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Best Powered Car Subwoofers Reviews

You can survive with just a regular set of speakers. You don’t, strictly speaking, need a subwoofer. But you cannot believe the night and day difference having one will make.

A car audio system without a good subwoofer is like a rock band without a bass player: It just never sounds right.

It’s not just the inevitable bass boost that comes from a good quality sub; it’s the overall richness of the sound. The bass, no matter what kind of music you like listening to, it enhances the sound and makes everything sound more beautiful and full.

In this guide, we’ve evaluated the best powered car subwoofers in the market. We included everything from cheap active subwoofers all the way to high-end models and a few in-between to cater for different needs, and budgets.

Top 10 Best Car Powered Subwoofers Reviews

1. Rockford Fosgate P300-12

Sale
Rockford Fosgate P300-12

  • Constructed with 5/8 inch MDF
  • Covered with industrial heat activated vinyl
  • Class D amplifier (300 watts RMS)
  • Remote bass-level control included
  • Variable low-pass crossover (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Phase switch (0°, 180°) & Variable bass boost
  • Separate low level and speaker level inputs
  • Built-in adjustable bass boost EQ
  • Intelligent auto turn on/off function
  • Large AWG input terminals

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 12″
Frequency range 35-150 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 300 watts
  • Peak: 600 watts
Sensitivity N/A
Dimensions 19-13/16″W x 15″H x 11″D1 x 7″D2
Impedance N/A

Rockford Fosgate is one of the most recognized brands in the car audio industry. They were founded in 1973 and they’ve been churning out various quality car audio components ever since.

The P300-12 is one of the best 12 inch powered subwoofer that Rockford Fosgate has to offer. It’s fitted with 12″ woofer paired up to a built-in 300-watt amplifier.

Because this is a sealed enclosure, It’ll make a night and day difference in terms of sound quality. It’s designed to deliver loud pounding bass that you can easily adjust to match your taste thanks to a variety of controls, including low-pass crossover, phase switch, and bass boost.

The subwoofer also features a remote control knob that you can use to adjust bass intensity on the fly. No to mention High- and low-level inputs for integration with any car audio system.

Additionally, this system also features a thermal overload, over voltage, and short circuit protection.

The sealed enclosure is very well put together. It’s made of 5/8″ MDF and it’s covered with rugged industrial vinyl coating that is resilient to tearing and wearing and blends perfectly with any interior design.

That said, if you’re looking for an easy to install, yet reasonably priced powered subwoofer, Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is a great option to consider. It’s one of the best powered car subwoofer in the market, all things considered.

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2. MTX Magnum MB210SP

MTX Magnum MB210SP

  • 5/8 inch particle-board construction with aviation-grade carpet
  • Two Magnum 10 inch 8-ohm subwoofers wired for 4-ohm impedance
  • Poly cone with large-roll foam surround
  • Mono amplifier (250 watts x 1 at 4 ohms)
  • Variable high- and low-pass filters (50-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable bass boost (0-18 dB boost at 40 Hz)
  • Preamp- and speaker-level inputs
  • Thermal, overload, and short protection

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size Dual 10″
Frequency range 20-300 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 50-200 watts
  • Peak: N/A
Sensitivity N/A
Dimensions 28-1/8″W x 12-15/16″H x 13-1/8″D1 x 9-3/4″D2
Impedance 8-ohm subwoofers wired for 4-ohm impedance

If you’re on a tight-budget and looking for a decent bass setup at a decent price, then the MTX Magnum Audio MB210SP Magna Bass Package is another great powered car subwoofer to consider.

The MTX Magnum Audio MB210SP Magna Bass is an all-in-one bass solution featuring a two Magnum 10″ woofers powered by a built-in mono amplifier in a ported enclosure. This enclosure is made of rugged 5/8″ particle board construction and it’s wrapped in aviation grade carpet.

These two Magnum 10″ 8-ohm woofers feature durable polypropylene cones bonded to large-roll foam surround. They’re wired in parallel to one pair of spring post terminals for 4-ohm total impedance.

These 10″ subs can hit as low as a claimed 20Hz and as far up as 300Hz. They can handle up to 200 watts of power on continuous basis. So, as long as you’re not looking for record breaking SPL, this bass system would be more than enough for most casual bassheads.

The amp that these woofers are paired up to is a mono amplifier rated at 250 Watts RMS at 4-ohms. It features variable high- and low-pass filters (50-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave), adjustable bass boost (0-18 dB boost at 40 Hz), preamp- and speaker-level inputs as well as preamp-level outputs.

The amp is also featured with thermal, overload, and short protection circuitry to protect it and to protect the connected woofers.

As for cons, it’s really difficult to think of any. If anything, I’d say that despite this powered bass system being fitted with two 10 inch subwoofers, it’s not going to turn your ride into a rolling thunderstorm of bass. Furthermore, it can be a bit bulky for smaller cars.

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3. Kenwood KSC-SW11

Size 8″
Frequency range 35-125 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 75 watts
  • Peak:150 watts
Sensitivity 110 dB
Dimensions 11″W x 2-3/4″H x 7-1/2″D
Impedance N/A

Compact cars and trucks present a challenge when you want to build a powerful audio system with refined, thumping bass. To get that pounding bass that shakes mirrors and license plates, you need big, powerful subs and enough space for the sub enclosure. But in smaller vehicles space for bass is at a premium.

That said, If you want to add some bass to your system but you have a smaller car with limited cargo space, a compact underseat powered subwoofer will do the job for you.

Kenwood KSC-SW11 is one of the best underseat powered subwoofers out there. This little bass machine was designed to be slim and and lightweight. At just around 2-3/4 inches tall and 11 inches long, the KSC-SW11 by Kenwood will easily fit under a seat or in storage areas where many powered and regular subwoofers don’t usually fit.

The Kenwood KSC-SW11 features a 8-1/4″ x 5-1/8″ woofer paired up to a built-in 150-watts amplifier in a rigid aluminum enclosure. It comes with a wired remote control that features volume level knob, variable low-pass crossover (50-125 Hz), and selectable phase control (0°, 180°). It also features preamp- (RCA) and speaker-level inputs.

This compact powered sub won’t shake mirrors or blow the windows out but it’ll add some depth to your music to complement your speakers and fill out the low end. There’s no way a unit of this size can produce sound at the same level of a 12″ or 15″ inch subwoofer. Additionally, you can’t also crank it up all the way and expect it to not distort at full volume.

This little powerhouse was designed for tight spaces and small cabins, specifically single cab trucks and small cars. If you mount it in the trunk of an SUV or larger truck, you’ll barely notice any difference.

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4. Kicker Hideaway 11HS8

Kicker Hideaway 11HS8

  • Sealed design
  • 8 inch subwoofer
  • Built-in 150 watts RMS amplifier
  • Variable low-pass crossover (50-120 Hz)
  • Variable phase control (0 or 180 degrees)
  • Bass boost control (0dB to +6dB)
  • Speaker-level inputs
  • Auto turn-on switch
  • Wired remote control

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 8″
Frequency range 25-120 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 150 watts
  • Peak: N/A watts
Sensitivity N/A
Dimensions 14-1/4″W x 3-1/4″H x 9-3/8″D
Impedance N/A

This is what you can get if you’re willing to spend some extra money. It’s another great sounding compact powered subwoofer from Kicker.

This Plug-and-Play Bass system is featured with an 8″ subwoofer powered by a relatively powerful built-in 150-watt RMS amplifier. The 8″ woofer can hit as low as a claimed 25Hz and as far up as 120Hz.

The Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway comes with a wired remote bass control for fine-tuning bass levels, variable low-pass crossover (50-120 Hz), bass boost control (0dB to +6dB), phase-cancelling switch for max output and two automatic turn-on options. It also features high- and low-level inputs for integration with nearly any factory or aftermarket car stereo out there.

On top of everything else, Kicker Hideaway also comes with a quick-connect power plug and Velcro®-fastened nylon straps for secure installation and simple but fast removal.

As is the case with most compact powered subwoofers out there, this setup isn’t going to deliver hard thumping bass and bone shaking lows, However, It’ll add a nice solid bass boost to your system without taking up a ton of room.

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5. JBL GT-BassPro12

JBL GT-BassPro12

Size 12″
Frequency range 35-120 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 150 watts
  • Peak: 450 watts
Sensitivity N/A
Dimensions 22-1/2″W x 14-5/8″H x 12″D1 x 9-1/8″D2
Impedance N/A

If you’re in the market for car speakers, one brand tends to come up more often than others. JBL offers a wide range of car speakers and subwoofer at every price point, but for around $200, one of their best powered car subwoofers has always been the GT-BassPro12.

This bass system is designed to let you add a blast of well-defined bass to your vehicle so you can really feel your music’s impact as you drive.

A peek inside the GT-BassPro12 reveals a 12″ inch sub that really delivers hard-hitting and powerful bass with its polypropylene cone supported by hi-roll rubber surround. There’s also a built-in 150 watt RMS amplifier that’s matched up perfectly to the sub, so it won’t wimp out when you crank it up.

This subwoofer sports a frequency range that covers 35Hz to 120 Hz, which is enough to accommodate any type of audio you can imagine.

The enclosure is made of medium-density fiberboard construction, and it’s fully wrapped with Black high-grade carpet for a nonslip, durable and scratch-resistant surface.

The JBL GT-BassPro12 features a proprietary Slipstream port, which offers shorter length with a wide-mouth opening, thereby reducing port noise and distortion at high output – the noise that signals that the port is no longer able to pass enough air to operate effectively.

The JBL GT-BassPro12 comes with a remote level control to let you adjust the bass from the driver’s seat, so you can enjoy your ride without interruption.

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6. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8

Alpine Electronics PWE-S8

  • 8 inch woofer
  • Built-in Class D amplifier (120 watts RMS/240 watts peak)
  • Variable low-pass crossover (80-200 Hz)
  • Variable phase control (0-180 degrees)
  • Preamp- and speaker-level inputs

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 8″
Frequency range 32-150 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 120 watts
  • Peak: 240 watts
Sensitivity N/A
Dimensions 13-1/2″W x 9″H x 3″D
Impedance N/A

Alpine is another trusted name in the car audio industry. The company has been in business for a long time and offers a wide variety of car audio products.

The is one of the top-rated car subwoofers that Alpine has to offer. At only 3 inches deep, this little bass system will easily fit in all kinds of tight spaces in your vehicle. So, if you’ve been craving bass but don’t want to lose space, this Alpine PWE-S8 is a great option for space-challenged vehicles.

The Alpine PWE-S8 is featured with a rugged cast metal enclosure that’s built to take the hard knocks of a tight installation while protecting your equipment. It’s fitted with an 8 inch low profile subwoofer powered by a built-in class D amplifier rated at 120 watts RMS.

The latter features controls for phase, gain, and a low-pass crossover, so you’ll be able to match the bass up to the rest of your car audio system. There’s also RCA line-level inputs and speaker-level inputs for use with aftermarket and factory head units.

All in all, the Alpine PWE-S8 has everything you need to bring bass to places where there was never the room for boom.

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7. Pioneer TS-WX130DA

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Pioneer TS-WX130DA

  • 8 x 5-1/4 inch sub with aluminum cone
  • Built-in amplifier: 50 watts RMS (160 watts peak)
  • Wired remote for control over:
    • gain
    • low-pass filter
    • selectable phase control (0°, 180°)
  • Bass Mode settings:
    • Deep: 20 to 200 Hz frequency response, 95 dB sensitivity
    • Dynamic: 40 to 160 Hz frequency response, 100 dB sensitivity

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 8″ x 5-1/4″
Frequency range 20-200 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS:  50 watts
  • Peak: 160 watts
Sensitivity 100 dB
Dimensions 11-1/8″W x 2-3/4″H x 8″D
Impedance N/A

Within the audio space, Pioneer is one of the most authoritative names. The company has been around for a very long time and has released everything from home audio systems to headphones and maintained a level of quality throughout. The same goes for its selection of car audio components.

Pioneer car audio products seem to hit the sweet spot for a lot guys, and that’s because they’re well-made and reasonably-priced for the most part. The TS-WX130DA is no exception. It’s one of the top-rated powered car subwoofers out there.

At only 2-3/4″ tall, this little bass system will easily fit into the tightest spots in your vehicle such as under a front seat, behind a truck seat, or inside a storage compartment. Making it a decent all-in-one solution to pump up the bass without taking up much space.

The TS-WX130DA sports a specially designed acoustic suspension enclosure that’s made of a high density compound resin. The enclosure has a non-removable 10″ x 7″ metal grille.

This active system is powered by an 8″ x 5-1/4″ woofer paired up to a built-in amplifier rated at 50 watts RMS. That being said, don’t raise your hopes too high as you aren’t going to win any car audio competition with this setup. However, it’ll add a respectable low end punch to complement your speakers and fill out the low-end frequencies.

The Pioneer TS-WX130DA comes with a wired remote control that lets you to adjust your gain, low-pass filter, and phase settings. It also allows you to choose between two selectable listening modes: Deep and Dynamic. These two modes affect the speaker’s dynamic range and sensitivity.

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8. Rockville SS8P

Rockville SS8P

  • Cast aluminum enclosure
  • Low Level RCA Input
  • High Level Inputs with Auto Turn-On Technology
  • Adjustable Input Sensitivity
  • Soft Delayed Remote Turn-On
  • Thermal Protection Circuit, Short Protection Circuit
  • Overload Protection Circuit

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 8″
Frequency range 20-150 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 100 watts
  • Peak: 400 watts
Sensitivity 90dB
Dimensions 11.4″(L) x 8.3″(W) x 2.8″ (H)
Impedance 2 Ohm

If you’re on strict-budget and looking for a cheap powered car subwoofer that can get the job done without breaking the bank, then Rockville SS8P is a great option to consider.

Rockville is a brand we haven’t come across very much on our site. That’s not to say its products are below par. Quite honestly, Rockville products seem to be well-liked.

While Rockville might be one of the younger companies in the audio space, it has been able to carve out a place for itself as a viable competitor.

One way Rockville has been able to find its place in the market is thanks to a product like the SS8P. While it may be small, it does pack power into that 2.8″ thick enclosure that will easily slide under the seat.

Powered by an 8 inch subwoofer that’s paired up to a built-in amplifier rated at 100 watts RMS, this system will not turn your ride into a rolling thunderstorm of bass, but it’ll deliver a respectable bass response without the need to take up the space.

The Rockville SS8P comes equipped with high level inputs so you can easily integrate it to any car audio system with an aftermarket or a factory receiver. There’s also level control for the volume and subsonic filter to filter out the really low frequencies, a low pass crossover filter, phase control, input sensitivity, and bass boost.

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9. Pioneer TS-WX1010A

Pioneer TS-WX1010A

  • Preloaded with a single 10 inch Subwoofer
  • Built-In 300 Watts Class-D Amplifier
  • Variable Bass Boost (0 to +12 dB, 40Hz to 100Hz)
  • Wired Remote Bass Control & Gain Control at Side Panel

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 10″
Frequency range 20-125 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS:    300 watts
  • Peak: 1,100 watts
Sensitivity 112 dB
Dimensions NA
Impedance NA

If you’re looking to scale up from the TS-WX130DA but don’t need anything massive, Pioneer has various other choices available. One of the more popular options available is the TS-WX1010A.

This bass system is fitted with a high sensitivity 10″ subwoofer specifically optimized for use in small, sealed enclosures. This woofer is powered by a built-in class D amplifier rated at 300 watts RMS.

This system is housed in a sealed enclosure that’s fully wrapped in Gray carpet, creating a nonslip, durable and scratch-resistant surface.

Pioneer TS-WX1010A comes equipped with low-pass filter, phase control and variable bass boost (0 to +12 dB, 40Hz to 100Hz) for enhanced control. The sub’s input gain can be adjusted using the included wired remote bass control knob or via the input gain control mounted on the enclosure side panel.

As with most powered car subwoofers, the TS-WX1010A isn’t going to shake the neighborhood. However, it hits hard enough to vibrate the inside of the car, and really enhances your listening experience with energetic bass and a good low-frequency response.

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10. MTX Audio RT8PT

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MTX Audio RT8PT

  • 8 inch woofer
  • Built-in amplifier: 120 watts RMS power
  • Wired remote for control over amp level
  • Mounting hardware included
  • Preamp (RCA) and speaker-level inputs

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 8″
Frequency range 35-250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 120 watts
  • Peak: 360 watts
Sensitivity N/A
Dimensions 10″W x 10″H x 21-1/4″D1 x 15-1/8″D2
Impedance NA

If you’re on a tight budget and looking to scale down from the MTX Magnum MB210SP (mentioned above), MTX Audio offers a few other choices. One of the more popular options available is the RT8PT.

This amplified and vented bass tube can be mounted in virtually any vehicle without sacrificing space. It harbors a 8 inch subwoofer powered by a built-in amplifier mounted on the back of the enclosure. It’s rated at 120 watts RMS, allowing for clean, stable power for convincing low notes.

The MTX Audio RT8PT comes equipped with low-pass filter and gain controls so you adjust the sound to match your musical taste and your car’s acoustics, while preamp (RCA) and speaker-level inputs let you hook it up to any OEM or aftermarket receiver. The included wired remote control allows you to control the bass level from the driver’s seat.

This uniquely shaped cylindrical enclosure is wrapped with gray industrial grade carpet for a clean finish. It showcases the MTX logo printed on the side.

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Advantages of Powered Subwoofers

When it comes to putting together a great car audio system, a subwoofer is a necessary purchase. The subwoofer is a specialized speaker dedicated to reproduce extreme low frequencies.

Subwoofers comes in two general categories, passive and powered. A passive subwoofer is just the speaker itself; passive subs are called “passive” because they need to be powered by an outboard amplifier.

A powered sub on the other hand (also known as “active” or “amplified”) is an all-in-one bass solution. It is a self-contained speaker/amplifier configuration in which the characteristics of the amplifier and subwoofer are optimally matched and are both mounted in one convenient enclosure.

Each one of these types of subs has its own pros and cons (more on that down below). Deciding between them is a matter of budget, space, and convenience.

Unlike conventional passive subwoofers, powered subs tend to be compact and small; some powered subs feature a low mounting profile which allows them to fit into the tightest locations such as under the seat. This makes them a great choice for people with very limited space in their vehicles.

The best thing about powered subwoofers is that they’ll save you from the hassle of looking for a good subwoofer, building a mounting box, and matching up your sub with a compatible external amplifier.

Before clicking that buy button, let’s first take a look at the pros and cons of these subs.

Understanding and weighing the pros and cons of powered subwoofers is a great way to decide if this type of subwoofers is right for you.

  • Convenience: Matching up your sub with a compatible outboard amp can be a challenge. A mismatch can result in poor performance or a sub fatality. In a powered subwoofer system, the amplifier and the subwoofer are optimally matched and are both mounted in one convenient enclosure.
  • Cost-Effective: Adding a powered subwoofer to your car sound system is one of the most cost-effective ways to add bass to your system.
  • Easy to Install: As opposed to passive subwoofers, which require running cables from the receiver to the amplifier and from the amp to the subwoofer, adding a powered sub to your sound system is just a matter of plug and play. All that’s required is to run the power cable and connect the sub to your receiver via a direct line.
  • Space-Saving: Most powered subs out there are fitted with small drivers , usually an 8″ or 10″ subwoofer powered by a relatively small built-in amp. This allows them to be more compact and lightweight than conventional passive subs.

Potential Disadvantages of Powered Subwoofers

All good things have a down side and powered subwoofers are no exception. Most car powered subs are fitted with relatively weak drivers which you might find a bit weak in terms of performance when compared to conventional subs and external amps.

Additionally, while they do not need to be the same make as the other speakers in the system, powered subwoofers limit buyers to one brand for subwoofer and amplifier. For this reason, powered subwoofers may not be the right choice for people who like maximum flexibility when it comes to choosing components for their car stereo system.

Powered Subs Enclosure Type

#1. Sealed boxes: For deep, precise bass

A sealed box is an airtight enclosure housing a subwoofer. If you’re more into sound quality than volume and loudness, a sealed box is right for you. A sealed enclosure is best for any music that demands tight, accurate bass.

#2. Ported boxes: For forceful bass

Unlike sealed enclosures, ported boxes are best-suited for people who are more into volume and loudness. They use a vent (called a port) to enhance low bass response. You get more sound output than you would from a sealed box at any given amplifier wattage (Assuming all other things being equal). Ported boxes are usually larger than sealed ones.

#3. Bandpass boxes: Maximum slam

A bandpass box is a special type of ported box in which the subwoofer is mounted inside a dual-chambered box (one sealed chamber, and one ported chamber), with the sound waves emerging from the ported side. Allowing for a significant output through a small opening is one of the main advantages of bandpass enclosures.

Types of Car Subwoofer Boxes : Sealed vs Ported vs Bandpass

Alex Brown

Hey There, my name is Alex Brown, I'm a music lover and a car audio enthusiast. I've installed everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms and beyond. I've been in this industry for years now. I enjoy creating solutions and simplifying everyday needs. My passion for music came at an early age. I love helping people get great sounding gear, thereby, saving the world from bad sound one customer at a time.

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