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With a large number of sizes available — 8-inch versions, 10-inch versions, 12-inch versions and more — you will find yourself with a ton of options.
Many people opt for the 12-inch subwoofer when they want a subwoofer for their car or for a large room in their home.
But even just within the range of 12-inch subwoofers, there are many different options to choose from.
To help you narrow down your options and pick the best one for your needs, we have chosen some popular categories and the best 12 inch subwoofers within them.
Quick List: Best 12 Inch Subwoofer in 2019
- Best 12 Inch Subwoofer for the Money: SVS SB-1000
- Best 12 Inch Car Subwoofer: Skar Audio EVL-12 D2
- Best 12 Inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer: PIONEER TS-SW3002S4
- Best 12 Inch Home Audio Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW505
- Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Under $200: Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3
- Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Under $100: Audiopipe TXX-BD2-12
12 Inch Subwoofer Reviews
Simply glancing through a list of 12-inch subwoofers may not be enough for you to make a decision.
You will need to delve deeper into what each of the above-mentioned subwoofers has to offer and the many advantages and drawbacks associated with each of these to be able to make a well-informed decision.
To help you through this dilemma, we have compiled some brief reviews of the subwoofers in each of the categories mentioned above. Keep reading to learn more!
Best Value for Money: SVS SB-1000
- High-excursion 12-inch driver delivers massive SPLs with detail and musicality.
- 300-watts RMS, 720-watts peak power SVS Sledge STA-300D DSP amplifier for effortless power and pinpoint control at all drive levels.
The first option on this list — and also our pick for the best overall 12-inch subwoofer — is the SVS SB-1000 Subwoofer with its high-excursion 12-inch driver.
The company has paid good attention to detail in the construction of this product, keeping the overall weight quite low but functionality on the higher side.
With 300 watts RMS and a 720 watts peak power, you will be investing in a powerful subwoofer that allows you to take your music listening or movie watching experience to the next level. The subwoofer has an in-built amplifier to give you good control over the output at all drive levels.
The product is strongly built and enclosed in a customized sealed cabinet so that you can gain access to distortion-free bass even at all different reference volumes. If budget isn’t an issue, the SVS subwoofer is unparalleled in terms of quality.
- This is one of the most powerful subwoofers, giving an output of 300 watts RMS and a peak power of 720 watts for an exceptional listening experience.
- The sub is relatively lightweight when compared to a lot of the other options on the list.
- This product has one of the best low-frequency responses when it comes to subwoofers at this price point.
- The SVS works exceedingly well with your home theater setup as well as general speakers for music.
- The price of this product is definitely the biggest drawback, as it is more expensive than all the others on the list.
- The performance is slightly lacking when compared to the performance offered by the SB-2000 from the same company.
Best for Car: Skar Audio EVL-12 D2
- Peak Power: 2,500 Watts | RMS Power: 1,250 Watts
- 3" High Temperature Dual 2-ohm Voice Coil with Black Coating
The Skar Audio EVL range of subwoofers is one of the best options available for you if you are looking for a high-quality car subwoofer to elevate your music experience even when you are traveling.
With 1250 watts RMS and 2500 watts peak power, there is no product on this list that can meet the Skar Audio subwoofer’s power output.
But, there is a downside of powerful subs, which is that they tend to heat up pretty quickly. That isn’t something that you need to worry about with the EVL-12 D2 as it is designed with a high-temp, 4-layer aluminum voice call that prevents it from retaining heat in the long run.
The quality of the bass is impressive, which is the main reason why you will be purchasing subwoofers for the sound output of your car.
- The Skar Audio subwoofer gives you some of the most powerful sound production that you can expect from a car sub.
- The product comes with a strong voice coil, which is able to withstand even the most extreme performance conditions.
- The subwoofer is known for producing deep and impactful bass.
- You don’t have to worry about the unit heating up under different conditions.
- If you are one of those people who doesn’t like their music to be too loud, you may not like this product very much.
- It is slightly large and heavy, which can make it a little tiresome when it comes to installation.
Best Shallow Mount: PIONEER TS-SW3002S4
- UPC: 884938234719
- Weight: 14.500 lbs
Pioneer is one of those companies that has made a name for itself in the range of car stereos and similar equipment because of years of innovation and steadily impressive service.
Another great product from the company’s stables is the TS-SW3002S4 12-Inch Shallow-Mount Subwoofer that allows you to save on some precious space while giving you great low-frequency bass to enjoy the music you are playing in the car.
With 400 watts RMS and 1500 watts of peak power, this is a highly powerful device that is also equipped with a single 4-Ohm voice coil, in addition to an injection molded SoloKon cone.
The subwoofers have an impressive low-frequency response rate of between 25 Hz and 350 Hz so that you can enjoy a large selection of rich bass tones with a lot of depth. As you need very limited space to install this unit — just 3 ⅜ inches — this can fit in any car that you’d like.
- The power output of this shallow mount subwoofer is amazing, standing at 400 watts RMS and 1500 watts peak power.
- The product comes with a single 4-Ohm voice coil for more consistent performance in different conditions.
- The TS-SW3002S4 has an impressive low-frequency response rate, catching everything between 25 Hz and 350 Hz.
- The price is unmatched when it comes to 12-inch subwoofers.
- While this is relatively light compared to the other products on this list, it is still quite heavy for the category.
- The warranty offered by the company is quite limited at just one year.
Best for Home Audio: Polk Audio PSW505
- HEART-THUMPING MUSIC WITH DEEP, POWERFUL BASS - Polk's 12-inch Dynamic Balance Woofer sounds better because it is built better. Make your movies, music & sports experience thrilling
If you want to take the experience of watching a film or your favorite show at home to the level of an actual theater, you need to invest in a good quality subwoofer that gives you an elevated sound quality.
Our pick for this category is the Polk Audio PSW505 12 Inch Powered Subwoofer.
There are many reasons for this, but we can start off by discussing the high power performance that the product delivers while minimizing the distortion that comes with higher sound output.
The sub is able to work in tandem with your home audio system or speaker for accurate sound reproduction. With a decent low-frequency response rate, this subwoofer is very easy to integrate with your existing sound system, reducing the amount of work you need to put in.
- You get some of the best features — usually available only in the high-end products — with this powered subwoofer.
- The 5-year warranty period is a definite plus point.
- It is very easy to integrate with your existing speakers or home theater system.
- The Polk subwoofers give you a continuously variable 60-120 Hz crossover and an impressive frequency response between 25 Hz and 125 Hz.
- The price is a little on the higher side when compared to the other options on the list.
- The dynamic power output isn’t too impressive.
Best Under $200: Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC
- Features 2.50 Inch Copper Clad Aluminum Voice Coil
- VAST Vertical Attached Surround For Increased Cone Area; Voice Coil Type : Dual Voice Coil
If you are looking for a good quality product that packs a punch without poking holes into your budget, you do not need to look beyond the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 12-Inch Subwoofer.
With 600 watts RMS and 1200 watts peak power, this is an incredibly powerful option, but you will not have to worry about it heating up too much, as it comes with anodized aluminum voice coil formers that help in dissipating heat.
While you do get a lot of features with this particular model, you don’t have to worry about complex installations, as it is very easy to fix. It has also passed all the industry standards.
- The power output is astounding with 600 watt RMS and 1200 watts peak power, which translates to a great listening experience.
- The FlexiFit basket makes for an overall flexible installation process.
- The product is built very well and allows for quick dissipation of heat, which can be a problem with other large subwoofers.
- The features offered by Rockford Fosgate make this one of the ideal options for a high-value product.
- The subwoofer does not come with an enclosure so you may have to purchase one separately.
- The sensitivity is relatively low, especially when compared to some other options on the list.
- You may need a separate amp to get the best performance out of this product.
Best Under $100: Audiopipe TXX-BD2-12
- RMS 750 Watt
- AUDIOPIPE 12" 3000 WATT Car DVC Subwoofers
If you don’t want to spend too much money on a high-quality subwoofer to improve your listening experience, the Audiopipe TXX-BD2-12 12 Inch 3000W Subwoofer is a great option.
With an impressive frequency range between 2o Hz and 900 Hz, the unit gives you the maximum feel for the bass being produced by the subwoofer. The power output is also impressive — 750 watts RMS and 3000 watts maximum output — making this one of the most impressive budget options on the list.
However, it may be lacking some of the more sophisticated features that are available in the other more expensive subwoofers. It is also a little tougher to set up, as the wiring process can get a little tiresome. Despite this, it is probably the best cheap subwoofer for people who have a budget to stick to.
- One of the most affordable options, this product gives you the look of a more expensive subwoofer.
- The Audiopipe subwoofer is designed to handle even the higher power levels and produce very loud audio.
- If you are looking for impressive bass, this is a good product worth giving a shot.
- The product is built strongly and won’t give you the problems that some of the cheaper options do.
- The wiring process is fairly complicated so you may need to enlist the help of someone with experience.
- You will be required to look for a separate enclosure for this subwoofer.
- When it comes to very deep lows, the performance leaves something to be desired.
Tips for Choosing the Right 12 Inch Subwoofer for You
At this point, you have already gone through the best 12-inch subwoofers available in the market currently, but how are you supposed to make the decision when it comes to choosing between these?
There are a number of considerations that need to be included in your assessment of the subwoofer before you purchase one.
To make it easier for you to pick one, we have listed the main factors that need to be given some thought before you purchase a subwoofer for use at home or outside. Keep reading to find out all you need to know!
First and foremost, your budget is the first major consideration when it comes to purchasing subwoofers. While some people don’t want to spend too much money and are okay with the average bass quality that is provided by the cheaper, under-$100 subwoofers, there are others who give a lot of importance to the power output and bass quality that is promised by the more expensive products.
Some of the more expensive 12-inch subwoofers can set you back by over $1,000, which means that it will be a big investment on the part of the consumer. You can get a good quality sub in the $200-$600 price range, which can be considered a steal for bass enthusiasts.
One of the most common tricks employed by people while setting up subwoofers in their houses is putting the sub against the wall so that it can sound a little louder than it would if it was placed in a regular setting. If you put it in a corner, the volume will be increased even further. However, neither of these positions will give you the best bass response.
If good bass is what you are looking for, you need to sit in the spot that you will be occupying most frequently — your listening spot — and move the subwoofer around. Or you could place the unit in one spot and move around the room as you note the bass quality, which will change significantly with every few feet.
Powered subwoofers come with in-built amplification so that you don’t have to purchase one separately to drive it. The wattage is an important consideration when you are looking for powerful subs.
While there is no single answer for what the ideal wattage or power is, the general rule is that the higher the wattage of the amp, the more power and impact your bass will provide.
However, this does not mean that you should stretch your budget too much just to get more wattage. The subwoofer’s continuous power or RMS rating is what you need to look at carefully. You will also see a “peak power” rating with the product, but that is more of an on-paper assessment and doesn’t have too much of a role to play in the overall performance.
Another feature that you can look out for while assessing subwoofers is room EQ processing. This means playing different test tones through the speaker and subwoofer so that an equalizer setting specific to the particular room can be generated. This allows for the minimizing of peaks when it comes to the frequency response, which means that you will be able to avoid over-accentuated notes.
However, you must keep in mind that this feature will not be able to fill any gaps that are occurring because of the room acoustics, as that is out of the ambit of a subwoofer. This feature will also not be able to make up for a poor-quality subwoofer that is low on power.
Sealed vs Ported
There are two main types of subwoofers available for purchase when it comes to distinctions based on the enclosures that they are placed in — sealed and ported. The first 0f these are known as sealed subwoofers or acoustic suspension, where the air doesn’t move in or out of the box. This makes them quicker and more responsive, with the resulting bass being very tight and more accurate.
On the other hand, ported subwoofers or bass reflex enclosures have an air vent built into the subwoofer itself. This allows for better reinforcement of the low bass output. While there is no correct answer to what is a better option of the two, ported ones give you a more powerful bass but are larger than the sealed options, which may be a drawback.
When you think of attaching a subwoofer to your home theater system or speaker, it usually involves dragging out a long wire that needs to be plugged into either system. There are some options that allow you to wirelessly connect the subwoofers to other sources and control them through a remote or app.
While this is the age of wireless connectivity, a large number of subwoofers have still not jumped onto the wireless bandwagon. However, this doesn’t mean that some of them cannot be upgraded if you purchase some separate equipment to enable its wireless features. Keep in mind that a wireless subwoofer, or one that has been upgraded for wireless use, will cost you more than a simple wired version.
Good Bass Vs More Bass
The main decision you need to take after looking at the many features offered by the different subwoofers is whether you are ready to compromise on getting good quality bass for more bass altogether.
These are two different things. More bass does not mean good bass.
Those cars that you hear thumping out loud sounds are probably going for more bass but bad bass. Good bass will make you feel the music or the film without rushing you around to find cover. While there are still people who look out for more bass, good bass should be the ultimate aim that you are looking to achieve with the subwoofers.
Make a Well-Informed Choice
Our main recommendation is this, don’t choose blindly or follow a fad when deciding which 12-inch subwoofer best fits your needs! Doing so will make it highly likely that you will not get the best value for the money that you have spent!
For example, if you are new to the entire concept of subwoofers and just want to try one out, investing in a $600 subwoofer doesn’t make the most sense — unless you have that much extra cash to throw around. In this case, you may want to try the affordable Audiopipe or Rockford Fosgate options first.
For people who want more sophisticated equipment to elevate their listening experience, an investment in the SVS subwoofer may be a better choice.
Whatever model you choose to go for, remember that it is supposed to aid your speakers to bring out their best performance and not be a replacement!