Breakdown: Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Today

Looking for the best 12 inch subwoofer to suit your needs?

If you want to jump right in here is a helpful table to help you compare popular 12 inch subwoofers.

Compare the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

Name/ImageLearn MoreBrandRatingSizeRMS WattsPeak WattsImpedancePrice
JL Audio 12W6V2

JL Audio 12W6V2

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

Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsLanzar4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch30006000Dual 1.2 Ohm$$$
ORION HCCA124

ORION HCCA124

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsORION5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch20004000Dual 4 Ohm$$$$
Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Review

Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsPioneer4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch600 Watts2000Dual 4-Ohm$$
JL Audio 12W3v3-2

JL Audio 12W3v3-2

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

Sundown SA-12 D2 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsSundown 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 reviewsRockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch6001200Dual 2-Ohm$$

In this article we are going to review 5 of the best 12 inch subwoofers available today. We will go over some of the positives and negatives of each one.

So what is the best 12 inch subwoofer?  There are many factors that can make up whether a sub is considered the best or not. Some of those things are:

  • RMS wattage: RMS Wattage is how much power a subwoofer can handle continuously. In most cases the more the better. However, if you are only looking for moderate bass levels then perhaps maximum RMS is not that important. This is important though when Matching up with an amplifier. The amp should be able to match the RMS wattage or at least come close. This will ensure you are getting the most out of your subwoofer.
  • Frequency Rage: This is rated in Hz or Hertz. This tells us at what sound frequency the speaker operates. Can be an insight as to how your bass will sound. Low and rumbling bass will be lower Hz or higher and punchy bass will be higher Hz.
  • Build Quality:  This is simply how well the speaker is built. What things make it stand out among the competitors.
  • Ohms: Although this is not necessarily a measure that will depict greatness it is very important to know when pairing with an amplifier. We will be discussing this as part of the review.
  • Price: For some this is the single most important factor when buying subwoofers. Well probably actually for just about anything. Some will pay more for Quality or Brand names but if the price is too high compared to other comparable product people tend to shy away.
  • Warranty: This is usually pretty standard to look into. Customers want to make sure they have something to fall back on in the case they get a faulty product.
  • Rattle Range: This is unique to Cardiojudge.com. We use this to rank subs based on how far away you can make things rattle. Local to the car, Inside the garage, Inside the house, In the neighbors house, and across town. You may not be able to rattle something across town but this will give you an idea of the power of the subwoofer being reviewed compared to the others.

We also have reviews of the best 10 inch subwoofer and best 8 inch subwoofers if you are interested in those:

 

Lets get started and take a look at some of the best subwoofers you can buy today and find out what we believe to be the best 12 inch subwoofer on the market.

Compare the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

Name/ImageLearn MoreBrandRatingSizeRMS WattsPeak WattsImpedancePrice
JL Audio 12W6V2

JL Audio 12W6V2

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

Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsLanzar4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch30006000Dual 1.2 Ohm$$$
ORION HCCA124

ORION HCCA124

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsORION5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch20004000Dual 4 Ohm$$$$
Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Review

Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsPioneer4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch600 Watts2000Dual 4-Ohm$$
JL Audio 12W3v3-2

JL Audio 12W3v3-2

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

Sundown SA-12 D2 Review

Buy On Amazonfull reviewsSundown 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 reviewsRockford Fosgate4.5 Star Average Rating 12 Inch6001200Dual 2-Ohm$$

First up for Review Coming in at # 5 on our list: Pioneer TS-W3003D4

Coming in at number five we have the Pioneer TS-W3003D4 12- inch subwoofer. Pioneer has been in the audio game for years and it shows with their quality products. Although this is the cheapest subwoofer in our top five list it is no slouch. The price point makes this speaker accessible to the entry level car audio enthusiast. Don’t be fooled by the price however this speaker packs a big punch for the price. If you want an excellent entry level subwoofer look no further.

Here are some of the specifications for this subwoofer:

best 12 inch subwoofer 5

 

Watts: 600 Watt RMS and 2000 Watt Max

Ohms: Dual 4 ohm (2 or 8 ohm Impedance)

Size: 12 Inch

Recommended Enclosure: 1.25 cu. Ft.

Rattle Range: Inside the house.

 

 

 

 

 

For a full list of specifications view the owners manual here: Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Owners Manual

Pros:

  • Dual 4 Ohm voice Coils: This adds some variety to the way you can implement this speaker by itself or with 2 or more of the same speaker. Pioneer recommends not using only one voice coil. You will damage the speaker. So with that said you can Achieve either 2 or 8 ohm impedance with this speaker.
  • Excellent bass output: These are kind of a Wolf in sheeps clothing. With the way they sound you would think you have a higher priced speaker.
  • Price: Coming in at a bit over 100 dollars these are a bargain. You can afford two of these for the price of other comparable subwoofers. Check prices.

 

Cons:

  • We are big on how subwoofers look and this one just lacks the visual enthusiasm we are looking for. Of course this doesnt make it perform any better.

 

In Summary:

It is hard to find anything bad to say about this subwoofer. The price is pennies compared to some of the other subwoofers on the list. To be fair though, the higher ranking subs are in a different category. We couldn’t resist this subwoofer making our best of list. For the average car audio enthusiast this speaker will perform well beyond what the needs are.

For a full review, amplifier recommendation and much more click here: Read Full Review

 

 

Next up coming in at #4: JL Audio 12W3v3-2

At number 4 is the JL Audio 12W3v3-2. This speaker has only a single voice coil at 2 Ohm impedance.  Rated at 500 watts RMS and 1000 Watts Max it comes in a little low on the wattage scale but this doesn’t prevent this speaker from being in our top 5.  This is an updated version of the Next up and has some advanced features which helps it make the list.

Here are some specifications for this subwoofer:

JL Audio 12W3v3-2

 

Watts: 500 watts RMS 1000 Max

Ohms: single 2 Ohm Voice coil

Size: 12 Inch

Warranty: 1 year limited

Rattle Range Inside the house

 

 

 

For a full list of specifications download the owners manual here: 12W3v3-2 Owners Manual

Pros:

  • Excellent sound: Despite the mid range power level of these subwoofers they put out top notch bass.
  • Removable Trim Ring: This can be removed and painted to match your setup. This is an interesting feature and because of the lack of color or design in this speaker this feature helps add some visual stimulation to the product.
  • Able to be pushed to the max with a lower wattage amplifier: This is simply by nature of the beast. Lower wattage speakers and amplifiers cost less. Dont let this scare you away though. This thing is no joke.
  • Quality made

 

Cons:

  • Very plain looking speaker. However, you can paint the Trim ring to add some pizazz.
  • Single Voice Coil: As long as  you have the right setup this really isn’t. However if you have an amp that doesn’t do 2 ohm then you dont have an option to buy this speaker. We like to have options and the 2 ohm impedance single voice coil is kind of limiting.

 

In Summary:

This is a very well built great sounding speaker. This is a great fit for the beginning to mid-level audio enthusiast. You will not be breaking your neighbors windows out with this sub but it will rattle the windows in your house. It is sort of plain with just a little wiggle room in this area because of its removable trim piece that can be painted.

 

For a full review, amplifier recommendation and much more click here: Read Full Review

Next up coming in at #3:JL Audio 12W6V2

At number 3 on our list is the JL Audio 12W6V2  dual 4- ohm subwoofer. The JL Audio line of subs are alway tough to beat in quality and sound. JL Audio has been in the speaker business for quite some time and it shows. This sub is built well and you can tell by looking at it. This sub is worth every penny and performs very well if you fit it in an appropriately sized enclosure.

Here are some specifications for this subwoofer:

 

 

Best 12 inch subwoofer 3

Watts: 600Watt RMS  1200 Watt Max

Ohms: Dual 4-Ohm (2 or 8 ohm impedance)

Size: 12 inch

Warrant: 1 Year Limited

Rattle Range: Neighbors House

 

For a full list of specifications download the owners manual here: 12W6V2 Owners Manual

 

Pros:

  • Sound Quality: These things really pound with only 600 watts RMS
  • Dual 4 Ohm Voice coils.
  • Produce great sound from ported or sealed enclosure.
  • Solid Constuction
  • JL Audio: This is a reputable company with many years in the business. You really can go wrong with subwoofers from JL Audio.
  • With the lower RMS Rating you can get away with a slightly cheaper amplifier to push these to the max.

 

Cons:  

  • Wattage: I know, I know we put this as a pro for this speaker also. The total RMS wattage is sort of low for this price speaker coming in at 600 watts. The owners manual actually says that around 450 or 500 is optimal. Anything over 600 will void the warranty.
  • Very Plain looking: This wont win and awards for appearance but this doesn’t really matter to most people. We just like to see a nice looking subwoofer. It just adds a little something to the whole system.
  • This is actually an older model speaker. It has been discontinued however, it still makes the list which should say something for its quality.

 

For a full review, amplifier recommendation and much more click here: Read Full review

 

Next up coming in at #2:

Coming in at number 2 is the Lanzar OPTI1233D Optidrive 12 inch subwoofer. This is a massive subwoofer coming it at around 50 pounds in weight. Although not the heaviest in the lineup its definitely up there.  The OPTI1233D can handle a load of power with the 3000 Watt RMS Rating and 6000 watts peak. It has three 125 Oz Hi Density magnets that make up most of the weight. The bass produced by this sub is enormous and is one of the best in this price range.

Here are some specifications for this Subwoofer:

best 12 inch Subwoofer 2

Watts: 3000 RMS – 6000 Max

Ohms: Dual 1.2- Ohm

Size: 12 Inch

Warranty 1-Year

Rattle Range: Across town

 

 

 

For a full list of specifications download the owners manual here:  OPTI1233D OptiDrive Manual-(Scroll to the bottom and click the manuals and Downloads tab. Then click the Link. This will download the manual in PDF format.)

 

Pros:

  • 3000 Watts: This is the most powerful speaker in the lineup at 3000 watts RMS. Needless to say this subwoofer is rated to handle a lot of wattage and can definitely do so.
  • Dual 1.2 Ohm: This gives you some flexibility when wiring this sub into your system.
  • Can be used effectively in sealed, ported, or bandpass enclosures.
  • Sound Quality: This speaker is a pleasure to own. Anyone who purchases this never complains. The bass is immense.
  • Build Quality: You can tell this is built to last. Seems like a very solid build. This probably was by necessity since if built less sturdy it would crumble under its own power.
  • Price: This is probably the best bang for you buck in our lineup today. With prices just under 250$ at the time of this writeup. The price to performance if hard to beat. You can check the current prices for this speaker at amazon.

 

Cons:

  • Visual: Probably one of the biggest cons for me on this one is the overall look of the speaker. Very plain and industrial looking. But it makes up for it in what matters most. Bass!
  • Power: This one is kinda silly really. How can Power be a con? Well the truth is you will have to buy a pretty hefty amp to push this thing to its limits. With the money saved on the price though this is still a good buy.
  • Weight: Very Heavy speaker. Not the heaviest on the list but you will still be arm weary after setting this in your trunk Especially if you have to install it in the enclosure outside of the car. This means you will be lifting the weight of the box and the speaker. I guess this goes with the territory though.

In Summary:

 

Even though this thing lacks on looks it is a very well made speaker.  Very solid construction and well put together. The price to performance ratio is very hard to beat. Even though you may not need two of these to fit your needs you could purchase two and be right around the price of our #1 subwoofer. The speaker was very close to getting the # 1 spot. We just couldn’t get past the lack luster looks of this compared to the Orion HCCA 124. Also, we feel like Orion has a better track record. At least with us anyhow.

For a full review, amplifier recommendation and much more click here: Read Full Review

Finally coming in at # 1: Orion HCCA 124 our pick for the best 12 inch subwoofer

The Orion HCCA 124 is one of the nicest looking subwoofers on the market. This is one that you will definitely want to show off in your setup. It has a
massive magnet which is actually 3 magnets stacked together. This helps add to the very hefty 75lbs weight. The red/orage finish is stellar and very recognizable. It is rated at 2500 watts RMS and 4000 watts Nominal. The HCCA model of the Orion family is definitely one that fits in to the competition category.

Here are some Specifications for this subwoofer :

Watts: 2500 RMS – 4000 Maxbest 12 inch subwoofer

Ohms: Dual 4 Ohm

Size:  12 Inch

Mounting Hole Diameter: 11.9 Inches

Rattle Range: Across town

 

For a full list of Specifications download the HCCA Manual here:  HCCA Owners Manual

 

 

Pros:

  • 2000 Watts RMS: This is quite a bit of wattage and we love it. The more watts the more bass that is able to be created. But not all speakers are created equal. Even though some may be rated to handle this kind of power not all can withstand the abuse for hours on end. The Orion HCCA 124 is very capable and will definitely handle the power for a long time to come.
  • Dual 4 Ohm Voice Coils: Most subwoofers in this price range usually come with dual voice coils and the Orion HCCA 124 is no exception. Having dual voice coils allow you to obtain different ohms that are presented to your amplifier. In the Case of the Orion HCCA 124  you can do anything from 2 to 8 ohm. Depending on how you are wiring it in. Another advantage of dual voice coils is the ability to hook up two amps to one speaker. 
  • Sound Quality: the sound that comes out of this thing is massive. If you are not entering in a competition and you just want some good hard hitting, grandmas denture rattling bass then just buy one of these and that’s all you will need. If you want more than that buy two. We really feel that one of these beasts will suit the need for most people.

Cons:

  • Weight: This thing weighs as much as my 10 year old nephew. Throw two of these things along with a box and amp and you got yourself an extra adult riding along. You just might have to replace your shocks after all.
  • Price: This is the most expensive speaker on our list. However, we feel that since most people would be pleased with just one of these that the price is really not that bad. You can check the current prices for this speaker at amazon.
  • If you install this yourself there is only a 3-month warranty. If you have an authorized dealer install it you get the standard 1 year.

 

In Summary:

We think this is the Best 12 inch Subwoofer today. The sound this thing is capable of is tremendous. The price may be a little high but considering you would probably have to purchase 2 or even 3 of a less expensive subwoofer to match this one, the price isn’t too far off.

For a full review, amplifier recommendation and much more click here:  Read Full Review

 

 

We hope our reviews of the best 12 inch subwoofer was useful and informational  and made it easier to pick a subwoofer for you car audio needs.

 

Thanks for reading,