Studio monitor subwoofer is an essential sound equipment that will improve your music production quality dramatically. Sadly, this is a set of equipment that always overlooked by most music producers and singers.
A good studio monitor subwoofer will enable you to hear the low frequencies sound in clarity without messing with the main monitors because the main monitors are only suitable for handling the mid and high frequencies sounds. The subwoofer is dedicatedly used in the studio to reproduce the low-frequency sounds (bass). Let’s review them one by one.
Table of Contents
- Things You Should Consider When Buying The Studio Monitor Subwoofers
- Recommended studio monitor Subwoofers
Things You Should Consider When Buying The Studio Monitor Subwoofers
The price of a quality subwoofer is the first factor that you should take into consideration. The price may range from below hundred to several hundred; some models that available on the market may even cost more than a thousand dollar. You must choose a subwoofer that fits your budget carefully.
2) How To Install Your Subwoofer
The installation of the subwoofer is known as a “2.1 audio setup”. It’s straightforward to install the subwoofer, just plug it into the audio interface, and you will have clear low-mix sounds in place. Besides that, you also can connect the subwoofer to the studio monitors directly. Some subwoofers do come with a built-in amplifier, and some don’t.
3) Subwoofer Brands
You don’t need to buy the same brand to match with your existing studio monitors. You can mix and match whatever brands of subwoofer you preferred. The sound quality of subwoofer is the primary concern, and the brand preference should be your secondary concern.
4) Subwoofer Size
Most people might be thinking that the bigger, the better sound quality of the subwoofer. That’s wrong. Some smaller subwoofer might be sound better than the bigger ones. You should inspect and take its driver quality into serious consideration. The average sizes of monitor sub woofer are ranged from 6″ – 12″. For vocal and music monitorings, I would suggest using the sub that have at least 8″ – 10″. However, for movie audio monitoring, it better to go for a larger 12″ sub.
5) Power Rating
The higher the wattage power of the subwoofer, the more power it is. The wattage power of the average subwoofer is around the mid-100’s. And you need to confirm that your amp you are using is capable of handling and supplying 75% – 150% RMS rating of the subwoofer.
The power rating and the size of the monitor subwoofer are inter-related. Normally, the bigger the size, the higher the power rating as it needs the higher power to boost the larger subwoofer to project louder, deeper and thicker low-frequencies of bass.
6) Frequency Response
It dictates the frequencies range that the sub can manipulate. For music monitoring in a studio, I would suggest using those subs that have the slightly greater frequency for clearer low mixes.
Recommended studio monitor Subwoofers
1) Yamaha HS8S Studio Monitor Subwoofer
Yamaha is very popular and reputable for its quality musical instrument and music gears. The Yamaha HS8S uses the 8″ cone type driver, with the power rating of 150 Watts, 22 Hz to 150 Hz of frequency response. Furthermore, it does pack with the great features such as the adjustable crossover frequency between 80 Hz – 120Hz. And it also features the control switches that you can adjust its low cut (80-120Hz) and high cut (80-120Hz) along with a phrase switch available.
It utilizes the input connectors of 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″ and output connectors of 2 x XLR. And it weighed at 27.6lbs with compacted dimensions of 13.8″ x 11.8″ x 15.3″.
With its versatile features of controlling the low and high cuts; and adjustable crossover frequency. The Yamaha HS8S can be considered as one of the best compact studio subwoofers that are very suitable for the home recording studio to handle diverse types of music.
However, some users complained that the volume was insufficient in the bigger room, but works great in the smaller room.
2) JBL LSR310S -Watt -Channel Studio Subwoofer
JBL is also one of the most reputable manufacturers in sound system industry. It very powerful compared to other models with the power rating of 200 watts. It utilizes a 10″ drive/speaker and deliberately designed it to be a become a down-firing subwoofer which will produce deeper richer low-frequencies bass. Its down-firing driver is capable of delivering low-frequency response into 20Hz area and 133 dB peak output. And with the crossover of 80Hz.
It uses the Input Connectors of 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS; and Output Connectors of 2 x XLR. Weighted at 34.3 lb with the dimensions of 17.65″ x 15″ x 15.65″. About the controls, it features the Phase switch and High Cut control (80-120Hz) like most of the subwoofer have.
Indeed, it’s a quite a powerful monitor sub woofer that very suitable for wide-range of home studio applications.
3) Cerwin Vega XD8s Active Studio Subwoofer
The Cerwin Vega XD8s is a professional entry-level studio subwoofer that is very suitable to use in the small home studio. Although its power rating is only at 80 Watts, It utilizes the 8″ driver with high SPL, and frequency response of 35Hz – 255Hz, which will enough to improve the sound pressure for solid low frequencies.
It’s only weighted at 18.5 lbs with the dimensions of 17.5″ (H) x 7″ (W) x 14.5″ (D). And it also does come with a desktop remote
Despite being an entry-level subwoofer, it does also pack with the features of adjustable control switches that most high-end subwoofers have, such as crossover selection switch, output matching volume knob and polarity switch.
4) Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer
The Polk Audio PSW10 is the most affordable yet professional studio subwoofer you can ever find on the market. It’s very solid and professional enough for general recording studio uses. It utilizes the powered 10″ driver with the power rating of 50 watts and frequency response between 35 Hz – 200 Hz. And the crossover is within the 80 Hz to 160 Hz range. The connections can be easily set up by using the speaker cable.
The best part is that it uses all medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and non-resonant materials for its woofer cabinet. Thus, it will decrease its vibration, echoes and improve its overall sound quality. And another feature that surprised me is the “Klippel measurement technology (laser-based)” technology been used in this low-cost subwoofer. The Klipper measurement is designed to improve its voice coil alignment and suspension.
After all, The Polk Audio PSW10 is a quality budgeted studio subwoofer you can consider getting one if you are tight on budget.
In my opinion, the price range, sound quality, and matching studio monitor being the major concerns when deciding the model of subwoofer you should buy.
If the price is not an issue for you, and you are looking for a subwoofer to match with your existing pair of high-end studio monitors. Then, you can opt for the Yamaha HS8S or JBL LSR310S studio subwoofers.
In the other way round, you can go for the affordable Cerwin Vega XD8s or Polk Audio PSW10 if you are in tight budget and intend to find a subwoofer that is good enough to match with your existing entry-level studio monitors. Polk Audio PSW10 can be considered as the most reliable and quality subwoofer in the entry-level category.