Best 8-Inch Subwoofers In 2022: Reviewing Top Woofers On The Market

Best 8-Inch Subwoofers In 2022: Reviewing Top Woofers On The Market

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"
Pioneer TS-SWX2002 

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: October 2022

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 Subwoofer? 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 subwoofer

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

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" Car Subwoofer

Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D2 8

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 Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 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 Subwoofer

Best 8 inch subwoofers - Alpine Electronics PWE-S8

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 8-inch Subwoofer

JL Audio 8-inch Subwoofer

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

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 

Top 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.

Q: Are 8 inch subwoofers good for bass?

A: The best 8-inch subwoofers can produce good-sounding bass but are limited by their size. If you're looking for a sub that will give you the biggest bass boost, righteously thundering out the lowest frequencies, consider 10- or 12-inch subs.

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.

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! 


best 12 inch subwoofer: Top rated subs in 2022

Best 12-Inch Subwoofers in 2022 - POWER AND BASS IN ONE SPACIOUS PACKAGE

Having a great sound booming from your speakers usually requires some compromises. You may have the best setup in the world, but your 8-inch woofers will pack only so much punch.

Well, I have some extraordinary news to share with you.

If your rider has enough room to store a 12-inch sub, all of the compromises you need to make are practically out of the window.

But, as you can probably guess different woofers coming from different manufacturers also feature different qualities.

So, let us take a look at the  seven best entries currently on the market and try to find the best 12 inch subwoofer for your car.

In a hurry? The test winner after 32 hours of research:

best 12 inch subwoofer - Rockford Fosgate P3D4
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 

Why is it better?

  • Excellent build quality
  • High-quality sound
  • Versatile design
  • Rock-solid specs
  • Teeth-rattling bass
90/100
our score
sourses
23
Researched sources
622

REviews considered

32

hours researching

38

products compared

Last Updated: October 2022

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best 12-inch subwoofers available for those who are interested in improving their sound output & quality. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best 12-inch subwoofers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Five 12-Inch Subwoofers - Comparison Table

Product

Dimensions

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency  Range

Sensitivity

Our Rating

Current Price

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC

11,2  inch cutout diameter


Mounting Depth:
6,66 inch

600 / 1200 watts

28 - 250 

85 dB

90/100

Pioneer TS-A300D4 12 Inch

Pioneer TS-A300D4 12 Inch

12  inch cutout diameter


Mounting Depth:
5.8 inch

500 / 1500 watts

20 Hz - 2.3 kHz

93 dB

89/100

Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12"

Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12' 2500 Watt Max Power Dual 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

11.7 inch cutout diameter


Mounting Depth: 7.75"

1000 / 2000 watts

25 – 250 Hz

85.1 dB

87/100

American Bass USA XFL 1244

American Bass USA XFL 1244

11.3 inch cutout diameter


Mounting Depth: 7.6"

1000 / 2000 watts

15 - 250 Hz

87.8 / 89.6 dB

86/100

JL Audio 12W0V3-4 - 12"

11.06 inch cutout diameter


Mounting Depth: 5.4"

300 / 600 watts

22 – 200 Hz

85.64 dB

83/100

Want to get the best 12-inch subwoofer?

Keep an Eye Out for These Specifications

Before we proceed to our contenders, let’s set some things straight. A good sub is as good as a sum of its parts. If you want to get the best unit, you need to take a couple of key specs into consideration.

Let's explore some of the key considerations you should make before spending your hard-earned bucks.

Power

how to choose a best 12-inch subwoofer

Yeah, in the world of woofers, it's all about power – the more you get, the better. Well, when you're buying a sub, you will need to keep track of two specs to determine just how much power will your future unit be able to use.

  • RMS power – Essentially, RMS power indicates regular power coping capability, or in other words, the amount of juice your sub can handle on a continuous basis.
  • Peak power – Peak power is the maximum amount of power your speaker can handle at any given moment. The moment is the key word here – putting through all this power on a continuous basis will get your woofer fried.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is often described as subwoofers' second most crucial spec, and it roughly describes the sub's ability to convert the power into output. The model with the higher sensitivity requires much lower power to produce the same output as the ones with the lower sensitivity.

Speaker sensibility is described in decibels (dB), and yeah, your goal is to get as many as you can.

Frequency

Frequency is the spec that tells you how wide is the range of sounds your speakers will be able to reproduce. Since we're talking about the subwoofers, you should look for the units that allow you to play the lowest possible frequencies you can imagine.

The best woofers usually feature the frequency range with the lower end clocking somewhere between 20 and 30 Hz.

Keep in mind, though, that the quality you will eventually get depends on quite a few different factors like…

The type of the enclosure

The enclosures have such a substantial impact on the output quality that we could spend quite a lot of time chatting about this issue.

But, let’s not get into too much detail.

The most important thing you should know is that enclosures can be roughly divided into two major groups:

  • Sealed enclosures – A tight package that produces the deepest and the most precise sound reproduction on the market.
  • Ported enclosure – Also known as the bandpass enclosures, ported enclosures are able to produce a much louder sound, albeit at the sake of quality.

Still, use this partition only as a guideline, not as a rule. For instance, a high-quality sub with the ported enclosure will produce a much better sound than a bargain bin sealed box.

The number of voice coils

The number of coils doesn't precisely have an impact on the output quality but does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of usability and versatility.

Namely, the dual-coil speakers can be used both in series and parallel setups which gives you a lot more freedom when putting your car system together.

Unfortunately, single-coil woofers don't offer nearly as much configuration options.

Dimensions of the woofer

As I already mentioned, the bigger your subwoofer is, the better and stronger bass reproduction you’re going to get. Although the ultimate output quality depends on the variety of things, you can’t escape the fact that the more room the manufacturer gets to play with, things can only get better.

Well, if you have decided to invest into a 12-inch woofer, you will be glad to know that these dimensions stand at the very top of the sub food chain, with only the 15-inch woofers standing above them.

The smaller sized units (6 and 10 inches in diameter) can still produce an excellent output, but the chances only become slighter once you go down the dimension ladder.

Impedance

Impedance is the spec that describes the level of resistance the subwoofer will bring into the system. This number is purely technical and above anything affects the speaker’s compatibility.

The most of the subwoofers currently on the market feature the impedance of 4 Ohms, although 2-Ohm and 8-Ohm varieties are far from unusual.

If you have a problem deciding between all these options, it would be best to find a unit that will allow you to switch between different impedance settings.

Best 12-inch subwoofers reviewed

Now that we've covered some of the essential features that make a good subwoofer, let's go through some of the strongest contenders in the 12-inch sub market.

1. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Subwoofer

best 12 inch subwoofer - Rockford Fosgate P3D4

Our Rating: 90/100

Rockford Fosgate is a name that requires no introduction in the world of automotive audio systems – we are talking about a genuine industry powerhouse that has, in one way or another, touched millions of vehicles all around the world.

With the things as they are, it is only natural that my expectations are always set to extremely high whenever I get the opportunity to open some of their packages.

What’s really impressive in this whole story is that these expectations are almost always met. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 is no exception.

The design

The quality P3D4-12 Punch P3 puts on the table can be easily observed even if you take a slight look at the unit. For a start, the cone is made from solid anodized aluminum pieces that feel pretty solid but remain very light.

The other components are equally as satisfying. The dust cap is made from the same material as the cone and feels rock-solid while the vertically mounted surround is capable of increasing the cone's efficiency by a full 25%.

This whole foundation is only made better by the fact that P3D4-12 Punch P3 looks very good.  The woofer features some beautiful chrome elements that look rather nice in a sports sedan, and there is also something people from Rockford Fosgate like to call FlexFit design.

What this intriguing name describes is a slotted mounting system that allows you to easily adjust the angle of the sub once you mount it. Believe me, this small inclusion makes all the difference in the world.

Speaking in terms of heat dissipation, the semi-vented design allows an excellent level of breathability and makes sure the woofer won't overheat no matter what kind of bass you put through it.

The performance 

As for the performance, the first thing I’ve noticed that P3D4-12 Punch P3 sounds incredibly loud – so much so that at some instances, the bass was overwhelming even for me. But, for the most part, 600 Watts RMS produced a pretty consistent performance and loud reproduction even at the lowest of frequencies.

The rest of the specs are solid as well. The frequency response of 28-250 Hz, the sensitivity of 85 dB and the peak power of 1200 watts all allow for a very strong and versatile performance that doesn't have a problem precisely reproducing bass lines even if you turn the dial to eleven.

All in all, a pretty well-rounded product whose only flaws are slight balancing issues.

Pros

  • Extremely well-built sub
  • You get to choose between a 4-Ohm and 2-Ohm variety
  • Loud and precise performance
  • FlexFit design allows further adjustment after mounting
  • Rock-solid specs

Cons

  • At some instances, the subwoofer is too loud
  • The frequency range could be a bit wider

2. Pioneer TS-A300D4 12 Inch Subwoofer

best 12 inch subwoofers roundup - Pioneer TS-A300D4

Our Rating: 89/100

Although not as highly regarded as Rockford Fosgate, Pioneer is known for continually releasing the products that manage to stir the water in the often stale car woofer market and keep the game interesting.

Pioneer TS-A300D4 is definitely one of these products, and its primary purpose looks like giving Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 a run for its money.

Are we dealing with a genuine surprise that’s able to knock the king of the throne?

Let’s try to find out.

The design

There is no denying that Pioneer TS-A300D4 is one incredibly sleek and well-built piece of hardware. The main star of the show here is definitely a quality black cone made of mica-injected molded resin that allows consistent airflow and produces deep and satisfying bass.

However, keep in mind that we are talking about a shallow-mount sub so your power expectations should be set to reasonable.

If you on the other hand own a smaller vehicle and need a punchy unit to fit a small sealed enclosure, you will hardly find a tighter unit than this.

I was also very pleasantly surprised with a somewhat oversized double-stacked magnet and vented pole yoke that do a fantastic job when it comes to power handling.

Overall, the unit has some inherent limitations, but everything I’ve seen so far works to push these limits to the breaking point.

The performance 

As you would expect, all these rock-solid building blocks produce equally as satisfying performance. For a start, the unit does a great job compensating for a somewhat limiting RMS of only 400 watts with incredibly tight and precise bass reproduction.

However, don't think for a second this bad boy is underpowered. The peak power of as much as 1500 watts makes sure you will be able to produce teeth-shattering noise when the opportunity requires.

Throw into equation incredibly good frequency range (20-125 Hz) and excellent sensitivity (93 dB), and you'll get a great piece of sound equipment with very few shortcomings. Well, except for the inherent ones.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Great price-value ratio
  • Incredible frequency range
  • Loud and precise performance
  • Dual-voice coils
  • Excellent peak power

Cons

  • The shallow-mounted design has some loudness limitations you should consider

3. Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12" Subwoofer

best 12 inch subwoofer buying guide - Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12"

Our Rating: 87/100

Although it is far from obscure, Skar is a brand that still needs to prove a lot of things in the world of audio equipment. You don’t need to worry about that, though.

The company with the name Skar that call its flagship lineup of woofers EVL doesn’t lack attitude to compete with the industry heavy hitters. The question remains how well does that excessive edge translate to real-life quality.

Well, let’s try to find out.

The design

It doesn’t take more than a look to see that EVL-12 D2 tries very hard to leave a good impression from the get-go. And indeed, everything about its look screams edgy and ambitious.

For example, instead of the traditional closed-cone setup we’ve got so used to by now, this time we get an advanced cooling design that allows the woofer to explore some completely new power grounds without getting toasted.

Throw into the mix the high-temperature 3-inch voice coil designed to make the most of this design, and you will get a sub that promises good sound reproduction at low frequencies.

Finally, I have to mention that all of the used materials, be that high-grade paper cone or high roll foam surround are pretty solid and well-put-together.

So far, so good.

The performance 

When it comes to the actual performance, EVL-12 D2 is, unfortunately, a completely different beast, and I have to point out – not for lack of trying.

All of the building blocks of an excellent subwoofer are here. For a start, EVL-12 D2 pack some very serious power – the unit's RMS power clocks at 1250 Watts, the peak power climbs to pretty impressive 2500 Watts, and frequency response range goes as low as 25 Hz. Trust us when we say that this sub will make the bed shake!

The real problem is the way the unit handles these admittedly impressive specs.

Namely, the more power you try to put through the woofer you’ll see the sound quality dropping like a brick. The same can be said about the system’s durability. There are a lot of users who have reported problems after pushing their subs to the peak power.

As long as you keep the things in the regular terms, however, the speaker works like a clock. The bass is deep and precise, and even the mid-range volume produces a satisfying tremor in the vehicle.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Extraordinary core specs
  • Efficient cooling system
  • Deep and precise bass

Cons

  • Not the best durability on the market
  • The performance goes all over the place once you start pushing the sub to the limit

4. American Bass USA XFL 1244 SubWoofer

finding the best 12 inch subwoofer - American Bass USA XFL 1244 2000W Max Dual 4 12" Subwoofer

Our Rating: 87/100

With over 35 years in the industry, it can be easily said that American Bass is a long-standing and reputable brand with a loyal army of followers.

It is also very tough to deny that the company has seen some better days and, in spite of all the good will, mostly competes in the entry-level car audio market.

Still, the potential for greatness is still here, and it seems a company only needs one right product to get back in shape. Is American Bass USA XFL 1244 that faithful product?

The design

Judging by the look – hardly. As a matter of fact, except for the almost leather-like dust cover, the unit looks as by-the-numbers as it gets.

Still, as much as I like my subs looking cool, I have to admit that I always considered build quality way more important, and in this regard, XFL 1244 excels.

All of the components used for production feel solid and durable. For instance, the basket is made from die-cast aluminum, the cone from carbon-Kevlar reinforced non-press paper, and you also get a very pleasant inclusion of high-density foam surround.

All these things only speak on the behalf of the dedication the American Bass put into the product and I have no choice but to give a nod to the company for the effort.

The performance 

When it comes to the actual performance, American Bass USA XFL 1244 is not too shabby either. The unit features dual voice-coils, incredible frequency response range of 15 - 250 Hz, solid sensitivity of 89.6 dB, RMS power handling of 1000 Watts, and peak power handling of 2000 Watts.

What's even more intriguing is that, unlike the previous product, all these specs are pretty well used. The sound quality remained quite good even as I went below the usual 32 Hz mark, and the blast I managed to put through the speaker literally shook my ride.

You will also be excited to know that the bass reproduction is very precise, so even if you are RHCP fan, you won't miss any of the faster lines.

The only thing I found offputting was the system's endurance when you expose it to more power and push the sub to its limit. Although I haven't experienced any severe issues, the noticeable tremors are a good indicator that you should keep the sub on the reasonable settings.

Pros

  • Incredibly well built
  • Outstanding core specs
  • For the most part consistent performance
  • Precise reproduction of fast bass lines
  • High output

Cons

  • Pushing the sub to its limits can be rather dangerous
  • Uninspired design

5. 12W0V3-4 - JL Audio 12" Subwoofer

JL Audio 12" Subwoofer

Our Rating: 83/100

When I talked about the current offer of 10-inch subwoofers, one of the products I've talked about was 10W0V3-4 – this unit’s smaller, 10-inch cousin.

And if you remember, my general impression was pretty mixed. Essentially, 10W0V3-4 was a typical budget unit with all the compromises an affordable price tag entails.

The product I’m going to cover now features virtually all the same building blocks as its sibling. This time, though, the diameter has been stretched to 12 inches.

Does this upgrade bring some tangible change to the table or we are still talking about the regular entry-level mixed bag.

The design

Speaking in the strictly visual sense, I can easily say that 12W0V3-4 is a true joy to watch. I mean, who can say no to a trendy, sleek piece of audio equipment that fits like a glove to your sports sedan. Especially at such an affordable price point.

And you know what – the bad quality isn’t bad either. The speaker is made from some very cool materials like, for instance, durable mineral-filled polypropylene that was used for building the cone.

But the low price point had to be reached one way or another so you can expect to see some compromises along the way. This time we are talking about a single-coil 4-Ohm setup that makes building a functional configuration much harder than it’s supposed to be.

The performance 

The rest of the specs are far more pleasing but not too extraordinary. The RMS power handling clocks at 300 Watts, and the peak power rating barely climbs to 600 Watts, which is as average as it gets. The pleasant surprise comes in the form of frequency range whose lower end stretches to rather good 22 Hz.

So, we can pretty much agree that the increase in size we have seen from the previous JL’s model I’ve covered pretty much amounts to nothing.

Unsurprisingly, the resulting performance is somewhat compromised.

Don't get me wrong; the sound you are able to put through the speaker is loud and produces earth-shattering deep bass. But, you lack a lot of refinement you can find in the more expensive models.

Still, if you don’t push the speaker to the limit, and even more important, you are concerned with monetary constraints, the amount of audio crispness is more than satisfying for this price range.

Pros

  • Solid price-value ratio
  • Streamlined sports design
  • The cooling system is very efficient
  • The bass is loud and deep

Cons

  • Only one voice coil
  • The sound tends to get distorted at the ends of the spectrum
  • The craftsmanship could be better

6. Kicker 12" 800 Watt DVC Subwoofer

Kicker 12" 800 Watt DVC Subwoofer

Our Rating: 80/100

Over the last couple of years, the market for automotive audio equipment has become very competitive.

With so many players trying to get a piece of cake and the range of products that roughly offer similar functionalities, standing out means that you either have to have some serious brand power, great value for the money or extraordinary set of features.

Unfortunately, this unit lacks all of the things mentioned above.

The design

But, if I have to give a special shout-out to some standout feature, that would be sub's classic but very aggressive design. Seriously, if you want to show that your speaker has enough strength to throw a punch, this is the look you should go with.

This situation is greatly helped by the fact that the cone was made from very solid injection molded polypropylene that looks like it can keep the whole thing together even if you turn the dial to eleven or hit a couple of bumps along the way.

Also, I should mention that the speaker uses high-temp dual voice coils which are always nice to see but not exactly the selling point this sub desperately needs.

But, I don't want to be overly critical. All the building blocks I've seen so far are more than reliable and do nothing to compromise the unit's performance.

The performance 

Much like its technical specs, the performance of this sub is very much in line with countless other products that can be found in this price range.

The unit features decent RMS power handling of 400 Watts (200 Watts per coil) and the peak power handling that will allow you occasional bursts of joy. Don’t expect to blow up the roof of your vehicle with this unit, though.

The frequency range is actually quite decent and clocks between 25 - 500 Hz. However, expect to lose a great deal of precision if you play some faster lines below 30 Hz.

The sensitivity of 86.9 dB is quite good and allows for some darn good power handling capabilities.

So overall, this product may lack any sensible standout features, but it does nothing horribly either. Throw into the mix a handsome price tag and you may some value here.

Pros

  • Mean design
  • Solid build quality
  • All around decent specs
  • Satisfying loudness and precision

Cons

  • The product rarely rises above the average
  • The package lacks mounting screws and equipment

7. Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12-Inch 2000W Subwoofer

Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12-Inch 2000W Subwoofer

Our Rating: 75/100

Kenwood KFC-W3016PS is dirt cheap; there's no other way around it. It will almost certainly find a wide audience that can't invest too much money to fill their vehicles with earth-shattering noise.

Its overall value, however, will ultimately be determined by the number of things the manufacturer had to leave on the drawing board to reach such a low price point.

So, let’s start the dissection and see what’s left in the package after all the budget cuts this sub went through.

The design

Actually, the more things than I expected. For a start, the overall design of this thing is very solid and does a great job hiding the fact we are talking about an entry-level unit.

And then, there is the choice of the materials which is also quite decent. For instance, the coil was made out of polypropylene cone with rubber surround, which is quite nice.

But, don't put too much trust in the quality of the electrical components and the overall craftsmanship. Due to insanely overambitious power handling estimations the manufacturer, for lack of a better term, botched, this bad boy explodes like a firecracker as soon as you push it to its limits.

But, as long as you play by the self-imposed rules and don't try to blow the roof off your vehicle, you should keep the sub intact.

The performance 

Finally, let’s talk about the performance – like the rest of this product it’s quite decent. If you are willing to accept the limitations of a single voice coil setup you will be able to squeeze quite a lot of joy out of the 400 Watts RMS rating.

Just don't ever try to test the peak power rating of 2000 Watts – it's ridiculously overestimated, and it will send your sub on the short way to the junkyard.

The sound quality is solid if slightly underwhelming. For instance, the frequency range will allow you to hit 27 Hz, but the lower you get the audio distortion will only get worse.

In the casual frequency range, though, the bass lines are reasonably clear and precise. As for the loudness – well it’s what you expect from a shallow-mounted unit.

Pros

  • Appealing design
  • Solid materials
  • Decent specs
  • Very solid core performance
  • Incredibly low price