Best 8 Inch Subwoofer in 2021 for Your Car

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Every car audio enthusiast loves some heavy low end for cruising and listening to their favorite tunes. That being said, not every car, truck or SUV necessarily has the space to accommodate an amp and subs that provide an ample kick. Moreover, dropping in twin 15-inch subwoofers and a 2000-watt amplifier may not only be overkill for their needs, but also more hassle than they want to deal with.

For those drivers with limited interior space looking for an easy installation, 8-inch subwoofer kits are the ideal solution. Not only are they easy to power using mini amps, but they can be easily mounted in under seat prefabricated enclosures anywhere in the vehicle. 

To help you choose the best one for your needs, we’ve assembled these reviews of the best 8-inch subwoofers on the market. Check out what we have for you:

Comparison Chart

IMAGE PRODUCT RMS Sensitivity
TOP PICK! 1. Skar Audio VVX-8v3 D4 8"
  • Competition-grade pressed-paper cone
  • Four 2” high temperature copper voice coils provide superior cooling
  • Quad voice coil configuration
RMS: 600 watts Sensitivity: 83.9 dB 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
6. Kicker 11HS8
  • Compact integrated amplifier and enclosure
  • Wired remote with power volume, boost and EQ control
  • +6 dB bass boost
RMS: 150 watts Sensitivity: 95 dB VIEW ON AMAZON
7. Kicker 11HS8
  • Quad voice coils provide immense bass without the risk of overheating
  • All installation materials included
  • Wired remote for fine-tuning no matter where you mount it
RMS: 150 watts Sensitivity: 95 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:

A compact subwoofer ideal for an under seat or trunk space subwoofer solution for bassheads who want the best performance in a compact package.

Specifications

  • RMS: 600 watts
  • Peak Power: 800 watts
  • Sensitivity: 83.9 dB
  • Frequency response: 55-500 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

EDITOR'S RATING:

Skar Audio has a reputation for building subs that pack more punch pound-for-pound than just about any other manufacturer. They use only the best construction materials, and their products are well-known for resilience, durability and reliability.

The Good/What I Like

This sub is LOUD. Rig it up with a small 1000-watt amplifier and under-seat sealed enclosure (or use an all-in-one amp and 8” sub enclosure), and your ride will be thumping around the block with the best of them. The sub itself feels solid, and I have no doubt in my mind about the craftsmanship after opening the box and handling it. The technical specifications say the RMS power is only 400 watts, but it sounds and feels far more powerful.

The Bad/What I Don’t Like

Any sound under 50 Hz is pretty hard for this sub to reproduce. It doesn’t distort or buzz out per se, but it definitely lacks that super low end punch you might find in a larger diameter subwoofer. Additionally, the unit itself is very heavy. 

That’s really just an issue during installation, but it also means you need to ensure it is securely mounted so it doesn’t shift while your vehicle is in motion. For a subwoofer this heavy with its amplifier and enclosure, that can mean drilling into the body of your vehicle, which is a task best left to professionals.

Pros

Cons

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.

Related: gear4wheels.com/sundown-audio-x-8-d4-review/

Specifications

Review

  • 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

EDITOR'S RATING:

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.

Pros

Cons

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

Power and Sensitivity

EDITOR'S RATING:

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

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

Power and Sensitivity

EDITOR'S RATING:

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

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.

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

Power and Sensitivity

EDITOR'S RATING:

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

Kicker’s all-in-one under-seat 8” self-powered subwoofer solution for vehicles with limited interior space.

Specifications

  • RMS: 150Watts
  • Peak Power: 300 watts
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB
  • Frequency response: 25-120 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

EDITOR'S RATING:

Well-known for their high-end, competition-grade products at value prices, Kicker builds some of the best subwoofers for the money. Their 11HS8 is a compact offering ready for self-installation right out of the box, and includes everything you need to get it up and kicking in no time.

The Good/What I Like

Thanks to its wider frequency range than most 8-inch subs, the 11HS8 produces some really thunderous lows despite its small footprint and limited power. The wired remote is also an excellent feature, allowing you to adjust EQ, crossover and bass boost settings without needing to crawl around the interior of your vehicle. Moreover, since it's an all-in-one kit, the 11HS8 includes a wiring harness, remote cable and everything you need to mount it anywhere in your vehicle.

The Bad/What I Don’t Like

While this is a fairly loud subwoofer kit, it may not be sufficient for some bassheads who are used to more sizable and powerful rigs. If you are expecting to feel this subwoofer from ten feet away outside the car, it’s not going to deliver that level of performance. 150 watts RMS is good, but it’s definitely not as powerful as rigging an 8-inch subwoofer to an enclosure with a more powerful amplifier. 

Another thing that was a bit annoying: the included remote cable is only 2 feet long, as is the wiring harness. If the included hardware won’t reach, you will need to buy longer cables to install it in your vehicle. Finally, there is no pre-amp signal adapter included with the kit. If your aftermarket head unit has a high-end preamp, you will need to purchase the adapter separately.

Pros

Cons

Quad-coil compact subwoofer all-in-one kit that provides powerful bass performance without taking up significant interior space.

Specifications

  • RMS: 120 watts
  • Peak Power: 240 watts
  • Sensitivity: 84.8 db
  • Frequency response: 32-150 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

EDITOR'S RATING:

Alpine has long held a well-deserved place in the pantheon of car audio makers around the world. Their gear has even been immortalized in hit songs, and they are often the first choice for bassheads just getting started. The PWE-S8 is their powerful and compact all-in-one offering that is equally at home in hatchbacks as it is in open cabin vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler.

The Good/What I Like

First off, this little wonder cranks out some serious bass for only running at 120 watts RMS. It’s hard to believe that anything this small can produce such a big sound. Furthermore, it’s built like a tank, everything you need for installation comes in the box, and you can easily adjust the settings to your liking via the wired remote. Finally, the extended range and quad-voice coils of the PWE-S8 gives it superior performance compared to nearly every other all-in-one in its class.

The Bad/What I Don’t Like

There isn’t too much to complain about regarding this little all-in-one. That being said, I do have a bone to pick with whoever chose the included installation materials. The remote cable and the wiring harness are only two feet long! It’s virtually impossible to connect either the remote or the wiring harness without purchasing an extension kit or an aftermarket cable and harness. 

My second objection is that the only way to mount this unit securely with the included hardware is to tap and drill into the body of your vehicle. That’s not a job for beginners, and certainly not for anyone purchasing an all-in-one kit as their first stereo upgrade.

Pros

Cons

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.

Have questions? Leave a comment below!

Last Updated on 04/06/2021

5 thoughts on “Best 8 Inch Subwoofer in 2021 for Your Car”

  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.

    Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply

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