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TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

If you want to experience movie theater sound quality in the comfort of your own home, a subwoofer is a necessity. Action sequences seem real and theme music carries emotion if you have deep sound to accompany a large, high-resolution picture. The BIC Acoustech PL-200 is our top pick for home theater subwoofers thanks to its strong performance and balanced sound.

The low frequency response and high peak power of the 12-inch speaker are a great combination to drive energetic bass without any distortion or clipping. For these reasons and more, the BIC PL-200 is the best home theater subwoofer we reviewed and the winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.

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Performance
Compare
10/10
BIC Acoustech
BIC America
Premier Acoustic
MartinLogan Dynamo
Velodyne Impact
Polk Audio
Theater Solutions
JBL ES
Infinity Primus
Yamaha YST
10
7.5
8.8
7.5
6.9
6.9
8.1
7.5
9.4
4.4

Using 250 watts of continuous power, you can turn any movie or TV show into an experience without worrying about blowing out the amplifier. If you get curious and decide to test the subwoofer's limits, the 1000-watt dynamic peak power ensures you have plenty of wiggle room. Unlike many other subwoofers, the volume ranges from 1 to 6. When we tested the sub, we turned it up to 5 and were impressed by the booming sound. While this design choice is unusual, the sub offers plenty of sound just below its max.

This small subwoofer has a large frequency response range making the BIC PL-200 one of the most dynamic within our subwoofer reviews. On the low end, 22Hz handles all of the growling bass tones while a 200Hz ceiling makes this speaker dynamic enough to provide thunderous low notes without sounding muddy.

If you purchase this home subwoofer, we suggest taking time to adapt it to your room size and preferences. We like to begin with music to ease the subwoofer into its new job. After adjusting it for your favorite music, you'll be ready to test the speaker with your favorite movie's low-frequency effects.
From Blu-rays to DVDs, the BIC Acoustech PL-200 readily handles the thumping explosions and frequency drops, delivering more sound than other speakers. In addition to bringing the solid and deep effects you want, this subwoofer can push some air, reverberating through walls and floors.

Sound Quality
Compare
10/10
BIC Acoustech
BIC America
Premier Acoustic
MartinLogan Dynamo
Velodyne Impact
Polk Audio
Theater Solutions
JBL ES
Infinity Primus
Yamaha YST
10
8.8
8.8
7.5
6.9
6.9
4.4
7.5
4.4
4.4

Typically, people associate budget home subwoofers with low-quality sound and unintuitive design. The BIC Acoustech PL-200 delivers great musical fidelity and booming film effects without needing much adjustment. This subwoofer allows you to set it how you would like and forget about it.

Bass-heavy musical tracks transport you into the album. From hip-hop to rock to techno, the BIC Acoustech PL-200 can handle the crisp bass tracks with very few adjustments. We noticed that the speaker needs adjusting for jazz tracks before we reached the sweet spot, but it is able to deliver solid sounds at higher bass frequencies. This subwoofer is willing to take a back seat to the other speakers during music, creating a surprisingly balanced bass.

Design
Compare
10/10
BIC Acoustech
BIC America
Premier Acoustic
MartinLogan Dynamo
Velodyne Impact
Polk Audio
Theater Solutions
JBL ES
Infinity Primus
Yamaha YST
10
10
8.8
5.6
7.5
6.3
7.5
6.3
5
5

The PL-200's design allows it to bring huge sound in a small package. With a 12-inch front-firing speaker, you may want to dial it back a hair in smaller rooms. For larger or rooms with open walkways, the 12-inch woofer is welcome and pushes the bass to fill up the room. The PL-200 comes with the highly efficient BASH amplifier to deliver impressive sound at low settings.

Features
Compare
10/10
BIC Acoustech
BIC America
Premier Acoustic
MartinLogan Dynamo
Velodyne Impact
Polk Audio
Theater Solutions
JBL ES
Infinity Primus
Yamaha YST
10
10
7.5
8.8
8.8
8.8
9.4
6.3
5
9.4

This sub offers a wide range of features. Along with impressive sound quality and design, this subwoofer offers the controls to fine-tune several elements of the speaker and amp.

With adjustable frequency crossover and volume control, you get a level of performance control that many other subs lack. When we used the speaker in smaller rooms, we kept the volume low to preserve the sound quality, but in large rooms, this sub's volume control offers some exciting possibilities. If you have a Dolby Digital audio/video receiver, you won't have to worry about adjusting the frequency crossover, because the receiver works with all the speakers at the same time. For Dolby Pro Logic receivers, however, the adjustable crossover should be tweaked for movies and music to make sure you're getting the most out of your subwoofer.

The speaker features a signal-sensing auto on/off and an LED power mode indicator on the back. If you plan to use the subwoofer often, this auto power feature will make it easier to deal with. If you go on a vacation, we suggest turning off the power from the back to save energy and preserve the electronic components.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
BIC Acoustech
BIC America
Premier Acoustic
MartinLogan Dynamo
Velodyne Impact
Polk Audio
Theater Solutions
JBL ES
Infinity Primus
Yamaha YST
10
10
7.5
9.4
6.3
6.9
2.5
5
6.3
5.6

The BIC Acoustech PL-200's warranty is certainly impressive, with eight years on parts and labor and two years on the amplifier. On top of that, BIC America has a solid reputation for repairing non-warrantied components to fix warranty-covered issues. This extra support comes at no extra cost to the consumer, and BIC America's customers are remarkably loyal.

BIC America's website offers email and phone support, and you can navigate the FAQs page as well. We are disappointed that the website does not feature links to online user manuals or user forums, but with BIC America's reputation, we are confident they will provide you with any help or information you need.

BIC Acoustech Summary:
10/10

The BIC Acoustech PL-200 is the best home subwoofer for the money. Its 1000-watt peak power and dynamic frequency response are defining characteristics that make this subwoofer worthy of our top spot. It will immensely improve your home stereo system with billowing bass tones that will add depth to your music and movies.

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BIC Acoustech PL-200

Pros
This is the most powerful subwoofer we reviewed. The 12-inch woofer, coupled with high peak power and low frequency response, puts this subwoofer over the competition.

Cons
There have been complaints about the internal wiring coming undone, yet we did not experience any issues.

The Verdict
: 10/10

This subwoofer is likely the best fit for your home theater, especially if you are on a budget. It is loud, powerful and versatile.