Best 8 Inch Subwoofer in 2020? (Top 5 Reviews & Comparison)

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What is the best 8 inch subwoofer of 2019?

Well, barely ever we get a question SO easy to answer:

It's the JL8W7AE.

What, dissapointed? Too expensive? You don't like JL?

No problem.

We're going to review the top 5 choices on this size with a side-by-side comparison to help you find the perfect sub for your needs and budget.

Let's get started:​

Comparison Chart

TOP PICK! 1. JL Audio 8W7AE-3 Anniversary Edition
  • Outstanding Loudness.
  • Greatest Quality Sub
  • Special Edition
  • Great Sound Quality
RMS: 500W Sensitivity: 82.7dB VIEW ON AMAZON
Runner Up 2. Sundown Audio SA V3
  • Loud subwoofer capable of clearly hitting low tones thanks to the 82.71 dB sensitivity and 750 watt RMS power.
  • The solid pole piece with chamfered edges also features machined air channels to increase airflow and heat dissipation for improved voice coil cooling.
RMS: 750W Sensitivity: 82.71 dB VIEW ON AMAZON
Budget Choice 3. Rockford Fosgate P3S
  • Price.
  • Dual coils.
  • Space Saving
RMS: 150W Sensitivity: 82 dB VIEW ON AMAZON
4. Kicker Solo-Baric L7
  • Great dB output.
  • Dual Voice Coils
  • Highest quality of build and materials
  • Better sound quality than most 8 inch subs.
RMS: 450W Sensitivity: 83.6 dB VIEW ON AMAZON
5. JL Audio 8W3V3
  • Outstanding Value for Money
  • Great for small spaces.
  • Quality of build and materials is great.
  • Made in the USA
RMS: 250W Sensitivity: 83.24 dB VIEW ON AMAZON

Best 8 Inch Subwoofer

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.

Ok, Let's get straight into it. Below are the our top picks:

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.


  • 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



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...


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.


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. 

On a sidenote, I've heard this sub on both a sealed and a ported enclosure, and I prefer the crispiness of sound the sealed box produced.​

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.



The Sundown Audio SA V3 packs a lot of power into a small 8” sub, making this an excellent addition to any sound system, but particularly in vehicles with limited space.

High-quality components like the 2.5” black aluminum voice coil, a large magnet ID shorting Faraday ring, and the FEA optimized coil and motor are built to last. Quality engineering, such as the highly optimized machined air channels intended to increase airflow means this durable subwoofer will deliver peak performance.




  • Size: 8”
  • Top Mount Depth: 7”
  • Cut-Out: 7.36”
  • RMS: 750 watts
  • Peak Power: 1,500 watts
  • Sensitivity: 82.71 dB
  • Frequency response: n/a
  • Impedance: Dual 2 ohms or 4 ohms
  • Voice Coils and Cone: Black aluminum 2.5” voice coil


The SA V3 from Sundown Audio features a strong double-layer Nomex spider, a competition grade paper cone and a durable foam surround.

This setup can handle over 33mm of x-mech and 19mm of one-way Klippel verified excursion for an intense and punishing bass.

Completely tied-on XL tinsel leads and spring-loaded terminals enable easy setup.

Sundown Audio spent years refining the design of their SA series subwoofers, and all of that hard work is apparent in the V3. Most 8” subwoofers are incapable of delivering the power the SA V3 can easily provide.

Handcrafted construction lends this sub added durability, ensuring it will be part of your audio setup for a long time to come.



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.


  • 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"


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.


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.


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. 



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


  • 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"


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. 


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!)


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. 



Shallow Mount subwoofers are great subwoofers to get 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.


  • 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"


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. 


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


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



Disclaimer: Cheap Subwoofers Suck

best 8 subwoofer

In this size, there are cheap subwoofers galore.

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

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

I'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 electric system is needed.​ 

One of the biggest advantages of this subwoofers is that they are the best ones to power with a five channel amplifier. In most cases with more powerful subs, we'll need a dedicated monoblock amp, and a separate 4 channel amplifier for our speakers.

This was our take for the best 8 inch subwoofer of 2018.

We believe this 5 subs are the best available options

Have questions? Leave a comment below!

Last Updated on 06/05/2019

6 thoughts on “Best 8 Inch Subwoofer in 2020? (Top 5 Reviews & Comparison)”

  1. Sad that this list doesn’t include the CDT Audio QES-820. That one is actually an 8″ sub rather than the 7″ stuff you’re featuring here. It can manage its entire range in a sealed enclosure as small as 0.2 cubic feet. It has unbelievable extension and sounds fantastic, with an RMS of 400w (800w peak). It has the flexibility of DVC. And the price is downright reasonable. I’ve got a couple of them hidden in my car where no-one can tell, and everyone’s always blown away by the sound quality of my audio system. Especially since no-one can tell it’s all custom gear.

  2. Sundown X8
    Soundqubed HS208
    Skar Audio ZVX8
    DB Drive WDX8
    Massive Audio HIPPO 84XL
    DC Audio M3 8″

    You can buy TWO of any of these for less than the price of one of those garbage JL woofers on top of the list. You should focus more on what’s going on in the real world of car audio and less on what’s going on at Circuit City… mainstream audio is dead.

    • Would you do 6 soundqubed or 4Skar Zvxs on 2 strapped Orion 2500 xtr DZ. 2ohms skar and 2.66ohm SQ. Remember strapped so 2ohm stable..looking for opinions or any other sub have around 8.5 cubes gross to start with

    • I am shocked not see the CT Sounds Meso 8″ Subwoofer on this list.

      It is 800 watts RMS which is almost double the JL W7 and you can get almost 3 of the Meso 8″ for the price of 1 JL.

      The CT Sounds Meso 8″ is the best 8″ subwoofer I have ever heard and I have heard many different 8″ subwoofers like the JL, Rockford, Kicker, Soundstream, Sundown Audio, Skar Audio, and many more. The only brand that comes close to the CT Sounds Meso 8″ is the Sundown Audio X 8″ but it costs almost twice as much as the CT.

      You can get the CT Meso 8″ on Amazon too. I suggest adding it to your list.

  3. I’ve ran 8″ JL W7’s and W3’s.
    Plus I’ve personally owned and ran all but the Rockford shallow.
    I can attest to the accuracy of the ranking of this list.
    I’ve also ran several other brands of 8 inchers (my personal favorite driver size) and I used to hate JL’s inflated price and the fact that customer support can be short and snobbish…
    But I only use JL drivers today after being in the car audio game since the mid 1980’s.

    • Thanks Jerry, appreciate it. I haven’t been as long in the game (just over a decade now) and had the same feeling in the beginning with brands like JL and Focal like “are you guys taking the p**s with your prices??” then you try and try brands… and everything makes sense hah.



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