JBL Stage 810 (8-Inch)
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10 (10-Inch)
JL Audio W0V3 (10-Inch)
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 (8-Inch)
KICKER 40CWD84 (8-Inch)
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12
Buying a new subwoofer for your car can be quite daunting.
Size, power, bass quality, voice coil configuration and more; there are so many things to consider! But, there’s no need to worry; because I have done all the hard work for you.
Hey everyone, it’s Roger here. I’m a car buff who loves to mod my vehicles with the latest tech.
And, I’m excited to present to you my list of 8 Best Car Subwoofers available on the market today. I’ve also prepared an extensive guide to help beginners make the right choice.
Excited to find out my opinion on some of the top-rated products? Well, read along then.
JBL needs no introduction in the world of audio. Whether you’re looking to buy a Bluetooth speaker, subwoofer or an amplifier, JBL’s got you covered. However, it’s been a while since the brand launched a class-leading subwoofer.
Thankfully, the JBL Stage 810 shows great promise. Now, let’s find out why this is my favorite8-inch subwoofer.
Honestly, after testing a few average products from JBL, I wasn’t expecting much from this subwoofer. In fact, I wasn’t even going to buy it. But, a friend of mine, who’s also a car audio buff like me, was adamant that I try it out. And after reading scores of highly positive reviews, I decided to give it a go.
And my word, it turned out to be quite incredible!
Now, before I talk to you about the things I loved about this subwoofer, I need to tell you about my review process. For all the products featured here, I’ve used the same mono amplifier to ensure that everything stays fair. Also, I’ve only testeda single subwoofer in each case.
Okay then, let’s get on with the review now.
The JBL Stage 810 absolutely blew me away with its bass output. It was loud, crisp, and didn’t distort even at full volume. And even when I tested it without my amp, it was quite good. That’s what impressed me most about this product. Apart from that, I loved the classy design.
In my years of testing and reviewing car audio products, I haven’t quite come across one without a single noticeable flaw. But, even after nitpicking, I couldn’t quite come up with a negative point about the Stage 810 subwoofer.
Now, this is a new product,and I can’t quite comment on the longevity. Only time will tell. However, if it manages to stand up to the test of time, this will remain my pick for the best subs of 2018. It’s that good!Check Best Price
Created by the legendary Jim Fosgate, this company is revered as one of the top car audio brands today. They’ve pioneered many audio products, including the very first car amplifier.
Can the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 carry forward the company’s impressive legacy? Let’s find out.
If you’ve read my review of 8 Inch Subwoofers, you’ll know that this was my pick for the ideal car subwoofer of 2017. But, in the world of technology, it’s hard to hold on to the top spot for long.
However, that doesn’t mean the Punch P3SD2 isn’t significant anymore. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Sure, it may not hold the top spot any longer, but, it’s still a worthy purchase.
Now, since this is a DVC (Dual Voice Coil) subwoofer, connecting it properly can be quite tricky. I connected one pair of positive and negative terminals to the amplifier at 4-ohm load and bridged the other pair of terminals.
With this arrangement, the P3SD2 can be quite impressive. Compared to the JBL Stage 810 I reviewed earlier, I’d say this delivers better bass, albeit by only a tiny margin. And since it’s a shallow mount subwoofer, it’ll be well suited to vehicles which are limited on space.
However, where it falls short of the JBL is the complexity and pricing.
Honestly, if you’ve handled subwoofers before, you should be able to set it up quite easily. And if you’re on the lookout for a compact product which delivers impressive performance, this is the most VFM car subwoofer.Check Best Price
No Car Subwoofer list would be complete without a KICKER product. Their subwoofers are loud, powerful and provide enough thumping bass to keep an audiophile satisfied.
But, does the KICKER 40CWD84 stand up to the company’s legacy? Let’s find out.
First things first; the KICKER 40CWD84 doesn’t showcase the premium build you see in products from Rockford Fosgate. In fact, it feels quite cheap at first glance. But, after using many KICKER products, I can say that they are durable and should last a long time.
For this review, I followed the same protocol as before and connected it to my mono amplifier. And I must say, the bass is quite impressive. Especially when you factor in the price. In fact, in this price range, this is surely the perfect subwoofer for tight bass.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with this product; there is some distortion at full volume. But, as long as you don’t turn the volume knob all the way to 11, it’ll be all right.
If you can look past the average design, the KICKER 40CWD84 is a stunning subwoofer, especially when you factor in the price. In my opinion, this is one of the best 8 inch subwoofers you can buy, especially if you’re on a limited budget.Check Best Price
When it comes to manufacturing powerful, high-qualitycar subwoofers, Rockford Fosgate is easily one of the leading brands. While some companies focus on power outputs, Rockford Fosgate ensures that their subwoofers produce powerful bass which doesn’t distort even at full volume.
Sure, that may not win them any Best Car Competition Subwoofer awards, but, true audiophiles will most certainly appreciate their products.
And that’s exactly what the Punch P3D4-10 aims to do – impress audiophiles.
Back when I first tested and reviewed the Punch P3D4-10, it wasabsolutely impressive. And now, even after a year, it sounds just as good.
This is a product that comes with many of Rockford’s proprietary technologies, which on paper seems excellent. And although I can’t quite comment on the intricacies, I can surely say this is one of best 10 inch subwoofers I’ve reviewed.
The bass is monstrous, especially compared to some of the 8 inch subwoofers I reviewed earlier. And just like any high-quality Rockford Fosgate product, it maintains its composure even at full volume.
Speaking of full volume, it is mind-numbingly loud; enough to send all the neighbors in a frenzy. Thankfully, I live in the middle of nowhere.
Apart from its acoustics, I must say, I admire the build quality. This subwoofer feels like a tank!
But, like most products, it does have some cons. Just as the Shallow Mount subwoofer I reviewed earlier, it can be a chore to set it up properly. And it’s priced slightly higher than similarly powerful products from competitors.
Even if the Punch P3D4-10 is priced slightly higher than the competition, I believe that it commands the premium. In fact, I’ll go right ahead and say this is the car subwoofer to buy under 200 dollars.
In my opinion, if you’ve handled subwoofers before and the price fits your budget, you can go for it without a second thought. You can’t go wrong with this subwoofer.Check Best Price
Although you might not have heard of the name before, JL Audio is an all-American company which aims to make only no-nonsense, quality products. And that’s exactly what the JL Audio 10W0V3-4 subwoofer is.
Now, let’s find out why I consider this one of the best models among car subs.
I must confess, I didn’t purchase this subwoofer. Instead, when I heard my friend ordered it for his truck, I went over to his place to test it out.
Honestly, as soon as I opened the package, I was quite unimpressed. It seemed quite unassuming,and the build quality was just not comparable to the likes of Rockford Fosgate.
But my perceptions soon changed as soon we managed to install it. After hearing the quality of the bass, I was absolutely mesmerized. On top of that, there wasn’t any distortion whatsoever.
Even when compared to the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10, this product holds its own. In fact, I found the overall sound quality to be slightly superior.
If you look past the average build quality and basic design, this is easily the right subwoofer for deep bass. In fact, after experiencing the subwoofer in my friend’s truck, I ordered a pair of these right away. And I’m sure you would too if you heard it live.Check Best Price
The Pioneer TS-SWX2502 is unlike any other product on our list. It’s a powerful shallow mount subwoofer which comes pre-installed inside an enclosure. And as you might know, a good enclosure can bring the best out of a subwoofer.
So, is this is the perfect marriage? Or are you better off with one of the other products on this list? Let’s find out.
Just like the Pioneer product I reviewed earlier, I must say, I was quite impressed with the unboxing experience. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the enclosure to feel so sturdy and well-built. And the fit and finish also feels premium. And what’s even more impressive is that this subwoofer doesn’t come with a premium price tag.
As for the sound quality, I felt that it won’t be able to take on the full-size 10 inch subwoofers I reviewed earlier. And I was right. But, it was a much closer battle than I imagined.
The bass is quite powerful,and there’s little to no distortion at full volume. But, it’s just quite as good as theRockford Fosgate P3D4-10.
If you’re new to the world of subwoofers and need something uncomplicated, the Pioneer TS-SWX2502 is your best bet. It may not be the best car subwoofer around when it comes to bass quality, but, it’s good enough for most audiophiles. Finally, when you factor in the price, it becomes quite an attractive deal.Check Best Price
When it comes to car subwoofers and speaker, Pioneer has been a long time favorite of mine. Their products are powerful, have excellent sound quality and offer great bang for your buck. Moreover, their customer support is among the best.
So, is the TS-W3003D4 12 Inch subwoofer another excellent product from the Pioneer stable? Let’ find out.
I’ve always been impressed by the way Pioneer products sound,and so, I was really looking forward to testing this baby out.
I must say, as soon as I opened up the box, I was quite impressed. This subwoofer’s seamless cone with the sleek carbon fiber-esque finish looks absolutely stunning. Now, I know that looks don’t define a subwoofer, but, it doesn’t hurt, does it?
When it comes to the audio quality, the Pioneer TS-W3003D4 puts on a blazing performance. It’s loud, much more than you’d require. And the bass is nothing short of exceptional. As for distortion at full volume, I’m happy to report that there isn’t any.
Honestly, this is as good as it gets for a 12-inch subwoofer. I couldn’t notice any glaring faults with this product.
After thoroughly testing the Pioneer TS-W3003D4, it’s easy to understand why this is one of the leading brands in the world of car audio. This subwoofer is an excellent all-rounder. It’s got excellent bass-quality, looks great and offers tremendous value!
So, if you’re looking for one of the best 12 inch subwoofers, your search should end here.Check Best Price
I know what you’re thinking – this is the 3rd Rockford Fosgate product in the list! Am I an affiliate of the brand? I assure you I’m not!Now that I’ve acknowledged the elephant in the room; let’s get on with this review.
Is the Punch P3D4-12 just a larger and pricier version of the P3D4-10 featured earlier? Or does it offer more? Read along to find out.
Now, I’ll keep this review short. Simply put, the P3D4-12 is the bigger brother of the P3D4-10. And compared to its sibling, this subwoofer is bigger, louder and more powerful.
It produces the same high-quality bass, which doesn’t distort at maximum volume. Moreover, it feels built like a tank, just as the P3D4-10 does.Needless to say, it comes with the same drawbacks as well.
So, is it worth spending the extra? Well, it depends. If you’re looking for a 12-Inch subwoofer, then this fits the bill perfectly. In my book, the Punch P3D4-12 is the perfect car subs under 300 dollars. And it is well worth the premium it commands over its competitors.
However, if you don’t need the extra oomph, I suggest you stick with the 10-inch variant.Check Best Price
Here are some of the most commonly available subwoofer sizes in the market today:
An 8-inch subwoofer may just be a small subwoofer when a person imagines the size. However, this 8-inch woofer can work wonders as they are rendered to be faster and more responsive. This is mostly suitable for people who enjoy music with light bass. Not sure if 8 inch subs would be the best fit? Check out our best 8 inch subwoofers guide to know more about the best products out there.
These types of subwoofers probably the most commonly used of all time, and they are known for being the safest bet in the subs category These subwoofers are generally fast paced and can keep up with producing decent bass. They can also function pretty well for hard and heavy music too while producing excellent bass with a lower level of distortions.
Although for getting the best result when it comes to heavy bass, it is always recommended for purchasing dual 10-inch subwoofers. Why don’t you check out our full guide on the top 10 inch car subs by clicking on the link?
These subwoofers are perhaps the most commonly sold types in the market. The size of the woofers and output it generates are commonly suited for almost all kinds of music. With tolerance to extreme frequency, limits and the ability to produce a great deal of bass, 12-inch subwoofers will ensure the production lines of these types are on the higher side.
Although these subwoofers usually don’t keep up that well with fast paced music as comparison to 10-inch subwoofers, this will suit almost all the types of music genre. Check here if you’re looking for exclusive and the best 12 inch subwoofers.
The largest size of available subwoofers in the market, but does not prove any better solution for a day-to-day music listener. The mammoth size of the subwoofer is suited for those persons, who can listen to ear-ripping bass music.
Else, if you have a very large vehicle chamber, and your fellow travelers are accustomed to listening to hard rock music genre, this music is perhaps the best bet they can afford to listen. Click here to read our round up on the best 15 inch subwoofers for your car.
Now that you’ve checked out my list of best car subwoofers, it’s time to choose the product that’s best suited to your needs. And trust me, this is where it gets really tricky.
But, don’t worry, I’ve prepared a thorough guide which will clarify all your doubts. So, let’s get started, shall we?
Needless to say, this is one of the defining factors of a subwoofer. But, you must remember, not always the product with the highest power rating wins the content. Quality matters a lot as well.
Anyhow, when it comes to power, you need to put more weight on the RMS power ratings. And if you didn’t know already, the RMS power denotes the continuous level of power yoursubwoofer can handle for an extended period.
So, it’s not recommended you drive your subwoofer above the RMS power rating. Some warranties also become void if you do so.
Another thing to keep in mind is if the power ratings are CEA certified. That validates your product and ensures that it won’t blow when you match the Amplifier output to the RMS power rating. Some of the top subwoofer manufacturers like Rockford Fosgate,follow the CEA certification.
A good enclosure can make a massive difference to the quality of the bass. Now, if you already own a compatible subwoofer, then you don’t need to buy one of course. But, if you don’t, it’s best to invest in one.
Some companies sell their products with a compatible enclosure, and I recommend purchasing the whole set. It’ll not only be a proper fit but also save you a lot of headaches while installing.
If you’re planning on creating the enclosure yourself, check out our article on how to install a car subwoofer.
Most car subwoofers come with either a single voice coil (SVC) or a double voice coil (DVC). Now, if you’re just planning to drive one subwoofer, either option won’t make much of a difference.
However, if you’re going to upgrade your system at a later stage with multiple subwoofers, you need to go for a product with DVC. That’ll give you plenty of flexibility when it comes to wiring options.
But, subwoofers with DVC are usually costlier than their SVC counterpart. So, if you’re satisfied with one subwoofer for the foreseeable future, I suggest going for one with SVC. The wiring will be simpler as well.
In case you’re confused about the correct wiring for your car subwoofer, do check out this helpful article.
When it comes to subwoofers, size matters. The bigger the subwoofer, the louder and more powerful it will be. That’s the general rule of thumb.
However, it’s not easy to fit a 15 inch or 18 inch subwoofer in a compact vehicle; unless you’re willing to sacrifices your seats of course.
In my opinion, the sweet spot is 10 inch subwoofers. They are just the right size if you don’t want to sacrifice practicality and still desire optimum bass quality.
This entirely depends on your amplifier impedance rating. Provided most subwoofers can be connected to your amplifier regardless of the impedance, it can still make a difference to the power output. Meaning, you won’t be able to drive your subwoofer at the maximum power for a given impedance.
Some manufacturers even give the option of multiple impedance ratings for their products. Either way, you need to check your amplifier rating first before choosing the ideal impedance for your subwoofer.
And if you are confused about matching your car subwoofer with the amplifier, do check out our detailed guide.
That about wraps it up. So, which product was your favorite? Was it the Stage 810 from JBL or Pioneer’s excellent TS-W3003D4 Champion Series Pro 12 Inch Subwoofer? Or maybe it was one of Rockford Fosgate’s Punch Series subwoofers? Well, whatever it is, I hope it fulfills your needs of best subs.
This is Roger signing off. Until next time.
Roger is a mechanical engineer by day and grease monkey by night, who spends all his free time tweaking things in his car. His love for car audio equipment is only matched by his desire to help others find the best products suited to their needs.