Music brings with it a relaxing and comfortable aura, just what you need while driving. Subwoofers will add more impact and rumble to your music, making it more enjoyable and entertaining. The moment you fit your vehicle with a subwoofer, you will definitely notice the difference in sound.
They can be installed in nearly any model of car. Besides, they come with pre-installed amplifiers, cutting the cost of having to purchase one. Those fitting their vehicles for the first time will not have any difficulties. As with any other product in the market, there are different models of powered subwoofers, each promising to deliver the desired results.
In this article, we will discuss the top ten best powered subwoofer car models as well as give you a few tips to follow when purchasing one.
The first thing you will note when you see a Rockford Fosgate P300-12 powered subwoofer, is its size. It measures 11” by 19.8” by 15”, making it one of the largest subwoofers. Being one of the most powerful car sound systems, you can be assured of some deep bass. It a powerful 300 watt internal amplifier that will definitely introduce a new sound in your car.
Rockford Fosgate is designed to be fitted in the trunk or cargo area. In this areas, it is prone to wear and tear as a result of constant bumps and scrapes. The manufacturer has ensured this does not happen by using a durable material to construct its exterior. Its closed loop design ensures its three vital components, the woofer, enclosure and amplifier, work closely together to deliver maximum sound.
This model is self-contained. It does not need you to add anything to it. All you need to do is to connect it to the car battery and you have your sound. Its installation is that easy, no need to spend hours at the mechanic. Its manufacturer, Rockford Fosgate is reputable for production of high quality audio products. Therefore, you can be assured you are getting one of the best, if the best
- Comes with a one year warranty
- High quality casing resistant to constant bumping
- Powerful 300 watt amplifier
- Unique design for optimum sound
- Its size is not suitable for vehicles with small trunks
- Prone to faster wear and tear
2. Kicker 11HS8
This 8” powered subwoofer is one of the smallest model in the market. Its small slim design makes it suitable for fitting in the tightest of locations in your car. It measures 18.8” by 9.4” by 3.1”. You do not have to worry about how you are going to strap the subwoofer into position. The enclosure comes with nylon straps fitted with Velcro tape to help secure it into place.
Given its small size, one would easily dismiss Kicker 11HS8. However, it one of those sound systems that perform beyond expectations. It comes with a pre-fitted 150 watt amplifier, which is more than adequate for its size. You do not need to pay your mechanic a visit for him to install it for you. You can do it one afternoon at the comfort of your own garage. All you need to do is to connect it to the car battery using the power cable that comes with it.
One unique feature about this compact subwoofer is its ability to automatically turn itself on, upon sensing certain signals. Controlling what music is easy as it comes with a wired remote control.
Despite its small size, Kicker 11HS8 delivers a loud clear bass, free of distortions.
- Manufacturer offers a one year warranty
- Slim design for the tightest of spaces
- Velcro nylon straps for easy fitting
- Able to sense signals for automatic turn on
- Kicker KISL, which is essential is sold separately
- Less powerful than other sounds
3. JBL GT-BassPro12
This right here is one of the most powerful powered subwoofers available in the market. If you are looking for powerful sound as well as convenience, then this is the model for you. It features a 12” polypropylene cone that is surrounded by rubber that further amplifies sound from the system. It comes with a 150 watts amplifier, so you do not have to worry about finding the right amplifier for your car.
The wired remote control allows you to make adjustments right from the comfort of your seat. Its most unique feature is the progressive spider, which controls the cone’s motion. This protects your investment even at the highest of sounds.
Overheating damages an electronic product faster than physical tear and wear. With JBL GT-BassPro12, this is one thing less you have to worry about. Its vented polepiece cools the subwoofer so it is able to tolerate higher power inputs. Its slipstream eliminates port noise, a noise that indicates that your port is malfunctioning.
This subwoofer automatically turns on when it receives signal input from the speaker level. When the signal is eliminated, the subwoofer automatically turns off. Its speakers are protected using special speaker bars helping keep the cone safe.
For maximum sound, the subwoofer uses stacked magnets to boost magnetic flux as well control cone motion.
- Wired remote control
- Automatic turn on and off
- Stacked magnets for maximum sound
- Convenient cooling system
- Slipstream ports
- Speaker protection bars
- No mention of a warranty
- Installation may require expertise
Now this is one powerful subwoofer. It comes with not one, but two subwoofers. Not only that, you get to directly view the subwoofers through a glass viewing window that is fitted with an illuminate technology, that lights up your car. Mirrors are fitted on either side of its interior. This together with the illuminate technology, lights up the whole car blue.
The subwoofers have built-in amplifiers that accommodate power from as low as 600 watts to as high as 1,100 watts. Its 12” cones are injected with Aluminum, thus able to deliver high sound bass. This kind of purchase is a huge investment, it is not something you purchase every now and then. To maximize on durability, the enclosure as well as the interior chambers are reinforced to withstand constant bumps and scrapes. The viewing widow is made of strong plexi glass.
The built in crossover makes it easy to connect to your car as well as other different setups. Its ports utilize a unique computer aided design that greatly improves sound output. The subwoofers keep themselves cool by utilizing the built-in cooling system. This keeps your investment cool during long hours of entertainment.
It measures 30” by 14.4” by 14.4”, making it one of the largest subwoofers in this review.
- Built in cooling system
- Can easily be connected to different set ups, not necessarily car
- Durable construction
- One year warranty
- Powerful amplifiers, up to 1,100 watts
- Unique illuminate technology
- Not suitable for compact spaces
5. Pioneer TS-SW2002D2
If you are looking for bass without compromising on space, then this is the model for. Designed to fit even in the tightest of spaces, Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 measures 7” by 7” by 7”. Its built-in amplifiers can handle a maximum of 600 watts and a minimum of 150 watts. With its small, it has to ensure it maximizes on sound. Its oversized 8” cone is embedded with Mica resin, which significantly amplifies its bass.
The large surface area of the cone allows the subwoofer to displace more air and thus produce more sound and bass. It can handle frequencies between 20 Hz to 200 Hz. The manufacturer does not offer you any warranty, leaving one to question their confidence in their products.
When driving, the last thing you want to do is to keep stopping to adjust the bass of your subwoofer. The only thing you want to stop for its gas and probably food. With this model, you will have to forgo convenience. It does not come with a remote control, neither can it turn itself on and off after receiving signals form the speaker level.
It is mounted 2-5/8” lesser than most of the subwoofers in the market. This is probably the reason it can properly function in air tight spaces.
- Compact size for tight spaces
- Oversized speakers for maximum bass
- Cone injected with Mica resin for maximum sound amplification
- Wide frequency range
- Does not come with a warranty
- No remote control
- Not a powerful sound
Designed to fit under the seat, Rockville SS8P measures 11.4” by 8.3” by 2.8”. Being only 2.8” thick makes it easy to fit under the seat, therefore you do not have to compromise on trunk space. Its built-in amplifier handles power as low as 100 watts and as high as 400 watts.
Installation could not be made an easier. Its high level inputs makes it convenient for you even in the absence of preamp outputs. The inputs and outputs are on one side. This not only makes installation easier, but also makes wiring appear neat and organized. Its enclosure is made of cast aluminum, which is not only durable but also stays cool even during prolonged periods of entertainment.
The subwoofer’s circuit is protected against overheating, overloading as well insulated against short-circuiting. The amplifier is able to sense audio signals and automatically turn itself on. When the signals are eliminated, the subwoofer automatically turns itself off. Included is a subsonic filter that gets rid of low frequencies the ear cannot detect. Frequency ranges between 20Hz and 150Hz.
Accessories included in the package include wire ties, spades, grommets, ring terminals and Butt connectors. RCA cables, made from 100% copper are also included. Adjusting the bass is made easier by the remote control at the subwoofer level.
- Package includes accessories and RCA cables
- Economizes on space
- Aluminum cast enclosure
- Automatic turn on and off
- Easy installation
- No mention of a warranty
- Not a powerful sound
This is a compact subwoofer designed to fit any space. It measures 15.3” by 15.3” by 9.2”. Its name might deceive to think it has two subwoofers, while it is actually one. If you are looking for a powerful subwoofer, then Dual Electronic SBP8A is not for you. Its amplifier can only handle a maximum of 160 watts and a minimum of 80 watts.
It is loaded with an 8” cone, coated with aluminum. This helps boost its bass. Its built-in crossovers make it easy to install. You can connect to your vehicle or to whatever setup the occasion demands. Its unique tuned port inspired by computer ports and with 2” Voice coils greatly boosts its efficiency for a low sounding bass.
You can directly view the subwoofers through the glass viewing window. To enhance your view, an illuminate technology has been utilized which lights the subwoofer blue. This gives you a shot at trying to create a color coordinated theme for your car. You do not have to worry about overheating as the subwoofer has a built-in cooling system.
Its enclosure is strengthened using chrome and steel, making it resistant to constant bumping and scraping. The manufacturer offers a one year warranty, depicting confidence in its products. Its interior is carpeted, minimizing enclosure movement for streamlined sound output. Accommodates frequency between 20Hz and 200Hz.
- Designed to fit any space
- Built-in crossovers
- One year warranty
- Reinforced enclosure
- Requires professional installation
- More powerful sounds available
8. MTX TNE212D
This is another powerful subwoofer, with two enclosed 12” subwoofers. It is quite large measuring 29-5/8” by 14” by 13-1/2” making it unsuitable for one who is not willing to compromise on space. MTX TNE212D produces a tight bass as a result of its rugged interior which is built using medium density fiberboard covered with carpet.
Technology used in the manufacture of this subwoofer is one of its kind. It able to keep cool even in prolonged period of entertainment due to its inbuilt spider plateau venting system. This further prolongs its durability. The manufacturer seems confident in this subwoofer. You are offered a 2 year warranty in case of any mishaps.
Its amplifier can handle power between 200 watts and 400 watts RMS, with a peak power of 1,200 watts. This is evidence of how powerful this subwoofer is.
Its cones are made of polypropylene and surrounded by rubber to ensure maximum cone resonance damping. This translates into a tight powerful bass. Its progressive spider technology controls the cones motion. This ensures maximum reliability even at the highest of sounds.
The subwoofer’s extended pole piece further helps cool the sub. With such effective cooling mechanisms, the subwoofer is able to withstand very high power supply. This makes this subwoofer really cool.
- Rugged interior for maximum bass
- Built in cooling system
- Very powerful sound system
- Two year warranty
- Polypropylene cones
- Quite large thus not suitable for compact spaces
- Manufacturer provides scanty information about it
When you receive our package, the first thing you will note about Kicker 10C124 is its unique shape. It is not the convectional cuboid or cube shape. Looks more of a cone, only wider and prettier. It comes as a pair each measuring 12.6” by 12.6” by 6.8”. It is quite powerful tolerating power of 300watts RMS and a peak power of 600 watts while working together as a pair. Features an injection-molded cone for maximum bass amplification. Its 36-degree back bracing ensures durability as well as helps in dissipating excess heat.
Leave worrying about overheating to other lower models. With Kicker 10C124 installed, you can be lest assured that the subwoofer is cooling itself. Its coil-cooling venting system built-in along its perimeter, ensures this. One unique feature of this subwoofer is its ability to optimally function in both open and concealed places.
Its enclosure is reinforced using spiraled tinsel and lead for maximum durability. Besides, its push terminals are strengthened using nickel, while its interior is reinforced using steel. This adds on to its bass as well as to its durability.
On top of the scanty description offered, the manufacturer does not mention of a warranty, further questioning their confidence in their products.
- Versatile technology for both open and concealed areas
- Built-in cooling system
- Enclosure reinforced with spiraled tinsel and lead
- Size suitable for compact spaces
- No mention of a warranty
- Other powerful subwoofers are available
- No remote control
10.Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer
If you are worried that the space under your seat or the trunk is just too small, then here is a subwoofer for you. Kenwood KSC-SW11 is quite sizeable measuring 11” by 7.5” by 2.8”, thus does not require that much space. It is manufactured by Kenwood, therefore you are assured of years of service. Has an aluminum enclosure that is not only resistant to rust, but also adequately absorbs and gets rid of heat.
One thing though, it does not produce as much sound as one would expect at only 150 watts. So if you are looking for powerful sound, you might have to reconsider Kenwood KSC-SW11. You can easily install it in your garage, no need for professional expertise required. All you need to do is connect your subwoofer to your car battery and ground it. Then, using the RCA wires, connect the sound system to your head.
Controlling the music playing has never been any easier. Kenwood come with a wired remote that allows you to easily control what is playing. You can play loud music for as long as you wish, with no worries of causing damage. It comes with its own amplifier, as well as ground and power cables.
If you are seeking for a small compact sound system for your car, then this is for you.
- Aluminum casing to adequately absorb and dissipate heat
- Not difficult to install
- Good quality material for durability
- Wired remote control
- The model does not come with a wiring kit
- Sound strength at only 150 Watts
Buying guide of Best powered subwoofer car
You have finally decided to invest in a subwoofer for your car. Good decision. But here comes the real challenge. On looking up on the internet, you were provided with hundreds of models to choose from. Now you are confused and do not know what to do next. It is always essential that you understand what you want before you can go looking for a subwoofer. Otherwise, you will be confused and might end up making the wrong decision.
Below we will discuss as few pointers when purchasing a best car powered subwoofer.
The enclosure holds the amplifier and woofer inside and thus can be quite huge. Besides, the measurements of the enclosure are very specific and non-adjustable. You will want to consider the dimensions and measurements of the enclosure. Ensure it can fit under your seat or in your trunk. If you have to, take the measurements of your car. Avoid estimating as this can lead to frustrations.
No matter the model of car you drive, ensure you have enough space in your trunk. If you plan to fit the subwoofer under your seat, ensure you have adequate height. You are at an added advantage if your car has power front seats, as these ones tend to have compartments beneath.
Look out for how much power the subwoofer you choose can handle. This should be part of the item’s package and should be listed in watts. It gives a good indication on the loudness of the sound system you plan to purchase.
In general, the higher the watts, the louder the subwoofer is likely to be and the more power it will require to run. However, how loud a subwoofer is depends on several other factors including design of the enclosure and its material.
The enclosure design affects how loud the subwoofer is going to be. In general, there are two common types of enclosures, sealed and vented enclosures. Sealed enclosures have a very basic design. They are air tight and are more suited for small spaces like under the seat. This amplifies its sound for a better bass effect. On the other hand, vented enclosures have vents that are specific to certain frequencies. They are more suited for larger spaces. They also have a better bass effect.
Each powered subwoofer comes with its own cone, with a specific size. Always make sure the cone size of the sub you are purchasing aligns with what you want. In general, the larger the cone, the deeper the bass and vice versa. Cones above 10” produce a deep bass while 8” cones produce a punchier bass.
Ease of installation
The thought of spending an afternoon at the mechanics just to have a subwoofer installed, is not encouraging, though might be to some. While some models are easy to install and can be done even by first timers, others require professional expertise. Choose a model whose installation process you are comfortable with.
Read the best car visor extender review to know more about and buy.
How we picked the best powered subwoofer for car
I must admit, putting together a list of 10 of the best powered subwoofer car, was not easy. There are so many great models to choose from, each promising to do better than the last. Yeah, they each have customer reviews at the each product description. But we cannot entirely rely on this as it is a well-known fact that companies entice customers to write positive reviews on their products in each for a discount or free product.
First, we made a list models we thought might be the best. Here we considered the best selling as well as most popular. Top reviews by personal websites were also considered though to a very small extent, as well all know they can be biased. Personal experiences from any of our team members were also considered. With a list in hand, we explored each product extensively. This was quite easy was most manufacturers provide a detailed description of their products, including specific dimensions.
The products were put against each other, noting differences in enclosure size, power handling, and cone size. Other factors considered included ease of installation, providence of a warranty and durability. Competition amongst the different models was stiff, but as with every race, there ultimately has to a winner.
One thing I can assure you is that the ten subwoofers for car listed here are among the best in the market, if not the best. They are a product of extensive and non-biased research by our team.
How to install a powered subwoofer
You finally made your decision and purchased the subwoofer that most suits your needs. Here comes the next part, installation. Most subwoofers are easy to install, even by first timers. If you are still not confident enough, worry not as we will discuss how to install a subwoofer below.
Things you need
Other than the subwoofer, there are several other items that you will need. Some of the key things you will require include:
- Speaker wires
- Amplifier wires which include remote and fuse holder wires
- Good quality electrical tape
- Hand tools including screwdrivers
- Cordless drill-diverse sizes
- Metal coat hanger for pulling and bending the wire into the straight piece
- Electrical connection to provide the signal to boost the amplifier
Preparation for installation
You have the subwoofer as well as the tools you require with you. Open the package and inspect thoroughly. Ensure everything is intact and that accessories provided by the manufacturer are present. Look out for the manual. Ensure you go through it, even if you have an idea of what you are doing.
Find your subwoofer a suitable place. Subwoofers generate heat, so it is advisable to choose a position that allows adequate ventilation. To protect yourself and your gear, disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
Connect the power wire
Start by running the power cable from the batter to the subwoofer. Some models already have a fuse in place. If not you will have to create your own fuse. Keep the fuse as close to the battery as the lead between the terminal and the fuse is uninsulated. In most vehicles, you can pass the power wire through an existing entry point on the firewall between the engine and the main cabin. In the main cabin, tuck the power wire under the panels or under the carpet on one side until you get to the sub.
Connect turning on wires and RCA cables
If you have a subwoofer with preamp outputs, run these cables behind your dashboard to the sub. The turn on wire is usually blue (confirm with the manual) and connects to a remote turn on wire on the sub. Plug in the RCA wires to the RCA outputs on your sub. These two cables should run on the opposite side of the power wire to avoid interference by electrical noise.
Connect the ground wire
This cable should be connected to the vehicle’s chassis and fastened. The cable’s terminal should be in contact with the vehicle’s bare metal. Any interference to this should be removed.
Mount the subwoofer
What is left is for you to make connections between the cables and place the sub in position. Do not bend the wires too much, to avoid unnecessary tear and wear. Turn down the amplifier’s gains, reconnect your battery’s negative terminal and verify the sub turns on when you start the car. Now you can enjoy the new sound of music from your car.
Important Q/A about car powered subwoofer
Which subwoofer will be the loudest?
If you want a loud subwoofer there are a number of factors you will need to consider including enclosure design, power handling and sensitivity. They all affect how sound from the amplifier is enhanced and thus how loud the sub will be.
Will I be able to hear the bass from my trunk?
Absolutely. Bass is able to easily penetrate the materials between the trunk and the passenger compartment. The only times you will fail to hear bass from your trunk is if the trunk is sealed or is soundproof.
What’s the impact of different cone materials?
Subwoofer cones can be made of paper, synthetics like polypropylene or composites like aluminum. They all function and sound well, though you may need to test subwoofers with different materials to know which one sounds better for you. Paper is not durable but responds quickest.
A subwoofer is definitely an item worth investing in. The market offers you hundreds, if not thousands of models to choose from. All you need is to know what you want and you will find it. They are easy to install. Besides they will that extra ump that music in your car has been lacking.
If you are not convinced yet, I would recommend that you go through this review once more to clear those foggy thoughts. Otherwise, all the best as you take your first step towards owning a best car powered subwoofer.