When beginning to shop for a new car subwoofer, you’ll quickly discover the large number of options out there. Trying to compare all of the numbers you’ll find in the specifications list can be a tedious task.
One of the best ways to narrow the list of options is to stick to the top car subwoofers makers, as these will often provide a great mix of performance and reliability at a good price.
Finding the right car subwoofer involves far more than lining up and comparing a series of specifications though.
Beyond the power handling capabilities and the sensitivity rating of the subwoofer, you’re going to want to know if the subwoofer is right for you or not, because not all subs are created equal.
You’ll also want to know the value the subs provide, and the overall selection within the brand’s offerings.
That said, let’s take a closer look at some of the top-rated car subwoofer brands out there.
Best Car Subwoofer Brands
1. Rockford Fosgate
Rockford Fosgate is an industry leader in high-performance car audio systems. They’ve been in business for decades. They offer a wide range of car car audio components including speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers.
Rockford Fosgate offers various car subwoofers. Their subs come in three general categories labeled Prime, Punch, and Power.
Subwoofers in the Prime category are generally considered to be Rockford Fosgate’s entry-level, and most value-priced models while Punch is a middle of the road line of products. Power subs are considered the company’s high-end line.
That said, if you’re a budget-minded person and you’re wanting the best subwoofer for the money you have, then Prime series subs are for you.
If you’re looking for the best sound quality system and you’re willing to spend a little extra money to achieve it, then consider Punch series subs.
Are you a serious basshead who wants his system to be loud and sound quantity is high on your list? If that’s you, opt for Power series subs.
While Rockford Fosgate may not be able to surpass other brands in every category, its overall collection of options and models is solid.
|Frequency range||28 – 250 Hz|
|Power Handling|| |
|Impedance||2 ohms or 8 ohms|
Rockford Fosgate Punch series subs are among the best selling car subwoofers on the market. These subs are very well put together. They come in various size and configurations.
The P3D2-12 is the best performing Rockford Fosgate Punch series subwoofer. It features anodized aluminum cones and dustcap with Rockford “VAST” (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) surround along with unique spider venting to dissipate heat generated during extended play, thereby allowing for incredibly consistent bass performance over time.
This subwoofers sports a new hybrid stamp-cast basket which offers the best of both worlds. It provides super strength while minimizing weight and resonance.
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12 boasts a sensitivity rating of 85 dB and can handle up to 600 watts of power on continuous basis. It can hit as low as a claimed 27Hz and as far up as 250Hz.
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12 sub is designed to work equally well in a sealed or ported enclosure, so you can choose the kind of bass you want for your system.
2. Skar Audio
Despite being relatively new to the industry, Skar Audio managed to make a name for itself in this industry. They offer several top rated car subwoofers of different sizes.
As the company has dedicated itself to manufacturing unrivaled car audio components, their subwoofers continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what’s possible.
Skar Audio car subwoofers, led by the ZVX line, nearly always receive high marks from reviewers. They are outstanding and perform very well. These subs are designed with SPL in mind. The biggest downside to Skar Audio ZVX subwoofers when compared to other models on this list is their above average cost. However, Skar Audio also offer some budget-friendly subs that do perform well.
|Frequency range||30 – 400 Hz|
|Power Handling|| |
|Impedance||Dual 2 Ohm|
The ZVX-12v2 is one of the best 12 inch car subwoofer that Skar Audio has to offer. This 12-inch driver was designed to perform efficiently at the highest levels of output power, making it an extremely reliable and powerful subwoofer.
It’s featured with a 3-inch high temperature voice coil and a massive triple slug magnet, which combined with its competition grade paper cone that’s bonded high roll foam surround allow the sub to perform with sheer excellence.
Skar Audio ZVX-12v2 was designed to be a high-grade competition subwoofer and it really shows. It can handle up to 1,500 watts of power on continuous basis, which is insane.
Handily one of the most common names in the car audio space, Pioneer has a longstanding reputation for building fantastic components. They’ve been operating in audio equipments industry for decades. They provide a wide range of car audio components including headunits, digital media receivers, speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers.
If you want a reliable, great-sounding subwoofer for your car, but don’t want to pay too much for it, then you’ll be pleased to see that Pioneer makes it on our list of the best car subwoofer brands. The company has made a name for itself in the industry and consistently scored well in surveys.
No matter what type of subwoofers you’re seeking, Pioneer almost certainly will have a unit that can meet your needs because of the versatility within the set of models it offers. Pioneer subwoofers might not be the best performing subwoofers on the market, but they’re solidly built subs with a reasonable price point.
|Frequency range||20 – 80 Hz|
|Power Handling|| |
|Impedance||2 ohms or 8 ohms|
Pioneer offers some great sounding, yet reasonably priced subwoofers. The TS-W3003D4 Champion Series Pro Subwoofer is no exception.
Pioneer TS-W3003D4 sub features polypropylene composite seamless woofer cones supported with dual-layer elastic polymer surround. It boasts a high sensitivity rating of 96 dB and it can handle between 100 and 600 watts of power on continuous basis(RMS).
This subwoofer uses a larger magnet combined with a dual spider design which supports the sub’s linear movement and allows for more cone motion control for accurate bass response.
Additionally, the subwoofer features a dual 4-ohm voice coils configuration which offers multiple wiring options. Its heavy-duty motor structure on the other hand guarantees accurate response, so you’ll enjoy greater clarity in your bass.
Pioneer TS-W3003D4 sub can be mounted in a sealed or ported enclosure depending on the type of bass you like.
4. MTX Audio
Some of us put our trust in manufacturers that have been in business for decades, assuming they understand consumer needs. For those who go by that theory, MTX Audio is the brand for you. The company has been in the industry for over 40 years and offer some great sounding car subwoofers at very reasonable prices.
MTX Audio offers a wide range of car subwoofer of different types and sizes. So, whether you’re looking for competition level performance, or a small subwoofer to complement your speakers and fill out the low end, MTX Audio has got you covered.
|Frequency range||37-150 Hz|
|Power Handling|| |
|Dimensions||29-5/8″(W) x 14″(H) x 13-1/2″(D1) x 11-1/8″(D2)|
The TNE212D is one of the best enclosed subwoofers that you can buy, all things considered. It’ll add intense bass to your ride thanks to its dual 12″ Terminator subwoofers. Each of these subs is rated at 200 watts RMS, say 400 watts for the entire enclosure.
These subs are designed to deliver tight and punchy bass. They can hit as low as a claimed 37Hz and as far up as 150Hz.
They’re mounted in a sealed enclosure that’s built from medium-density fiberboard and covered with durable carpet that is resilient to tearing and wearing.
These hard-kicking subs use MTX’s exclusive spider plateau venting technique which dissipate heat from the sub’s internal structure, keeping the 1-1/2″ voice coil well-vented, while the Assymetrical Linear Drive System uses a flat, progressive spider and an extended pole piece to allow for an accurate, linear movement of the polypropylene cone.
As for sound quality, the MTX TNE212D enclosed subwoofer system is an ideal solution for anyone looking to add some punchy, tight bass to their sound system. You aren’t going to win any competition with this bass system, but it’ll make a night and day difference for most casual bassheads out there.
Orion has some of the most powerful car subwoofers on the market, and many are great values for the money. If you’re looking for competition level performance, we can’t think of a better option than Orion HCCA line of subwoofers.
HCCA subwoofers may not be for everyone because first they cost an arm and a leg and second they’re designed with SPL in mind. Additionally, they’re very well-built and can handle an outrageous amount of power. Orion also offers some budget-friendly subwoofers which are nothing to write home about compared to HCCA line up.
|Power Handling|| |
|Impedance||2 + 2|
Orion HCCA Series subwoofers are some of the most badass bass beasts out there. These subs are designed from the ground up with one thing in mind, loudness and SPL. They can handle an outrageous amount of power, thereby they can deliver serious pounding bass that will shake mirrors and rattle windows.
These subwoofers may be too much for the average Joe because they require you to add a battery and upgrade your alternator, not to mention buying a brand name, quality amp that can drive these monsters.
How to Choose The Right Car Subwoofer
- Power handling: Power handling is one of the most important things to consider when looking for a car subwoofer. If you want a system that really booms, there’s no substitute for plenty of power. A powerful subwoofer that can handle a ton of power on continuous basis will deliver great performance compared to a weak sub. What you want to really consider when looking for a good car sub is RMS (Root Mean Square) which is an accurate measure that tells you how much power a subwoofer can handle on continuous basis.
- Sensitivity: this is another important key factor to take into account. It goes hand-in-hand with power handling to achieve high performance. A subwoofer with a higher sensitivity rating requires less power to produce the same amount of sound as a model with a lower sensitivity rating.
- Frequency range: Frequency range gives you an idea of how low a sub can play. Bear in mind that the actual performance of a subwoofer depend on various factors, like how well it’s built and how well it’s tuned, the enclosure it’s mounted in …etc.
- Enclosure type: Enclosure type plays a major role in how a subwoofer sounds. In general, if deep bass is what you’re after, consider a sealed enclosure. On the other hand, if more volume is what you’re seeking, then consider a ported or a bandpass enclosure.
- Size of the woofer: We’re always asked what size subwoofers play loudest and lowest? This is a hard question to answer because there are so many variable to factor in such sensitivity rating, power handling, enclosure type…etc. If huge bass is high on your list, and space isn’t an issue, go for the biggest subwoofer. But don’t underestimate smaller subs. A properly powered subwoofer mounted in the right enclosure can put out plenty of sound.
- Impedance: Most car subwoofer out there are rated at at 4 ohms impedance. 2-ohm, 8-ohm, and dual voice coil subwoofers are also quite popular on today’s market. When you’ve chosen a subwoofer, look for an amp that will match up to your sub in terms of power rating and impedance.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Knockoff Brands: Stick with the top rated car subwoofer brands, and you’ll avoid some of those potentially disastrous issues that subs can have, such as clipping, failures in components, and overheating. If a price for a particular subwoofer seems too good to be true, it could be a knockoff brand.
- Not Understanding Your Needs: Unless you’re a serious basshead, you don’t want to go out there and splurge on the most expensive subwoofer. Understand exactly what you need in a subwoofer and don’t overspend.
- Not Testing the Size: The design of the subwoofer is important, especially, its size. You don’t want to purchase a bigger sub to find out that it can’t fit into your vehicle. So, choose wisely. If you have a small, compact vehicle with limited space you might want to consider shallow mount subwoofers or under seat subwoofers.
Which Car Subwoofer Brand Is Right For You?
Although almost everyone has a favorite brand when it comes to any type of products, the subwoofer brands listed above are all good options. Finding the best can speaker brands or best subwoofer brands for your needs will depend more on your personal requirements.
If you want a regular subwoofer, then you can pick. Or if you need a really powerful subwoofer with great performance, perhaps ORION,Skar Audio And DS18 are the brands you want to consider. Match the strengths of a particular brand to your needs, and you’re sure to settle on a top car subwoofer brand for your needs.