Shallow Mount Subwoofers: Compact Size, Massive Sound

Shallow Mount Subwoofers: Compact Size, Massive Sound

Welcome to our deep-dive into some of the best shallow mount subwoofer models. These nimble but explosive audio giants are specifically designed to deliver heart-thumping bass while taking up minimal space, making them an ideal choice for compact or tricky installations.

Whether you’re a music enthusiast longing for every bassline to resonate in your chest, a cinephile who craves an immersive sonic experience in your car, or simply someone who appreciates a clear and balanced sound, we offer some of the best shallow mount subwoofers on the market.

In this review, we’ll be exploring the performance, design, and overall value of various models from some of the best subwoofer brands to help you find the perfect subwoofer to elevate your audio experience. Let’s hit the right notes and get started!

The Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2 Shallow 2-Ohm DVC 8″, 10″ and 12″ Subwoofers

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3S

To start our review we tested the Rockford Fosgate P3S shallow mount subwoofer, and the experience was certainly noteworthy. While the 8″ might not be the loudest subwoofer out there, it produces impressively clean and distinct bass notes, and the 12″ certainly makes up for this series.

Recognizing that not all vehicles can accommodate bulky subwoofers, Rockford Fosgate has expertly designed the P3S subwoofer range to bring the resonating bass experience to even space-challenged settings, and even the 12″ is shallow.

Gone are the days when compact spaces translated to a lack of bass. With the P3S’s dual voice coil design, true bass can be achieved in virtually any space, opening up a world of possibilities for various applications.

The Rockford Fosgate P3S series comes in three sizes. The 8-inch model comes with an RMS of 150W and a mounting depth of 2.66″, and while it might not sound a lot, for anyone limited to an 8″ you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the bass.

Moving up to the 10-inch model, you get a significant power boost with an RMS of 300W and a mounting depth of 3.5″, offering deeper, more resonant bass tones, and serving as an excellent middle-ground choice for those seeking both power and space efficiency.

Finally, the 12-inch model pushes the power limits with an RMS of 500W and a mounting depth of 3.65″, delivering a powerhouse performance designed to satisfy the most bass-hungry listeners.

The Rockford Fosgate P3S series’ stand-out features is its anodized aluminum cone. This rigid, lightweight design effectively eliminates flex even under high power applications, leading to enhanced bass response and greater power handling.

Coupled with this, Rockford Fosgate incorporates its VAST (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) technology, which significantly boosts the subwoofer’s effective radiating cone area by up to 25%, resulting in more powerful and detailed bass.

Heat dissipation is expertly managed with anodized aluminum voice coil formers that can handle up to 100° at full power levels, effectively dissipating thermal build-up on the voice coil. This feature keeps the subwoofer cool even during high SPL conditions, and ensures you’ll have a very durable and one of the best shallow mount subwoofer ranges.

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2 8-inch

Size8″ (20 cm)
Rated Impedance2 Ohm DVC
RMS Power150 W
Mounting Depth2.66 inch

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2 10-inch

Size8″ (20 cm)
Rated Impedance2 Ohm DVC
RMS Power300 W
Mounting Depth3.5 inch

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2 12-inch

Size8″ (20 cm)
Rated Impedance2 Ohm DVC
RMS Power500 W
Mounting Depth3.65 inch

Kicker L7T Square DVC Subwoofers – 8-, 10- and 12-inch Sizes

Kicker L7T Subwoofers

My experience with the Kicker L7T was nothing short of transformative. I have always been a lover of deep, resonating bass, and these subwoofers certainly didn’t disappoint.

I tried the 10 inch and played my favorite bass-heavy track, and I was completely blown away. The bass was not only audibly impressive but I could also physically feel the intensity of the sound.

The Kicker L7T Square Dual Voice Coil Shallow Mount Subwoofers are easily some of the most sought-after products on today’s audio scene, and for good reason. By cleverly marrying the renowned Kicker Solo-Baric square subs with a slender profile, these subwoofers produce an exceptional bass output, all the while maintaining a compact footprint.

Their distinctive square design gives the L7T series a 20% larger cone area compared to their round counterparts, allowing for an improved air movement and consequently a stronger, more profound bass. But, even with this increased cone size, the subwoofers maintain a sleek form factor that fits seamlessly into your car’s trunk or under your seat.

Technology sits at the core of the L7T series. The acoustic wizards at Kicker have ingeniously fitted the largest voice coil 2 0hm impedance, and magnet into a thin subwoofer design, demonstrating an impressive balance of power and size efficiency. The 8-inch is 350 RMS, the 10-inch is 500W RMS and the 12-inch is a nice 600W.

Durability is an area where the L7T Subwoofers shine. They feature a ribbed Santoprene surround for heat and degradation resistance, a bumped top plate for increased excursion and smoother performance, and the SoloKon cone with 360-degree back bracing along with a UniPlate solid pole piece and backplate for excellent heat dissipation.

These elements ensure the longevity and reliability of the product, promising immense bass, and for a shallow mount subwoofer, they’re up there with the best.

Kicker KA46L7T82 L7T 8 Inch Subwoofer

Size8″ (20 cm)
Rated Impedance2 Ohm DVC
Sensitivity84.835 1W, 1m
RMS Power350 W
Mounting Depth2 3/4″ (7 cm)

Kicker L7T 10-inch Subwoofer

Size10″ (25 cm)
Rated Impedance2 Ohm DVC
Sensitivity85.98 1W, 1m
RMS Power500 W
Mounting Depth3 3/4″ (9.5 cm)

Kicker L7T 12-inch Subwoofer

Size12″ (30 cm)
Rated Impedance2 Ohm DVC
Sensitivity86.54 1W, 1m
RMS Power600 W
Mounting Depth3 3/4″ (9.6 cm)

Sundown Audio SML D4 500W Series 10″ and 12″ – 4 Ohm

Sundown Audio SML Series 10" and 12" 4 Ohm

Certainly one of the best shallow mount subwoofer series, the Sundown Audio SML series is known for its extraordinarily shallow design without compromising on linear excursion. To my surprise, even being over an inch shallower than Sundown’s SLD series, the SML is within 1mm of linear excursion in comparison.

The SML series is an absolute win for those needing a shallow driver and with 500W RMS there’s plenty of boom. The series fits perfectly into the majority of pre-fabricated under-seat enclosures and performs exceptionally well in the air space these enclosures offer. Trust me when I say, these subwoofers truly shine in such settings.

A problem that Sundown Audio aimed to solve with the SML series was the high QTS often found in many shallow drivers, particularly in this price range. This can make it challenging to achieve a flat response and render them unsuitable for ported enclosures.

Not the Sundown SMLs, these boast a dual-magnet design motor that hits the mid-QTS target (0.34 to 0.51 range depending on size and coil configuration) squarely.

The SML series, both the 10″ and 12″ versions, features an impressive 11mm Xmax one-way by 70% BL. They have a high-temperature 4-layer copper voice coil wire and a black aluminum 2.5″ voice coil former for superior heat dissipation. Further, the inclusion of Stitched-On “Mini-XL” Tinsel Leads mitigates the risk of fatigue and failure.

Another unique feature is the vented pole-piece and multi-vented magnetic gap that enhance cooling and efficiency. The dual-magnet design achieves a balance of motor force factor and mid-QTS, while the custom-tooled cone shape reduces mechanical noise over high excursion.

The 10″ model has a sensitivity of 85.8 dB at 1w/1m, a 4 Ohm impedance, and a mounting depth of 3.78″. Meanwhile, the 12″ model features a sensitivity of 86.7dB at 1w/1m, a 4 Ohm impedance, and a mounting depth of 4.45″. Both the 10″ and 12″ models have an RMS power rating of 500W, which provides enough punch for most bass enthusiasts.

10″ Sundown SML Subwoofer 4 Ohm

Sensitivity (dB @ 1w/1m)85.8 dB
Impedance4 Ohm
Mounting Depth3.78″

12″ Sundown SML Subwoofer 4 Ohm

Sensitivity (dB @ 1w/1m)86.7 dB
Impedance4 Ohm
Mounting Depth4.45″

Skar Audio VD Series Shallow Mount Subwoofers

Skar Audio VD Series Shallow Mount Subwoofers

As shallow mount subwoofers go, the Skar Audio VD Series is up there with the best in its price range. Tailored for versatility and power, the dual 4 Ohm shallow mount subwoofers of this series serve as a reliable solution when space or mounting depth is a constraint.

Each size I found that the woofer not only sounded fantastic but could handle substantial power while maintaining a compact profile. The impressive performance is thanks in part to to the integration of a high-temperature 2-inch voice coil and a low profile single stack ferrite magnet. These characteristics ensure the VD series provides reliable and dominant performance, irrespective of the mounting limitations.

The VD Series shallow mount subwoofers come in three variants – 8″, 10″, and 12″. Each model exhibits unique specifications to suit various audio requirements. The 8-inch model, with an RMS power of 400 Watts and a mounting depth of 3.94″, delivers a frequency response between 32 Hz and 375 Hz. It flaunts a sensitivity of 81.8 dB and a resonance frequency (Fs) of 45.3 Hz.

The 10-inch model offers an increased RMS power of 500 Watts and a slightly deeper mounting depth of 4.41″. It impresses with a sensitivity of 85.1 dB and a resonance frequency (Fs) of 41.9 Hz, allowing it to produce richer, deeper tones.

The largest of the series, the 12-inch model, matches the 10-inch version’s RMS power of 500 Watts, while featuring the deepest mounting depth of 4.92″. This subwoofer can provide a frequency response from 25 Hz to 300 Hz. With a sensitivity of 85.9 dB and a resonance frequency (Fs) of 36.6 Hz, it can fill your vehicle with fuller, more resonant bass.

All in all, the Skar Audio VD Series is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a powerful and versatile under-seat subwoofer or a model suitable for limited mounting depth applications. Its robust construction and reliable performance make it a standout contender and up there with the best shallow mount subwoofers in this price range.

Skar Audio VD-8 – 4 Ohm 8″ Shallow Mount Subwoofer

Sensitivity81.8 dB
Impedance4 Ohm
Mounting Depth3.94″

Skar Audio VD-10 – 4 Ohm 10″ Shallow Mount Subwoofer

Sensitivity85.1 dB
Impedance4 Ohm
Mounting Depth4.41″

Skar Audio VD-12 – 4 Ohm 12″ Shallow Mount Subwoofer

Sensitivity85.9 dB
Impedance4 Ohm
Mounting Depth4.92″

Shallow Mount Subwoofer Buyer’s Guide

Introduction to the Shallow Mount Subwoofer Buyer’s Guide

Understanding audio equipment can sometimes feel a but daunting. With countless models boasting varying specifications and features, it can be challenging to discern which product is the right fit for your needs.

This is particularly true when it comes to shallow mount subwoofers, designed to provide superior sound quality without occupying too much space. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide.

Below, we’ll walk you through the key factors you need to consider when choosing the best shallow mount subwoofer for your vehicle or home audio setup. From understanding your space and power ratings, to materials and brand reputation, this guide aims to help simplify your buying process and ensure that you make a well-informed decision. Let’s delve in.

Understand Your Space: The first thing to consider when buying a shallow mount subwoofer is the space you have available. Look at the dimensions of your car’s interior or the space where you plan to mount the subwoofer. This will guide you in selecting the right size of the subwoofer.

Power Ratings: The power of the subwoofer, typically represented by RMS and peak power, should also be taken into account. RMS is the continuous power a subwoofer can handle, while peak power is the maximum power it can handle in short bursts. An RMS rating that matches or slightly exceeds your amplifier’s power output is ideal for achieving the best performance.

Impedance: Impedance is measured in ohms (Ω) and indicates the electrical resistance a subwoofer offers to the amplifier’s output. Commonly, subwoofers come in 2-ohm or 4-ohm configurations, but you can get others. Make sure your amplifier can match the subwoofer’s impedance for optimal performance.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB) and relates to how efficiently a subwoofer can convert power into sound. A subwoofer with high sensitivity will need less power to produce the same amount of sound as one with lower sensitivity.

Frequency Response: This refers to the range of sounds a subwoofer can reproduce. Lower frequencies represent bass notes. While most human hearing is within the range of 20Hz to 20kHz, a subwoofer should ideally be able to hit frequencies as low as 20Hz or below for deep bass.

Mounting Depth: The mounting depth is the space the subwoofer needs to be installed. Make sure your preferred location has enough depth to accommodate the subwoofer. Shallow mount subwoofers are designed to provide great bass in spaces with limited depth.

Material and Build Quality: The durability and sound quality of a subwoofer greatly depend on its build quality. Look for subwoofers with sturdy frames and cones made from materials like aluminum, titanium, or high-quality synthetic fabrics for longevity and excellent sound reproduction.

Voice Coils: Subwoofers can come with either a single or dual voice coil. Dual voice coil (DVC) subwoofers are more flexible in terms of wiring and can handle more power than single voice coil (SVC) models, but they can be more complex to install.

Brand Reputation and Reviews: Finally, consider the reputation of the brand and check customer reviews before making your purchase. Some brands are known for their high-quality products and excellent customer service, and user reviews can provide insight into real-world performance and reliability.

Remember, the right subwoofer for you depends on your unique needs, including the kind of music you listen to, the space you have available, and your budget. Take your time to compare different models and make an informed decision. Good luck with your purchase!

The Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers

Finding the best shallow mount subwoofer for your needs will significantly enhance your audio experience, offering deep and resonating bass without taking up too much space. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your car sound system or enhance your home theater, a shallow mount subwoofer is an excellent choice.

However, it’s crucial to consider the above factors in the buyer’s guide, and build quality to ensure you choose a subwoofer that will meet your specific needs and expectations.

Remember, the “best” shallow mount subwoofer isn’t necessarily the most powerful or the most expensive one. It’s the one that fits seamlessly into your space, matches your system’s requirements, and delivers a sound quality that pleases your ears.

We hope that this guide has been useful in your journey towards excellent sound. Happy listening!

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