In recent years, there has been a vast increase in people installing home theatre systems. Many people have a room dedicated to watching films and listening to music, and it is a great fun for all the family. One of the problems with watching in the home, or indeed listening to music, is that many sound systems are simply not capable of providing the deep bass sounds that can be the making of a performance. This is especially so when watching films, where it can be disappointing not to get that all-encompassing, surround sound experience that you get in the commercial cinema. So, what can you do to enhance your sound system?
Allow us to introduce you to the subwoofer; no, it’s not a small dog, it’s an essential accessory for anyone who is serious about getting the best out of their sound system. The subwoofer is a specially designed and carefully crafted speaker system dedicated to providing the deep low bass sounds that your system most likely cannot handle. These are not generally cheap items, and tend to be specialist devices aimed at the firm enthusiast. We took a look at a variety of subwoofers, from many different brands, and across a wide price range, and some of these models are truly amazing. Before we get to our list, let’s have a more detailed look at what subwoofers bring to the party.
How It Works
Table of Contents
- 1 How It Works
- 2 Our Top 10 Best Wireless Subwoofers!
- 2.1 1: Sonos SUB Wireless Subwoofer
- 2.2 2: Sumvision Psyc Portable Wireless Subwoofer
- 2.3 3: BlitzWolf Max Bass 20W
- 2.4 4: Aukey Wireless Speakers
- 2.5 5: Philips Soundbar Speaker with Subwoofer
- 2.6 6: Azatom Stealth Bar Subwoofer
- 2.7 7: Anker Stereo Wireless Bluetooth
- 2.8 8: VTin 20w Punker Bluetooth Speaker
- 2.9 9: Bluedio Bluetooth Speaker TS-3
- 2.10 10: Anker SoundCore Portable
- 3 Important Features to Look For
- 4 Let’s Wrap It Up!
So, why do you need a subwoofer? As we mentioned above, most sound systems – no matter how high quality they are – have a limited range, and this is often due to the fact that the amplifier simply doesn’t have the power or range to get to the deep bass sounds that are the undercurrent of music. A subwoofer is a stand-alone addition to the system, and it will solely concentrate on producing the deep bass level sounds. It takes the home sound system or cinema experience to an entirely new level.
There are different types of subwoofer to consider: some are powered by an amplifier, just like the rest of your system, while others are entirely stand-alone. The latter are usually the recommended choice, as this leaves the amplifier to deal effectively with the treble and upper bass levels, while the subwoofer does its dedicated job. It really will change the way you listen to music, and as deep bass sounds are non-directional – meaning they seem to emanate from all around us – you get the surround-sound effect you’ve been looking for.
Right then, let’s get down to business and talk about the top ten wireless subwoofers on the market right now.
Our Top 10 Best Wireless Subwoofers!
Before we get into more detail about this brilliant device, we’ll explain why we are concentrating on wireless subwoofers: it’s because they are amazingly versatile, as you can place them anywhere you wish for the best results. Sonos is a name that is highly regarded in up-market sound system circles, and this model – the latest version of its acclaimed SUB design – is a perfect example of the brand. It’s sleek, beautifully made and looks great if you choose to have it on display.
What about the sound? It’s amazing – really, it is – as it gives you the full range of deep base sounds that add to any music, and you will hear clearly things you did not know were there before. Every single sound in the deep bass range is given a boost, so you will hear songs, for example, as they were intended to be heard. But, and it is a very big one, there is a price to pay for this level of precision and quality: don’t fall off your chair, but it’s £700! You read that right, seven hundred pounds. Is it worth it? If you want the very, very best sound available, and can afford it, yes, it is.
We come hurtling back down to earth with this model, the Psyc, from Sumvision, as it is a completely different beast from the above. Notably, this one won an award as the Best Bluetooth Speaker of 2016 in the highly regarded PC Advisor magazine, so comes with some credentials. It is aimed at people who want to listen to music with an enhanced bass quality, but is nowhere near as powerful – or capable – as the above (but it’s not meant to be). It’s a very neat and small design, and easy to carry around.
It is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, so you can control it from your smartphone is you wish, and it incorporates twin 10W drivers as well as the highly regarded subwoofer technology. You can get as much as seven hours playback from this very attractive device. Sound is clear and fresh – with notably excellent bass output – and it is a slender and impressive design. It’s relatively low power, however, means it won’t be much good for a truly great home cinema set up, but at less than £40 it’s a decent piece of kit.
This one is very, very similar to the above, both in design and quality. It’s a small, portable device featuring twin speakers plus subwoofer technology, and it is an attractive design that will fit in anywhere. Like the above it’s a passive device – this means it needs to be connected to an external amplifier – but this is the case for most devices of this size and scope. It can be connected to a physical cable, or you can use it as a Bluetooth 4.0 device for greater capability.
This one would be great for parties – it gives up to seven hours playback from a four hour charge – and the sound level is decent quality. The bass sound is very deep and impressive, and the other sound ranges are clear and crisp. It’s a handy device to have around, but won’t be much use in a full-scale home cinema set up. For watching TV, however, or listening to music, it’s ideal. At around £45 it’s also pretty good value, so worth a look.
This very quirky and neat design, it’s an unusual tubular model so looks very different if somewhat cool, but let’s get one thing straight before we go on: this is a truly portable design, intended for carrying around or perhaps for use at parties, on camping trips or wherever you need music but don’t have a full system. It’s not a high-end subwoofer for your home cinema, but it is a very capable device that offers great sound. In total, you get 11watts of sound power – from twin 2W drivers and a 7W subwoofer, and the sound is very crisp and clear.
Bass range is great, even though the overall power is low, and it comes with fashionable carry-handle, so is very much in-trend when it comes to looks. It can play back up to 8-hours at maximum volume after a full charge, and is fully Bluetooth compatible for remote operation from your smartphone or tablet. You also get a built-in FM radio plus a full two year warranty, and at £20, we think this one is great value if you are looking for a genuinely portable music device.
Fitting a soundbar to the television is fast becoming the choice of many, and it does give you benefits. The sound system in your television may be decent, but it will not match the quality you get from a soundbar. This model, from the world-famous Philips brand – one of the leading names in audio visual equipment – is an impressive one, and comes complete with a stand-alone, wireless subwoofer for even better sound quality and deep bass capability.
The soundbar itself is a typically sleek, low and long design, and can be placed wherever you want it, while the subwoofer is a neat and unobtrusive model that will take up little room. The base sound is very impressive and all sound levels are clear and crisp, and you get full Bluetooth capability so you can stream music to the system from your smartphone. It uses NFC technology to pair with the smartphone – so it’s a single touch technique – and has Dolby Digital technology also, so you get the very best in quality. This is, all in all, an impressive set-up, and we think it is not bad value at all at £170.
This is a stand-alone subwoofer that offers superb sound and deep bass action, and it is neat design that will sit nicely in the corner or wherever you wish to place it. This model is designed to recreate the cinema effect of that deep rumble – missing from a standard sound system – and does so with 150watts of power. The sound is brilliant, very effective, and it does the job in an effortless and impressive fashion. It’s entirely wireless, so can be placed anywhere you wish within its range, and is a quality item.
However, there is one obvious problem: it is designed specifically to work alongside Azatom’s own sound bar, so if you don’t have that, you need to buy one. That’s a downside that we find a pity, as it connects automatically to the soundbar, and would provide a near-cinema experience that would be well worth the effort. Also, it’s British designed and engineered, and is of an excellent quality. It’s £90, but unless there’s a way of using it with a different soundbar – the manufacturer does not say but implies otherwise – you have to pay a further £180 for one of those.
Pros: Very impressive sound, decent price
Cons: Need a soundbar too
This one is another model from the lower end of the price bracket – it’s under £40 – and it is a neat and tidy device with many fine attributes. It delivers good sound from two 10watt drivers and dual passive subwoofers, and is perfect for use with smartphones and other devices. It’s small and unobtrusive, and can be settled anywhere you wish, and you can operate it via Bluetooth 4.0 for added versatility. Although power output is a mere 20watts, we found that more than enough for its intended use.
We’ve come to understand that, in this price range, 20watt is about the norm, so this one should not be overlooked for that. The sound is impressive, and clear, and the deep low bass is notable. You can get as much as six hours of playback from this one – that’s not quite as much as promised by a couple of other, comparable models – from a full charge, and it is very small and light, so easy to move around. What more can we say about it? Not much, to be fair, except that it is a good model for what is intended.
Let us just say that, in its class – the sub-£40 price range – this one is one of the more impressive models. In fact, you can find it for around £25, which we think is very good value among its peers. It is a chunky, trendy design – not as sleek as some but that’s partly because it is constructed to be waterproof. It’s perfect, then, for beach parties, or for music when you’re in the pool or hot tub! There’s also a built-in microphone, so you can make calls thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 capability. The sound quality is great, too; you get twin 10w drivers and a passive radiator with twin passive subwoofers.
There is one constant complaint with devices of this size and style: poor battery life. This one, however, claims to have overcome that problem, and thanks to developments in technology, promises as much as 25 hours of playback at 70% volume! That is a truly amazing amount and, if it performs as claimed, far outclasses anything else in the class and price range. In short, if this is the sort of device you are looking for, this one is definitely worthy of the shortlist.
The first thing you notice about this model, from Bluedio, is that it looks very different. It has a black and silver finish and modern, rounded edges, and is clearly a cut above some others in its class. It operates on Bluetooth 4.2 – the very latest – so has improved transfer speed, and the sound is suitably enhanced thanks to clever design. The twin drivers are situated to the extreme right and left of the casing, so they operate without interference and give great sound, while the bass subwoofer is mounted centrally, driving the deep bass sounds towards the floor. This has the desired effect of supremely enhanced bass, and it sounds very impressive indeed.
This model is specifically aimed at pop and rock music lovers, and it does the job very well indeed. A 59mm subwoofer is a great choice and handles the required levels of sound superbly. It can take a microSD card so you can store songs, and there is a dedicated app available to help you manage your catalogue and use other features of what is a very neat item. Although a low power item at only 5w, a great deal of thought has gone into the design of this one, and at £50 we think it worth a look.
This is the second choice from the Anker brand, and it’s another very neat design. It’s small and sleek, looks great and is portable, and it offers excellent sound quality. The design includes the usual twin drivers – at a total of 6watts – but there is a special touch, too. The bass driver, for the deep bass and low level sound, is a patented spiral design into which Anker has put a lot of thought and effort, and it really does make a world of a difference. This is one that we liked straight away, is Bluetooth compatible, and offers CD-quality sound via a 66ft range.
There is a further promise that we found impressive – the manufacturer says this one uses the very latest battery technology and patented low energy technology to give up to 24-hours of continuous play, so it is the only one other than that above to offer such a great battery life. All said and done, this is a very neat model, and one that – at around £30 – is certainly worth a second look.
There you go; ten impressive wireless subwoofers, each with its own attributes and features, and each worthy of inclusion on this list. Before we go on to sum up, let’s talk about some of the features you need to look out for when buying one of these.
Important Features to Look For
We need to remember that this review is about subwoofers – the speakers that bring out the often-missing deep bass sounds – so that should be your major consideration, but there are other factors you need to think about when buying one of these neat and usable devices. Let’s have a look at the main points:
- Power output – most of these deliver around 20watts, which will be perfectly adequate if your intention is to use it as a portable device for playing music in the home. A couple deliver much more, but they are at premium prices, so choose what you want, and stick to your budget.
- Design – if you’re bothered about how it looks, then there are some very trendy designs among these. Have a look at the pictures for an idea of what you are getting.
- Bluetooth – Bluetooth capability is essential with these, and they all offer wireless connectivity as part of the package. Check for the latest Bluetooth solutions in the detailed specifications.
- Battery Life – this is an important consideration, and bear in mind that the higher volume you use, the more power you are draining from your battery. Among these, the life of the battery on a full charge ranges from six to a claimed 25, so make sure you choose carefully.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of desired features – there may be others that mean more to you – but it is a sensible list for you to consider. So, all that needs to be done now is to wrap it up!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
The main thing we discovered when looking at these often very impressive devices is that most are very close together in terms of specifications and performance, and also – with a tenner or so – on price. Apart from one, of course! The Sonos, number 1 on the list, is a different type of device to all the others, and in a different class in terms of performance and price, so we really need to dismiss it – unless, of course, you are very wealthy and one a superb quality top-level subwoofer for your home cinema.
The rest all have great attributes – we like the VTin Punker, number 8, as it looks different, has great battery life and is waterproof and only £25 – and if you’re interested in what it looks like, then there are some very stylish designs that are bang on trend. It should be said, though, that these are not really about looks, but about sound, so that should be your main consideration.
Choose one with the best power output and the right price, and you have a superb, portable and usable sound system that you will enjoy to the full!