Best DJ Subwoofer – Buyer’s Guide (February 2022)
The best DJ subwoofer will produce clean bass sounds, project clearly, and pack a punch. It will expand the capabilities of your PA system, giving your audience a professional and immersive experience. For this reason, subwoofers are a great asset to any musical performance.
A PA subwoofer is a speaker designed to produce low frequency sounds. They create the deep bass sounds that you can feel. Subwoofers are great for a variety of uses, like home sound systems, movie theaters, clubs and concerts. A high quality, PA powered subwoofer is essential because they produce clear, realistic, and intense bass effects that the rest of your PA system can’t.
There are a lot of subwoofers to choose from, so we’ve compiled a list to help you find the best DJ sub for your performance and lifestyle needs. A great DJ subwoofer will add professionalism, impress your audience, and create excitement.
Check out our list of the best DJ subwoofers below! Looking for DJ speakers too? No problem, we’ve reviewed them here.
|Bose Stage Subwoofer|
|Mackie Thump-18 Sub|
|Behringer Eurolive VP1800S|
The QSC KLA 181 is the subwoofer of a two-part system, so you know it’s designed to accompany large PA systems with precision. It’s contained in a vented enclosure–which is usually louder than a sealed enclosure–and it’s great for large environments like churches, wedding receptions, and concert venues. With its energy efficient design, it effortlessly projects strong bass sounds and brings excitement to any venue.
The QSC KLA 181 is a great addition to your PA system because it ensures the safety and longevity of your speakers: as an 18-inch subwoofer, it can handle the hard work of producing clear bass sounds. Further, it’s programmed with DEEP DSP for precision performance. You can trust this QSC subwoofer to efficiently reduce distortion and enhance realistic sound without compromising in power. This is the best DJ powered subwoofer to energize and move a crowd.
- Energy efficient
- Great for large venues
- Heavy (100 lbs.)
- Not very portable
This Yamaha DXS18 powered subwoofer is packed with power. First, this subwoofer has a 4-inch voice coil. Voice coil size is significant because a larger voice coil can handle more power while maintaining control. This means the YamahaDXS18 can endure and produce powerful bass with little distortion. Further, this DJ powered subwoofer is enclosed in a band-pass design. A band-pass design is similar to the vented design mentioned above because it has openings that create louder sound. The 4-inch voice coil combined with the band-pass design gives this subwoofer an extremely high SPL, so you can trust that it’s loud and powerful.
- Energy efficient
- Unnecessary for smaller events
This Electro-Voice subwoofer combines power and clarity with simplicity. Not only does this high-efficiency subwoofer produce strong bass with less energy, but it also includes programs to make your sound design quick and simple. It comes with 3 presets (Music, Live, Club), or you can store 5 user-programmable presets of your own. So this is a great powered subwoofer for a DJ with a few regular gigs or a DJ looking to save some time. The Electro-Voice subwoofer will make your set up a breeze.
- Presets (3 included, 5 programmable)
- Easy set up
- Durable and built to travel
- Less opportunity for personalization
The Mackie SRM1850 is a small but mighty subwoofer. It’s compact and lightweight, yet it still provides the chest-thumping bass you love. It’s designed to easily blend into nearly any PA system thanks to its variable crossover abilities. With such a high size-to-output ratio, the Mackie SRM1850 includes hardworking DSP programming to protect it from damage or overload, which ensures high quality, powerful performance for years to come.
- Mixes well with various equipment
- Lightweight and durable
- Limited compared to larger speakers
- Less opportunity for personalization
The Bose Stage subwoofer adapts well in a variety of environments. With customizable EQ, this subwoofer has a wide range of crossover abilities, so it mixes well with the PA systems you may already own. This ensures clean sound with little interference when combined with other speakers. Another adaptable feature of this subwoofer is the polarity controls. By switching the polarity of your subwoofer (from NORM to REV), you can prevent low-frequency overlap between speakers.
- Easy set up/mounting options
- Clean crossover
- Polarity control
- A lot of controls for someone less experienced
The Electro-Voice ZXA1 subwoofer gives you great value for a more affordable price. Its durable wood enclosure with internal bracing ensures that this subwoofer will last you a long time. For further protection, the price of this speaker includes a carrying case that’s foam laminated and supportive, which is particularly convenient if you travel often.
- More affordable
- Includes carrying case
- Bare basics
The Mackie Thump-18 subwoofer contains all the professional details you could ask for at a more affordable price. This subwoofer comes with various tuning filters and precise crossover abilities. This means that it mixes into a larger sound system well and guarantees correct timing for clear, unified sound. For further precision, this subwoofer offers polarity controls: as mentioned earlier, switching sound polarity (from NORM to REV, or vice versa) can sometimes reduce low-frequency overlap, which minimizes interference and improves clarity.
- Lots of internal system programming (tuning filters, polarity control, precision crossover, system protection, etc.)
This Electro-Voice EKX15SP subwoofer is great for live performances thanks to its cardioid control technology. ‘Cardioid’ describes the shape of the sound projection from a subwoofer. Essentially, cardioid control technology allows you to control the direction of the bass toward the audience so there’s less noise and interference onstage. This is the best powered subwoofer for live band performances because it provides strong, clean projection while minimizing sound distortion onstage.
- Cardioid control–great for live events
- Various internal programs (thermal control, presets, great DSP and EQ)
- Clear bass in any place
This super affordable, super lightweight Behringer Eurolive VP1800S subwoofer provides all the basics you need to get any job done. Despite its deceptively light and simple design, this Behringer Eurolive subwoofer is extremely powerful and capable of creating deep, clear bass for a variety of venues. It’s the best powered subwoofer for a travelling DJ on a budget.
- Very simplistic design
If you’re looking for a large, powerful, 18-inch subwoofer, this QSC KS118 beats them all. This subwoofer is ideal for large, live events. With an 18-inch driver–a larger size than most subwoofers–and an impressive 3600 Watts, this subwoofer can reproduce extremely low bass sounds with power and accuracy. Further, it offers optional cardioid control to reduce distortion and interference for onstage performers.
- Clear bass
- Large and in charge
- Heaviest option
- Pole mount, transport cover, and security cover sold separately
- Unnecessary for small events
What Is a Subwoofer?
Average DJ speaker equipment contains transducers for high, mid, and low frequencies, yet many DJs invest in a subwoofer as well. A subwoofer is a speaker designed specifically to produce low frequencies–lower than the average speaker can produce.
They expand the frequency range of your equipment to create an immersive and full musical experience. There are a variety of ways to connect your subwoofer to your sound system so long as they’re compatible, and many come with the option of pole-mounting or sometimes flying.
Subwoofers not only project clear bass sounds, but they also allow you to feel the music. Subwoofers create that exhilarating, chest-thumping feeling you might experience in a movie explosion or a concert. Subwoofers are essential for creating excitement and energy in a crowd. They transform an auditory experience to a physical one by allowing the audience to feel the movement of the music. It’s a powerful tool that will enhance your style with clear and professional sound.
Using the Best DJ Subwoofer
If you’ve invested in a high quality speaker, you may be tempted to overlook the value of an additional subwoofer. However, when you dive into the science of sound design, you quickly learn that speaker size limits a speaker’s performance.
A speaker carefully produces and projects varying frequencies while preventing interference and distortion, which requires precise space, air flow, and timing. For this reason, it’s difficult for a single speaker to accommodate the needs of all frequencies.
Even with a high quality speaker, it’s important to have a separate subwoofer to accommodate the deep bass sounds that create a full sound experience. In addition, a subwoofer saves your PA system in the long run because the subwoofer handles a lot of the hard work.
With a subwoofer, you can eliminate distortion, increase bass clarity, and add intensity to any performance.
How Subwoofers Work
Subwoofers function the same as speakers, they’re just low-frequency specific.
The main job of a speaker is to convert the audio signal it receives from an amplifier into sound waves, and it does this with transducers (or drivers).
Like the main PA speaker, the subwoofer contains a specific driver to receive audio signals and convert them into low-frequency sound waves. This happens as the audio signal runs through the voice coil, and the movement of the voice coil causes the driver to vibrate and move the air within the subwoofer enclosure, creating sound waves.
Subwoofer enclosures often differ from regular speaker cabinets because they may have ports: openings in the enclosure design that increase bass power. Subwoofers with ports go by different names depending on the specific design. Some are ‘vented subwoofers,’ or the subwoofer comes in a ‘band-pass enclosure.’
Tips for Placing Your Subwoofer at Events
Subwoofer placement can be tricky. There are no universal rules to subwoofer placement because every space carries sound differently. However, there are some general guidelines you can test for yourself wherever you go.
You want to make the space work to your advantage. One easy way to ensure that is by placing the subwoofer on the floor: not only does this help with the movement of your sound, but it can also make it slightly louder. Some DJs also recommend placing subwoofers against walls and corners. This isn’t ideal for every setting, but it can definitely enhance the power of your subwoofer. Be sure to test different subwoofer arrangements in each venue, and over time you’ll get a feel for what works best.
If you’re only using one subwoofer, place it in the center facing the direction you want the sound to travel. This is the simplest way to achieve even sound distribution throughout a space. Placement becomes significantly more delicate when you start using more than one subwoofer. In general, it’s better to pair subwoofers side-by-side for even coverage and clean sound. If you place them far apart in an attempt to spread out your sound system, you will actually create dead spots in the room as the subwoofers clash and interfere with each other.
Should My Sub Match My Speakers?
Sound equipment must always be compatible, but in what ways?
There are certain industry standards in sound equipment that, if you buy consistently, your subwoofer will be compatible with your other equipment.
However, when it comes to speakers and subwoofers, it’s best to buy within a brand or series if possible. Subwoofers and speakers come in a series because they’re designed to function together and support one another. Brand compatible speakers and subwoofers make for easy, consistent set up and optimal sound production.
Which Subwoofer Should I Buy?
Subwoofers are great tools for creating immersive energy and movement within a space. They produce deep and clear bass sounds that your audience can hear and feel. To achieve a clear, professional sound, you should consider your typical venues and how sound travels within those spaces. Do you need something extremely loud and powerful? Do you ever work outdoor events? Do you need something highly portable and versatile?
Also consider how much control you want over your subwoofer. Some subwoofers are great for beginners because they include programs that do the hard work for you. Other subwoofers allow more room for custom design. Thinking about your style, venues, and abilities will guide you in purchasing the best subwoofer for you. The best subwoofer for a DJ will enhance your unique style and ability, allowing you to create a powerful, professional musical experience.
We hope this article on the best DJ subwoofer has been helpful. While there are plenty of things to consider when making this purchase, it should be fun!
After all, subs take your sound design to the next level. What’s a party or event without booming bass to get people moving? We hope this comprehensive buyer’s guide has informed you on the best subs on the market, so you can make an informed decision. Have fun bumping those jams!