Best Powered Car Subwoofers with Pros, Cons & Recommendations
Welcome to the best powered car subwoofer awards!
After having spent the last 11 days practically living in my garage, mounting, modifying, soldering, and running wires while my wife was nagging me that sooner or later, the kids would walk up to perfect strangers asking, “Are you my daddy?” I’m ready to reveal the best powered subs you can get for your ride today.
I went above and beyond in testing, and only the very best four made it to my list. I’m ranking these woofers based on bass power, size, looks, and ease of installation.
To find the perfect powered sub, you need to know how much space you have and your budget. As soon as you’re clear about that, it will be easy. Frankly, any of the subs from the list below is a great choice. You will have a winner by your side no matter the one you go for.
I became an expert in-car audio as I’ve been installing and moving systems for over 20 years and counting. Some people are in dead-end jobs, while for me, it’s a hobby. I just love when the client is driving away grinning and bumping in their new sounding ride.
So, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. The list only includes the best and most popular sizes to be an easy fit for any ride.
Now, let’s feel some bass already!
In a Hurry? Here Are the Top 3 Powered Subwoofers for Cars
For car owners who want and crave that strong bass without spending two months of salary on it.
For music fans who want more than just a bit of thump for the daily commute without spending ages finding the right amp.
For music lovers who don’t have a lot of space to spare yet want the cleanest crispest low end possible.
The best way to describe this sub is as a plug-and-play speaker that’s easy on the budget and delivers a strong and accurate punch. It’s a 10” woofer rated at 300 Watts RMS.
When you order this subwoofer, you’re getting the full package. All you have to do is plug it in, and you will be grinning every time it punches. For all those daredevils out there, don’t mess with the gain! You have to set it low, or else it will be an overkill.
The punch is clean and accurate, just like the doctor ordered. It’s a great addition if you want to upgrade your stock system, and it rounds out the music nicely.
Here is the reason why it’s the top pick on my list:
- High-quality Bass: This sub is a great way to upgrade the factory system and get some thump for the commute. Best of all, it’s not a nose-tingling, ghetto bass subs.
- Easy on the Budget: I highly recommend this sub to those who don’t want to go to a loan shark to get some thump-thump for their vehicles.
- Full Package: This sub has everything you need for a plug-and-play device. The speaker is perfect, in the right dimension box, and there’s a grille included and powered. Can you ask for more?
Although, I have found a few drawbacks you must know about:
There’s one biggie with this sub, which is the Velcro. They should’ve come up with a different way of securing it because the sub is constantly flipping over when I accelerate. Once you solve the mounting, it will last you a long time.
Also, the remote needs an upgrade as it looks all too cheesy for my taste.
This Rockford Fosgate sub is quite popular. I’ve installed it in multiple vehicles, like a Ford Ranger, F150, Jeep Wrangler, Tundra, Silverado, Honda Accord, and Mazda 3.
If you want something a bit cheaper, then check out #2 on my list.
The last time I checked, stocks were running low, so jump and grab one while there are a few left or you will have to wait for weeks until the next shipment comes in.
Once I was done installing this sub in a car, a neighbor walked by and asked me: “Can you do this to my car as well?” Sure, bring it over!
Many bass fans stay away from 12” subs because they take up way too much space. But this Pioneer is a game changer. Once you will have mounted it, you will still have your full trunk at your disposal.
This woofer is rated at 350 Watts RMS, so let me share with you the bass experience. It’s strong and loud while being clean and tight. It’s a great way to add bass to your ride on the budget.
Here are the top reasons why it’s a must-buy:
- Can you take the punch? This sub is good enough to let the neighbors know that you’re home but not loud enough for them to call the police over it
- Nice sound quality: It hits clean with all kinds of music, and if you want to enjoy a rich sound, this baby is your winner
- Unbeatable Price: It is a steal, and it’s a great way to add some thump to your daily commute
Although, there are a few drawbacks that I would like to mention:
There’s no amp wiring kit included, so make sure you get a 10 gauge one when you place your order.
To make the installation easier, Pioneer could’ve included a few wire nuts and barrel crimp connectors. Make sure you get a few before it arrives, and you will be off to the races.
People love this sub, and all my customers were happy campers. After the upgrade, my list of cars includes a Honda Civic, Lincoln, Malibu, F150, and Mazda 3, to name a few.
This woofer was selling like mad last week, it was out of stock in a few days! So, if you’re lucky and see one available, grab it while you can, so you don’t have to wait.
Related: Best car audio subwoofer
This is the most underestimated sub of the year. Some say, “It’s just an 8”, don’t bother with it,” and they couldn’t be more wrong. This baby is rated at 120 Watts RMS, so you know it will pack a punch.
And have you seen the price? Holy smokes, you can’t get a better deal and high quality anywhere else! This sub was made for small cars and people on a budget.
This tiny thing is so popular that everybody is recommending it after they have installed it.
Here are the top reasons why it’s a must-buy:
- The Best sub for Small Cars: If you have a small car, this is the right choice. The bass is amazing even with the top off.
- Recommended by Audiophiles: MTX did a great job creating this woofer. It delivers clean and accurate bass, and the SQ is out of this world.
- Easy to Mount and Remove: Since it’s a small unit, you can easily plug it in, and you can just as easily remove it if space is needed for groceries.
Although, there are a few drawbacks I would like to mention:
It would’ve been nice if Pioneer would’ve included a grille for protection. However, buying one is a small price to pay for a longer-lasting sub.
It’s shaped like a bazooka sub, so the mounting options are limited. Depending on your car, you have to be creative with how you mount it securely.
This baby is selling like hotcakes. Just look at the list of cars I’ve installed it in: a Honda Civic, Mini Cooper, Ranger, CRV, F150, Audi A4, and Jeep Wrangler, to name a few.
Since this baby is so hot, no wonder that stocks are blown in a matter of days. So if you see one, take action and buy it instantly or risk waiting for a long time.
The bass is out of this world. First of all, it’s clean and accurate while being responsive. It’s so powerful that it is as if the bass drum is right behind your back.
Make sure you take your time with the break-in period because those magnets are heavy. Once that is done, the sound will be perfect without distortions. What you’re getting in this package is two 12 inch subs rated at 500 Watts RMS each.
Here are the top reasons why it’s a must-buy:
- Like 2 Silver Back Gorillas in the back: yes, the bass is this strong you can easily flex the roof without going overboard with the gain
- No Guesswork: The box is the perfect match for these woofers, and keep in mind to give it enough space because it pushes a lot of air
- Perfect for any music: no matter what kind of music you’re into, this sub will take it to another level. It’s one of the most responsive ones I’ve ever tested
There are a few drawbacks that I would like to mention:
This woofer is a powerful one, so make sure you have ample screws and a screwdriver because the box is constantly pushed apart. A client of mine already added 23 of them.
For some odd reason, this sub is nonrefundable even if I’m a Prime customer. For some, this might be a biggie.
This sub is quite popular people can’t have enough of it. I’ve installed it in: Jeep JKU, Patriot, Mustang, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen CC and Infinity I35, to name a few.
As you have probably guessed, this is a popular sub, and stocks are always running out. So if it’s out of stock, make sure you check back later because you will never know when the new stock arrives.
Conclusions for the Best Powered Car Subwoofers
We have reached the end of this award ceremony. By now, you should’ve found the perfect fit for your ride. No matter if you have a small or big vehicle, I’ve picked something that will work. I’ve organized this list by adding only the most popular sizes.
If you have a smaller car, then there’s the 8” sub which delivers big time even if it’s smaller. The #1 pick is a 10” sub that can beat many other 12” ones. And if you’re in the market for a 12” subwoofer then I’ve picked the very best powered one. I have added a bonus sub that has two of these bad boys for some serious damage.
Since these are highly popular subs, make sure you buy them instantly, or you’re risking waiting for weeks on end.
As always, if you have questions or tips, get in touch with me.
Roger and out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is the frequency response of a subwoofer?
Frequency response refers to the range of frequencies a subwoofer can reproduce. The lower the frequency, the bigger and deeper the bass will be. A good starting point is 35Hz for an average car subwoofer.
Where is the best place to buy powered subwoofers?
The best place to buy powered subwoofers is Crutchfield or Amazon.
You may also want to read: Top pancake subwoofer list
What is the number one reason for buying a powered subwoofer for your car?
The number one reason for buying a powered subwoofer for your car is because of its convenience. Rather than having to run an amp wire and subwoofer wires into your trunk, you simply connect the two subs in series with a RCA adapter and plug it into your head unit’s speaker-level output. The advantage is that it only takes about 20 minutes to install one after which you’ll have bass that will rival many home theater systems. Powered subs are perfect for those of us who don’t want to do customizations on our cars or aren’t 100% tech-savvy, but still desire that low thumping bass in our rides.
How many watts does a powered subwoofer have?
A powered subwoofer usually has a built in amplifier, which provides as much as 300 watts of power to the subwoofer. This number can be different depending on the subs.
Will you need an amplifier for the best powered subwoofers?
All of the powered subwoofers you see on my list will work without an amplifier.
What are the benefits of a powered subwoofer?
Powered subwoofers can give you a quick, easy and efficient way to upgrade your car audio system. There are many benefits of having a powered subwoofer such as: better bass response, no need for additional amplifiers compared to non-powered subwoofers, simple installation vs. separates components, no amp rack or wiring clutter inside the vehicle, and they are a breeze to install.
Which is the best powered subwoofer car under seat?
From all the testing and research I’ve concluded that the best powered subwoofer car under seat is the Alphasonik AS12DF 12″ 1500 Watts 4-Ohm Down Fire Shallow Mount Flat Enclosed Sub woofer.
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Which is the best powered subwoofer for truck?
From all the testing and research I’ve concluded that the best powered subwoofer for truck is Alphasonik AS12DF 12″ 1500 Watts 4-Ohm Down Fire Shallow Mount Flat Enclosed Sub woofer for Tight Spaces in Cars and Trucks.
How do I know which powered subwoofer is best for me?
Ask yourself these questions when choosing a powered sub: how much space do you have in your trunk, what are the largest woofers that will fit in your car or truck, how loud of bass can you handle? Once you answer these questions, a powered subwoofer should be easy to choose. In this article, I reviewed my top 4 best powered car subs and explain why they are the best subwoofers for your money. If you read the article you probably know the best choice for you by now.
How do you install powered subwoofers into your car without any prior experience?
Installing a powered sub in your car without any prior experience is pretty hard. Especially if you don’t know what you’re exactly doing, and even more in case you plan to do everything by yourself. The best way to install a powered subwoofer in your vehicle is to buy one which has already been pre-assembled and just mount it. Powered subwoofers come with a built-in amplifier, so you don’t need to get this piece separately.
What are the best powered car subwoofers?
The best powered car subwoofers are:
#1 Rockford Fosgate P300-10 – Best Overall Powered Sub
#2 Pioneer TS-WX1210A – Best Single 12 Inch Powered Subwoofer
#3 MTX Audio RT8PT – Best 8 Inch Powered Subwoofer
#4 Kicker Dual 43DCWR122 – Best Dual 12 Inch Powered Car Subwoofer
Does a powered subwoofer come with a built-in amplifier?
Yes, all of the subs on my list are already pre-assembled and include a built-in amplifier.
How much does a powered subwoofer cost?
The average price for a good powered sub is between $100 and $400.
What is a powered subwoofer?
A powered subwoofer is a special type of speaker system that contains an amplifier built into the cabinet. The advantage to this type of system over a traditional woofer, or unpowered speaker, is that you don’t need a separate amp to power it. All the components are housed in one convenient place.
Why should I buy a powered subwoofer?
If you’re interested in adding bass to your car audio system, but don’t want the hassle and cost of installing an amp, a powered woofer is a good option. Powered subwoofers are relatively simple to install compared with other types of speaker systems, since all you need to do is mount the unit in your car’s trunk and connect it to your vehicle’s electrical system.
Is it feasible to install a powered subwoofer in a vehicle and improve its sound quality?
Of course, it is possible. Powered subs are the preferred choice for anybody wanting better and deeper bass in their automobile but doesn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on an installation.
Which subs didn’t make the best powered subwoofer list?
These subs didn’t make my best powered subwoofers list: JL Audio ACP108LG-W3v3 MicroSub+TM 250 watts peak 8 inch subwoofer, Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch 300 Watt Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure (300 watts peak), Rockville RW10CA 10″ 800 Watt peak power handling Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub Low Pass Filter (low pass crossover): 50Hz – 150Hz 200 watts rms power, Kenwood KSC-SW11 150 Watts amplifier (150 watt amplifier) Compact Powered Subwoofer 32Hz-120Hz frequency response, JBL BassPro SL 8 inches 125 Watts RMS Powered Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer Enclosure System (250 watts peak: 125 watts RMS) frequency response.
What is the power handling for these best powered subwoofers?
The peak power handling and rms power handling for these best powered subwoofers are as follows:
- Rockford Fosgate P300-10 Punch Single 10″ 300 Watt Amplified Subwoofer; peak power handling: 300 watt rms; class d amplifier;
- Pioneer TS-WX1210A 12 inch subwoofer Sealed enclosure active subwoofer with built-in amplifier; peak power handling 1300 watt; class d amplifier; frequency response: 20 – 125 Hz
- MTX Audio RT8PT Universal Powered Subwoofer Enclosure; power output 120 watts rms; 8 inch woofer (8 inch subwoofer, 8 inches); class d amplifier
- Kicker Dual 43DCWR122 12 Inch subwoofer power rating 2000W Loaded Subwoofer Enclosure; power output 2000 watt (peak power handling); dual 12 inch woofer; class d amplifier; frequency response 25 – 500 Hz
What kind of features should these best best powered subwoofers have?
The best powered subwoofers should have these key features: wide enough low pass crossover, easy to install (easy installation) car audio sound system, bass boost, single voice coil, dual voice coils subwoofer system, wired remote control, aluminum enclosure, high level inputs, low level inputs and mid level inputs, hard hitting bass quality, ported enclosures, sealed enclosures (depending on the type of enclosure), top notch quality materials audio equipment. Low frequencies and mids like 150 Hz (150 hz), great bass output at 400 watts rms, die cast aluminum cone, hard hitting powerful bass in a limited space
Which brands have the best budget car audio subs?
The best car subs brands that are on the budget would be rockville and polk audio. Even if it’s an enclosed subwoofer
Do I need a head unit for the best car sound quality?
The head unit can help to have the best car stereo. However you need the right sub with the amp. To enjoy an amazing listening experience powerful subwoofer with powerful bass. For deep bass and the best sound quality you need to pick one from the list above. Either way you need to pick the one that’s easy to install (easy installation).
What are passive subwoofers?
Passive subwoofers are those subs that don’t have a built in amp and they need to be powered from an external amplifier. Sometimes these subs are easy to install. Typically the enclosed subwoofer system comes with an amp, remote control, bass boost.
What kind of subs should I look for if I have a small car?
For a small car I have specific list and also I’ve created a top list for compact cars. In this case compact powered would be the best. These can be mounted below or behind the car seat. Here are some core features: deep bass sound, shallow mount 150 watts quality sound, high power with quality control, lot of amount of power above 80 watts.
What is the best 8 inch powered subwoofer?
The best 8 inch powered subwoofer is the MTX Audio RT8PT. It has a lot of power and it’s better than the competition in its same category. It can not only produce hard hitting bass but you’ll get high quality sound out of it.
Who makes the strongest powered subwoofer?
Kicker makes one of the strongest powered subwoofers. They have been in the car audio industry from a long time and they just keep making more amazing products every year.
What is the best powered subwoofer?
The best powered subwoofer is the Rockford Fosgate P300-10 Punch Single 10″ 300 Watt Amplified Subwoofer. It not only delivers as it promises, but it’s also easy to install. This is every roadies dream subwoofer. I myself use this model and it’s amazing.
Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Danny Reid