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Best Spare Tire Subwoofers – Save Space & Enjoy Beefy Lows

When I was first getting interested in all things audio, car subwoofers were rather specialist devices that were only of interest to serious audiophiles! Things have changed a great deal since those old days, and today subwoofers are now considered to be an almost standard part of modern car audio systems.

A good subwoofer can be extremely effective and very convenient. The downside, however, is that subs – especially bigger ones – take a lot of space.

Every now and then We get e-mails and comments from readers who want more bass, but are tight on space in their vehicles. That’s when we start suggesting compact powered subwoofers – also referred to as “underseat subwoofers” because that’s where a lot of people install them. One recent one asked, “could you recommend a good spare tire subwoofer”.

What is spare tire subwoofer?

A spare tire sub is a small subwoofer driven by a built-in mini amplifier, housed in a single, ultra-compact body that’s designed to be mounted over the hub of your spare tire to give you maximum bass and maximum space savings.

This all-in-one design will save you from the hassle of installing a bass system for your car as you don’t have to match a separate amp and woofer and then figure out how to best wire them up.

Best Tire Subwoofers

1. JBL Basspro Hub

Last update on 2023-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 11 inch
Frequency range 30Hz – 150Hz
Amplifier power 200 Watts RMS (2 ohms)
Crossover Slope 24dB/Octave
Crossover Frequency 50Hz – 150Hz
Dimensions (D x H) 14-3/16″ x 6-1/2″

JBL is a brand audio professionals rely on. Its products are synonymous with quality and reliability. When it comes to speakers, JBL has really secured its place in the industry. If you’ve ever taken any interest in speakers or higher-end audio, JBL is a brand you likely recognize, and for good reason.

The Basspro Hub is one of the best spare tire subwoofer in the market, all things considered. It looks unassuming, but the low profile belies a powerful sub that is up to the task whether you like listening to bass heavy tracks, screaming hard rock or rap.

The Basspro Hub comes loaded with a 11 inch subwoofer with a tough fiberglass cone coupled with durable rubber surround for long lasting performance. This subwoofer is powered by a 200-watt Class D amplifier that’s specially designed to complement the subwoofer.

With 700 watts of continuous power, JBL Basspro Hub really brings the boom. It goes down to 30Hz, which is impressive for a subwoofer this size. It can provide a rich subsonic presence defined by clear and realistic bass notes that brings out the detail in kick drums, toms, and bass guitars.

This bass system is featured with line-level and speaker-level inputs which make it compatible with almost any car audio system. Additionally, there’s a wired remote with controls for sub level, crossover frequency, phase switching, and bass EQ, so you can adjust the bass on the fly.

This JBL spare tire sub is housed in a plastic enclosure which protects it from your cargo while taking up very little cargo space. A plug-in wiring harness makes removing the sub to access the spare tire a simple task.

However, there’s no denying that it has a couple of downsides. The hefty price tag being the most important one. This thing is quite pricey compared to the competition. If you want to go balls to the wall and purchase the JBL Basspro Hub, you’ll need to shell out upwards of $300.

2. Rockville RockGhost

Last update on 2023-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 8″
Frequency range 20 Hz – 250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 200 watts
  • Peak: 800 watts
Bass Boost 0 – 12dB @ 45Hz
Low Pass Filter 50Hz – 150Hz
Dimensions (D x H) 14.17″ x 5.7″

If you’re short on cash and looking for a budget spare tire subwoofer that can get the job done without burning a hole in your pocket, Rockville RockGhost is for you. It’s not expensive, but you still get a lot for the money. It’s one of the top-rated spare tire subwoofers in the market, for good reason.

Rockville is well-known for creating speakers on the low end of the price and power scale, but the RockGhost strikes a more modest balance while still being powerful enough to fill out the low-end frequencies. With 200 watts RMS on tap and a high excursion 8 inch driver, the RockGhost can deliver all the dynamic punch a heavy-bass track can throw at it.

For its size — and its price — this spare tire sub does not disappoint. It’s actually one of the best at this price range. Its 200 watts RMS output, with 800 watts at peak, allowing it to really shake the car. It punches well above its size and price. It has a rich, deep sound with a balanced, energetic bass and a fulfilling low-frequency response.

Speaking of low frequency response, this subwoofer can hit as low as 20Hz. This ultra-deep bass response is technically lower than the human ear can actually hear, but it will add a little extra non-auditory rumble to the car, so the response on this unit will be plenty for your setup.

The Rockville RockGhost is featured with protection circuitry for short protection circuit and overload protection circuit. It comes with a wired 20 foot dash remote with adjustable gain, bass boost, low pass crossover filter, and phase control.

All in all, the Rockville RockGhost offers practically everything one could want in a mid-priced powered subwoofer. For its size and price, it provides plenty of output for heavy-bass mixes, and we’ve found that its clarity and precision matched or exceeded that of many more expensive subs we tried.

3. Cerwin-Vega VPAS12ST

Last update on 2023-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Size 12″
Frequency range 20Hz – 150Hz
Power Handling 
  • RMS: 250 watts
  • Peak: 600 watts
Bass Boost 0 – 12dB
Low Pass Filter 30Hz – 150Hz
Dimensions (L x W x H) 16.5″ x 16.5″ x 6.5″

Cerwin-Vega has a long and storied history of producing excellent bass, and this subwoofer is an outstanding example of that pedigree.

Armed with a 12 inch low profile subwoofer driven by a fully integrated amplifier encased in a cast aluminum heatsink in conjunction with the subwoofer, the Cerwin-Vega VPAS12ST delivers a whopping 250 watts of amplifier power to give you the deep, thundering bass range you need to create the ultimate cinematic audio experience in your ride. With a base response range of 20 to 150 Hz, you can fine-tune your audio to fit what you’re listening to.

Speaking of customization and — like all spare tire subs we listed here — the VPAS12ST comes with a wired remote control – with adjustable gain, bass boost, low pass crossover filter, and phase control – that you can use to fine-tune the bass output to your taste from the driver’s seat.


Who are spare tire subs for?

There’s no point in beating about the bush, so I’ll give it to you straight. A spare tire subwoofer – just like a powered subwoofer – won’t, by any means, turn your ride into a rolling thunderstorm of bass.

This type of bass system is meant to compliment your factory stereo system and fill in the gaps for improved low end response, not to be heard coming down the street, or rattle the car next to you at a light.

For what kinds of vehicles do you recommend a spare tire sub?

We most frequently recommend spare tire subs for compact cars or smaller sedans and coupes that don’t have much trunk space or interior space in general. These subs are also perfect for leased cars.

What kind of bass output can I expect?

Even though these subs are tiny and have a low profile mount, you’ll be able to feel the bass hits in your music. And most spare tire subwoofers generate enough energy to fill a small or mid-size vehicle’s interior with tight bass.

Underseat subs are ideal for anyone who wants extra bump but doesn’t want to forfeit boot space for a bigger enclosure. While these bass units won’t won’t win any SPL competitions, they provide the low bass frequencies that most stock audio systems don’t reproduce very well.

Do spare tire subs work with factory stereos?

Absolutely! Most active powered subwoofers are featured with speaker-level inputs, which let you tap into your vehicle’s speaker wires for signal, while leaving the factory stereo intact.

Bottom Line

At the end, we can all agree that having a good subwoofer will take a huge load off your speakers. The latter will focus more on reproducing the frequencies they are best equipped to handle. Luckily for you, there is a wide variety of subwoofers available for your car audio setup.

In this guide, we’ve evaluated the top rated spare tire subs in the market that will make your car audio system rock without sacrificing boot space.

It must be noted that none of these tiny bass systems will turn your ride into a rolling thunderstorm of bass. However, adding one of these subs to your car stereo system will complement your speakers and fill out the low-end frequencies.

Alex Brown

Hey There, my name is Alex Brown, I'm an LA-based sound engineer with over 10 years experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. I've installed highly competitive car audio systems, and everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms and beyond. I enjoy creating solutions and simplifying everyday needs. I also love helping people get great sounding gear, thereby, saving the world from bad sound one customer at a time.

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