Using studio subs to provide low-end support for your studio speakers can dramatically enhance your music production. While plenty of studio speakers do get the job done right without any subwoofers, just like the ones on our best studio monitors list, wanting or needing more bass is something you just can’t avoid sometimes. Apart from adding that much needed bass, sub speakers also help you hear the low-end more clearly. And when you use studio subs, your main studio speakers can be freed up from high cone-excursion, allowing for better handling of the mid and high frequencies, and lower distortion.
Unfortunately, finding the best studio subs is not an easy task—there are several factors that you need to consider and carefully think about. Wanting to help sound enthusiasts and beginners find the best subwoofers for them, we at Studio-Speakers.com have compiled a list of the best sub speakers in 2017. Higher ratings are given to subwoofers from reputable brands, as well as popular subs that were well-reviewed by other users. Our careful research has allowed us to review only the best of the best in the studio subs department. Not sure how to properly choose subwoofers? You can refer to our short buying guide at the bottom of this page.
Best Studio Subs 2017
Price (MSRP): $664.97
KRK is not only known for creating some of the best studio monitors in the world; they are also a renowned creator of outstanding studio subs like the KRK 10S. These sub speakers feature a durable build and a performance that is hard to beat—the crisp, smooth and punchy bass it offers is sure to satisfy any bass lovers out there. Although the 10S isn’t exactly the deepest reaching sub, it does give enough low frequency extension required in most monitoring tasks. The good news is that these subs do not only complement the Rokit series and the KRK VXT; they also perform well with other monitor speakers around 4 to 8 inches.
Read the full KRK 10S Sub Speakers Review
Price (MSRP): $699
Whether it be studio monitors or studio subs, it’s really hard to go wrong with Yamaha. The brand has been synonymous with high quality and top performing monitoring speakers for decades, including the Yamaha HS8S subwoofers. Designed to complement the company’s HS-Series monitors, these subs feature a sturdy cabinet and a handsome look. When it comes to the performance, the HS8S is able to improve the performance of any monitors that are used with it, whether they’re Yamaha or a totally different brand. The metal grill feature is also a big plus—it prevents the sub from creating undesirable vibrations.
Read the full Yamaha HS8S Subwoofer Review
Price (MSRP): $499
The JBL LSR 305 is not the only product from JBL that is considered to be the one of the best. Joining the LSR 305 is the LSR310S—a 10” subwoofer boasting an attractive black cabinet. Despite having a 10” driver and a weight of 34.3 lbs, it’s not exactly loud enough to throw you around. It does, however, provide more than enough bass for your mixes. Perfect for identifying any issue in the bass frequencies, the LSR310S has received a lot of praise from satisfied audio professionals. Although mainly designed to complement the JBL monitors, many users have claimed they work well with other brands of speakers.
Read the full JBL LSR310S Subs Review
Focal Sub 300 P
Price (MSRP): $799
Boasting an innovative design, the Focal Sub 300 P subwoofer was designed and built at the company’s own facilities in France, which means Focal had complete control over every aspect of the subwoofer, ensuring the creation of an excellent product. The sub’s MDF construction prevents undesirable distortion while the 11” Polyglass driver delivers deep and accurate bass without producing unwanted resonance. What makes this sub extremely popular is its performance, which many people have described as “just right.” The Auto On/Off features is also a marvelous addition—users do not have to manually turn it on or off between sessions.
Read the full Focal Sub 300 P Subwoofer Review
Price (MSRP): $389.99
The Mackie MR10Smk3 is the only sub speaker in the company’s MRmk3 lineup, which offers three full-range monitors. As part of the lineup, the MR10Smk3’s purpose is to provide extended bass for the studio speakers in the series. Mackie is another reputable brand in the industry and is widely known for the Mackie CR Series. Although the CR Series didn’t make it to our list of the best performing studio monitors, the MR10Smk3 easily joins the list of the best performing subwoofers. Its ability to fill out and deepen the bass frequencies while producing clean and tight bass at the same time has helped the sub become many audio professionals’ favorite sub.
Read the full Mackie MR10Smk3 Sub Speakers Review
Adam Audio Sub8
Price (MSRP): $899.99
Adam Audio is not only globally-renowned for their top notch studio monitors, such as the Adam A7X and the Adam A77X, they are also widely recognized for their impeccable Adam Audio Sub 8 studio subs. Despite its compact size, the Sub8 is powerful enough to provide all the bass necessary in most monitoring applications. No matter what the music genre is, this sub is able to provide clean bass frequencies that are tight, fat and very well balanced. Don’t have a pair of Adam Audio studio monitors? No problem! The Sub 8 has the ability to extend the bass frequencies of literally any nearfield monitor.
Read the full Adam Audio Sub8 Subwoofer Review
Price (MSRP): $1195
Last but not least is the Genelec 7050B sub speakers which come from a company whose reputation has kept getting stronger since it got founded in 1978. The Genelec 7050B is a compact subwoofer that is ideal in small listening environments, especially home studios. Despite the compact size, it can meet the demands of almost any audio productions. Apart from its impressive build quality, the sub’s extension is pretty great as well, and its frequency response remains flat in its operating range—exactly what you’d want your subs to be. Although the 7050B was designed to match the Genelec 8010, 8020C and 8030B, it does perform well when used with monitors of different brands.
Read the full Genelec 7050B Sub Review
Studio Subs Buying Guide
A studio sub is a dedicated speaker driver responsible for adding those much-needed or extra low frequency sounds. Although subwoofers are not necessarily required in every studio, they do provide better low frequency performance than if you were using just monitors alone. When you’re mastering or mixing, you want a flat, neutral sound, so for some types of music you may be able to get away without using a sub. However, subs can add that depth and accuracy that your mixes are missing. The good thing about having separate studio subs is that you can turn them on or off when necessary.
So which sub speakers should you get? Here are the factors that you need to consider to find the best subwoofers for your studio:
Budget – Your budget is a very important thing to consider when looking for studio subs. In fact, you should plan your budget before you even begin comparing sub speakers so you don’t end up breaking the bank unwillingly. Of course, you really don’t need to break the bank as there are plenty of budget subwoofers that offer excellent performance. You just need to set a budget, and then go from there.
Size – A subwoofer’s performance largely depends on its size. The bigger the surface area of the sub speaker, the deeper and louder it can reach. However, smaller sizes can achieve improved warmth and clarity. Before you go for one of the large ones, you need to make sure that you have enough space for it. The 10″ models generally provide a good compromise between all factors, which is why they are just so popular amongst many studio speaker manufacturers.
Power – The bigger the wattage of a sub is, the more powerful it is. The usual power rating for a sub is about 100-150 watts, which is enough for a medium-sized room. If you have a larger studio, you should consider a sub with a higher wattage.
Manufacturer – Choosing a reputable manufacturer is the most ideal way to go if you’re buying studio subs. Not only are reputable manufacturers known for producing excellent performing monitors, they also make sure that their builds are of high quality, which means they generally are more durable and sound better than less reputable brands.
Firing Options – Depending on how you want your subs to radiate sound, you can either go for a front-firing sub or a down-firing sub. If you need to place the sub along a corner or side-wall, go for the down-firing ones since their sound radiates from the bottom. Otherwise, you can choose a front-firing sub that radiates sound from the front and sides of the sub—perfect for when you need to place the sub at a distance from the front speakers.
Crossover – Defined as a sub’s frequency range, the crossover can be adjusted to determine the amount of high frequencies that pass through it. Many manufactures of studio monitors will recommend a subwoofer crossover frequency setting.
Studio subs would make an excellent addition to your studio tools, whether it’s for mastering or mixing, or simply for enjoying bass-rich music. We have reviewed only the best sub speakers on the market, as well as the best in their price range, so you’re sure to find something on our list that fits you and your needs. We have provided a wide range of options for you, and each option has satisfied plenty of sound professionals.
If you have any comments or questions about any of the entries in this list of the best subwoofers, please feel free to leave a message in our comments section below.