
Deciding to purchase a subwoofer for your studio requires for you to think through your purchase and familiarise yourself with a lot of technicalities as well as the critical features of the subwoofer so you can make an informed purchase. Subwoofers can be categorized into two, the integrated subwoofers that come with the studio monitors or standalone subwoofers.
Below is a list of great subwoofers that you can consider purchasing and are likely to meet your needs while affording you an amazing musical experience while in the studio:
1. JBL LSR310S 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer
If there is a brand that needs no introduction, it must be JBL. The LSR range of speakers is one of the most revered speakers not only for its affordable price point but also for its capability. The LSR310S continues the series’ capability and performance legacy while still capturing those lower end frequencies flawlessly.
• With an impressive frequency of 27 to 80 Hertz, you can quite literally hear all sounds. The range of lows, as well as the bass, are well captured to provide the user with a genuine representation of what is going on with the music.
• The class D amplifier of the JBL LSR310S ensures that the music you are playing is free of distortions/interferences.
• Because the speakers down-firing design, you will require vibration dampers to ensure that you decouple your speaker from the floor so that the sound is unaffected.
• The JBL LSR310S does not include predefined audio presets modes, which means that if you are a newbie to the studio business, you will have to configure and figure things out by yourself.
2. Adam Audio Sub8 Powered Studio Subwoofer Black
The Adam Audio Sub8 can be described as the perfect friend to any musician. This deceptively powerful but small subwoofer can withstand long studio sessions as it generates low heat even with its 160-Watt ICE power amplifier. Its small size also ensures that it’s easily portable which means you can be jamming to your favorite music anywhere you like.
• The Adam Audio Sub8 works beautifully with literally any system available in the market.
• This input and outputs of the subwoofer include both balanced and unbalanced versions of the XLR and RCA inputs.
• It’s hands down one of the most optimized amplifiers. The energy produced while using the speaker is almost negligible which means that you can use it for long music sessions and not have to worry about it overheating.
• It is not aesthetically pleasing and may require dampers for a highly optimized music studio experience
3. KRK 10S2 V2 10″ 160-Watt Powered Studio Subwoofer
KRK subwoofers are known for their robust build and construction, and the KRK 10S2 is no exception. If you are looking for a quality speaker that can perfectly capture musical elements like bass and the extremely low frequencies, then this is the speaker for you. At the price range of between $ 350 and $500, the KRK 10s2 is synonymous with a bang for your buck as it continues the KRK legacy of precision and performance.
• It comes with a gain switch which allows for you to perfectly balance your sounds and easy switch between nominal gain and high gain.
• It also comes with a footswitch bypass control that enables you to withdraw the bass temporarily. Thanks to the footswitch you can quickly mute the woofer and sidestep its internal 80 Hz high-pass filter.
• The KRK 10s2 comes with a limiter circuit that ensures your woofer is protected from going into overdrive.
• You will have to purchase extra cables if you don’t already own some as they are not included in the package.
4. Polk Audio PSW10
The Polk Audio PSW10 is a compact all-inclusive subwoofer whose design is suitable for small to medium-sized studios. Despite its size, the PSW10 is a well-performing speaker that packs a serious punch and can play sounds at an extremely high volume to give music the life it deserves.
• The in-built amplifier of the PSW10 can be categorized as intelligent because it automatically turns off the subwoofer when not in use, which results in lower power consumption.
• The amp also ensures that you can enjoy music at high volumes as it minimizes the distortions/ interferences that may occur through superior compression.
• The subwoofer of optimized for efficient power consumptions
• It has a dense and lightweight design which make it easy to move around.
• The subwoofer has not inbuilt preset modes which means you will have to equalize and configure the speaker yourself.
• It does not have wireless connectivity which means that you will require to purchase cables if you do not have them already.
5. Yamaha HS8 Studio Subwoofer
If you consider yourself an audiophile, a studio professional or you are incredibly critical and pay lots of attention to the sounds that speakers produce; then the Yamaha HS8 is the speaker for you. Where other brands in the market have failed, the Yamaha HS8 has been aptly designed to ensure your playback experience is topnotch by emphasizing the accuracy of both the bass and its low and high cut filters. The outcome of this is why the Yamaha is included here.
• The Yamaha HS8 is compatible with almost all the studio monitors in the market.
• It has frequencies that get to as low as 22 Hertz meaning you can hear the lowest range frequencies in your mix/audio.
• The subwoofer lacks a sealed enclosure. This ultimately affects the audio quality something which cannot go unnoticed to an extremely keen ear.
• If you are into aesthetics, then this subwoofer has nothing to offer on that front.
6. Rockville APM10W 10″ 400 Watt Powered/Active Studio Subwoofer Pro
The Rockville APM10 is an Active Studio Subwoofer that delivers bass that is unbelievably great!
With an RMS power of 200 watts and a peak power of 400 watts, it’s impossible to not fall in love with these subwoofers. The enclosure is made of top-quality medium density fiber wood with a 0.7” thickness to deliver fantastic sound quality that even the most discriminative audiophile would enjoy.
• Superior build quality
• The price to value ratio is very good as we find the Rockville APM10W to be reasonably priced.
• Static hissing noise can be heard from the speakers and make it unsuitable for some audio tasks.
• Buzzing sound when connected to the power
• There have been several instances of users saying the speakers blew out and it would, therefore, be crucial for you to keep this in mind as it could be a total deal breaker for this speaker.
7. PreSonus Temblor T10
Saving the best for last, we could not conclude this list without including the PreSonus Temblor T10. A favorite with studio professionals, it is easy to understand why that is the case. This subwoofer allows you to own your music as it has a transducer that lets you control your low range frequencies, as well as other controls which will enable you to manage the output of the subwoofer.
• This subwoofer is built to last. Considering the price point of the speaker, the manufacturers ensured that the speaker would give you proper service if purchased. With design elements such as rubber feet, a heat sink, internal damping the sub has a vinyl cover and is made from Medium Density Fibreboard.
• You can fine-tune your audio since the subwoofer comes with controllers such as the high pass filter, input gain, footswitch amongst others which facilitate the finetuning process.
• While it can be categorized as a high-end sub, the PreSonus Temblor is quite expensive
• It has to be configured manually as it does not come with any inbuilt equalization.
Deciding on which subwoofer to purchase for the studio can be daunting since many options are readily available in the market. However, depending on your budget, it is vital that you take note of the size, the firing option, the technical specifications and whether it is compatible with your studio monitors, power and lastly the enclosure. All these make a big difference to your music/playback and could ultimately affect the quality of your output if you do not pay attention to them before purchasing your subwoofer. With a subwoofer, you no longer have to compromise on the quality of your productions, and you can finally stop missing out on some good bass that you need to be included in the music. Purchasing a standalone subwoofer as opposed using the studio monitors that may not necessarily be as accurate is guaranteed to elevate your studio experience.