Useful Information to pick the best car subwoofer for your needs.

Are you looking for the best car subwoofer to fit your needs?

Not quite sure what size subs to get or what size amp?

On this site we will give some useful information to help you make the an informed decision to purchase the best car subwoofer that fits your budget and needs. Hopefully, after browsing this site you will have a better idea of what car subs are and how to properly pair them with an amplifier.

Lets take a look at some of the best car subwoofers and compare their most important features.

In this chart you can easily compare Peak Watts RMS Watts, and Impedence, as well as Ratings.

Compare the best car subwoofers

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingSizeRMS WattsPeak WattsImpedancePrice
Sundown SA-12 D2 Review

Sundown SA-12 D2 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Sundown Audio4.5 Star Average Rating 12 - Inch750Dual 2-ohm$$$
Rockford Fosgate P3 Review: P3 D2 12 Inch Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3 Review: P3 D2 12 Inch Subwoofer

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch6001200Dual 2-Ohm$$
Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive

Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Lanzar4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch30006000Dual 1.2 Ohm$$$
Rockford Fosgate P1S4 8-Inch Subwoofer Review

Rockford Fosgate P1S4 8-Inch Subwoofer Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 8 Inch200 Watts400 Watts4 Ohm$
JBL GT0804 Reduced Depth 8 Inch Sub Review

JBL GT0804 Reduced Depth 8 Inch Sub Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews JBL4.5 Star Average Rating 8 Inch200 Watts800 Watts4 Ohm$$
Kicker 10C104 Comp 10-Inch Subwoofer

Kicker 10C104 Comp 10-Inch Subwoofer

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Kicker5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch150300Single 4 ohm $
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch500 Watts1000 WattsDual 4-Ohm$$
Rockford Fosgate P3 Review: P3 D2 12 Inch Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3 Review: P3 D2 12 Inch Subwoofer

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch6001200Dual 2-Ohm$$
JL Audio 12W3v3-2

JL Audio 12W3v3-2

Buy On Amazonfull reviews JL Audio4.5 Star Average Rating 12-Inch50010002 Ohm$$
ORION HCCA124

ORION HCCA124

Buy On Amazonfull reviews ORION5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch20004000Dual 4 Ohm$$$$

What you need to know when looking for the best car subwoofer

What size subwoofers should I buy?

There are many different sizes of subwoofers. Most people are more familiar with the standard sizes. These are 8 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch, and 15 inch. All of them have their uses and are suited well for specific applications.

8 Inch subwoofers: These are sort of the entry level of the big bass speakers. They don’t pack as much punch as some of their larger counterparts but are typically cheaper in comparison to larger subs. Since they are smaller they are relatively easy to fit into almost any application since they require less air space to reach optimal sound.

You can see out breakdown of the best 8 inch subwoofer if you are ready.

Check out some of the Best 8 inch car audio subwoofers.

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingSizeRMS WattsPeak WattsImpedancePrice
Rockford Fosgate P1S4 8-Inch Subwoofer Review

Rockford Fosgate P1S4 8-Inch Subwoofer Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 8 Inch200 Watts400 Watts4 Ohm$
Kicker 10C84 8-Inch Subwoofer Review

Kicker 10C84 8-Inch Subwoofer Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Kicker4.5 Star Average Rating 8 Inch1002004 Ohm$
JBL GT0804 Reduced Depth 8 Inch Sub Review

JBL GT0804 Reduced Depth 8 Inch Sub Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews JBL4.5 Star Average Rating 8 Inch200 Watts800 Watts4 Ohm$$
Infinity Reference 860 watt 8-inch subwoofer Review

Infinity Reference 860 watt 8-inch subwoofer Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Infinity4.5 Star Average Rating 8 Inch250 watts1000 watts4 Ohm$
Alpine SWR-8D2  8-inch Subwoofer Review

Alpine SWR-8D2 8-inch Subwoofer Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Alpine4 Star Average Rating 8 Inch350 Watts1000 WattsDual 2-Ohm$

 

10 Inch Subwoofers: These are a step up from the 8 inch variety if you are looking for a rich medium to low bass sound. Although a bit bigger, they still do not take up a large amount of space and can be used in a variety of applications. At this size you will start getting into the more expensive speakers that will perform nicely with many musical genres.

You can see out breakdown of the best 10 inch subwoofer if you are ready

TOP rated 10 inch Subwoofers

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingSizeRMS WattsPeak WattsImpedancePrice
JL Audio 10W0V3-4 Subwoofer Review

JL Audio 10W0V3-4 Subwoofer Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews JL Audio5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch300 Watts600 Watts4 Ohm$$
Kicker 10C104 Comp 10-Inch Subwoofer

Kicker 10C104 Comp 10-Inch Subwoofer

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Kicker5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch150300Single 4 ohm $
Alpine SWR-10D4 TYPE-R

Alpine SWR-10D4 TYPE-R

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Alpine4.5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch1000 Watts3000 WattsDual 4-Ohm$$
Infinity Reference 1062w-10

Infinity Reference 1062w-10

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Infinity4.5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch275 Watts1100 WattsDual 4-Ohm$
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 10 Inch500 Watts1000 WattsDual 4-Ohm$$

 

12 Inch Subwoofers: These are really the baseline for any car speakers with good bass. These are by far the most popular size of car subs frequency range and clarity. Most people will be satisfied with this size speaker as they can pump out the bass with your favorite Hip hop song or add a very nice bass accent to almost any style music. Perhaps even Beethoven. I have not tried this so if anyone has please let me know how it sounds.

You can see out breakdown of the best 12 inch subwoofer if you are ready.

Compare the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingSizeRMS WattsPeak WattsImpedancePrice
JL Audio 12W6V2

JL Audio 12W6V2

Buy On Amazonfull reviews JL Audio4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch6001200Dual 4-Ohm$$$$
Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive

Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Lanzar4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch30006000Dual 1.2 Ohm$$$
ORION HCCA124

ORION HCCA124

Buy On Amazonfull reviews ORION5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch20004000Dual 4 Ohm$$$$
Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Review

Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Pioneer4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch600 Watts2000Dual 4-Ohm$$
JL Audio 12W3v3-2

JL Audio 12W3v3-2

Buy On Amazonfull reviews JL Audio4.5 Star Average Rating 12-Inch50010002 Ohm$$
Sundown SA-12 D2 Review

Sundown SA-12 D2 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Sundown Audio4.5 Star Average Rating 12 - Inch750Dual 2-ohm$$$
Rockford Fosgate P3 Review: P3 D2 12 Inch Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3 Review: P3 D2 12 Inch Subwoofer

Buy On Amazonfull reviews Rockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch6001200Dual 2-Ohm$$

15 Inch Subwoofers: These are where practicality and usefulness start to fade a little for me. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of uses for this size speaker. You can stuff a bunch of these in the back of a pick up truck bed with a cap and wake up a baby from 10 miles away. Or perhaps stuff several in a 1989 dodge caravan with the wood panel down the side and knock off the neighbors toupee while lounging in his rocking chair he bought from cracker barrel. Perhaps more useful for the average person would be to only buy one of these instead of 2 or 3.

 

Just what is Impedance Anyway?

Imagine for a second if you would:

You’re hanging out at the basketball court with your fellow car audio enthusiasts. There is conversation about speaker size, wattage, and what type of speakers you have.

You decide to add to the conversation and ask the question, “What is the Impedance of your speakers?”

As you receive blank stares and smug faces you wonder if maybe you should have asked a different question.

The truth is, this probably doesn’t happen very often because most people don’t understand what impedance is.

However,  it is somewhat important to understand how speaker impedance relates to subwoofer impedance.

I will try my best to explain:

Impedance in measured in Ohms and it is the resistance your speakers place on the power source(Your amplifier).

You want to try to match the Ohms of the speakers with the ohms of the amplifier.

This seems simple right?

Well, there is a little more to it than that.  If you have a single 4 ohm speaker and an amp that is 4 ohm stable you can hook the speaker to the amp and get the best possible power output from the amp. Of course this assumes the RMS power rating is also matching or close to matching.

More on this later.

But what if you have two 4 Ohm speakers and the amp you bought is only 2 Ohm stable output?

Well you will just have to return it, right?

Not so fast jumpy mcSpeedy. You do have an option here. You can set up the speakers in parallel.

What is this you ask?

Parallel is taking the two speakers and hooking the positive terminal from both speakers to the positive on one channel of the amp and the negative from both speakers to the negative terminal on the amp.

This will give the amp a 2 ohm signal.

Be aware that this will also double the wattage available on this channel. So if your speakers are 100w RMS each you will end up with a 200 watt RMS channel. This is important to know so you can match up your amp with your speakers appropriately.

parallel wiring exmaple

The other side of this equation is series wiring:

Series wiring takes positive terminal from one speaker and connects it to the negative terminal on the other speaker.

You will be left with a positive terminal on one speaker that will hook to the positive terminal on the amp and a negative terminal on the other speaker that will hook up to the negative terminal on the amp. In the example above, with our two 4 ohm speakers, our amp would be presented with an 8 ohm connection and 100 watts RMS.

With series wiring we add up the ohms from each speaker.

Series wiring example

It is important to understand this concept when building a speaker system. This will prevent blowing your speakers or burning up your amp. When you check out our reviews we will suggest an Amp based on the concept mentioned above and also the suggested wiring method. This will help you feel comfortable when purchasing the best car subwoofer for your setup.

What is the difference between RMS and Peak Watts?

This is probably one of the most known characteristics or specifications of audio systems in general.

In the case of the amplifier the higher the wattage rating the more power can be expelled. In the speakers case the higher the wattage rating the more power can be handled.

But what is the difference between RMS and Peak watts?

This is actually fairly simple.

In basic terms RMS is the amount of power that can be expelled or handled continuously for extended period of time.

Peak wattage is what can be expelled or handled for short bursts.

Typically the peak watts aren’t as important as RMS. When pairing the amplifier with the speakers you should consider RMS values of both the speakers and the amplifer and make sure they are fairly close. If anything opt for higher RMS on the amplifer and adjust the gain starting at the lowest setting.

Be careful with the though you dont want to damage your speakers.

Also take into consideration the Ohm value of the speakers and amp as described previously.

Remember that when you add speakers together in parallel or series the wattage threshold will change as well.

What type of enclosure should you use?

There are basically two types of enclosures used for sub woofers:

They are sealed enclosure and ported enclosure.

In basic terms a sealed enclosure will produce more crisp less rumbly bass while a ported enclosure will produce a more windy type bass.

This will depend greatly on the specifications of the subwoofer. Refer to the manufacturer’s website to get the appropriate specs for the box. If the subwoofer can handle both types of boxes then your decision will come down to what type of music you listen to and your sound preferences.

Now if you are going to listen to D.J. Magic mike you might want to lean towards a ported box since this will give you the most volume of air and produce the most bass. These types of songs are typically pure bass and made strictly to rattle your trunk apart.

If you are into rock, or perhaps country and want a crisper type bass then perhaps a sealed enclosure would work best. Another difference is typically a sealed enclosure will be smaller thus fitting a wider variety of applications.

We hope this information was helpful and will help you make a decision on the best car subwoofer for your application.