While driving in your car, especially if you have a long commute alone, nothing can make the journey seem shorter than some good music and a system that elevates the quality of the music. A good subwoofer does just that! But how can you choose the best car subwoofer?
Subwoofers come in different types, quality levels, and price ranges, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your budget and preferences. Some setups even have an amplifier built right into them, while others are standalone subwoofers that require a more detailed installation process.
When can you know if the subwoofers are doing their job well?
It’s when you can feel the low notes of the music boom! You should be able to experience a deep bass, so much that your ears begin to hurt! Of course, that is not the effect you want — but a good sub can do even that! Trust us, a true audiophile regards this as a mark of good quality in a subwoofer.
Since it is difficult to pick only one car sub as the best, the following reviews and buying guides categorize these subwoofers according to budget, brand, and need.
Quick List: Best Car Subwoofers in 2023
- Best Overall: Rockville RW10CA
- Best Powered: JBL GT-BASSPRO12
- Best Subwoofer Package for Deep Bass: Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series
- Best Compact: Sound Storm LOPRO10
- Best for the Money: Belva 1000 Watt Complete Car Subwoofer Package
- Best Car Kicker Subwoofer: KICKER CompRT67 Subwoofer
- Best Under $300: Alpine Electronics Pwe-s8 Restyle
- Best Under $200: Pyle 8-Inch Amplified Subwoofer System
- Best Under $100: Rockville SS8p 400W
The Best Car Subwoofer Reviews
The following are some of the best car subwoofers that have been picked out in their respective categories. The selections are also in a varied price range so there is something for everyone in the following list.
1. Best Overall: Rockville RW10CA
- Rockville RW10CA 800 Watt 10" Slim Car Subwoofer.Waterproof : No
- 800 Watts Peak / 200 Watts RMS. PWM MOSFET Power Supply.
- Low Level RCA Input. High Level Inputs with Auto Turn-On Technology.
The Rockville 10CA is a 10-inch, 800-watt active powered car subwoofer that packs in a punch even in its low profile. This is a sleek looking subwoofer that is sure to amp up your car and give it style. It comes with an overload protection circuit and a phase switch for 0° or 180°.
The sub also takes minimal space and gives a clear, deep bass despite its size. It has been selected as the best overall car subwoofer because it offers all the things that a good subwoofer should offer and is also extremely high on the style quotient. We think the Rockville is so good it has also featured in our best underseat subwoofer line-up.
The following are the features that this Rockville has to offer:
- This is an 800-watt, 10-inch car subwoofer.
- It offers 800-watts of peak power and 200-watts RMS.
- It has a PWM MOSFET power supply.
- It has high-level inputs, a low-level RCA input and comes with auto turn-on technology.
- You can enjoy soft delayed remote turn-on with this sub, along with adjustable input sensitivity.
- It comes with an overload protection circuit and a phase switch that makes it easy to control.
- The model is CEA-2006 compliant. In other words, it has been approved by a third-party rating standard which is a greater guarantee of its quality.
- It is one of the only slim under seat subs that is also compliant with CEA.
- It provides a great sounding bass without taking up too much space.
- This slim, sleek and stylish subwoofer is sure to jazz up your car and give it more character.
- The unit is extremely easy to install, thanks to the high-level inputs.
- Some customers complained that the amp overheats easily and can be a fire hazard.
- A handful of customers complained about durability and said the sub burnt out after two years of light use.
- Some customers reported that the sound was softer than they expected.
- Some customers complained of a rattling sound.
- Some customers reported they were happy with the subwoofer, but that it turned off randomly when it got hot.
2. Best Powered: JBL GT-BASSPRO12
- 12-Inch (305mm) woofer with die-cast aluminium basket for solid sounds under all conditions
- Slipstream port eliminates port noise and provides distortion-free bass at high output levels
The JBL GT-BASSPRO12 is a 12-inch car audio powered subwoofer system that amps up your music listening experience while driving like never before. It creates minimal port noise and is able to provide a distortion-free bass even at high output levels.
With input levels, bass boost, low-pass and phase controls, you are able to adjust the system and navigate it to give you the sound you are looking for. This product has been chosen as the best powered subwoofer because it provides an incredible sound that traditional car subs may fail to provide.
The following are the features that this JBL has to offer:
- This 12-inch woofer has a die-cast aluminum basket that provides you with a solid sound, no matter what the conditions.
- There is a Slipstream port that has been put in place to prevent port noise.
- The system has been optimized for the amplified to match the woofer, enclosure and the Slipstream port.
- When the head unit sends an audio signal, the subwoofer can turn on and off automatically, thanks to the signal-sensing turn-on feature.
- You can customize the kind of sound you want with the input level, phase controls, bass-boost and low-pass features.
- There is minimal port noise and the Slipstream port is able to give you a zero distortion sound.
- The system optimization carried out by the manufacturer ensures that you get the best performance.
- The signal-sensing turn-on feature is an intelligent addition that most traditional car subwoofers lack.
- You can get the sound you are looking for by tinkering around with the input levels, bass-boost, low-pass, phase controls, etc.
- Built with medium-density fiberboard, this is an extremely durable product.
- Some customers and dedicated audiophiles were disappointed with the sound.
- Some customers found the amplifier to be under-powered.
- A few customers complained about JBL’s customer service.
- The RCA port is not as durable as advertised.
- Some customers reported that when the unit is set low, it tends to make a rattling noise.
3. Best Subwoofer Package for Deep Bass: Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series
- All-in-One Complete SDR Series Dual 8-inch Loaded Subwoofer Complete Bass Package
- Peak Power: 1,400 Watts | RMS Power: 700 Watts
- Includes x1 Skar Audio SDR-2X8D4 Dual 8" Loaded 1,400 Watt Vented Subwoofer Enclosure
The Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series loaded subwoofer is the solution to completely overhaul your car audio system. Featuring two pre-loaded and fully enclosed 8-inch subwoofers, this product is a fully realized, high-performance audio system in one neatly assembled package.
Although it is technically two 8-inch subwoofers in one, I could not resist including this product beast 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 can experience that chest-thumping, car-shaking bass that is usually only possible with the help of much more significant drivers.
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 complaints with this genuinely massive piece of high-quality, high-performance equipment. The most noticeable downside is that it is much larger and heavier than most 8-inch subwoofers and, therefore, unsuitable for all compact vehicles.
The following are the features that this Skar Audio has to offer:
- Dual subwoofers; as it has 2 pre-installed and pre-wired 8-inch SDR subwoofers, maximizing power output.
- High power handling, with a substantial 700 Watts RMS and peak power of 1400 Watts, providing powerful sound.
- Wide frequency response range, allowing songs of all genres to sound exceptional.
- Easy installation, where the wooden enclosure can be easily installed by connecting it to an amplifier.
- The package includes an optional amplifier kit that simplifies the installation process.
- The durable construction of 5/8″ MDF wood thickness and a 1.25″ thick front baffle provides robustness and durability.
- Versatile performance; It delivers a low, hard-hitting bass and a wide frequency response range.
- Ease of use; The subwoofers are pre-loaded and fully enclosed for easy installation.
- High power; The system has a high RMS power of 700 Watts and a peak power: 1,400 Watts
- Quality construction; The enclosure is built with thick, durable MDF wood, providing stability and longevity.
- Optional amplifier add-on; The additional kit further simplifies installation and enhances the subwoofers’ performance.
- Size; It is much larger and heavier than most 8-inch subwoofers, which might not be suitable for smaller vehicles.
- Compatibility; Due to its large size and high power, it may not be compatible with all audio systems.
- Power consumption; Its high power handling might significantly load the car’s electrical system.
- Price; this product may be more expensive than other 8-inch subwoofer options.
4. Best Compact: Sound Storm LOPRO10
- Built-in Amplifier - With a MOSFET power supply you get improved switching speeds, better performance with less power from the driver, lower gate-to-drain feedback capacitance, lower thermal impedance...
- Variable Low-Pass Filter - A low-pass filter is an electronic circuit that removes all the notes above the filter's frequency setting. You will use the Low-pass filter to primarily keep high notes out...
The Sound Storm LOPRO10 is an amplified car subwoofer that takes little space but provides a lot in terms of sound. It has both high and low-level inputs, a variable low-pass filter and a variable bass-boost. The built-in amplifier has a MOSFET power supply, which provides improved performance and lowers thermal impedance for the higher switching speeds or frequencies.
Given its compact size and how little space it occupies in the vehicle, this has been selected as the best compact subwoofer for your car.
The following are the features that this Sound Storm has to offer:
- The built-in amplifier has a MOSFET power supply, which gives you improved switching speeds and better performance.
- It has a variable low-pass filter that is able to remove the notes that are below the filter’s frequency setting.
- The sub also comes equipped with high-level or speaker-level inputs.
- The unit is 15.2 inches in depth, 11.2 inches in width and 2.8 inches in height.
- The combination of amplifier and subwoofer packed into one makes it a great option when you are short of space.
- The MOSFET power supply offers improved switching speeds, lowers thermal impedance for when you are looking for a higher switching frequency, lower gate-to-drain feedback, and more.
- With the variable low-pass filter, you can remove the notes that are too low for the filter’s setting.
- The high-level inputs allow you to connect to most aftermarket radios.
- Some customers complained that the subwoofer does not produce the really low lows.
- Some customers found the product to be a tad expensive for the performance it offered.
5. Best Value for Money: Belva 1000 Watt Complete Car Subwoofer Package
- Can handle a peak power 1000 watts total and RMS power 500 watts total
- Polypropylene cone that is lightweight yet strong provides accurate mid and low notes for better sound quality
- All-in-one complete subwoofer package compatible with any vehicle
The Belva 1000-watt car subwoofer comes with a complete package that is compatible with any vehicle. You get two-channel twisted-pair RCA cables, all the wires and cables, and basically everything you will require to add bass to your vehicle.
It has been selected as the best value for money subwoofer as it provides a whole package.
The following are the features this product has to offer:
- The unit offers peak power of 1000-watts in total and 500-watts of total RMS power.
- A lightweight polypropylene cone allows the subwoofer to give you the accurate mid and low notes.
- It comes with a 10-inch ported enclosure which gives your more bass output per watt.
- This is a complete package and contains a complete eight-gauge Amp Kit along with a two-channel RCA cable.
- The system is extremely easy to install.
- This is a complete subwoofer system which allows you to enjoy music in your car without sourcing multiple parts to install the system.
- The polypropylene cone is lightweight yet sturdy and strong.
- The dual-ported subwoofer enclosure gives you greater bass output per watt.
- Some customers found the amp to be underwhelming.
- The unit tends to heat up easily.
- Size: 6.5"
- Impedance: 2 Ohms DVC
- Power Watts: 300W Peak / 150W RMS
The Kicker CompRT67 Subwoofer, crafted with utmost precision, is a testament to unparalleled quality and performance. It fits seamlessly in tight spaces with a slender mounting depth of only 2.75 inches, making it the ultimate choice for those seeking thunderous bass without sacrificing room in their vehicle.
With a power rating of 150W RMS and a peak power output 300W, this subwoofer delivers an electrifying audio experience that will leave you craving more. Its 2-ohm dual voice coils ensure maximum efficiency, allowing the subwoofer to handle low frequencies with remarkable finesse. Don’t let its compact size fool you; this subwoofer delivers a bone-shaking bass that will leave you breathless. And the good news is it’s affordable, around $100.
The following are the features that this Kicker subwoofer has to offer:
- It offers powerful performance with 300W of peak power and 150W RMS.
- It has a compact design with a shallow mounting depth of only 2.75 inches.
- It features flexibility in wiring configurations with 2-ohm dual voice coils.
- Its construction is durable, with an injection molded polypropylene cone, high-temperature voice coil, and weather-resistant rubber surround.
- It offers broad compatibility with a variety of car audio setups.
- The Kicker CompRT67 subwoofer delivers powerful and impactful bass.
- Its compact size allows for easy installation in limited spaces.
- It is built with high-quality materials to be durable and weather-resistant.
- The dual voice coils provide wiring flexibility, enabling you to customize your setup and optimize the subwoofer’s performance.
- Its versatile design offers compatibility with many car audio systems.
- Some users may find that this subwoofer’s focus on deep bass reproduction may sacrifice the clarity and detail in higher frequencies.
- The subwoofer requires a sealed enclosure, which may limit the enclosure options for users who prefer ported designs.
- Some users complained that it may not handle high-power inputs compared to higher-end models.
- It lacks a built-in amplifier and requires an external one for optimal performance.
7. Best Under $300: Alpine Electronics PWE-S8
- RMS Power Handling: 120 Watts Peak Power Handling: 240 Watts
- Shallow Mount
The Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 is an eight-inch powered car audio subwoofer with a 120-watt amplifier. The sub and the amplifier both are housed in a cast aluminum enclosure.
It is a compact subwoofer that takes up little space but offers a great sound. It has been chosen as the best subwoofer in the $200-$300 price category because it is well within the budget and offers a lot of features that its competitors in lower price brackets do not.
The following are some of the features worth mentioning:
- The eight-inch subwoofer comes with a 120-watt amplifier, and they are both set in a cast aluminum enclosure.
- It is compact and measures 13.5” x 9” x 3” (LxWxD).
- It has a frequency response range of 32Hz – 150Hz and a power rating of 120-watt RMS.
- There are controls for RCA and Auto-sensing Speaker-Level Inputs, for Phase, Gain, Remote Sub-Level and LP Crossover.
- Its compact size ensures it can easily be installed behind a seat or in the trunk or hatch.
- The controls are conveniently located on the side panel.
- The sub and amplifier-combine are housed in a durable cast aluminum enclosure.
- It has a flexible frequency response range of 32Hz – 150Hz.
- The unit can only be used in a small vehicle and can get drowned out in a larger truck.
- A few customers complained that the subwoofer did not last long.
8. Best Under $200: Pyle 8-Inch Amplified Subwoofer System
- 600 WATT POWER: Pyle’s 8" Amplified Low Profile Subwoofer System offers a maximum power of 600 watts. It lets you pump out some great low frequency bass volume to enhance the party vibe making it a...
- BUILT-IN AMPLIFIER: The integrated amp in the compact subwoofer features low pass crossovers & a control for adjusting input sensitivity from 0.12V to 3.5V. Includes variable bass boost, control the...
- LOW PROFILE: With height of just 3", it's a perfect solution when space is an issue, it can easily fit under the seat of most vehicles! Total dimension is 12.8”x9.5"x3” & includes mounting...
- HIGH LEVEL INPUT: Speaker line inputs are known as high-level inputs. If your head unit does not have RCA outputs, you can use the speaker outputs for the audio source. Use the supplied cable and...
If you want to take your car audio system to the next level, look no further than the Pyle 8-Inch Amplified Subwoofer!
This compact yet powerful subwoofer is designed to deliver an impressive 600 watts of maximum power, ensuring your music comes alive with deep, booming bass. Whether cruising down the highway or parked at a party, this subwoofer is the perfect addition to enhance your audio experience.
What I love most is its low-profile design, measuring just 3 inches in height, and its affordable price. It can easily fit under the seat of most vehicles without sacrificing valuable space. The sleek black or silver color options add a touch of elegance to your car’s interior. And the best part is the built-in amplifier, which offers a range of controls to fine-tune your audio settings.
As it features a slim 8-inch woofer, this subwoofer delivers clear and powerful bass that will leave you impressed. It also offers a delay remote turn-on thermal and short and overload protection circuits, so rest assured, this subwoofer is built to last.
The following are some features that this Pyle subwoofer has to offer:
- It offers powerful performance with a maximum power of 600 watts and an impressive low-frequency bass volume.
- It has a compact and low-profile design, making it easily fit under most car seats.
- A built-in amplifier featuring low pass crossovers and adjustable input sensitivity.
- Dual input options for high-level speaker line inputs and low-level RCA inputs.
- A remote control module that enables convenient adjustment of the subwoofer level.
- Protection features with short and overload protection circuits.
- A powerful bass performance enhances the overall listening experience.
- The compact design allows for easy installation, even in small vehicles.
- An affordable price, under $200.
- Dual input options provide compatibility with various audio sources.
- The remote control feature offers effortless adjustment of the subwoofer level.
- Protection circuits ensure the safety and durability of the subwoofer.
- The included mounting hardware may not be suitable for all car models, requiring additional customization for installation.
- Some users may find the bass boost feature overpowering and require careful adjustment to avoid distortion.
- The low-profile design may limit the subwoofer’s ability to produce intense bass frequencies compared to higher-level alternatives.
9. Best Under $100: Rockville SS8P
- Rockville SS8P 8" 400w Slim Under-Seat Active Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub.
- Enclosure is made out of cast aluminum which stays cool at all times. Peak Power Handling: 400 Watts.
- RMS Power Handling: 100 Watts. Heavy Duty Mounting Feet. PWM MOSFET Power Supply. Low Level RCA Input. High Level Inputs with Auto Turn-On Technology. Adjustable Input Sensitivity. Soft Delayed Remote...
The Rockville SS8P is an eight-inch, 400W subwoofer system that is set in an enclosure made of cast aluminum, allowing it to stay cool at all times. It offers adjustable input sensitivity, a soft delayed remote turn-on, and thermal and short protection circuits.
Powered with a PWM MOSFET supply, this sub packs a lot into its small body. It is also extremely efficient for a product that is under $100, which is why it was selected to represent this price category.
The following are the features that Rockville has to offer:
- The subwoofer is an eight-inch sub with a 400-watt power limit. It offers 100 watts of RMS power handling.
- It has PWM MOSFET Power Supply, which means improved switching speeds.
- It has adjustable input sensitivity and soft delayed remote turn-on, along with thermal and short protection circuits.
- It has a low pass filter with a range of 50Hz – 150Hz, and a bass boost of 0-12 decibels at 45Hz.
- The compact sub can be installed under the seat with ease.
- The PWM MOSFET power supply makes it efficient in many ways.
- The cast aluminum enclosure ensures the unit does not overheat and remains cool even after prolonged use.
- It offers overload protection circuit, thermal protection circuit and short protection circuit, making it extremely safe.
- Some customers complained of hearing distortion when the gain adjustment was turned up.
- It does not have a lot of bass output, some customers complained.
How to Choose the Best Subwoofer for Your Car
|Product Name||Power Handling||Size||Our Pick For|
|Rockville RW10CA||RMS: 200W, Max: 800W||10″||Best Overall|
|JBL GT-BASSPRO12||RMS: 150W, Max: 450W||12″||Best Powered|
|Skar Audio Dual 8-inch SDR Series||RMS: 700W, Max: 1400W||Dual 8″||Best for Deep Bass|
|Sound Storm LOPRO10||RMS: 600W, Max:1200W||10″||Best Compact|
|Belva 1000 Watt Complete Car Subwoofer Package||RMS: 500W, Max: 1000W||10″||Best for the Money|
|KICKER CompRT67 Subwoofer||RMS: 150W, Max: 300W||15″||Best Car Kicker|
|Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle||RMS: 120W, Max: 240W||8″||Best Under $300|
|Kenwood KSC-SW11||RMS: 75W, Max: 150W||5″x8″||Best Under $200|
|Rockville SS8p 400W||RMS: 100W, Max: 400W||8″||Best Under $100|
There are a few different factors you may have to consider before investing in a subwoofer for your car. This is not a decision you can come to without at least some deliberation, especially for those of you who are big on road trips and enjoying good music while on the road.
With a good subwoofer, the music listening experience while you are on the road is elevated to another level. Once you find that sweet spot, it will be hard for you to go back. So to avoid disappointments and hits and trials, consider at least the following factors when looking for a subwoofer for your car:
Mounting a Subwoofer in Your Vehicle
How is the subwoofer mounted? Depending on the kind of space you have in your car or in your truck, the mounting will have to be adjusted accordingly.
For example, if you have a spatial constraint, which is likely with a sedan or with a smaller car, you may prefer an under seat mounting. This occupies as little space as possible while also lending your car bass. This is a neat way of taking care of the installation. A compact subwoofer can also be installed in the hatch or the trunk of your car.
Another way of mounting the sub is to shallow mount it. A shallow-mount subwoofer is also a relatively compact variety of subwoofers. It is lightweight, easily portable, and can be installed in the trunk and the rear speaker deck. It differs from a larger speaker as the sound quality is bound to differ, but if space constraint is your problem, an under-seat mounting or shallow mounting is the best option.
Larger speakers have regular mounting, but this is ideal only for a larger vehicle and may perhaps not be feasible for a smaller car or sedan.
Size – 10 Inch VS 12 Inch Car Subwoofers
The size of the subwoofer makes a world of a difference. There are two main sizes that you may come across in the market — 10-inch and 12-inch car subwoofers. The list above has also included eight-inch subs which tend to be the compact variety for those who are especially strapped for space.
If you only want to install a subwoofer in your car to enjoy some music while you are on the road, either of the two main varieties should suffice, depending on your budget and the kind of space you have. But for audiophiles, the difference in the sound quality might be too stark.
In a 12-inch sub, since there is more cone area, more sound can resonate off the cone and create a deeper bass. The larger the cone area, the greater the chance that the unit can play the lower frequencies better. But while on paper it seems like the 12-inch sub provides better sound, a lot depends on the quality of the manufacturing and the frequency range.
The 10-inch subwoofers do seem to be more responsive as well. But in the end, the decision you make about the size also depends on the kind of space you have and the budget you are willing to set. For example, if you drive a small hatchback or even a coupé like the Volkswagen Beetle, a larger subwoofer would be of no help to you. You would be better off with a smaller size, perhaps even a compact eight-inch sub.
So pick the size of your subwoofer accordingly, based on how much space you have and what kind of bass you are looking for.
Installation of Car Subs
Any car subwoofer should be easy to install, either as a DIY or by a paid professional if you are unsure of the process. Most require an amplifier wiring kit. If you invest in a car subwoofer package, chances are you will get the whole kit along with the main subwoofer. Often, these are better deals as you can get these packages at a discount.
Most also come along with an enclosure, often made of cast aluminum, which is meant to keep the amplifier cool and prevent it from overheating. If the subwoofer does not come with an enclosure, you will need to purchase one separately in order to install it in your car.
All in all, the steps involved in installing a subwoofer can be complex for a novice so if you are unsure, it is best to pay a professional to complete the installation for you. If you want to try and DIY your sub installation, here is a handy guide to installing the subwoofers in your car.
Enhance Your Musical Journey
If you have a long journey ahead, the road is made only more fun with the right kind of music. Often certain albums or songs become iconic in your memory simply because you enjoyed listening to it on an open road.
But you will be unable to make these memories if you do not have a good sound system, and no sound system is complete without a good subwoofer.
Hitting the low notes is important in any good musical composition and if your woofer cannot emanate the low frequencies correctly, it can diminish the fun of a good road trip and of a good piece of music. So choose wisely and enjoy the tunes!
- 15 Songs You Need A Great Subwoofer To Fully Experience
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- 9 Best Car Subwoofers in 2023 – ALL Budgets & Sizes
- Best Subwoofers for Music – 7 Great Subs To Enhance Your Listening Experience in 2023
- Discover The Best 7 12-Inch Subwoofers In 2023
Trent is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado.