Best 8 Inch Subwoofer 2017 [Reviews and Comparison]

To find the best 8 inch subwoofer 2017 you have two choices:

1. Buy what's hot (and cheap) and pray for the best.

2. Check my reviews on this article.

If you are a gambler go for number 1.

If you value your money, keep reading, I'm here to help you find the best 8" sub that you can buy right now.

Best 8 Inch Subwoofer 2017

8 Inch Subwoofer Comparison Chart

Subwoofer Name

RMS

Sensitivity

Freq Response

My Rating 

JL Audio 8W7AE-3 Anniversary Edition

500W

82.7 dB

23-250 Hz

Sundown Audio X-8 D4

750W

82.71 dB

n/a

Kicker Solo-Baric L7

450W

83.6 dB

28-100 Hz

JL Audio 8W3V3-4

250W

83.24 dB

21-100 Hz

Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8

150W

82 dB

38-250 Hz

Cheap Subwoofers Suck

best 8 subwoofer

In this size, there are cheap subwoofers galore.

We've burnt some of those 25$ subs in less than 10 minutes and we're tired of shop guys pushing some Boss or Pyle subs.

If your budget is really tight, then please, get something decent like this planet audio which is the only unexpensive 8" subwoofer I'd ever recommend.

However, if you have a bit more to invest in good quality equipment, keep reading, we have good things for you.

We've done hundred hours of research and used years of experience to craft this list including ONLY the highest quality subs in a good range of prices so almost every budget will find a great sub.

One of the best things of going for smaller sized subs is that they aren't usually that power hungry, meaning less stress for our car battery. However, if you run with multiple subwoofers, once the consumption reaches around 2000RMS, upgrading your electrical is needed.​

8 Inch Subwoofer Reviews

Our selection covers some high SQL subwoofers, great competition-grade subs for high SPL and the best of the budget friendly subs on the market. Only good stuff, because you deserve that. 

Enter the TOP 5​

1

JL Audio 8W7AE-3 
Anniversary Edition

This is in our opinion the best 8 inch subwoofer money can buy. Quality is always guaranteed when we speak about JL audio, and the W7 line is just the best they produce.

This is a special edition that includes the exclusive polished nickel surround ring and special boxing and labeling.

Specifications

  • RMS: 200-500 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1000Watt
  • Sensitivity: 82.7 dB
  • Frequency response: 23-250 Hz
  • Impedance: 3Ohms
  • Top Mount Depth: 6.83 in
  • Cut-Out: 6.94 in

Review

EDITOR'S RATING:

As every other JL Audio, the quality of build is outstanding. JL incorporates their latest technologies on the W7 series, and this subwoofer is so damn well made that it really sounds like a 12".

Power and Sensitivity

As always with JL, we're provided with a "optimum range" for RMS instead of a bold claim that is later not sustained as we've found in so many other brands.

The official RMS is 500Watts although they recommend to use an amplifier that works between 250w and 500w RMS for perfect performance. From our experience, you really want to feed this subwoofer with 500W as they give their best at that power level. Peak power is 1000w. 

With 82.7db SPL and the power this sub moves, we know it blasts loud without compromising the slightlest bit of Sound Quality.

jl w7 8 inch specs
Voice Coils and Cone

This is where this subwoofer clearly stands out of the crowd. It incorporates JL's W-Cone that increases rigidity of the cone, which ultimately will reduce distortion, giving you a clear, crisp sound all day long.

Good? Have a look at the list of features JL lists on its website: Floating-Cone Attach Method Plateau-Reinforced Spider Attachment Radially Cross-Drilled Pole Piece Massive Forced-Air-Cooled Aluminum Alloy Frame Highly Linear, DMA-Optimized Motor System Huge Diameter, Progressive Roll Spider Co-Extruded Double Lead Wires Black powder-coated baskets

Ok ok, enough, we get it JL! Stop showing off...

Impedance.

Many JL subs are rated at 3 Ohms and that's somewhat weird, since it forces you somehow to go and pair it with their own amplifiers if you don't want to trouble yourself too much. Real value is somewhere around 2.78ohms with one single coil.

Conclusion

There are a few "not so good" things that we want to say about this subwoofer. First and most obvious is the price. You pay what you get but for the money there are quite a lot of good 12 inch  even 15 inch subs. 

Mounting this subwoofer isn't easy. You have to disconnect the surround from its mounting point on the basket which is rather unconventional.

Then the cutout diameter...6.94 inches. If you do the box yourself, you may think "I'll cut just 7inches" just to discover that the bolts won't have enough material to get drilled on. 

Besides those minor things, we agree with those who call this subwoofer "the best damn 8 inch subwoofer ever made". ​

You get one year warranty against defects of materials or workmanship 

Recommended Amplifier

To move this sub with the power it needs to excel, we recommend using JL's XD600/1 which gives exactly 500W RMS @3ohms. We tried the sub with this amplifier with incredibly satisfying results.

Pros

Cons

  • Outstanding Loudness. 
  • Greatest Quality Sub
  • Special Edition
  • Great Sound Quality
  • High price
  • Weird Mounting
2

Sundown Audio X-8 D4

The LOUD Choice

Sundown always gets a spot or two in our "Best of" subwoofer reviews simply because their products are amazing. Any basshead will tell you so. In the smallest subwoofer size, our favorite is the X-8, for its consistent, amazing high excursion and LOUD bass.

Unlike other 8 inch subs, this one does really hit those very low notes, giving your audio system much deeper sound.

Specifications

  • RMS: 750 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1500 Watts
  • Sensitivity: 82.71 dB
  • Frequency response: n/a
  • Impedance: Dual 2 or 4 ohms
  • Top Mount Depth: 7.00"
  • Cutout Diameter: 7.36"

Review

EDITOR'S RATING:

Power and Sensitivity

With a sensitivity of 82.71 and a menacing 750W RMS, this is definitely a LOUD bass. It is designed towards SPL with a good Xmax of 16mm one-way by 70% BL. Sundown makes some other subs in this size however we've decided to include just their loudest.

It doesn't compromise sound quality as other cheaper 8" subs designed for SPL do. This one sounds deep and clear. It really is a worthy choice as a competition subwoofer.

Voice Coils and Cone

It features a solid Ppole piece with chamfered edges & machined air channels for increased voice coil cooling. The terminals are spring loaded

Along the coil it incorporates stitched-on double high-power tinsel lead wires for superior resistance of the black aluminium 2.5" voice coil. The heat dissipation on this subwoofer is outstanding.

detail of the tinsel leads
Impedance

This subwoofer is available in Dual 2ohm coils or Dual 4ohms. The one displayed is the 4 ohms one. It will allow you to wire it either 2ohms, 8 ohms or 4 ohms using 2 amps.

Conclusion

The only downside we've found is that it bottoms out on the deepest frequencies (around 18hz) when pushed to the max.

All in all a great subwoofer for which we can hardly find any weaknesses.

Recommended Amplifier:

When we tried this subwoofer (back in March), our friend had it hooked up to a Hifonics BRX1516.1D Brutus at around 1000w RMS and we were quite surprised with how well the Sundown was handling that wattage. We cannot give further advise for this subwoofer in particular as we have only tested it with that amplifier.

Pros

Cons

  • Amazing Value for Money
  • Outstanding quality of build
  • Dual Voice Coils give more wiring options.
  • American Made Subs
  • Competition Grade
  • Bottoming out on lowest freqs.
3

Kicker Solo-Baric L7

Best Bang for Your Buck

Kicker's Solo Baric exclusive and exotic shape is the reason this subs hit SO hard. We've reviewed bigger sizes of this subwoofer before (#6 on our 15 inch subwoofer comparative) because we were very impressed the first time we heard this subs and have become quite familiar with them.

Specifications

  • RMS: 450 Watts
  • Peak Power:900 Watts
  • Sensitivity: 83.6 db
  • Frequency response: 28-100 Hz
  • Impedance: Dual 2 or 4 ohms
  • Top Mount Depth: 4-3/4"
  • Cutout Diameter: 7-1/4"

Review

EDITOR'S RATING:

Power and Sensitivity

This sub pumps a neat 83.6 db SPL. With official 450w RMS, we know the L7 to be really loud for a 8". We know they withstand more than that but don't recommend it.

In all honesty, between buying a lesser quality 12" sub or this 8" Kicker, we would go for Kicker anytime. It isn't only loud but also the sound quality is perhaps the highest of the 5 sobwoofers we review on this article, with the exception of the W7 by JL.

Voice Coils and Cone

This is pure top-of-the-line technology here. This was the world's first patented square sub, with extra cone area that results in louder sound than round subwoofers of the same size.

The patented corner-ribbed, double-stitched Santoprene surround helps holding the massive motor in place. The Solo-Baric's durability is way above average aswell as its excursion. The Sound Quality in this subwoofer is, as said, the best for this size.

Impedance.

This subs come in either 2 or 4 ohms DVC (Dual Voice Coils). Now, why on hell would you, Kicker, place each terminal on a different corner of the subwoofer?

We love when terminals are nice and conveniently placed together on the same side of the sub so wiring is as simple as possible and this isn't the case.

I guess Kicker's originality had to be shown in more places.

terminals on each side

The issue isn't as dramatic as I feel it is. If you are wiring just 1 sub it is ok. But if you want to, lets say, wire 6? It just makes it unnecessarily complicated.

Conclusion

All in all a great subwoofer that will be the delight of SPL lovers and Audiophiles alike. A hard, well made subwoofer that knocks some serious bass and reproduces music with outstanding fidelity. For the money, we think is the best option.

Recommended Amplifier:

For 4 ohms load we recommend hooking this sub to a JL Audio JX1000/1D as the amplifier is one of the best around for the price and power. At 4 ohms it gives 500W RMS stable and minimal distortion. 

Pros

Cons

  • Great dB output.
  • Dual Voice Coils
  • Highest quality of build and materials
  • Better sound quality than most 8 inch subs.
  • Terminals aren't on the same side of the subwoofer
4

JL Audio 8W3V3-4

The third generation of JL subwoofers is still today one of the best options available on the market.

Specifications

  • RMS: 250Watts
  • Peak Power: 500Watts
  • Sensitivity: 83.24 dB
  • Frequency response: 21-100 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 ohm
  • Top Mount Depth: 4.63"
  • Cutout Diameter: 7.09"

Review

EDITOR'S RATING:

Power and Sensitivity

As in every other JL, we're provided with the Continuous RMS power aswell as an "ideal" or recommended power range. In this case, 250W RMS and anything inbetween 75 and 250W RMS. Peak power is 500W. With 83.24 dB of SPL, this little sub packs a punch. For the price is one of the smartest purchases you can do.

jl w3v3 specifications
Voice Coils and Cone

If you've readed our review of JL's W7 (our winner) you know they take construction of this subwoofers quite seriously and that they incorporate a monstrous list of technologies. 

Impedance.

This subwoofer incorporates a single 4ohms coil and spring loaded terminals on the same side of the sub for easy installment. (yes, still looking bad at you Kicker!)

Conclusion

If you don't have a lot of space, this sub is perfect. For the money you get a super well-made subwoofer that blasts quite loud.

Don't expect it to sound like a bigger sub (the W7 and the Sundown are far superior in this regard).

The sound quality they produce is superb so this is definitely a great choice.

Hard to find it any downsides besides the little power and not-as-loud bang when compared with the other subs on this list.

Recommended Amplifier:

We tested it on a JL Audio JX360/2 bridged at 4ohms. It was giving little under 280W RMS with which we were extremely satisfied with the output. 

Pros

Cons

  • Outstanding Value for Money
  • Great for small spaces.
  • Quality of build and materials is great.
  • Made in the USA
  • Not as loud as the competition.
5

Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Editor's Choice

Shallow Mount subwoofers are great subwoofers to get under the seat of your car or in the trunk without having to give up much trunk space. They don't blast as loud as regular subs and are tipically a bit more expensive but this one is an absolute steal.

Let's have a look at it.

Specifications

  • RMS: 150Watts
  • Peak Power: 300Watts
  • Sensitivity: 82 db
  • Frequency response: 38-250 Hz
  • Impedance: Dual 2 ohms
  • Top Mount Depth: 2.66"
  • Cutout Diameter: 7.13"

Review

EDITOR'S RATING:

Power and Sensitivity

With 82 db SPL and just 150w RMS this isn't the loudest subwoofer ever made but will still provide with some loud, crisp bass. For those with insufficient space to fit a regular sized sub, this is a great choice.

Voice Coils and Cone

Rockford Fosgate cone formers and dust cap are made of anodized aluminium making this sub light and easy to drive, yet rigid enough to sustain its shape under high load. The M-Roll Santoprene™ surround also provides excellent excursion for maximum output while being durable enough to last. 

Impedance.

This subwoofer has dual coils with 2 ohms impedance each. The wiring setups are either 1ohm, 2+2ohms or 4 ohms.

Conclusion:

A great subwoofer for those with a small budget and not much space in their car to fit a bigger sub.

Recommended Amplifier:

The perfect match for this subwoofer is the Rockford Fosgate R250X1 Prime that gives 150W RMS @4ohms. It won't break the bank, it won't overheat and it doesn't need a lot of space so really, really a great combination

Pros

Cons

  • Price.
  • Dual coils.
  • Space Saving
  • Not as loud as the other subs listed.

This was our take for the best 8 inch subwoofer 2017.

We believe this 5 subs are the best available options

Have questions? Leave a comment below!

Alex Meyer
 

Alex Meyer is a 26-year-old Certified Automotive Technician with over 10 years experience as a mechanic and car audio installer. He shares his knowledge at Gear4wheels.com

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