Best Budget Car Subwoofer 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Do you like taking long drives with the music blaring? Do you wish this music sounded the absolute best that it could? Think you need something awesome for your car to play your music? Well look no further – we’ve got the deal for you! You need a subwoofer.
This article will showcase the top 15 best subwoofers in cars, whilst taking you through the key features of a subwoofer for cars, and answering all your questions such as – how does a subwoofer for car stereos work?
While it can be really hard to find a distortion free sound system with a high audio quality, we’ll make this really easy for you by showing you the best subwoofers to playing your music on, which will provide a means to listen to all of your favorite songs with the clearest volume possible. Let the power pump and the bass boom as we show you how to search for the best subwoofer for your car.
Read on to find the best car subwoofer for you – from those that are easy to install, to those designed to provide brilliant sound at low frequency response levels, we have something for everybody in this guide to subwoofers for car stereos.
And what’s more, we promise you’ll get amazing sound quality that doesn’t break the bank – you don’t need to drop hundreds upon hundreds for a high powered subwoofer from Rockford Fosgate. With the money you save, you could even buy yourself some of the best cheap tires!
In a hurry? No worry! Here’s a table of contents:
15 Best Budget Car Subwoofers 2020
Here are the best 15 car subwoofers we have to show you. They’re all recent picks, last updated on Amazon just a few weeks ago. Have a look after reading our buy guide to find the best subwoofer for you. All of the items and devices on this page will give you a bunch of reasons to spend your cash on them, whilst websites of manufacturers will give you everything you need for easy navigation.
Everyone, everywhere, deserves the importance of a decent customer service team when giving a glance to an item, so have a look at the following details and keep everything we mention in mind before booking a delivery.
1.BOSS Audio 8 Inch Max Power
Best Features: 3 year warranty platinum deal. Durable material for long lasting, smooth operation.
The first product we have is the BOSS Audio Systems 8 inch car subwoofer. This brilliant audio device comes with 600 watts maximum power, but remember the spec you’ll want to keep in mind is the RMS power – which BOSS state is 300 watts.
This also comes with rubber surround and a polypropylene cone, whilst the stamped basket is easy to transfer and absorb energy. High temperatures aren’t an issue with the high thermal and corrosion resistance as well as the electrical conductivity. Strength of amplification is maintained into the receiver at high temperatures, meaning you’ll hear all aspects of sound and every individual instruments’ notes.
The voice coils maintain easy strength, whilst the resonant frequency is an excellent 49 Hz. The sensitivity SPL is 83 Db, so there’s specs to boot here – a ton of advantages.
Power: 600 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 49 Hz | Sensitivity: 83 dB | Size: 20.96 x 20.96 x 10.92 cm
2. Massive Audio TKO12S4
Best Features: Comes in a variety of wattage and resistance. Best deal – affordable price for glowing ratings.
Our second pick for you guys comes from a business with a very strong history of quality products at fabulous prices. This piece is a 12 inch, 600 watt subwoofer with a SVC (single voice coils) 4 ohm resistance.
At a bargain price, this kind of product gives you tons of positives and not an ounce of hassle. Any album you listen to will feel like you’re the host of a concert, from rock to pop, and the amounts of bass boost you get is truly astounding. It’s easy to get the picture of just how much skill this model has – it truly does the numbers and consistently tops guides from websites such as musiccritic. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a 4.9 rating given that it’s truly top of the range and one of the better resources around.
One of the greatest models you will find for sure, this subwoofer needs to be paired with a shallow mount enclosure before it can function.
Power: 600 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 35.4 | Sensitivity: 89.6 dB | Size: 33 x 33 x 20.3 cm
3. Skar Audio Single 10″ Loaded Vent Subwoofer Enclosure
Best Features: Impressive 39 Hz frequency for premium bass. Large mass providing a sturdy, reliable, but compact unit.
Our third option comes from one of the most revered brands around, Skar Radio. With a budget price of under $200, this Single 10″ 1200 W SDR Series woofer will give you premium bang for your buck.
This particular model does not come with an exterior amplifier in the package, but you can buy one in a bundle for just a little more. With a 600 watts RMS power, this truly impressive model comes with counter-heat-sink technology and has pre-wired internal systems for a 1 ohm final impedance. The flush and attractive appearance is another of the many pros of this model, which provides little room for improvement and is on your side for any ride.
Add this to your car or truck for premium sound – the 1,200 watts of maximum power make a convincing case for this woofer to be one of the greatest on the list. With high roll surround and a built-for-power system, every inch of this model; the baskets, the kickers, the battery, everything at all – leave no room for sacrifice. If you’re someone who wants the best, you’re going to find it here.
For clean sound with no whistles or bells, add this to your list – your ears deserve a treat.
Power: 1200 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 30 – 300 Hz | Sensitivity: 82.0 dB | Size: 46.99 x 43.82 x 37.21 cm
4.Kicker 10″ 600 Watt 4 Ohms Thin Profile Woofer
Best Features: 4 ohms of impedance with a brilliant 300W RMS. Thin and compact to fit perfectly behind your seats.
This next model comes from Kicker, and is the 600 watts vented thin profile subwoofer, with a sealed enclosure for the greatest convenience. Every element of this one, from the amplifier to the enclosure, is decked out in premium materials.
The RMS power of 300 watts, which is half the max power, provides a way better spec than competitors such as the Pioneer TS. What’s more, the 4.6 rating leaves nothing to the imagination. The black carpet material and plush design will make this a sleek little square to put under any car seats. Our only advice would be to go for the sister model, the Comp 2, if you want ohm voice coils in addition.
Power: 600 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 30-500 | Sensitivity: 93.8dB | Size: 55.00 x 19.00 x 38.00 cm
5. Dual Electronics 12 Inch High Performance Sealed Enclosure Woofer
Best Features: Amazing sound MDF construction. Frequency range of 300Hz to 200kHz – everything you could need.
Our fifth option comes from Dual Electronics, who boast the 12 inch subwoofer with studio performance. The peak power exceeds 1,000 watts, whilst the RMS of 600 watts at 4 ohms of impedance means that you’re getting the best quality for the price of this subwoofer.
The increased output capability with 2.5″ premium ohm voice coils leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. This subwoofer also has a great sealed enclosure with a curved plexiglass viewing window of the head unit. With the 1 year warranty, you could easily get a replacement subwoofer if you needed to but we don’t see why you would!
The woofer cone also comes with a surround of controlled ventilation, so you’re no participant in purchasing an overheating woofer – rest assured, your safety and the efficiency of this subwoofer is paramount.
Power: 1100 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 25 – 200 Hz | Size: 76.2 x 36.58 x 36.58 cm
6. JBL GT-BassPro 12 Inch Audio Powered Subwoofer System
Best Features: Impressive input level with auto shut off/ turn on when needed. Remote control turn-on lead included.
Our sixth product is the JBL GT-BassPro12 Audio Powered Subwoofer, which boasts a high level of quality and bass response for a fairly low price point! If you’re after a high end subwoofer enclosure you need to read on – these audio powered subwoofers could be for you!
This woofer has a die cast aluminum basket for solid sound and protection under all conditions; it does its job with ease, and the majority of amazon.com or soundrating.com reviewers agree that they’ve had anything but issues from this amazing piece of equipment. This is an easy pick to listen to all of your favorite bands or rap artists, with a signal-sensing turn-on which provides listeners with so much ease!
Better quality than vinyl, even the most seasoned audiophiles will agree, this input level bass boost subwoofer makes it so easy for you to get the desired sound you want. The simple controls also give you the ability to avoid complaints from your neighbors – you won’t wake the whole neighborhood with help from your signal sensor and the easy adjustments made in the system’s functioning.
Power: 150 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 35Hz – 120Hz | Size: 12 x 22.4 x 14.5 cm
7. BassPro SL JBL 8 Inch
Best Features: Bass boost with incredible range. Ease of use with user intuitive controls, such as LED power sensors.
Our next option comes from JBL once again, with the BassPro Powered Under-Seat Compact sealed enclosure subwoofer system. And goodness me, is it a premium product.
With a maximum output of 125 watts – which is rare considering most subwoofers have either 300 watts or 200 watts, this woofer comes with LED power indicators of green and red, as well as a wired bass remote controller for premium control over this subwoofer enclosure system.
It’s a class D amp, meaning the amplifier has an efficiency in the D class. The low level input of 200 milli-volts to 2 volts and high level of 2 volts to 20 volts gives you an impressive voltage, whilst the 35- 120 Hz frequency response leaves room for whatever you want to listen to.
The compact size and light weight makes this subwoofer perfect for anywhere in the car, while the sealed box and low pass crossover give you a smooth, efficient system.
Power: 125 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 35Hz – 120Hz | Sensitivity: 12dB | Size: 43.69 x 37.59 x 17.02 cm
8. Skar Audio SDR-12 D4 12 Inch Subwoofer
Best Features: 4 layer high temperature copper voice coils. High flux, powerful ferrite motor.
Our eighth product, taking us about halfway through the list, is a DVC 4 ohms subwoofer with 1200 watts of max power. Skar Audio have pushed the boat out with this model once again, as the high flux ferrite motor, RMS power of 600 watts and high roll foam surround which protects the polypropylene cone, all give you benefits you never knew you needed.
While you’ll need to purchase a separate amplifier and this does not come pre-packaged into an enclosure, the frequency response of 22 Hz- 300 Hz and sensitivity of 84.7 dB makes this one of the better models you can get for its very cheap price; so buying extras isn’t a nightmare.
Power: 1200 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 24-300 Hz | Sensitivity: 87.3 dB | Size: 45.72 x 45.72 x 22.86 cm
Best Features: Innovative and ergonomic shape, size, and materials. Variable user controls for ease of use.
Our ninth pick is the Pioneer TS 12 inch seal enclosure subwoofer, which comes with an included amplifier! That’s really lucky, considering its flash cheap price.
This features a cellulose fiber cone with a frequency response of 20 Hz- meaning you’ve got low bass booming for miles. The 350 W RMS provides a decent power output, whilst the carpeting means that this plush loudspeaker will comfortably slot anywhere behind a car seat.
The hallmark, however, of this amazing device is the user-adjustable controls which include phase control, variable bass boost, and an LPF. The flexibility offered in these user controls are astounding, whilst the input gain control can be easily found on the enclosure side panel.
Power: 1300W | Resonant Frequency: 20 – 125 | Sensitivity: 114dB | Size: 27.94 x 52.71 x 38.1 cm
10. Skar Audio SVR-8 8″ Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer
Best Features: Certified wall rattler with a powerful high flux ferrite motor. Max output of 800 watts with a 4 layer dual voice coil.
Our tenth pick comes from Skar Audio and is the SVR-8 D2 max power 2 ohm car subwoofer. Available in different inch sizes and ohms – including a dual 4 ohm – this model provides incredible power with breathtaking low frequencies and the voice coil design makes it one of the more sophisticated voice coil subwoofers out there. The 4 layer voice coils and ferrite motor keeps power flowing constantly, providing you with a dynamic, powerful bass. There’s an effective cooling solution which keeps your car audio system from overheating with this impressive power supply – be assured that the bass output and bass level control is very powerful. This high powered subwoofer is certainly one to watch out for.
Reviews hail this sub as durable and touch, providing very powerful bass. For this price, who needs high-priced competitors like Rockford Fosgate? Lots of bass, lots of power, impressive sound quality – what more would you need from a subwoofer system with powerful bass performance? If your expectations as a buyer are low, this definitely has the advantage of shattering them… and some glass too, with the amazing maximum output of noise on offer.
Power: 2,500 Watts | Size: 53.34 x 48.9 x 40.34 cm
11. Skar Audio SVR-10 10 Inch Subwoofer
Best Features: Impressive flow cooling design with oodles of heft. Powerful with an RMS of 800 watts – leaves room for zero improvement.
Our eleventh item comes once more from Skar Audio with the 10 inch SVR-10 Dual 2 Ohms Car Subwoofer. Like Skar’s other models, this subwoofer boasts a range of impressive features. Firstly, we should mention that you can get this model in 8, 12, and 15 inches also, as well as 4 ohms of impedance.
Cheaper than high-end brands like Sundown Audio, MTX Audio, or Andrew Jones, this speaker provides a 44 Hz frequency, a competition grade pressed paper cone surrounded by high roll foam, and an expertly engineered, intricate system for powerful bass. Everything about this is beyond impressive; you can’t get much of an upgrade from here, it’s one of the great models in these fields.
With this model, it’s easy to do all the fine tuning and changes, and helps you to kick your bass up a notch – it’s a breeze.
Power: 2000 Watts | Size: 88 x 39 x 55/39 cm
12. Pyle 6.5 Inch Surround Sound Mid Bass Sub Woofer Stereo
Best Features: Yellow conex design of this subwoofer for stiffness without added weight. High quality 4 ohm component audio speaker for amazing audio quality.
Our twelfth product comes from Pyle, and we personally think these are some of the best woofers you’ll see in your life. The Pyle 6.5″ Surround Sound woofer is amid the current leading woofers. Anyone with knowledge of all the inputs, outputs, technical parts and applications, will know how hard it is to find the right information and professional knowledge needed before you make a choice.
This amazing value woofer offers this information and then some – allowing you the ability to make an easy decision and balance up the bonuses and (very few) disadvantages to this amazing loudspeaker which gives you plenty of OOMPH.
The advantages are numerous, and should bring you to an easy conclusion with convenience. These boast low impedance, a 30 oz magnet structure, smooth detailed sound, and longevity to boot with the specially treated rubber. If you’re having the smallest second thought you’ll get a 30 day money-back guarantee, but who needs it with subs like these? Chances are you’ll see this cropping up on www.soundrating.com, as it’s an absolute bargain.
Power: 300 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 60-2000 hz | Sensitivity: 82db | Size: 20.50 x 36.50 x 36.50 cm
13. Pyramid 10 Inch Subwoofer High Impact Sound
Best Features: Voice coiling system and effective impedance. Cloth edge suspension completes the impressive build design.
Our thirteenth pick comes at a staggering cheap price, less than $30, and will easily put you on cloud nine. The Pyramid 10 Inch Subwoofer is perfect in all areas, and at its core there’s a brilliant speaker housing system and frame for this sub.
With a 1.5″ kapton voice coiling system, a 25 ounce magnet structure, and a 10 inch cone, no shortcut has been taken by the factory here… whether you’re driving up to your cabin or storing this in the cabinet for a rainy day, it will last you for ages because of its durable design. The 150 watt RMS provides a great running power and the 8 ohms impedance easily reduces distortion for a crisp, clear sound – you can’t get much better. One of this company’s trademarks is clearly its high standards and cheap price rate.
Power: 300 Watts | Resonant Frequency: 45 to 7,000 Hz | Sensitivity: 92 dB | Size: 10.43 x 10.43 x 4.06 cm
14. Earthquake Sound SLAPS-M10
Best Features: Versatility. Reduction in noise disturbance and easily adjusted.
Our penultimate pick will give you a smooth injection of high quality bass. The Earthquake Sound 10″ passive radiator subwoofer, suited for management and use in the home or your car, certainly SLAPS, as the name suggests.
This tunable woofer eliminates offsets in voice coils, removes noise leakage, terminates wind noise and gives you quick, easy adjustments. It’s really easy to use and can come in 10″ or 12″ – your choice. You have so much freedom afforded with this product that it’s an ideal pick for those wanting a versatile product to start with.
Size: 10.31 x 10.31 x 2″
15. Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer
Best Features: Compact yet powerful. Easy usability.
Our final product comes from Kenwood, and is the KSC-SW11 subwoofer. It’s at a great price, for under $200, and comes with many high recommendations and ratings from Amazon.
With an anodized aluminum enclosure and an included amplifier, as well as 75 watts of RMS, you get a great little system in a compact design. It’s wired with a remote control for easy manipulation, and offers a variable low-pass crossover.
There’s not much more you could want from this model at such a cheap, agreeable price. Even with movement in the car, this stays solid and provides quality sound with bass at fantastic lows. Roll the windows down and live your dreams, this is an easy five stars. Though it’s as brilliant as it looks in the image, if you’re unhappy with this model or its tones you can return based on the generous warranty policies offered.
Power: 75 watts | Resonant Frequency: 35-125 Hz | Sensitivity: | Size: 11 x 2-3/4 x 7-1/2 Inch
Our Top Picks:
Best Budget Car Subwoofer
Our best budget pick available is the Skar Audio SVR-8 8 inch subwoofer. With a dual power of 2 ohm, this highly anticipated subwoofer comes recommended by Amazon users at 4.7 – so there’s no doubt it’s high quality. At under $200, this is one of the best picks to save you money.
With a peak power of 800 watts and an RMS power of 400 watts, this amazing dual 4-layer copper voice coil provides a powerful motor which is backed up by an intuitive cooling design.
The high roll foam surround is stitched to a pressed paper cone, which makes this subwoofer for car stereos one of the best in the game.
- Impedance 4 Ohm
- Thermal power limit: 300 watt
- Mounting Depth 4.90"
- DMA Motor System
- Elevated frame cooling
Cheapest Car Subwoofer Available
Our verdict for the cheapest model available is the Pyle 6.5 inch mid bass woofer sound system. One of our favorite features of this turn of the century piece of technology is that the manufacturer enlists your input of your car’s dimensions and specs, to make sure that the style and dimension of the sub is right for your vehicles and you won’t need a replacement.
We think this is a great feature which allows anyone to feel confident in buying with no question, due to the amount of information available for this amazing sub which surpasses all competition. This surround sound speaker with a 4 ohm component and special rubber enclosure deserves its high rating time after time – and for under $20, what else would you want?
- : AUTO SPEAKER SYSTEMS: Pyle GEARX series woofer is the latest series which have been designed and engineered for consistent and high performance The 65 inch feature an eye-catching yellow CD PP cone for plenty of stiffness without added weight
- LOW IMPEDANCE: The 4 ohm component audio speaker compensates the undersized wire found in many of today’s cars It also make the most of every 300 watts peak power your car stereo can deliver with rubber magnet boot cover
- MID BASS WOOFER: Pyle pro mid bass woofer sound speaker system has 30 oz magnet structure and 60 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response that complete the package It helps to provide smooth, loud and detailed sound
- POWERFUL FEATURES: The specially treated rubber surround keeps your speakers secure and extending the life of the product A 1” high-temperature aluminum voice coil provides the richest sound, ensuring low distortion and providing an open sound stage
- WORRY-FREE SHOPPING: With the Pyle PLG64, we are confident of the quality of our product, therefore, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee no questions asked
Best Premium Car Subwoofer
Our premium pick is the JBL GT-BassPro 12. This 12 inch subwoofer is the perfect thing for you if you want factors such as flexibility, audio quality, and models with durable material.
With the abilities to give you premium sound for all styles of music, providing bursts of bass boost and amazing responsiveness, you’ll swear that you can hear every instrument the band plays – from indie to country music. Drivers can easily listen to all of their favorite tunes with this 12 inch subwoofer, which provides high single voice coil excursion.
For the absolute best sound and the ease of the auto on/off function, you need this premium 12 inch subwoofer.
Buyers’ Guide when Choosing Subwoofers
Typical Costs of Car Subwoofers:
The typical cost of the best subwoofer depends on a lot of features, as you might imagine. Whilst every option we’re bringing you in this list is easily affordable, you have to consider factors such as sound quality and the voice coil. For example, a dual voice coil with dual 4 ohm technology will inevitably be pricier than that of a single voice coil with 2 ohm technology.
What’s more, the type of subwoofer can affect the cost due to materials used; for example, whether your device has a polypropylene cone and a sealed enclosure, or whether it’s entirely different.
Nonetheless, all of our picks range between as little as under $20, and as high as $300. This noticeable price range will allow you to filter out the different elements of your subwoofer speakers to find one that boasts peak performance without giving you a Rockford Fosgate price tag.
Considerations for Buying Car Subwoofers:
As we just stated above, the type of subwoofer models you buy will affect the price almost inevitably. Therefore, it’s really important that you consider the sound quality and power mechanisms of your sub before purchasing. Here are our top considerations for purchasing subwoofers; cars are delicate systems, so you really need to find the best subwoofer for the job.
There are different types of subwoofers that correspond to the different needs you may have. If you…
…want to build a personalised system then you’ll want to look at component subs. These are just the speaker themselves, usually ranging from 8″ to 15″, which need to be mounted onto a subwoofer box. They can operate on low or high power and have different impedance and voice coil set-ups, so you can easily tailor components to your car’s system.
…want an easy off-the-shelf model then you’ll want enclosed subs. These are already mounted into a box to accommodate the speaker. You’ll therefore have less to do when designing your system. A downside is that you’ll be limited on choice, and will still need to shop for an external amp to power your sub.
…want a space-saving bass system with everything included then you’ll want a powered sub. These subs contain a built-in amplifier right off the bat, meaning the work you need to put in is minimal. These subs are compact and won’t take up space – and whilst they’re great bass producers, their smaller drivers might not provide the sound power rating you’re after if you’re a big music critic.
…want a sub that perfectly blends to your car’s interior then you’ll want a vehicle-specific sub. These subs are designed with easy wiring options to provide the best bass pulsations to your car without complicated wiring configurations. The high level inputs are easy to control as your sub is highly specific to your vehicle.
If you want a system with booming bass reproduction, then you’ll need to consider power. The key thing here is to consider RMS power ratings, NOT peak power ratings (both in watts amount). RMS measures the continuous power output and is more realistic than peak power, which will give you an indication of the maximum power your subwoofer and power amplifier can get up to. As a rating process, RMS is highly effective – so make sure your sub can at least handle your amp’s output power for the best bass sounds.
One of the best things about subwoofers, whether passive subwoofers or otherwise, is that you’re afforded a lot of power handling within the system as a whole. This is especially important to consider when you realise that powerful, accurate bass production requires a lot of watt power. Therefore, a more effective system means less power used overall. This can also emit less heat and avoid a high temperature which may lead to overheating if your sub’s cooling system is not the best.
Sensitivity is the other spec that goes along with power to indicate the high output you’ll be after. A sub with a higher sensitivity rating requires less power overall to produce the same sort of sound as a model with lower sensitivity. This, again, is more efficient when considering the watts RMS rating, because you’re more likely to get great music power handling capabilities and a power source that isn’t prone to overheating.
The best budget subwoofers on the market will therefore offer fab output capability, a premium sound experience, but with quality, safe construction that doesn’t put a dent in your bank account.
The key question here? How low can you go?!
Frequency range gives an idea of how low a subwoofer design can reach in terms of bass. Music articles are packed with music reviews and user reviews that analyse the product rating process undertaken by car audio enthusiasts when they analyse their subwoofers. The key thing that stands out in every subwoofer level is the base level control.
This makes all the difference and is one of the more important specifications to use, out of the many ones we’ll tell you to take into consideration, in order to find products that have efficiency in mind. Remember though, that the overall performance and clarity is part of other variables such as the spaces the sub is placed in and the box type installation – this number of factors provide an important crossover.
What is impedance, you may ask? Well, thanks to us, you’ll know everything there is to know about the impedance of your amplifiers.
Impedance is the level of resistance offered by an electric circuit to the flow of an AC (alternating current). The units that measure impedance are ohms.
A subwoofer rated at 2-ohm impedance will give you more output than a 4-ohm model – provided the wattage in amps is similar – because the resistance is lower. The most popular series of subwoofers that pack a punch, with enclosures or not, are rated at 4 ohms. However, 2-ohm models and dual voice coil has taken shape on the market.
Therefore, you need to look for amplifiers that will match your sub along the line of power and impedance.
Another commonplace factor that many people tend to overlook is size. The size and depth of the boxes or cones in the unit can affect the performance of your subwoofer quite a bit, and in an important way.
Size depends on a variety of other features such as power, sensitivity, and enclosure type. If you want a system that plays the loudest and lowest, you need a bigger sub. But don’t discount smaller subs straight away – the more space-efficient models can give you a generous sound output. Comb through links to every Amazon review or advertising outlet to find the right model for you.
Before you bring your brand new loudspeakers home, you’ll want to make sure the company you’ve opted for boasts reliability, strength, and has plenty of recommendations. If you have any doubts about the sorts of brands you want to go for, and which have the advantage over others, read on to our handy advice in this FAQs section.
This is taken straight from posts in review comments and every reply post available. Any problem, reason, or conundrum that could affect your choices is addressed here – just name it. And, if in doubt – email the company.
What Is a Subwoofer and How Does it Work?
Your very first question, if you don’t already know the answer, is going to be: what is a subwoofer, and just how does it work?
In layman’s terms, a subwoofer is a low frequency producing speaker which contains one or more ‘woofers’. Once housed, this is sometimes referred to as a loudspeaker. Subwoofers are designed to handle bass and sub-bass frequencies to very high abilities, giving you the sorts of booms your Grandma complains about.
Standard speaker sets can handle a range of inputs naturally, but with the addition of a subwoofer you get more bass thump in the trunk – so it’s clearly a good investment for any audiophile.
Here’s how they work:
- Subwoofers need lots of air and require a lot of power in order to generate high volume bass over a small bandwidth. If you’re after studio-level bass, you’ll need a large bass driver.
- Subwoofers are driven through electromagnetics; they have a stiff cone driven by a single voice coil, centered in a magnetic field.
- Some have numerous voice coils. The voice coil is attached to the back of the speaker cone and moves when current flows through it, pushing the cone which moves in and out to create motion waves.
What Is the Hardest Hitting Subwoofer Out There?
Lots of reviews will tell you that popular models such as the Rockford Fosgate P3D2, or the Pioneer TS SW2502S4, is the best and most powerful hard-hitting subwoofer you’ll get; complete with a high-power watt amplifier, a high watts peak power, dual voice coils, a decent motor structure, and all the trimmings…
However, our hard work trawling through every comment name of reader interactions has shown that you can find a high quality, hard hitting subwoofer for a fraction of the Rockford Fosgate cost.
Our picks for the most hard-hitting subwoofer are:
- 12-Inch Dual 4 ohm Car Subwoofer
- Peak Power: 1, 200 Watts | RMS Power: 600 watts
- 2.5" 4-Layer high temperature Copper voice Coil
- High Roll Foam Surround - High flux ferrite motor
- Frequency response: 22 Hz - 300 Hz | Sensitivity: 84.7 dB
- Peak Power: 800 watts | RMS Power: 400 watts
- 2.6" (65.5mm) dual 2-ohm high temperature 4-layer copper Voice Coil
- Powerful high flux ferrite motor with advanced air Flow Cooling Design | Fs: 47 Hz
- Engineered for incredibly deep, dynamic, and powerful bass | Sensitivity: 82.0 dB
- High Roll Foam Surround stitched to competition Grade pressed paper cone
- 10-inch, tunable passive radiator
- Eliminate voice coil offset
- Remove voice leakage
- Terminate wind noise
- Easy tuning for quick adjustments
Are 10 or 12 Subs Better?
Whether 10″ or 12″ subwoofers are better really depends on what you want out of your car subwoofer and what you want the high quality bass sound to feel like in your car. One consideration is the clarity and cleanness of the sound, whereas another consideration is the depth and volume of the sound.
If you’re one for a low, booming bass, you’ll be looking for a very particular subwoofer. Here’s how 10″ and 12″ subwoofers differ, so you can make the ultimate choice about which is better for you:
Advantages of 10 inch subwoofers:
- Sounds cleaner
- Packs a harder punch
- Combined cone surface area yields more sound pressure
Advantages of 12 inch subwoofers:
- Sounds deeper
- Drives frequency response down
It should be remembered that this question is really hard to answer definitively because so many factors are involved here, including enclosure type i.e. sealed enclosure, type, and size. The key things to think about when finding a sub that plays the loudest and deepest are:
- Enclosure type
- Available power
It’s sometimes beneficial to look for a model with a built-in amplifier with ‘bass boost’ qualities.
Why Does the Number of Voice Coils Matter?
The number of voice coils you opt for matters because you get an increased range of flexibility in your wiring system.
Most subwoofers have a single voice coil (SVC), though a lot nowadays come with DVC (dual voice coil) – these use two separate voice coils, each with their own connections, mounted to one cylinder and connected to a common cone.
DVC subwoofers offer more wiring options and therefore a better quality of sound overall. They are the apex of surround sound and give you a great degree of cone control, maximising on cone design and speaker wire systems to enhance your car amps to the max. If you’re looking for a DVC’s pros, great. Here’s what every car audio enthusiast needs to know about why DVCs are better than SVCs.
- Parallel: A dual 4 ohm coil with coils wired in parallel gives your amplifier a 2 ohm load. An amplifier produces a larger wattage power at lower impedance, so this parallel connection means that you’ll get the best output from your amp. If you have a stereo amplifier and 2 DVS subs, wire both for 2 ohm impedance.
- Series: Series wiring allows you to hook up multiple woofers to one amplifier without sacrificing the impedance. If you wire both coils in series for an 8 ohm impedance and then wire 2 8-ohm subs together in parallel, you’ll get a total of 4-ohm impedance.
- Independence: You can also wire each ohm voice coils to a separate channel if preferred. This is an ideal option if you have a 4-channel amp and want to wire 2 DVC subs, giving one coil per channel. This makes a deep bass sound, which you will find on the best high-end, and not low end, woofers. This technique makes a bunch of differences, and gives you more flex space in your setup so you can capitalise on functionality of your purchase.
Keep this in mind before making your purchases so you can hit the ground running and get max bass peaks per surface area.
Are Car Subwoofers Worth It?
Car subwoofers are most definitely worth it to ensure you get all of the features, including bass exposure and RMS power, that you’re looking for. A well-matched and efficient sub can dramatically change and enhance your overall sound output.
A subwoofer, driver for bass, and power amp – as well as a decent enclosure box (enclosure is important) – can make all the difference when getting those sound waves that will provide the best bass depth to the human ear. Any chosen product RMS power rating needs to be decent for apex surround sound, whilst the cone structure, compression terminals, and voice coils’ impedance will give your car seat the absolute best audio signal and bass solution.
Finding the right sub with a decent companion enclosure surface area, mono amplifier and input control can make a larger difference than the sort of car subwoofer brands you opt for – as many brands will offer similar features.
What Frequency Range Should I Look For?
Frequency range is another pivotal feature if you’re looking for quality sound and volumes and don’t want to make a return via warranty.
Most subwoofer units operate with a 20-200 Hz (Hertz) frequency, whilst professional live sound production uses under 100 Hz.
Different companies will offer slight variations in the frequency at hand that you should operate with, and you should always keep into account the different specs of your unit and compatible systems.
Here are some top tips you’ll want to treat as fact in your head when you follow the course of doing research for a decent sub. There’s a chance you could be buying absolute garbage and sometimes there are no ways of knowing… so follow your common sense and use this guide:
Given that human hearing goes from around 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, frequency range can be divided into categories like so:
20 – 80hz audible Bass
80 – 300hz Kick bass
300 – 1000hz Lower Midrange
1000 – 4000hz Upper Midrange
4000hz – 20khz Treble
You can see that the general frequencies offered by subwoofers are anywhere between audible and kick bass, meaning these woofers will have brilliantly high resonance of lower bass volumes.
You’ll need to note that you should NEVER purchase a sub from a manufacturer who doesn’t provide:
- A frequency measurement
- The Thiele-small-parameters, abbreviated as TSP
Follow these tips when looking for quality bass setups to ensure you’re not being scammed for a quick commission opportunity. Some types of model may have the looks up front, but you need to know your rights as customers, and your needs, before you even think about buying.
Most companies will recommend that you limit your woofer’s frequency to a range of 20-100 Hz, using a crossover.