You slip into the driver’s seat, ready to embark on a road trip adventure. As you turn the ignition, a wave of anticipation washes over you, not just for the journey ahead but for the soul-stirring symphony that awaits. You see, tucked away underneath your seat lies a hidden gem, an under-the-seat subwoofer, poised to unleash an audio experience like no other.
Most car audio systems are mediocre at best, frequently favoring higher frequencies to accommodate the average radio pitch at the expense of richness and depth.
If you’re looking for a way to amplify the bass in your car’s sound system without installing an extremely space-consuming, box-style car subwoofer, car subwoofer, then you’ve come to the right place.
The under-seat subwoofer is a practical, cost-effective solution that can help give you that punchy bass sound without breaking the bank or weighing your car down.
We’ve rounded up 7 options for the best subwoofer for cars that will help radically transform your listening experience.
Quick List: The Best 7 Under Seat Subwoofers in 2023
- Rockville RW10CA – Best Budget Option
- Rockford Fosgate R2D2-10 Prime 10″ Subwoofer
- Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway – Best for Easy Installation
- Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered
- Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered – Most powerful
- Pyle 10″ Car Audio Speaker Subwoofer
- Cerwin-Vega Mobile VPAS10 – Best Overall
Best Under Seat Subwoofers for Cars Reviews
The under-seat subwoofer for car comes in a variety of price ranges and builds qualities. In putting together this list, I wanted to find the car subwoofers with the best audio-quality while also keeping in mind that most people strongly value affordability when shopping for car speakers.
I also paid attention to a compact size and reliable, sturdy construction. The last thing you want is a heavy subwoofer that adds so much weight it spikes up your gas bill or a cheaply made speaker that will fall apart with everyday use.
The products in this line-up represent the highest construction and sound quality available. Additionally, some products made a list because they incorporated further design considerations like ease of installation, simple audio controls, and built-in amplifiers without compromising overall sound and build quality.
Best Subwoofer for Car
1. Rockville RW10CA – Best Budget Option
- Rockville RW10CA 800 Watt 10" Slim Car Subwoofer.Waterproof : No
- 800 Watts Peak / 200 Watts RMS. PWM MOSFET Power Supply.
Rockville is a well-respected brand name in the world of car audio. The manufacturer is known for producing professional quality audio equipment built to last and includes circuit protections for added longevity. The protection circuits on the RW10CA will give you the confidence to play your music as loud as you like.
- Very affordable
- Extremely slim design and able to fit under most car seats
- Easy installation with minimal cable hook ups
- Doesn’t have the deepest bass
- Build quality is not the best
The Rockville RW10CA wins our award for best budget option because it produces a crisp, distortion-free sound at around half the cost of other under seat subwoofers. It includes a built-in power amplifier to help achieve that punchy, booming sound you’ll appreciate the next time you’re head-banging to Motley Crue before a big sales pitch.
Weighing only 5.6 pounds and measuring 2.7 inches in height, the RW10CA is incredibly slim and can fit under nearly any seat, from sports cars to hybrid vehicles.
It is also straightforward to install. The RW10CA comes with an installation kit that includes all the necessary audio cables and equipment. So, even if you’re not the most tech-savvy, you’ll be able to hook this car subwoofer up to your speaker system quickly and even customize the audio to match how you like your music to sound.
With auto-turn-on technology, the RW10CA is an excellent subwoofer for anyone who values convenience at a budget-friendly price. After the initial installation, you can forget about this subwoofer entirely and just enjoy listening to your music as loud and dynamic as you like.
2. Rockford Fosgate R2D2-10 Under Seat Subwoofer – Most Powerful
- Car Audio Fanatics wanting big bass can rely on the Rockford Fosgate Prime R2D2-10 Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer
- This 10" Prime Subwoofer rocks 250 Watts RMS / 500 Watts Max power handling and the 2-ohm dual voice coils provide awesome installation flexibility
The 2. Rockford Fosgate R2D2-10 is another compact-powered, budget-friendly option from an established car audio brand. It can be considered the best powered car subwoofer as it comes with a 12-inch subwoofer and a powerful 300-watt built-in amplifier.
- Powerful performance
- Flexible wiring options
- Durable build quality
- Precise and accurate bass
- Backed by a 1-year warranty
- Relatively more expensive
- A limited mounting depth of 4.319 inches
The R2D2-10 under the seat subwoofer answers your cravings, delivering a mind-blowing 250 Watts RMS of power with a peak performance of 500 Watts. The moment you crank up the volume, the deep and thunderous bass takes over, immersing you in a sea of rich, resonant sounds that seem to pulsate through your entire being.
What sets the R2D2-10 apart is its impeccable design and meticulous engineering. The mica-injected polypropylene cone ensures every beat is reproduced with exceptional precision and minimal distortion, giving you an impactful and accurate bass response. Even during those intense audio sessions, the stamp-cast basket with spider venting keeps the subwoofer’s motor cool, allowing it to perform at its best for extended periods.
Now, here’s the exciting part – the R2D2-10 allows you to customize your sound setup precisely to your liking. With its 2-Ohm Dual Voice Coil design, you have endless wiring possibilities, allowing you to experiment and find the perfect configuration whether you prefer a tight and controlled bass or a deep, booming rumble.
Also, you don’t have to worry! The manufacturer, Rockford Fosgate, stands behind the quality of its products, offering a full one-year warranty when purchased from an authorized reseller. That assurance lets you enjoy your music without worries, knowing you’re protected against unforeseen manufacturing defects.
3. Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway – Best for Easy Installation
- RMS Power: 150 Watts
- Ultra-compact powered subwoofer system designed for tight locations
The primary draw of the Kicker 11HS8 compact subwoofer is just how incredibly foolproof it is to install. It comes with an intuitive quick-connect power plug that enables you to plug it in and immediately begin listening. It can be installed without any additional tools using heavy-duty nylon Velcro straps.
- Extremely easy to install
- Reaches low frequencies well
- Offers fine bass tuning
- Higher price range
- Some reports of rattling at higher volumes
Even if you have no prior knowledge of speaker systems or audio equipment, you can quickly secure this subwoofer under your car seat and instantly transform your listening experience. The Velcro straps also lend to easy unplugging and removal, so you can bring this compact device with you even if you’re riding along in someone else’s vehicle.
Another thing I love about this subwoofer is the frequency range it offers. With a lower end of 25 Hz, the Kicker 11HS8 provides some of the softest, ground-shaking bass out there. You’ll be able to hear nuances and depth in your music that you never could before. It also comes with a built-in amplifier to help boost those meager notes so you can feel the music.
The Kicker 11HS8 also has a remote control for bass tuning and easy turn-on, including a variable bass boost and phase-canceling switch. The combination of easy installation and fine-tuning customization tools make this a good option for amateurs and audio-junkies.
The only downside is the price. At almost double the cost of some of the other subwoofers on this list, the Kicker 11HS8 is not for everyone.
4. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered Subwoofer
- RMS Power Handling: 120 Watts Peak Power Handling: 240 Watts
- Shallow Mount
If you’re looking for a highly compact subwoofer with sturdy construction that can withstand any bumps or hazards the road might throw, then the PWE-S8 from Alpine Electronics might be just the option for you.
- Very compact
- Rugged construction and sturdy build
- Not suitable for larger trucks or SUVs
- Installation may be difficult for beginners
- Audio quality is not the greatest for the price
It is one of the more compact models on this list, only three inches deep. It is so tiny you can fit it under the passenger front seat. You’ll quickly reach the controls and tinker with the gain, crossover, and sub-levels to hone in on that perfect sound.
This subwoofer offers decent audio quality, with clean bass, a built-in amplifier, and excellent frequency response.
Another reason I like this model is that, unlike a lot of subwoofers that strive to be small and lightweight, the PWE-S8 doesn’t compromise on build quality. It has a rugged aluminum enclosure that can withstand any road condition. So, if you do a lot of adventure travel or off-roading, this is a remarkably durable subwoofer you can always take in the car.
That said, the installation process is not beginner friendly. Motorists with essential experience installing speakers, troubleshooting audio equipment, and tinkering with car sound systems should have no trouble. However, amateurs new to aftermarket audio devices may struggle a little.
5. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered Subwoofer – Most Powerful
- The Punch P300-12 is a self-contained all-in-one solution featuring a Punch 12” subwoofer in a custom sealed enclosure and is powered by a mighty 300 Watt amplifier
- The system is all-inclusive, so you only need to run power, ground and a signal from the source to get this baby moving – Dimensions (Wedge H x W x D1 x D2): 15” x 19.8” x 11” x 7”
If you’re familiar with the world of professional-grade car audio, then it will be no surprise that our pick for the most powerful under seat subwoofer goes to Rockford Fosgate. Truly a leader in audio equipment designed for drivers, boaters, and motorcyclists, Rockford Fosgate’s P300-12 Punch Powered subwoofer model is a beast of a bass driver.
- Powerful bass and great built-in amplifier
- Thermal and overvoltage protection circuits
- Advanced controls for sound balance and fine-tuning
- Price is quite high
- Large, thick design may be difficult to accommodate in smaller cars
With a 12-inch subwoofer, the P300-12 Punch has the deepest sound of any model on this list. It responds incredibly well to changes in pitch and can drive home the low notes in your music. If you want to feel the bass in your bones, this is the perfect option for you. With a 300-watt built-in amplifier, the P300-12 Punch can accommodate both volume and depth, so you never need to choose between the two.
This subwoofer also contains thermal and overvoltage protection circuits, so you will feel protected even when boosting the bass as far as it can go. Plus, with equilibrium controls for sound balance and an easy-access remote control, you can fully customize your sound, even if that means lowering the bass just a little when you’re giving other people rides or taking your nephew to school.
6. Pyle 10″ Car Audio Speaker Subwoofer
- 1000 WATT POWER: This high powered subwoofer system has a maximum power output of 1000 watt / 500watt RMS for full range surround stereo sound reproduction and impressive bass response so you can play...
- BUILT TO LAST: Features non-fatiguing rubber suspension, specially designed rubber magnet boot, non-press cone, specially treated foam surround, along with bumped and vented motor construction that...
Alright, buckle up! Because I’ve got something unique to share with you now. I recently tried the Pyle 10″ Car Audio Speaker Subwoofer, and trust me, once you hear what this device can do, you’ll be itching to get your hands on one.
- An impressive power output of 1000 watts and 500 watts RMS
- Durable rubber construction
- Clear and crisp sound with reduced distortion
- Easy installation
- Highly affordable
- Handles low-frequency sounds better than mid and high-frequency ranges.
- The dual voice coil design of this subwoofer might introduce wiring complexities.
- No adjustable crossover frequencies or phase control.
First things first, let’s talk about power. This subwoofer is an absolute beast, boasting a mind-blowing maximum power output of 1000 watts! That’s right, 1000 watts of pure sonic goodness. When I cranked up the volume, my entire car shook with bass you could feel in your bones. It’s an immersive experience that makes every drive feel like a concert on wheels.
But power isn’t the only thing this under-seat subwoofer brings to the table. Pyle built this one to last. The non-fatiguing rubber suspension, specially designed rubber magnet boot, and non-press cone ensure durability, even during those intense bass-heavy sessions. They’ve gone the extra mile to guarantee this subwoofer can handle anything. Not to mention the specially treated foam surround and bumped and vented motor construction that keeps everything running smoothly even during extended use.
How about sound quality?
This subwoofer’s dual 4-ohm impedance is a real game-changer, compensating for the undersized wire commonly found in many modern cars. This reduces distortion and ensures a crisp and clear sound highlighting every detail in your music. The 2-inch 4-layer dual voice coil and 50 oz magnet structure significantly enhance its performance, allowing it to handle higher operating temperatures.
Installation was a breeze with the Pyle subwoofer. It follows the standard size for most vehicle stereo systems, so if you’re replacing worn-out or blown speakers, you’ll have no trouble fitting it in. The 4.7″ mounting depth and 10″ overall diameter balance size and power, making it an ideal choice for anyone upgrading their audio system.
Now, let’s talk about price. You might think a subwoofer of this caliber would break the bank, but hold on to your seat because it won’t. The Pyle 10″ Car Subwoofer comes at an incredibly affordable price. You’ll be getting high-quality, bone-shaking bass without draining your wallet.
7. Cerwin-Vega Mobile VPAS10 – Best Overall
- Power Handling: Peak: 550 watts RMS: 200 watts
- PWM MOSFET Power Supply/Thermal Protection Circuit Remote Subwoofer Control Included RCA and High-Level Inputs
Another great, power-forward subwoofer is the Cerwin-Vega Mobile VPAS10. This subwoofer earns our distinction for best overall because it exceeds expectations in all qualities and categories that make up an excellent under seat subwoofer.
- Powerful bass with high-watt amplifier
- Incredibly compact
- Extremely easy to install
- Great value for price
- Must be tuned to accommodate different musical styles
- Range only goes as low as 35Hz
Of all the models on this list, the VPAS10 is arguably the most compact at only 2.6 inches thick, making it small enough to fit underneath even the smallest seats in the sleekest sports cars. It is also made from a durable aluminum casing, so even though it is pretty thin, it can still hold up against any bumps you might encounter on the road.
As for the audio quality, the VPAS10 is challenging to beat. With a 10-inch woofer and a 450-watt built-in amplifier, this model produces some of the best depth and punchiest sound we’ve seen, so you’ll always feel immersed in your music.
This under-seat subwoofer has a bass boost of 0-12dB, a subsonic filter of 35Hz, and a low pass filter speaker level of 75-150Hz.
And if that wasn’t enough, the VPAS10 also excels at all the little things. It includes a thermal protection circuit so you can jam out for hours on end without worrying. Its auto-turn-on mechanism incorporates a unique, soft-delay feature to help prevent ear shock, so you’ll never be surprised when the bass suddenly drops as you turn on your car’s audio system. And my personal favorite, the VPAS10, is installed via heavy-duty Velcro strips.
If you’re anything like me, mounting and god-forbid, unmounting a piece of electronic equipment is the hardest part of setting it up. The VPAS10 is specifically designed so that even people like us, who struggle to remember what a Phillips head screwdriver looks like, can easily install it.
Best Under-seat Subwoofer for Car Buying Guide
Should I Get an Under seat Subwoofer or a Box-style Subwoofer?
When most people think about transforming a car’s audio system, they immediately picture large, box-style subwoofers that get mounted in the car’s trunk and produce the kind of mind-altering bass that can cause a vehicle to bounce up and down.
The downside to these subwoofers is that they are cumbersome and often quite costly. An under-seat subwoofer is more than enough for the average motorist who simply wants to upgrade their vehicle’s built-in sound system. As the title suggests, these models can fit underneath the passenger or back seat and thus don’t take up any extra space. They’re also significantly lighter, cheaper, and easier to install. Many under seat subwoofers also come with built-in amps, whereas almost all box-style woofers require a separate amp.
That said, a full-sized box-style subwoofer’s sound quality is unparalleled. If you imagine yourself cruising through the neighborhood, playing your music on full blast, and feeling the bass resonate throughout your body, then a box-style model is your best bet.
When choosing between the two styles, consider how much space you have, how much you’re willing to spend, and how important it is to have the best sound quality. If you have a particularly compact car or are on a tight budget, choosing an under-seat subwoofer over a box style has already been made for you.
Is Under the Seat Subwoofer Any Good?
The short answer is yes. Under-seat subwoofers may not have the same raw power that comes from a 15 to 18-inch driver disc, but they are mighty and can make a noticeable difference in your listening experience.
Under-seat subwoofers boast significant frequency ranges with levels as low as 20Hz. This means that they are responsive to even the lowest pitches. They also come with woofers as large as 12 inches, enabling them to achieve louder, deeper sounds. For context, box-style subwoofers begin at around 12-13 inches and usually have 20-200 Hz frequency ranges.
The area where this type of subwoofer typically falls behind is power. All drivers come with peak power-handling ratings and root mean square power ratings that indicate how loud the speaker can play for short bursts or continuous periods. Full-sized subwoofers often have capabilities greater than 1,000 watts, while under-seat subwoofers max out at 400-800 watts for short bursts, with much lower capacities from long listening periods.
While this may seem like a drawback, it’s essential to consider audio power in a vehicle environment. One thousand watts, projected into close quarters, is roughly the equivalent of standing directly beside a military jet aircraft as it takes off. Chances are, you won’t need or want this kind of power when you’re driving. An excellent under-seat subwoofer likely offers more than enough wattage for all your listening needs.
Choosing the Best Under Seat Subwoofer for Your Car
The under-seat subwoofers in this list are some of the best models on the market. They all combine solid construction and build quality with a superior audio experience.
When choosing which option is best for you, first consider the type of vehicle you have. If you have a sports car, you’ll want to consider a compact model. You’ll have more options if you drive an SUV or small truck.
After that, it’s all about deciding which design considerations appeal to you most. Regardless of your choice, an under seat subwoofer will transform your car listening experience.
- The Best 10-Inch Subwoofer: A Review of the Top 5 in 2023
- SVS Subwoofers: Brand Review (2023)
- Discover The Best 8 Home Theater Subwoofers in 2023
- Discover The Best 7 12-Inch Subwoofers In 2023
- Definitive Technology Descend DN12 Subwoofer Review (Tested)
Trent is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado.