Best Budget Subwoofer – The Ultimate Guide To The Top Affordable Subwoofers

Best Budget Subwoofer - The Ultimate Guide To The Top Affordable Subwoofers

Best Budget Subwoofer - The Ultimate Guide To The Top Affordable Subwoofers

Shopping for a new subwoofer can be overwhelming at first - especially if you’re trying to find the best of the best at a budget-friendly price point.

With such a limitation, you want to make sure to purchase a subwoofer that falls into the best-value-for-price category. 

So, how is a novice sound enthusiast like yourself supposed to do that on your own?

The good news is, you’re not alone - I’m here to help! 

Even if this is not your first time searching for an affordable yet high-performance subwoofer to add to your home theater, don’t leave just yet. I’ve prepared a bunch of useful info that will surely help you make an informed decision. 

Let’s not waste any time - we're going straight to answering the burning question:

What is the best budget subwoofer?

In a hurry? After 23 Hours of Research, We Recommend:

MONOPRICE 12 INCH 150 WATT POWERED SUBWOOFER

Why they are the best?

  • Affordable price point
  • Several input options
  • Incredible bass response
  • A crossover filter for full range adjustments
  • 50 watts of RMS output with a 200 watts peak output
90/100
our score

sourses
28

RESEARCHED SOURCES

546

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

23

hours researching

32

products compared

Last Updated: January 1, 2022

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best headphones for classical music available for those who are interested in enjoying the classic  the best possible way. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best headphones for classical music currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Budget Subwoofer - Comparison Chart

Product

Driver Size

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency  Range

Our Rating

Current Price

Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer

12-inch

150/200 watts

50-250 Hz

90/100

Rockford Fosgate P300

12-inch 

300 watts 

35-150Hz 

88/100

Rockford Fosgate P300

8-inch 

50/100 watts 

28-200 Hz

86/100

Klipsch R-10SWi 10

10-inch 

150/300 watts

32-120 Hz

86/100

BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8 Inch Car Subwoofer

8-inch 

600 watts 

20-200 Hz

85/100

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

12-inch 

475 watts

25-200 Hz

85/100

Top 7 Best Budget Subwoofers That Will Rock Your World (But NOT Your Wallet)

MONOPRICE 12 INCH 150 WATT POWERED SUBWOOFER
Our Rating: 98/100

To earn the status of the best budget subwoofer, the subwoofer in question has to provide the absolute best value for money. 

A few prime examples fall into this category, but I've selected only one for you. Or should I say - the only one you'll need? 

If money is tight or you simply don't feel like spending more than a hundred bucks on a subwoofer but still want to get the best this amount can buy, you're going to love the Monoprice 12 inch powered subwoofer.  

The Design

This little guy lends an incredible bass sound to your sound system, and you will thoroughly enjoy adding it to your home theater.

Before we get to technical details, let's talk about the design of this subwoofer. Thanks to the simple yet attractive wood cabinet with a sleek black finish, I'm sure it'll fit nicely in whatever room you decide to put it in.

Also, with measurements of 17" x 17" x 16 7/8", you know it won't take up much space, so it's ideal for smaller rooms as well.

Oh, and it’s super versatile - it has several input options that ensure you can use the subwoofer with any stereo and speakers you might already have, as well as any 5.1 or greater amplifier system.

The Performance

Now, this is a powered subwoofer, which means it offers amazing sound quality. It features a frequency response range of 50 Hz to 250 Hz, with a low-pass crossover filter that can be adjusted through the full range. 

Thar's right - you get the full range for less than a hundred bucks!

Another great feature is that you can adjust the crossover filter with the gain and frequency knobs on the control panel. Besides the filter, you can also adjust the power output and balance of bass output for your stereo and surround speakers. 

Another notable thing about this Monoprice 12-inch sub is that it is capable of producing 150 watts of RMS power output with a 200 watts peak power output. The splitter for the subwoofer has a fantastic operating range of approximately 30 feet. 

Of course, the Monoprice subwoofer is not without flaws. I noticed that it tends to emanate a buzzing sound, no matter what volume level you keep it.

I believe it's pretty clear why this subwoofer made the top of the list - it satisfies many needs and won't break the bank.

Pros

  • Below $100
  • Several input options
  • Provides incredible sound
  • It’s a powered subwoofer
  • Has a low-pass crossover filter for full range adjustments
  • The frequency response range of 50 Hz to 250 Hz

Cons

  • A few complaints about buzzing sound
 Rockford Fosgate P300-12 P
Our Rating: 88/100

Even in the budget-friendly price range, we have the cheapest of the cheap and the premium choices. The Rockford Fosgate P300 12-inch sub is the latter.

Although it is more expensive than my first choice - and most others on the list - you won't regret investing a single penny into this subwoofer, and I'll tell you why.  

The Design

Not only is this subwoofer powerful, but it's also quite durable, thanks to the hard exterior that resists shakes and bumps.

That being said, this guy is not for everyone - not only due to its higher price point. If you can look past the steeper price, don't forget to consider how powerful this 12-inch sub is. 

It means it's perhaps not ideal for smaller rooms that don't require extremely high volumes.  

This subwoofer is a self-contained all-in-one solution, which means you only need to run power, ground, plus a signal from the source to get this baby running. 

It's the perfect choice if you need to add bass to your existing home theater system quickly or you want a hassle-free solution for separate amplifiers and subwoofers.

The Performance

This 12-inch subwoofer features a sealed enclosure and a gigantic 300-watt amplifier. Now you get why you need strong housing - it has to be able to handle this powerful subwoofer. 

I can't fail to mention the adjustable 12db/Octave low pass crossover, remote bass level control, and 0°/180° phase switch. 

Sweetening the deal, the Rockford Fosgate features a built-in adjustable bass EQ. That means you can easily adjust the bass without it turning into a complicated process. 

Admittedly, it was hard finding a flaw in this Rockford Fosgate subwoofer.

I have to note, though, that I've heard stories from a few people about their Rockford Fosgate being DOA. Not sure what exactly transpired there, but I figured it's worth mentioning. 

Pros

  • Powerful 300 watts amplifier
  • 12db/Octave low pass crossover
  • Built-in bass EQ
  • Easily connected to many sound systems
  • Very durable 12-inch sub

Cons

  • It’s not the most affordable unit
  • Not ideal for small rooms
Yamaha 8" 100W
Our Rating: 86/100

If a small space-friendly subwoofer is what you seek, make sure to check out this one by Yamaha.

The Design

This 8-inch subwoofer is one of those compact, super convenient units that work perfectly in small rooms. 

With the dimensions of 11.5 x 11.5 x 14 inches, you can tuck it away in any corner and even forget it's there - until you turn it on, that is. The simple all-black design will make it fit nicely with the rest of your speakers, so it doesn't stand out in a small space. 

The compact size is not the only great thing about this front-firing subwoofer, though. 

Just one thing: 

The 8 feet cable doesn't come included, so don't forget to check if you're getting it with your order or not.

The Performance

You can rest assured it will provide clear and tight bass with its Twisted Flare Port - an advanced, high-performance Yamaha bass technology that helps create a smooth airflow around the edge of the port. 

What you get with this Yamaha subwoofer is clear, accurate, low frequencies audio reproduction. 

The frequency response range on this little guy is between 28 Hz and 200 Hz, which means you get a pretty wide range of low and mid-tones. 

Plus, with the Yamaha Active Servo Technology II this subwoofer features, you can count on the tones to be even more accurate and tighter. 

Sure, its dynamic power is 100 watts, so it's not as powerful as some of the units mentioned so far - but don't dismiss it just yet. 

IMO, this 8-inch subwoofer is not made for large spaces that require super-powerful bass and extremely high volume. Its size and compactness make it perfect for small rooms. And these do just fine with 100W subwoofers. 

Some might consider this a downside. However, I don't see it as a shortcoming for the reasons listed above.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Features advanced Yamaha technologies
  • Produces clear and tight bass
  • Frequency range 28 Hz and 200 Hz

Cons

  • Not the most powerful one
Klipsch R-10SWi 10"
Our Rating: 86/100

If you like all things wireless, why not get a wireless subwoofer, as well? The Klipsch R-10SWi 10-inch sub is my top choice when it comes to wireless subs. 

Made by a well-known name in the speaker business, this subwoofer doesn't disappoint. I mean, these guys have been around since the 1940s, and their slogan is "Tell the neighbors we're not sorry." 

Need I say more?

I should warn you it's on the pricier side, but still quite budget-friendly - and an excellent value for money. So, it's definitely worth considering. 

The Design

For starters, I can't ignore the part about how aesthetically pleasing this 10-inch front-firing sub looks. The MDF cabinet with a brushed polymer veneer finish truly makes this subwoofer a contemporary piece that looks incredible in your home. 

This subwoofer was designed to be sturdy and durable without being bulky and unergonomic. The fact that it is a wireless subwoofer means, of course, it's convenient to carry around. Whether it's band practice or the backyard party, the Klipsch R-10SWi has your back.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that some parts of this 10-inch sub are not as top-notch quality one might expect. For instance, the wireless adapter male pin tends to be a bit flimsy. 

That being said, I think this minor flaw is just - well, a minor flaw.

You'll appreciate that it has a low pass crossover and phase control, plus a flexible, strong, and fully removable front grille. 

The Performance

This 10-inch front-firing subwoofer features an all-digital amplifier. It's Klipsch's special spun copper IMG woofer that provides immaculate sound. 

It might not hit the lowest of lows, but its 32-120 Hz frequency response and 150 watts of RMS power deliver clean, tight bass, nonetheless. 

Also, the 2.4GHz wireless Hi-Fi transmitter is pre-paired. That means you don't have to worry about establishing a connection. And speaking of pairing, I didn't experience any lag. 

Pros

  • It has everything a wireless subwoofer should have
  • Comes pre-paired
  • Made by an industry pioneer
  • Features a contemporary sleek design
  • Has an all-digital amplifier

Cons

  • A bit more expensive than others
  • Some complaints about flimsy parts
BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8
Our Rating: 85/100

Can you really call it a road trip if you don't play some road trip music? For the ultimate experience, you ought to seriously consider adding a subwoofer to your existing car speaker

The good news is they're pretty cheap - like this one by BOSS Audio Systems that costs next to nothing.  

The Design

The CXX8 car speaker features a cone made from polypropylene. Not only does this material provide incredible audio, but it also makes the cone quite durable.

This subwoofer also has voice coils - a 4-ohm voice coil, might I add - that can withstand very high temperatures. The voice coil also allows it to have longer play times with lower weights.

Also, the stamped basket absorbs and transfers much of the energy produced by the speaker. Its level of corrosion resistance is high, and it features excellent mechanical properties and high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Even more so, the manufacturer uses rubber for this speaker, which makes it supremely durable.

All in all, it's a sturdy 9" x 9" x 4.3" unit you'll be able to use for a long time.

The Performance

The maximum power of this budget subwoofer is 600-watt, which means you'll get a pretty high volume for your rides.

The resonant frequency is 49 Hz. Furthermore, it boasts 83 dB sensitivity and an impressive 600-watt power handling.

The BOSS CXX8 car subwoofer made it on my list as the best budget subwoofer for a car because it provides everything you could ask for - plus, it's super affordable.

The only thing that might count as a flaw is that the subwoofer can get pretty hot.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Durable cone
  • Maximum power is 600 watts
  • Provides great sound.
  • Features voice coils (4-ohm voice coil)

Cons

  • It tends to get hot at times
BIC America F12 12-Inch
Our Rating: 85/100

For half a decade, BIC America has been a go-to brand for top music engineers everywhere.

Although it has built its reputation around mid-range and high-frequency sound games, this company continues to deliver on the trust it's built up with the low frequencies, as well.

The Design

I have to say it is kind of bulky, so it might not fit into smaller rooms. Then again, this kind of powerful subwoofer belongs in a larger room, anyway, where its dimensions (21 x 19 x 22 inches) and high volume don't take up much space.

BIC America is a reputable, top-tier brand - and their products don't come as cheap as some other brands. The same goes for this subwoofer.

That being said, I believe that the price is in the budget range considering the guaranteed level of quality you get from BIC America.

The Performance

The BIC America F12 subwoofer is a 12-inch, 475-watt front-firing subwoofer is engineered by BASH Technology and designed with an injected molded long-throw woofer.

You can forget about port noise thanks to the patented BIC Venturl Vent.

I love the fact that this subwoofer is packed with features, such as high-level inputs, adjustable crossover, adjustable signal sensing, adjustable volume control, plus Dolby Pro-Logic and Dolby Digital DTS/inputs.

With a frequency response of 25 to 250 HZ, this subwoofer provides a range of low frequencies and mid-tones with super clear audio.

The built-in amplifier power of 475-watt Dynamic Peak (150 watts RMS continuous power) is powerful enough to provide high volume. Also, it has an output capability of up to 116dB.

We're talking live rock band levels here.

Pros

  • Excellent frequency response
  • Powerful amplifier
  • Produces clear sound
  • Made by a trustworthy brand
  • Great for large spaces

Cons

  • A bit more expensive compared to others
Polk Audio Psw10 Subwoofer Review
Our Rating: 84/100

Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer is a great addition to any music system. You can easily connect it to any audio system as it includes a professional-grade line, speaker-level outputs, and speaker-level inputs. 

The Design

If you plan to put this subwoofer in your living space, you will be pleased to know it will fit perfectly with any existing audio system - and not just integration-wise.

The all-black design with the sleek detachable grille on the front will make sure the Polk Audio PSW10 blends with the rest of the speakers in your home theater!

This subwoofer is a perfect solution for a mid-sized room, although it could also work in smaller spaces.

I have to warn you - this is not the most durable subwoofer out there

The Performance

Things are always under control with the Polk Audio PSW10 subwoofer due to the fact it includes an intelligent sensing circuitry system that automatically turns itself on and off.

What about actual power, though? The amplifier has 100 watts of dynamic power and 50 watts of RMS continuous power.

Furthermore, it features the frequency response of 40 Hz to 160 Hz and the continuously variable 80-160 Hz crossover.

The sound this 10-inch sub produces is distortion-free, so you can enjoy it whether you're playing your favorite music or watching a thrilling action movie. 

In any case, your audio system can relax a bit and let the Polk audio PSW10 10-inch sub take care of the bass!

Pros

  • Features a smart sensing circuitry system
  • Works for small spaces
  • Easy to integrate with any sound system
  • Provides distortion-free sounds
  • 100-watt dynamic power and 50- watt RMS
  • Frequency range 40 Hz to 160 Hz

Cons

  • Not very durable

What To Consider Before You Choose A Budget Subwoofer?

A BEGINNER FRIENDLY GUIDE ON HOW TO FIX A BLOWN SUBWOOFER

Considering that you're on a limited budget, it’s crucial to think carefully about your needs - and every single thing that affects the quality and overall experience. 

The low-end price range offers some of the best subwoofers for your home theater; you just need to know how to pick one.

Here are a few things you have to ponder before spending your hard-earned money.

Size

Size doesn’t matter - usually, that is. But in this case, it certainly does. 

It’s simple physics:

Larger subs have larger drivers; therefore, they pump out more bass. 

That being said, they are harder to fit into tight spots.

So, ask yourself how much output do you need? Do you need to fill a large room with impactful, deep bass sound, or will a smaller sub do the job?

That is important because you don’t want to be stuck with a large sub that takes plenty of space in a tiny room - and provides bass that's too deep for such a small space, anyway. On the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice the output by getting a smaller sub when you could've gone for a larger, more powerful one. 

Consider what you will use the sub for - music and movies in your living room or parties with speakers in the open-space backyard? How deep should "deep bass" be in your case?

The good news is:

You can find the best subwoofers for a reasonable price, no matter the purpose or size.

Passive vs. Powered Subwoofer

Another thing to be aware of is that there are two types of subs - passive and powered.

Passive subs require an external amplifier to work, and they're way less popular and common than powered subwoofers.

The great thing about the powered subs is that they come with a built-in amplifier. So, they don't need an external power source to work. They're much more convenient and absolutely hassle-free. All you should do is connect the sub to the main speakers - and that's pretty much it. 

Front-Firing vs. Down-Firing Subwoofer

Once you’ve decided to go with a powered sub, the next step is to make up your mind on the following - do you want a front-firing or a down-firing subwoofer?

Truthfully, the differences between these two are not very prominent. 

They do play a significant role in placement, though. Namely, the way you plan to position your new subwoofer will be the deciding factor when making this decision. 

A front-firing subwoofer is an ideal choice in case you want to place the sub close to the main speakers - or underneath the TV. 

On the other hand, if your plan is to place it further away from the main speakers, you could go with a down-firing sub. These also work great in case you want to put the subwoofer in a corner. 

Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofer

One of the factors that will change your overall sound experience is whether you choose a ported or a sealed sub.

What’s the difference, you might ask?

Well, the vital difference between the two is that the sealed subs are completely closed, meaning there are no openings to the interior, whereas the ported subs have one or more openings that allow free airflow. That results in huge differences in the overall volume. 

A sealed subwoofer offers a more controlled sound while sacrificing a bit of the overall volume due to its sealed construction. 

If you’re more of a volume over sound clarity type, then a ported subwoofer is the right choice for you as it offers much higher volume - but with the sacrifice of sound quality. 

Which one you’ll choose also depends on the size of the room where you plan to put it:

If you have a small room and your goal is to avoid conflict with your neighbors, a clever choice would be a sealed subwoofer. The plus side is you get more sound quality. If the space in question is large, a ported subwoofer is what you seek.

Wattage

Wattage is a measure of electrical power - it tells the amplifier’s energy capability. It is the range of the subwoofer within which the sub will provide the best bass response without any distortion.

Wattage brings up a few questions when you have to decide on which subwoofer to buy. 

Let’s say you have two subwoofers with RMS (the continuous wattage that the amplifier is capable of putting on for long intervals), one with a peak of 1000-2000-watt power and another one with a 2000-3000 watt range.

What exactly is the main difference between the two?

The answer is in the nature of the bass. 

Since bass requires a lot of energy, the wattage is directly proportional to the quality of the bass that the subwoofer can offer. It’s simple - the higher the wattage, the more energy and the better quality of the bass. 

Subwoofers usually boast anywhere from 50 to 250 watts, all the way to 475+ W.

Wired vs. Wireless Subwoofers

That is another factor that’s entirely up to you and your preferences. 

If you want the one that's easier to use, take the wireless route as these come with an easy plug-and-play setup. However, if you need the best sound quality, go with the wired ones. 

Warranty

Don't forget to check how many years of warranty you get from the manufacturer.

Even though these subwoofers are in the low-end price range, they still cost a couple of hundred dollars, so you want to make sure you get at least one year warranty for your new sub.

Fortunately, most of the companies offer more than one year warranty.


FAQ

Q: What is a subwoofer?

A: In simple terms, a subwoofer is a speaker specifically designed to reproduce bass frequencies. The bass frequencies range between 20 Hz and 125 Hz, and they tend to be pretty distorted, so you want to keep them natural and realistic. That’s where a subwoofer comes in. 

If you want to add a powerful bass and great sound to your home theater setup and enjoy music - or movies - like never before, your speakers system needs a high-quality subwoofer.

The bass response you'll get depends on many factors, so you have to explore various subwoofers until you find one that fits your home theater setup best.

Q: Do I absolutely need a subwoofer?

A: Well, technically, no, you don’t. For most home audio setup purposes, you don’t necessarily need a subwoofer; your regular speaker probably can do the job. 

However, having a sub will add a surprising amount of quality and depth to your listening experience. 

Of course, there are plenty of speakers and sound systems that sound great without a subwoofer - but adding a subwoofer to your home theater will definitely make it sound better. 

Q: Can't I just crank up the bass on my regular speakers?

A: You could do this, but the crucial thing to be aware of is that subwoofers operate within different frequencies. If you just turn up the bass, you’re not doing any favors to your equipment - or your eardrums - by drowning out every other audible frequency. 

The purpose of subwoofers is to make the bass in your audio more noticeable by broadcasting in a lower frequency band. 

The broad range of frequencies provides the ultimate overall audio experience, giving you low, mid, and high tones without distortions and unnecessary strain on your equipment and eardrums.

Q: Where is the best place to put your subwoofer?

A: Considering that surround sound systems have placement criteria that maximize their performance, it’s only natural to ask whether it’s the same case with subwoofers. The truth is, subwoofers are a little different. 

If you don’t already have a spot for your subwoofer, the easiest way to decide where it will sound the best would be to test it in different placement areas - until you find the perfect spot to up its performance.

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

MONOPRICE 12 INCH 150 WATT POWERED SUBWOOFER

Why they are the best?

  • Affordable price point
  • Several input options
  • Incredible bass response
  • A crossover filter for full range adjustments
  • 50 watts of RMS output with a 200 watts peak output
90/100
our score

Check Latest Price

There you have it - the final list of the best budget subwoofers. I know what you're thinking - choosing the best budget subwoofer has never been easier, huh? I totally agree.

And to tell you the truth, you can't go wrong with any of them; just make sure to purchase one based on your needs.

Which one are you going to get your hands on? Let me know! 

How To Hook Up Your Car Subwoofer To A Home Stereo – A Step-By-Step Guide

car subwoofer

How To Hook Up Your Car Subwoofer To A Home Stereo - A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you thinking about putting that one extra car subwoofer to good use? Why not hook it up to a home stereo!

Connecting a car sub to your home stereo is not a bad idea at all - it’s a great way to get better sound quality on your home system.

However, it’s not a simple process; you have to follow a few steps to get it done. Don’t let this discourage you as it is totally doable, and the steps are pretty straightforward - or at least will be, after you peruse this guide on how to hook up your car subwoofer to a home stereo. 

Roll up your sleeves, and let’s get straight to it!

Can you hook up a car subwoofer to a home stereo?

Well, the quick answer would be - it depends. 

For one thing, you wouldn’t be here reading this guide if it weren’t possible. That being said, there are a few restrictions when it comes to hooking up a car sub to a home stereo. 

Before you try to do it, you have to grasp a few basic things first. And don’t just glance at this part, as it’s pretty vital unless you want to damage your home receiver or amplifier. 

Here’s the gist - you can hook it up directly if:

  • Your home stereo or amplifier can handle 4-ohm speakers. This is not likely to be true, but for the sake of thoroughly answering the question, it has to be stated.
  • You use workarounds - a small 4-ohm amp between the receiver and sub. 
  • You have a subwoofer(s) that can be wired for 8 ohms total. More precisely, they can be wired for 8 ohms total AT LEAST. It can be two 4 ohm subwoofers or one 4 ohm DVC (dual voice coil) subwoofer:

If you’re wondering - “Why can’t I use a 4 or 2-ohm car sub with a home stereo?” 

Here’s why:

The biggest obstacle you’ll encounter here is that most home stereos and home amplifiers cannot handle the 4-ohm speaker load of car subs. 

Just like car stereos and car amplifiers, home stereos also feature a minimum speaker load (expressed in ohms) that they can handle.

You have to avoid connecting a speaker with an impedance that’s too low for your home stereo amp or receiver. Doing so can result in overheating and potential long-term damage to your appliance as it will try to produce more electrical current than it’s designed to. 

Why is matching speaker impedance so important?

You want to match the impedance - not go above, and certainly not go below. 

As you can see from the diagram, if your speaker is over the rated ohm spec, it will work (safely), BUT you sacrifice the quality of delivered power and the volume. 

This is not as bad as going below the rated ohm load. That is quite dangerous, and IT WON’T WORK.

Subwoofer passive speaker crossover

Another thing you’ll likely need but have possibly overlooked is utilizing a speaker crossover for clear bass. 

When you use a car subwoofer in the car as intended, you don’t have to think about this, as car subs are typically used with a car amplifier that has a built-in low-pass crossover. 

Albeit sometimes they have a subwoofer RCA output jack, oftentimes, this is not the case with home stereos. 

It boils down to this: If you want clear bass, you’ll have to hook up a subwoofer speaker crossover between the sub and the stereo in order to block high-frequency sounds that subwoofers can’t play well. 

That is if you’re not so lucky as to already possess a receiver or a home amp with a built-in low-pass crossover.

If not, you’ll want to hook one up. Otherwise, you risk hearing vocals and other sounds from the car subwoofer that you probably don’t want to hear. 

How to connect a car subwoofer to a home stereo

Does the total ohms load meet the requirements? Great! Now you can begin to hook up your car subwoofer to your home stereo. 

Here are the essential steps - just stick to them, and the whole process should be a piece of cake. 

Step #1 - Control the power

So, here’s the thing. One of the concerns with this DIY hooking up project is frying your subwoofer by running it on 110 volts when it’s made to run on 12 volts generated by your car’s battery. 

This means you’ll need to get a power inverter that will allow you to control the power. You should get an inverter that’s capable of converting 12 volts and has two plugs - one for the woofer and one for the wall outlet. 

Did you already get your hands on a power inverter? You can skip to step number two and have a little patience, as plugging is actually the last step. 

Step #2 - Connect the car subwoofer to the car amplifier

The next step includes taking a twelve or sixteen-gauge speaker wire. This one depends on the model of your car subwoofer, so make sure to check the specifications and use the right one. 

You’ll have to connect the subwoofer and amplifier to the wires. The wires connect to the brackets underneath the terminals of the appliances. 

Don’t forget that red wires must be twisted with red wires, and the dark ones must be twisted with dark wires (you might need to strip the wires first).

Step #3 - Connect the car subwoofer to the home amplifier

You will need to pair red wires with red wires and white wires with white wires for this next step. This step requires you to connect the wires to the input terminals of the car’s audio subwoofer before you connect it to the output terminals of your home amp. 

Step #4 - Connect your other speakers

It’s time to connect the remaining speakers in the home system. For an extremely powerful surround sound experience, put two speakers on your left, two on your right, and one in the center. 

If possible, make use of the RCA wires to connect these to the main amp.

Step #5 - Plug in the power inverter

It’s time for plugging! As mentioned in the first step, the last step is usually plugging. 

You need to plug the subwoofer into the power inverter and then connect the inverter to the outlet on your wall. 

Now, play some music and enjoy the sound. 


FAQ

Q: Are there any disadvantages to using a car subwoofer at home?

A: The idea of hooking up your car subwoofer to your home stereo really does sound intriguing, but is this little DIY project without flaws? Certainly not. 

Namely, there are a couple of things to keep in mind as the possible downsides of doing this. 

The first thing is that if you make a mistake, there could be serious consequences. For instance, if you do something wrong, you risk blowing your entire equipment. As mentioned earlier, a mistake could lead to overheating and permanent damage, so don’t take this warning lightly. 

If it comes to it, don’t sweat it - peruse this helpful guide on how to fix a blown subwoofer. It’s beginner-friendly!

The second downside is that you have to cough up a certain amount of money to perform this successfully. 

When you add up all the expenses, this adventure could end up costing almost as much as fairly used home subwoofers

Q: Will a subwoofer work without an amp?

A: The answer to this one is pretty straightforward - no, the sub won’t work without an amp. Or, to rephrase it, it won’t work properly. You need an amplified speaker output in order for it to sound and work alright. 

Q: What if my receiver doesn’t have a subwoofer or other RCA outputs?

A: In this case, you can use a line-level converter. They are typically used for factory-installed car stereos. 

Make sure to use a high-quality one that has adjustable output level dials, so you don’t encounter a problem with signal levels.

A few options for line-level converters to use in order to get an RCA low-level signal from a home stereo that doesn’t have subwoofer RCA outputs: 

You connect a converter just as you would a speaker - to unused speaker outputs or alongside speakers already in use. 

Q: What is the difference between a car and a home subwoofer?

A: Essentially, the main difference is in the way you power them. Home subs are active subwoofers - they’re plugged into sockets and use electricity for power, whereas car subwoofers are known as passive subwoofers, meaning they’re wired into an external amplifier that drives the speaker. 

Furthermore, home subwoofers are generally more efficient. The efficiency expresses how loud the speaker is at a given wattage power level.

It’s important to distinguish the differences between a car and a home sub, just to have a clearer picture of what you’re dealing with and potential issues that may come up. 


Conclusion

Hooking up your car subwoofers to your home stereo is not a bad idea. You get better sound quality at home, plus it makes quite an interesting DIY project. 

While there are a few risks associated with this process, if you stick to the steps and advice mentioned above, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t go smoothly. Don’t be afraid to try it with all the necessary precautions in mind. 

If you’re the type of person that spends the same amount of time in your vehicle as you do in your home, and you’re used to subs in your car, why shouldn’t you get to enjoy them in the comfort of your home too? 


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


Common Problems, Symptoms, and Troubleshooting Steps for Car Stereos

Common Problems, Symptoms, and Troubleshooting Steps for Car Stereos

Common Problems, Symptoms, and Troubleshooting Steps for Car Stereos

A car stereo system is one of the most important features of a vehicle, and it goes a long way to make your drive more fun. 

Unfortunately, car stereos develop problems just like any other machines; and may prove difficult to solve, especially if you don’t know your way around a car’s electrical system. 

Various problems may arise, and these need to be addressed in good time before things get out of hand. 

This article considers the common problems that affect car stereo systems, their symptoms, and proposed solutions.

A car stereo system is one of the most important features of a vehicle, and it goes a long way to make your drive more fun. 

Unfortunately, car stereos develop problems just like any other machines; and may prove difficult to solve, especially if you don’t know your way around a car’s electrical system. 

Various problems may arise, and these need to be addressed in good time before things get out of hand. 

This article considers the common problems that affect car stereo systems, their symptoms, and proposed solutions.

No Power to Radio/Radio not Functioning

Typically, the car radio may fail to work due to issues affecting the power sources or areas where the current is passing through. Wiring is an important part of the electrical system, and any problem with it can easily result in a car radio failure. 

This is because the radio is connected to the speakers and power source through wires, so any issues that arise in the wiring will cut off the supply of power to the radio. Furthermore, the car radio uses a fuse to avoid damage as a result of excess power. 

So, in case something happens to the fuse, the audio circuit is interrupted with no power getting to the radio. Another issue that may cause car radio failure is ground connector problems. 

No Power to Radio/Radio not Functioning

Some of the symptoms that could point to the loss of power to the radio include the car radio display, as well as the sound, going off simultaneously. This may mean the power getting to the head unit is inadequate. Sometimes the radio keeps on turning off at irregular intervals which is normally a sign of ground connection or power connection problems. 

In some cases, the radio may turn off whenever you drive over a bump or negotiate a corner or the radio fails to turn on entirely. The problem here could be that there is a loose connector at the back of the head unit or a blown fuse/ wiring issue respectively. 

Some possible solutions to this would be to check, using the multimeter, whether the fuse is blown. If the fuse is blown, there will be no ohm reading on the multimeter when you touch the metal caps on the fuse. But if there is a reading, then the problem might be somewhere else.

You can also examine the wiring to check if there are any problems. The ground connection is another area to watch out for. In case of any rust or looseness in the ground connection, you’ll need to fix this to get the radio working normally.

No Bass Coming from the Speakers

This is a common problem that arises when you try to upgrade the factory speakers or replace them with new aftermarket speakers. Usually, the bass sound is produced when the speakers push air simultaneously. However, sometimes one speaker pushes air as the other pulls air, leading to a lack of bass. 

This may happen if the speakers are out of polarity. Another thing that may cause the bass to disappear is when the aftermarket speakers are harder and heavier than the factory speakers. You can tell you have this problem on your stereo when the bass is not produced no matter how high you turn the volume. 

No Bass Coming from the Speakers

To diagnose this issue, start by checking whether the wiring from the speakers to the head unit and stereo is correct. In essence, the speaker’s positive terminal needs to be connected to the positive terminal of the other component and the same is true for the negative terminal. 

Another solution you might try out is to install a more powerful external amplifier, to power the subwoofers in your car. It may be that the current amplifier you have installed is not powerful enough, which will result in the subs producing negligible base. 

Bad Sound Quality After Installing Aftermarket Products

If the quality of sound from your newly installed aftermarket speakers is not what you expected, then it’s possible that they are positioned wrongly in the car. Failing to consider the placement of a speaker during installation may undermine the eventual sound quality. 

The same applies if you use the wrong techniques to install the speakers. Another reason could be the application of incompatible aftermarket products. Remember that most OEM systems are configured to have compatible parts. 

For instance, if you install an aftermarket head unit that is compatible with the OEM speakers, the sound quality may not be up to standard. Lastly, the replacement speakers may also be of low quality and offer no additional value when compared to the factory speakers. 

Bad Sound Quality After Installing Aftermarket Products

If positioning is the reason why your car's stereo sound quality is underwhelming, then try to do some research on the best placement and make the necessary adjustments. If you can’t make any headway, then you might have to find a professional technician to properly set up the speakers for you. 

Unwanted Noise from the Car Stereo System

There are a couple of reasons for this problem. For one, the issue could be in the head unit. If the head unit has power cables passing close to the RCA cable, you might hear an unusual noise when the car stereo is playing. This noise may also be heard if you used low-quality power cables in the system.

The second reason could be a problem with the amplifier. A clipping noise heard when the radio is playing is an indication of a faulty amplifier. This happens when the power coming from the amp is insufficient. Also, the clipping sound may be clear if the wires connected to the amplifier are damaged or burnt.            

Another cause for unusual stereo noise is ground loops. This refers to a case whereby the car stereo system is grounded at two distinct points. It usually results in a different current flow being introduced, leading to interference and the subsequent noise in the audio system. 

Unwanted Noise from the Car Stereo System

Other sources of the problem include an alternator wine, which is evident when the rpm of the car fluctuates. The noise increases as the rpm of the car increases and vice versa.  Furthermore, as the speaker gets old, it tends to crackle and the crackling also happens due to low-quality inputs such as the CD and auxiliary. 

To resolve the issue you first need to figure out the source of the noise. Once you track down the source, solving the problem gets much easier. If the head unit is where the issue is, check the power cables and ensure that they are around 18” from the RCA cables. Alternatively, you can use shielded cables for protection against induced noise. 

For the amplifier, you want to upgrade to a model with a higher power rating to ensure that enough power is supplied to the speakers. 

Ground loops are solved by getting rid of one of the grounding paths to leave a single grounding location for the stereo system. 

The solution for an alternator wine may compel you to change the alternator while the crackling of speakers due to old age will require a new set of speakers. 

Unwanted Noise from the Car Stereo System

Stereo Sound Suddenly Cuts Off

Sound interruptions are a common occurrence when the amplifier overheats or when a speaker wire gets loose. Amplifiers tend to generate a lot of heat and this is enhanced when the stereo is playing at a high volume for a sustained period. 

This problem is mainly signified by the car speaker suddenly cutting off without warning and coming back up after a short time. 

The best way to solve this to ensure that there is enough airflow where the amplifier is. This will help to cool down the machine so as to prevent unexpected sound cut-offs. Another solution is to check the speakers to ensure that all the wires are properly and firmly connected. 

Stereo Sound Suddenly Cuts Off

No Power to the Head Unit

If the power is not getting to your car’s head unit, the alternator may have a problem. This is because as the vehicle ages, it gradually loses the ability to perform to its original capacity. In this case, the stereo system might be depending on the battery power to function. 

So, if the battery ends up getting completely drained, the head unit automatically loses power and shuts down. 

Another possible reason behind this is a blown fuse. To check whether this is the case, you will need a multimeter to test it. If the fuse is truly blown, it will not post any reading on the multimeter when it's tested. For those who can’t access a multimeter, you might be able to tell if the fuse is blown by simply looking at it, although this is not very reliable.

No Power to the Head Unit

Also, you should examine the fuse to see whether it’s functioning properly or whether it is blown. If it’s dead, you will need to get a replacement ASAP. Depending on the model of the car you’re driving, the fuse might be located in different areas of your car. While some have the fuse fitted around the dashboard area, others have it behind the radio. 

Car Stereo Overheating

It’s not only the amplifier that overheats in a car stereo system; at times, even the stereo can struggle with excess heat. In most cases, the likely reason behind this is faulty wiring. Sometimes, the stereo cables might have come into close contact with one another, and this can lead to overheating of the stereo.

Another reason for this is that there might be a burnt component in the system. The first way to solve this issue is to assess the wiring to reveal any problems. If any, fix them as necessary and use the appropriate cable gauge to avoid this stereo problem. 

In case of a burnt component in the car stereo system, consider replacing it so that the stereo functions normally. 

Car Stereo Overheating

Amplifier Cutting Off and On Repeatedly

If the amplifier keeps cutting off and coming back on repeatedly, the issue could potentially be poor amp grounding or loose power connection. At times, incorrect amp grounding may also result in a clipping sound in the speakers. 

If poor amp grounding is the cause of the amp malfunctioning, you need to redo the grounding properly. Remember to make sure that the grounding is done on a rust-free metallic surface to prevent similar problems. The connection should also be firm. 

Meanwhile, you need to examine the power connection to verify that there are no loose power cables. 

Conclusion

With the above tips in mind, you need not seek professional assistance  every time your car stereo develops a problem. Try to diagnose it on your own and use the suggested solution before you decide to waste a good sum on a professional technician. 

But if you’ve tried all there is to try and the car stereo issues persist, it might be time to leave it to the professionals. Just visit your local car repair center for a more accurate diagnosis and solution. 


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


How to Get Rid of Static Noise in Car Audio Speakers

HOW TO GET RID OF STATIC NOISE IN CAR AUDIO SPEAKERS

How to Get Rid of Static Noise in Car Audio Speakers

Are you getting tired of the static noise coming from your car speakers? Nothing messes up a driving experience more than turning on the radio, only to be met with a strange popping or crackling sound coming from your speakers. 

Whether you’ve just replaced the speakers or installed an amp, static noise in a car is a common stereo problem that can arise from a range of factors. 

Usually, this happens when an electrical field is introduced, which distorts the electric signals to produce unwanted noise. Luckily, the issue can be solved as long as you successfully track the source of the noise. 

This post tells you how you can get rid of static noise in your car speakers!

Step 1: Track Down the Source of the Noise

The first thing to do is find out where the static noise is coming from. You need to determine whether the issue is within the car radio, in built-in audio accessories such as the CD player, or from external accessories like an iPhone. You want to start by turning on the head unit then set it up in such a way that allows you to hear the static noise. 

If the noise only comes on when the engine is running and increases as the RPM of the car increases, then probably the problem is in the alternator. In most cases, this car speaker whine is repaired by installing some sort of noise filter. If the noise persists even with the engine off, try to note down the audio sources static noise could come from . 

Step 2: Examine your Patch Cables

The source of the noise may just come from the RCA patch cables. The cables connected to your car stereo components may be picking static noise. To check whether this is true, you want to unplug these cables from the amplifier before inserting the opposite ends of the spare patch cable into the right and left input jacks on the radio amp. 

Turn on the audio system and engine so that they are running simultaneously and listen to check whether the noise disappears. If it does, try reconnecting the cables to the amplifier and disconnecting them from the receiver. But if the noise persists, the static noise is coming from the patch cables. 

Audio Patch Cable

The solution here would be to re-route the cables so that they are separated from the power cable by 18” or more. Generally, most car owners tend to use inexpensive RCA cables to connect their audio components. The problem here is that these types of cables have no insulation, hence cannot deflect the noise in a body of a highly conductive vehicle. 

Generally, the level of static noise you hear in your car speakers will depend on the size of the loop area. This refers to the distance from the static noise center conductor to the outer shields multiplied by the cable length. In this case, you may want to consider replacing the cable with one that features a twisted pair design. 

This will result in a reduced loop area and subsequently less noise. In case the noise is coming from the patch cables, then there is a high likelihood that it is finding its way through the antenna. Try connecting the patch cables to the amp then disconnect your system antenna. If you notice the noise fading away, then installing an antenna noise suppressor may just work for you. 

This serves to filter the in-line between the antenna and the receiver, hence breaking the ground between the two. But if you plug off the antenna and the noise is still present; the source of the noise may be the main power cable. You may want to buy a thicker cable to fix this. 

Step 3: Retrieve the Receiver from the Dashboard as a Tape or CD is Playing

Sometimes, the static noise is radiated into the stereo system in what is referred to as radiated static noise. You want to try pulling the receiver off the dashboard when the CD is playing. If you do this and hear the noise fading, then there is no radiation of static noise into your vehicle’s stereo system. 

The issue can be remedied with the help of a magnetic shielding foil (Mu-metal). It works by shielding the receiver’s back or wrapping the component that may be radiating this static noise into your car system. 

Step 4: Turn Off the Sound System then Disconnect the Speakers Wires from the Amps

Another thing that can lead to strange noise in your car is speaker wires. To check whether this is the case, start by turning off the audio system then unplug the speaker wires off the amps. Turn on the car engine and if the noise doesn’t disappear, then maybe there’s radiation into the wires. Try shielding the wires using Mu-metal foil wrapping or repositioning them. 

Furthermore, make sure that the speaker wires are securely connected and that there are no breaks along the wireline. 

Step 5: Assess the Alternator and Car Battery

If you can still hear the noise even after trying to fix the wires, then the other source of the static noise could be in the car’s electrical system. In such a case, what you want to do is fill the battery of your car with fluid and see if it helps. If it doesn’t make a difference, you might want to get hold of a mechanic to take a look at the battery’s alternator. 

filling  the battery with fluid

Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0NH3yR7LG0

For an old car that hasn’t been turned down for a fairly extensive period, chances are the source of the unwanted static noise is the ignition. This will usually involve a tickling noise that tends to increase as the vehicle accelerates. You’ll want to tune-up your car using shielded carbon core spark plug wires, distributor cap, as well as resistor-type spark plugs. 

However, if you can still hear the static noise, then check your car’s ignition system in terms of grounding. Poor grounding may tick to other parts of the car such as the hood, exhaust system, or even the air conditioner. Try to ground any of the under-the-hood components to check whether the noise disappears. 

Step 6: Install a Noise Filter

If the strange static sound is connected to the engine, chances are you’ll hear a whining or clicking noise emanating from the speakers. Also, if you realize that the noise comes only when the car engine is running and increases as you increase the speed of your vehicle while driving, then possibly the issue is stemming from the alternator. 

Normally, the level of noise will vary depending on how fast the engine is running. Additionally, static noise could be due to poor grounding, hence you want to check that your ground wire is securely connected when you hear any static noise. 

In some cases, static noise in car speakers may be removed using a noise filter. Consider isolating the amp from the chassis by mounting one on the dashboard. If nothing changes, try using different kinds of patch cables. All in all, you need to track down the source of the noise to find the appropriate solution. Applying sound deadening materials can also be used as a way to dampen unwanted noise. 

Conclusion

Don’t allow static noise in your car speakers to take the joy out of your driving sessions. Various things may cause static noise, but with the right diagnosis, you can find a lasting solution for this. Use the step-by-step guide above to go about eliminating static noise in your car audio speakers


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


How to connect your Ipod to car radio

How to connect your Ipod to car radio

How to Connect your iPod to Car Stereo

You don’t have to spend a fortune on upgrading your car’s factory stereo just to enjoy listening to your iPod’s playlist. 

There are various methods you can use to connect your iPod to the car stereo system, although these will differ depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

The good thing is that you don’t need professional help to get this done; you can go about it all by yourself. This post looks at the different tips and tricks on how to connect your iPod to a car stereo.

Connecting via a 3.5mm Fm Transmitter

This is one of the easiest ways to listen to your iPod’s playlist through your car’s stereo. The first thing you want to do is plug the car stereo’s FM transmitter into your iPod’s headphone socket. 

Tune the car stereo into a different frequency from the one that is playing on the radio station then set the car transmitter to this very frequency. 

At this point, your music will be transmitted to the stereo. 

Transmitters typically come with programmable slots that allow you to save clear stations. This way, the music comes out clearly regardless of the location you’re in. 

Connecting via Bluetooth

If you’re driving a relatively new car model, it may come with wireless audio streaming capabilities. This allows you to connect to your iPod via Bluetooth without having to deal with the clutter of wires.

The first step is to activate your car stereo’s Bluetooth so that it’s discoverable on other Bluetooth devices. Your car user manual should provide you with all the specifics regarding this procedure. Usually, you should access the system “Menu” to find the Bluetooth option before moving to the “Wireless” or “iPod Options”

On the home screen of your iPod, open the folder named “Settings” then under “General”, select “Bluetooth” and click on the switch beside it. 

Select your stereo device when it shows under “Devices” and clicking on it should establish the connection between your car stereo and your iPod. 

At this point, you should be able to play your favorite songs and use your vehicle’s factory radio controls to adjust your iPod. 

Connecting via USB Input Jack

The newer car models in the market are fitted with a USB jack in the factory radio system. If your car falls under this category, you’ll be in a position to plug your iPod directly into the car’s factory radio USB input. 

Begin by connecting the USB cable. Use a USB charging cord (lightning cable) to connect your iPod to the vehicle’s factory USB input. 

Normally, the method enables information from your iPod to be visible on the car’s factory radio display. If you want, you can even charge the device directly via the USB input. 

One thing to note is that you should turn the iPod volume to maximum to allow for total control through the car’s interface.

How to connect your Ipod to car radio

Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZOd9lqmaZo

Connecting via Cassette Player Adapters

If your car has a cassette player, it might seem like the stereo system is out of date. However, you can still make a connection to your iPod with the help of a cassette player adapter. 

For this, you will need to get a cassette player adapter with a 3.5mm auxiliary plug. 

First, insert the adapter into the cassette player slot, the same way you would an actual cassette.

Plug the cable into the iPod to establish a connection, and you’ll be ready to start enjoying your music.

This method makes it possible for you to control the iPod through the radio panel; you want to turn the device volume to maximum!

Connecting via CD Changer/ Satellite Radio Adapters

This is a nice option if your car is equipped with a satellite radio antenna input or CD changer input. It can allow your iPod information to be displayed directly on the car’s radio display.

The first step is to purchase the adapter, but before you do this, remember to consult the car manual in advance to get the right kind of adapter. The stereo iPod adapter you buy should be determined by the model of your car, so be sure to look at the car manual for the best choice. 

The next thing is to install the iPod adapter. This is done by removing the car’s factory radio and replacing it with the iPod adapter. 

You should be able to access your iPod’s settings on the radio panel after a successful adapter installation. You’ll also be in a position to adjust the volume, as well as the settings via your car radio panel. 

Something to note is that these kinds of adapters need either a satellite radio antenna input or a CD changer input. 

Also, be sure to disconnect the car’s battery when uninstalling and installing the adapters to the car factory radio for your safety. Doing this with the cables still in your car when it’s running puts you at risk of electrocution. 

Connecting via CD Changer

Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jaCjQ4UALc

Connecting via 3.5mm Aux-in

This is probably the simplest way of establishing a connection between your iPod and the car stereo system. It is also compatible with all models of iPods in the market, which makes it suitable for most users. 

The only thing is that some cars have hidden AUX ports that you may not be able to make out easily. In some, the port is located in the center console, some in front of the system while others have it in the glove box. 

But older car models may not have this AUX port, especially those produced more than three to four years ago. Luckily, you can fit the car with an after-market stereo system to use this method of connection. 

The auxiliary, usually labeled “headphone jack” is a standard feature in most vehicle models today. Simply plug one end of the auxiliary cable into your iPod and the other end into your car’s AUX port to connect. 

Connecting via DVD A/V Cable Connection

If your car is fitted with a rear cabin DVD system connected to your factory radio, it is possible to buy an A/V cable set and use it to connect your iPod to the car’s stereo system. 

This also enables you to use the existing hardware in the car, and you will require a DVD A/V cable set with a 3.5mm plug to get started. 

Install the A/V connection by plugging the audio cables into the DVD entertainment system’s input jacks (A/V). 

Once connected, you can start enjoying listening to the songs on your iPod via the car stereo. 

If you’re not sure where to locate the manuals, refer to the car manual guide as these can vary between different models.

Conclusion

So, if you are dying to listen to the songs on your iPod while driving, any of the methods above will enable you to make the connection between your iPod and the car stereo system. 

This way, you can enjoy jamming to the hits on your playlist without the interruption of commercials as is the norm on FM stations.


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


Coaxial vs Component Speakers: What Are the Differences

Coaxial vs Component Speakers: What Are the Differences

Coaxial vs Component Speakers: What Are the Differences

Car speaker makers supply the market with different models of speakers, intending to cater to different listening tastes and different user preferences. As such, getting the ideal speakers for your vehicle will depend on how precisely you can determine your expectations as a listener and match them to the car speaker you’re considering.

One of the major dilemmas that many car owners face while buying car speakers is the choice between coaxial speakers and component speakers. This is a decision that requires a great background in each of these speaker models to get it right. 

So, what are the differences between coaxial and component speakers?

Coaxial Speakers

Coaxial or full-range speakers simply refer to a 2-way speaker system that is built into a single unit. These usually comprise a woofer, tweeter, and a simple crossover assembled into one piece. Coaxial speakers are a perfect upgrade on older and lower-quality speakers and are designed to fit in the same hole for faster and easier installation. 

Generally, they deliver better sound quality compared to single cone speakers and offer more price options. You can think of them as a compromise between low-quality single cone speakers and more advanced component speaker systems. 

Coaxial Speakers

Component Speakers

Component speakers are a more advanced system with separately mounted speakers. They employ an advanced crossover and are engineered to offer the highest sound quality. Component speakers are the next level of speakers above coaxial and generally offer a better sound performance. 

One good reason behind this is that they use better woofer and dome tweeter materials, as well as a superior speaker crossover. You may also find features like options for tweeter volume reduction, extra wiring configurations, and tweeter fusing to guard against overload on offer. 

COMPONENT SPEAKERS

Coaxial vs Component Speakers: What Are the Differences?

Now that you have a little background of what coaxial speakers and component speakers entail, let us look at the major differences between the two based on various parameters:

Crossover Differences

Component speakers feature more advanced crossovers compared to coaxial speakers. They employ two stages of sound filtering as opposed to the single used in coaxial. The implication is that you get more effective filtering of low frequency and mid-range sounds from the tweeter while the high-range sound is kept away from the woofer. 

On the other hand, coaxial speakers use a cheap capacitor, which is connected to the tweeter but nothing for the woofer. They use a low-quality crossover design, which relies on the assumption that most woofers stop producing high-frequency sounds naturally. 

While this may get the job done, the eventual sound quality is compromised to an extent. Overall, component speakers use an external crossover that is built for the specific speaker used and are constructed using higher-quality capacitors and inductors. 

That is why they excel at preventing undesirable sound frequencies from reaching drivers that are not suited for them. The result here is that you get better stereo clarity and lower distortion, which allows you to listen to the music just as it was meant to be heard! 

Sound Quality

Component speakers are preferred by many users for their better sound reproduction, which is a credit to the separate driver configuration. This allows them to separate different sound frequencies accurately across the spectrum. As a result, you get to enjoy a more powerful and precise bass from the woofer while the tweeter produces great high-frequencies for superior sound imaging. 

Meanwhile, coaxial speakers are not the best when it comes to stereo imaging, which can be explained by the single unit configuration. As much as they can handle all the sound frequencies in the spectrum, there is a degree of frequency interference. This is because the woofer is placed too close to the tweeter. 

Customization Capabilities

Typically, component speakers are made up of 2 tweeters, 2 woofers, and 2 crossovers. However, you may get some models with extra drivers such as subwoofers while more advanced designs of component speakers will even incorporate super-tweeters for the best sound reproduction. 

Thanks to all these drivers, you can achieve off-axis and on-axis response. For on-axis response, all you have to do is position the speakers to the face the listener to get better high-frequency sounds. For those who prefer more bass in their music, speakers are set to face away from the listener for a more off-axis sound response. 

When it comes to coaxial speakers, you don’t have much wriggle room as far as determining how your stereo looks and performs after installation. While these will fit effortlessly in many car models, all you get is a good sound upgrade and nothing more! 

2 tweeters, 2 woofers, and 2 crossovers

Ease of Installation

If you want to make the most of the benefits offered by component speakers, then you need to possess great technical skills for proper installation. Otherwise, be ready to spend a few bucks on a professional to carry out the installation for you. You may come across component speakers that enable you to mount the tweeter at the center of the woofer, which generally simplifies the installation process. 

Installing

But if you intend to mount the different drivers at different areas inside your car, then a greater deal of installation skills will be needed. This might force you to contract a professional technician and incur some extra expenses. 

The great thing about coaxial speakers is that installing them is a simple and straightforward process. Practically anybody with basic skills can mount them in a matter of minutes when all the right tools are available. There is only one input connection to deal with, as opposed to the three connections involved in component speakers. 

Price

Coaxial speakers are typically less expensive than their component counterparts. If your budget is relatively limited, two good reasons make coaxial speakers the better option for you. Firstly, these speakers are designed to save on time, space, and even costs.

Their configuration combines everything into a single unit, which greatly reduces the cost, and this also applies when it comes to the quality of materials used. Aside from spending less when buying, you also get to limit your budget during installation since you don’t require professional experience. 

On the other hand, component speakers come with a more advanced design that requires more time and better materials. This extra cost involved is passed down to the buyer, hence the higher price tag of component speakers. 

The other reason is that coaxial speakers will work just okay without amplifiers, which is not true for component speakers. If you want to get the most out of component speakers, then you need to throw an amplifier into the mix to complete the sound upgrade. 

Vehicle Fit

Generally, coaxial speakers are designed to replace the outgoing factory speakers in a car. They fit almost perfectly in the spaces left behind and this is why you see more coaxial speakers in vehicles than component speakers. 

Fitting

Due to space and installation needs, component speakers might prove to be a difficult fit in some vehicles. You have to conduct a great deal of due diligence beforehand to be sure that the component speakers you want to buy will fit your car. 

Component Vs Coaxial Speakers: Which is Better?

The shortest answer to this is that component speakers will be more suitable if you’re looking for the best sound quality, higher power handling, better woofer and tweeter technology options, as well as installation creativity. 

Meanwhile, coaxial speakers are the better option for those who simply want a sound upgrade without caring about super-crisp stereo, especially when working with a limited budget.

Conclusion

So, if you were wondering which one between coaxial and component speakers to install inside your car, we hope the article above lays bare the differences between the two and the unique pros and cons that each one of them offers. 

The market has speakers for just about anyone, but finding what best suits you comes down to finding the ideal audio reproduction for your kind of listening pleasure!


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers – 8, 10 And 12-Inch Subs Reviewed

JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers

JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers - 8, 10 And 12-Inch Subs Reviewed

Do you want to upgrade your car speakers and get that bass-booming effect that takes over your vehicle, but don’t know where to begin?

The answer is: right here & now!

Most car speakers do not reproduce bass well. And it’s needless to say that high-quality bass brings the whole listening experience to another level. Even if you’re not a rich bass junkie, you might want to consider upgrading this fraction of your car audio equipment.

It seems that powerful bass always requires large speakers. So, how do you implement it in a limited space on your car doors?

With shallow mount subwoofers that easily and snugly fit wherever you need them to.

When you crank up your speakers with one of the JL Audio shallow mount subwoofers, your ears will be graced.

But, in the sea of different models, which ones to get? No worries; here are JL Audio shallow mount subwoofers (8, 10 and 12-inch) subs reviewed for your convenience!

Last Updated: January 1, 2022

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers currently available on the market. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the suitable JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers. The FAQ has also been updated.

JL Audio Legacy

JL Audio came into existence in 1975. Today, it is one of the world’s most reputable audio vendors, side-by-side with Rockford Fosgate, Kicker, Pioneer, and others.

When you take a look at their assortment, it’s clear that they follow a simple philosophy: create superb products that contribute to a premium listening experience. Hence, their products are oftentimes a part of my top lists, and I believe that it won’t change any time sooner.

The JL Audio shallow mount subwoofers have multiple benefits for your car audio system:

  • Bolster the bass. As noted, this is the main purpose of subs - the bass undertone will be much deeper and pronounced when you install a sub.
  • Protect your speakers. Now, the importance of this factor is oftentimes overlooked. Your vehicle’s factory speakers can crack if you continue to push them at high vibrations and lower frequencies for a long time. Therefore, the subwoofers protect your OEM speakers from damage.
  • Fine-tune the sound. Controlling low frequencies does not only mean more powerful bass. It also means that subs channel those notes appropriately, which results in a much cleaner, crisp sound.

Current JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers
 – Comparison Table 

There’s no subwoofer formula that will tell you what size of the sub is perfect for you. But it’s easy to determine which one will work better. Just keep reading!

First, take a look at my top three picks or JL Audio shallow mount subwoofers:

Product

Size

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency  Range

Sensitivity

Our Rating

Current Price

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

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

8’’

Mounting depth: 3-⅞’’

150/300 watts

25-250 Hz

81.8 dB

90/100

JL Audio 10TW3-D4 10" 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin-Line Component Car Subwoofer

JL Audio 10TW3-D4 10

10’’


Mounting depth: 3-¼’’

125/400 watts

24-200 Hz

82.10 dN

94/100

JL Audio 12TW3-D4 12" 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin-Line Component Car Subwoofer

JL Audio 12TW3-D4 12

12’’


Mounting depth: 3-¼’’

200/400 watts

22-200 Hz

84.8 dB

92/100

8-Inch JL Audio Subs

This is the smallest size of subs that JL Audio produces, and also the cheapest one.

A rule of thumb is that smaller subs are less powerful than the bigger ones, which is oftentimes true. In that case, people sometimes use amplifiers to get the most of their capacity.

But reputable brands like JL Audio manage to pack a tremendous amount of features into their tiny size. Therefore, 8-inch JL subs can compare with many larger subwoofers from other companies.

Generally, 8-inch subs require less power to play (and vice-versa, give less power), so they are good for your car battery. This means that the whole system will be able to play at a consistent level without too much effort and/or drains.

Naturally, these are the most compact of the bunch, which implies you can mount them in more places than larger subwoofers. If space is the problem, definitely go for an 8-inch sub. They’ll fit into any factory location dedicated to your sub.

JL Audio 8W1v3-4 W1v3 8-inch Subwoofer Driver
- Best 8-Inch JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofer -

best sub under $200 - Yamaha 10" Powered Subwoofer
Our Rating: 90/100

Do not let the minuscule size fool you.

If you hear the bass coming from this JL Audio subwoofer, you’ll never guess that it’s coming from an 8-inch sub. That’s how powerful it is.

The Design

The miniature design does not mean that the JL Audio 8W13-4 is not durable; quite the contrary. The mica-filled cone is sturdy, and the nitrile-butylene rubber surround accounts for additional protection.

They call this design “Trickle Down Technology,” which is famous for its fine layering.

There are no grilles, and the speaker element will look great in your car’s interior, with the recognizable JL Audio logo in the middle, encircled by glossy highlights.

And owing to its compact size, it can fit anywhere without the need to drill additional holes or something like that. To get the most of its bass, you can add it to the dedicated space for speakers in your car doors, or you can use it as an underseat sub.

Technically, you could also put it in your trunk, but it’s less powerful than typical trunk subs.

The Performance

The numbers are pretty impressive for the size. It sports 150 Watts of RMS and 300 Watts of peak power, the frequency range is 25-250 Hz, and sensitivity is 84.8 dB. This is all above average for 8-inch subs.

But the real reason why it made it to the top 3 JL Audio shallow mount subs is how it performed.

It can produce high volume for hours, and what is more important, the sound and bass will remain stable and clear during the whole reproduction.

The 4-Ohm impedance is energy-saving at any volume control setting, which means this sub won’t significantly drain your car’s battery.

I found that it performs best in fast-paced genres with more BMP, such as techno, country, house, etc.

Pros

  • Easily mounted in tight spaces
  • Excellent replacement for OEM speakers
  • Clean sound
  • Affordable
  • Plenty of power for its size
  • Energy-efficient

Cons

  • Might not produce bass loud enough for some users who prefer a more powerful output
  • Aren’t waterproof

10-Inch JL Audio Subs

If there is a happy medium and the middle ground of subwoofers, then it is a 10-inch sub.

They are just the perfect size to fit them pretty much anywhere - say, as underseat subwoofers or in the doors - and yet, they can blast out more power than smaller ones.

These well-rounded subs bring your beats to life regardless of the genre. I tested it with jazz, pop, rock, metal, and techno, and it performed equally well.

In comparison to the smaller subwoofers, they produce more bass and perform better at lower frequencies.

Also, based on my considerable experience, I can attest that 10-inch subs are suitable for all kinds of vehicles, from smaller cars to trucks and SUVs.

Therefore, this size of shallow mount subwoofers does not really condition you to make any compromises, unlike the other two. It’s universal!

JL Audio 10TW3-D4 10" 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin-Line Component Car Subwoofer
- Best 10-Inch JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofer -

best subwoofers under 200 - budget pick is Polk Audio PSW10
Our Rating: 96/100

This 10-inch sub is a jack of all trades - AND a master of them all.

JL Audio has managed to produce a model that packs enough power while still staying among the most compact subs out there.

The Design

The JL Audio 10TW3 features the Concentric Tube Technology, which means that the suspension system supports the voice coil for the most durable build. Lucio Proni from JL Audio himself patented this system in 1996, and they have continued to implement it since.

Made of a cast alloy frame, this sub is virtually indestructible. It is enhanced with the rubber surround for smooth transitions.

The design also has the patented Floating Cone Attach Method, which adds to the flexibility of the sub, as you easily direct it toward any direction that you wish.

As there’s no pole vent, you can mount it really close to the wall of the enclosure.

The Performance

Overall, the JL 10TW3 delivered excellent bassy output and enhanced the volume.

The Xmax, aka how far the sub moves back and front when producing the bass wave, is 0.60 inch, which paints you a general picture of how it performs.

Due to the optimized DMA system, the air moves linearly, for complete control of the sound.

The sub can handle up to 200 Watts of continuous power, whereas the peak is 500 Watts.

Bright tones at both low and high frequencies (its range is 24-200 Hz) are distortionless with hard-hitting bass.

They do not come with a grille, but I also tried it out with a matching grille by JL Audio that you can purchase separately. 

The difference is minimal. The grille slightly enhances the clarity of the sound, but without it, the bass is louder. Plus, the sleek JL Audio logo really adds to the interior of your car.

Pros

  • Suitable for a variety of vehicle types
  • Clear sound
  • Best value for the price
  • Enhances the bass efficiently
  • Mounts in a breeze
  • Reliable performance

Cons

  • None here!

12-Inch JL Audio Subs

Is loud bass your jam? Then go for the 12-inch JL Audio subs.

Just keep in mind that it’ll be more difficult to mount them in your vehicle. 

You may need to drill additional holes, though the fact that they are shallow still saves up a bit of space. A good place to put your 12-inch subs is in the trunk, as it is spacious, and the power of the sub will be enough to fill the whole vehicle with deep bass.

Also, bigger subs have higher power outputs. What’s the potential problem? They may drain your car battery.

But if you have a large bass appetite, these are sure to satisfy it. 

Any frequency won’t be a hurdle. It will be able to pull off everything - from slow-paced blues beats to hard rock, though it’s not the best choice for fast genres because it takes more time to draw the power.

A pro tip: If your car speaker is factory or not very powerful, I suggest you stick to 8 or 10 inches. A 12-inch sub can seriously damage it, as it moves larger volumes of air than your OEM speaker can handle.

JL Audio 12TW3-D4 12" 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin-Line Component Car Subwoofer

- Best 12-Inch JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofer - 

BIC America F12 - #3 contender for the title "Best Subwoofer Under 200"
Our Rating: 92/100

If you are looking for a sub that will rise to the challenge of bringing bigger and heavier bass to your car, the JL Audio 12TW3-D4 is the one.

It exhibits unparalleled characteristics on numerous fronts.

The Design 

The all-black design never goes out of style, and JL Audio matched it with silver highlights and logo to make it look modern.

One of the most durable materials for the cones is the cast alloy frame, and JL used it for this model, too.

Another signature of theirs is the mica-filled cone with rubber surround. What they call a “Thin-line Technology” compresses the architecture of the JL Audio 12TW3-D4 so that it stays as compact as possible even though it’s larger.

Just like in the 10-inch JL Audio subs, the manufacturers utilized the revolutionary Floating Cone Attach System so that you can position them according to your preference.

The Performance

These are the subwoofers you turn to when you imagine that earth-shattering bass that will make your vehicle vibrate with each beat.

Due to the sensitivity of almost 85 dB, it will take a little more power, but it won’t easily distort the sound.

As it only possesses a single voice coil, it limits the number of additional wiring amps. But this is not a significant drawback, considering the fact that it sports a 4-Ohm impedance, which can accommodate a great variety of amplifiers.

Because of their size and power, they are the best candidates for trunk subwoofers.

But if you wish, you can fit them under a seat provided that you make a custom box for them. You’ll only need around 3.5 inches of depth at maximum, but keep in mind that its diameter is slightly bigger than a typical 12-inch sub, based on what I’ve seen.

Pros

  • Highly sensitive
  • Can play at high volumes for a long time
  • Low-profile
  • Sleek design
  • Powerful output
  • Sturdy build

Cons

  • Isn’t cost-efficient
  • Mounting in tight spaces can be an issue

JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofers: FAQ

Before you get yourself a JL Audio shallow mount, you might want to consider some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: Which shape of shallow mount subwoofer is best?

A: The round subwoofers reproduce the bass most effectively and precisely, though the shape isn’t the paramount factor that influences the sound quality. Other factors and specs are much more important.

So, if square or triangular subs won you over, you can give them a chance.

Q: Do shallow mount subwoofers sound good?

A: Yes, they do! Besides the compactness and affordability, shallow mount subwoofers are able to bring out the best of your sound. You will really hear the difference in the bass quality when you install one.

Final Words

My recommendation for the best bass for your buck is the JL Audio 10TW3-D4 10" 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin-Line Component Car Subwoofer. If you want to hit the perfect balance between the size and power, 10 inches is the way to go.

Of course, at other times, you may need something more compact, or you maybe want that extra bit of power. In that case, my recommendations are the JL Audio 8W1v3-4 W1v3 8-inch Subwoofer and JL Audio 12TW3-D4 12" 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin-Line Component Car Subwoofer, respectively.

One thing’s for sure: JL Audio shallow mount subwoofers will deliver a thunderstorm of bass to your vehicle, regardless of the size.

Best 6.5 Speakers – Upgrade Your Car Audio Equipment

Best 6.5 Speakers - Upgrade Your Car Audio Equipment

Today, we've prepared an article for all car audio enthusiasts out there!

Let's be real - the factory car audio system cannot satisfy audiophiles who enjoy the high-end sound, high volumes, and good bass. Luckily, there's plenty of excellent car speakers that can arm you with the full range of sound and frequencies that you deserve.

So, you've decided that 6.5 speakers are the correct size for your car - what now?

As usual, we're there to aid you in the process of finding the right model of speakers for you. After performing a gauntlet of tests, we've singled out the best 6.5 speakers to support your car audio system.

Let's get right into reviews!

In a hurry? After 30 Hours of Research (and driving), We Recommend:

After all the tests and comparison, these speakers are definitely the best 6.5 speakers you can currently get

Why it is better?

  • Outstanding bass quality
  • Drivers have great power handling
  • High-frequency range (up to 21,000 Hz )
  • 180 watts peak power (60 watts RMS)
  • Easy installation
96/100
our score

sourses
44

RESEARCHED SOURCES

511

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

30

hours researching

19

products compared

Last Updated: January 1, 2022

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best 6.5 speakers available for those who are interested in having high quality sound in their vehicle. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best 6.5 speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Subwoofers Under $200 – Comparison Table 

Product

Size

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency  Range

Sensitivity

Our Rating

Current Price

KICKER CS Series CSC65 6.5 Inch Car Audio Speaker

Best 6.5 speakers - KICKER CS Series CSC65 6.5 Inch Car Audio Speaker

Mounting Depth: 2- 3/8"

100/300 watts

40-20,000 Hz

90 dB

96/100

Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5" Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speakers

Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5

Mounting Depth: 2-3/16"

45/90 watts each

52-20,000 Hz

91 dB

91/100

Polk DB652 UltraMarine Dynamic Balance Coaxial Speakers, 6.5" - Pair

Polk DB652 UltraMarine Dynamic Balance Coaxial Speakers, 6.5

Mounting Depth: 2-5/8"

100/300 watts

40-22,000 Hz

92 dB

89/100

Pioneer TS-F1634R 6.5" 200W 2-Way Speakers

Pioneer TS-F1634R 6.5

Mounting Depth: 1-5/8"

25/200 watts

31-16,000 Hz

88 dB

84/100

JBL GX602 180W 6.5" 2-Way GX Series Coaxial Car Loudspeakers

JBL GX602 180W 6.5

Mounting Depth: 2.06"

60/180 watts

75-21,000 Hz

92 dB

85/100

Infinity Kappa 62IX 6.5" Coaxial Speaker System

Infinity Kappa 62IX 6.5

Mounting Depth: 2-1/16"

77/225 watts

45-25,000 Hz

95 dB

88/100

Pioneer TS-A1680F 6. 5" 4-Way 350 Watt Coaxial Car Speakers

Pioneer TS-A1680F 6. 5

Mounting Depth: 2- 3/8"

80/350 watts

36-25,000 Hz

88 dB

89/100

Skar Audio FSX65-4 300-Watt 6.5-Inch 4 Ohm MID-Range Loudspeakers - 2 Speakers

Skar Audio FSX65-4 300-Watt 6.5-Inch 4 Ohm MID-Range Loudspeakers - 2 Speakers

Mounting Depth: 2.26"

150/300W

100-8,000 Hz

92.5 dB

85/100

Best 6.5 Car Speakers: Detailed Reviews

Firstly, we were browsing for the best car speakers that seem to match their price tag and quality. Those 6.5 car speakers that made it through the first round were given in-depth testing in real-life conditions.

After all of that, we've curated the 6.5 car speakers list with reviews of the best products to replace your factory speakers.

The reviews below are all presented without any pink-colored eyeglasses, based on what our trained ear has caught during the testing period.

best sub under $200 - Yamaha 10" Powered Subwoofer
Our Rating: 96/100