If you’re a DJ or aspiring to be one, you know how tough the industry can be to break into. While it’s everyone’s dream to be mixing it up in front of a massive sound system at an Ibiza beach party, the reality is that you have to pay your dues to get there. This can mean playing small clubs, events, and even private parties.
But if your sound system doesn’t sound amazing, who’s going to look at you twice?
Among the main weapons you need as a DJ, a great subwoofer is one of the most critical. Your bass has to blast people out of their chairs and onto their feet. So what are the best powered subwoofers for DJs? Let’s find out…
Top 8 Best Powered Subwoofers for DJs of 2023
1 Yamaha NS-SW050BL 8-inch Powered Subwoofer – Best Budget Powered Subwoofer for DJs
Dimensions: 11 1/2” W x 11 1/2” H x 13 3/8” D
I’m going to start things out with a simple, straightforward, and affordable DJ subwoofer that’s easy to get your hands on. This is the NS-SW050BL 8-inch Powered Subwoofer by legendary brand Yamaha.
What have they put into this sub-woofer?
Just some simple yet elegant tech designed to provide a beefy bass punch. The unit is powered and can produce 50 Watts of bass juice. It features a simple 8” cone speaker as well as a side-firing passive bass port. However, this port has been redesigned from a simple cone to a twisted flared cone to focus sound better and make your bass clear.
And it works!
Sure, this isn’t the biggest speaker out there. Sure it’s not going to bust the windows out of the houses on your street. But the bass here is nicely focused and accurate.
There aren’t many controls here, though. You get a power switch and volume knob, and that’s it. No crossover setting or bass boost.
Connections and Construction
The only connector here is a single female AV port, which is also disappointing. Five-pin XLR and AUX should be included here at least. Although you know, Bluetooth would be lovely, too.
There are also no handles to help you cart this cabinet around. And with a simple MDF construction wrapped in textured vinyl, it’s not going to be the most durable speaker when you want to bring it around to different venues. This probably isn’t going to be a big enough, tough enough speaker to take on the road.
However, the price is right. You’re looking at about $150 for this subwoofer, which isn’t going to break the bank by any means.
- Good, solid, and accurate sound.
- Cheap price.
- Well-designed side port for added clarity.
- The only connection is a single mono AV port.
- No luggage handles.
- The finish is not very durable.
2 Proreck PR18 Active Subwoofer – Most Durable Powered Subwoofer for DJs
Dimensions: 22” W x 26” D x 24 ½” H
Proreck is asking for more than double the price for their PR18 Active Subwoofer. It’s priced at around $360 and is a much, much bigger machine.
The 22 x 26 x 24.5-inch cabinet of this subwoofer is made from reinforced plywood and is covered in a durable Elastoflex coating to make it impact and scratch-resistant. It also sits on short rubber feet to reduce vibrations, making it a tough and rugged powered subwoofer for DJs.
You also get two built-in luggage handles on the sides of this unit, which is good since it weighs about 70 pounds.
So how about the sound? You had better hold onto your hat. This unit has a max power output of 2000 Watts, meaning it can run on an 800W program, though its RMS is 400W. It’s powered by a massive 18” driver and 4” voice coil to spit out all those delicious low frequencies.
Overall, this thing booms and shakes the room. It can be a bit distorted way up at its highest volume range, but normally it’s clear and strong. As a result, it’s one of the loudest powered subwoofers for DJs you can buy.
As for connections
You can run stereo AV or balanced XLR to this powered unit. It can also filter XLR output to export audio signals from 100-20,000Hz. In addition to power and volume controls, you can set the built-in crossover frequency. This lets you choose to let in anything lower than from 40-160Hz, with 80Hz being a pretty common standard.
For DJs looking to play around town, this box is tough and strong, and powerful enough to rock a small to medium-sized room. Expect your sets to sound big and bold with this powered sub.
- Large and powerful.
- Durable finish with handles for portability.
- Crossover control.
- AV and XLR connections don’t work simultaneously.
- Some distortion at max volume.
3 Sound Town Metis-18PWG Powered Subwoofer – Best Value for the Money Powered Subwoofer for DJs
Dimensions: 23 4/5” W x 24 4/5” D x 27 1/5” H
For a little bit more money, you could pick up the Metis-18PWG Powered Subwoofer from Sound Town. This unit retails at just about $400 and is another big beefy contender for the title of Best Powered Subwoofers for DJs.
This is another 18” driver subwoofer with a 4” voice coil, but it’s a little bit bigger than the Proreck. You get a higher max output here of 2400W versus the Proreck’s 2000W. However, the RMS is 700W, so you’re getting a much beefier consistent power output here.
The sound quality here is great
There’s more power than you probably know what to do with, but with that big voice coil, it’s still contained and directed into a tight, punchy sound. It also stays relatively clear at those highest volume levels that threaten to blow your eardrums. Therefore, it’s one of the best sound quality powered subwoofers for DJs on the market.
The build here is very durable
The cabinet is 5/8” birch plywood finished in that fuzzy carpet texture we all know and love. The front grille is steel, as are the corners. So, you won’t have to worry about bangs, bumps, and scratches while taking this thing around town with you. It also has two strong side handles to help you cart it around, as it’s about 90 pounds worth of gear.
You get master volume and a low pass filter that can be set from 40-160Hz. That’s a bit low, considering the speaker only covers down to 35Hz. You’re able to connect this unit by ¼” jacks, stereo AV, through XLR, and also 100Hz high-pass XLR. It also has a 35mm pole mount socket in case you want to use it to power a satellite speaker as well.
Finally, you can flip the voltage between 115 and 230V, so you can use this subwoofer anywhere in the world you need to DJ.
- Huge, loud sound that stays clear.
- Durable construction.
- AV, ¼”, and XLR connections, plus 115-230 voltage.
- Low-end only down to 35Hz.
4 Rockville RBG18S Powered Subwoofer – Best Powered Subwoofer with Bass Boost for DJs
Dimensions: 25” W x 27 1/2” D x 30” H
The Rockville RBG18S Powered Subwoofer is another big bad 18” subwoofer. This is the biggest cabinet so far at 30” tall and weighs in at 84 heavy pounds.
This big boy isn’t as powerful as the Sound Town model we just saw. It has an RMS of only 500 Watts compared to Sound Town’s 700. However, with a 1000 Watts program and 2000 Watts max power, it’s a bit more powerful than the Proreck. It also costs a bunch more – this unit sells for about $450.
Big bottom end?
As I mentioned, you’ve got a big 18” driver inside as well as a 4-inch voice coil to control it. The frequency response is the same as the Sound Town from 35-20,000Hz. While it gets down low, it’s missing a bit of the lowest end of the audible spectrum. But the bass here is still loud and powerful.
I did get a bit of buzzing again at high volumes, so whether this is a driver issue or a construction issue, I don’t know.
Construction is pretty much the same as with the Sound Town cabinet
This is 5/8” plywood covered in carpet and reinforced with steel at the corners. The front grille is steel as well to protect the driver. There are also three handles this time, plus two wheels on the bottom, back end to help you transport the unit around. So, even though it is rather large, it’s one of the most portable powered subwoofers for DJs.
As for connections, you’ve got the choice of ¼” jacks, XLR in, and AV. You also get an adjustable low-pass filter you can set at 80, 100, or 120Hz. Finally, there’s a bass boost for when you need to really blow people’s socks off.
- Includes bass boost.
- Big and powerful.
- Durable and easy to transport with wheels.
- Some buzzing at high volumes.
- Only 500 Watts RMS.
5 Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT 12″ 1000W Bluetooth Powered Loudspeaker – Best Powered Subwoofer with Bluetooth for DJs
Dimensions: 14” W x 14” D x 24” H
The ZLX-12BT 12″ 1000W Bluetooth Powered Loudspeaker from Electro-Voice is a somewhat different animal. While technically not just a subwoofer, I thought I’d add this loudspeaker into the mix because it has a 12” sub on board to drive the bottom-end and create some powerful pulsing.
This 12” cone driver combines with a full-range driver to cover a frequency response of 65-18,000Hz. Compared to the bigger boys we’ve seen that can get down to 35 Hz, you will miss out on some of the bottom-end with this speaker. However, it’s an all-in-one unit which might be convenient for a DJing set-up.
At 14 x 14 x 24 inches and 35 pounds, it’s also a lot smaller than the subwoofers we’ve been looking at. As a result, it’s one of the best lightweight powered subwoofers for DJs you will find.
The metal front grille and durable plastic body prevent knocks and bangs from causing damage. Plus it comes with three strong handles, one on top and two on the sides, for easy transport. You can set this speaker up standing or laying down, which gives you some more options depending on the room you’re playing in.
The best part of this unit is the connections
You’ve got the options for ¼” cables and XLR as usual. But you’ve also got Bluetooth onboard, and that’s probably what’s pushing the price up to $450. That said, it’s one of the most versatile powered subwoofers for DJs you can buy.
The Bluetooth here is not all that strong, however, and has a restricted range of only about 10-12 feet (3-4m) before it starts to drop out. If you’re setting this up near your DJing decks, you’ll probably have no problem.
As for sound and power
You get a nice balanced, clear sound here that covers nearly the full range of your music. But you don’t get that incredible pounding super-deep bass bigger speakers can provide.
While max power is 1000 Watts, you’re looking at an RMS of probably only 3-400 Watts. So you’re not getting the volume that bigger rigs provide. I guess that’s the trade-off for the Bluetooth tech inside.
- Connections include ¼”, XLR, and Bluetooth.
- Full-range loudspeaker, not just a subwoofer.
- Durable and portable.
- Very low frequencies are missing here.
- Bass isn’t very powerful for the price.
- Lower power for the price, too.
6 Alto Professional TS312S Truesonic Powered Subwoofer – Best Bass Sound Powered Subwoofer for DJs
Dimensions: 18” W x 18” D x 20” H
Alto Professional jumps into the competition for the best powered subwoofers for DJs with their TS312S Truesonic Powered Subwoofer. This subwoofer features a 12” driver, which is a lot smaller than what we’ve been looking at earlier.
So how does it compare?
First off, at $460, the price is the highest we’ve seen so far, but the cone is only 12” versus 18” on some cheaper models. It’s also a smaller rig and weighs only 55 pounds, making it one of the lightest speakers we’ve looked at.
The power here is claimed as 2000W max power, 1000W continuous. Compared to some of the bigger cabinets we’ve looked at, this doesn’t seem right. The volume you get from this rig is not nearly as full as we found with the Proreck, Sound Town, or the Rockville. I think this is a case of exaggerating power ratings.
Could be better
The cabinet is also made from MDF versus the plywood cabinets we’ve seen. It has a splatter paint texture that’s going to hold up well, but overall, MDF just hasn’t got the strength that plywood has.
The corners are also not steel-reinforced, so if you have to transport this speaker a lot, expect it to get banged up. It does have two handles for carrying, but they’re simple cut-outs rather than steel grips. That loses a lot of marks for me.
So, what does it have?
Lovely, clear sound with decent, punchy bass. You can adjust the low frequencies with an extended LF control to get the best balanced sound out of this unit. You can also run XLR out to connect it with other speakers. For this, there’s an adjustable digital signal processor to adjust the frequency range to match well with the speakers you’re connecting to.
For other connections, you’re looking at the standard balanced XLR and ¼” cables. There are no AV ports here, though. All told, I think this speaker is over-priced for the output it produces. It’s a great sub, but it should be priced a lot lower to be competitive.
- Good sound with punchy bass.
- DSP settings for speaker matching.
- Smaller and less powerful than other, cheaper subs.
- MDF construction is less durable than plywood and steel reinforcement.
7 KRK Systems 10S2 V2 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer – Best Premium Powered Subwoofer for DJs
Dimensions: 14” W x 16” D x 15” H
Our next subwoofer is the 10S2 V2 10″ Powered Studio Subwoofer from KRK Systems. This subwoofer is again even smaller and lighter than the Alto, so just what kind of trend is this? We’re also looking at a $700 price tag here.
So, is this a great choice of subwoofer for a DJ?
At 41.5 pounds, this subwoofer is a lot lighter and more portable than some of the big cabinets we’ve looked at. We’re looking at a solid molded plastic construction here, rather than MDF or plywood.
Including the metal front grille makes it tough and durable. There are no handles here, though, to help with portability. I think 40+ pounds definitely warrants a handle.
The main driver here is a 10” glass aramid composite cone. This is a quality bit of sound-making gear, even if it’s only 10” in diameter. The driver produces a frequency range of 34-130Hz. However, the passive front-firing port allows a bass extension of down to 28Hz, making this the deepest speaker we’ve seen so far.
But hold the phone
The continuous power output of this unit is only 160 Watts. This gives it way less oomph, delivering max sound pressure levels (SPLs) of only 117dB compared to over 13 dB for the bigger 18” subs. So, you’re paying a lot more for way less power and volume.
The only answer I can find is that the sound quality here is excellent. Truly. The bass is tight, punchy, clear, and strong. Meaning it’s one of the best sounding powered subwoofers for DJs on the market. So, this may be a great speaker to use in studio sessions, as the name suggests, rather than for parties.
You get XLR, ¼”, and AV ports to connect the sub up. But you also have an optional footswitch controller (footswitch sold separately) to mute the sub when you want. This can be a great mixing tool or just be used for sudden bass-less effects.
- Excellent sound.
- Foot pedal port for a cut-off switch.
- Tough and durable.
- Small and low in power.
8 JBL Eon 618S Professional Portable Self-Powered Subwoofer – Best Professional Grade Powered Subwoofer for DJs
Dimensions: 26” W x 25” D x 23” H
Our last contender is another big boy, this time from JBL. This is their Eon 618S Professional Portable Self-Powered Subwoofer, a big, heavy subwoofer that’s suitable for rocking audiences in live shows.
At 78 pounds, you’re going to want help carrying this unit. It at least has two quality handles on the sides to help you do that. The cabinet is made from tough, dense injection-molded plastic with a textured coating that will stand up to all kinds of abuse.
What makes it thump
Inside, JBL has brought things back to the 18” speaker cone we need for huge bass. This cone is paired with two passive ports to get the most boom for your buck. We’re looking at a frequency range of 31-150Hz here and a max power of 1000 Watts.
The RMS is 500 Watts, which doesn’t sound as powerful as some other cabinets. However, with the bass ports and the unit’s engineered waveguide technology, JBL has got this bad boy up to a max SPL of 134dB. As a result, it’s one of the best high performance powered subwoofers for DJs you will find.
It’s plenty loud
This speaker moves some serious air and still manages to sound very clear and punchy. There are no rattles or buzzes from the cabinet, even at max volume. You get crisp, full bass, and that’s all.
Once again, this speaker shines in connections. You’ve got XLR and ¼” inputs and XLR output. You also get Bluetooth on board. While this is only BT4.0 and not the latest version, you still get solid pairing and a strong signal up to about 30 feet (10 m).
And you had better. For this price, you want to get excellent connections, excellent sound, and great power. JBL does well to deliver here.
- Connections include Bluetooth, ¼” and XLR.
- Great volume and clear sound.
- Durable construction.
- Big and heavy.
Best Powered Subwoofers for DJs – Buying Guide
A sub is a must for any DJ playing live performances. But which is the best one to get? Here are some things to think about before you purchase your subwoofer.
Size and Weight
A bigger cabinet almost always means more power inside and better durability as well. However, some cabinets get up to 80-90 pounds, making them pretty tough to lug around. If you can manage to move big equipment and need huge sound, go big. But if you need better portability, consider a smaller unit.
A subwoofer is a big and expensive piece of gear, so you definitely want it to last. MDF is dense and can sound great but doesn’t stand up to abuse like plywood and molded plastic can. Coatings and coverings also add extra protection to your speaker. If you need to move it around a lot, make sure you pick up a sub with an ultra-durable enclosure.
Power is the most often misrepresented feature of speakers. While maximum power levels can be hugely impressive, you need to look at RMS or continuous power. It tells you what the speaker can produce consistently, without distortion.
A level of 500-700 Watts is massive and should be enough for small to medium-sized venues. However, less power can still work in more intimate settings.
As a rule of thumb, the bigger the speaker cone, the deeper the sound your subwoofer can produce. But big cones need big power to boost them, so make sure you have both. For the best bass, look for a speaker that’s clear and punchy with deep bass frequencies down to 35 or even 30Hz.
Looking for more High-Quality DJ Gear?
We can help you with that. Check out our comparisons of the Best Subwoofers for Music, the Best Under Seat Subwoofers, the Best Car Subwoofers, the Best 12-Inch Subwoofers, the Best 15-inch Subwoofers, and the Best PA Subwoofers you can buy in 2023.
You may also enjoy our comprehensive comparison of the Best DJ Mixers, as well as our in-depth reviews of the Denon DJ Prime Go, the Denon DJ SC5000 Prime, the Denon DJ Prime 4, and the Denon DJ SC6000 Prime.
Or for more great speaker options, check out the Best Speakers For Vinyl, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best Bookshelf Speakers, the Best Floor Standing Speakers, the Best Smart Speakers, and the Best Sonos Speakers currently on the market.
What are the Best Powered Subwoofers for DJs?
The whole idea of this article is to compare some of the best subs out there to find the very best powered subwoofer for DJs. Well, taking into account power, sound quality, durability, portability, and of course price, I think I’ve got it.
For my money, the best deal overall is the…
You’re paying only $400 for a massive 700 Watts RMS speaker that really rocks. It may be big and heavy, but it has the power to blow your audience away.
If the Metis isn’t for you, try another speaker from this list, and you still won’t be disappointed. Every DJ needs a great sub, so now it’s time to go out and get yours.
Until next time, let your music play.