The Best Subwoofer for a Car
Getting the best subwoofer for your car is no easy task. And there’s certainly no definitive answer, because like everything in car audio, much of it is down to personal taste.
A subwoofer will add depth to your sound system and the low frequencies at volume will turn any drive into a completely different experience.
In this review, I have looked at some of the best subwoofers for a car, but not your most common sizes. Instead of reviewing 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch subwoofers, this review looks at subwoofers that aren’t as common for one reason or another.
If you’re looking for any of the above sized subs, take a look at these reviews:
However, if you’re looking for 15-inch subwoofers, 6-6.5-inch subwoofers, powered subwoofers, or subwoofer bass tubes, this review is for you.
In the subwoofer review I have looked at different products, and chosen a budget subwoofer and other highly recommended subwoofers in each category. The reviews of each product is fair, as I have used my own knowledge and taken into account reviews from what other buyers have said on Amazon.
This review is intended to save you time scouring the internet. I hope you find it helpful, and please feel free to leave a comment down below with your experience of any of the following subwoofers.
*As an eBay and Amazon Associate, SoundRating may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
The Best 15 Inch Subwoofers For A Car
15 inch subwoofers are the beasts of car subwoofers. There are bigger subs, but you certainly don’t need anything bigger than a 15″ sub in a vehicle. The bigger the sub, the louder it will generally be, and 15″ subwoofers will transform your soundstage into a more immersive sound experience.
The bigger the subwoofer, the bigger the subwoofer parts, and the more draining it will be on your electrics, but fear not because it’s so worth it if you really like loud, pumping bass.
The low frequencies at volume generated by a 15 in subwoofer are like no other. It’s impossible to say whether it’s better bass than smaller subwoofers, because again, it’s all down to personal taste. 15 inch subwoofers displace a lot more air than smaller subs, so the bass from smaller subs will be sharper and crisper than 15″.
For some the bass from a 15″ sub can be too much, and of course, you have to consider the size because they take up quite a bit of space in the trunk of your car. That said, if you have the space, and you crave deep bass, then there is nothing better than a 15 inch subwoofer to do the job.
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-15 Punch P3 – 15 Inch Subwoofer
To start my subwoofer review, I’m jumping in at the deep end with this 15” Punch P3D4 beast from car audio legends Rockford Fosgate.
Something so big and powerful needs Rockford Fosgate’s innovative anodized aluminum cones designs, so don’t expect punchy bass. Not that you’ll get tight bass from a 15” subwoofer, anyway!
That said, the bass this Rockford Fosgate subwoofer is so heavy, loud and surprisingly clear, it will give your sound stage new dimensions.
The subwoofer also benefits from Rockford Fosgate’s VAST technology, which boosts the effective radiating cone area by up to 25%, ensuring the subwoofer isn’t just loud, but uses less energy to reproduce those loud and low frequencies.
The cone is also supported with dustcaps and spider venting, which helps keep the motor cooler than previous versions of the sub, according to Rockford Fosgate.
The cone construction is supported by a new hybrid stamp-cast basket. This offers the best of both worlds by providing super strength while minimizing weight and resonance, which again helps with the efficiency and of course clarity of the bass.
The DVC and magnet are big and something this size will generate heat. That said, Rockford Fosgate subwoofers boast anodized aluminum voice coil formers. Unlike traditional plastic substitutions, aluminum quickly dissipates thermal build-up on the voice coil, which again helps with the efficiency and longevity of this 15” subwoofer’s lifespan.
The Sensitivity is a bit average at 86dB, but I wouldn’t let this change your opinion as this Rockford Fosgate 15 inch subwoofer is literally one of the loudest and clearest subwoofers on the market.
I really like this subwoofer. I have one along with a Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X2 B00BF6I02I 2 channel amp, and to be honest, it’s too much for most people, but anyone wanting a 15” subwoofer in their vehicle, it’s perfect.
Kicker CompVR CVR152 – 15 Inch Subwoofer For Car
The next subwoofer in my list is from another legacy car audio giant. Kicker is well known for producing drivers with a concert-like audio quality, and their subwoofer’s are known for accurate sound and powerful bass.
The 15 inch CompVR CVR152 Kicker subwoofer maintains that brand image and is well known for producing deep and rich bass and surprisingly little distortion for a big sub.
At 500W RMS, the 2 Ohm subwoofer offers plenty of power and with it boasting a Dual Voice Coil (DVC) there are even more options for pairing it up with a good quality car amplifier.
The 15″ CompVR CVR152 subwoofer’s polymineral injection ISD SoloKon™ cone gives it a rigid texture, which means it doesn’t absorb moisture like other materials used for woofer cones. This helps produce a tighter sounding bass with low distortion, something uncommon with 15-inch subwoofers.
The Ribbed Santoprene Surround helps control the cone movement and ensures the accuracy of the bass even at such high volumes remains in tact.
The woofer is secured in a stamped steel basket, and the rear cone brace of the CompVR CVR152 sub offers strength and resistance that isn’t matched by other subs in this price range, which helps further with eradicating distortion.
>>Look at an in-depth review of Kicker CompVR Subs<<
The subwoofer also benefits from the power of an ultra-length voice coil. That said, longer voice coils are known to heat up, but of course Kicker has this covered, thanks to the high-temp polyimide film voice coil former and perimeter venting, which helps keep the subwoofer cooler even after playing at high volumes for long periods of time.
And just to make sure Kicker wins in the most powerful department, the CompVR CVR152 boasts spring loaded nickel-plated terminals. These allow you to use the maximum gauge wire to minimize power losses for what Kicker calls the ultimate ‘Ground Poundin’ system.’
The sensitivity is impressive at 89.1 dB, while the Frequency Response is 25 – 500 Hz – perfect for a beast that blasts out head turning and car shaking bass.
This is the best 15 inch subwoofer for powerful and surprisingly accurate bass. You may get more power from a sub, but the clarity and depth of bass and reliability is second-to-none for other 15” subwoofers. All I will say is I hope you have a big vehicle!
Pyle PLW15RD – Budget 15 Inch Subwoofer
If you’re after a big subwoofer but don’t want to break the bank this Pyle PLW15RD 15” sub is ideal. It’s loud, it looks slick, and costs less than $50, so for anyone new to car audio this could be an ideal starter.
The 4 ohm Single Voice Coil (SVC) sub generates a steady 300W RMS, although there is no official spec for the continuous power handling. I would usually call this a red flag, but for a cheap subwoofer, it is very loud and maintains its sound quality even after playing for any length of time.
The red CD wave electro-plated polypropylene cone reproduces the low-frequencies accurately, and with the wide butyl rubber surround with bumped vented pole piece keeping the subwoofer secure, the bass reproduction is quite with minimal distortion.
The 2.5” High Temperature Kapton Voice Coil doesn’t overheat and although it’s only an SVC, it doesn’t mean it’s an inferior product. It’s just that you’ll get less options for matching it with an amplifier. although I would never let that dictate my shopping, unless of course you already have an amplifier.
The 15” Pyle subwoofer comes with a sensitivity of 86.7dB, which is pretty standard, but again for such a cheap subwoofer, you really can’t complain, and you will get some good bass with little distortion.
There are some complaints in the reviews about performance issues with this subwoofer. However, a member of the SoundRating team has had one for a couple of years, and says as long as it’s set up optimally in the right enclosure, and the settings are finely tuned you should get plenty of good quality bass from this budget subwoofer.
Pyle’s Red Label subwoofers don’t just sound great, they also look stunning. This cheap 15 inch sub is the ideal driver for anyone new to upgrading their car stereo system: it’s loud enough and you get accurate and clean bass, all at a great price.
The Best 6-6.5 Inch Subwoofers For A Car
6-inch or 6.5-inch subwoofers are ideal for anyone who is limited on space, wants a dual subwoofer set up, or doesn’t want bass to overwhelm their soundstage. Most 6-inch- or 6.5 inch subwoofers aren’t as powerful as bigger subwoofers, but some of them can pack great power even in smaller frames.
Of course, 6” subs are small by nature but they can reproduce deep and snappy bass thanks to their smaller surface area. Their size make it possible for these subwoofers to reproduce more accurate and punchy bass that you won’t get with bigger subs, making them suitable for anyone who loves listening to crystal clear lows without too much boom.
And because of their size they take up less room, and are ideal for anyone who wants more than one subwoofer but is limited for space. Some people install these in car doors, and while this is possible, they are better in an enclosure like other subwoofers.
Skar Audio EVL-65 – 6.5″ Subwoofer
The first 6.5″ subwoofer on my list is from Skar Audio. The EVL-65 D4 is a perfect little sub for anyone tight on space, or who wants a dual sub set up.
The Skar Audio EVL-65 subwoofer ranges come in a variety of sizes from 6 inch up to giant 18” subwoofer high-quality and rugged subwoofers.
With each size you have the choice of 2- or 4-ohm impedance, and with a DVC, you’ll have no problems matching your subwoofer with an amp.
The Skar Audio EVL-65 subwoofer was designed to be the most responsive, powerful, and efficient 6.5 inch subwoofer on the market, and the head-turning bass-bounce this little beast makes you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a bigger driver.
The cone boasts competition grade pressed paper. This helps absorb moisture from the air, changing its mass and damping characteristic, resulting in deeper bass, you might associate with bigger subs.
For its size, the Skar subwoofer is a monster. Boasting a 4-layer 2″ pure copper voice coil, and a powerful 39 oz single slug ferrite motor, the 200W RMS the subwoofers can comfortably handle is impressive and ensures you get to drive the lows without worry of blowing out.
The power is impressive and to help keep your machine cool, the EVL-65 sub features an aluminum diecast chassis which utilizes an advanced air flow cooling system that helps dissipate the heat. This ensures you can play it at higher volumes without worry of overheating and ultimately extends the life span of your sub.
If you want a small subwoofer, or 2, the Skar Audio EVL-65 is small and compact. But don’t be fooled, because it really does hit hard. It’s built like a rock and with excellent venting construction, you can get hours of loud bass with little distortion from this little subwoofer.
Massive Audio HIPPOXL64 – Durable 6” Subwoofer
The next on my list is the Massive Audio HIPPOXL64 6 inch subwoofer – a very loud and compact subwoofer that will make an impact to any sound system.
The Massive Audio HIPPOXL subwoofer range comes in a variety of sizes from 6” up to 15 inch subwoofer for those who have the space and want even more bass.
The 6-inch, 4-ohm subwoofer boasts 300W RMS and is arguably the hardest hitting small subwoofer on the market. One will definitely boost you lows in a smaller car, while two will make a dramatic impact, even in bigger RVs and trucks.
The cone is made with Kevlar Fiber reinforced non-pressed paper cone and has an industrial textured finish, and the low frequency reproduction is as crisp and clear as any other subwoofer in this range.
And with a Massive Audio’s branded red stitched edge to the cone’s edge, it helps maintain the crispness of the bass while offering more durability for those who like it loud for long periods of time.
The Massive Audio subwoofer also boasts a Kevlar Spunlace 2” Dual 4 Ohm Aluminum Voice coil. This heat resistant fabric helps dissipate heat much faster than other materials such as copper, allowing you to drive more power for longer without the risk of melting or burning the voice coil.
With an SPL of 82.9dB the sensitivity isn’t impressive, but that shouldn’t be your deciding factor when looking for the best 6 inch subwoofer. If it’s crisp and clear bass you want, and something that won’t overheat and damage all too easily, the latest small sub from Massive Audio is a leader in this size range.
You will be hard pressed to find a better 6 Inch Subwoofer. There are cheaper subs, but as with most things you get what you pay for. And at just over $100, this isn’t a cheap 6” subwoofer, but it is loud, durable and the bass reproduction is very impressive.
Pyle PLPW6D Power – Cheap 6.5 Inch Subwoofer For A Car
If you’re looking for a small subwoofer that’s dirt cheap, coming in at under $20 this Pyle PLPW6D 6.5” subwoofer is perfect.
The Pyle PLPW6D Power Series Subwoofer subwoofer comes in a variety of sizes up to 15” subs, with all different power ratings and performances. We’re reviewing the 6.5-inch as it’s a great subwoofer that will make an impact in your car without breaking the bank.
The Dual Voice Coil (DVC), 4-ohms driver is perfect for anyone who is tight on space and wants to add some punch to their soundstage. With 300W RMS this cheap subwoofer reproduces surprisingly high sound resonance.
The woofer is a non-pressed paper cone and is supported in a black plastic basket, and although these materials are cheaper, for the price you’ve got to expect it. Don’t think it’s cheap and nasty material, however, because some more expensive subs use non-press paper cones.
The benefit of this material is the loudness that it can reproduce compared with other materials, while the non-pressed paper is also known for its crisp bass.
It comes with a sensitivity of 89dB to resonate perfect clarity. And for something so cheap, the Pyle subwoofer is known for its longevity, thanks to the bumped and vented motor construction that helps keep your equipment safe and extends the life of the subwoofer.
If you are looking for a clean-cut, powerful, and very cheap 6 inch subwoofer, the Pyle PLPW6D Power Series Subwoofer is ideal. It’s small, shallow, and easy to install. And while it won’t vibrate your mirrors on its own, it will add extra punch to your low-end and give you that huge sound you want.
Best Powered Subwoofers For a Car
If you’re tight on space, new to car audio, or just want an installation that will be easy a powered subwoofer might be for you. They come as an all-in-one package with a subwoofer enclosure and an amplifier, that is perfectly matched for the subwoofer it works with.
In many cases, powered subwoofers perform better than subwoofers that rely on an external amplifier, because powered subs are are configured with the amplifier to deliver optimal low frequencies it was designed to reproduce.
They’re not for everyone, but if you don’t know how to match an amplifier or you want a plug and play subwoofer and amplifier set up, then a powered subwoofer might be for you.
Rockford Fosgate PS-8 Punch – Powered 8” Subwoofer
The first powered subwoofer on my list is the Rockford Fosgate PS-8 Punch, 8″ Punch subwoofer, which is an ideal subwoofer/amplifier set up for anyone who wants an easy life and of course pounding bass.
The PS-8 system is all-inclusive and comes ready in a sealed enclosure and a built-in 150 watt Rockford Fosgate amplifier. The package includes all the wiring and mounting hardware you’ll need, so installation is super easy, and you can add absolute depth to your bass within minutes.
The woofer material isn’t known, but for a small unit it really packs a punch, and the bass is tight and punchy, and adds depth to any small to medium sized car. It’s not waterproof, however, so make sure you don’t have it exposed to the elements for too long.
The RMS power handling is 150W, and both the subwoofer’s power handling and the amplifier’s power output conform to CEA industry standard, a standard Rockford Fosgate adheres to when other brands might not.
The bass also benefits from the unit’s closed-loop design. This allows Rockford Fosgate to build the single system, making sure they optimize each element for the best possible performance with the others, and the result is clear to hear.
The Class D amplifier is of course perfect for this subwoofer, and the adjustable 12db/Octave low-pass crossover, onboard Punch EQ control, and a selectable phase control makes it easy to get this sub in symphony with the rest of your car stereo system.
The shallow subwoofer and custom-made cast aluminum enclosure ensures it will fit in pretty much any trunk, but to be clear the size dimensions are 14.4” x 9.4” x 3.3” wide, and is hardened to take any inevitable knocks.
If you’re tight on space and want an all-in-one amplified subwoofer, the Rockford Fosgate PS-8 Punch will add some tight and crisp bass to your soundstage, without taking up too much room. It’s perfect for anyone new to car audio.
Blaupunkt GTHS 80 – Ultra Slim Under-Car-Seat Powered Subwoofer
The next powered subwoofer on my review is the Blaupunkt GTHS 80, which is so slim it will fit under your car seat.
At 120W RMS, the slim subwoofer isn’t the most powerful, but it’s enough for most people and it adds high quality bass to your sound system and re-energizes your soundstage without taking up much room.
With the enclosure only three inches tall, the GTHS80 fits under your front seat and pretty much anywhere else an average sized subwoofer won’t fit.
The impedance isn’t known, but that’s normal for powered subwoofers and because it comes with its own amplifier, it isn’t critical to know.
The polypropylene cone ensures you get tight and clear bass without any distortion. Of course, for something so small, cranking it up and pushing it to the extreme, you will hammer it a little. Therefore, know what you’re getting, and respect its size and you will enjoy clean bass that impacts your car stereo system nicely for a long time.
The built-in amplifier is obviously perfect for the subwoofer, and it sends optimum power to your sub, which fills your car with enough bass. Obviously the bigger the car, the less it will vibrate, but for most people the low frequency reproduction and volume is enough.
The Blaupunkt amplifier boasts a variable bass boost 0 to +18dB, phase control, and a variable low-pass filter, which ensures you have the right tools at hand to sculpt the sound that’s right for you, no matter the genre you’re playing.
The amp also utilizes thermal short and overload protection circuits, which is ideal for something that will likely be located in a tight space and doesn’t receive much air.
That said, as long as you don’t expect to move the earth, you shouldn’t have any problems with this under the seat subwoofer and amp combo. And for anyone unsure whether it will tuck nicely under your car seat, the dimensions are a very compact 13.78” x 8.86” x 2.95”.
For just over $100, this is a great powered subwoofer for the money. It won’t rattle your mirrors, but it defintely sounds great, and will add emphasis to anyone’s car stereo system. And the best thing is, you can mount the subwoofer under your front car seat.
Kicker 46HS10 Hideaway – Powered Subwoofer
The last powered subwoofer on my list is arguably the best powered subwoofer for sound quality. It’s in a different price league compared with the other two powered subs, but the sound quality is also in a different league.
The subwoofer comes in both 8-inch and 10-inch drivers, but the KICKER 46HS10 Hideaway is so compact it’s only 2mm bigger than the 8”, and for that you get more power and a bigger impact to your sound system.
Because of the HS10’s compactness it fits in almost any trunk, and will take up little space. But don’t detract any of its power from its small size, because at 180W RMS this subwoofer reproduces powerful, crisp and accurate bass, and it doesn’t let up over extended periods of time.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a head turner and it certainly won’t rattle the block, but if you want to add impressive bass without overpowering your soundstage, the Kicker subwoofer is perfect.
The amplifier is as impressive as the subwoofer, as Kicker maintains its brand for quality car audio products.
As well as a remote turn-on, the Kicker 46HS10 Hideaway features high- and low-level inputs which makes integration with nearly any factory or aftermarket head unit easy.
The Hideaway also boasts an adjustable low-pass crossover, variable +6dB bass boost, phase switch, to make sculpting your perfect soundstage easy and impressive.
At 25 Hz – 120 Hz, the Frequency Response is impressive for a small and compact powered subwoofer, and ensures you can feel the lows. All in all, it’s a high quality unit and anyone wanting a powered subwoofer should definitely consider this.
Anyone wanting to shake the neighborhood, this sub certainly isn’t for you, but if you want clean and accurate bass, that will make a major impact to your high fidelity, I’m sure you’ll be very pleased with the sound quality. It’s a bit more expensive than the other powered subs, but it’s worth that but extra, in my opinion.
Best Bass Tube For A Car
Bass Tubes aren’t really associated with car audio, but things are really starting to pick up as more drivers opt for the versatility a bass tube offers while driving your car.
Bass Reflex Tubes are mostly used for home stereo systems, but as they become more popular, manufacturers are increasingly making them car audio friendly.
Like standard subwoofers, a bass tube is used to amplify low frequency sound waves, but it works a bit different to subs in typical enclosures. In a bass tube, the rear radiated sound waves are used to amplify the bass, and the volume of air and in the bass tube’s openings form an oscillating system.
Most bass tubes work well, improving the soundstage in your car, but you probably won’t get as much volume as you will with a subwoofer of the same size. But, they’re easier to install, making them ideal for anyone new to car audio.
Skar Audio SK8TBV Bass Tube – 8 Inch Subwoofer Bass Tube
The first bass tube in my review is this Skar Audio SK8TBV single 8-inch premium loaded vented subwoofer enclosure.
The bass from this small but powerful beast is enhanced thanks to the tube design with a rear port, which helps the bass get extremely loud for a bass tube.
The bass tube’s power handling is rated at 200W RMS, but it seriously kicks out some volume, and will vibrate your car, giving that feeling of a bigger subwoofer.
Not only does the Skar Audio bass tube kick out some serious bass, it’s also pleasing on the eye, too. Finished in a professional grade black trunk liner and featuring a sleek protective mesh subwoofer grille, it will earn praise from your friends in both the aesthetic and fidelity reproduction.
The dual 2-ohm voice coil subwoofer inside is wired to a 1-ohm final impedance load at the terminals of the enclosure, so make sure you get an amplifier that is stable at 1 ohm. There are some excellent monoblock amps here that can do the job, and if you’re looking for a good Skar Audio mon amplifier, this Skar Audio SK-M5001D Compact Subwoofer Amplifier is worth considering.
As well as the bass output, what I like about this bass tube is its efficiency, which is in part down to the enclosure. It was engineered by Skar Audio and is custom made for the subwoofer that is loaded in it, which ensures you get a more efficient subwoofer and of course accurate bass.
The Frequency Response Range is 35Hz – 250Hz, and while not reaching the depths of low frequencies, it is more than enough for most people. And with dimensions of 22.5” x 9.5” it’s a little bulkier than others but shorter and will fit in pretty much any trunk.
If you’re looking for a vented enclosure bass tube that takes up little space, but kicks out powerful and accurate bass, you should consider the Skar Audio SK8TBV. It’s an 8” subwoofer, but it will make a dramatic impact in your car no matter how big it is, and all done without taking up much space.
Pyle PLTB8 Bass Tube – 8-Inch Passive Bass Tube
If you don’t want to break the bank and get some powerful bass in your car for under $100, this Pyle PLTB8 Bass Tube not only looks good, but kicks out some car shaking bass.
The subwoofer cone is Pyle Blue Wave and is made from polypropylene, which means it won’t absorb moisture and so the distortion, especially after a while, will be minimized.
Polypropylene cones are also highly damped and lossy, and the frequency roll-off is smoother than other materials, which ensures you get more accurate bass from this bass tube subwoofer.
The woofer benefits from a specially treated black rubber edge suspension, which also helps with negating the distortion for a distortion-free sound that rocks.
The continuous power handling isn’t known, which is standard for cheap subwoofers, so understand that for just over $50 you get what you pay for.
This Pyle bass tube is known for its efficiency and longevity for such a cheap subwoofer, which is down to the 2” aluminum voice coil.
The voice coil not only provides the punch, but the aluminum dissipates heat much faster than copper voice coils, which are usually found in cheaper subs. This allows you to drive more power for longer without the risk of melting or burning the voice coil.
And with a 4-ohm impedance rating the sub compensates the undersized wire found in most cars, which helps reduce distortion so you can enjoy a crisp & clear sound.
With the bass reflex vent adding even more sub-bass, you should get a frequency response of 30 Hz to 700 Hz, which is low enough for most bass heads.
As well as its audio benefits, the tube comes in a high-quality carpeted construction for that classic look, that Pyle audio equipment is well known for.
At 11.5” diameter x 19.5” length, it’s a little bulkier than most 8” bass tubes, so although it will fit in most trunks, make sure you have the space and more for your every day things.
If you’re looking for a bass tube that will last, will pump out impressive lows, and is cheap, the Pyle PLTB8 Bass Tube has to be considered. Not only that, it’s a beautiful design and the bass is surprisingly clear.
Kicker 46CWTB84 TB8
The last subwoofer on my review is the Kicker 46CWTB84 TB8 – a bass tube that pounds out accurate low frequencies and one that’s built to last.
The Kicker subwoofer comes in both an 8-inch and a 10-inch bass tube, and they both rock your car. And with them being weatherproof, they’re ideal bass tubes for marine life, too.
Don’t be fooled by the small 8-inch woofer, because the 300W RMS and 4-ohm driver pumps out some car rattling bass, and makes the impact you expect from the best Kicker subwoofers.
It’s a CompR woofer from Kicker, drivers that are designed and known for reproducing powerful and punchy bass. The cone is made with polypropylene, which ensures it stays rigid during intense sessions so you don’t lose any of the crisp bass reproduction.
The woofer benefits from Kicker’s famous santoprene rubber surround, which helps to control cone movement during a heavy and elongated workout.
The Kicker subwoofer also boasts a newly designed venting in a heavy steel basket. This helps shrug off heat, which allows you to play continuously without fear of damaging your bass tube.
The woofer is also supported by a second sub. Known as a passive radiator it reacts to the air pressure produced by the active sub, resulting in lots more bass and arguably the best sound quality of any other bass tube on the market.
The enclosure is also made of stern stuff. Made of ABS plastic, the bass tube stands up to the stresses of heavy bass and thanks to the tubular shape it pushes the air up and out, ensuring the driver produces a refreshing deep and resonant sound quality.
The bass tube can be mounted vertically or horizontally, which gives you more options for where to mount it. And as I said before, because it’s weatherproof, it’s an ideal bass tube subwoofer for anyone who takes to the waves.
It’s not cheap, but if you want the biggest bump without losing any vital space you need, this Kicker subwoofer bass tube will rock any car and boat. The bass is extremely deep and loud, and if you really want a bass tube and can afford it, I recommend this one.
The Best Subwoofer For Your Car – Buyer’s Guide
So you want to take the soundstage in your car to the next level? The only way to achieve this is by getting a subwoofer. It really makes a huge impact to your stereo by not only reproducing the lows, but freeing up your midrange to take care of the mids instead of the lows.
But getting the right one for you is more awkward than choosing the most expensive or the biggest. It’s all about the type of bass you want, so this buyer’s guide will help you in your research for choosing the best subwoofer for your car.
What To Look For In A Subwoofer
When looking for the best subwoofer for your car there are many factors to take into account.
Subwoofer size is probably the most important factor when choosing the best subwoofer for a car. The bigger the subwoofer the more space it will take up, and usually the bigger the bass will be. If you want to play as loud and low a bass as possible, and you have the space, I would recommend going for the biggest possible subwoofer. That said, smaller subwoofers shouldn’t be underestimated, because they really do make a difference.
Cone material is another important factor. There’s no “best” material because they all have different benefits and produce different sounds, so it’s all down to personal choice. Her are the main cone materials:
Treated paper is one of the most common materials used for subwoofer cones, and the bass produced is warmer than other harder materials. Paper is lightweight and has the fastest response time as a moving unit, and although treated paper has a layer of protection on it to make it more durable.
Polypropylene is another very common material used for woofer cones. It’s lightweight and is more rigid than paper, offering more protection than a paper cone. Not only that, it won’t absorb moisture like paper can, and the bass production will be less distortion.
Aluminum is popular material used for subwoofer cones. Aluminum has a high stiffness to weight ratio, but its damping characteristics are quite poor. The low frequencies reproduced have a brighter sounding than other materials, which some people don’t like. But again, it’s down to personal choice.
Kevlar is another material that is very popular among subwoofer manufacturers. The metal fiber is very durable, and the biggest benefit is the flexibility, strength and how light it is. Kevlar cones are known for their long lifespan because the material doesn’t wilt to the pressures of the heavy air pushed out over time.
Important Specs To Consider When Looking For a Subwoofer
Power Handling is an all-important factor when choosing a subwoofer. Measured in RMS watts, it is the continuous power handling that shows the power your subwoofer can handle for extended periods of time. Make sure you get a subwoofer that can at least handle your amplifier’s RMS.
Impedance is another important factor to consider when buying the best subwoofer for a car. Most subwoofers are rated at 4 ohms impedance, although 2-ohm and 8-ohm subwoofers are also common. When you are matching your subwoofer and amplifier, make sure the impedance of your amp can match that of the subwoofer.
Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB) and shows the rating of power which your subwoofer will need to produce sound. This means the higher the sensitivity of your subwoofer, the less power needed to reproduce the same sound as a subwoofer with a lower sensitivity.
Frequency Range gives you a range of which the subwoofer can play. Typically a subwoofer’s frequency range is between 20 Hz – 200 Hz.
Voice Coil is another important thing to look out for. You can get single or dual voice coils, and while neither is definitely better than the other, a dual voice coil (DVC) will give you more options when matching it with an amplifier.
Subwoofer enclosures are an important factor to consider when getting a sub that will reproduce the sounds you want. The type of enclosure will have a big impact on the type of bass it produces. The main three are listed below:
Sealed Enclosures give you the crispest, most accurate sound. As the name suggests, they are completely sealed airtight and perform beautifully and reproduce rich, warm and tight bass. Something to consider with sealed enclosures is that they need more power to produce higher volumes than other subwoofer boxes.
Ported Enclosure have a vent in them to allow air movement in and out of the enclosure. This ensures the subwoofer will produce louder and generally more vibrating bass than a sealed enclosure. They are generally bigger than sealed enclosures, so make sure it will fit in your car if you’re tight on space.
Bandpass Enclosures are a type of ported enclosure, but the difference is the box has two chambers. The subwoofer will sit in a sealed chamber and it pushes the bass through a filter to the other chamber. This produces loud and low bass because it limits the upper-end of the frequency response.
Buying The Best Subwoofer For A Car
As you now know, there’s no black and white answer for getting the best subwoofer for your car. It’s down to personal choice in the type of bass you want, and of course the genre of music you listen to.
Whatever size subwoofer you choose to get, it’s critical to make sure you get the right enclosure for it, because this will ensure it produces the bass you expect and it will do so efficiently. Also, it’s important to break in any new subwoofer.
And remember, matching your subwoofer with an amplifier is very important too. The amp you want must be capable of powering 75% to 150% of the total RMS rating for the entire subwoofer system you have, so if you have more than one sub running from your amp, take the total RMS into consideration. And don’t forget the impedance as well. Whatever the impedance of your subwoofer, your amp must be stable at that impedance too.
Whatever choice you make, I’m sure you’ll get the best subwoofer for your car, and you’ll get years of enjoyment from it as long as you treat it well.
Does a bigger subwoofer mean more bass?
Low frequency and sound pressure level (SPL) are what makes a subwoofer, and the bigger the subwoofer driver the more potential it has to produce greater SPL and deeper bass than a smaller subwoofer, so yes it means you’ll get more bass.
Will I be able to hear the bass from the trunk of my car?
The bigger the subwoofer the more volume it will spread easily, so a 15in subwoofer will definitely vibrate your car. If you’re getting a smaller compact subwoofer, you might be better putting it under the car seat, or if you choose a 6-inch subwoofer, you’ll be able to put them in your car door if you like.
Are two smaller subwoofers better than one bigger subwoofer?
Doubling up on smaller subwoofers will usually outperform a single sub, as there should be reduced compression, lower distortion and more dynamic range.
Can you mix different sized subwoofers?
You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Let’s say you have a 12” subwoofer and a smaller 8-inch – the bigger sub will have a lot more power, but it will be limited by the smaller sub’s performance.
What happens if you underpower a subwoofer?
The worst that can happen is that your subwoofer won’t reach its potential and the sound quality will be weaker. Although underpowering a subwoofer will lead it to send a clipped signal, which means the subwoofer will receive signals to do something it’s not intended to do. It could potentially damage your subwoofer, so it’s good to power it optimally.
What happens if you overpower a subwoofer?
Overpowering could also damage your subwoofer because the amplifier will send signals outside of the sub’s voltage range and this could potentially damage your subwoofer. Again, it’s best to match up your subwoofer with the right amplifier.
I am a passionate and skilled car audio enthusiast with 15 years of experience in the industry. My journey started when I replaced my first set of factory car speakers, sparking a deep love for high-quality sound. Since then, I have worked as a representative for renowned brands like Kenwood and Alpine.
With a background in both retail and distribution, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the car audio market. Currently a certified (MECP) installer in the Mobile Electronics industry, my expertise lies in delivering top-notch audio installations. My knowledge, coupled with my genuine passion, makes me the go-to professional for all car audio needs.