Subwoofers are great additions to any audio system, simultaneously capable of adding bass to expand the range of standard speakers as well as decreasing overall sound distortion.
15-inch subwoofers are a particularly popular option, as they are the perfect size for a car sound system, but also pack enough punch for home use. If you’ve been struggling to distinguish between the many different varieties and complex audio specifications of all the models on the market, then this is the guide for you.
We’ve rounded up the best 15-inch subwoofers so you can find one that’s perfectly tailored to your needs.
Quick List: Best 15-inch Subwoofer 2020
- Monolith THX Ultra Powered Subwoofer — Best for Home Theaters
- Acoustic Audio PSW-15 Down firing Subwoofer
- Klipsch SPL-150SW 15-inch Powered Subwoofer
- Power Acoustik MOFO 152-X 15” Pro
- Rockford Fosgate P3D4-15 Punch — Best for Car Audio
- Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 — Best Budget Option for Car Audio
- Skar Audio Single 15” 1200W Vented Subwoofer Enclosure
- Orion HCCA152 Competition Subwoofer — Most Powerful
- Planet Audio AC15D — Most Affordable
- DS18 EXL-B15 2D Subwoofer
- Kicker S15L7 15 inch Subwoofer
15-inch Subwoofer Reviews
There is a lot of variation when it comes to the quality and performance of different 15 inch subwoofers, even when comparing models of the same size. In putting together this list, I wanted to find the subwoofers with the highest audio-quality that produce the best overall listening experience. Throughout my research I paid careful attention to the sensitivity levels, frequency range, and power ratings of each 15 inch subwoofer. I also made sure to investigate the quality of materials used to form the woofer cone, as this has a significant impact on the sound that gets produced.
Because not everyone wants or needs the most expensive, powerful subwoofer available, I’ve paid attention to affordability and overall value for cost. This list includes a variety of enclosed and free air models, as well as options for both home and car audio systems. All of the subwoofers feature impressive build quality and a wide range for producing low bass sounds.
Although the two primary considerations for this line-up were sound and construction quality, I also took into account additional features intended to improve the user experience, such as built-in amplifiers, light-weight design, and internal cooling systems.
The Best 15-inch Subwoofers
1. Monolith THX Ultra Powered Subwoofer —Best for Home Theaters
- THX Ultra Certified: THX engineers completed hundreds of different scientific tests to ensure the highest audio performance possible.
- The tests ensure the speaker can reach the high volumes necessary to achieve THX Reference Level without creating audible distortion or artifacts.
The Monolith THX Ultra is our top pick for home theaters because it combines remarkable power with a sleek, well-built cabinet box that is perfect for larger rooms and home studios.
- Outstanding construction and build-quality
- Crisp, articulate bass
- THX Ultra Certified
- Tremendous amplification
- Very large and heavy
Relatively new to the audio equipment scene, Monoprice is a direct to consumer online retailer that specializes in electronics accessories. Their flagship line of home audio equipment includes Monolith amplifiers, in-wall speakers, headphones, and the Monolith THX Ultra Powered Subwoofer. Although it is a fairly new product, this 15-inch subwoofer has quickly generated industry buzz and become a heavy-hitter in the subwoofer market.
What truly sets this home theater subwoofer apart from other enclosed models is its THX Ultra certification. THX sets high fidelity audio standards for movie theaters and film screenings, serving as the primary quality assurance metric in film reproduction and providing certifications for related home audio-visual equipment. The THX Ultra certification on this subwoofer provides assurance that you’ll be getting movie theater quality sound in rooms as large as 3,000 cubic feet. So even if you don’t understand all the ins and outs of sensitivity ratings and frequency response, you’ll rest easy knowing this subwoofer is fully certified and able to reach incredibly low frequencies with very minimal distortion.
Another reason we love this subwoofer is the phenomenal build-quality. The woofer is covered by a removable grille and incorporates a sleek finish that won’t stick out like a sore thumb in your home. Additionally, the cabinet is built with high-density fibreboard as opposed to the more popular medium-density variety, giving it an added level of durability that you’ll appreciate when setting up an elegant, furnished home theater.
2. Acoustic Audio PSW-15 Down firing Subwoofer
- HOME THEATER POWERED SUBWOOFER - Standard RCA inputs easily connect to your home theater receivers dedicated Subwoofer Output. Save power with the added Signal Sensing Auto ON/OFF feature
- 600 WATTS PEAK POWER - Integrated high efficiency power amplifier, 22 - 250 Hz with 99dB at 8ohm, Auto ON/OFF and 0 - 180 degree Phase control switches, Gain and 40 - 140 Hz Crossover control knobs
Acoustic Audio has long been a leader in budget-friendly home audio products. The PSW-15 Down Firing Subwoofer is specifically designed to provide an immersive listening experience for home entertainment systems, but it comes at a fraction of the cost of other enclosed subwoofers.
- Very low cost
- Sleek, low-profile design
- Impressive frequency response
- Only suited for smaller rooms
- Internal amplifier overheats
The PSW-15 is a great budget option for anyone looking to upgrade their home audio experience. With a wide-ranging frequency response and a built-in digital drive amplifier, this 15 inch subwoofer will enhance the deep, booming explosions in your favorite action movies and add a full-bodied bass to your favorite songs.
Its low profile, sleek finish makes it a great, multi-faceted addition to any home. Because of its stylish design and small size, the PSW-15 is appropriate for home theaters as well as bookshelves, TV rooms, and living rooms. You’ll be able to enjoy a fully immersive experience when watching movies, listening to music, or playing video games, without the distraction of an ostentatious speaker system that takes up half the room.
Furthermore, the PSW-15 offers an impressive frequency response, especially for the price point. It features a long-excursion cone that helps to deliver a really accurate, precise response, so you’ll be able to clearly hear all the subtle nuances in the audio.
The only downside is the internal amplifier, which only operates up to 600-watts peak performance and has the tendency to overheat when used for long periods of time. While you won’t notice this in smaller rooms, it can become a problem for owners of larger home theaters. If you plan on holding several movie marathons or want to be able to hear your music in every room of the house, then this subwoofer might not be for you.
3. Klipsch SPL-150SW 15-inch Powered Subwoofer
- Bass reflex via exclusive front firing internal flare port for placement flexibility
- High efficiency class d amplifier with 400W RMS and 800W peak
Another solid option for a fully enclosed 15 inch subwoofer that’s suitable for home use is the Klipsch SPL-150 SW. With a really elegant finish and some intelligent design considerations, the Klipsch SPL-150 SW is a handsome, well-made subwoofer capable of rocking the whole house.
- Elegant finish and intuitive design
- Powerful bass
- Easy to combine with multiple subs and surround speakers
- Very large and heavy
Although it is on the more expensive side, this subwoofer is worth every penny, delivering over the top bass that is sure to impress any listener. With a built-in, high efficiency amplifier capable of reaching 800 watts peak power, this subwoofer produces an incredibly powerful bass that you can actually feel physically. When you listen to music with the Klipsch SPL-150 SW, you’ll be able to feel every beat resonate through your chest as though you are in the front row at a rock concert. You can even combine two or more of these subwoofers in one sound system to achieve a truly uproarious, heart-pumping sound.
The subwoofer also features a classic design with an elegant finish. With a removable woven grille, a scratch-resistant ebony finish, and a sophisticated, contrasting copper woofer, the Klipsch SPL-150 SW is one of the most attractive models on the market. You’ll be sure to impress the entire neighborhood with this subwoofer’s premium look and feel.
Finally, this 15-inch subwoofer is easy to install and adjust. Designed for instant plug and play capability, the Klipsch SPL-150 SW is perfect for anyone who hates complex audio set up. Klipsch also offers an optional wireless port that makes it possible to place this subwoofer in any room with power access, so you can jam out wherever you want.
4. Power Acoustik MOFO 152-X 15” Pro
- 15" Mofo X series 3,000 watt subwoofer . 1,400 watts RMS Rated . Size of each subwoofer: 15". Fs :29.999 . Qms :5.425. Vas :3.264. Xmax mm : 14.
- Xmech mm :21. Qes :0.585. Re : 3.80. Znom :4. BL : 18.407. RMS Power :1400. Qts :0.528. SPL :87.382. V.C. ; Motor Volume :373 Ounces
The Power Acoustik Mofo 152-X truly lives up to its name. With a massive 3000 Watts maximum power handling, this subwoofer is designed for extreme bass output.
- Compatible with both car and home use
- Extremely powerful
- Requires custom subwoofer box
- Tends to overheat
The main selling point of this Power Acoustik subwoofer is its extreme power handling. The bass on this subwoofer hits really hard, so you’ll be able to bump bass-heavy music as loud as you want. In fact, your biggest challenge with this model will be finding an amplifier strong enough to max out the subwoofer’s tremendous capabilities.
Although intended as a car subwoofer, the MOFO 152-X is easy to adapt to home use by combining two or more subwoofers in a simple encasement, making it a great budget alternative for home and car audio enthusiasts alike. Furthermore, the subwoofer body is made of a lightweight, UV coated foam, so you’ll be able to achieve a powerful, low bass no matter how small your car is.
Unfortunately, this subwoofer doesn’t fit standard 15-inch subwoofer boxes. You’ll have to purchase the custom Power Acoustik encasement, or do a little sanding and wood cutting to modify your current box in order to get this model up and running. Because the installation process is quite complicated, the MOFO 152-X can be frustrating for beginners who don’t have experience mounting speakers.
This subwoofer is also prone to overheating and bottoming out. While the MOFO 152-X may be capable of handling up to 3000 Watts, it is probably best to use an amplifier in the 1000-2000-Watt range to avoid blowing it out early.
5. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-15 Punch — Best for Car Audio
- The P3 Series is Rockford Fosgate’s best performing Punch subwoofer delivering reference quality bass in our most popular models
- The Punch P3D4-15 is a 15” 4-Ohm DVC (dual voice coil) subwoofer with 600 Watts RMS / 1200 Watts Max power handling and custom 10-AWG nickel plated push terminals
The Rockford Fosgate P3D4-15 Punch is our top pick for car subwoofers in part because of the tremendous reliability and overall quality of Rockford Fosgate products. The P3D4-15 Punch in particular combines strong build-quality and high-power handling with an easy installation process that is especially user friendly.
- Cooling features for reliable long-term use
- Sturdy construction
- Easy to mount
- Slight distortion when playing deep bass
- Not as loud as other subwoofers
Rockford Fosgate is truly one of the most reliable brands for car audio products. With the P3D4-15 Punch, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a high-quality product designed to last a lifetime.
This subwoofer features spider venting technology and anodized dust caps that keep the motor cool even on long road trips and extended drives. You can listen to powerful, bass-heavy music for hours on end without having to worry about bottoming out.
The flexible basket keeps the overall weight low, so you won’t see any spikes in your gas bill after adding this subwoofer to your vehicle. It also makes mounting and adjusting the subwoofer incredibly easy in comparison to other models.
The maximum power handling of 1200 watts is perfect for car audio systems, providing a potent, powerful bass that is loud enough to transform your listening experience without relying on an oversized amplifier. Whatever kind of music you listen to, this subwoofer will bring out depths in the sound you would never experience otherwise.
The only downside to this subwoofer is the slight distortion that occurs at the lowest frequency levels. True audio fanatics may gravitate towards crisper, more accurate alternatives, but the majority of amateur audio enthusiasts will still find this subwoofer incredibly satisfying.
6. Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 Subwoofer — Best Budget Option for Car Audio
- 15-inch Dual 2 Ohm Competition Grade Car Subwoofer
- Peak Power: 2,500 Watts | RMS Power: 1,250 Watts
The Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 Subwoofer gets our award for the best budget option for car audio systems. Despite its low price point, this subwoofer really holds up against the more expensive, premium models, featuring high levels of sensitivity, a wide frequency response range, and impressive power handling.
- Extremely responsive bass
- Wide frequency response range
- Efficient air flow cooling system
- Requires custom subwoofer box
- Not very durable with extended, long-term use
The first thing that stands out about the Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 is its high-profile, in-your-face design. This model looks great as a car subwoofer, in part because it does not hold anything back on the aesthetics front. The Skar logo is prominently displayed and the overall finish is incredibly youthful, giving your audio system a flashy, over-the-top vibe. While some users may prefer a more subtle, sophisticated subwoofer, the EVL-15 D2 is perfect for anyone who wants to show off their customized ride.
For a budget model, this subwoofer offers truly remarkable sound quality. With a wide frequency response range and incredible bass sensitivity, the EVL-15 D2 ensures you’ll be able to experience tight and precise bass even when listening to really high and really low notes. It also features an efficient air flow cooling system that will help keep the woofer cool when you’re using it for long drives and loud head-banging sessions.
This subwoofer can also handle tremendous power, with a peak power handling of up to 2,500 Watts. If you’re looking for a subwoofer that’ll produce chest-thumping bass in the constrained space of a small car, then the EVL-15 D2 is the perfect model for the job.
7. Skar Audio Single 15” 1200 W Vented Subwoofer Enclosure
- SDR Series Single 15-Inch Dual 2-ohm Loaded Subwoofer Enclosure
- Peak Power: 1,200 Watts | RMS Power: 600 Watts
Another great 15-inch option from Skar Audio is the 1200 W Vented Subwoofer Enclosure. Unlike the majority of car subwoofers, this loaded enclosure doesn’t require any of the hassle of set up, mounting, and wiring.
- Easiest installation process
- Wide frequency response range
- Premium design finish
- Lower audio specs in comparison to other Skar Audio products
- Heavy for a car subwoofer
One of the major barriers to entering the world of custom audio equipment is just how confusing and difficult it can be to build your own sound system from scratch. Retooling your car’s audio system can be especially tricky as this requires mounting, wiring, and sometimes even woodworking to put together a subwoofer box. This 1200 W Vented Subwoofer Enclosure is a pre-loaded box designed for anyone who’s ever felt intimidated by audio setup. It comes with every element from wiring to audio ports to subwoofer cone pre-assembled, so all you have to do is pop it in your trunk and plug it in. There’s even an optional amplifier package with easy-to-follow assembly instructions for hooking your subwoofer up to a driver. This extremely easy installation process will free up your time so you can get to enjoying your music straight away.
In addition to ensuring fool-proof installation, the 1200 W Vented Subwoofer Enclosure features a reliable subwoofer with a wide frequency response range, so you can jam out to even the lowest bass tones.
The one area where this subwoofer lacks is in weight. Although it features a stylish, premium finish, the box itself is incredibly heavy and will take up a great deal of trunk space. Still, if you want a subwoofer that takes all the guessing out of audio setup, then the Skar Audio 1200 W Vented Subwoofer Enclosure is hard to beat.
8. Orion HCCA152 Competition Subwoofer — Most powerful
- Power handling: peak: 5000 watts / RMS: 2000 watts
- Polypropylene cone woofer
The Orion HCAA152 is the most powerful subwoofer on the market. If you’re looking for something that’s capable of producing extremely loud, earth-shattering bass, the Orion HCAA152 is by far the best subwoofer available.
- Extremely loud
- Competition grade
- Incredible sensitivity
- Very heavy
- Difficult to install
- Requires additional car batteries
There simply aren’t any other 15-inch subwoofers that can compete with the kind of massive sound output the Orion HCAA152 is capable of producing. It has a peak power handling up to 5000 Watts. To put that in context, that’s roughly the same amount of power required for a heavy metal concert or an outdoor music festival. Mounting this in your trunk is really going to give you some hardcore, bone-shaking bass. It also has an RMS of 2000 Watts, meaning this subwoofer is capable of sustaining incredible volumes for long periods of time, so you can bump all day long.
The Orion HCAA152 is also a competition grade subwoofer. Although it is more expensive than your average subwoofer, it features a higher quality woofer cone and is designed to handle more power. The higher quality components will produce better sounding music that stays crisp and accurate even at extreme volumes.
Unfortunately, this kind of power has its downsides. The Orion HCAA152 weighs over 80 pounds, making it heavier than most home theater subwoofers. You’ll definitely need a second or even third set of hands in order to get this beast of a machine installed.
Furthermore, the Orion HCAA152 requires a tremendous amount of battery power to operate. You’ll most likely need to boost your car’s electrical system with a second car battery in order to accommodate this subwoofer. Still, the extra hassle is more than worth it if you want a subwoofer that’s loud enough to wake the whole neighborhood.
9. Planet Audio AC15D Car Subwoofer — Most Affordable
- CONE: Made From Polypropylene, The AC15D 15 Inch Car Subwoofer Provides a Resilient And Durable Material That Can Offer Great Sound With The Advantage Of Long Lasting Subwoofers
- VOICE COIL: Our Voice Coils Are Able To Withstand High Temperatures Yet Maintain Its Strength And Fatigue Properties. Making Our Voice Coils With This Material, Gives Our Speakers The Advantage Of...
The Planet Audio AC15D is easily one of the most affordable car subwoofers on the market. Yet despite its incredibly low price, it features decent construction quality and fairly good audio specifications.
- Extremely inexpensive
- Fairly low resonant frequency
- High sensitivity
- Requires an enclosure
- Low volume output
- Low durability with extended use
In comparison to the other car subwoofers in this list, Planet Audio’s AC15D falls just a little bit short in terms of overall build and sound quality. However, the price point is just too attractive to pass up, making this a great subwoofer for music enthusiasts on a strict budget or anyone who is hesitant about investing in heavy-duty audio equipment.
In many ways, this subwoofer is comparable with pricier models. It features a fairly low resonant frequency of 25Hz that will allow you to experience the deepest and lowest base frequencies in any genre of music. It also has very high sensitivity levels that are able to respond to all the highs and lows of any given song with accuracy and efficiency.
Where this subwoofer really lags behind is overall volume. It maxes out at 2100 Watts Peak Power Handling, producing a much softer, more subtle bass sound. If you’re looking for an affordable subwoofer that will improve your car’s existing audio system, then you won’t mind the lower amplitude. However, if your main interest is volume and style, you’ll have to save up for one of the more premium options.
The construction is decent with a stamped basket, polypropylene cone, foam surrounding, and aluminum voice coils all designed to provide some strength and longevity to the subwoofer. That said, the durability definitely drops off with extended long-term use, making this Planet Audio subwoofer more prone to blow outs and rattling.
10. DS18 EXL-B15 2D Subwoofer
- 3000 Watts Max Power and 1800 Watts RMS Power
- Red Color Aluminum Basket with Large Foam Edge and Paper with Glass Fiber Cone
The DS18 EXL-B15 2D Subwoofer is a great mid-range car subwoofer that features outstanding build quality and tremendous power. Although not nearly as powerful as the Orion HCAA152, this subwoofer arguably provides a better bang for your buck.
- Outstanding build quality
- Loud sound
- Needs to be patiently broken in
- Some audible vibration
The DS18 EXL-B15 2D’s greatest strength is its impressive build quality. Made with an aluminum basket and a glass fiber cone, the subwoofer manages to be as light as possible without compromising on structural integrity. The high-quality materials produce a cleaner bass, ensuring you’ll always have a silky-smooth listening experience.
It is also one of most powerful subwoofers available, kicking out a very loud sound that will make you feel like a Rockstar everywhere you go. The fantastic sensitivity levels make it an especially good choice for fans of techno, EDM and high bass music.
The makers over at DS18 also went through extensive research and development before launching this subwoofer. The EXL line was only released after several tests and experiments and conversations with audio consumers. The result is an extremely loud subwoofer that you can feel good about knowing it’s been perfected over time and made with the utmost care.
Although all subwoofers should be broken in before experiencing daily use, the DS18 EXL-B15 2D in particular requires some pre-emptive TLC. In order to prevent overblowing this subwoofer right away, you’ll need to play some continuous bass at a low volume for roughly 8-10 hours before you can start cranking the volume to its full power.
11. Kicker S15-L7
- The newest square masterpiece is relentless, delivering more decibels with the patented extra cone area
- As a Solo-Baric subwoofer, it uses KICKER's most innovative concepts and technology
The Kicker S15-L7 Subwoofer makes this list because it has arguably the best build quality of any subwoofer on the market. With heat dissipating technologies and incredibly sturdy materials, this subwoofer offers unparalleled longevity.
- Outstanding build quality
- Sturdy cone
- Very loud
- Requires DIY enclosure
- Narrow frequency range
The Kicker S15-L7 is the only subwoofer in this list to feature a square shape. The unique design gives off a very retro feel and is perfect for anyone who feels nostalgic for the 80s. Unfortunately, the square model won’t fit into standard 15” encasings, meaning you’ll likely have to get creative and put together your own box. While this does offer a degree of freedom and control over your sound system, it may be intimidating for less crafty users.
The subwoofer makes use of a titanium deposit cone that can vibrate without fracturing, as well as specialty technology for dissipating heat. All of these careful design considerations add to the model’s longevity, meaning you’ll never have to worry about wearing out the materials or losing sound quality over time. The Kicker S15-L7 will likely outlast your car. Once you’ve installed it, you can go ahead and forget about it.
The only issue with this subwoofer is its reduced frequency range and inability to accommodate different genres of music. With a range of 18-100 Hz, the Kicker S15-L7 is best for low to mid-range bass, but struggle with the higher tones present in techno and pop music.
15-inch Subwoofer Buying Guide
What is a Powered Subwoofer?
A powered subwoofer is an enclosed subwoofer that comes with a built-in amplifier. The benefit of a powered model is that it makes the installation process significantly easier and are often lighter weight and less space consuming than separate subwoofer and amplifier pieces.
The only downside to powered subwoofers is that they typically don’t produce the same volume output as an independent amplifier would. If you’re looking to get the biggest bass and the loudest possible sound, you should seriously consider purchasing an unpowered subwoofer. In the case of a home studio or theater, you can always combine your powered subwoofer with other speakers and amplifiers to achieve that booming sound.
Should I Choose and Enclosed or Free Air Subwoofer?
Subwoofers come in both enclosed and free air, or component, varieties. A component subwoofer is the base speaker by itself. In order to use this type of subwoofer, you will need to mount it to a corresponding subwoofer box and connect it to an external amplifier. An enclosed subwoofer comes pre-mounted to a box. Enclosed subwoofers are more likely to come with a built-in amplifier and are typically easier to install.
Free air subwoofers are usually designed for use in cars because they occupy less space and are easier to mount in car doors and confined trunks. They are usually significantly less expensive and require less power to operate because they allow for easier air flow than enclosed subwoofers.
Enclosed subwoofers are suitable for both car and home use. They are known for producing tighter bass due to the reduced air flow within the box and produce a more powerful sound than free air versions.
Whether you choose a free air or enclosed subwoofer will depend on what you plan on using it for. Users setting up a home theater or series of bookshelf speakers will almost certainly opt for enclosed speakers, as these offer a more polished, permanent look suitable for home environments. However, more advanced audio enthusiasts may opt to create their own home speaker system by building DIY enclosures for free air subwoofers.
Similarly, users looking to upgrade their car audio system will almost always prefer the space-saving appeal of free air subwoofers. However, these component speakers almost always require complex set up including mounting and audio wiring. If you’re someone who struggles with this, you may opt for an enclosed subwoofer that can be popped in the trunk ready to play.
Selecting a 15-inch Subwoofer
Not all 15-inch subwoofers are created equal. Even though they all contain the same size woofer cone, the products in this round up have very different features and performance strengths. To select the best 15-inch subwoofer, first you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be using it primarily at home or in a car. From there you’ll be able to use this list to find a speaker in your price range that suits your individual preferences and needs.
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Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.