We like Yamaha as a company because they make a lot of audio equipment that’s decent while being very inexpensive – they’re often the ideal choice for people who are looking to get started with spending as little money as possible. The popular NS-AW050 is their budget-tier 8 inch subwoofer, and it brings quite a lot to the table while being one of the cheapest subwoofers available.
Speaker type: powered, ported
Nominal power handling: 50 W
Peak power handling: 100 W
Frequency response range: 28- 200 Hz
Warranty: 2 years
Review and Discussion
A 50 watt subwoofer will sufficiently augment similarly priced budget main speakers, but will lack in tandem with higher end systems. That’s perfectly OK though – plenty of people don’t need to pay for overly powerful speakers, and there’s also no reason them to pay for an overly powerful sub either. Besides that, the NS-SW050 brings a very respectable response range to the table for the price. And do note that the main purpose of a subwoofer is not necessarily to be loud and low, but to take over the lower frequencies and allow the main speakers to really focus on the mids and highs.
The other advantage of this budget subwoofer is that it’s very small, light, and ported on it’s side rather than the bottom. This makes set up and placement about as easy and convenient as it can possibly get. The look is pretty boiler plate, on par with most other budget-speakers with a black washed wood finish and front covering foam grill with an interesting angled and protruding bezel. Looks decent enough we think for those who are mostly focus on keeping the budget down. A two year warranty, while fairly decent, is somewhat lacking to competitors which have 3-5 year warranties.
Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
Yamaha makes good budget-tier speakers, and if you’re looking for a sub to augment a similarly priced pair of speakers, and you want something smaller and more convenient, the NS-SW050 is a very solid choice.
Another viable option is Polk’s PSW10 (reviewed here) – it has a slightly inferior response range, but a bigger 10 inch driver and better warranty. Between these two we’d say it’s a toss up and to just get whichever’s the best deal at the time.
Also an option is the bigger 10 inch version, the NS-SW100 (reviewed here, but it’s hard to recommend this when it’s more expensive and not any more powerful.
Beyond that, if you’re willing to spend a little more money there are many bigger and significantly more powerful options. Check out the links below for more information there.