As I’m sure you know from your own experience, there is nothing better on a long drive than listening to your favorite music while driving. The problem, however, is that there are so many options for subwoofers available that it’s cumbersome to select the ones that are best for you.

To save you some hassle I have come up with a list of subwoofers which I found to be some of the best. I understand how tough it is to browse online for options. I have recently purchased new speakers and a subwoofer for my car, as I am planning to set out on a cross country trip. So I have done my research. Here’s a shortlist of the top 7 car subwoofers that you can also use for reference.

The Best Car Subwoofers for Your Money

Car subwooferSizePowerFrequencyRatings
Alpine Type-R Alpine Type-R Subwoofer The biggest bang 10" Peak: 3000 Watts
RMS: 300 to 1000 Watts
26-200 Hz n/a
JL AUDIO W7AE Top notch subwoofer 12" Peak: 2000 Watts
RMS: 400 to 1000 Watts
18-200 Hz 4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
Kicker DCWR122 Easiest to install 12" Peak: 2000 Watts
RMS: 200 to 1000 Watts
25-200 Hz 3.8 Stars (3.8 / 5)
Pioneer TSSWX250 The deep bass champion 10" 300 Watts (nominal)
1200 Watts (Peak)
20-200 Hz 4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)
Pyle PLSQ10D Entry level subwoofer 10" 1200 Watts n/a 3.9 Stars (3.9 / 5)
Rockford Fosgate P300 Package deal 10" or 12" RMS: 300 Watts 35-150 Hz 4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)
Rockville RW10CA Fits anywhere 10" Peak: 800 Watts
RMS: 200 Watts
20-150 Hz 4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

Alpine Type-R – Best Powered Subwoofer

Alpine Type-R subwooferAt a glance:

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Enclosure Type: Sealed or Ported
  • Frequency Response: 26-200 Hz
  • Power Handling:
    • Peak: 3000 Watts
    • RMS: 300 to 1000 Watts

The Alpine Type-R subwoofer is primarily designed for bassheads. If you want a combination of accurate response and out-of-this world thump, these are the subs for you. It has the capacity to introduce big bass to any kind of vehicle. It also features a highly durable HAMR Santoprene surround system which makes it possible to experience an amazing level of excursion.

When it comes to power, the Alpine Type R has the capacity to deal with an overwhelming 1000 watts total of RMS power. So, you want to make sure to choose a well suited amplifier. This subwoofer would want a partner that can also compliment its performance.

The dual oversized 2-ohm voice coils it features offer a lot of flexibility in wiring. This is something that I really appreciate. Because I know that if I decide to upgrade my system, I can always expect to get maximum power from my amplifier.

Just like any other man-made equipment, this subwoofer also comes with some flaws. One thing that I noticed right away is that the coil tends to be really hot after some time. However, I figured out that this only happens when I tried pushing the settings too far, like hitting the amp up at 1000 RMS. Keeping it at about 500 to 800 RMS seems like a good solution so far.

As a car subwoofer that falls under the price range of $250 to $300, it is one of the best options that can give you real value for your money.

JL AUDIO W7AE – First class subwoofer

JL AUDIO W7AEAt a glance:

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Enclosure Type: Ported
  • Frequency Response: 18-200 Hz
  • Power Handling:
    • Peak: 2000 Watts
    • RMS: 400 to 1000 Watts

All subwoofers in this review come at under $500, except this one. And it’s worth it!

JL AUDIO W7AE is a subwoofer which was created by the manufacturer in celebration of its 10 years in the business. It introduces some of the most recent refinements as seen in its design. This subwoofer now comes with a satin-black frame, a silver anodized trim ring, and a specially designed anniversary logo.

Among the standout features of this model is the use of patented technologies that are incorporated into the model, such as the use of a Dynamic Motor Analysis system that reduces distortions.

What I like about this subwoofer is that it is evident of the expertise of the manufacturer when it comes to creating high quality products. It seems that JL Audio has done its very best in putting its several years of experience into this model. As I have observed, this model has the capability to produce smooth and powerful bass that can enhance the quality of your favorite music.

The JL AUDIO W7AE subwoofer uses OverRoll technology which allows the surround system to wrap around the outer part of the mounting flange. This will allow for a better and more useable area compared to conventional designed surrounds. This also makes the subwoofer highly capable to deal with deeper lows.

Other features that I find worth mentioning are its cross-drilled pole-piece and elevated frame cooling. It pumps the air through the vents inside the frame, as well as other machined holes within the pole piece. Because of this design, the voice coils stay cooler even when pushing the system.

Therefore, if you are looking for a car subwoofer that is suitable for many cars, the JL AUDIO W7AE subwoofer is the best option to choose. It is very easy to install, and is built to last.

Kicker DCWR122 – Easiest to Install

Picture of the Kicker DCWR122At a glance:

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Enclosure Type: Ported
  • Frequency Response: 25-200 Hz
  • Power Handling:
    • Peak: 2000 Watts
    • RMS: 200 to 1000 Watts

I had heard about this subwoofer from a friend who got one, so I decided to check its features. One thing that easily makes this model a great option is that it comes equipped with a loaded enclosure that can put two 12” subwoofers in your music.

It comes in a ruggedly designed ported box which was especially designed for the subwoofers. Which means you can depend on it to provide maximum performance, regardless of the type of music you choose to play.

This subwoofer also features a custom-designed top and back plate which can give it a lot of space to move around. At the same time, it has a durable rubber surrounding which helps in controlling the movement of the cone. Subwoofers often need extensive venting in their baskets in order to reduce heat. So you can depend on an amazing performance in this regard.

When it comes to overall capability, the Kicker DCWR122 can handle a maximum of 1000 watts in RMS. It would be a bad match if you choose a poor quality amplifier to partner with this model. Make sure that you pick an amplifier which can easily complement the ability of these subwoofers.

As mentioned, these subwoofers come included with enclosure. This enclosure works well with 1000 watts worth of recommended power. The design of the enclosure has its front-facing tuned port that raises the bar which will allow you to experience great acoustic efficiency, thus producing tremendous bass levels.

If you are looking for car subwoofers that offers an enclosure as part of the package, while maintaining overall performance, you will not go wrong with the Kicker DCWR122 subwoofers.

Pioneer TSSWX2502 – Best Subwoofers for Deep Bass

Picture of Pioneer TSSWX2502At a glance:

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Enclosure Type: Sealed
  • Frequency Response: 20-200 Hz
  • Power Handling:
    • 300 Watts (nominal)
    • 1200 Watts (Peak)

The Pioneer TSSWX2502 subwoofers are especially designed to provide deep and accurate bass to your current car sound system. As such, you can expect remarkable quality of music during your rides. These subwoofers come with preloaded shallow mount subs which uses oversized cone structure in order to create deeper bass and a better effect.

When it comes to features, the Pioneer TSSWX2502 is equipped with 10 inches shallow mount preloaded enclosure installed. This will definitely further improve the entire audio experience. It is also provided with a reinforced MICA injection molded resin along with its cone structure in order to offer optimal results.

This subwoofer has a dual spider which further contributes to creating better control on the movement of the cone terminals. This feature surface enables toe subwoofer to come up with deeper and louder bass as it moves more air.

The dual spider feature also offers optimized stiffness in stabilizing the cone excursion while supporting the linear movement of the subwoofer, thus ensuring accuracy in bass response. However, I feel that this subwoofer would perform even better if it comes with dual voice coil. Aside from that, everything seems promising about this model.

At the same time, with the use of a fully carpeted enclosure, you also don’t have to worry about dealing with scratches. The surface is scratch resistant, making it an extremely durable product. It offers a compact and space-saving dimension which makes it easier to install in different vehicles.

Indeed, the Pioneer TSSWX2502 subwoofers are the best option for people who want to have loud and deep bass to their music system. It is doing a good job using advanced technology in order to achieve optimal results. Everything considered, it might just be the best car subwoofer under $200.

Pyle PLSQ10D – Best Subwoofers for Beginners

picture of the Pyle PLSQ10D subwooferAt a glance:

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Enclosure Type: N/A
  • Frequency Response: N/A
  • Power Handling: 1200 Watts

The Pyle PLSQ10D subwoofers is not just a great tool which can help in producing great sound. It also looks cool and stunning in terms of design. It has a size of 10 inches, with a 1200 Watt power handling capability.

What makes it unique is that it comes with a square DVC design. It is constructed out of a specially treated, silver polypropylene cone that comes with a wider rubber surround. These features make it possible to produce a booming sound, yet free from any type of distortion.

It also features a 2.5 inch high-temperature dual-voice coil (Kapton), which will leave some serious bass thumping in your ears. Another notable feature of this subwoofer is the use of a specially treated silver polypropylene cone which has a capacity of 4 Ohm impedance for every coil and a mounting depth of 5.91 inches.

I have not purchased this subwoofer myself, but I know somebody who had it as his first subwoofer. I should say that this is a great option for beginners because of its basic features.

The subwoofer works fine, as long as you choose a good quality amplifier to work with it. The only issue I have with this model is that it is relatively big compared to other models. Which mean that you need enough space in your car to install this subwoofer.

Another reason why it can be considered as a great pick for beginners is that it is one of the most affordable options out there. You get several features in one package, all at an affordable and reasonable price. This makes it the best subwoofer under $100.

Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch – The All-In-One Package

At a glance:

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Enclosure Type: Sealed
  • Frequency Response: 35-150 Hz
  • Power Handling:
    • RMS: 300 Watts

Are you looking to adding bass to your vehicle’s sound system without having to deal with finding a subwoofer that has a compatible enclosure and amplifier? The best option for you is the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch. It already comes equipped with the best match of a sub, enclosure and amplifier which helps you to avoid all potential complications.

The P300-12 Punch model from Rockford Fosgate is equipped with a 12 inches subwoofer and a 300 watt built-in amplifier. This sealed enclosure offers amazing sound quality.

At the same time, its rugged design for an industrial vinyl coating provides the needed protection every time you decide to install it. You  can choose between a phase switch, low-pass crossover or the bass boost to adjust the subwoofer. It also comes with a remote knob that allows you to adjust the intensity of the bass from your driver’s seat.

The only issue with this subwoofer is that since it is an all-in-one package, the quality of each part is somewhat limited. You would probably end up with better quality if you bought subwoofer and amplifier seperately.

Despite being packed with amazing features, the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch is also reasonably priced, at a range of $150 to $250. For this reason, I also recommend this subwoofer for both beginners as well as those who are looking for a reasonable option for a model that will not break their bank.

Rockville RW10CA Slim Low Profile Active Powered – Space Efficient Option

At a glance:

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Enclosure Type: Ported
  • Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
  • Power Handling:
    • Peak: 800 Watts
    • RMS: 200 Watts

The Rockville RW10CA subwoofer provides an all-in-one solution that allows you to listen to great sound bass quality inside your vehicle without worrying about consuming too much space.

It comes with a 2.7 inches enclosure that can easily be fitted under your car seat. Having the amplifier built-in with the subwoofer makes wiring and installation both clean and easy.

Rockville made it a point to create a product that does not only save space, but is also very easy to install. With the use of high level input, there is no need to use a remote wire from the receiver just to switch the unit on and off.

What happens is that the built-in smart circuit will automatically sense that there is a presence of an audio signal, turning the device on. As you turn the music off, the built-in amplifier will also automatically turn off.

The use of this high level input is also considered the easiest and fastest way to install this combination of amp and subwoofer because you don’t need to take the receiver off. All you need to do is to wire it to one of the speakers. Another reason why installation is easy with this model is that all inputs and outputs are on the side.

However, what a friend noticed about this subwoofer is that after several months of use, it has the tendency to create distortion even at low settings. It was solved though after hooking it up again, but it can be inconvenient to keep doing so every time it happens.

All in all, I personally recommend the Rockville RW10CA because it comes equipped with amazing controls that can help you tweak sound depending on your preferences. With a level control that can be used to adjust volume, a subsonic filter that can filter out low frequencies, things are made easier. Added to the convenience is the availability of a remote bass knob as well as mounting hardware.

What are the Benefits of Using a Car Subwoofer?

If you are not sure whether or not getting a subwoofer for your car is a good move, here are some benefits that you can take into consideration:

Realistic Sound Experience

These car subwoofers are created with the aim of creating a realistic sound experience. They frequency tones (bass) which are vital for quality sound. Also, since they are less powerful and smaller compared to full size audio systems, they can make amazing music within the vehicle’s limited space.

Bass Range Specialization

Because most car speakers are not able to handle sounds of low frequency, car subwoofers works great in filtering bass tones instead. This results to proper enhancement of bass sounds and at the same time reducing wear & tear on the other car speakers.

Distortion Prevention

One main issue encountered by most vehicle audio systems is distortion. This happens when the cone of the speaker is vibrated way beyond its capacity. When that is the case the sound will not sound as clear as it could otherwise. The solution to this issue is installing a subwoofer which handles different low frequency sounds, as well as higher bass volumes. This way the musical experience will become richer.

Prevention of Damage to Speakers

Smaller car speakers are prone to damage especially when they need to produce music of higher volumes. Subwoofers are designed especially to allow deeper cone fluctuations which are needed in order to achieve precision in low frequency replication.

Non-Directional Bass

Bass is naturally non-directional to our human ears. This means that regardless of the location where this equipment is installed, the bass sound seems to come from all over the car. This does not just avoids listening discomfort, but also gives you a lot of options as to where to install the subwoofer.

How to Choose a Subwoofer for Your Car?

With all the options on car subwoofers these days, choosing the best one can be quite challenging. In order to be guided accordingly, the following are some features that you can look for in a quality subwoofer for your car:

Power

Any discussion about subwoofers typically revolve around two factors: power and size. Power is measured in watts. The watt rating is an estimated guide on the actual loudness that a certain subwoofer can play. However, it does not necessarily have to be louder all the time. You can choose among options such as 100 watts, 300 watts, 500 watts, or go as high as 1000 watts.

Size

The size of a subwoofer is another important factor as it determines loudness. The bigger the subwoofer is, the better the bass that you can expect. Keep this in mind while looking at options. Before deciding on which size you want to get, measure how much space you have in your car for it.

In general you can fit subwoofer box sizes under a table. In order for the equipment to give its best sound quality, the driver that is found inside the subwoofer box should have enough space inside the cabinet.

Type of Enclosure

It is also important to select the type of enclosure that will be used in housing your speaker. Generally, there are two types: sealed and vented/ported. The sealed type is completely airtight, basic in design, and offers an enhanced bass response and speaker performance.

Vented or ported enclosure is basically the same as the sealed type, but with the addition of a vent or port. This emphasizes enhanced low bass reproduction, a specific frequency, as well as low distortion.

Installing new subwoofers in your car

Here’s a great video that explains how to install a complete car audio system: speakers, subwoofer and amplifier:

Conclusion

Each of the subwoofer models mentioned in the list above comes with their own set of features and strong points. They also have a share of drawbacks as well.

If there is one product that I would recommend as an overall solution, it’s the JL Audio W7AE-3 subwoofer. While it may be one of the higher priced option in this list, it offers amazing value for your money, considering the features that it comes with.

I hope this helped you figuring out which subwoofer is best for your needs and your car. Enjoy the music and remember: it’s all about that bass.