Top waterproof sound systems: Best bluetooth shower speakers

Let’s be realistic for a moment:  

Not everyone’s into ear-crushing, teeth-rattling bass coming from a large unit that takes up all your available space – and then some. 

And that’s perfectly fine. 

You know why? 

Because, when picked out carefully, the best 8-inch subwoofers can still pack a mind-boggling punch, while also remaining relatively compact. 

And in today’s article, I’m going to show you just that – how to pick the best unit for the job!

In a hurry? The test winner after 23 hours of research:

Pioneer TS-SWX2002 8"

Why is it better?

  • ​Compact, shallow-mount design
  • Sturdy construction with a fully carpeted finish 
  • Oversized cone construction pumps out more air 
  • Frequency response range of 20 to 250 Hz 
  • Reasonably priced 
87/100
our score

sourses

28

Researched sources

412

REviews considered

23

hours researching

43

products compared

Last Updated: September 1, 2019

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best 8 inch subwoofers available for those who are interested in getting such a woofer. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best 8 inch subwoofers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Looking For an 8-Inch Sub? Keep an Eye Out for These Specifications:

best 8 inch subwoofers - what to look for

When you think of subwoofers, the chances are that the tooth-rattling bass is the first thing that comes to your mind. 

And while I can’t help but agree with you on that one, here’s the thing: 

There’s a lot more to the best subwoofers than that my-head-is-going-to-explode feeling – especially when they come in a compact, eight-inch frame. 

And this next section is going to tell you all about it! 

Power 

You can’t get that boom you’re after without power. However, here’s where it gets tricky: 

There are two aspects you need to keep an eye on here to determine how powerful the best 8-inch subwoofer is. 

RMS Power 

The power rating that matters is the RMS – the amount of power a subwoofer can handle continuously

Be sure to match the RMS rating to the amplifier, though. Your amp should be able to pump out 75 to 150 percent of the subwoofer power rating. 

Peak Power 

The peak power rating doesn’t equal its maximum capacity. It does, but not in the way you think it does. 

Allow me to clarify: 

Peak power does affect the subwoofers overall performance but to a limited degree. It shows you the maximum voltage that the unit can handle – but only in short bursts, for a limited amount of time. 

Sensitivity 

Besides the actual power, sensitivity is probably the second most crucial factor you should consider when buying subwoofers. More sensitivity ensures better output and sound quality using the same amount of power. 

The sensitivity indicates how efficient the subwoofer will be regarding converting power into output volume

Frequency Range 

A subwoofer frequency range is an indicator of its frequency limits – how high or low it can go sound-wise. If you want to get that super deep, booming bass, make sure that you pick a unit with the lowest possible frequency limit. 

Some of the best subwoofers typically have a lower limit in the 20 to 30 Hz range

Enclosure Type 

The type of enclosure plays a significant role in the subwoofer’s overall performance – mainly the volume

  • Sealed enclosure – one that doesn’t have any openings – produces a more controlled, deeper sound, but sacrifices some of the volume to achieve it. 

  • Ported enclosure – one that has one or more openings to ensure free airflow – can put out very high volumes, but sacrifices some of the sound clarity. 

Number of Voice Coils 

I’d say that the single voice coil subwoofers are a suitable fit for anyone looking for a quick and affordable solution to upgrading their audio system. Plus, they don’t necessarily skimp on the actual quality of the bass. 

Dual voice coil subwoofers, on the other hand, are something real audiophiles will appreciate. If you want to customize your audio system to get the best possible sound quality, dual voice coils are the way to go. 

Size 

The actual dimensions and size of the subwoofer can be a somewhat limiting factor in your future purchase. It’s essential that you know how much space you have available – and which subwoofer will be able to fit into it. 

The four most popular subwoofer sizes are 8, 10, 12, and 15 inches in diameter. 

Our focus today is on the most compact ones – the best 8-inch subwoofers – but I figured you’d be interested in knowing what else is out there.  

Impedance 

Since your music travels through your stereo system as an electrical signal, the speaker wire brings a specific resistance – impedance – into the circuit. 

All speakers have an electronic component called the resistor, and it’s rated in ohms – a measurement that tells you about the level of resistance it provides. 

Your stereo will probably have either a 4-ohm or a 2-ohm rating, but it all comes down to what works with your given amplifier. Each amplifier is designed to perform with a specific impedance.

Best 8-Inch Subwoofers

Listed below are my top nine picks for the best 8-inch subwoofers, so, let’s get this show on the road!

1. Pioneer TS-SWX2002

Pioneer TS-SWX2002 8"

Our Rating: 87/100

Considering that Pioneer is a world-renowned brand when it comes to audio systems, are you shocked to see their product on my round-up? 

Anyway, if you want something reliable, but compact, capable of pumping out larger-than-life bass, the TS-SWX2002 is it. 

The design 

The TS-SWX2002 is a shallow-mount subwoofer that measures 8.4 x 14.7 x 12.6 inches – enclosure and all – and weighs a mere 11.4 pounds. 

Besides being so compact, I also like that the enclosure boasts a fully carpeted finish. It gives it a much more resistant surface and makes it non-slip, too. 

Without changing its external dimensions, it boasts an oversized cone structure. The cone itself is constructed out of MICA injection-molded resin, making it rigid and highly durable. 

The Pioneer subwoofer also includes a dual spider, which ensures optimized stiffness and motion control regarding its linear movements. That makes resulting bass response more accurate – but more on that in a second. 

The performance 

With a 150-watt RMS rating and peak power of 600 watts, it’s not going to win any first prizes at audio competitions. It will, however, blow you away with the sound quality and bass it delivers. 

Remember what I said about the oversized cone? 

You’ll feel it pump out air – and you’ll feel it from head to toe. 

The frequency response covers the range of 20 to 250 Hz, which is perfect. You’ll get the lowest of lows – as far as your ears are concerned, anyway. 

However, the sensitivity rating falls at 86 dB. If you want your tunes thunder-level loud, it’s going to require some juice.

Pros

  • ​Features an oversized cone for enhanced bass response
  • Sturdy construction with a fully carpeted enclosure finish 
  • The frequency response range is 20 to 250 Hz

Cons

  • The sensitivity is somewhat limited at 86 dB

2. CT Sounds Meso 8 Inch Car Subwoofer

CT Sounds Meso 8 Inch Car Subwoofer

Our Rating: 86/100

CT Sounds have a reputation regarding quality and durability – and I was excited to see if Meso continued that tradition. 

And let me tell you something: 

If you want big, bad bass in a small frame, the CT Sounds Meso is your guy. 

The design 

Measuring 11 x 11 x 11 inches, this one’s far from being the most compact model on our list. However, it’s still relatively small compared to full-sized subwoofers, so, yes, it still counts as space-efficient

That said, it does weigh a massive 24 pounds

The construction combines a quality, double-stitched paper cone with a composite foam surround, and a super sturdy arm-styled aluminum basket frame. 

Inside, it packs dual 4-ohm, 2.5-inch-diameter voice coils, and a powerful, Y35-grade triple-stacked ferrite magnet.

I like the generally clean look and the somewhat stylish trim, too. 

All these elements work together to give it unmatched durability and ensure that it doesn’t get damaged or burn out in the process. 

The performance 

Eating up 800 watts like its nothing, and reaching peak performance of a massive 1600 watts, if there’s one thing this one doesn’t lack, it’s power. 

It’s no surprise that it delivers bass that genuinely sounds like thunder – tremendously loud and solid. It will rattle your windows, and chances are your body’s going to feel it thumping, too. 

And it does so without noticeable distortions, as well!

I said it once, and I’ll repeat it: 

When it comes to mind-boggling bass packed in a compact frame, you can’t go wrong with the CT Sound Meso.

Pros

  • ​Has a clean and relatively stylish look
  • Sturdy construction handles high-powered audio frequencies 
  • Outstanding bass that’s insanely loud and solid 
  • Very powerful with 800-watt RMS rating and 1600-watt peak performance

Cons

  • The enclosure has to be purchased separately 

3. American Bass 8" Competition Woofer

American Bass 8" Competition Woofer

Our Rating: 84/100

If you drive a smaller car, the chances are that you don’t have the space available to fit in a beast of a subwoofer. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have competition-level bass added to your car’s audio setup. The American Bass 8-inch Competition Woofer is here to prove it. 

The design 

The subwoofer measures 10 x 10 x 7.5 inches and weighs over 15 pounds. The weight wouldn’t come as a shock if we weren’t talking about the subwoofer only – not counting the enclosure

I’m willing to give it a pass, though, because the added weight does lend it a sturdy feel. 

Construction-wise, it features woven carbon Kevlar material in a golden hue, backed with a non-pressed paper cone. Added to that is a high-density foam surround that works to minimize vibrations.

The basket is constructed of cast aluminum, which adds a layer of protection to the internal components. 

The performance 

In terms of raw power, the American Bass is a slight step-down compared to the previous model. However, at 400 watts RMS, and with a peak power of 800 watts, it’s far from feeling underpowered. 

Let me tell you something: 

This thing hits hard! 

The bass is intense – and super loud, too. If I didn’t know it was an 8-inch subwoofer, it could’ve fooled me with the amount of sound it pumps out!

I do recommend using a sealed enclosure, rather than a ported one with this one, though. The latter would still work, but you’d probably miss out on a lot of low frequencies. 

Pros

  • ​Overall construction feels sturdy and well-made
  • Produces intense, loud bass for its small frame 
  • Rated at 400-watt RMS, but feels much more powerful 

Cons

  • It’s relatively heavy 
  • Struggles with frequencies below 30 Hz 

4. Rockville RW8CA 8" Under-Seat Active-Powered Car Subwoofer

Our Rating: 84/100

If you’re searching for an all-in-one product that will give you high-performing bass without taking up a lot of space in the process, the Rockville RW8CA might be what you’re after here. 

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? 

The design 

With a profile that measures only 2.7 inches in thickness, it will fit anywhere you want. 

It was designed to be user-friendly and easy-to-install, too, and the wiring is all clean and neat-looking. 

Despite its small frame, it packs quite a few features – including a built-in amplifier

The subwoofer uses auto turn-on technology on high-level inputs, sensing whether the audio signal is present or not – and acting accordingly. 

Another noteworthy aspect is the three-stage protection – thermal, overload, and short protection circuits. 

Lastly, all the controls and customizations are in your hands. Tweak the sound to your liking, and enjoy. 

The performance 

This model offers 150 watts of power, with 600 watts at its peak performance. More importantly, it’s one of the rare few slim, under-seat models that is CEA-2006-compliant

What makes it pop is the high sensitivity of 100 dB. It can get pretty loud without consuming insane amounts of power, making it an excellent energy-efficient option. 

The built-in subsonic filter is set at 29 Hz and filters out any frequencies that are too low for the average ear to detect. Plus, it comes with a bass boost option.

The result? 

It packs a tight punch, giving off a crisp and clean bass that’s bound to shake things up a bit.

Pros

  • ​Outstandingly compact profile for a subwoofer with a built-in amplifier
  • Allows customizations, including bass boost feature 
  • Auto turn-on technology and three-stage protection circuits 
  • The high sensitivity of 100 dB
  • Crisp and clean bass with noticeable vibrations 
  • CEA-2006-compliant 

Cons

  • The amplifier and the enclosure have to be purchased separately 

5. Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D2 8" Dual 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D2 8" 800 Watt Max Power Dual 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

Our Rating: 83/100

What you’re getting here is the Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D2 subwoofer only. I don’t want you to open the box and think: 

Where’s the rest of it?  

You’ll still need to buy an amplifier and an enclosure separately. 

The design 

Measuring 9.2 x 9.2 x 8 inches, it’s relatively small and compact – but don’t judge it based on size alone: 

All of its components work together to deliver a sound that goes well beyond its compact dimensions. 

Inside, it packs a competition-grade paper cone, an advanced cooling system, and a custom tooled basket

It’s polished off with a triple-stack ferrite motor, a chrome back-plate finish, and a rubbery foam surround. 

Also, you have the option to choose the type of enclosure you’d like to use. I’d say that’s an advantage in this case.

Pair it with a small enclosure, and have it fit in the cargo bed, backseat, or a small trunk.

The performance 

This Skar Audio model brings together a line up of performance-oriented features and takes the reproduction of low-end tones with confidence and authority. 

The dual 2-ohm voice coils are what allows it to channel as much power as possible from its 400-watt RMS. Its peak power, though, goes up to 800 watts

Packing that power, it’s no surprise that it pumps out deep and loud bass. It will blow your mind.

At the same time, the risk of overheating or blowing the voice coil is minimized, as well – you can crank up the volume and enjoy your tunes worry-free.

Pros

  • ​The 400-watt RMS with 800-watt peak power
  • Minimal risk of overheating or blowing the dual 2-ohm coils 
  • Incredibly powerful with an insane amount of bass

Cons

  • The amplifier and the enclosure have to be purchased separately 

6. Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Punch Series Car Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 8" Dual 2-Ohm Punch Series Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer

Our Rating: 82/100

Rockford Fosgate specializes in producing high-performance car speakers, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been a trusted name in the industry. 

Again, you’re only paying for the actual subwoofer here, which raises the question: 

Is it worth it? 

The design 

The Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 is a shallow-mount subwoofer that measures 9.8 x 9.8 x 5.3 inches. It’s compact, and it’s meant to fit either ported or sealed enclosures, ensuring a punchy bass even with limited depth. 

The entire Punch Series is about combining big bass with a stylish design. More importantly, everything feels well-made and sturdy. 

It features an aluminum cone and dust-cap, a diamond-cut cast aluminum ring, and a flexible M-Roll Santoprene surround. The spider venting with stitched tinsel leads is integrated into the StampCast basket.

The performance 

Seeing that it boasts a 150-watt RMS, with peak power of 300 watts, I was worried about it feeling slightly underpowered – especially when compared to the previous model. 

I’ll gladly admit that I was wrong. 

The dual 2-ohm voice coils offer flexibility and versatility regarding wiring and give you the option to hook it up to a low-impedance amplifier

Then, there’s the spider venting basket. It dissipates heat efficiently, meaning you’ll get hours of maxed-out-volume performance without overheating. 

Most importantly, though, it delivers a rich and deep bass – distortion-free. The tinsel leads can handle quite a bit of violent cone movements without ever showing signs of fatigue. 

You’re going to feel it thumping – in your ears and your entire body.

Pros

  • ​Dual 2-ohm voice coils give you wiring flexibility
  • Integrated spider venting minimizes the risk of overheating 
  • It looks and feels sturdy and durable 
  • Shallow-mount design works in depth-limited spaces 

Cons

  • Not exactly a budget-friendly option 

7. ​Alpine Electronics PWE-S8

best 8 inch subwoofers - Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer by Alpine

Our Rating: 79/100

If your main concern when shopping for the best 8-inch subwoofers is getting quality, rather than sheer volume, the JL Audio W1v3 is worth considering. 

Maybe it isn’t as high-powered as some other models you’ve seen today, but it shines where it matters most – sound quality. 

The design 

The subwoofer measures 6 x 9 x 9 inches, so it’s designed for compact enclosures

Design-wise, it features an injection-molded mica-filled polypropylene cone with a solid black finish and a rubber surround. That’s topped off with an aluminum dust-cap and a removable mounting flange trim ring. 

Also, it shares quite a few features of JL Audio’s top-of-the-line subwoofers. The three that I was most excited to see were the Floating Cone Attach Method and the Elevated Frame Cooling. The third one is their patented VRC – advanced audio processing system.

The performance 

The continuous power of 150 watts with peak power of 300 watts isn’t mind-blowing, but it gets the job done. 

This JL Audio model boasts a frequency response range of 25 to 250 Hz. It covers the fundamental range of human hearing to an acceptable degree and makes for a dramatic improvement in your car’s audio system, too. 

Its biggest downside is the somewhat low sensitivity rating of 84.8 dB. You can still get it to kick hard – but it’s going to require a lot more power. 

Speaking of kicking hard, the low-end reproduction on this is more than accurate. The bass is well-rounded and crisp and manages to avoid distortions – unless you push it beyond its limits, that is.

Pros

  • ​Rugged, durable aluminum construction
  • Compact design with built-in amplifier 
  • Side-panel controls allow for sound adjustments 
  • Rich and clear sound with plenty of bass 

Cons

  • The wiring harness is relatively short 
  • You might need expert help with installation 

8. ​JL Audio 8W1v3-4 W1v3 8-inch Subwoofer Driver

JL Audio 8W1v3-4 W1v3 8-inch Subwoofer Driver

Our Rating: 80/100

If your main concern when shopping for the best 8-inch subwoofers is getting quality, rather than sheer volume, the JL Audio W1v3 is worth considering. 

Maybe it isn’t as high-powered as some other models you’ve seen today, but it shines where it matters most – sound quality. 

The design 

The subwoofer measures 6 x 9 x 9 inches, so it’s designed for compact enclosures

Design-wise, it features an injection-molded mica-filled polypropylene cone with a solid black finish and a rubber surround. That’s topped off with an aluminum dust-cap and a removable mounting flange trim ring. 

Also, it shares quite a few features of JL Audio’s top-of-the-line subwoofers. The three that I was most excited to see were the Floating Cone Attach Method and the Elevated Frame Cooling. The third one is their patented VRC – advanced audio processing system.

The performance 

The continuous power of 150 watts with peak power of 300 watts isn’t mind-blowing, but it gets the job done. 

This JL Audio model boasts a frequency response range of 25 to 250 Hz. It covers the fundamental range of human hearing to an acceptable degree and makes for a dramatic improvement in your car’s audio system, too. 

Its biggest downside is the somewhat low sensitivity rating of 84.8 dB. You can still get it to kick hard – but it’s going to require a lot more power. 

Speaking of kicking hard, the low-end reproduction on this is more than accurate. The bass is well-rounded and crisp and manages to avoid distortions – unless you push it beyond its limits, that is.

Pros

  • ​Mica-filled polypropylene cone, rubber surround, and aluminum dust-cap
  • Shares some features of JL Audio’s top-of-the-line subwoofers 
  • Highly accurate low-end reproduction with minimal distortion 
  • The frequency response range is 25 to 250 Hz

Cons

  • A relatively low sensitivity rating 

9. ​Infinity Kappa 800W 8" Car Audio Subwoofer

best 8 inch speakers - Infinity Kappa 800W 8" 800 Watt Car Audio Subwoofer

Our Rating: 82/100

Okay, let’s finish strong with a reasonably-priced option coming from Infinity – the Kappa 8-inch subwoofer for your car’s stereo system. 

Extreme output, accuracy, and detail are what this one’s all about – you’ll see what I mean. 

The design 

The unit measures 10.6 x 10.5 x 7.2 inches, so only slightly larger than its competitors – but still in the relatively compact range. 

Construction is only one of its strong suits: 

The internal components are encased in a steel basket, giving it some much-needed sturdiness and durability. 

Furthermore, the rubber surround tends to the acoustically-damped fiberglass cone, ensuring that it’s adequately guarded, as well. 

Lastly, it employs an innovative, two-sided aero-cooling design – a unique feature among aftermarket subwoofers. The ducted air flow ensures that the voice coil stays cool at all times.

The performance 

The power it packs is quite impressive, with its RMS rating landing at 400 watts. Its maximum is outstanding, though, going up to 1600 watts at peak performance. 

All that power is backed up with a 34 to 200 Hz frequency response

The result is pure and robust sound with a remarkable amount of bass. It pumps out tunes in their most refined forms, handles arduous notes with ease, all while keeping distortion to a minimum. 

Here’s the cool part: 

The Kappa features Selectable Smart Impedance or SSI. That means that you can choose between 2-ohm and 4-ohm impedance with nothing but a flip of a switch. 

This feature alone will be a life-saver when it’s time for reconfigurations.

Pros

  • ​The RMS is 400 watts, and peak power is 1600 watts
  • Features a Selectable Smart Impedance switch 
  • Powerful sound, remarkable bass, and minimal distortion 
  • Solid construction with two-sided aero-cooling design

Cons

  • Features a single voice coil 

Best 8-inch Subwoofers – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best shallow-mount subwoofer?

A: The winner of this round-up – the Pioneer TS-SWX2002 – is an 8-inch subwoofer with a shallow-mount design. So, if you want the best shallow-mount sub, as you can imagine, our vote goes to this particular model. Scroll down below for details on Amazon!

Q: Which is better – 2-ohm or 4-ohm subs?

A: As pointed out previously, ohms are used as a measurement of impedance in subwoofers. If your search for the best 8-inch subwoofer comes down to a 2-ohm and a 4-ohm model, rest assured that, at the same wattage, the difference in sound quality will be minimal. The 4-ohm ones tend to be a more popular option, though, as they usually produce a somewhat softer sound – and cost less, too. Ultimately, though, it all comes down to what your amplifier can handle.

Q: What’s the difference between subwoofers and speakers?

A: Although both types fall under the category of loudspeakers, the main difference between the two comes down to their frequency range. As opposed to regular speakers, subwoofers (also known as „subs“ for short) are restricted to produce the lowest registers of the audio spectrum – low-pitched audio frequencies.

Q: What are component car speakers?

A: Our hearing range encompasses a broad spectrum of approximately 20 to 20,000 Hz. Component speakers are designed to break that up into smaller portions, where each of the components handles a dedicated piece of the range. Tweeters produce the highest frequencies, woofers produce the lowest – and everything in between is handled by mid-range speakers. Component speakers feature a single cone and one driver each.

After it's all said and done, we recommend:

Pioneer TS-SWX2002 8"

Why is it better?

  • ​Compact, shallow-mount design
  • Sturdy construction with a fully carpeted finish 
  • Oversized cone construction pumps out more air 
  • Frequency response range of 20 to 250 Hz 
  • Reasonably priced 
87/100
our score

All the models I’ve shown you today are all outstanding in their way – it all comes down to what you want to get out of your new subwoofer. As long as you follow my guidelines, I’m sure it’s going to be a relatively easy decision. 

That said, my vote goes to the Pioneer TS-SWX2002. All things considered, it truly is among the best 8-inch subwoofers I came across in recent years.

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