Subwoofers are a popular purchase: More bass is always better, and a good sub can upgrade an otherwise competent system dramatically. When it comes to subwoofage, there's a performance-level below which it makes little sense to go: Too many "subwoofers" are all "woof" and little or no "sub." Accurate, extended deep bass output is the name of the game, and these examples all provide it in honest abundance.
Price No Object: JL Audio Fathom f21 ($6,100)
I'm fairly certain this is the best standalone subwoofer money can buy. The Fathom f212 is a 220-pound, 3-kilowatt, dual-12-inch monster with flat response well into the infrasonic region, awesome power, plus speed, articulation, "slam," definition - the biggest JL has it all, in spades. You'll need help (lots of it) to unpack and position the f212, but once the deed is done, hang on to your fillings.
Value: Hsu Research VTF-3 Mk3/Turbo ($799)
Hsu Research is another early direct-to-web vendor, and was one of the first subwoofer specialist makers going back to before the web era. The VTF-3 Mk3/Turbo features - along with a too-long model-name - an unusual port-extension that allows the user to set up for maximum deep-bass extension, or for maximum output, by opening or blocking large-cross-section ports. Either way, the Hsu design delivers a highly satisfying dose of genuine deep bass for amazingly few dollars.
Compact: Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ ($2,195)
Nearly a decade ago, Sunfire's Bob Carver pioneered the whole mini-subwoofer concept, which, to put it simply, cheats the laws of physics with brute force (amplifier power) and acoustical sleight of hand (passive radiators). The California firm's latest low-down leveler adds automatic room-analysis and equalization, to help integrate the sub into the actual room acoustics it will encounter. A bigger, conventional sub of similar cost can go a bit lower into the deepest bass a bit more powerfully, but if you simply cannot (or will not) accommodate the size, the True Subwoofer, at less than a single cubic foot, will come remarkably close.
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