The Best Sub and Amp Combo – Pros, Cons & Recommendations
Welcome to the Best Sub and Amp Combo Awards!
After having spent the last 16 days installing and testing the best 5 subwoofer & amp combos while sweet-talking myself out of a fine because of a disgruntled neighbor, I’m ready to reveal who the winners are. I’ve ranked them considering their bass level, power, ease of installation, and looks.
Finding the perfect subwoofer and amp combo comes down to two things: the available space and your budget. Once you’ve determined these, it will be easy to find the perfect fit. Whether you want a bit thump in the trunk to enjoy your commute, or to shake your soul, I have found the perfect sub for you.
For the past 20 years, I’ve been upgrading car audio, and I simply love seeing a happy client driving away with a smile on their face. So, I’ve decided to share my experience and help you pick the very best solution for your ride. Whichever of the products below you choose, be reassured as you will have a winner on your side and will connect with the music.
Now, let’s feel some bass already!
In a Hurry? Here is the Top 3 Best Sub and Amp Combo
For those looking for a space saver: It’s perfect for you if you have minimal space to spare but still want some good thump.
For those who want an affordable monster: This sub is for those who want to feel the thunder in their heart without breaking the bank.
For the bass fans: Who don’t have a lot of room to spare and have angry neighbors who wouldn’t hesitate to report you.
#1. MTX Audio TNP212DV Terminator Subwoofer with Amplifier – Best Sub and Amp Combo
We have a WINNER!
It is the ultimate subwoofer if you want a plug-and-play device for hard bass. This sub rocks! You will feel the thump-thump in your chest.
This subwoofer has two 12” sub with a 250 Watts RMS built-in amp. Everything is packaged up in a neat box to enjoy the lows. No matter what you throw at it — let it be 15hz, 18hz, or 20hz — this sub can take it. It won’t drown the mids and highs.
Warning: This sub is a perfect excuse for the cops to pull you over, so make sure everything else is legit.
Did I mention it’s affordable? In fact, it’s not just budget-friendly; it’s a steal! No wonder they have stock issues (more on this below).
I have installed this sub amp combo in my neighbor’s car, and their son came in #2 at the school competition. Even though it’s not a competition sub, it can hold its ground.
Bonus points for the look of this device, which is particularly cool!
Now, here’s why this car sub and amp combo hit the top of the list:
- It sounds like an earthquake: The basses hit hard and clean, shaking all the windows and the rearview mirror.
- Full body massage: If I had known that earlier, I wouldn’t have bought a brand new massage chair!
- Plug and play: It’s that easy to install; no rocket science diploma needed.
Although, I’ve found a few drawbacks.
First, being a power-hungry sub, it will take a toll on your battery, so make sure you get a capacitor.
Also, great looks and affordability come at a price… Unfortunately, this combo is also big and heavy.
I’ve installed it in a few vehicles, namely a few Ford Explorer, Subaru Outback, Tundra, Cherokee, Infinity, and Mustang. Each time, the owners were ecstatic.
Overall, this is the best car sub and amp combo you can go with. It is perfect for the lows without drowning out the mids and highs. Plus, it’s affordable.
Now, if you can’t spare the space, check out #2 on the list.
Being such a popular sub, it is constantly out of stock. So, if you’re lucky and see one, grab it while you can.
- The bass is so strong you basically get a full-body massage when music is playing.
- Clean basses don’t drown the mids and highs, and can even handle 15hz, 18hz, and 20hz.
- It is easy to install, sounds amazing, and is affordable.
- This subwoofer is a greedy one and takes its toll on the battery.
- It takes up a lot of space, and it’s heavy.
#2. Rockford Fosgate P300 – Best subwoofer with built in amp package
Holy smokes! This sub is a badass. Whether you want a bit of kick for your daily commute or would like to crank it up like a music maniac, you have found your winner with this baby. Best of all, it delivers an amazing bang for your buck without being oversized.
Heads up, though! You can crack your windshield with this woofer. It has happened to a buddy of mine who went overboard with the gain, so be careful.
This sub is part of the Punch series, and they weren’t joking when they labeled it. It truly packs a punch! What you get is a nice, cool-looking box with a 12-inch sub and 300 Watts RMS amp. Besides, everything is pre-installed for you. All you need to do is plug in the wires, and you’re ready to enjoy tight and punchy basses!
Here’s why it’s a must-buy sub:
- Ultra punchy: This sub is louder than you will ever need it to be. Your ride will boom, and not like those of annoying teenagers.
- Compact: This sub is small without making any compromises. Indeed, you have more than enough space left in the trunk while benefiting from deep basses.
- Super easy to install: Since the sub and amp are packaged nicely in a box, all you have to do is connect the wires, and you have an amazing thump for your ride.
However, I’ve found a few drawbacks.
First, they should’ve done a better job with the Velcro straps. They are not holding it down one bit when you accelerate.
Second, it’s a greedy sub. It siphons a lot of current from the battery. But what else can you expect from 300 Watts RMS?
All my clients were happy with this subwoofer, including the owners of a Jeep Wrangler, Honda Civic Si, 4Runner, Kia Optima, Silverado, Mustang, Toyota Prius, Ford Bronco, and Honda Accord.
If you don’t have much space yet still want a more-than-decent bass, then the Rockford Fosgate sub is the perfect option for you. It was also rated as the best subwoofer in the market. However, you need to be a fast mover as they are flying off the shelves. If you manage to find one, get it instantly, or you might risk waiting for weeks.
- It sounds incredible. The bass is punchy and tight, making it perfect for both cars and trucks.
- The installation is quick and easy (amp included).
- The build quality is excellent, and the sub is protected by a sturdy screen.
- The Velcro won’t keep this sub from tipping. Therefore, you need a better solution.
- This sub is heavy and takes up a lot of space in the trunk.
#3. Rockville RVE12CA 12 Inch Subwoofer – Best Affordable Car Sub and Amp Package
Holy smokes, somebody managed to catch lightning in a bottle! The result is this 12-inch shallow mount subwoofer.
This sub is ideal for those who don’t have much space to spare and still want to enjoy their commute.
No wonder this baby kicks hard; it’s powered by a 350 Watts RMS amp! Best of all, you’re getting everything at a super low price. This means that the installation is quick and painless. Even so, Rockville made an extensive guide to hooking up their subs.
It’s a true bang for your buck. I don’t know how they can afford to sell it this cheap. You’re probably thinking that the catch is in the build quality. Well, it’s not because that’s top-notch as well!
Here’s why it’s a must-buy:
- Discrete thump: It indeed rattles your rearview mirror to the point of not seeing anything. However, the sound doesn’t bleed through the windows so you won’t get fined.
- Very deep bass: This little one kicks like a mule. If you enjoy clean, crisp, and powerful bass, this sub is the perfect fit for you.
- Amazing deal: For the price of this unit, you’re getting a 12” sub, an amp, and the box as well. It’s a steal!
Although, there are a few drawbacks that you should know about.
There were a few reports about this sub overheating, which might be the case. Although, it can be easily fixed by giving it enough breathing room.
Also, a few people complained about this sub not producing enough bass. Personally, after the break-in period and getting it tuned properly, I haven’t seen any complaints.
This little sub packs a mean punch. Most of the vehicles I’ve installed this sub in were trucks and SUVs. This shallow mount subwoofer is made for these rides. Being a small woofer, it fits almost anywhere and delivers some strong bass.
This sub is spreading through word of mouth. Recently, when I’ve installed it, the owner said that a couple of buddies of his had it as well, which made him want his own. So yeah, this Rockville sub is popular, so don’t be surprised if it’s running low in stock.
People are buying them up like hotcakes. So, make sure you buy one right now, or you will have to wait a long time until stocks get replenished.
- It is an all-in-one sub and amp combo, which is brain-dead simple to install.
- The bass is private. Although you will feel and the car will rattle a bit, it won’t bleed through the windows.
- It’s a shallow mount with everything included—all this at an unbeatable price.
- When overheats, it shuts down, while is easily preventable with breathing room.
- A few complaints reported a lack of bass, although this can be fixed with proper tuning.
#4. Kicker Dual 43DCWR122 12-Inch Subwoofer – Best Kicker Subwoofer and Amp Combo
This sub is not a joke. You’re getting two 12 in subs with this powered woofer. This unit is rated at 1000 Watts RMS, so you can expect that it will hit hard.
Warning! Don’t skip the break-in period. Before the break-in happens, it won’t perform that well. And once it happens, WOW, simply WOW the difference is huge the bass becomes smoother.
Brace yourself. This is a heavy box, and they nailed it just right. It can hit the 30Hz lows perfectly. Plus, it’s easy to install. Since everything is there, all you have to do is connect the wires.
I can go on and on with the bass. If you like the extremes, then you should know that the bass flexes the roof and the windows; don’t overdo the gain or else.
In most cases, people are getting more bass than they expected. You can feel the sub pushing the air. It’s one heavy-duty sub. Whoever designed the box has optimized it well because the sound is surreal.
Kicker has blown this sub out of the water; it’s that good.
Here’s why it’s a must-buy:
- An absolute monster bass: It seems like two silverback gorillas are fighting in the back
- All the bass you will ever need: this sub delivers more than you can handle and most likely a lot more than the neighborhood would stand
- Super easy install: everything is included. There’s no guesswork involved. All you have to do is connect the wires, and off you go
A few drawbacks that you have to know about:
There’s no beating around the bush. This monster that they call a sub is heavy and takes up a lot of, if not all, trunk space.
This sub is so powerful that it’s pushing the box apart now that it can be easily fixed by adding a few screws now and then.
Kicker has outdone themselves with this sub. It’s scary how powerful it is. People can’t get enough of this sub, so they are buying like crazy.
This Kicker subwoofer was rated as the #1 best kicker subwoofer.
If you want to enjoy some dangerously strong bass, you need to move because the last time I’ve checked, there were only a few in stock. Once they are gone, you might have to wait weeks on end for the new shipments.
- This sub is a monster. When it’s turned on, it’s like two silverback gorillas going at each other in the back
- It’s perfect for any type of music, and it’s heavenly loud without any distortions whatsoever
- It’s the hardest-hitting responsive subwoofer you can get. It will flex your windows and the roof
- It’s so powerful that you have to regularly add screws, or the box will fall apart
- It’s huge, you will need a lot of space, and it’s heavy, 80 pounds
#5. JBL GT-BassPro12 – Best JBL sub amp Combo
If you want to feel plenty of punch and make it sound like you own an expensive system without breaking the bank, then this is the right combo for you.
JBL has packaged a great 12-inch subwoofer with an amp that delivers 150 Watts RMS. This baby is loud and powerful, giving you an excellent mid-range.
I’ve just finished installing it in a car. And as I was testing it out, my neighbor walked by asking if I had installed two 12” in the trunk. He was surprised to see that there was only one!
This all-in-one package comes with a remote so you can adjust the bass to your music and taste. You can all have these, plus an easy installation, for an amazing price.
Here’s why this sub is a must-have:
- Even my soul feels it: It’s not only powerful and hard-hitting, but you will also feel new notes that you had never felt before.
- Nice looks and easy to install: This sub looks fantastic. It’s a plug and play device that doesn’t require any guesswork.
- Workhorse: This sub is built to last. It comes double-boxed, and the grille protects the sub from damages, so it can last for a long time.
Although, check out the drawbacks to see if they are a deal-breaker for you:
I’ve noticed that the lows aren’t that clear on this sub, although it goes unnoticed for most people.
The picture is deceiving as the sub is bigger than it seems, and it’s heavy. So hopefully, once installed, you don’t have to remove it.
I can say it’s quite popular because I’ve installed it in several vehicles, such as a Jetta Sportwagen, Ford Ranger, Civic EX, SI, Tundra, BMW 229i, Mazda 6, Lexus G S460, and VW Beetle, and people have fallen in love with the new sounds in their cars.
This sub is a great option if you want a decent bump in the trunk. You can’t go wrong with it. Although, there’s one catch; they are sold out very fast. So, if you want to enjoy great bass, get this sub as soon as it hits the shelves.
- Powerful bass that you feel in your soul and which thunders through your heart.
- Most people think that the thump is coming from two 12” subs.
- It’s a workhorse, and the speaker grille keeps it safe.
- The lows aren’t pristine, although it usually goes unnoticed.
- It looks small in the picture, but it takes up a lot of space, and it’s heavy.
The Benefits of Buying a Car Subwoofer & Amplifier Combo Package
There are plenty of perks that come with installing a subwoofer & amplifier combo in your car. The first, and perhaps the most important is that the subwoofer & amplifier combo takes out the guesswork when it comes to pairing a subwoofer with an amplifier. In these packages, there is also enclosure included which is another thing you don’t need to worry about anymore.
Since the system has already been configured for you, you simply need to find some space in your car and then mount it. If you don’t get a full package like this, you need to find an enclosure that fits the subwoofer as well as an amplifier with the correct wattage. Many times, a package like this is also cheaper than buying the parts each by themselves.
Why You Need an Amplifier
The subwoofer is designed to help your car music system get a better handle on low-level audio profiles, especially bass sounds. However, the head unit (receiver) cannot deliver enough juice to satisfy your power-hungry subwoofer.
That’s where a powerful amplifier comes into play. A dedicated amplifier supplies the extra power needed by the subwoofer to boost bass sounds. Getting a subwoofer but not an amplifier is like trying to surf the web without an internet connection, it’s not working.
Subwoofer & Amplifier Combo Vs Powered Subwoofers
Some subwoofers have an amplifier built-in and this is called a powered subwoofer. This type of subwoofer can be good to get if you have very limited space in your car and don’t think that you have space for an external amplifier.
The downside with them is that the amplifier is usually not as powerful as an external amplifier. Sure, it will do its job but if you are really looking for that oomph that a subwoofer can give, a powered subwoofer is not the way to go.
If you want to learn more or find the best powered subwoofers, click here.
Roger and Out!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What’s the best subwoofer and amp combo?
By far the best subwoofer and amp combo is the MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator Power Pack Subwoofer System. Through the years it has proved itself to be the most reliable and the best from all the car subwoofer brands.
What are the best amps for subs?
The best amps for subs are typically sold in a combo package. So make sure you pick the right amp for the subs. For example, if you have a Rockford Fosgate sub it’s a good idea to check out what kind of Rockford Fosgate amps are available. They don’t tolerate different brands all that well.
Does it matter what amp I get for my subs?
The get the best car audio quality you need to get the best powered amp. The more power you can deliver to your head unit the better it will perform. The high quality is achieved at peak power. Typically you’re looking at mono amps (mono amp) or 2-channel amp.
What do I need for the best car audio quality?
For the best car audio quality, you will need a decent head unit or car stereo. The car speakers are a must as well. Forget about stock because they can’t deliver what you’re looking for. When it comes to the car subwoofer you can choose from the best 10 inch subwoofers or the best 12 inch subwoofers.
Which competitor didn’t make it on the best amp and sub combo list?
There are many that could have been included on the best sub and amplifier combo list. Here’s a short one which didn’t make it: mtx audio, jl audio, kenwood ksc. The kenwood ksc was dropped on the very last second for something much better.
What kind of technical details should I check with car subwoofers?
With car subwoofers, you have to always check the: peak power, voice coil (voice coils), power ratings, power handling, RMS power, RMS rating, frequency range and the wiring options. Some car subwoofers offer bass level control (bass boost and bass sound). A car subwoofer can be considered as passive subwoofers if it’s the right one like type r subs. Other stuff to check are rubber surround polypropylene cone, dual voice, ported box, sound pressure level, cooling system, compression terminals.
What’s the best car subwoofer and amp package that is available on the market today?
The best car subwoofer and amp package that is available on the market today is the MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator Power Pack Subwoofer System. Through the years MTX has proved itself to be one of the most reliable of all the car subwoofer brands.
What is bass sound?
Bass sound is a low musical tone that shakes, thumps, and gently moves a person and their clothing. Bass wavelengths have longer frequencies than those usually found in higher-pitched sounds.
What is the peak power of the MTX Audio TNP212DV?
The peak power of the MTX Audio TNP212DV is 1250 watt. This car subwoofer is very good and it has a pretty high powered amp which delivers up to 8 ohms with 1,250 watts RMS. The frequency response ranges from 24 Hz to 200 Hz.
What should I look out for when I’m looking for the best amp and sub system?
This is a difficult question to answer. The best amplifier and subwoofer system depends on many factors like your preferences, the size of your car, and your budget. To determine what’s best for you, you should do some research first and then purchase the amp that will meet your needs.
Which competitor didn’t make it on the Best Sub amp Combo list?
Belva 1200 Watt Peak Complete Subwoofer Package is a good one too, but it is out of stock right now. Same for the Rockville RV10.1D 500w 10″ Loaded Car Subwoofer Enclosure+Mono Amplifier+Amp Kit.
Which is the best 10 inch subwoofer and amp combo?
The Rockford Fosgate P300 is the best 10 inch subwoofer and amp combo.
Which is the best 12 inch sub and amp combo?
The MTX Audio TNP212DV is the best 12 inch sub and amp combo.
What is the best subwoofer and amp combo for car audio?
The best subwoofer and amp combo for car audio will depend on what type of sound you are trying to achieve. Look for a combination of components that offers an optimal mix of power, sensitivity, size, and price point. Combos like Pioneer’s TS-SW2002D2 12″” 1500W Shallow-Mount Subwoofer with Built-In Amplifier or Rockford Fosgate’s Prime R1S4-12 12″” 800W Subwoofers with Rockford Fosgate Prime R500X1D Mono Amp are popular choices among car audiophiles.
Where can I find a good sub and amp kit?
A good sub and amp kit can be found at many retailers or online sources such as Amazon, Crutchfield, Best Buy, etc. Be sure to do your research beforehand to ensure you get the right combination of components for your system needs. Popular kits include Alpine’s KTP-445U 4 Channel Power Pack Amplifier & SWT-10S4 10” Single 4 ohm Shallow Subwoofer Kit and DD Audio’s Dual 8″” 900W Subwoofer & Amplifier Enclosure Package.
What is the best all in one subwoofer and amp?
The best all in one subwoofer and amp depends on individual preferences but some popular options include Kenwood’s KSCSW11 Compact Powered Sub Woofers with built in 50w x 2 amplifiers or JL Audio’s Stealthboxes which come preloaded with either 10” W0v3 Microsub+ or 12” W6v2/W7AE subs powered by 500 to 1000 watt amps depending on size choice.
What are some good speaker and amplifier combos?
Some excellent speaker and amplifier combos include Bose Professional ShowMatch DeltaQ Array Loudspeakers paired with Crown ITech HD Series amplifiers as well as KEF Q550 Floorstanding speakers powered by Marantz MM7025 2 channel power amplifier.
What are the benefits of a car audio system?
A car audio system provides amazing sound quality, increased peak power output, and stronger bass tones. With a class D amplifier, you can enjoy a louder volume while still having crystal clear sound. Plus, with modern subwoofer and amplifier combos, you’ll get powerful bass boost features like variable bass boost and adjustable subwoofer crossover settings for an incredible listening experience.
What is the difference between peak power and RMS power?
Peak power is the maximum amount of energy that an amplifier or speaker can produce in a short burst for dynamic items like bass drops. RMS (Root Mean Square) is the continuous average power rating over time at which an amp or speaker will perform without distortion or damage. Generally speaking, your amp should have higher peak than RMS so it can handle sudden peaks without distorting.
What should I consider when choosing a subwoofer and amplifier combination?
When choosing a subwoofer and amplifier combination for your vehicle’s audio system, you should look at several factors – peak power output of both components to make sure they match up correctly; size of both units to ensure they fit in your chosen location; frequency response capabilities; impedance matching; portability/installation needs; type of enclosure needed; as well as any additional features such as adjustable crossover points or phase control on the amp side.
How does bass boost affect my audio system?
Bass boost enhances low frequencies by increasing their gain level relative to other frequencies which results in a fuller sound with added punch to lows. This feature is especially useful for those who prefer plenty of low end in their music such as hip-hop or EDM genres but also helps give balance if mids/highs are too overpowering compared to lows on certain tracks. However, be careful not to increase your gains too much – adding too much gain can lead to distorted sound quality due to clipping.
What is an amp package?
An amp package is a combination of a powered subwoofer and an amplifier, usually offered together at a discounted rate. The powered subwoofer has a built-in amplifier for increased output power, and often includes features such as frequency response adjustment and remote subwoofer control.
Where can car subwoofers be used?
Car subwoofers are designed specifically to enhance the bass performance in automobile audio systems. They require an external amplifier (or amp combo) which provides power to drive the woofer on deep bass notes, while also providing low pass crossover, low pass filter and speaker level inputs for optimal performance.
How do you set up a low pass filter?
A low pass filter is used to remove high frequencies from audio signals so that only lower frequencies are heard through the speakers or headphones. It can be set up easily by using knobs or switches on the amplifier or stereo receiver to adjust its cutoff frequency based on what type of sound you’re looking for.
What benefits come with using an amp combo?
Using an amp combo gives you all the power and performance of both amplifier and powered subwoofer in one convenient package. This eliminates having to purchase separate components as well as provides advantages like simplified setup, improved sound quality due to better integration between components, and more efficient use of space due to reduced cable clutter.
Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by Danny Reid