Let’s compare the Yamaha DXS18 and QSC KW181 subwoofers. We’ll see how they stack up over a range of features and specifications to explain why we recommend one over the other. Which one? Keep reading to find out.

Quick Answer: We believe the Yamama DXS18 beats the QSC KW181 in every possible way, except for size.

Subwoofer Box

Both subs have an M20 screw-in mount, but the Yamaha also has a standard pole socket for mounting a speaker pole.

Power & Volume

The Yamaha DSX18 is about 15% louder than the QSC KW181. At the same time, it consumes less power.


Both subs are pretty similar in terms of inputs. The DSX18 has dual XLR inputs, and the KW181 has dual XLR-1/4” combi inputs.

The back panel of the Yamaha has an additional cardioid mode feature. This allows you to eliminate bass frequencies behind the sub. Stack two DSX18s, with one facing the audience and the other facing the opposite direction. Then simply activate cardioid mode on the sub facing the rear.

Size & Weight

This is the only area the DXS18 loses ground to the KW181; the Yamaha is slightly heavier and bigger than the QSC.

This is more an issue for a DJ or performer using a car to transport equipment. We can see why the QSC’s smaller form would make it more attractive in that situation.


The Yamaha DXS18 employs a band pass design that people either love or hate. We fall into the love category as the band pass means the sub hits harder in the 80-120 Hz range, which is perfect for EDM music and kick drums.

By comparison, the QSC KW181 is a little more musical, with a more rounded, even tone. We prefer the sound of the DXS18.

Yamaha DXS18 VS QSC KW181 Specs

Yamaha DXS18QSC KW181
LF Driver Size:18″18”
Total Power:1020W1000W
Inputs:2 x XLR2 x XLR-1/4”
Outputs:2 x XLR Thru2 x XLR
Frequency Range:32Hz-120Hz37 Hz–129 Hz
Maximum Peak SPL:136dB SPL135 dB peak
Enclosure Material:Wood, Black finishWood, Black finish
Weight:110 lbs.93.6 lbs.

Yamaha DXS18 VS QSC KW181 Pricing

Yamaha DXS18 VS QSC KW181 Topics

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