Best Subwoofers for Car Audio Systems 2017 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

If you don’t want your car music to sound like it came from a tin can, you will need a subwoofer for your car audio system. The subwoofer’s main purpose is to provide you the low frequency bass that many people love feeling in their chests when they play loud music.

Now at home you can get a huge subwoofer that can play really thumping bass that’ll rock your windows. That’s not always easy to do with your car audio system because you’re limited by the inherently small space available.

Thus, you need a good car subwoofer for your audio system if you want great bass with the limited space. Also, if you don’t know much about wiring and installation, you’ll need a pro to hook this up for you. Many people write negative reviews on good subwoofers because they found out late that it won’t fit their car trunks.

Finally, it’s always crucial that you break your subwoofer in gently. Don’t just crank them to full blast on the first day you get them. You’ll just blow them into a wreck.

Best Subwoofers for Car Audio Systems 2017

RankProductOur RatingPrice
1Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker (Pair)4.7 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
22 BOSS P156DVC 15 Inches 5000W Car Subwoofers Subs, Dual 15 Inches Sub Box Enclosure4.5 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
3MTX 12" 1200W Dual Loaded Car Audio Subwoofers with Box Enclosure Package4.3 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
4KICKER 10TC104 10" 300W TC104 Loaded Car Audio Subwoofer + Sub Box Enclosure4.0 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
5VM Audio Encore 15 Inch 4000W DVC Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer | ECW1503.8 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
6Skar Audio Dual 12" 1000 Watt Complete Subwoofer Bass Package - Includes Subwoofers in Ported Box with Amplifier3.6 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
7Rockford Fosgate Prime R2D2-12 12-Inches 500 Watt RMS Power Dual 2 Ohm Car Audio Subwoofers Bundled With 12-Inches Sealed Subwoofer Enclosure and Dual Enclosure Wiring Kit3.5 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
84 New PLANET AUDIO AC12D 12" 7200W Car Audio Power Subwoofers Subs Woofers DVC3.3 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
9VM Audio EXW15 Elux 15" Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer Sub 2600W DVC3.2 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
1010. JL Audio 12W1v2-4 12-inch Car Subwoofer Driver (One piece only)3.1 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE

So after all that, here are 10 of the best subwoofers for your car audio system:

1. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker (Pair)

Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker (Pair)

Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker (Pair)

Okay, so first of all this isn’t really a subwoofer at all. It’s a pair of speakers. Its presence here (especially on top of the list) is because quite a few people blame their subwoofers when the bad sound is coming from a pair of tinny stock speakers. This is one of the bestselling factory replacement speakers around, so they’re worth a look.

Impedance is at 4 ohms, and the frequency response is from 52 Hz to 20 kHz. The RMS power is rated at 45 watts, with a maximum of 90 watts. The sensitivity is at 91dB. The grill/trim ring is already included.

Pros

  • They’re very affordable.
  • The sound clarity is much better than your average stock speaker.
  • It handles loud volume quite well.

Cons

  • There’s really not much bass to it, since it’s not a subwoofer.
  • Installing it can be complicated if you do it yourself.

2. BOSS P156DVC 15 Inches 5000W Car Subwoofers Subs, Dual 15 Inches Sub Box Enclosure

2 BOSS P156DVC 15 Inches 5000W Car Subwoofers Subs, Dual 15 Inches Sub Box Enclosure

 

Now this is what we’re talking about. It’s an “off the shelf” solution” as it already has an enclosure, but since this measures 15 inches then you may want to make sure that it fits inside your car.

The RMS power rating for each subwoofer is 1250 watts, so since you have 2 then it’s 2500 watts for the pair. The maximum power is 2500, so it explains the 5000W listed in the product name. This uses dual 4-ohm voice coils, which makes it more flexible when it comes to wiring.

You can use a 4000-watt 2-channel amp with this, and it will sound just as great as another audio system that costs thousands of dollars. The most important thing to remember here is that you must break this in gently. Some people crank it up to the maximum volume they can find that’s still clear, and they discover to their horror that they’ve blown their subs as a result.

Pros

  • It comes with an enclosure already.
  • The bass really thumps. The vented enclosure offers a lot of volume.
  • It’s very affordable at just a couple of hundred bucks or so.
  • It even looks nice.

Cons

  • If you don’t break them in gently, you’ll just break them.
  • You have to make sure that it fits your car. It’s huge.

3. MTX 12″ 1200W Dual Loaded Car Audio Subwoofers with Box Enclosure Package

MTX 12″ 1200W Dual Loaded Car Audio Subwoofers with Box Enclosure Package

This is an MTX package, and it’s perfect for those who want to install or buy a terrific bass system without worrying too much about the details. This contains a mono amplifier as well as the complete installation kit with all the wires and other tiny things you need.

This package features a pair of subwoofers in a dual sealed enclosure. They have polypropylene dustcaps that are lightweight so they move with less power, and durable so they can last long placed inside a car trunk. The subwoofers are power rated at 200 watts RMS so that’s 400 watts RMS total and the maximum is at 800 watts.

The enclosure uses Spider Plateau Venting that helps cool the subwoofer by venting the heat generated by playing music for a long time. The enclosure itself is made from ⅝-inch MDF that’s thicker and stronger than the standard half-inch MDF in other enclosures.

Pros

  • The package comes with every part you need to install the subwoofer and play your music. That includes all the wires you’ll need.
  • The bass is deep and punchy.
  • Even though it even comes with a mono amplifier and enclosure, it’s still very affordable.

Cons

  • You’ll want to replace the amplifier with a stereo amp.
  • Unless you know what you’re doing for the installation, you better call a pro to set this up for you.

4. KICKER 10TC104 10″ 300W TC104 Loaded Car Audio Subwoofer + Sub Box Enclosure

 

KICKER 10TC104 10″ 300W TC104 Loaded Car Audio Subwoofer + Sub Box Enclosure

The 10-inch subwoofer with 4-ohm impedance is rated for 150 watts RMS, and a peak power rating of 300 watts. The frequency response ranges from 30 Hz to 500 Hz, while the sensitivity is decent enough at 89dB. It only comes with a sing le voice coil, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

It also comes with a wooden enclosure already, and it’s covered with dense carpeting with a carbon fiber front baffle. It’s ported to produce more volume. It has a very slim profile, though, so it’s great for trucks and others that don’t have enough depth space for their subwoofers.

Pros

  • The slim profile of the enclosure makes it suitable for trucks and motor homes.
  • It’s actually quite powerful, and the bass is very punchy and tight. It can really improve the quality of the music.
  • The box is very well-built too.
  • The price is very low.

Cons

  • It’s much better for trucks than it is for cars.
  • Some have even used it for their boats. However, it is not marine-rated so the box can get soft due to the moisture.

5. VM Audio Encore 15 Inch 4000W DVC Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer | ECW150

VM Audio Encore 15 Inch 4000W DVC Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer | ECW150

So you want to have a better car audio system than your friends in your neighborhood parking lot? If you’re that competitive, then this may be for you. This offers 2,000 watts of RMS power, with the maximum at 4,000 watts. The subwoofers are also 15 inches in size with dual voice coils measuring 3 inches.

The frequency response is from 23 Hz to 340 Hz, with an astounding sensitivity of 97dB. This means you don’t need as much power to produce the same amount of sound as you would from another subwoofer with lower sensitivity.

Pros

  • The sound is quite pure, as it features a deep piston cone diaphragm, a high-excursion wide surround, and advanced lateral mechanical suspension.
  • The voice coils are protected by a large magnet surface area, direct air contact, and ferrofluid
  • The subwoofer also has a die-cast and rust-treated stamped steel basket that prevents any annoying buzzing, and the basket also protects the subwoofer from moisture.

Cons

  • You’ll have to build or buy an enclosure for this.
  • You really have to break it in first, especially if you plan to play really loud music.
  • The response time may be a bit slow for very fast remixes or dubstep, but it’s perfect for rock music.

6. Skar Audio Dual 12″ 1000 Watt Complete Subwoofer Bass Package – Includes Subwoofers in Ported Box with Amplifier

 

 

This is another all-in-one subwoofer package for those who don’t want to bother with the smallest details need to get their audio system going. The dual 12-inch subwoofers are already wired in and loaded in its enclosure. The ported subwoofer enclosure produces a lot more volume than you’d expect.

It also comes with a Class D amplifier with a remote bass knob, and the package also includes a 4-gauge wiring kit.

So all you need are the tools to put them all together. If you lack the experience or the knowledge to do so, then a pro should help you out. This is wired to 1 ohm final impedance, so without ample break in you’ll just blow them if you play music really loud right away.

Pros

  • It’s a complete package with amp, enclosure, and wiring installation kit.
  • It even comes with a remote bass knob.
  • The ported enclosure allows for higher volumes.
  • The price is surprisingly low. It’s like you’re paying for the enclosure for just a few dollars if you buy this package piecemeal.

Cons

  • Without breaking this thing in, it won’t last a few days at all.
  • The sound is good enough for most, but not exactly competition-grade.

7. Rockford Fosgate Prime R2D2-12 12-Inches 500 Watt RMS Power Dual 2 Ohm Car Audio Subwoofers Bundled With 12-Inches Sealed Subwoofer Enclosure and Dual Enclosure Wiring Kit

 

Rockford Fosgate Prime R2D2-12 12-Inches 500 Watt RMS Power Dual 2 Ohm Car Audio Subwoofers Bundled With 12-Inches Sealed Subwoofer Enclosure and Dual Enclosure Wiring Kit

Here’s another subwoofer package for those who want everything included. The dual subwoofers come with a sealed enclosure so you get deep and accurate bass. It also comes with a wiring kit with 14-gauge speaker wire, spade terminals, and screws to mount the enclosure to your car.

With this, you get a pair of 2-ohm subwoofers, rated at 500 watts RMS and 1,000 watts maximum. For those who know their way around car audio systems, the assembly and installation is straightforward enough.

It doesn’t come with an amp, though. With the right 1,000 watt amp, it will hit hard with fantastic clarity of sound.

Pros

  • It’s reasonably priced.
  • For the price, the sound sure is great with superb hard-hitting clarity.
  • It’s not all that difficult to install, though a pro for newbies is still recommended for the setup.

Cons

  • You better pick the right amp for this. At least a 1,000-wat 2-channel amp should be okay.
  • It doesn’t come with a screwdriver either, so you need your own.

8. 4 New PLANET AUDIO AC12D 12″ 7200W Car Audio Power Subwoofers Subs Woofers DVC

 

4 New PLANET AUDIO AC12D 12″ 7200W Car Audio Power Subwoofers Subs Woofers DVC

If even a pair of subwoofers isn’t enough for you, then this package of 4 subwoofers should do the trick. Each one can deal with 900 watts of RMS power, so that’s a total of 3,600 watts. The peak is at 1800 watts, so with 4 subs that’s 7,200 watts.

The impedance is at 4 ohms and the diameter of the voice coil is at 2 inches. The frequency response ranges from 32 Hz to 3 kHz. The efficiency is at 88dB.

It doesn’t come with its own enclosure, though the manual says you need either a ported or sealed box. It also requires an amp that should be from 4000 to 6000 watts, although you may have to turn it down. With 1500 watts, you can probably go full blast after a suitable break in period.

Pros

  • The price of these 4 subwoofers is surprisingly low.
  • At this price range, the sound quality is excellent.
  • It can get very loud too.

Cons

  • Just be careful with the amp, as you may put in too much power that the subs can’t handle.
  • The customer support is a bit suspect.

9. VM Audio EXW15 Elux 15″ Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer Sub 2600W DVC

 

VM Audio EXW15 Elux 15" Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer Sub 2600W DVC

VM Audio EXW15 Elux 15″ Competition Car Audio Power Subwoofer Sub 2600W DVC

More often than not a single large subwoofer is enough. That’s especially true when it’s 15 inches and rated as “competition-grade”. This one can handle 1300 watts RMS, with a peak at 2600 watts. It also features a lightweight IMPP (injection-molded polypropylene) cone, a huge poly-cotton spider, and a high-excursion mechanical suspension system.

This should last you for a long while, as it uses nickel-plated wire connections, a custom stamped steel basket, and a durable rubber surround. To deal with the generated heat, it has a large surface area for cooling, an aerodynamic direct voice coil surface-cooling system, and an extended thermal cooling vented pole piece motor structure for direct air exposure.

It’s also easy enough to install if you have the experience. It can go with ported or sealed enclosures, and it comes with dual and single impedance configurations.

Pros

  • The bass is very clear and responsive.
  • It’s very durable and resistant to rust, dust, and moisture.
  • It should be easy enough to install for knowledgeable car owners.

Cons

  • To make full use of this, you’ll need an amp with at least 1,000 watts RMS.
  • Install this the wrong way (or if you don’t break it in) and you’ll burn it out.

10. JL Audio 12W1v2-4 12-inch Car Subwoofer Driver (One piece only)

JL Audio 12W1v2-4 12-inch Car Subwoofer Driver (One piece only)

Sometimes you really don’t have much space, so you’re really limited in your car subwoofer options. But at least you can get this JL Audio subwoofer at a very reasonable price, as it’s designed with a shallow mounting depth and it works with compact enclosures. This can work with a 1.25 cu. ft. sealed enclosure or a 1.75 cu. ft. ported enclosure.

The subs are rated for 300 watts RMS and 600 watts maximum. These are great ratings considering how small this is. The impedance is at 4 ohms and the efficiency is at an acceptable 86.81 dB.

Pros

  • It works with very small enclosures.
  • At moderate power levels, the sound quality is terrific.

Cons

  • You can’t really expect to play loud music with this without any problems.
  • This needs an amp with power ranging from 75 to 300 watts. Anything more and you’re going to blow the sub.

 

Conclusion

With these 10 options, you have a wide range of possibilities for your car audio. You have single subs, packages of 4 subs, with or without enclosures, and some even with the installation kit.

But it all boil down to the fact (not an opinion) that you absolutely need a subwoofer for your car. Whether you want to impress your friends or you just want to listen to good music while you drive, a good quality subwoofer enhances the sound quality and the music-listening experience. There’s no good reason not to have one, since we’ve listed subwoofers here that offer high quality sound and bass at very affordable prices!

More Tips

How to Install a Subwoofer and Amplifier in a Car

More Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

 

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