In recent years, the use of invisible subwoofers has continued to attract more and more home theatre enthusiasts. The popularity of in wall subwoofers can be attributed to their powerful bass and immersive surround sound without physical distraction or having a subwoofer taking your floor space.
Subwoofer placement has a significant impact on sound quality, but if its placement is visually distracting, it can impact your overall listening experience. An in wall subwoofer will stay out of sight while providing you with powerful low-end frequencies for your music or movies.
In this post, we have narrowed down our selection and provided you with five best in wall subwoofers that you need to build the best home theatre environment.
1. Theater Solutions SUB8SM- Best rated in wall subwoofer
This Theater Solutions subwoofer costs you less than $200 for a performance that extends beyond the limitations of most sound systems.
First off, the subwoofer looks great. Additionally, the ported enclosure looks nice and sturdy. It is designed for audiophiles looking for an extra powerful bass response for their home theatre.
Something you’ll like about both the SUB8SM and SUB8S models is that they are equipped with a line-level input that allows for fast and seamless connection to just any system. You can use standard RCA inputs to connect to your home theatre receivers for entertainment like no other.
Its low profile design allows for easy placement in any location, and it is the best in wall subwoofer for home theatre. The model also includes optional stand, wall mounts and hardware.
Low profile design: With just a 4.75″ height design, Theater Solutions SUB8SM will fit easily in tight spaces and into the wall. Besides in-wall placement, the versatile sub design comes with stands and mounting brackets to allow you to set up your sub in any location.
The 8-inch long driver delivers a wide frequency response of 35-150 Hz +/- 2dB for impactful bass and high-quality and full-bodied sound at a budget-friendly price.
High-density MDF enclosure: The enclosure is built of MDF wood and enhanced with an advanced RFL bass-reflex design to eliminate vibrations. This design is durable, strong, and sturdy enough to help eliminate any distortion of sound waves. Also, the port design help smoothen air coming in and out of the cabinet while reducing port noise.
This design also helps to improve linearity, decrease 5th order harmonic distortion and increase the input up to 2-3dB.
Besides, the mahogany wood finish blends into any interior, while the thick construction helps to bring out optimal sound quality from the subwoofer.
Computer-assisted design: The manufacturer designed this sub in a practical design that includes computer-assisted design software to deliver high-quality audio and enhance user experience. The software helps you to achieve an optimized balance between various components for improved performance and longer life.
Volume and crossover frequency dials: The Theater Solutions SUB8SM, just like SUB8S, comes with a unique volume and frequency knob that allows you to control the frequency range from 35Hz to 150Hz. It also features a gain control knob and a 0 to 180 degrees phase control switch to enable the sub to yield better in-room low-frequency response.
Auto-shutoff: Another great feature of Theater Solutions SUB8SM in wall subwoofer is the inbuilt auto shut-off. The subwoofer goes into a standby mode automatically if it does any signal within two minutes—this helps to conserve more power in the long run.
- High quality and CARB compliant MDF construction
- The bass is tight and punchier
- Nice, slim design that offers great value for money
- Decent mid lows
- The mahogany finish looks great
- The sub is not LFE compatible
- The bass is not too boomy, but the sound quality is impressive, especially for an 8”
Although it is not going to replace your home theatre sound, Theater Solutions SUB8SM is more than a basic sub with enough low-end performance to fill out the sound in your living room.
Its applications include surround sound systems, home theatre systems, and multiple room systems. A “Y” adapter is included for flexibility, and it is ideal for use inside the walls and in-ceiling sound systems.
2. Monoprice Fiber In-Wall Speaker –Caliber series- Best passive
Monoprice Caliber is another dedicated in wall speaker for everyday listening. Unlike Theater Solutions SUB8SM, which has a 250 peak power rating, this Monoprice sub is rated 300 watts max power which means more bass performance.
The in wall subwoofer is designed to blend into any environment or décor. And to make everything even easier, you can run the sub with Monoprice’s Unity series 200-watt Bridgeable amplifier.
Another thing we liked about this Caliber series is that you don’t need an enclosure to deliver accurate performance. The space behind the wall acts as more of an infinite baffle to helps the sub balance the sound. This arrangement may have less punch than a sub installed in a subwoofer box like Theater Solutions SUB8SM above, but the difference in sound quality is negligible.
Aramid Fiber driver: The driver is made from Aramid Fiber which is known for being strong and heat resistant. This construction is extremely lightweight but very durable. Additionally, this design holds its form more efficiently than most polymers, and this helps to reduce distortion. With 300 watts max power, the woofer will handle the lower frequencies more precisely while filling your room with earth-shaking bass.
Straightforward installation: The speaker comes with easy to follow mounting instructions; your speaker should be up and running within no time. With a 3.6″ mounting depth, the subwoofer will go into almost any wall with the specified space behind it. What’s more, the woofer is made from durable Aramid Fiber materials, so it will stand abuse and hold its shape under heavy usage.
Paintable grill: The grill is paintable, meaning you can choose a color of your choice or match it with the color of the wall to make your sub completely invisible. This feature is absent in most high-end models, and when combined with its powerful and low profile design, it makes this the best DIY in wall subwoofer and a great addition to any standard home theatre.
Ease of use: Моnорrісе cаlіbеr is a great choice if you’re looking for an entry-level in wall subwoofer with combination affordability and ease of use. This is simplified further by the inclusion of a detailed user manual to guide you through the process of installation, safety guidelines, and tuning the speakers. However, if you want to reap full benefits, it is best to put in some time and effort to ensure precise installation.
- Easy installation
- No issues with rattling
- The subwoofer is sold in pairs
- Since they are in wall, they will stay out of the way
- Good bass and smooth highs
- It is a passive speaker, so you’ll need an amp for the best sound quality
- It is not tested for in floor installation. If you need one that is wall mountable, consider models tested for in floor/ in ceiling mounting.
- The sub is not wireless, but the good thing is you can hide them inside the wall
This Caliber series is audiophile in wall subwoofer, and it is a representation of the value that Monoprice offers. It is ideal for those who don’t want to take up floor space with subwoofers and speakers that leave your living space feeling cluttered.
3. Theater Solutions SUB8S-Best powered in wall subwoofer
Whether you like to watch action-packed movies or listening to heavy-bass tracks like Hip-hop, Theater Solutions SUB8S is the real deal. It allows you to experience the effects in the movies and the instruments exactly the way the artist intended.
Using one subwoofer can make it hard to deliver accurate bass response, especially when you have multiple listening positions. However, Theater Solutions SUB8S offers bass that is evenly distributed at more locations in the listening area.
Unlike, Monoprice caliber, which requires a separate amp, SUB8Sis self-powered, meaning it is a very reliable option. The availability of an inbuilt amp will also ensure ease of installation since the amplifier is already configured.
Features and benefits
Slim powered subwoofer for home theatre: Theater Solutions SUB8S comes in a slim design that helps bring the boom to the comfort of your living room. The design integrates a high-efficiency power amplifier that will stand up to the demands of your movies or music. The compact enclosure fits easily behind the wall and in other tight spaces that other powered subwoofers can’t.
Optimal power handling: The subwoofer is designed to channel 250 watts max power through the 8″ woofer to deliver clean and precise bass. In addition, you can plug your system into a standard US 110 V outlet. We also liked the auto on/off feature, which helps to save power during inactivity. Other controls include crossover control, gain, and phase control to improve efficiency.
Down firing woofer: Theater Solutions SUB8S disperses its sound downwards towards the floor, i.e., down firing, which makes it ideal for placement alongside a wall. The soundwaves are pushed towards the ground, where they are reflected to give you the biggest possible sound.
Bass reflex cabinet design: The SUB8S uses a bass reflex system with a bottom slotted port to increase the subwoofer’s efficiency compared to a sealed enclosure or a typical infinite baffle mounting. In addition, the box is made from high-quality MDF wood with internal bracing and vibration-absorbing feet to help absorb stray bass waves.
- Reasonable bass response from an 8″ sub in a slim enclosure
- The look is quite elegant
- Good features for a budget subwoofer
- Reduced distortion
- Built-in amp for user convenience
- Black Ash finish goes well with any furniture
- It includes a 6 foot RCA cord
- The bass is slightly lacking due to the small size, but it offers a fairly good punch for a small system
- Just like Theater Solutions SUB8SM, this model is not compatible with LFE.
This Theater Solution slim subwoofer is a great buy for people who want a high-quality sub that their budget can permit. It is ideal for use in home entertainment systems, including home theatre and surround sound applications.
Although it is marketed as a subwoofer that is easy to place under furniture, you can install it in the wall if you have insufficient space.
4. OSD Audio NERO-FS800- Best compact
OSD Audio NERO-FS800 is smaller than OSD Audio’s IWS88 dual subwoofer, but it offers deep and clean sound. Despite not being a dual subwoofer, it offers sufficient power handling capability for optimal sound quality. It comes in an ultra-slim trimless low profile design that offers decent sound quality considering the price.
It performs exceptionally well in small to mid-sized rooms in both single and multiple room sound setups. However, it may lack the power to match a large and more expensive subwoofer, so if you’re working with a bigger room, you may want to up your budget a little and go with OSD Audio IWS88.
The hardest part of getting a new in wall subwoofer is the installation process. This model is fairly easy to install, provided that you have previous experience of cutting holes in the walls.
Compact but powerful: OSD Audio NERO-FS800 features an 8″ woofer specially designed to reproduce low-end sounds. It is rated at 200 watts max power, which more than enough to add deep and rich sounding bass to your home entertainment sound system. However, it is important to pair this subwoofer with a good sound system and the recommended amp to get the most out of it.
Shallow mount design: The bulky nature of floor-standing subwoofer makes them less suitable for use in small living spaces. The slim and small size of this subwoofer makes it easy to install into any wall, and also it blends into any interior.
More often, you don’t need advanced skills to install your sub provided that you have the required tools and the best in wall subwoofer cable to facilitate effortless installation.
Sealed sub enclosure: OSD Audio NERO-FS800 comes in a sealed enclosure that is tuned to enhance tight bass sound reproduction. The sealed box ensures maximum bass extension while preventing sound from leaking into the open space. However, it is important to note that it will need more power to reproduce louder than if it was in a ported box.
Paintable grille: Although the grille does not improve the subwoofer performance, you’ll love the appearance of the sub with the grille on. Other than aesthetic purposes, the grille protects the delicate parts of the woofer from external factors.
The frame on this sub is not only removable but it is also painted to allow you to blend it with the colors of your walls. Besides, with a less than 4″ mounting depth, you can install your sub in any wall with the said space behind it, plus it allows for flexible placement options.
- Straightforward installation
- You won’t get any sound distortion with NERO-FS800
- Fills in any missing sound from any audio system
- Great power handling
- Great customer support when you buy from a known brand like OSD Audio
- Compared to Theater Solutions SUB8SM and SUB8S, the bass is not as deep. You can go with either of the models if you have the budget
- Just like Monoprice Caliber, NERO-FS800 is a passive subwoofer, so it will require an external amplifier. An ideal match would be the SMP-200 mono block amplifier by OSD Audio. The amp is rated at 100 watts rms, and 200 watts peak power.
OSD Audio NERO-FS800 is excellent for listening to heavy-bass music, and it performs exceptionally well for home theatre and surround sound systems. It is just the ticket to room-filling bass without having to add large and bulky speakers, especially when you’re working with limited space.
So, if you’re after a perfect bass companion for your home, this OSD subwoofer is the best in wall subwoofer for the money.
5. Monoprice In-Wall Passive Subwoofer-Aria- Best budget
Monoprice Aria series is an in wall subwoofer that is specially designed to bridge the gap that may arise when you try to pair a high-powered subwoofer to a small set of speakers.
We have included this unit in our list of best in wall subwoofers because it is easy to install, and the brand is trusted in the world of car and home audio.
We also like the fact that Monoprice Aria has a wide frequency response that allows it to play all the low, middle, and high tones in the right proportion. However, if you are looking for more power to replace your LFE subwoofer, consider the Monoprice caliber series.
Ultimate match for a small speaker setup: The sub offers the power you need to transform your set of satellite speakers into a full range of speakers. It presents a wider sound staging, more defined audio while making your main speakers sound clearer.
With a standard construction of 10.57″ x 10.57″ and 3.44″ mounting depth, you have the flexibility to install this Monoprice sub inside any wall.
10″ Non-press cone woofer: Its 10″ driver delivers impressive and powerful lows that rival the performance of powered LFE subwoofers. The driver can handle impressive volume levels of up to 200 watts to deliver unmatched sound quality. Additionally, the design of the driver features aramid fiber construction that allows it to maintain its structure during stress and to minimize distortion.
Out of sight bass performance: The small sub will let you experience deep and impactful bass without sacrificing your floor space. The performance can be equated to having massive floor standing speakers but without taking any floor space. Monoprice Aria installs discreetly in existing walls or even a new construction for a clutter-free appearance. Once installed, all you’ll see is the clean white color of the included frame.
High-quality build: This capable sub is made using high-quality materials to ensure smooth and clean low-end performance. And just like other Monoprice speakers, it features a rugged design and quality control standards at under $100. Besides, the 36 Hz – 1.2 kHz is broad enough to fill your living space with accurate and warm bass that is not only heard but also felt.
- Build quality is excellent
- Excellent presence at affordable price
- The quality of the driver is top-notch
- Installation is easy and straightforward
- Small speaker, big sound
- You shouldn’t expect a huge throbbing bass, but it gets the job done
- It is a non-powered subwoofer, but you can pair it with a capable amp to get the most out of your system.
This Monoprice Aria series is the first step if you are looking to build a home theatre of your dreams. We were impressed by the sound quality and clarity of the subwoofer, considering the low price. Additionally, the sub excels with its flexible placement options and high-quality sound reproduction.
So, no matter how limited your space or budget is, this Monoprice will give your bass a significant boost.
How to choose the best in wall subwoofer
There are dozens of in wall subwoofer out there, but not all subwoofers are made equal. Here are some of the factors we considered when ranking and comparing the subwoofers;
In wall subwoofers, just like other subwoofers, have specifications on RMS and maximum power handling capacity.
Peak power is the measure of the maximum amount of power a sub can output in short bursts. This rating is only helpful when you intend to crank the volume to the maximum, but we trust this is not going to happen as often.
The RMS is the spec that you need to pay attention to. This rating gives you an idea of the power handling of the sub over long periods. The higher the wattage, the deeper and powerful the bass. However, our advice is you go for the amount of power that will comfortably fill your space with thumping bass.
For example, Monoprice Aria goes for less than $ 50, but is will fill your living space with impactful bass. This sub has an RMS rating of 100 watts which is more than enough power for most people. That said, it is always a good idea to go with the power range that best suits your needs
The size of the driver is also an important factor when choosing an in wall subwoofer. Generally, the bigger the surface area of the woofer, the deeper the bass. However, bigger does not always mean better. It is critical to match your sub with other speakers to create an engulfing listening experience.
If you are working with a larger room, consider a 10″ or 12″ in wall subwoofer. A large sub will move more air, which means more bass. On the other hand, an 8″ in wall subwoofer is best suited for small living spaces to ensure you don’t overwhelm your space.
The size you get is also going to be determined by the amount of bass you need. If you love heart-throbbing bass, a bigger sub is the way to go. On the other hand, if you don’t need as much oomph, a smaller sub will suit your taste perfectly.
Space between walls:
Apart from the size of your entertainment room, the space behind your wall will determine what sub is suitable for you. Ensure the sub you choose will comfortably fit into the area behind the wall to ensure optimal performance. You may want to take the measurements of the location you wish to install your sub to determine if it will fit.
Price is also a critical decision-making factor when choosing an in wall subwoofer for your needs. If you are on a budget, you can go with compact units with a small driver like Monoprice Aria series. The small sub can fill the room with deep-sounding bass but not the kind that is likely to shake the walls. On the other hand, if your budget allows, you can invest in a high-end unit with greater volume capability and a more immersive audio experience.
The Bottom Line!
Adding a subwoofer to your home entertainment will bring a movie theatre movie experience at home. In wall subwoofers are designed to solve the problem of limited living spaces by allowing home theater fanatics to enjoy an impressive bass performance without sacrificing any floor space. While the best home subwoofers may cost you hundreds of dollars, you can opt for a budget in wall subwoofer under $100. When used and placed appropriately, in wall subwoofers can be extremely effective and convenient.
All the above models are top-rated, and we can guarantee they will transform your room into a sanctuary of immersive sound and superior audio. However, we picked on Theater Solutions SUB8SM as our overall best in wall subwoofer due to its user-friendly features that give your bass a boost with minimal fuss. It also comes with an inbuilt amplifier, so it a complete package, and for that reason, it remains the overall winner.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.