Let’s face it, almost everybody that thinks about subwoofers is looking for the hardest punch in the market. That’s what is all about, right?
Upgrading your car’s audio system implies at least some basic knowledge about subs, speakers, amplifiers, and pretty much the whole setup.
A 12-inch sub is a game-changer when it comes to hitting low end waves while keeping loudness, and avoiding distortions to get; as a result a clean, and clear bass. Lately, there has been a lot of questions about what is the best 12 inch subwoofer.
You may be wondering what these are and whether or not they will make your stereo system better. The answer is yes. A subwoofer is an added speaker that can give you the full bass notes, and it does not have to turn up the volume too high.
Plus, they look great in any vehicle and have many different features that make them worth it. Find out more by reading this blog post on what makes them so amazing.
What to look for in a 12-inch subwoofer for a car?
While stock automobile sound systems are ok, they are far from providing a great listening experience. A subwoofer is one of the key elements to update a car sound. The sub is responsible for huge, low-frequency bass.
It improves your overall music experience. Any of the subs on the list below can help take away the heavy lifting from your OEM speakers. The dynamics are more compelling, the soundstage widens, and the stereo imaging becomes more clear.
Subwoofers come in many different sizes, but out of all, the most popular size is 12 inches. In general, a subwoofer helps emit a more vibrant, cleaner, and harder sound. If you are looking for maximum bass production, then go over all these specs in detail.
Peak power capacity
Every user looks for a stable and long operation of a subwoofer. You may have noticed that all subs have an RMS power rating and a peak power handling capacity. In contrast to the RMS, the peak power speaks of how much power the sub can handle. But, this is only for short periods.
For example: if the peak power of a sub is 1,000 watts, that means that the unit can reach that much power, but is it not something that you can access on a continuous, daily basis, rather for a quick burst. If you max the sub to its peak power constantly, best believe that the sub will get hurt and permanent damage is just around the corner.
People can hear sounds in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hz. Frequency response is present in every single piece of audio equipment that you purchase, at least as subs, speakers, and amplifiers are a concern.
It is the audible periodic vibrations measured in hertz, and the higher the frequency, the sharper the sound is. Subwoofers are capable of producing waves from 20 to 200 Hz, but you should use a crossover filter to limit the frequency response to 100 Hz or lower, as recommended by audio experts.
The sensitivity rating is defined as the speaker’s ability to convert power to sound. In other words, it is how effectively the speaker converts power or watts into sound (decibels).
Sensitivity is not necessarily used to measure loudness rather the productivity of the speaker. The higher the number, the better with 92 decibels, or dB, is ideal.
Now, a low sensitivity does not mean a bad subwoofer is just less efficient. There are very high-quality subwoofers that have a low sensitivity rating on the 85 dB because they require a lot of power. In this case, productivity is translated into the amount of power going into the speaker that is converted into sound.
Most people are looking for an update, but they also don’t want to expend the kind of money that will get them in trouble. We understand, and for that reason, this review list compiles the best experience for the best price. You will find great options that have an affordable price tag.
Take into consideration that a 12-inch sub is legit audio equipment, and “too good to be true” deals do not provide the best pumps, and life expectancy of the unit. Unless it is an auction or any other sort of justifiable offer, stay away from unknown brands that promote subwoofers for less than what is reasonable.
Injection molded polypropylene cone
A injection molded polypropylene cone is the number one pick for subwoofers and other speakers and home theaters and is responsible for reproducing any sound.
The bests features about polypropylene cones are their high damp and looseness, which translates into a smooth sound because of their flexibility.
They are very resistant, absorb moisture well, and have electronic insulation. The latter is a feature that you want in a subwoofer. Electronic insulation doesn’t allow electrons to flow freely, which affects the clearness of the sound.
Subwoofers have either 2 and 4 ohms impedance, and their job is to enhance the power output. You can connect two 2 ohm subs to generate a 4-ohm load on the amp, but this will depend on the kind of bass you want to get out of it.
If you are looking for a decent bass level with the highest sound performance, you should take a look at the subs that feature 4-ohm. In contrast, a sub with a 2-ohm carries less resistance, allowing the amplifier to pump more power to the unit.
Top 10 Best 12 Inch Subwoofers for the Money
|Rankings||Name||Price and More Details|
|Skar Audio EVL12 D2 - Best 12 Inch Subwoofer||Click Here|
|Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 Car Subs||Click Here|
|Pioneer TSW3003D4 - Best Deep Bass Subwoofer||Click Here|
|JL Audio 12W0V3-4 - Best Subs for Clear Sound||Click Here|
|Kenwood KFCW3016ps High Power Subwoofer||Click Here|
We researched the brands with the highest reputation for providing outstanding audio and top sound performance.
Within, we compiled a comprehensive list of the top 10 best 12 inch subwoofers for the money, so you can rest assured that here you can find big bangs, the lowest low’s, and longest operation for a fair price.
Pick the best subwoofer according to your needs, budget, time, and space availability of your vehicle.
1. Skar audio EVL12 D2 – Best 12-Inch Subwoofer
The Skar Audio EVL12 D2 is an absolute monster that delivers constant and tight bass at a whooping RMS of 1250 watts, with peak power reaching outstanding bangs at 2500 watts. With plenty of power to create that booming sound you are looking for, the possibilities seem endless!
If you love the bass quality in your music, this is a must-have. You don’t need to worry about the sub reaching its max RMS power because it features a 3-inch high temperature dual 2-ohm voice coil with a black coating that maintains the subwoofer reproducing low tones easily. This helps the sub hit those sounds located in the lower spectrum of the frequency range.
The brand redefines the idea of low-end sound reproduction as it features a premium suspension and the EVL series signature red two-layer spider, which connects to coil former with premium stitched lead wires. Advanced design allows for max power while protecting the audio subwoofer at the same time.
Moreover, the Skar Audio EVL12 D2 is a solid sub for bass enthusiasts. Its double stack ferrite motor structure and high roll foam surround provide deep lows with the highest sound possible. Experts recommend pairing this subwoofer with ported enclosure boxes. It is by far is one of the best 12 inch subwoofers on the market.
2. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 – Best 12 Inch Subwoofer for a Car
As an industry reference, you have to be at your best when it comes to clean bass. Rockford Fosgate is recognized for their P3 Series of subs that use a unique aluminum voice coil former design which dissipates heat up to 100° during full high SPL conditions–cut the competition with this durable subwoofer!
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 subwoofer is best used in standard sealed enclosures, but it can also be installed for other ones. The product comes with an included cast aluminum trim ring and meets CEA-2031 industry standards which means that it’s able to handle power under continuous demand.
The new line of baskets from Fat Cat feature (Vertical Connect Encompass Approach Technology) VAST technology that increases surface cone area by up to 25%, the FlexFit basket, which allows for installation in difficult areas, and a brand-new hybrid stamp-cast design.
The P3D4-12 sub is a masterpiece in the making, with a full one-year warranty and beautiful cosmetics to boot. With adjustable settings for sealed or ported boxes (or both!), this unit will produce that crystal clear deep bass sound that everyone loves!
3. Pioneer TSW3003D4 2000 Watt 12-Inch Subwoofer
Hip-hop and Trap enthusiasts can’t get enough of those booming bass lines that this unit produces. And you don’t have to sacrifice sound quality for the low end, either! The 2000 watt subwoofer in our high-end list will give your ears a richer listening experience.
Pioneer is a Japanese company known for producing quality products since 1938. They recently designed the Pioneer TSW3003D4 2000 watts of max power to be an upgrade from standard car owner speakers with lower RMS power handling. This unit can produce a high sound output even though it has the low-RMS capability.
With an output of 600 watts, these Champion Series PRO subs can produce loud and powerful bass. The design features a dual spider for improved linearity and bigger wires to make the bass more accurate. These subs are also capable of fitting into any size enclosure with ease- from 0.85 cubic ft. up to 1.75 cubic ft.- so they’ll fit in your car or home!
The Pioneer SW-8 DJ Style speaker has a powerful sound that is sure to make every bass lover happy. With its patented composite woofer cone, it produces an incredible amount of air movement for crystal clear and consistent bass with no distortion. A great option for those looking to produce big bass sounds at a decent cost.
4. Rockford Fosgate P30012 – Best 12 Inch Car Subwoofers
The Rockford Fosgate Punch P300-12 is the perfect all-in-one solution for your car, featuring a sealed 12″ subwoofer and 300-watt amp. Not only will you get loud bass from this little guy, but it’s also simple when it comes to installation! Simply run power, ground, and signal wires to start enjoying the sound of music louder than ever before.
It is not considered a high-power performance speaker, but it will satisfy those who want a louder sound. The closed-loop design guarantees top performance between the woofer and amp, as well as excellent tone quality from any instrument, plugged into it.
With adjustable 12db/Octave low pass crossover, over-voltage protection, remote bass level control, built-in adjustable bass EQ, you are going to get an excellent range of sounds from your new purchase! Don’t feel overwhelmed or worried about accidentally buying an external amp that’s too powerful.
Rockford Fosgate P300 subwoofer is very well made and is famous for its durability, simplicity, and the clearness of its sound, packing a lot more value than both cheaper and more expensive units out in the market. You can choose any subwoofer, but a sub like this is the best choice for you.
5. JL Audio 12W0V3-4 Dual 4-ohm Voice Coils 12 Inch Car Subwoofer
JL Audio is at the top of its class because it has excellent output, can be pushed hard before distorting, and produces a linear sound. It also features a 2-inch diameter voice coil equipped with their JL’s patented Elevated Frame Cooling for enhanced power handling.
The 12W0V3 gives you power, clarity, and good overall sound quality. Not only can it handle 300 watts of RMS and 600 peaks, but this subwoofer also gives you that booming bass with its wide frequency response range! It has a durable, tough injection-molded cone that maximizes sheer power, built to last for years to use.
It features an advanced cooling functionality for better power handling and reliability you can depend upon. The durable foamy surround adds excellent quality with its ability to be pushed hard before distortion becomes audible. And it can be install easily too!
The sensitivity of this subwoofer is around 85 dB. While it takes a little more power to drive successfully, the benefit of such sensitivity ensures that it won’t easily distort or blow. Overall, the JL Audio 12W0V3-4 is an outstanding subwoofer for those who want cost-effective high-end audio performance.
6. Planet Audio AC12D Dual Voice Coils Subwoofer High Quality
The Planet Audio 12 Inch 1800 watts subwoofer is all about resilience, durability, great sound, and long-lasting bass pumps able to handle 900 watts of RMS power rating. Its 2-inch voice coils are technically designed to resist high temperatures while maintaining its strength and fatigue properties for extensive playtimes with lower weights.
The sub has overall dimensions of 13 x 6 x 5.375 inches and a 12-inch driver that is easy to install on compact spaces in any vehicle. It is designed for premium car audio set systems and delivers excellent low-end sounds at loud volumes with its thumping 1800 watts peak power handling.
Planet Audio subs surround foam lasts longer and is a high-end product for sub drivers that need a large excursion. You’ll be able to find your sweet spot effortlessly without worrying about accidentally buying too much power!
This foam is flexible, highly efficient, and keeps the cone centered, and yields a high excursion, built over a stamped basket that is both strong and rigid, that allows spectators to listen to a clean output. Just make sure you complement it with a powerful amplifier for the best experience.
7. Kicker 43CVR124 4-Ohm Car Power Subwoofer For Deep Bass
Kicker’s 43CVR124 4-Ohm car power subwoofer is described by users as a “hard-hitting accurate, responsive sub.” Indeed, the model brings raw power to the table thanks to its stamped steel basket, which holds most vibrations while its high-temp voice coils create a strong, distortion-free bass.
This subwoofer has an UniPlate tech that dissipates heat from the motor structure and an RMS power of 400 watts and peak power of 800 watts. This allows it to handle all types of music genres with ease by its dual voice coils and the 4-ohms impedance.
With its special cone and red knit surround stitching, this sub will give you powerful audio quality with just the right amount of control in either closed or ported enclosures. Car audio enthusiasts tend to use this sub because of its overall sound performance.
Meanwhile, the unique SoloKon™ cone marries the woofer thanks to its 360-degree back bracing for one cohesive device. People purchase the Kicker 43CVR124 model because of its affordable price while it still gives plenty of value. In other words, max power on a budget.
8. Kenwood KFCW3016ps 2000 Watts – Best 12 Inch Subwoofer For Cheap Price
Kenwood Subwoofers are known for their reliability and quality sound, so it should be no surprise that the KFC-W3016PS 2000 Watts 12 Inch subwoofer is just as good. Not only does this sub produce recording studio-quality sounds, but it also gives a better experience than other speakers of its size.
The powerful 2,000-watts subwoofer is juicy enough to fill any passenger area with a rich sound, mainly because it has an oversize diaphragm that reproduces the sound while its rubber surround minimizes vibration.
Each speaker is built on a shallow 5.19 mounting depth and has a dual ventilation feature for maximum productivity over long periods of playing time, especially in the heavy use of bass. Put this sub in a sealed box, get a proper amp to power it, and get ready to turn some heads around.
The KFCW3016ps 2000 watts subwoofer improved a previous model by adopting a “Stress-free Spider” and a “Thermal Efficient System” that increased its mechanical and thermal durability for a smooth and plenty of thunder under the trunk of your car.
9. Pioneer TSW126M 1500 Watts 12-Inch Subwoofer Cars Sound Quality
Pioneer scored a big one with the TSW126M. To start, the parameters provide superior audio quality and reliability over a composite seamless cone woofer that offers listeners a big bass and generous amounts of excursion thanks to its urethane surround.
Overall power capabilities include a respectable 350 watts of continuous power for a deep blasting bass, while its vented pole yoke allows better heat dissipation and increased power handling. Despite having a single voice coil, this subwoofer still gives a huge, full low-end that will shake your entire vehicle.
Its low-frequency response enables you to feel and hear the bass better, much more accurately than other budget subs. Fills great inside either a sealed or ported box. No matter what box you choose, this speaker will add a powerful bass to your system.
If you are looking for a high-quality subwoofer on a budget, you need to consider purchasing the Pioneer TS-W126M. It delivers high value in terms of power, efficient design, and overall good quality of sound.
10. Audiopipe TXXBD212 4-ohm Voice Coil Subwoofer for Car
Users enjoy their favorite tracks with the Audiopipe TXXBD212 subwoofer. It has a reputation for delivering hard-hitting yet crystal clear, reliable bass performance. The dual ventilation system allows proper cooling and, thus, a longer unit operation time.
According to the manufacturer, a vented enclosure is best to maximize SPL levels and efficiency. The vented design is less linear in response than the sealed box but with unmistakable added output at the tuning frequency, which by the way, is easy to adjust depending on the port length.
Audiopipe TXXBD212 subwoofer has a 150-ounce dual-stacked magnet design for an extreme excursion, a 2.5-inch 4-layer voice coil for an intense rather clear bass, a woven fiber cone with durable foam surround, and a vented pole piece for more efficiency. The 750-watt RMS power makes this one of the best subwoofers for hard-hitting bass.
Features a cast aluminum basket, an extensive rubberized grill for durability and protection of the 12-inch woofer parts. It is manufactured at the Audiopipe factory location by skilled technicians and engineers. The product carries a one-year warranty from the date of purchase, with repair service available to all customer globally.
Extra MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D Dual 12 inch subs
MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D houses two 12-Inch Terminator subwoofers in a sealed box, a perfect solution for those looking to add bass to their vehicle without the hassle of building your housing. This subwoofer provides superior power handling and big bass performance.
It is ruggedly constructed using 5/8″ MDF and aviation-grade black carpet with a beautiful MTX Audio logo on the dust cap. The brand made it easy to connect to an amp because it’s internally wired to a 2-ohm final load.
This cheap subwoofer box is capable of supplying quite a bit of power and volume at 400 watts of total RMS. While this is not the most powerful subwoofer on today’s list, it certainly isn’t the least powerful either. Many car audio enthusiasts will find this to be a great solution for enhancing the sound in their car.
Each of the subwoofer is made of tough, durable material to ensure long-lasting playing times. Overall, the sealed enclosure offers a controlled, punchy, and nuanced sound. Just add an amp and wiring, and get ready to pump it up.
Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Buying Guide
Adding a 12-inch is a great choice for those who want to pack the hardest punch and have enough space in their trunks.
The majority of the items on this list offer the loudest yet highest-quality subwoofers in the market from the best high-quality brands in the industry.
Some of the previous examples include subs that bring their enclosure, which can be a great solution that only requires a proper amplifier to get the most out of the equipment.
Any of these subwoofers, combo or not, deliver hard-hitting pumps, clean sound, and almost all have high-end technology for louder pumps and subwoofer lifetime.
Different between passive subwoofers and active subwoofers
Subwoofers are categorized as active and passive.
An active subwoofer means that it has an internal/powered subwoofer. Some brands offer the subwoofer in a sealed enclosure powered by an internal amplifier. This simplifies connection properties and saves time for most users.
It is also known as a powered subwoofer in the audio industry. In contrast, a passive subwoofer should have an extra source to power the unit, thus customizable. Your amplifier must be in a particular position to output and maintain bass effects produced by the sub.
A good amp position reduces the chances of draining the supply of power. It is necessary to merge the subwoofer with the rest of your car audio system. The way you connect a subwoofer to the rest of the equipment is determined by whether it is active or passive.
Sealed Subwoofers vs. Ported Subwoofers
Sealed subs are the perfect choice if you want to produce high-quality bass without sacrificing sound quality or space. They’re also great for small cars that need a solution to produce better sounding, tighter music, and they don’t have any of those pesky issues related to porting-like noise!
They’re also popular with audiophiles who want more accurate reproduction of music. The driver is who manages 100% of the system’s output. The cone inside of a sealed subwoofer takes more power to produce the same volume as it would in a comparable ported box.
Ported subwoofers are the best way to get a louder and more powerful bass. For the more discerning bass-head, porting is a must. A ported subwoofer has ports that allow air to escape out of the box (vented).
This means there are two different mechanisms moving air in one box — which will give you louder and bigger sound from just this single unit! This subwoofer system does not require a lot of amp power.
However, if you have a large subwoofer and want to get the best sound quality, it is recommended that you do. If you’re looking to completely upgrade your vehicle audio experience and don’t have room for an install, these bad boys will do the trick!
Single Voice Coils vs. Dual Voice Coils
A voice coil is the coil or cable around the tube attached to the apex of the speaker cone. This provides the force to the cone via a magnetic field’s reaction to the current passing through it.
Single voice coils
Single voice coils are very popular, and the most common coil that is featured in subwoofers.
It is composed of one length of cable around the former, another name used for the cylinder. To identify a single voice coil in your subwoofer, just check if it has multiple wire entries, which is a positive and negative terminal.
A single voice coil is simple to identify because it has only one set of speaker wire entries.
Dual voice coils
Instead of unidirectional, the dual coils are wound in opposite directions.
The dual coil handles a higher amount of power coming from the amplifier. Users connect them in series or parallel to get more versatility out of the equipment.
The primary difference between single and dual voice coil subwoofers is the multiple wiring options DVC subs offer, which include: parallel wiring, series wiring, or independent wiring.
Different type of subwoofer enclosure
The enclosure is the icing on the cake when it comes to sound quality. If you don’t set your subwoofer to the proper enclosure, then there is no way they can deliver the best bass possible.
Most popular enclosures are sealed and ported. The latter reinforces the low bass response and provides more output. Also, you have bandpass enclosures for extra loudness.
Audio experts agree that ported enclosures hit a strong bass without needing a lot of power from an amplifier. This is achieved through a vent.
The sealed enclosure provides a good transient response and is the simplest enclosure to build for your subwoofers, and it brings a tighter, more accurate bass. However, they need more power from an amplifier if you are looking for louder bass output.
What are shallow mount subwoofers?
A shallow mount subwoofer is easy to install and provides hard-thumping bass without an amplifier.
Made with portability and space-saving features, a shallow mount sub is usually placed on the rear speaker deck.
What is a component subwoofer?
First and foremost, the sound quality depends on the kind of enclosure in which the sub is mounted, which is mostly either sealed or a ported enclosure.
A component sub is just the speaker itself. With that said, the unit needs to be placed in an enclosure for proper operation and maximum efficiency.
This subwoofer is designed to operate in different types of enclosures and requires an external amplifier for power. Component subwoofers are a great choice for those who want to build and customize their car sound system.
To produce a high-quality sound altogether, a component subwoofer is complemented by tweeters, crossovers, and woofers.
Do I need to hire a professional to install 12-inch subwoofers?
Brands always suggest speaking with a professional technician for installment. Remember that you are going to deal with electricity, and it is always best to let an experienced sound expert handle this type of business.
If your subwoofer is not a shallow mount, you will need to build an enclosure that properly fits the sub, wire it, and test out the equipment.
Most car owners seek a professional also because there are so many tools that you will need to assemble the subwoofer. In the end, the investment in these types of tools, the time, and it’s just not worth the time and money.
Nevertheless, if you feel that you can handle it by watching tutorials online, go for it, but at your own risk.
What are the bass frequencies on an equalizer?
The bass sounds, also known as the low frequencies, are all sounds below 200 Hz. It’s important for car audio installers to know how these frequencies are heard by the human ear, as it helps them tune a system accordingly.
They’re also responsible for adjusting the bass level of different speakers in order to maintain balance and quality sound. Bass notes are important and should be equalized with care. Too much of a good thing can end up being bad for your listening experience.
The low frequency range is an essential part of any given track, but if it’s too boomy or muddy, then you’ll destroy the clarity in more subtle parts like vocals. A good technician will know how to tame those frequencies so they don’t ruin a song because there are many ways that this can be done.
For example, EQing certain sounds, which might include vocal tracks as well as bass drums, among others, can have dramatic impacts on overall sound quality for your listeners!
A couple of 12-inch subwoofers (or even one) makes a HUGE difference in your car audio sound. Any of the subwoofers reviewed is the real deal when it comes to a serious punch that rattles your mirrors and just makes you feel good about your driving experience.
Some of these subwoofers fit anybody’s budget. However, you must take into consideration that these take a bit more space in the trunk, especially if you want a couple.
An all-in-one solution subwoofer, which also includes the amplifier and the enclosure, is one of the most valuable deals for those who don’t have the skills and the time to assemble their own customized car sound system.
We hope that these specs provide a good idea of how these monsters operate. Now is the time to make a decision and take your car stereo set to a whole new level of punch. Choose the best 12 inch subwoofer that fits your needs.