Check Out the Best Free Air Subwoofer Selection of 2023

Welcome to the best free air subwoofer awards!

For the past 12 days, I’ve locked myself in my garage to mount, solder, run wires, install, break-in and fine-tune subs while missing out on my favorite TV show (which was heartlessly spoiled by my wife, I will get even with you missy don’t you worry about that). I’m ready to show you which are the very best free air subs on the market today.


Finding the perfect free air sub is easy as soon as you know two things, your budget and the space available. As soon as you know these, it will become a breeze to find the perfect fit. I’m ranking the top 4 subs by size, power, bass strength, looks and price.

You see, for more than 20 years, I’ve been installing car stereos and equipment in all sorts of vehicles. Many friends of mine asked me for a recommendation for free air subs, so I’ve decided to find the very best ones on the market today.

You can rest assured that picking any sub from the list below is a guaranteed winner. I’ve done the heavy lifting for you because I’ve eliminated all the junk and money wasters and left only those subs who are the best of the best. This will save you a lot of time and will make the decision a lot smoother so you can enjoy your daily commute on a high note.

Let’s feel some thump, thump already!


#1 Skar Audio SDR-10 D4 – Best Free Air Subwoofer Overall

The Best Free Air Subwoofer in 2024And we have a Winner!

This is the perfect under-the-radar sub to install in your vehicle. It doesn’t take up too much space while it delivers some strong bass. It’s a 10-inch sub that is rated at 600 Watts RMS. This is insane power territory.

Before you crank it to the max, keep in mind to give a sufficient break-in period. Once that’s done, you play around with the volume and the gain.

The bass is hard-hitting and punchy, just what the doctor ordered. The perfect way to describe the bass is by saying it hits low, hard, and deep. This sub delivers great SQ.

This is why it’s top of my list:

  • Sleeper sub: many people underestimate this 10-inch sub and are shocked by the hard-hitting bass it produces. They can’t believe that it’s just one, and that’s a ten-inch one at that.
  • Kicker killer: for fun and kicks, I’ve put it up against two 12 inch Kicker subs. It wasn’t even a competition. This Skar Audio has beaten them with ease, and it’s just 10 inches.
  • Space saver: I love this sub because it doesn’t require a lot of space, so it’s ideal for smaller cars or for those who don’t want to sacrifice trunk space.

You may also like: What is the hardest hitting 12 inch subwoofer?

A few drawbacks that I’ve encountered:

  • This is where the big boys play, so you have to have your electrical system check to get the max out of this sub. You will need a 320A alternator at least to get this sub humming.
  • A few people complained about flickering headlights. This is an easy fix because you need a capacitor, so the battery isn’t stressed.

This sub is one of the hottest selling woofers around. No wonder I had my hands full with it. I’ve installed it Mustang, S10 extended cab, Honda Accord, Sentra, 325 BMW, Mini Countryman and a Jeep Wrangler. They were all happy clients of mine.

As I’ve mentioned before, this sub is selling like hotcakes. The last time I’ve checked, there was less than a handful in stock, so that they might be gone already; either way; if there’s one left, grab it before someone else does.

If you want something a bit smaller, like an 8”, check out #2 on my list below.

  • The bass is so good that it can compete with the other two 12” subs
  • The insane price you can’t get better quality than this one
  • It’s ideal for small cars because of the short profile and minimum space requirements
  • You might need to invest in a 320A alternator to fuel the greed
  • If you have dimming lights, you will need a capacitor


#2 Kicker 43CWR84 – Best 8 Inch Free Air Subwoofer

Best Free Air 8 Inch SubwooferGents, here’s another sleeper here. I mean, I was shocked at how good this sounds. While I was testing this sub, a neighbor walked by, asking if I have a ten or a 12-inch sub in the back. He was shocked when he learned that it’s just an 8 inch one.

Here’s what people don’t get, this sub is rated at 300 Watts RMS. Yes, you read it right 300 Watts that’s insane power for an 8-inch sub.

The bass is great because it hits the lows perfectly, and it’s controlled and tight. The price is simply unbeatable. You’re getting a real bargain with this woofer. So much power at such a low price is unheard of.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Judged by its cover: many people pass on it because it’s just an 8-inch sub; however, it can take on 10 inch and 12-inch subs without a problem. Best of all, it can beat them with ease.
  • Affordable Bass: this Kicker sub comes highly recommended for those who love tight bass. The price is just right, and the bass is perfect every time.
  • Built to last: if you don’t know the Kicker brand, let me share with you their core message, which is reliability. I’ve installed this sub in a Jeep, and several years have passed, and it’s still thumping.

A few drawbacks that you have to know about:

  • Since it’s just an 8” sub, people pass on it because of ego issues; that’s a big mistake because this one can take on 10” and even 12” woofers.
  • Brace yourself. You will have to under the burn-off smell. If you can take it, then you will be rewarded with some tight bass for many years to come.

This Kicker sub is loved by many, so that’s why I’ve got it installed in so many vehicles such as: Subaru Forester, Jeep Wrangler, Tundra, F150, Crown Vic, Lexus, to name a few.

Since this sub is in high demand, you probably guessed that the stocks are almost inexistent. It’s not even Black Friday, and people are grabbing them up like crazy. I hope you will get lucky and get one, or you can always check back later to see if it’s back.

  • These are such good subs that people think that you have 10” or 12” ones in the back.
  • This little thing is power-hungry
  • Once you install this baby, the difference will be night and day
  • You might need to invest in a 320A alternator to fuel the greed
  • For me, it had a burn-off smell. It went away after a few hours.

Interested in more subs? Take a look at the top of the line subwoofers list.


#3 Rockford Fosgate Punch P3D4-10– Best 10 Inch Free Air Sub

The Best Free Air Subwoofer in 2024One of my clients who I’ve installed this sub was driving away giggling like a little kid. He was in his 40’s. A bass head will remain a bass head forever.

This subwoofer is part of the Punch series, and Rockford Fosgate wasn’t joking about the punch. This subwoofer is the hardest-hitting 10” sub that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. No wonder it’s rated at 500 Watts RMS. That’s insane power level.

This beast needs additional break-in time. Once that’s done, you can unleash the Kraken. Get ready because this baby slams hard. It’s so powerful that you can feel it in your insides. The bass is crisp, clear, and delivers great sound for all types of music.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Chest pounding thump: the bass is so powerful that you can feel massaging your insides in a good way.
  • Sturdy construction: Wow, Rockford Fosgate outdid their selves with this sub. It’s well built and relatedly compact so that it can take a beating. I have clients who have been using this woofer for years without complaints.
  • Great Deal: it’s the hardest hitting 10” sub you will ever own, and it’s below $500, so it’s a regular steal. It’s a great money saver.

Related: [Revealed] The hardest hitting shallow mount subwoofers

A few drawbacks that you have to know about:

  • The sensitivity is low. This means that you have to give more juice when it gets what it needs to look out, the world.
  • It’s lite on the tonality, so it’s a one-note wonder.

Since it’s the hardest hitting 10” sub currently on the market, no wonder I had my hands full installing these bad boys. My list includes: F-150, Tundra, Jeep Wrangler, Mazda 3, Silverado, Ford Ranger and a Honda Accord.

These are very popular subs, so I’m not surprised that they are always running out of stock. Now you might get lucky and find one, then move fast because somebody else is probably eyeing the same sub. The spoils go to the victor, aka the fast mover.

  • The bass what you get from this sub is hard-hitting and needs lots of power
  • If you enjoy chest pounding thump, you have found your match you’re
  • Just what the Dr. ordered because it makes a 40-year-old giggle like a kid
  • The sensitivity is a bit low for my taste
  • It’s also light on tonality


#4 BOSS Audio Systems CXX12 – Best Cheap Free Air Sub

OMG, I can’t believe how cheap this sub is. I spend more on coffee in a week than this sub’s price. If it’s so cheap, what is it doing on this list?

That’s a fair question, you see, it’s cheap, and it delivers; that’s the reason why it made it here. The build quality is OK for the price, and this unit actually slaps.

This Boss sub is a 12” woofer, and it’s rated at 500 Watts RMS. I highly advise not to go near it because it will be blown out. The ideal RMS is 150 Watts. Plus, I’ve managed to vibrate the car at 110 Watts RMS. So you don’t need that much power to get some great results.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Bump the stock system: it’s a super cheap way to upgrade your stock system, the price is unbeatable, and this unit actually slaps.
  • Concert on wheels: the car feels like you’re in a concert. The only difference is that you’re moving around. This sub is quite boomy, so it’s not for competitions.
  • Very cheap warranty: whoever heard of an extended warranty for $3, and this covers 3 years? This is crazy and borderline insane.

A few drawbacks that you have to know about:

  • My biggest issue with this sub is that they are boasting with 500 Watts RMS, which in reality, this sub can only take around 150 Watts. Many people have blown it because they thought they are getting a 500 Watts woofer.
  • This is a very cheap unit; I mean dirt cheap, and the only question that pops into my mind is if it will last? You can buy a dirt-cheap warranty just in case.

I had quite a few installs for this sub, and they include a Toyota Corolla and a Kia Micro, to name a few.

Since this unit is so cheap, people are buying it like crazy. Some use it as a throwaway sub because if it’s blown, they just replace it with another one. That’s how cheap it is. So you shouldn’t wonder if why it is out of stock. If you feel this is the right one, just get it; it’s almost less than a coffee at Starbucks.

  • To my surprise is quite well built for the price
  • Crisp, clean sound, and it slaps
  • 3-year warranty for $3??? I’ll take it
  • The Watt RMS is highly overrated. It’s more around 150 Watts
  • It’s so cheap. Will it last? There’s the 3-year warranty for that dirt cheap.

Related: Best car subwoofer for deep bass


Conclusions for the best free air subwoofer

We have reached the end of this award show for these free air subs. As you have seen, only the best of the best made it on my list. There’s no reason for me to create a huge list of mediocre subs. I’ve picked the winners, so no matter which one you choose from above, it will deliver.

It was a long journey; however, I had a blast tinkering with these subs. Now it’s your turn. If you have missed it above, make sure you take action right now because these subs are in high demand and could go out of stock fairly quickly. If you see one of your picks being in stock, get it before someone else does.

If you have questions or tips, you know where the contact button is.

Roger and out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can any subwoofer be free air?

Free Air subwoofer means that the air passes through freely this means that only those sub  qualify that are not in any type of enclosure. Free air mounting is only possible with these subs or you can check my list above.

What is the best 8 inch free air subwoofer?

The best 8 inch free air subwoofer is the: Kicker 43CWR84 CompR 8 Inch 4 Ohm 300 Watt RMS Power and 600 Watts Peak Power Dual Voice Coil Car Audio Sub Subwoofer

What is the best subwoofer for deep bass?

The best subwoofer for deep bass would be the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 punch series sub. If you’re interested in more hard hitting subs check out my full list.

What is an infinite baffle subwoofer?

The infinite baffle subwoofer can be a closed or a sealed box that aims to smother the rear sound waves coming from the loudspeaker.

What is the frequency response and power handling for these best free air subwoofers (free air subwoofer) list?

The frequency response and power handling for these best best free air subwoofers (best free air subwoofer) are these:

  1. Skar Audio SDR-10 D4 10 inch subwoofer 1200 Watt peak power handling Dual 4 Ohms Car Subwoofer; Frequency Response: 28 Hz – 300 H;  Mounting Depth: 6.08″
  2. Kicker 43CWR84 CompR 8 Inch subwoofer 4 ohm impedance 300 Watt RMS Power and 600 Watts Peak Power handling Dual 8 inch Voice Coil (voice coils) Car Audio Sub Subwoofer; frequency range 30 – 500 Hz (frequency response); 4.13 inches of mounting depth
  3. Rockford Fosgate Punch P3D4-10 10″ 1000 Watt Peak power output (power handling) / 500 Watt RMS Dual 4 ohm impedance Car Subwoofer with Anodized Aluminum Cone Mounting Depth: 6-1/4″; frequency range: 28-250 Hz (frequency response)
  4. BOSS Audio Systems CXX12 Car Subwoofer – 1000 Watts Maximum amount of Power, 12 Inch , Single 4 Ohm Voice Coil (4 ohms voice coils); frequency response 20 – 250 Hz (frequency range);

Which free air subwoofers (free air subwoofer) didn’t make it on the list?

These free air subwoofers (free air subwoofer) didn’t make it on my list: Infinity Kappa 1200W 12″ 1200 Watt Car Audio shallow mount Subwoofer; PIONEER TS-A2500LS4 1200 Watt 10″ 400 watts rms Shallow Mount subwoofer 2 Ohm SVC Subwoofer 400 watts rms; Kicker 10C104 Comp 10-Inch shallow mount Subwoofer 2 Ohm voice coil (single voice and voice coils), 200 watts rms, 250 watts rms.

Is there a shallow mount subwoofer in the free air subwoofers (free air subwoofer) list?

Sadly I didn’t include any shallow mount subwoofer in my free air subwoofers (free air subwoofer) list. The truth is that open air setup or free air subwoofer (free air subwoofer) aren’t performing that good. Plus if they are shallow mount you won’t have that punchy bass that you’re used to.

What kind of features should these best free air subwoofers (free air subwoofer) for a quality audio system?

To get the best quality sound these free air subwoofers should have the following features: reinforced rear deck, heavy duty  steel basket foam surround for amazing sound quality, pressed paper cone (paper cone), punchy bass, more than enough trunk space, rubber surround, great bass without an enclosure, mica injected glass fiber foam surround steel basket, dual voice coil, open air setup, free air applications, good handle on low frequencies all this for a sound system (audio system) without breaking the bank.

Do free air subwoofers have good sound quality?

When it comes to sound quality free air subwoofers are missing the punch. Don’t get me wrong they are a great for any sound system even with a heavy duty one. Since there’s no enclosure you won’t feel that bass that strongly. This is why the sound quality is lacking.

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Danny Reid

Hey, I'm Danny, and I know how hard it can be to find the perfect audio gear. Need a new stereo, amp, speakers, or subs? Don't worry – my blog is here to help you cut through the noise! My mission is to give you the best reviews, so you can make the right decision for your audio needs. And if you ever get stuck thinking, "Where does this blue wire go?" don't worry – I've got tons of cool tips to help you out of any jam. So come along with me on this fun, sound-filled adventure, and let's find the perfect audio setup to make your tunes really sing!