Studio subwoofers are an excellent addition to a professional or home studio. The increased bass response is satisfying and critical if you work with bass-heavy genres. This guide looks at the best studio subwoofers for music production.
We’ll cover high-end options from the leading brands in the industry and budget-conscious options for those that don’t want to spend too much. Our top picks are below, but read on for a more detailed breakdown of a variety of quality studio subwoofers.
The Best Studio Subwoofer Overall
Picking the right subwoofer for your needs can be challenging. Below are our top selections. Each subwoofer on this list is a great choice, but depending on your needs, some might be a better fit for your studio than others.
Neumann KH 750 Review
- Accurate Bass Frequencies – The KH 750 excels at delivering tight and focused bass without irregularities. Natural low frequencies allow you to make precise mixing decisions.
- Superb Build Quality – Super durable painted finish that will not scuff easily. High-quality components and a perfectly executed cabinet design.
- Extensive Controls – Extensive options on the back panel ensure that this studio subwoofer can integrate into various studio applications and settings.
- Neumann Ecosystem – If you are already within the Neumann ecosystem of products, the KH 750 is the perfect companion. Deep integration with the rest of the Neumann studio monitor and subwoofer product line.
- High Price Point – Neumann is a premium brand, and with that comes a premium price point.
The Neumann KH 750 is a compact 10-inch subwoofer with excellent features. Ideally positioned to pair up with Neumann studio monitors, but it works just as well with other monitors.
The high attention to both quality and performance is second to none. Super tight and accurate bass makes working with lower frequencies an engaging experience. If you demand top-notch sound quality, the Neumann KH 750 is easily one of the best studio subwoofers on the market.
Neumann KH 750
Focal Sub One Review
- Excellent Clarity – The Sub One features exceptionally clear and precise low frequencies making a great choice for mixing and mastering.
- Handcrafted Components – Focal has an excellent reputation for its high-quality handmade products from its production facility in France.
- Ample Power – With a max SPL of 114dB, this subwoofer has ample headroom and power. Perfect for people that like to test their music in a loud environment.
- Discreet Profile – The dual 8-inch woofers are uniquely positioned to make the cabinet noticeably slim and discreet compared to other subwoofers.
- Adjustment Curve – The unique design and response take a little getting used to. You might spend a bit more time than average to get the settings and position correct.
The Focal Sub One is an ideal choice for smaller studio spaces where space is at a premium. The slim design tucks in perfectly under decks while still providing substantial lows. The dual forward-facing ports add to the appeal allowing for closer placement to walls.
With impeccable sonic performance, this professional studio subwoofer is an excellent choice thanks to its flat frequency response and high build quality. It pairs perfectly with Focal’s line of studio monitors and should be high on your list of options.
Focal Sub One
Genelec 7040A Review
- Fantastic Sound Quality – Genelec is one of the leaders in the industry, and for a good reason. Every product in the lineup offers exceptional sound quality, and the 7040A is no exception.
- Impressive Performance – Despite the modest 6.5-inch woofer, the 7040A packs a surprising punch. Perfect for a smaller studio space but equally impressive in medium-sized rooms.
- Compact Form Factor – Unlike other subwoofers, the 7040A features a slim design making it easy to incorporate into your studio space.
- Effective Controls – The selection of controls on this subwoofer do an excellent job of fine-tuning the output to accommodate the dynamics of your space.
- Fiddly Switches – While the tuning flexibility is excellent, the small switches to activate them are small and fiddly.
I’ve always been a massive fan of the products from Genelec. High-quality designs that deliver delectable sound. The 7040A subwoofer is a compact and intelligently designed subwoofer that provides fantastic bass frequencies despite its small size.
The Laminar Spiral Enclosure ensures tight performance with smooth and satisfying bass frequencies that are not muddy and stick close to neutral. The 7040A is an excellent addition to your studio space if you are a working professional.
KRK S12.4 Review
- Powerful Bass – This 12-inch diameter subwoofer offers powerful bass with plenty of rumble in the low frequencies and a high output level of 120 dB.
- Wide Frequency Range – The S12.4 extends to 23Hz, which sits comfortably in the low bass regions. Excellent performance throughout the mid and upper bass regions as well.
- Crossover Frequency Control – Flexible crossover frequency controls give you the option between four settings. Easy to find the perfect setting to match your monitors.
- Iconic Styling – The distinctive yellow woofer and overall aesthetic match the iconic styling of KRK studio monitors.
- No Driver Grille – The driver doesn’t feature a grille. If you place this under your desk within range of your feet, there is the potential of you damaging the woofer.
If you love big, powerful, rich bass, the S12.4 from KRK is worth exploring. Its high output level easily fills out the low end in your studio setup. The output quality is also high though not as balanced as other options. But the response is fantastic for EDM and Hip Hop.
It manages to retain a relatively modest footprint for a powered studio subwoofer of this size. The front port makes placement easier, but the lack of a protective grille might make it unsuitable for some positions. Despite that, it is a quality subwoofer worth your attention.
Kali Audio WS-6.2 Review
- Clean Bass – The WS-6.2 delivers pure and accurate bass response that is ideal for music production applications.
- Small And Loud – Despite the small size of this subwoofer, it has a high max SPL of 120 dB. Plenty of headroom while retaining accurate sound.
- Modest Footprint – The compact design makes it an excellent choice for a home studio setup. Forward-facing port adds to its ability to squeeze into tight spaces under desks.
- Outstanding Build Quality – The build quality is exceptional, especially for a subwoofer at this price point. Excellent execution from the Californian-based company.
- Limited Crossover Frequencies – You’ll only have access to a primary 80 Hz crossover along with LFE and External Modes. The bigger model offers more flexibility.
Kali Audio continues expanding its studio product range with the compact WS-6.2. The combination of two 6.5-inch woofers does well to deliver meaty bass without sounding muddy and unbalanced.
The compact design is another highlight, as is the general aesthetic appearance of the unit. With a healthy power rating and deep bass, the WS-6.2 is a reasonably priced subwoofer that punches well above its price point.
Read our full Kali Audio WS-6.2 review for more detailed information.
Kali Audio WS-6.2
RCF AYRA PRO10 Review
- Powerful Class D Amplifier – With 300W of Class D power up its sleeve, the AYRA PRO10 can climb as high as 120 dB. Audio quality remains tight throughout the volume range.
- Low Turbulence Port – The two low turbulence ports at the front of the unit ensure smooth and even bass performance without any chuffing.
- Excellent Construction – The rugged cabinet and high-quality materials ensure that this subwoofer will last you for years.
- Footswitch Input – This input allows you to add a footswitch to turn the unit off and on at will. Great for A/B checking in a studio environment.
- Exposed Woofer – The 10-inch composite fiber woofer doesn’t feature a protective grille. You’ll need to ensure to keep it out of harm’s way.
Italian manufacturer RCF offers an excellent range of audio products, but among my favorites are its line of studio monitors and the accompanying subwoofer. High build quality backed up by impressive sonic performance.
The integrity of the frequency response is fantastic, with precise and punchy bass that stays true to the source. The variable crossover functionality also makes incorporating this subwoofer with a range of studio monitors easy.
RCF AYRA PRO10
Yamaha HS8S Review
- Crisp Sonic Detail – As with the rest of the Yamaha HS series, the HS8S offers excellent detail and clarity with highly precise sound.
- Minimal Size – The small 8-inch woofer within a compact box makes this a good choice for a small home studio that won’t be able to accommodate a larger subwoofer.
- Excellent Stability – The hefty weight and chunky legs ensure the subwoofer won’t rattle about.
- Phase Switch – The Phase switch allows you to easily integrate the subwoofer into various configurations to ensure even delivery.
- Lacks Oomph – The 8-inch woofer is about as powerful as what you would get from a standard 8-inch studio monitor. Disappointing in low-bass regions.
The Yamaha HS8S is an excellent complement to smaller monitors by helping to elevate bass tonality to a level that allows for more accurate mixing and mastering. But this subwoofer will disappoint if you are looking for a substantial thump.
The construction is solid, and the components are excellent, but if you push it to its limits, you will encounter distortion. For a small home studio with small monitors, it’s a good choice, but for every other instance, there are better options out there.
JBL LSR310S Review
- Full Bodied Sound – While not the most powerful subwoofer on the market, it still offers enough oomph to deliver full-bodied low frequencies.
- Tight Attack – The accuracy is decent for a subwoofer at this price point. Enough precision to be able to make educated decisions when mixing.
- Good Value For Money – This subwoofer hits the sweet spot between the budget options and the high-priced alternatives.
- Cabinet Feet – The feet on the base of the cabinet are high enough to give enough clearance for the downward-firing woofer, even in carpeted rooms.
- Inconsistent At Higher Volume Levels – While great at lower levels, there is a noticeable drop off in quality when you push this subwoofer to its limits.
The JBL LSR310S is an aggressively priced subwoofer ideal for smaller studio spaces. It offers clean low frequencies at low to medium volume levels but gets a little messy at higher levels. For the money, it’s among the most well-rounded options on the market.
The cabinet is reasonably solid but larger than you might expect from a 10-inch studio subwoofer. While not perfect, it performs exceptionally well at just the right volume level for day-to-day mixing.
The Best Budget Studio Subwoofer
Setting up a project studio can rapidly deplete your bank balance, but there are some viable budget alternatives that can save you some money. While they might not be as good as more premium options, they are still excellent for improving low-end performance in your studio space.
PreSonus Eris Sub 8 Review
- Impressive Bass – The Eris Sub 8 delivers remarkably accurate bass for a budget subwoofer. Detailed and balanced enough to be useful in a mixing environment.
- Solid Construction – The vinyl laminated MDF cabinet is robust and stable, and the component quality is good. It also features over-temperature and RF interference protection.
- Excellent Price Point – Superb price that will appeal to budget-conscious buyers. Great value while maintaining impressive performance.
- High Pass Filter – A high pass filter switch allows you to attain a clearer response and allows the subwoofer to perform at its best within its optimum frequency range.
- Lacks Deep Lows – Despite a high power rating, the small 8-inch woofer does struggle to deliver deep bass. If you want to feel the rumble, this subwoofer isn’t for you.
The compact PreSonus Eris Sub 8 is an excellent complimentary subwoofer for smaller 3 and 4-inch monitors. It helps deliver clean and precise bass and relieves pressure on your smaller monitors.
This unit also features a forward port for easy placement and a tough exterior and grille to protect the woofer. While it won’t knock your socks off, it’s an excellent addition to a small studio space where you want a little more definition in the low frequencies.
PreSonus Eris Sub 8
ADAM Audio T10S Review
- Splendid Accuracy – The ADAM Audio T10S offers excellent definition and clarity across its frequency range. Accurate enough for serious studio work.
- Rock Solid Cabinet – The ultra-tough cabinet is built like a tank. Excellent quality from a trusted brand.
- Clean Design – The minimalist and imposing aesthetic blends seamlessly into any studio environment.
- Annoying Standby – The auto standby has a frustratingly low cutoff. If you are playing at low volume levels, expect the unit to switch to standby regularly.
- Low Max SPL – Despite an efficient class D power amplifier rated at 130W, the T10S can only go as high as 104 dB.
The ADAM Audio T10S is a solid subwoofer that will be an ideal addition to a studio space with smaller studio monitors. The 10-inch woofer delivers tight and accurate bass without boominess or mud.
Despite the low SPL, I’ll take accuracy over a messy wall of sound any day of the week. The clean aesthetics also score it a few extra points. I just wish they gave you the choice to switch the standby mode off. Regardless the T10S is still among the best budget studio subwoofers available.
ADAM Audio T10S
Mackie CR6S-X Review
- Satisfying Punch – The CR6S-X offers a hefty punch that is impressive for a small 6.5-inch subwoofer.
- Linked Volume Level – When connected to supported speakers, any volume change on the speakers will automatically adjust the subwoofer’s volume.
- Compact Shape – The small form factor is ideal for smaller spaces. Can comfortably squeeze under a desk without getting in the way.
- Limited Connectivity – Only offers a 1/8″ connection. Not as versatile as other subwoofers.
- Over-Emphasized Bass – This consumer-focused subwoofer features an exaggerated bass response. Satisfying but not accurate enough for studio work.
The Mackie CR6S-X is not a traditional studio subwoofer, but it will be an appealing option for people that want a multi-function subwoofer without a massive emphasis on studio work. Its cheap price will also appeal to budget-conscious buyers.
With a decent level of punch, it’s perfect for gaming, watching videos, casually listening to music, and light editing work. But if you have your eyes on music production, you’ll have to look at alternatives.
Behringer Nekkst K10S Review
- Variable Crossover – The K10S features a variable crossover with a range of 40Hz-150Hz. Easy to adjust and adapt to a wide range of studio monitors.
- Attractive Cabinet – The clean design and protective grille combine well to form an attractive subwoofer cabinet.
- Reasonable Price – While not the cheapest subwoofer out there, it still presents good value for money for a 10-inch subwoofer.
- Boomy – The bass is a little boomy and muddy. Not as refined as other studio subwoofers.
- Lacks Reach – Capping out at 40Hz limits the potential of this subwoofer. Has a hard time reaching the lowest of lows.
The Behringer Nekkst K10S is an affordably priced subwoofer with some solid features. The variable crossover allows for a hassle-free setup and features a Phase switch for added convenience. A solid range of connection options completes a very respectable package.
Where it falls short is both in reach and definition. It will give you solid performance, but its accuracy is not ideal. It’s hard to be overly critical for a budget subwoofer, but at this price, I would have liked to see a little more refinement.
Behringer Nekkst K10S
Our Expert Buying Guide
Adding a subwoofer to your studio space provides much more refined low-frequency delivery. But before you hand over your hard-earned money, there are a few quick things worth considering that will help guide you to the type of subwoofer right for you. Consider these, and you’ll be well on your way to buying the best studio subwoofer for your needs.
Crossover Frequency Explained
The crossover frequency of a subwoofer is the point where your monitors will hand over the audio to your subwoofer to handle. This reduces strain on your monitors and also improves low-frequency response.
Most monitors will begin to struggle once they approach mid and low bass. The most common crossover frequency point is around 80Hz, but many subwoofers offer a range of settings. Assess your monitors to see when they begin to struggle, and then set the crossover frequency about 10Hz above that level. You can also refer to the manual for your monitors to see if they list a suggested crossover point.
The result should be a smooth transition from the highs and mids into the lows. With correct placement and ideal volume matching, you’ll experience a well-rounded and inviting sound profile across your system.
The crossover frequency point is where the subwoofer takes over from the studio monitors.
Front-Firing Vs. Down-Firing Subwoofers
Down-firing subwoofers will push air toward the floor. This is ideal for home theatre applications since it provides extra oomph, power, and rumble to the bass as it reflects off the floor and radiates out.
Front-firing subwoofers will push air outwards into open space. This results in tighter bass performance that is more clear and accurate. This type of subwoofer is well-positioned for more analytical studio work and general listening.
Both types have a role to play, and one is not inherently better than the other. Take some time to assess what you want to achieve with a subwoofer, and that should help guide you toward the type of subwoofer that is right for your needs.
Do Music Studios Use Subwoofers?
A subwoofer is not a mandatory addition to a music studio. But if you work with bass-heavy audio, a subwoofer can provide greater clarity and detail in the lower frequencies so you can make accurate mixing and EQ decisions.
What Is The Difference Between Studio Subwoofer And Subwoofer?
A studio subwoofer aims to replicate the source material accurately with a flat response. A regular subwoofer will hype up and overemphasize bass frequencies. Studio subwoofers are ideal for audio production, while a standard subwoofer is ideal for home theatre and general listening applications.
Which One Should You Buy?
Every studio space is different, so one subwoofer might be ideal for some situations but not for others. Factors like the treatment within your studio, the size of your space, and your budget will all impact your decision.
Factoring in all potential variables, the Neumann KH 750 does stand out as the best studio subwoofer. It might not be the loudest subwoofer, but the definition and precision are superb. A perfect choice for serious studio work. But if you need something a bit more discreet and louder, the Focal Sub One is a great alternative.
Neumann KH 750