If you truly want music in your car to sound as good as possible, then you’ll need a subwoofer. Regardless of the genre, a good subwoofer will bring out the fullness and richness of music and take your listening experience to the next level.
But finding the right subwoofer can be a bit overwhelming when there are so many options from which to choose.
There are several good options available for those who want to rattle the neighborhood with earth shattering bass as well as good options for those who simply want a smaller boost to their low end with subs that won’t take up the entire trunk.
Based on reviews, we’ve developed a list of to the top 10 car subwoofers you should consider, and broken them down by size and budget.
Additionally, we’ve included information that you should be aware of as well – such as types of subwoofer enclosures and ease of installation.
Best Car Subwoofers 2019
Editor’s Choice: Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10
- Thunderous Bass
- Premium Design and Construction
- Good Value
Best 8 Inch Car Subwoofers
Ok, so if you want to hear the bass in your music faithfully and accurately reproduced but don’t need to rattle windows and burst eardrums, then you should probably get an 8 inch subwoofer.
Your hip-hop, techno, pop, jazz etc…will sound great and you’ll hear tones and feel the liveliness of the bass like never before.
Your music will sound awesome, but not overwhelmed by the bass such that it begins to lose its clarity. Here are a few brands to consider:
CT Sounds Meso 8 Car Subwoofer – Best All Around 8” Subwoofer.
The CT Sounds D4 is definitely punching above its weight class. Despite only being a smaller 8” subwoofer, it will produce large sounding bass.
It has a dual 2-ohms, a max power of 1600W and an RMS of 800W. Add in the built-in 2.5” voice coil and you’ve got a speaker that will can make the ground shake if it wants to.
Construction: It has triple stacked Y35-graded ferrite magnets with a sturdy outer frame that will protect the speaker from damage.
This is a great little subwoofer that rivals the power of a 12” sub. It has great reviews and is an Amazon’s choice as well. We couldn’t agree more.
Typically, we would follow our brief reviews with a quick mention of the downsides or “cons” of each product that we review, but honestly, we are really struggling to find anything to fault this powerhouse of a subwoofer. If you are looking for incredible bass without disrupting the overall sound quality of the music, the Meso D4 is probably the best choice for you.
Rockford P3SD2-8 Car Subwoofer – Best Compact Subwoofer
This subwoofer is ideal for those who don’t want their car’s subwoofer to take up a lot of trunk space. The PS3D2-8 is compact so you’ll have room left over in your trunk for other things besides musical equipment.
The Rockford Subwoofer is the next evolution in its highly popular Punch series. Its shallow design is what sets it apart from other subwoofers in the market. Being only 2 5/8” deep, you can fit the subwoofer into smaller vehicles and/or spaces that typically may not be suitable for larger subwoofers.
We’re fans of its construction as well. It has an anonized aluminum cone surrounded by Santoprene, and 2-ohm rated dual voice coils that pack a punch – to the tune of a peak power of 300W at 150W of continuous RMS. Small but packs a punch. It has a standard frequency response between 38 and 250HZ, but a sensitivity of only 82db.
The good thing is that you can connect this sub to other subwoofers thanks to the dual 2-ohms setup.
Bottom line: This subwoofer is designed for those who value space and don’t want their music overwhelmed by the bass.
Skar Audio ZVX-8 Car Subwoofer – For Bass Lovers
Relative to some of the established brands like JBL, Alpine and Pioneer, Skar Audio is a newcomer. But they have been getting solid reviews on their audio products for several years now.
Their ZVX-8 subwoofer is a nice addition and despite its small size, is capable of delivering bone-rattling bass.
Technically speaking, it has a dual 4-ohm voice coil configuration. It has a 156 ounce triple stack ferrite motor next to a 2.5” high temperature voice coil.
It boasts a max RMS power of 900W, and 80.4 dB sensitivity rating, and a grade one paper cone.
In short, all this allows this subwoofer to produce small tremors when the volume is turned up. This is for bass lovers who don’t want to spend a fortune and want a fairly compact subwoofer.
Best 10 Inch Car Subwoofers
10” subwoofers are great for enriching the bass across all types of genres of music as they are big enough to compete with a 12” sound, while being fast enough to handle the fast-paced musical styles such as techno and reggaetón.
JL Audio 10WOV3-4 Car Subwoofer – Best All Around 10” Subwoofer
The JL Audio 10WOV3-4 is a new take on a classic. It is a monster of s 10” subwoofer with a 600W max power at 300 RMS. Still, it handles that power very efficiently so you don’t have to worry about draining your car battery.
The subwoofer leverages JL’s Dynamic Motor Analysis system to help stabilize its motors during operation, which in layman’s terms reduces distortion and produces cleaner sounds.
In the same vein, its polypropylene cone and elevated frame design facilitates airflow and its metallic silver finish add an element of shines to this smooth low end producer.
Technically speaking, it has a single 4-ohm impedance, 26-250HX freq response and a 2” temperature coil.
Reviewers on Amazon and across the interwebs love this subwoofer, as evidenced by its nearly 5 star reviewers.
Rockville W10K9D2 Car Subwoofer – Good Value Subwoofer
This is an efficient and compact car subwoofer. Rockville may not be a heavyweight in the audio industry but they are an up and coming brand that has produced several remarkable audio products – The W10K9D2 is no exception
It has a sensitivity rating of 85 dB, a 1600W max power handling and 800W RMS. Even better, it does this without any distortion, providing clean, rich and full low end bass to your musical selection.
In short, you get a lot of raw power for your money so its definitely a good bang for your buck.
Best 12-Inch Car Subwoofers
This is the most well-known and common sized subwoofer of them all. 12” subwoofers provide thunderous bass and street shaking low end.
Keep in mind that these subwoofers are big so they probably aren’t well suited to fast paced musical styles however. But if you’re a pop or hip hop lover who wants to feel those 808s, 12” car subwoofers are for you.
Rockford Fosgate P300 – Best Powered Subwoofer Car
What if you don’t already have an amplifier? Or don’t want to invest in one? What if there was a powered subwoofer with a built in amplifier that came in an enclosure? The Rockford Fosgate P300 is what you’re looking for.
With a 300W amplifier built in, it’s plug and play capabilities make installation a breeze. And the MDF heat activated vinyl enclosure is compact enough to fit into small vehicles and SUVs alike.
In addition to the EQ that is (hopefully) provided by your head unit, you can also use the P300’s built in EQ to adjust the bass levels with ease.
It’s a bit pricier than the other car subwoofers on this list, but with all the additional features, it’s well worth it in our opinion.
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Car Subwoofer – Best Value 12” Subwoofer
This is one of the best 12” subwoofers on the market, and even better, it’s affordable. It has an automatic cooling system and a double-layered dual voice coil that, in short, helps produce crisp and clear low end tones.
Its basket design made of premium quality material and patented VAST technology helped provide the Fosgate P3D4-12 with added durability.
As for power, it has a peak of 1000W, a 28 – 250 Hz frequency response, and crystal clear full sound that has to be heard to be fully appreciated.
Installation should be fairly straightforward as it’s compatible with most cars and sound systems, but as always, get a professional install if there are any doubts.
American Bass XFL 1244 Car Subwoofer
With its unique spider design, this is a well-constructed subwoofer that packs a punch despite its (relatively) small size.
Coming in at only 35 lbs., this subwoofer won’t weigh your car down, yet still produces the rich and full low end bass produced by its heavier competitors.
A for power, I’m not sure you could ask for much more: 2000W peak power at 1000 RMS. The American Bass XFL 1244 is a beast.
It has great reviews online, is an Amazon’s choice. This may be the smoothest and most powerful subwoofer in this price range.
Best 15-Inch Car Subwoofers
Ok, these subwoofers are for drivers who want people to hear them coming a few blocks away. You will rattle windows, set off car alarms and probably damage your ears a little if you turn the volume all the way up. But hey, you only live once.
If you want to ensure that your music is heard far and wide, and that you can provide the music for an outdoor cookout all on your own, then you’ll want to get a 15” subwoofer.
Kicker S15L2 Car Subwoofer
These subwoofers are a bit pricier than their smaller counterparts, but for good reason. They are from quality brands and they produce the most thunderous bass your car can safely handle.
The Kicker S15L2 has a titanium deposit cone that helps this subwoofer stand up to the most extreme conditions, ensuring long lasting durability. Its one piece solo kon, high temperature coil wire and pole piece provide full-back bracing in order to minimize distortion.
It uses Kicker’s patented advanced Uniplate and cone technologies to help deliver consistent air flow throughout the speaker.
In short, the Kicker subwoofer thumps, and it should last several years. You will not be disappointed.
Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 Car Subwoofer
Skar’s 15” subwoofer sounds incredible in its own right. It too can rattle windows and set off car alarms with its deafening low end.
It has max power rating of 2500W. Again, 2500W. No one subwoofer should have all that power. If you need more than that, you’re probably the soundman for a rock band.
The Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 is, hands down, the most powerful subwoofer on this list. And with all that power, it still stays cool due to its advanced cooling design, aided by its 4-layer aluminum voice coil.
With its premium magnet and 86.2 dB sensitivity rating, you’ll get incredible and powerful bass along with minimal distortion.
Be sure to get a proper enclosure and a professional installation as it can be tricky to get this setup and configured just right.
How to Choose the Best Car Subwoofer [in 2019]
For those of us who could use a little help in deciding which subwoofer is best for them, we put together an FAQ style section that should hopefully help address some commonly asked questions.
Benefits of Having a Subwoofer in Your Car
Regardless what genres of music you listen to, you’ll hear it like never before with the addition of a good subwoofer. The fullness and richness of the bass will come alive and a whole new dynamic.
Now, good car speakers can certainly help, but at the end of the day, they’re simply not designed to accurately produce low end bass because their drivers are not large enough. The mids and highs are fine, but low frequencies require a lot of air and speaker size.
One you have all three frequency ranges (low, mid and highs) accurately reproduced with a sub, speaker and tweeter, you’ll hear and experience your music like never before.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Subwoofer
Here are a few things you should be mindful of when choosing a subwoofer
As we’ve noted before, despite the impressive peak power rating number many manufacturers throw at you, the most important number is the RMS rating. This is the power at which your speakers will consistently run.
The higher the number, the more powerful the speaker. Of course, you’ll need an amplifier to help deliver that power to the subwoofer so be sure to have one in place.
Again, the higher the number the better. Higher sensitivity numbers require less power output to achieve the same loudness.
There are low, middle and high frequency ranges. The human ear cannot hear the full range of frequency ranges that most speakers deliver. In general, most if not all top quality speakers and subwoofers will cover the entire (discernible) frequency range.
Single voice coil subwoofers are more common and easier to setup, while dual voice coils are for more advanced users who may want to do some custom tuning and self installation.
Powering Your Car Subwoofer
If you’re at the point where you’re purchasing a subwoofer, I’d recommend getting a professional installation. Connecting an amp to your battery and wiring the car securely, cleanly and correctly is not as easy as it sounds.
Types of Enclosures
Enclosures are important to your subwoofer’s overall performance. It is what houses your subwoofer.
Ideally, it is custom made and fitted to your subwoofer but there are less expensive options as well where you can simply buy an enclosure to start. Bottom line, you won’t realize the full potential of your subwoofer(s) without a good enclosure.
There are a few different types of enclosures that will affect the type of sound (bass) you’re your subwoofer will produce so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the types of enclosures available.
If you want accurate and tight bass, get a sealed enclosure. Its an air tight box that will help flatten and warm your sound. For those who don’t want their bass to overwhelm the music, a sealed enclosure is your best bet.
A ported box is similar to a sealed enclosure but it is not airtight. There is a small vent to allow air to travel in and out of the box, helping produce slightly louder and hard hitting bass.
Note, ported boxes tend to be larger than sealed enclosures so if space is at a premium in your vehicle, this may not be an ideal option.
Have a 15” subwoofer that you want to show off? get a bandpass enclosure. Definitely recommend a professional installation as they can be hard to configure and will most likely require additional customization.
But if you want the entire neighborhood to feel the presence of your 15” subwoofer, then this option is for you.
Hopefully, you’ve come away a bit more knowledgeable about car subwoofers and you found something on this list that’s right for you.
In short, know your budget, space constraints, and listening preferences and then choose the subwoofer that works best according to your requirements. Cheers!