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The Best Subwoofer for Cars

What can possibly be better than cruising the streets of your town with the windows rolled down while blasting your favorite tracks? Nothing, right? You get an extra point if you have a flawless sound system that allows you to savor every beat. But if your car lacks a subwoofer, we’re afraid to tell you that you’re missing out.  This special speaker can take your bass to a whole new level, which can transform your entire listening experience. In this article, we’ll help you find the best subwoofer for car use. Ready to dive in?

Preview
Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub
Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone subwoofer, RMS: 300W - MAX: 600W
Alpine RW10D2 2250W 10" Dual 2 Ohms Voice Coil Subwoofer
Title
Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub
Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone subwoofer, RMS: 300W - MAX: 600W
Alpine RW10D2 2250W 10" Dual 2 Ohms Voice Coil Subwoofer
Prime Benefits
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Price
$129.95
$349.99
$219.00
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Preview
Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub
Title
Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$129.95
More Information & Reviews
Preview
Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone subwoofer, RMS: 300W - MAX: 600W
Title
Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone subwoofer, RMS: 300W - MAX: 600W
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$349.99
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Preview
Alpine RW10D2 2250W 10" Dual 2 Ohms Voice Coil Subwoofer
Title
Alpine RW10D2 2250W 10" Dual 2 Ohms Voice Coil Subwoofer
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$219.00
More Information & Reviews

The Best Subwoofer for Cars

The Best Subwoofer for CarsUnlike normal speakers, subs operate between 20-200 Hz, producing deeper tones to add power to your beloved music. If this is what your car stereo needs, then you might find the perfect match after taking a look at the following products.

1. Rockville RW10CA 10″ 800 Watt Car Subwoofer

Let’s start our reviews with this monster that has taken the market by storm. The Rockville RW10CA is a tiny thing, but its performance overpowers its mini size.

The 800-watt sub produces tones ranging from 50 Hz to 150 Hz, ensuring that you hear all those desirable bass sounds. As one user pointed out, the Rockville subwoofer was able to fill an entire pick-up truck with deep tones after they’d installed it under the seats.

Plus, we like how the control knob is easy to use so that you can reach your preferred level of bass. This can be pretty useful when switching between different songs with various genres. What goes with metal doesn’t always work with punk, right?

Another thing to admire about the Rockville car subwoofer is that it's made of top-quality materials. Furthermore, it’s pretty simple to install, but the package doesn’t include the wires, so you’ll have to get those separately.

To give your bass a basic boost, we recommend you get this sub by Rockville. However, if you’re a dedicated audiophile, you may want to look for something with more than just decent sound quality.

Pros

  • 800-watt performance
  • The produced sounds range from 50 to 150 Hz
  • Easy to set up, fine-tune, and control
  • Top-quality materials to last for years
  • Mid-range price

Cons

  • The sound quality could be improved
Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub
  • Rockville RW10CA 800 Watt 10" Slim Car Subwoofer.
  • 800 Watts Peak / 200 Watts RMS. PWM MOSFET Power Supply.
  • Low Level RCA Input. High Level Inputs with Auto Turn-On Technology.
  • Adjustable Input Sensitivity. Soft Delayed Remote Turn-On.
  • Thermal Protection Circuit, Short Protection Circuit.

2. Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone Subwoofer

Hoping for something more premium-sounding? Well, this Focal Flax subwoofer should do it, but it will cost you extra. Yet, those who gave it a shot thought it was worth the price, so let’s see what makes it so special.

This beast is made by one of the most reputable brands in the audio world, so it’s only natural that it can deliver awesome sound quality. Even better, Focal specializes in low-frequency production, granting you powerful bass without compromising the sound quality.

This subwoofer produces sounds from 27 Hz to 500 Hz, giving your bass a pure feel. Plus, you can use it with up to 600 watts of power without worrying about distortions or damage.

The Focal sub is available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch sizes, so you should find the perfect product to suit your car. And, with its beautiful looks, it should add to the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle interior.

Pros

  • Fancy and premium look
  • Outstanding sound quality at low frequencies
  • Produces 27 Hz to 500 Hz of sound
  • Available in different sizes

Cons

  • On the expensive end
Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone subwoofer, RMS: 300W - MAX: 600W
  • impedance 4 Ohms
  • max power 400W
  • nominal power 200W
  • sensitivity 90dB (2,83V/1m)

3. Alpine RW10D2 10″ Coil Subwoofer

If you’d rather stick to the mid-tier price range, then this sub can be the perfect candidate for you. This Alpine 10-inch subwoofer is part of the company’s R-Series, which replaced Type R subwoofers. Ultimately, the R-Series brought more durability and performance.

For instance, Alpine improved the previous model’s dust cap by replacing it with another that absorbs more vibration. As a result, you should expect the resulting bass to envelope you in its richness, which we all want, right?

Also, its power handling has climbed up to 750-watt peak RMS. So, the sub could pretty much handle whatever your throw at it.

Made of durable materials and promising great sound quality, this Alpine sub offers impressive value for its price. According to several reviewers, this buddy has managed to make their car seats lift!

Pros

  • Comes in an all-new design to enhance performance and durability
  • Top-notch materials ensure awesome sound quality
  • Available in four styles
  • Moderately-priced

Cons

  • The customer’s service tends to be unresponsive sometimes
Sale
Alpine RW10D2 2250W 10" Dual 2 Ohms Voice Coil Subwoofer
  • 2250W Max power
  • 750Watts RMS
  • 149mm mounting depth
  • Country of Origin: China

4. Dual Electronics BP1204 12’’ High-Performance Car Subwoofers

Here’s an option that’s both solid on the inside and the outside, and it won’t have you breaking the bank to buy it. The Dual Electronics subs have hundreds of positive reviews everywhere all over the internet. And it’s all thanks to their impressive features.

For starters, this unit comes in a dual-speaker design, not to mention that it can keep up with 1,100 watts of peak power. Imagine how your bass will sound like at this point. Pretty cool, ha?

The next notable thing about these subs is that their frequency ranges from 30 Hz to 200 kHz. This wide frequency response delivers superior sound quality, and it would make the sub your most faithful companion on a road trip.

Even the design of the unit adds to its performance. It’s equipped with an in-line carpet that absorbs vibration and keeps the enclosure from rattling while you’re on the highway. This eliminates distortion and offers crystal-clear sounds.

Pros

  • The dual-speaker unit promises more power
  • Handles a maximum of 1,1000 watts of peak power
  • Huge frequency response for a great listening experience
  • Brushed aluminum cones for a long lifespan
  • Comes with blue LED light for a nightclub-like effect
  • Mid-tier price

Cons

  • The LED light toggle switch is placed on the back, which can be inconvenient
Dual Electronics BP1204 12 inch illumiNITE High Performance Studio Enclosed Car Subwoofers with 1,100 Watts of Peak Power
  • INCREASED OUTPUT CAPABILITY – specialized tuned port with computer aided design and 2.5” Voice Coils vastly increases output efficiency for your subwoofers providing you with consistent low sounding bass
  • DIGITALLY OPTIMIZED SUBWOOFERS – are carefully crafted for efficient and accurate bass, providing power handling up to 1100 Watts of Peak Power, 600 Watts RMS at a 4 Ohm impedance and Frequency Range between 30Hz – 200kHz for unrivaled sound superiority
  • CURVED PLEXIGLASS VIEWING WINDOW – illumiNITE design with Brushed Aluminum subwoofer cones create a surreal viewing experience
  • SOUND MDF CONSTRUCTION – and top grade in-line carpet eliminates the vast majority of enclosure movement for streamlined sound quality via both 12 inch subwoofers for unmatched sound superiority on the road
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY – guaranteed high quality and reliability with hassle-free parts and labor warranty with excellent customer service

5. JL Audio 12W3v3-4 Car Subwoofer

JL Audio is another well-known brand that has fans everywhere, so, of course, we had to include one of its products on our list. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but we’re certain you’ll come to appreciate this subwoofer’s features.

This 12-inch sub can produce 600 watts of output power. While that’s not the highest value out there, it’s still decent enough to shake your car seats and deliver awesome bass effects. Better yet, it can give you a sweet balance of deep bass and great sound quality.

Some users were thrilled to find out that their windows and mirrors started vibrating once they put this sub to work. Every audiophile/car owner’s dream, right?

What’s also remarkable about the JL Audio sub is that it doesn’t require the most powerful amplifier to work smoothly. It can do just fine anywhere from 150 to 500-watt RMS. So, if you’re not ready to buy a heavy-duty amplifier yet, there you go!

While a bit on the expensive end, the JL delivers decent quality for everyday use. Sure, it may not be fit for an SPL competition, but no one’s complaining.

Pros

  • 600-watt max output power
  • Suitable for day-to-day use
  • Can a much-appreciated balance between desirable bass and sound quality
  • Doesn’t need a beast of an amplifier

Cons

  • A tad pricey
  • Might start to distort sounds at too-low frequencies
JL Audio 12W3v3-4
  • 12" Single 4 Ohm W3v3 Series Subwoofer
  • Mineral-filled polypropylene upper cone with a metallic JL Audio medallion logo gives the W3's a whole new, classy and sophisticated look
  • NBR (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) surround
  • Top Mount Depth: 6.65"
  • Cutout Diameter: 11.0625"

6. Rockford Fosgate Punch Car Subwoofer

Looking for a more budget-friendly option that promises decent performance? The Rockford Fosgate Punch subwoofer might be what you need.

This buddy here can handle 50 to 250-watt RMS, which can be ideal for a car owner who enjoys music on long rides. An audiophile will probably need more power, though, so keep that in mind if that’s the case with you.

Still, if you attach this sub to a good amplifier, you may have the chance to affect its bass output a great deal. And, with its Kevlar-reinforced paper cone, the sound should be as accurate as it can be at such an affordable price.

However, many users noted that the performance wasn’t best when you crank the volume too high.

All in all, the Rockford Fosgate Punch subwoofer can boost your pre-existent car stereo system. So, it’s a good option for those who’ll settle for a little upgrade and not an all-out transformation.

Pros

  • Combines admirable performance and an affordable price
  • Handles up to 50 to 250-watt RMS
  • Suitable for a basic stereo system upgrade
  • 1-year warranty
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • The sound isn’t the clearest at loud volumes
  • No audiophile-grade quality 
Rockford Fosgate P1S4-12 Punch P1 SVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch 250 Watts RMS 500 Watts Peak Subwoofer
  • Known as "The Woofer of Choice" for fanatic car audio systems, the P1 series is the first in a family of world-famous subwoofers called "The Punch"
  • The Punch P1S4-12 is a 12” 4-Ohm SVC (single voice coil) subwoofer with 250 Watts RMS / 500 Watts Max power handling and custom 10-AWG nickel plated push terminals
  • Featuring a kevlar fiber reinforced paper cone that deliver bass impact you can feel, and our proprietary spider plateau venting design provides cooling of the voice coil to increase the woofer life
  • Best used in standard sealed or vented enclosures {Sealed (Vb): 1.02 cu. ft. (28.8 Liters) / Vented (Vb): 1.79 cu. ft. (50.6 Liters) / Mounting Depth: 6.0 in. (152.4 mm) / Cutout Diameter: 11.22 in. (285 mm)
  • Famous Rockford Fosgate build quality with a full 1-year warranty when purchased from an authorized Rockford Fosgate reseller

7. Rockville SS8P 8″ Slim Under-Seat Car Subwoofer

Here’s another rather affordable subwoofer that can fit perfectly under your car seat. Made by Rockville, this little buddy here packs more power than a lot of people have presumed.

It all starts with the SS8P’s performance, which many have described as surprising. The sub can give your car’s factory stereo system an extra kick, especially if it’s not connected to any amps.

However, because the subwoofer only handles a peak power of 400 watts, it won’t exactly keep up with loud volumes. It will easily be overpowered, resulting in distortion. So, if you want to improve the bass feel slightly in your car, this Rockville sub should do it.

We like how the unit is encased in a cast aluminum enclosure. This should keep the sub from heating up, not to mention that this strong body can withstand years of wear-and-tear by your side.

Overall, the majority of people who tried this sub thought it represented good value for the price. So, if you want something that balances decent sound quality and a reasonable price, the Rockville sub may be your best option.

Pros

  • 8-inch slim body for easy positioning in your car
  • Handles 400-watts of peak power
  • Heavy-duty mounting feet to eliminate vibrations
  • Adjustable input sensitivity to match each taste
  • Produces sound ranging from 50 Hz to 150 Hz
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Doesn’t function properly at loud volumes
  • Moderate sound quality
Rockville SS8P 400w 8" Slim Under-Seat Active Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub
  • Rockville SS8P 8" 400w Slim Under-Seat Active Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub.
  • Enclosure is made out of cast aluminum which stays cool at all times.
  • Peak Power Handling: 400 Watts. RMS Power Handling: 100 Watts. Heavy Duty Mounting Feet.
  • PWM MOSFET Power Supply. Low Level RCA Input. High Level Inputs with Auto Turn-On Technology.
  • Adjustable Input Sensitivity. Soft Delayed Remote Turn-On. Thermal Protection Circuit, Short Protection Circuit.

How to Choose the Best Subwoofer for Your Car

After taking note of many awesome products on the market, it’s time to pick one. But which sub should you go for? And how should you think in order to purchase the best product for your individual use?

In this section, we’ll go through several factors that you need to consider before buying a car subwoofer. This way, your decision should be a piece of cake to make.

Type of Subwoofer

Subwoofers are available in various types, so you must pick one that matches your preferences. Here are the four types of subs on the market.

Enclosed Subwoofer

This is a sub that comes in an enclosure, and it can be suitable for those who aren’t fans of customizing their speakers. An enclosed subwoofer still requires an external amplifier to deliver a desirable level of power, though.

You can find this type of sub with several styles and designs, but not as many as you’d get with other subwoofer types.

Component Subwoofer

Component subwoofers are simply every audiophile’s dream. Basically, a component sub is a speaker that brings out all the beloved bass in a song. So, in order to put it to work, you’ll have to mount it inside of an enclosure and hook it to an amplifier for power.

Of course, component subwoofers give users maximum freedom to create custom sound systems. So, if you’re ready to build a stereo system for your car from scratch, you should go for one of these subs.

A component subwoofer comes in many sizes, usually from 8 to 15 inches. Also, it’s available in a huge variety of impedance, voice coils, and installation options. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much trouble trying to find the right one for your vehicle.

Powered Subwoofer

Powered subs are the easiest when it comes to installation. Basically, these include everything you might need to enhance the bass of your sound system without having to buy extra products.

For example, a powered subwoofer comes in an enclosure. Not just that, it’s also connected to a built-in amplifier to keep you from going around in circles trying to find the perfect fit. Another positive point is that this sub usually takes minimal space in your car.

However, a powered sub leaves no room for personalization, which will probably not appeal to an audio fanatic. Plus, this sub doesn’t always produce the best bass output.

Vehicle-Specific Subwoofer

The last type of subwoofer you’ll find on the market is the vehicle-specific sub. As the name implies, this sub is designed with certain vehicle models in mind to save space.

Most of the time, a vehicle-specific subwoofer is intended for unused spaces in a car, such as the areas under the seats. So, you can install them without diving too deep into your car’s interiors.

These subwoofers deliver decent output, but again, they don’t produce the same sound quality as the previous sub types.

Size

When shopping for a car sub, the most common sizes you’ll come across are 8, 10, 12, and 15-inch units. This begs an important question. Which sub size to buy for your car?

Well, your choice will depend on your musical preferences since the dimensions of a sub will affect its output. Let’s find out what each size promises regarding your listening experience.

8-Inch Subwoofers

The smaller a sub is, the faster its response will be. As a result, 8-inch subs can work best with fast-paced music, complimenting your audio rather than making your bass overpowering.

8-inch subs can be ideal for those who enjoy a light touch of bass. So, if you’re all about heavy and deep bass that shakes the windows and mirrors, you’ll want to go for a larger sub.

10-Inch Subwoofers

A 10-inch sub can be a perfect choice if you want the best of both worlds. The most common on the market, this subwoofer works great with fast-paced music while giving it more bass than an 8-inch sub.

You could listen to rock, rap, electronic, or club music using a 10-inch sub. Of course, people who prefer incredible heavy bass might want a stronger sub to deliver mirror-shaking effects.

12-Inch Subwoofers

Now, things will start to get heavy. A 12-inch sub can keep up with all types of music out there, but it may not be as great as a 10-inch sub is with fast beats. So, it might not be the best with rock music, but it should be wonderful with pop, rap, club, etc.

A 12-inch car subwoofer is sure to vibrate your windshield because it produces heavy bass. So, if you’re preparing for an SPL competition, you should probably consider investing in it.

15-Inch Subwoofers

15-inch subs aren’t so popular amongst subwoofer sizes, but they’re still available if you want to buy one. These beasts deliver the heaviest bass out of all subwoofer types, which may not appeal to people who need a sub for everyday use.

Still, if you want the deepest output you could find, a 15-inch sub will do. Just be careful not to break anything while listening to your favorite Eminem tracks!

Power Handling

It’s crucial that you understand how much power a sub could handle. If not, you might end up with a subwoofer that it’s compatible with the amount of power that it receives. Ultimately, this could distort your music or damage your speakers.

Pay attention to the RMS power handling. It’s an indicator of the amount of power a sub could manage continuously.

You may want to take a look at the peak power handling as well, which refers to the power a sub can handle in short bursts. However, RMS values are more important to note since they’re related to your overall listening experience.

Materials

Last but not least, you must make sure that the materials of your sub are up to standards. Not only will they ensure that your unit lives long, but they also have effects on the sound output.

It’s best to go for lightweight materials with the woofer itself. These will raise the responsiveness and quality of your bass. Polypropylene, kevlar, and carbon are suitable materials for the cone.

However, if you want a high-end product, you could invest in a titanium or aluminum woofer cone instead.

As for the woofer surrounding, you’ll need a material that combines durability, lightness, and freedom of motion. A too-solid material will soon crack as the speaker vibrates with music. So, you’ll want something more flexible such as rubber.

You could also go for foam or cloth surroundings since they come with more affordable subs. Yet, these two materials have shorter lifespans than rubber.

FAQ

Does the sub enclosure type affect its performance?

Of course. Enclosed subwoofers come in either sealed or ported boxes, and each one of those has a direct effect on the sub’s output.

For instance, a sealed enclosure helps the sub deliver deeper and more accurate sounds. On the other hand, a ported enclosure performs better in terms of volume.

How does a subwoofer’s sensitivity impact its output?

Sensitivity works with your sub’s power to give you the best bass output. So, you’ll need to find a good balance between both factors to end up with desirable results.

Generally speaking, a subwoofer that has a higher sensitivity rating needs less power to give you the same amount of sound as a sub with a lower rating.

To Wrap It Up

Finding the best subwoofer for car use may seem a bit tricky at a first glance, especially if you don’t have much experience in this field. Hopefully, we were able to make the picture clearer so that you can make a well-thought choice.

As for our favorite pick, it’s the Focal SUBP25F 10” Flax Cone Subwoofer. We love its immense power, top-notch materials, and sturdy build.

However, if you’d prefer something a bit more affordable, we suggest you go for the Alpine RW10D2 10″ Coil Subwoofer instead. Not only does it offer great value for the money, but it also produces up to 750 watts of RMS. That’s pretty impressive at this price point.

Now, it’s time for you to choose your top pick and bathe your car in bass!

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EDM Sauce participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.