PROS / This subwoofer performed well in both our frequency and listening tests.
CONS / It doesn't have an adjustable crossover and is underpowered.
VERDICT / This subwoofer is a good fit for smaller rooms. Keep in mind its lack of inputs and adjustable crossover could make this subwoofer more difficult to add to an existing system compared to others with those features.
The Yamaha YST-SW012 is a small subwoofer, but it boasts an unusually deep frequency range for a speaker of its size. Subwoofers this size – it has an 8-inch driver – usually don't get down to 28Hz, which is what the Yamaha is rated to achieve.
This is one of the most accurate subwoofers we reviewed, according to our subwoofer frequency testing. The subwoofer displayed a flat line across our grid indicating accurate reproduction of the 20Hz to 200Hz sine wave we used to test the sub. When a speaker reproduces tones accurately, it generally makes for a pleasant and natural sound quality – and that was the case in our listening tests.
Our listening panel often described the YST-SW012 subwoofer speaker as warm and natural sounding during our testing, and every one of our panelists could feel the bass rumble under their feet – an impressive feat for an 8-inch home subwoofer.
There were a few panelists who wanted more attack and performance from the bass than the Yamaha displayed. This could be due to the lack of power compared to other subwoofers in our comparison. The Yamaha subwoofer only operates on 100 watts of RMS power, whereas our top performers operate on 200 watts or more. The lack of power makes this subwoofer more suitable for smaller entertainment rooms. Putting this subwoofer in a large room would be underwhelming.
This was the only home subwoofer in our lineup that lacked an adjustable crossover knob, making it impossible to choose what frequencies are sent to the Yamaha like you can with other subwoofers in our comparison. This could make it difficult to calibrate your subwoofer with an existing system.
On the back of the speaker there is a single subwoofer input, a power button and volume knob. The Yamaha home subwoofer lacks both speaker-level inputs and outputs, making it difficult to connect the subwoofer to an older, two-channel receiver. It also lacks a standby switch that automatically turns the subwoofer off when it is not in use.
This subwoofer is only available in a black finish. It weights under 20 pounds and measures 11.4 x 11.4 x 12.9 inches (H x W x D) making it easy to tuck under a table or in a small space in your room. The subwoofer is covered by a two-year warranty from authorized dealers. You can also contact Yamaha via email and phone if you have any questions or concerns.
The Yamaha YST-SW012 performs well for its small size. It operates on 100 watts of continuous power – fine for a small entertainment room, but not enough for a larger room. Our panel enjoyed listening to the subwoofer, yet it is missing features that many others in our comparison include, such as a power standby, adjustable crossover and speaker-level inputs. If a simple and small subwoofer is all you want for your home entertainment room, the Yamaha will do the trick.