If you’re a music enthusiast that spends each day in your car, then one of the must-have upgrades you need to make is getting yourself a subwoofer. Subwoofers can really boost the music experience in your vehicle. However, with the wide array of best subwoofer for car out there, picking the best one may not be that simple. A wrong decision would cost you a lot of time, effort and money, and that’s something you want to avoid at all costs. But first thing’s first, why do you need one?
Top 5 Car Subwoofers On The Market
If you’re still pondering on the question what are the best subwoofers? There’s not one size fits all, it all depends on their use and your specific need. Now, let’s get to the minute details of these subs. Here’s a compiled list of car subwoofer reviews may help you finally decide on your dream subwoofer. Some of the best subwoofers include:
II. Why You Need A Subwoofer For Your Car?
Subwoofers are meant to serve one purpose; boost the bass of the system. They are mainly involved in producing low-frequency sounds, and that’s what gives your music depth and makes it a pleasure to listen to.
1. Realistic sound
- The thing is, car speakers don’t have the advantage of size when it comes to designing them. Unlike home stereo systems, car speakers need to be designed using smaller units, which are generally less powerful.
- This is a huge disadvantage as the sound produced won’t be as good. Adding subwoofers takes care of this problem. The subwoofers would generate a rich bass that’s absent in the car speakers, leading to a more realistic sound.
2. Preventing distortion
- Ever heard the nasty distortion of sound when you get your volume to the max? Well, that’s a clear sign that your car speakers can’t handle the bass range your media producing.
- This usually occurs when you introduce volumes too loud for the speakers to handle. Subs for your car would easily handle the high-volume bass sounds and get rid of the distortion.
3. Prevent damage to car speakers
- If you constantly listen to deep bass media from your car, then you’re not doing justice to the car speakers. Subjecting these speakers to low-frequency volumes may eventually create cracks or tear their cones completely.
- These car speakers are not suited to such sounds. Having a subwoofer designed to handle such low frequencies prevents your car speakers from eventually failing.
4. Types of subwoofers available
- So what is the best subwoofer for you? To answer that question, your first step needs to be figuring out what is out there. Subwoofers exist in different kinds, all designed to suit a particular audience.
5. Powered subwoofer
- You’ve got an option between powered and passive subwoofers. A separate amplifier for the car subwoofer would have to be purchased with passive subs. However, powered subwoofers are designed with their amplifier built in.
- The signal from your audio source is sent directly to the sub’s amplifier before reaching the woofer. They are smaller and more compact, which makes them fit easily into any vehicle. However, powered subwoofers are generally less powerful than passive subs.
6. Component subs
- Component subs are not for the faint of heart. This is an option that you go for only when you want to design a truly personalized system. Component subwoofers don’t have an enclosure or box.
- The reason behind this is simple. You’ll be able to create your own sound system as you please, maximizing on space and boosting aesthetics. Such speakers are available in extreme power handling variants, making them the best competition subwoofers.
7. Enclosed subs
- Another option you can go for are enclosed subs. Unlike component subs, they don’t need you to get an external enclosure for it. That way, you’ll do little in setting and designing the speakers.
- You won’t have to be concerned about matching the power and voice coils as all that has been done for you. However, your options would be a bit limited on the type of boxes or designs available.
- If the available designs don’t match your vehicle’s structure, then your best shot is to opt for a vehicle-specific woofer. Such woofers are designed to fit perfectly into a particular vehicle.
- These subs are a great option when looking for subwoofers for trucks or SUVs. They would blend perfectly with the color or physique of your vehicle when other subs won’t.
9. Some key specs to consider
- Once you have a good idea of the kind of the subwoofers on the market, then you need to get the deeper details. There are some specifications that would assist you in making an even better decision on the subs to buy.
10. RMS Power
- Pay attention to the power of the system, the more it is the better the boom you’ll get. Don’t put so much consideration into the peak power ratings. The peak ratings simply give the maximum power that the subwoofer can handle.
- The RMS power gives a measure of the continuous power a subwoofer can handle. You may need an amplifier, so ensure that you match the subwoofer with the right amplifier. The amp’s power output needs to be enough to power the sub.
11. Size matters
- Subwoofers come in different sizes. You’ve got 8 inch subwoofer car audios to 15 inch subwoofers. For a small vehicle with little space, then an 8 inch subwoofer would do you just fine.
- Apart from space considerations, size also affects the quality of sound. A bigger subwoofer generally produces deeper bass. However, combining subs may give you an even better effect.
- Two 10 inch subwoofers, for instance, would give a cleaner punch than one 12 inch subwoofer. However, a 12-inch subwoofer would sound deeper.
- The box type also affects the sound quality. If you’re looking for a deeper bass, then go for a sealed box. However, if you want more volume, then a bandpass enclosure would work for you.
13. Frequency range
- The frequency range gives you an idea of how low the subwoofer can play. What you’ll be looking for here is a unit with a frequency range that’s as low as possible. However, the enclosure has a huge effect on the sounds that you actually hear, so you need to treat these two aspects as one.
- This refers to the efficiency of the subwoofer, and it’s normally in decibels (dB). The higher the sensitivity, the better it’ll be in converting the signals from the amp into sound.
- This aspect is utterly important as a subwoofer would require half as much power as another with 3dB less. If your amp doesn’t have as much power, get a subwoofer with high sensitivity.
III. Top 5 Car Subwoofers On The Market
1. MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D 1,200-Watt Dual 12-Inch
This is one of those products that has taken over the subwoofer market. It’s designed with a simplistic touch and comes with a reasonable price tag that won’t make you break the bank. If you’re looking for a car subwoofer for the money, then this is it.
The MTX TNE212D also comes enclosed in a box that can hold out all the pressure and give you the best you can get out of the sub. It’s encased in an MDF casing that can handle the massive low frequencies without any problem.
Additionally, there’s plenty of carpet material with an elegant finish that really boosts the aesthetics when you place it at the trunk of your car. The enclosure is also lined with high-quality insulation material that minimizes sound loss and maximizes the sound output.
The dual 12-inch unit enclosure is also equipped with durable polypropylene dust caps that can handle any rigorous motions of most trunks but remains light enough to enable them move even with less power.
A Spider Plateau Venting system is incorporated into the subwoofers to facilitate the cooling process and allow the subwoofers to remain cool even after extended play.
These woofers exist in dual 12-inch configurations with each subwoofer handling up to 200 watts of continuous wattage. That gives it a total RMS of 400 watts. It also has a frequency range of 37Hz to 150Hz. While this frequency is not as low as competitive subs, once coupled with its sealed enclosure, the MTX Audio Terminator is a good option if you’re looking for a car subwoofer for deep bass.
Check out the following pros and cons of the MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D
- MDF (medium density fiberboard) enclosure with extra strength.
- Sealed enclosure that gives deep bass sounds.
- Easy to install with no special skills required.
- It harmonizes with the interior of most trunks due to its stylish carpet finish.
- Unsatisfactory frequency range.
- You may need an external amp as the one that comes in built has only got a moderate output.
2. Pioneer TSSWX2502 10-Inch
This is an example of a subwoofer with crisp clean sound. It’s a 10-inch sub, so it’s definitely going to save you lots of space. It’s also a shallow mount with only 3 and a quarter inches. This makes it possible to fit it practically anywhere. As a product of Pioneer, one of the most prominent brands in the audio products industry, this subwoofer would definitely bring you the sound you’ve been looking for.
The Pioneer TSSWX2502 has got an oversized cone structure that gives you more cone to gasket surface ratio. This contributes greatly in creating that extra deep, welcoming bass. As a plus, this subwoofer also has a dual spider configuration that gives it a better control over the cone’s motion during heavy play.
The surface of the Pioneer subwoofer was also designed with great ingenuity. It’s got a fully carpeted enclosure that gives it its scratch resistant surface. It’s also designed in a way that makes it possible to mount it upside down and have your stuff on top of it. This design allows it to saves a lot of space without killing your sound.
Another great aspect about this sub is that it doesn’t rely on the spider design as most other subs do. Pioneer has developed a better air suspension system that can keep the air between the drive and main cone trapped. Once the cone moves, the trapped air acts like a spring and brings about tight, powerful bass.
The Pioneer TSSWX2502 is built with an RMS of 400 watts and a peak rating of 800 watts. This makes it a good candidate to handle all kinds of music spikes without any distortion. It’s got a frequency range of 20Hz to 125Hz. Coupled with a sealed enclosure, this sub will give you the deepest of bass sounds.
Check out the following pros and cons of the Pioneer TSSWX2502
- Scratch-resistant enclosure surface that you can place stuff on without any worry.
- Compact and space saving, making it suitable for smaller vehicles or even pickups.
- Air suspension system that produces a precise movement and eventually clean powerful bass.
- High sensitivity of 96dB.
- Shallow compact design affects the quality of sound. Not a good option if you’re looking for ground pounding bass.
- You may have to add spacers under the feet of the enclosure if you play particularly deep bass. The woofer may extend and hit the floor.
3. Kicker 10C124 Comp 12-Inch Subwoofer
This is another amazing subwoofer for the money. The Kicker 10C124 12-inch sub is a well-known budget friendly sub that gives you a great bass for only a few bucks.
Its construction is up to standards, comprising of a super rigid, injection-molded cone in a solid steel basket specifically designed to hold still even when subjected to excessive bass. The cone also has a 360-degree back bracing for a richer sound experience and a strong motor structure to ensure that the sub remains durable. A perimeter venting is also in place to ensure that the subwoofer remains cool even when used for extended time frames.
The Kicker technology used on these subwoofers is amazing. It’s got a Spiralead tinsel-lead technology that ascertains the durability of the product and a high temp voice coil wire that can be pushed to the limits without too much to worry about. The ribbed foam surround also ensures that the cone is on target and provides long excursion, whereas the double stitching provides long-term consistent performance.
If you’re more concerned about the numbers, then the Kicker 10C124 has got an RMS rating of 150 watts and a peak rating of 300 watts. These numbers are quite low but considering its price tag, they are a good deal. The frequency range is between 27 to 500 Hz so don’t expect rock pounding bass from it. A sensitivity rating of 88dB is also not as great.
However, the Kicker still has a lot more advantages than disadvantages, considering its price.
Check out the following pros and cons of the Kicker 10C124 Comp 12-Inch Subwoofer
- Handy spring loading terminals.
- One of the best subwoofers, giving best value for money.
- Superb build and design.
- Doesn’t give you the deepest soul-kicking bass.
4. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 4-Ohm 12-Inch
The Rockford Fosgate P3D4 is a model that’s packed with epic performance. It features an anodized aluminum cone designed to keep the speaker rigid when the bass gets heavy while still maintaining its light weight and responsiveness. Additionally, the aluminum cone also guides the heat away from the aluminum voice coils ensuring your system gives consistent bass performance even as it ages.
The woofer is also highlighted by a remarkable finish of solid aluminum cone and a dust cap. One of the most innovative aspects of this product is the use of Rockford’s VAST (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) technology. VAST is used in attaching the outer cone diameters to the basket in a manner that provides the most effective use of cone area and increased excursion.
This subwoofer also has a unique design with a rubber attached to the cone. This facilitates air movement and makes it pump 25% more air, thereby boosting the bass levels a great deal.
With 1200 peak watts and an RMS rating of 600watts, you can expect nothing but clear deep bass. However, the Rockford Fostgate P3D4-12 only has a frequency range of about 27Hz to 250Hz, which is not low enough as compared to the best subwoofers.
Check out the following pros and cons of the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12
- Moves air better due to its rubber attached cone.
- VAST (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) technology increases the effectiveness of the cone area and provides a greater excursion when attaching the outer cone diameter to the basket.
- Heat sink aluminum cone flex that diverts heat away from the coils.
- Generous venting to ensure that the copper clad coils are properly cooled.
- Spider design of the coils to keep the subwoofer coils aligned.
- Flex fit basket design
- Can have distortion for really heavy bass when you push it to its limits.
5. Dual BP1204 12-Inch 1100-Wat Illumination Bandpass Subwoofer
The Dual BP1204 is a subwoofer with 12-inch dual speakers that pump a lot of bass. Two subs are better than one; they’ll move more air, so you can be assured of a thunderstorm of bass. The Dual BP1204 is a low budget subwoofer that’s a little more expensive than the other subwoofers, but it’ll be worth every penny. It also gives off great blue illumination that makes the trunk of your vehicle look as great as the sound coming off it.
The construction of the subwoofer is also up to standards. It’s got a robust MDF construction that’s been complemented with bracing and carpet covering. They feature some polypropylene cones plus steel baskets dubbed with foam surrounds to increase the stability and control of the system.
The subwoofer is packed with 600 watts RMS and 1100 watts peak ratings. It produces a frequency range of 25Hz to 20 Hz, thereby ensuring you get the deepest of bass sounds. It’s also a bandpass enclosure that will give you the loudest volumes.
However, there’s a downside to it. The dual 12-inch box takes up plenty of space in your trunk. You won’t be able to pack up as much as you could before the sub. This can cause a headache particularly if you’ve got a small vehicle. So only go for it if you’re ready to give up your trunk space.
Check out the following pros and cons of the Dual BP1204 12-Inch
- Computer tuned acoustic chamber to boost the output.
- Plexiglas windows to accentuate the blue illumination and color-coordinate the installation.
- Tough build with nailed and glued construction to handle any movement created by deep and high-pressure sounds.
- It takes up a lot of trunk space.
- Heavy, and even raises the amount of fuel you use.
IV. How To Installing An Amplifier & Subwoofer
Getting a subwoofer is not an easy decision but with this information, you’re a lot closer to achieving your goals. The choice you pick needs to fit your particular situation, and all you need to do is get the perfect balance between the prices and features. You want a subwoofer that would give you the best bass for the best price. The MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D does just that. Compared to the others, this subwoofer’s price tag gives you the most features. Though it’s not as fancy as the Dual BP1204, the MTX is the best choice for people who are looking for more bass. It’ll also save you more trunk space as compared to most 12-inch subs.
The MTX TNE212D has got a sealed enclosure that pounds the bass hard and a simplistic but ideal design that can blend in perfectly with any trunk space. With the MTX TNE212D, you’ll also have enough RMS and peak ratings to keep your audio feeling real and deep. Oh, the MTX is also a dual 12-inch sub, which makes it twice as good as a single sub. Together, the two speakers would give you a cleaner and deeper bass. With the MTX TNE212D, you’ll have your powered subwoofer car in no time.