Best Car Subwoofers for Deep Bass

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People ask me the whole time: Alex, what’s the best car subwoofer?

And… that’s such an open-ended question that it’s really hard to give an answer.

I always find myself making them the same questions: “How much bass do you want, what’s your budget, how much space do you have..?”

So I decided to go ahead and create an interactive recommendation tool. 

I’ve also put together a comparison of the 6 best car subwoofer series available on the market, and also listed a comprehensive “top 3” selection of subwoofers for every single size there is.

A word of caution: This article is huge. Its meant to be the ultimate resource for those looking for a new subwoofer. Take your time, bookmark it… enjoy.

But if all you want is to get a personalized recommendation, simply answer a few questions below and in less than 30 seconds you’ll have a much better idea of what to buy.

Depending on the kind of setup that you have in mind, your car, the available budget you have to spend and the results you’re after, you’ll find different kinds of subwoofers that will fit the role

On the side you’ll find a navigation menu that you can use to quick jump to any section. This page is broken down into two main sections:

  • Sizes:

Covering subwoofers from 8″ (the smallest size on the market) up to 15″ (which technically isn’t the biggest size as there are 18″ and even 32″ subs but those are a different animal that you could hardly call car subwoofers; rather war subwoofers). 

You’ll also find shallow mount subwoofers, specific subs that are slim, lightweight and space-saving, ideal for small cars. 

Then there are also underseat subwoofers, which are very compact and are powered by an integrated amplifier, making the whole setup real simple.

  • Brands:

I’ve listed the top 5 car subwoofer manufacturers and listed a few of their best subwoofer lines for you to have a better understanding of what’s available on the market at the moment. 

So, go ahead, jump straight to where you want and find the perfect subwoofer for you!

The Best Car Subwoofers  For The Money

8 Inch Subwoofers: Top 3

Typically the smallest size that manufacturers produce, 8 inch subs have a nice and crisp sound, ideal for fast paced tracks (Progressive, drum and bass, rock, those types of music sound the best on this size). They are usually cheaper than their bigger counterparts and when picked and installed correctly, will produce just as much bass as you can handle. 

The following top 3 list is an excerpt of my very comprehensive review of the best 8 inch subwoofers. I recommend you read that article if you’re specifically interested on 8″ subs.

1. Planet Audio AC8D Editor’s Choice

418CvecnEeL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 85dB
  • RMS: 600 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1200 watts
  • Frequency Response: 23Hz-3kH
  • Impedance: 4Ohms
Why I chose it

This speaker comes with massive power handling and more cone area; thus, you get more bass. Distortion is minimal courtesy of the patented ribbed corners on the Solo-Baric L7. The loud bass is clear, with the thousands of watts pumping through them. It can take the heat and remain cool even after long hours of enjoying your favorite tunes. This is made possible with Kicker’s UniPlate backplate, and the pole piece is a single solid unit that moves the heat away from the motor.

2. Sundown Audio (X-8 V.3 D2)

41Q9DUMzqoL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 80.8 dB
  • RMS: 800 watts
  • Peak Power: 1500 watts
  • Frequency Response: 46.77Hz
  • Impedance: Dual 2 ohms
Why I chose it

This speaker comes with an excellent compact design and fantastic performance. It is rugged and resilient, courtesy of the high strength and cast aluminum frame. It has a solid base and the sound quality is just incredible.

The Sundown Audio X-8 Series Subwoofers have significant lows, and the sounds allow you to listen to musical details you would not hear from other speakers. It is overall a good choice of a speaker for its price, making it one of our favorite value for money choices in this niche.

3. Kicker L7S84 L7S

41tplSk6hCL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 82.37dB
  • RMS: 450 watts
  • Peak Power: 900 watts
  • Frequency Response: 28-100 Hz
  • Impedance: Dual 4 ohms
Why I chose it

This speaker comes with massive power handling and more cone area; thus, you get more bass. Distortion is minimal courtesy of the patented ribbed corners on the Solo-Baric L7.​

The loud bass is clear, with the thousands of watts pumping through them. It can take the heat and remain cool even after long hours of enjoying your favorite tunes. This is made possible with Kicker’s UniPlate backplate, and the pole piece is a single solid unit that moves the heat away from the motor.

10 Inch Subwoofers: Top 3

Moving up one size, we find 10 inch subwoofers, which are a great choice as they offer a great balance between bass depth and speed. The power consumption is typically held in a reasonable range which won’t force you to upgrade your system, and they can get loud, very loud.

If you want to learn more about this type of subwoofers, have a look at my overview of the best 10 inch subwoofers, where I cover not only component subwoofers as on this list, but also a few good options for pre-enclosed and powered subs as well.

1. Skar Audio VD-10 D4

719FdwVwIQL. AC SL500

  • Sensitivity: 87 db
  • RMS: 500Watts
  • Peak Power: 800Watts
  • Frequency Response: 30-2350 Hz
  • Impedance:  4 ohms
Why I chose it

The Skar Audio VD-10 D4 Max Power shallow Mount Car subwoofer is shallow but it delivers a fantastic bass response regardless of the genre of music. A high roll surround and a high temp 2″ copper voice coil come standard on the VD-10.

This subwoofer gives excellent bass response to your music all day long. In addition, the ultra-responsive motor design (the 66 oz ferrite motor) allows the subwoofers to hit every note in the music you play accurately. You will never want a different subwoofer after hearing the music recreation with this one.

2. Planet Audio AC10D

  • Sensitivity: 87 db
  • RMS: 750Watts
  • Peak Power: 1500Watts
  • Frequency Response: 23Hz-3kHz
  • Impedance:  4 ohms dual
Why I chose it

This woofer does exceptionally well in a ported enclosure and is easy to spot. The enclosure is more extensive and has excellent SPL output, which results in thumping bass. This dual voice coil subwoofer comes with various wiring configurations that optimize the amp’s power output with additional subwoofers.

It does well in sealed enclosures: it gives solid and tight bass. You can buy sealed enclosures or create your own to suit your needs and the layout of your car and where you will place the subwoofer.

3. Rockford Fosgate P3-10

41Myo8VjyEL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 82dB
  • RMS: 500 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1000 watts
  • Frequency Response: 27 – 250 Hz
  • Impedance: Dual 2 or 4ohms
Why I chose it

A great piece of technology from the hand of Rockford Fosgate. For the price, there aren’t any other subs that are this reliable and well-done. Incorporating 2.5 inch copper clad aluminuim voice coils, the heat dissipation is absolutely great.

Considering all the previous, they are one of my go-to choices when it comes to create a setup with multiple subwoofers on a limited budget.

12 Inch Subwoofers: Top 3

Things start to get very serious on this size. Twelve inch subwoofers are typically the end point for most bassheads, as they can crank out some significant bass (and have a very strong power draw too). While offering a MUCH deeper bass than the previously covered sizes (great if your tracklists are full of Rap and R&B) they are slooow. Oh, and they move A LOT of air, so they aren’t the perfect fit for everyone. They need big enclosures which isn’t always easy to accomodate. 

The following selection is my top 3, but there are plenty of good choices on 12″ subs (and some are way cheaper that the three I mention here), so make sure you check out my selection of the best 12 inch subwoofers.

​1. Kicker CompRT

415q7zXSweL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 85.5 dB
  • RMS: 500 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1000Watts
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 1.6 kHz
  • Impedance: 2 ohm
Why I chose it

This speaker is very resistant and can handle a high output of power, courtesy of the 4-inch mounting depth.

In addition, it is flexible and powerful; the Kicker CompRT has a UV-resistant cone which sounds excellent wherever you drive, whether on rough roads, dirt tracks, or over a railway. It also has heat-absorbing units to provide excellent thermal management, so you never have to worry about the subwoofer overheating when in use.

2. Sundown Audio X-12 V.2

51zIlAOTCQL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 84.4 db
  • RMS: 1500 Watts
  • Peak Power: 3000 watts
  • Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
  • Impedance: 2 or 4 ohms
Why I chose it

Amazing linear suspension, waaaay above average Xmax and minimal distortion, this is one of the best competition subwoofers i’ve had the pleasure to test. 

I mean, there’s no surprise there though. Sundown Audio is typically the king of SPL shows and the V2 series is some serious stuff.

Definitely a smart purchase.

3. Pioneer TSW312D4

  • Sensitivity: 92 db
  • RMS: 500 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1600 watts
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 1.6 kHz
  • Impedance: Dual 4 ohm
Why I chose it

The Pioneer TSW312D4 Champion Series can handle loads of power and has high endurance. It has the Iconic Red Spider giving it precise control in addition to a linear and stable excursion.

This speaker also has large magnets for heat dissipation. In addition, it gives out deep and loud bass courtesy of the High rigidity IMPP composite seamless cone with honeycomb.

15 Inch Subwoofers: Top 3

For the true bassheads, the 15 inch subwoofers. The sort of stuff you get if you want to be that kid on the block who flexes all day long and gets neighbours all p***ed. For those who NEED bass in their lives, and want to get some crazy loud setups on their rides, this is the perfect choice.

If you’re really serious about bass, you should consider checking the complete list on the best 15 inch subwoofers, where I talk about this three models here and another 7 great choices, covering different price ranges and options.

1. NS-15 V.3 D2 – Sundown Audio Nightshade V3 Series. Editor’s Choice

517nIYztdaL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 84.27dB
  • RMS: 2500 Watts
  • Peak Power: 5000 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 23-250 Hz
  • Impedance: Dual 1ohm
Why I chose it

Sundown Audio Nightshade. There are just a few three-word combinations that I like more than that. Possibly the best line of subwoofers ever released. The 15 inch model is just a BEAST. With 2500W RMS this is one of the most deafening subs i’ve ever tested.

Make sure to read my full review because there’s just so much around this subwoofer that It’s hard for me to summarize. It just makes BOOOOOOM.

2. Rockford Fosgate T1D215 Power T1

413FdsbuNNL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 88 dB
  • RMS: 1000 Watts
  • Peak Power: 2000 watts
  • Frequency Response: 25-500 Hz
  • Impedance: 2 or 4Ohms (SWIFT)
Why I chose it

Straight from the highest-end line of subwoofers that Rockford Fosgate produces, we’ve got the T1 on 15 inches and it is good. 

The materials used to make this subwoofer are the sort of stuff that will make your head spin, Kevlar and what not.

What I truly like the most is the proprietary SWIFT technology, that allows you to change the impedance of the subwoofer with just the flick of a switch. Really sweet.

3. X-15 D4 – Sundown Audio X-Series

41yhVkzNUfL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 86.7 db
  • RMS: 1250Watts
  • Peak Power: 2500Watts
  • Frequency Response: N/A
  • Impedance: Dual 4ohm
Why I chose it

Designed and hand-made 100% in the U.S.A., ridiculous excursion and the high-end materials you would expect for this kind of subwoofers. Black aluminum coils, double tinsel leads to prevent fatigue, heat sink… definitely one of the very best 15 inch subs.

Underseat Subwoofers: Top 3

Underseat subs are the perfect choice for those who want to add some bass to their music but don’t really have where to put a subwoofer or simply don’t want to lose trunk space. They are powered and very easy to install. The bass output they produce couldn’t really be compared with their bigger counterparts, they are designed to solve a specific problem (space) not to blow windshields.

If you’re short on spare space or just looking for something simple to install that will give you a good enough bass, don’t forget to check my complete review of the best under seat subs.

1. Kenwood KSC-SW11 Editor’s Choice

918CtOth0cL. AC SL500

  • RMS: 75w
  • Peak Power: 150w
  • Frequency Response: 35-125 Hz
  • Dimensions: 11”W x 2-¾”H x 7-½” D
Why I chose it

Let me put it this way: I’ve never come across a subwoofer with such an insane value/cost ratio.  The Kenwood KSC-SW11 is one of those rare cases in which a very fairly priced piece of tech put other “superior” subs at shame.

Great features, best possible quality of build, amazing price… It has everything you could ask for on an underseat sub.


51ITrZNq bL. SL500

  • RMS: 150w
  • Peak Power: 300w
  • Frequency Response: 25-120 hz
  • Dimensions: 14-¼” W x 3-⅛”H x 9-⅜”D
Why I chose it

A more powerful choice than the previous one, the Hideaway is the perfect sub for you if you need a bit more punch than what the Kenwood produces.

Real hi-quality here, this Kicker is one of the most popular underseat subs and I couldn’t leave it out this top 3.

3. Sound Storm LOPRO

41cjaWPWXGL. SL500

  • RMS: 300w (8″) 600w (10″)
  • Peak Power: 600w (8″) 1200w (10″)
  • Frequency Response: 25-125 Hz
  • Dimensions:  L13.5” x W9.7” x H3” / L13.9” x W11.1” x H3”
Why I chose it

Sound Storm brought with the LOPRO a very pleasant surprise. An affordable, well-built powered subwoofer that will crank MORE bass than any other.  Hats off.

Available in both 8″ sub and 10″ sub, they are definitely worth of being on the podium.

Shallow Mount Subwoofers: Top 3

Shallow mount subwoofers (also known as slim subs) fall somewhere in between classic, bigger subwoofers and self-powered compact subs like the underseat ones we’ve just seen.

They are designed to take less space than regular subs. They are a great choice if you’re short on trunk space, but want more bass than what you’d get with a powered sub. I did a comprehensive review of the best shallow mount subwoofers on the market, so make sure to check it out too!

1. JL Audio 13TW5V2 Editor’s Choice

  • Sensitivity: 85.63 dB
  • RMS: 600 Watts
  • Peak Power: 1200 watts
  • Frequency Response: 20-500 Hz
  • Impedance: 4Ohms
  • Sizes: 13″
Why I chose it

Simply the best shallow mount sub ever produced. Honestly, if you’ve ever tried a different sub and you think it’s a better one write it down on the comments because I’d love to try that sub if it really is better than this.

Audiophile-level quality on the kind of subwoofer where depth of bass is always troublesome (by design). Gotta love it despite the price.

2. JL Audio TW3 Series

  • Sensitivity: 82.1 dB
  • RMS: 100-400Watts
  • Peak Power: 800Watts
  • Frequency Response: 24-200 Hz
  • Impedance: 4ohms
  • Sizes: 10 and 12 inch
Why I chose it

So just below the TW5 is the TW3 series and it’s so close to be as good as the previous that it’s crazy. Specially when you consider is almost half the price.

The TW3 Series from JL Audio are a great choice given the extremely high quality of materials and build, powerful puch for such a small speaker, and the crispiness of sound. Top notch stuff.

3. Alpine SWR-t Series

41OG2HSZ+VL. SL500

  • Sensitivity: 84 dB
  • RMS: 600Watts
  • Peak Power: 1800 watts
  • Frequency Response: 26-200 Hz
  • Impedance: 4Ohms
  • Sizes: 10″
Why I chose it

Alpine is one of those brands that never dissapoints. Their line of shallow mount subwoofers is a perfect example. Priced higher than the TW3 series (on most retailers) they also have superior specs in terms of punch and RMS. The SWR-T series is definitely a winner.

Best Car Subwoofer Brands

1. JL Audio

The American brand was founded in 1975 by James Birch and Lucio Proni. They combined the initals of their first names to name the brand, JL.

The company is based in Miramar, Florida, where they design, manufacture and were originally selling their subs back in 1979.

2. Sundown Audio

Acclaimed as the best manufacturer of SPL competition subs, Sundown Audio is an American manufacturer that still hasn’t gotten full mainstream, yet has a loyal following due to the extremely high quality of their products. The company is based in Claremont, North Carolina, and Jacob Fuller is the owner.

3. Focal

Focal is a French manufacturer that has been in the car audio industry for the last 38 years. They are one of the most renowned brands when it comes to audio fidelity and sound quality. They are an audiophile’s dream come true.

4. Kicker

Also known as Stillwater Designs, Kicker has been around since 1973. It’s one of the oldest car audio brands and theirs are the square subwoofers, something absolutely unique that was a major “wow” factor in the industry.

5. Rockford Fosgate

Last but not least on this list is Rockford Fosgate. The American manufacturer was founded in 1973 (that’s a lot of history!) by Jim Fosgate and has delivered great audio products ever since.