Last Updated on
No home or car audio system is complete without a good subwoofer to fill out the bass and add depth to your music.
8-inch subwoofers are often overlooked in favor of larger models with greater power and more impressive audio specifications, but sometimes a smaller piece of equipment is all you have space for in a tiny studio apartment or compact car.
If you are looking to give your listening experience that added boost, then this buying guide is the perfect place to start.
Here are some of the best 8 inch subwoofers on the market for music lovers short on space.
Quick List: Best 8-inch Subwoofer 2020
- Polk Audio PSW111 Compact Powered 8-inch Subwoofer — Best for Home Theaters
- KEF KUBE 8b Subwoofer
- Audioengine S8 250W Powered Subwoofer — Best for Gamers
- Pioneer TS-SWX2002 8-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-loaded Enclosure
- Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series — Best for a Complete Car Audio Transformation
- Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D4 8-inch Subwoofer — Best Car Subwoofer
- Bazooka BT8024DVC BT Series Subwoofer
- JBL Stage 810 8-inch Subwoofer — Best Budget Option
- Boss Audio Systems Elite BE8D 8-inch Car Subwoofer — Most Affordable
- Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Punch Series
- CT Sounds 8-inch Car Audio Subwoofer — Most Powerful
8-inch Subwoofer Reviews
8 inch subwoofers are known for their affordability and compact size. However, their lightweight, small design often comes at the expense of overall power. Throughout my research, I looked for the products with the highest power handling. These subwoofers effectively combined affordability and a small footprint, but still managed to deliver in the volume category.
The products included in this line-up promise phenomenal sound quality, boasting some of the highest sensitivity ratings and widest frequency ranges available on the market. In other words, all of these subwoofers will produce accurate and clear bass, even at the lowest frequencies.
Finally, I considered build-quality and long-term durability. The last thing you want is a speaker that is poorly made and prone to overblowing or falling apart with frequent use. Reliability is essential when it comes to subwoofers, so I have only included products that are made with high-quality materials that will hold up well over time.
The Best 8-inch Subwoofer
1. Polk Audio PSW111 Compact Powered 8-inch Subwoofer — Best for Home Theaters
- Ultra-compact powered subwoofer for extra punchy bass – An 8" Dynamic Balance woofer, specially-tuned downward-firing port & on-point speaker geometry helps deliver accurate bass with added depth...
- Louder clearer sound even at extreme volume levels – Features smart compression circuitry that limits distortion and gives a more balanced & thrilling music experience with rich, deep sound, even at...
Polk Audio is known for producing high performance loudspeakers at affordable prices. The Polk Audio PSW111 Compact 8 inch subwoofer lives up to the brand’s reputation, with an ultracompact, low-profile design that can be seamlessly integrated into any home theater set up.
- Ultracompact and sleek design
- Automatic on/off feature
- Precise and controlled bass
- Integrates well with other loudspeakers
- Not as punchy
- Frequency response not very low
This subwoofer is our top choice for home theaters and sound studios because its sleek, lightweight design and tiny footprint make it easy to incorporate into all television, theater, and audio setups. Unlike other subwoofers, the Polk Audio PSW111 will not stick out like a sore thumb in your living room. It has an attractive black vinyl finish that looks and feels luxe without costing you a fortune. Measuring less than a square foot, this subwoofer is perfect for anyone short on space.
The PSW111 also comes with customizable audio controls as well as an automatic turn on mechanism, making it easier than ever for you to find that perfect sound. It produces an incredibly precise, accurate bass that won’t become distorted at higher volumes or lower frequencies. For the average listener who just wants to enhance their music listening or movie watching experience, this kind of controlled bass is perfect, as it responds well to changes in audio and produces reliable results.
Unfortunately, this subwoofer’s precision comes at the expense of a punchier, more energetic sound. If you’re looking for a chest-thumping bass, you won’t find it here. In fact, you most likely won’t be able to notice or identify the bass over time. While heavy metal fans may not appreciate this, home theater users will love it, seeing as no one wants to hear the bass driver pumping while they’re binge watching reality television.
2. KEF KUBE 8b Subwoofer
- The KUBE 8b is a 300W 8" front-firing, sealed box powered subwoofer whose output is powerful as much as it is musical.
- Each KUBE comes with 3 pre-programmed custom EQ settings - free standing, corner, and wall and in-cabinet installations - to best suit the setup of your room.
If you are looking for something a little punchier and louder, then the KEF KUBE 8b is a good 8 inch subwoofer for music lovers and home theater users that delivers on volume. It couples a powerful amplifier with a well-built driver to achieve a pure sound that has a good amount of kick for an 8 inch subwoofer.
- Pre-programmed EQ settings
- More powerful RMS
- Elegant design
- Expensive for its performance and size
- Very narrow frequency response range
The amplifier on the KEF KUBE 8b is almost twice as powerful as its home audio competitors, delivering up to 300 Watts RMS. What is more, the subwoofer is well-constructed and effectively uses technology to ensure that it delivers power without sacrificing musicality. With the KEF KUBE 8b, you will be able to enjoy bass-heavy music that is punchy and sharp without ever becoming too shrill.
The build-quality is truly impressive, as all components are assembled in-house by KEF engineers. The result is an elegant cube-shaped design that goes well with all kinds of furniture, but also looks good on a bookshelf or in a cabinet.
One of the most exciting features of this subwoofer is that it comes with three pre-programmed EQ settings in order to maximize sound quality depending on where the cube is placed in any given room. You will be able to re-arrange your space as often as you like without having to worry about acoustics. Simply adjust the dial on the back of the subwoofer to the free standing, corner, or in-cabinet setting.
Unfortunately, the KEF KUBE 8b is very expensive for what it offers. The frequency response range is quite narrow, and although the amplifier is strong for an 8 inch subwoofer, it pales in comparison to larger drivers.
3. Audioengine S8 250W Powered Subwoofer — Best for Gamers
- The S8 Subwoofer delivers great bass performance and provides LOW, TIGHT AND SMOOTH BASS.
- FEATURES 8-inch powered down-firing subwoofer, auto-sleep power saving mode, solid hand-finished, front-ported MDF cabinet, dual line-level inputs (RCA and mini-jack) and LFE, frequency response: 27Hz...
Audioengine’s S8 250W Powered Subwoofer is another great option for home users, one that particularly shines as a desk speaker for computer and gaming use. With intuitive, user-friendly design features and unparalleled sound quality at moderate frequencies, this subwoofer is our top pick for video gamers and desk users.
- Multiple inputs make it easy to integrate
- Auto-sleep function
- Narrow frequency response range
- Port creates noise at high volumes
Audioengine’s S8 250W is specifically designed with real users in mind. It features multiple input options so you can easily connect it to televisions, record players, computers, gaming consoles and more without having to go out and buy any extra cables or adapters. You will really appreciate this added flexibility as it helps make the subwoofer more portable and ensures you will be able to hook the device up to any audio source you might need.
Although the audio specifications on this subwoofer are fairly modest in terms of power and frequency response range, the sound quality is truly unparalleled at moderate frequencies. This is perfect for gamers and computer users looking for an immersive experience, but who do not necessarily need the deepest or most booming base.
The S8 250W also boasts an intuitive, auto-sleep energy saving function that is perfect for desktop computer use. You can easily fit this compact subwoofer in the corner of your desk and forget it is there. Then, when you want to listen to music, watch television on your computer, or play computer games, this subwoofer will come in handy, promising to transform your audio experience without taking over your whole space.
4. Pioneer TS-SWX2002 8-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-loaded Enclosure
- Tight bass from a shallow compact design
- Reinforced mica Injection-molded resin preloaded subwoofer Cone structure
Pioneer Electronics, a digital entertainment company famous for producing high-quality speakers with a precise sound, does not disappoint with the TS-SWX2002 8 inch Shallow-Mount Pre-loaded Enclosure subwoofer. This subwoofer excels in compact spaces, making it a great option for car owners and truck drivers.
- Shallow and compact
- Precise, tight bass
- Oversized cone and enhanced bass response
- Lower power than comparable models
- Separate mounting required for best results
It is hard to believe that such hard hitting bass could come from such a compact subwoofer. And yet, the TS-SWX2002 really delivers, producing a tight bass that will fill your car with a rich, resonant sound. The subwoofer also features an oversized cone and enhanced bass response. These intelligent design considerations ensure that big, rich sound will last for hours and hours on long drives and cross-country trips, so you can listen to your music non-stop.
The TS-SWX2002 is great for road trips because its fully enclosed, carpeted structure can fit perfectly into confined spaces without requiring any set-up or modifications. You will be able to enjoy all the perks of a customized car audio system without having to play Tetris with your other belongings and baggage.
The only downside to this subwoofer is that it is not quite as powerful as other, comparable models. The TS-SWX2002 performs better in smaller cars in part because it lacks the power and volume of similarly priced, component-type subwoofers. If you want to achieve larger volume, you can always use a separate mounting structure to enhance the performance of the TS-SWX2002, but this would largely take away from the flexibility and ease of modification-free installation.
5. Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series — Best for a Complete Car Audio Transformation
- All-in-one complete SDR series subwoofer bass package
- Includes x2 SDR-8 D4 - 8" Dual 4-ohm Subwoofers pre-wired and loaded in custom vented enclosure
If you are looking to completely overhaul your entire car audio system, then it doesn’t get much better than the Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series loaded subwoofer enclosure. Featuring two pre-loaded and fully enclosed 8 inch subwoofers, this product is essentially a fully realized, high-performance audio system in one neatly put together package.
- Extremely powerful
- Optional amplifier kit
- Easy to use and install
- Hard-hitting bass
- Very large and heavy
Although it is technically two 8 inch subwoofers in one, I just could not resist including this beast of a product in this list. With dual woofers, this pre-loaded enclosure achieves unprecedented levels of power. It boasts up to 700 Watts RMS and peak power handling as high as 1400 Watts, so you will be able to experience that chest-thumping, car shaking bass that is usually only possible with the help of much larger drivers. The subwoofer produces such a low and hard-hitting bass, you will be able to feel it in your seat while driving. Furthermore, the extremely wide frequency response range ensures every song, no matter what genre, will sound incredible.
The wooden enclosure is also incredibly easy to install. All you have to do is hook it up to an amplifier and you are ready to listen to music all day long. Skar Audio even offers an optional amplifier kit add-on that simplifies the process even further, so even if you aren’t familiar with all the technical ins and outs of audio equipment installation, you can still get that big-volume sound.
It’s hard to find any complaints with this truly massive piece of high-quality, high-performance equipment. The only downside is that it is much larger and heavier than most 8-inch subwoofers, and therefore not suitable for all compact vehicles.
6. Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D4 8-inch Subwoofer — Best Car Subwoofer
- 8-Inch Dual 4 Ohm Car Subwoofer
- Peak Power: 800 Watts
For fans of high-powered, big volume bass who are not willing to compromise on size and weight, there’s the Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D4 8-inch car subwoofer. This model wins our overall top pick for car subwoofers because it combines long-term functionality with tremendous power, so you can play your music as loud as you want for as long as you want.
- Advanced cooling system
- Competition grade cone
- Great value
- Compact size
- Lower sensitivity ratings
- Requires custom enclosure
The Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D4 8-inch car subwoofer features an advanced cooling system unlike any other on the market. It is one of the only subwoofers that comes with no risk of overheating, blowing out, or fatiguing with long-term use. You will be able to play your music at extreme volumes as often as you like, without ever having to worry about ruining your audio system.
The sound quality is also unprecedented. This subwoofer produces really great bass notes even at the lowest frequencies, making it a great option for fans of hip-hop as well as more complex melody lines such as classical and jazz. With up to 400 Watts RMS, this subwoofer is also one of the most powerful 8-inch models available, so you can experience a little bit of that chest-thumping bass without taking up extra space or adding weight to your vehicle.
Unfortunately, the VVX-8v3 D4 is not very well-suited for beginners. It needs a custom-built enclosure, which will use up some of your elbow-grease and time. Still, more advanced audio enthusiasts will likely appreciate the added control this offers. Taking the time to assemble a well-crafted enclosure will only enhance the audio experience, generating a truly thunderous bass you’ll be able to feel in your bones.
7. Bazooka BT8024DVC BT Series Subwoofer
The Bazooka BT8024DVC BT Series 8-inch subwoofer may just be the most unique model on this list. The tubular design is intended to improve sound pressure so you can achieve a powerful sound no matter where you put this subwoofer.
- Tubular design is space friendly
- Easy to mount
- Slightly heavy
The Bazooka BT8024DVC is designed with the science of sound in mind. The unique, tubular design is made out of a compressed foam and specifically molded to achieve maximum air flow. For the listener, this all translates into better sound distribution and effective bass delivery even when the subwoofer itself is crammed into the corner of a cargo area or trunk. You will be able to feel an immersive, surround sound experience, regardless of whether you are in a very compact or slightly larger space.
The special shape of this subwoofer also helps with portability and installation. You can easily install it in small cars, pickup trucks, boats, ATVs and more. Easy-to-use mounting straps make it a great option for newcomers to the external audio equipment market.
That said, the tubular shape is very unattractive. With a completely foam exterior, this subwoofer looks and feels a little bit more like a piece of luggage or exercise equipment than a high-end audio device. It is also extremely heavy in comparison to other compact subwoofers, reducing its portability just a bit.
8. JBL Stage 810 8-inch Subwoofer — Best Budget Option
The JBL Stage 810 8-inch subwoofer is one of the best budget options available, boasting an impressive build-quality and delivering a loud, clear sound at an affordable price. Reliable and high performing, this subwoofer is perfect for both car and home audio users.
- High build-quality
- Minimal distortion even at low frequencies
- Requires breaking in
- Bass loses clarity at high volumes
The JBL Stage 810 offers great value, making it a great option for anyone who wants a subwoofer that performs well in every category, from frequency response to sensitivity to power handling, but does not cost a fortune.
Its impressive build quality and thoughtful construction has made it a favorite among audio enthusiasts looking to upgrade their current systems. In fact, this free air subwoofer is popular as a replacement for factory models and worn-out components. You can easily install the JBL Stage 810 in your existing home theater subwoofer box without having to shell out the money for an entirely new unit. The high-quality polypropylene cone is also likely to last longer than a lot of other component subwoofers, so you’ll never have to worry about damage or burn out over time.
Additionally, the sound is incredible. This subwoofer is powerful and just sensitive enough that it produces a clear, crisp bass, but does not need a premium amplifier to drive it. The amount of distortion, even at the lowest possible frequencies, is virtually non-existent, so you can enjoy all genres of music, as well as a variety of action movies and television shows.
It’s important to note that the JBL Stage 810 requires some breaking in before it is capable of producing the best sound. All this really means is that you will have to play some music on a low volume for a couple of hours.
9. Boss Audio Systems Elite BE8D 8-inch Car Subwoofer — Most Affordable
- CONE: Made from Polypropylene, the BE8D 8-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 Boss Audio Systems Elite BE8D 8-inch car subwoofer is the perfect model for anyone who is on a really tight budget. Although it can’t quite match the audio specifications of other budget subwoofer options, it still offers decent performance and solid build-quality that will get the job done.
- Extremely affordable
- Fairly Powerful
- Solid build-quality and construction
- Poor resonant frequency
- Poor longevity
- Small size may require modifications to install
This subwoofer is definitely not the most durable model on the market. It does not offer users the same kind of security you would get with a more premium subwoofer that ensures longevity through specialty design considerations and cooling systems that prevent burn out. Still, the materials used in the Elite BE8D are solid. The cone is made from polypropylene, a durable thermoplastic that is seen in a lot of high-end speakers. The stamped basket also offers a rigid platform that ensures this budget subwoofer is delivering the cleanest, sharpest bass it possibly can.
With up to 600 Watts maximum peak power handling, this subwoofer is also surprisingly loud. It may not be able to compete with professional or competition grade subwoofers, but it will definitely make a noticeable improvement to your existing car audio system, adding just enough kick to make a big difference in your listening experience.
Where this subwoofer really falls behind is in its poor resonant frequency. You will not be able to get a very deep, low bass sound using this subwoofer. For general purpose users, this won’t pose much of an issue, but even amateur audio enthusiasts will be disappointed with this subwoofer’s inability to match really low tones.
Finally, the installation process is beginner friendly, but the awkwardly small size may require you to drill additional holes in the enclosure to mount it.
10. Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Punch Series
- The Rockford Fosgate P3S series shallow mount subwoofers deliver Punch, designed to deliver big bass in a tight space, with its low profile mounting depth design
- The Punch P3SD2-8 is a slim 8” 2-Ohm DVC (dual voice coil) subwoofer with 150 Watts RMS / 300 Watts Max power handling and custom 10-AWG nickel plated push terminals
The Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Punch is another well-constructed 8-inch subwoofer that is ideal for both car and home use. Coming from one of the most reliable audio equipment manufacturers in the market today, the P3SD2-8 Punch Series subwoofer is a high quality, premium-grade product that is built to last.
- Distortion free
- Certified power rating
- Shallow mount is easy to install
- Not very loud
- Requires modified enclosure
Like the JBL Stage 810, the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Punch is a popular replacement subwoofer for home theater units and factory car audio systems. Its solid construction and high-quality materials deliver a deeper, tighter bass than most subwoofer components. It also has a shallow mount that makes it easy to fit into existing woofer enclosures and tight spaces.
Although it is not the loudest subwoofer, it does have an official power-handling certification. Many subwoofers will claim to have an RMS or peak power handling much higher than what they are actually capable of. With the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Punch, you can be certain that it can actually handle 150 Watts for sustained periods of time. You will be able to find a suitable amplifier and max it out without having to worry about blow outs or sound distortion.
In order to achieve the best performance and sound quality, you may need to consider constructing your own DIY enclosure or modifying an existing enclosure to perfectly fit this subwoofer. While this is by no means necessary, it may make a big difference in how this bass driver sounds.
11. CT Sounds 8-Inch Car Audio Subwoofer — Most Powerful
- 1600 WATT POWER - This subwoofer takes 800W (RMS) power with 1600W Peak power handling that will produce high sound resonance. The sound that comes out of this 8 inch car audio subwoofer improve the...
- QUALITY COMPONENTS - High ribbed rubber surround with beautiful finish, 160 Oz High Energy Magnets, Double stitched treated paper cone, 2.5" Dual voice coil, 168mm / 6.6" Mounting depth, Y35 graded...
CT Sounds 8-inch Car Audio Subwoofer is by far the most powerful 8-inch sub on the market. It is so powerful it actually outperforms a number of dual pre-loaded enclosures, capable of producing the same volume output as many 18-inch subwoofers.
- Extremely powerful
- Great value
- Great sound even at the lowest frequencies
- Prone to overheating
The power handling of the CT Sounds 8-inch subwoofer is truly unbelievable. At 800 watts RMS, this tiny 8-inch subwoofer is actually competitive with a lot of fully enclosed 15-inch and 18-inch models. If your main interest is volume, then you cannot do any better than this CT Sounds product.
Perhaps even more impressive than the tremendous power handling is that this subwoofer manages to maintain high-quality sound with virtually no distortion even at extreme volume levels. This subwoofer promises a listening experience more immersive and transcendent than any other, akin to attending a stadium concert or music festival in your car, only with even less distortion.
On top of having an amazing sound quality, this subwoofer is impressively built, with a sturdy and robust frame that adds an extra layer of durability you’ll appreciate when driving on bumpy roads.
With high-quality materials and careful construction, this subwoofer is made to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the one area where it lacks is in the field of cooling technologies. The CT Sounds 8-inch subwoofer is prone to overheating when played at high volumes for long periods of time. This can be easily avoided by simply limiting the amount of time you spend listening to music on full blast. Considering this subwoofer is capable of reaching uncomfortable levels of loud, this is probably a good thing in the long run.
8-inch Subwoofer Buying Guide
What is the difference between subwoofer sizes?
The size of a subwoofer is typically listed in terms of inches, with the four most common sizes being 8, 10, 12, and 15 inches. Although this terminology suggests the dimensions of the subwoofer, it actually just refers to the diameter of the woofer cone itself. In general, a larger size cone will produce a deeper and more powerful sound than a smaller one. This is simply because larger cones are able to push more air. Larger subwoofers are therefore capable of handling higher levels of amplification and matching lower frequencies. Although not all subwoofers of the same size are created equal, the average 15-inch cone will be louder and richer than the average 8-inch model.
Why choose an 8-inch subwoofer?
Since smaller subwoofers are generally inferior to larger ones, you may be wondering why anyone would ever choose an 8-inch model.
In general, 8-inch subwoofers are more affordable. It’s possible to get a really high-quality, premium 8 inch subwoofer for less money than even the most cheaply made 15-inch subs. Unless you have an endless supply of cash to shell out on premium audio equipment, you should definitely consider selecting a smaller size version. 8-inch subwoofers also serve as great gateway products into the world of external audio equipment.
The best 8 inch subwoofers are also great for conserving space. Speakers can take up a lot of floor space, so if you live in a tiny apartment or want something that can fit on your bookshelf, then an 8 inch subwoofer is a great option. Because they work so well in compact spaces, these models are also incredibly popular for use in cars and ATVs. The standard, stock sound system in most cars consists of an 8-inch woofer. Many audio enthusiasts will opt to replace this factory woofer with an external component in order to add a little bit of soul to their music without losing any space. Others may choose to put together an encasement for one or two 8-inch subwoofers to really improve the bass in their cars.
Are 8-inch subwoofers any good?
A common misconception when it comes to subwoofers is that larger always means better. This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are lots of factors that influence the overall quality of sound that a subwoofer produces, including design, power-handling, and frequency response.
While it is true that the highest-end, top of the line 15-inch subwoofers will likely perform better than a similar 8-inch model, this doesn’t mean 8-inch subwoofers are inferior. You can still get a really deep, rich, and clear sounding bass with an 8-inch woofer. The choice between subwoofer sizes really just depends on how much you’re willing to spend, what your space constraints are, and what you plan on using it for. While it may be tempting to seek out the most powerful, loudest subwoofer out there, you probably aren’t going to need or want this if you’re only using it in the car on your morning commute.
Finding an 8-inch Subwoofer That’s Right for You
The 8-inch subwoofers on this list represent the best in sound quality, value, and power. While each one has its strengths and weaknesses, all are sure to enhance your existing audio system without taking up too much space.
When choosing which option is right for you, think about what you will be primarily using it for. Home users will likely opt for enclosed units with sleek designs that integrate well into home environments, whereas motorists may value factors like size, weight, power, and durability more strongly.
No matter what your needs are, you can’t go wrong with any of the best 8 inch subwoofers in this list.