Android vs iOS, HP vs Dell, Canon vs Nikon – every major market has its two most dominant brands fiercely fighting for the #1 spot. In the world of car subwoofers, these brands happen to be Rockford Fosgate and Kicker. If you’re looking for a new car subwoofer, you’ve probably looked at one of these two big names.
Rockford Fosgate and Kicker are two of the leading brands right now and are very popular among people who are passionate about having the best in sound quality. These two brands have consolidated their position in the market by offering great sounding car subwoofers that are designed for premium performance.
But, which of the two is better? Just like every other product or brand in the market, each of them has its pros and cons. Similarly, each has areas where one has outclassed the other. So, it’s always a good idea to take the time to sit down and think about exactly what your needs and priorities are in a car subwoofer because there is no subwoofer that can do everything.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we’ll take a look at both Kicker and Rockford Fosgate and help you figure out which brand is better suited to your needs.
Rockford Fosgate Vs. Kicker
The Witness: Rockford Fosgate
Rockford Fosgate is one of the top-rated car subwoofer brands out there. They’ve been in business for quite a long time and have mastered the art of making quality car audio components.
Rockford Fosgate was founded in 1973 by Jim Fosgate, the inventor of the company’s first powerful amplifiers. Nowadays, Rockford Fosgate offers a wide range of high-performance car audio equipment including speakers of different types, signal processors, external amplifiers, and subwoofers.
Speaking of subs, Rockford Fosgate does make the highest quality car subwoofers out there. They have subwoofers for almost every application. So, whether you’re looking for a entry-level subwoofer, mid-range or high-end sub, Rockford Fosgate has got you covered.
Rockford Fosgate car subwoofers fall into three categories (Prime, Punch, and Power), differing in performance, price, and in build quality. Subwoofers in the “Prime” series are the entry-level subs while those in the “Power” series are company’s high-end subwoofers. More of a middle-of-the-road line of subwoofers, the “Punch” series which offer a great value and performance for the buck.
Top Rated Rockford Fosgate Subwoofers
Prime Series Subs
The Rockford Fosgate Prime car speakers are affordable and have above-average bass quality. They’re built for those of you who are on a strict-budget. These entry level woofers are available in R1 and R2 series in both 10 inch and 12 inch models.
The subwoofers in the “Prime” series are the least expensive way to get some serious bass in your ride without breaking the bank. The R2 subs are available in shallow and regular mount. They’re a step up from the R1s with their power handling and more flexible wiring options thanks to their dual voice coil configuration.
Rockford Fosgate Prime subs are available in all common sizes and configurations. These “Prime” series subwoofers use rigid polypropylene cones supported by butyl rubber surrounds to punch out powerful deep notes. They feature stamped solid-steel frames which ensure long lasting performance, even under heavy load, while their aluminum voice coil dissipate heat efficiently for consistent performance. These subs can be mounted in sealed or ported box.
Punch Series Subs
- Punch P1: Punch P1 subwoofers are available in 8, 10, 12, and 15 inch. Punch P1 subwoofers introduces a linear spider with embedded 16 gauge tinsel leads. These use Kevlar fiber paper cones which are extremely rigid and allow for solid the bass you expect from a Punch series woofer. These subs are only available in single voice coil.
- Punch P2: Punch P2 : Punch P2 subwoofers take all of the P1 features and pushes the envelope a bit further. The Punch P2 subwoofers brings added flexibility with their dual voice coil design. These subs also have a considerably larger motor structure. Their magnet size is increased nearly 40% and have a 2-1/2 inch voice-coil compared the P1’s 2 inch voice coil.
- Punch P3: Punch P3 subs are the best performing subwoofers in the Punch series. They are available in 10, 12, and 15 models and in both dual 2 ohm and 4 ohm. They improve on the P2 and pushes subwoofer technology to the limit. Rockford has pushed the XMAX limit to nearly 16 millimetres! To get there, Rockford Fosgate has yet again increased the magnet size by nearly 35% over the P2.
For optimal performance and enhanced motor cooling, these subs feature anodized aluminum cone, dust caps and unique spider venting. The flex fit basket makes these subwoofers easy to mount allowing for better installation.
Additionally, The P3 line-up adds shallow mount subwoofers in 8, 10, and 12 inch models. The shallow mount P3 subs incorporate all of the P3 technology in a depth limited package.
Power Series Subs
Rockford Fosgate designed their Power series subwoofers to make a night and day difference in terms of bass you experience in your vehicle. They use cutting-edge technology such as VAST surround technology for ultimate high-power, high-volume bass.
VAST technology is very simple but what it offers is beyond what you can imagine. It increases available cone area up to 25% so the sub can push more air for even bigger bass. This is achieved by changing the way in which the surround attaches to the basket of the subwoofer. So, by bringing the surround closer to the basket, V.A.S.T technology is able to produce a larger cone area, giving the subwoofer an edge over their competitors.
The Witness: Kicker
Kicker is one of the most authoritative brands in the car audio industry. They were established in 1973 by Steve Irby. The company’s Livin’ Loud legacy began as a two-man operation, hand-building professional-speaker systems in a car garage. With very few resources and an intense love for music, Kicker’s founder (Steve Irby) invented the mobile-stereo enclosure which was the first full frequency-range speaker box designed specifically for cars and trucks. From that historic moment, delivering concert-like audio quality across a wide volume range with renowned bass and accurate sound has always been the KICKER way.
Nowadays, Kicker is regarded as one of the the most renowned brands in the loudspeaker industry that offers a wide selection of car audio components including speakers, signal processors, amplifiers, and subwoofers.
Speaking of subs, Kicker offers the largest lineup of subwoofers. Within their 11 lines, there’s sure to be one that fits your needs. Kicker Solo-Baric L7, CompVX comprise the high-end. CompVR, CompR, and CompRT are the pillars of the middle. And Comp, CompS, and CompD are the value oriented lines.
Top Rated Kicker Subwoofers
Yellow Series (Comp, CompS, CompD)
For the budget-minded, look no further than Kicker yellow. The yellow consists of Comp, CompS, and CompD. These entry-level woofers are available in CompS for single voice coil and CompD for dual voice coil.
The CompS also fills a large void in today’s car audio environment Infinite baffle. The CompS is a woofer that allows you to use your trunk as a box. The Comp series subs were designed with a hundred dollar price point in mind. It retains the legendary Kicker bass at the best value.
Red Series (CompR, CompRT, CompVR)
For those looking to shift to the next level performance, Kicker has the Red Series. The Red series comprises of CompR, CompRT, and CompVR subwoofers.
The CompR subs are available in 8, 10, 12, and 15 inch. These subs introduce a progressive roll spider with embedded tinsel leads and features the impedance slider for easy wiring. Their ultra-rigid molded woofer cones are designed to deliver the bass you expect form a legendary woofer builder.
The CompRT on the other hand takes all the CompR features and reduces the mounting depth for challenging installations. The CompRT subs comes in 8, 10, 12 and 15 inch models, and bring added flexibility with their 1 ohm and 2 ohm impedance.
The CompRT subs have the thinnest motor structure and provide true deep bass from a location where conventional subwoofers wouldn’t fit.
Blue Series (Solo Baric L7, CompVX)
The L7 and CompVX are part of the blue series. The subwoofers in the blue series features cutting edge technologies and are designed for dominance. These subs upgrade you to award-winning bass.
The L7s are available in 8, 10, 12, and 15 inch models. Their square cone design provides 18% more cone area and allows these subs to displace more air. Furthermore, their corner rib surround allows for increased excursion and holds the massive cone structure in place. These subs feature heavy duty ribbon tensil leads
The blue lineups adds CompVX subwoofers in 10, 12, and 15 inch models. The CompVX incorporates all the L7 technology in a round woofer package. The ribbed surrounds allows for nearly 18 millimetres of XMAX and the back brace one piece cone has integrated voice coil venting just like the L7.
For optimum bass and for those of you not interested in building a box, Kicker has the CompS, CompRT, CompR, and SOLO Baric L7 available in pre-loaded enclosures. Kicker pre-loaded enclosure are available in Yellow, Red and Blue performance levels and utilizes the same drivers in 8,10, and 12 inch. They’re available in single and dual voice coil driver configurations.
Rockford Fosgate Vs. Kicker : So which one is best?
If you’re considering getting yourself a new car subwoofer to keep you entertained on the road, there are quite a number of considerations you need to have in mind including subwoofer power handling, sensitivity rating, frequency response, not to mention build quality.
When comparing Rockford Fosgate Vs. Kicker car subwoofers side-by-side, there are a lot of similarities, like solid build quality, design and key specs, but there are a couple of differences too — some subtle, others, not so much.
Both brands offer a wide range of car subwoofers of different sizes and configurations. Their pricing are also within a few bucks.
Here at StereoRise we are constantly being asked what car subwoofer is better. This only becomes a problem when comparing two great car subwoofers brands. At this point the word “better” no longer applies and instead it becomes which one is best-suited for my application?
Additionally, when choosing between car subwoofers brands, we highly recommend that you compare each subwoofer individually — where Kicker may have a better entry-level car subwoofer, Rockford Fosgate may have a powerful sub that can provide a well-refined and punchy bass.