Best Subwoofer For Music Production – Our Top 5 Picks

A subwoofer can be a powerful weapon in any producers arsenal. Especially if you have monitors with a weaker low end output and struggle to hear the details of the sub range in your mix. 

When deciding on the best subwoofer for music production, the criteria should be that they provide a nice clear picture of your sub bass, bringing out details you never knew existed in turn allowing you to make critical mixing decisions.

If you already have a great set of studio monitors with a wide frequency response, a sub may not be necessary. However, a good quality subwoofer will always add value to your mixdown sessions. 

Proper room treatment and a good subwoofer work synergistically. A great sub with poor room treatment will be completely useless and a waste of money. So make sure your room is well equipped with bass traps and acoustic panels all placed correctly  and strategically. 

If all this is in place and you are satisfied that your room is ready for a sub then read on to see our list of the best subwoofers for music production.

If you want to know more about how to connect your subwoofer, how to position it, terminologies and more, you can check out the FAQs at the bottom of this post.


Here are the top 5 best subwoofers for music production in 2020:

  1. Yamaha HS8S Studio Subwoofer
  2. KRK 10S2 V2 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer
  3. JBL LSR310S 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer
  4. Fluid Audio F8S
  5. Monoprice Stage Right 10″ Powered Subwoofer

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Yamaha HS8S Studio Subwoofer

The Yamaha HS8S Subwoofer is designed to go perfectly with the HS8 studio monitors so if you have a pair of them then this is the obvious choice. However, there is no reason you can’t jump on the HS8S bandwagon if you have a different pair of monitors – the adjustable low cut will serve as the crossover splitting the signal on the outputs so that the frequency range is distributed perfectly between the sub and your monitors.

Tech Specs

  • Powered: Yes
  • Speaker Size: 8″
  • Driver Type: Cone
  • Total Power : 150W
  • Frequency Response: 22Hz-150Hz
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR
  • Low Cut: 80-120Hz adjustable
  • High Cut: 80-120Hz adjustable

One of the smaller subs on our list but not to be ignored. With an impressive frequency response and a clear, detailed sound with little to no distortion the HS8S is a great choice in the under $450-500 range.


KRK 10S2 V2 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer

While KRK is one of the most popular studio monitor brands they tend to get a lot of negative rep for having an enhanced lowend so I generally shy away from recommending them. The 10S2 V2 however, does not mirror this opinion. It’s more than powerful enough in a studio setting and delivers a very clean uncoloured  and flat sound. It has adjustable crossover settings from 60-90Hz and a bypass footswitch input. Not to mention the design looks really neat.

Tech Specs

  • Powered: Yes
  • Speaker Size: 10″
  • Driver Type: Cone
  • Total Power : 160W
  • Frequency Response: 31Hz-110Hz
  • Input Types: XLR Left/Right, 1/4″ TRS Left/Right, RCA Left/Right, 1/4″ footswitch
  • Output Types: XLR Left/Right, 1/4″ TRS Left/Right, RCA Left/Right
  • Crossover: LPF/HPF (60Hz, 70Hz, 80 Hz, 90Hz)

A good option in the $350 – 450 range. When compared to the JBL LSR310’s, the KRK is lacking slightly in features and I would probably opt for the JBL’s just for option of the XLF setting.


JBL LSR310S 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer

A powerful, detailed 10″ sub made by JBL. This subwoofer boasts a unique patented Slip Stream Port which works together with the down facing low frequency driver to deliver clear and detailed low end. The XLF (Extended Low Frequency) setting is designed to emulate the ample bass tuning found in today’s clubs. The LSR310S is known to be super tight and punchy and deliver a lot of quality for a low price.

Tech Specs

  • Powered: Yes.
  • Speaker Size: 10″
  • Driver Type: High-excursion, down-firing driver.
  • Total Power: 200W
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR.
  • Crossover: 80Hz

Great choice in the $350-450 range. Tight, punchy, detailed and powerful. 


Fluid Audio F8S

One of the lower end Subwoofers on this list. However, the Fluid F8S delivers a really impressive, detailed sound for it’s price. A front facing 8″ driver, port and fader makes it simple to and easy to position and setup. It has a punchy consumer setting and a flat setting designed to give a more honest response geared towards producers.

Tech Specs

  • Powered: Yes
  • Speaker Size: 8″
  • Driver Type: Cone
  • Total Power : 200W
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz-200Hz
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR
  • Low Cut: 50-200Hz adjustable

Great bang for your buck. If your budget sits in the  $250-300 range this sub is a good choice. However, I would still consider the Monoprice Stage Right as an alternative.


Monoprice Stage Right 10-Inch Subwoofer

Yep, a 10 inch powered studio subwoofer in the 200 dollar range.  It exists and it’s impressive. The Monoprice Stage Right 10″ sub is a powerful, uncoloured, flat studio subwoofer that is affordable, has all the basic features including a bypass footswitch and an adjustable filter cutoff.

Tech Specs

  • Powered: Yes
  • Speaker Size: 10″
  • Driver Type: Cone
  • Amp Power : 200 watts (RMS)/ 400 watts (Peak)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-150Hz
  • Input Types: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″
  • Output Types: 2 x XLR, 2x 1/4″
  • Low Cut: 50-150Hz adjustable

Have a low budget and need a good sub? Look no further. The Monoprice Stage Right delivers a clean, transparent representation of your low-end at an unbeatable price. This is hands down the best option in the $200 – 250 range.


Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the difference between an active and a passive subwoofer? 

An active subwoofer has a built in amplifier that powers it, there is no need for an external amplifier. A passive subwoofer requires power from an external amplifier.  Passive subwoofers are usually cheaper. However, there are many advantages to using active subwoofers, for example, there is no need to carry around extra gear or make space in your studio for an additional amplifier, and the built in amplifiers are configured perfectly to work with the active subwoofer so no additional setup and configuration is required to get this right 

How do I connect my active subwoofer? 

To connect an active subwoofer you would connect your sound card’s outputs to the inputs on the subwoofer, and then connect your full range speakers to the outputs of the subwoofer. The subwoofer will handle the job of splitting the frequency range between the itself and the full range speakers using the crossover or adjustable low pass filter. The typical signal flow looks like this:  Audio interface -> Subwoofer -> Full range speakers 

Where should I put my subwoofer? 

Most commonly subwoofers are placed on the floor. The location of the subwoofer depends on the acoustics of the room it’s in. One simple and effective way to find a good position for your sub is to place it in the position that you would usually sit. You can then play a reference track and walk around the room until the sub bass sounds most consistent and clear – take note of your position and place the sub there. 

Which way should subwoofer port face? 

There is no obvious answer to this. Most people will have driver and port facing the listener, however, some people swear by having the port facing a wall. The best way to test is to use your ears and listen to the effects of having it face either way. When the sub sounds most clear and consistent you will know which direction to face it.  

Should a subwoofer be on the floor? 

Yes, subwoofers are most commonly placed on the floor. There is no real reason you would want a sub high up as the human ear will struggle to determine which direction sub frequencies are coming from. The floor will also help to disperse the sound evenly around the room.


Conclusion

Should you get a sub? In my opinion, if you can then definitely yes! 

A subwoofer may not be neccessary, it’s one of those things you never knew you needed until you use it. A sub can also free up your main full range monitors to focus more on the mids and highs which can in turn get them sounding even clearer and more detailed. 

In my opinion the two best options are the Monoprice Stage Right 10″ Sub and the Yamaha HS8S. Monoprice being best bang for your buck and HS8S being the best on the list irrespective of price.

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