If you require a quick answer, the best car subwoofer is the Pioneer TS-WX300A, which has a built-in class D amplifier and produces an impressive peak power output of 1,300 watts. However, if you require even more bass, the Sony Xplod is the best alternative with peak power rated at 1,800 watts and RMS at 420 watts.
To rate the car subwoofers within this article, we based our recommendations upon our experience of using multiple subwoofers, research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included their RMS and peak power ratings, type, size, construction, design, warranty and value for money.
Best Car Subwoofer Overview
- Best Active: Pioneer TS-WX300A
- Best Passive: Sony Xplod
- Best Budget: Alpine SWT-12S4
- Best Small: Alpine SWE 815
- Best All-Rounder: Edge Audio 12 Inch
- Best Budget Runner-Up: Caliber BC112SA
In order to fine tune the bass from your subwoofer, you may require a car amplifier. Many subwoofers come with a built-in amp and are known as active subwoofers whereas those without are known as passive subwoofers. Although active subwoofers are easier to install, some people may want to install their own external amp to best suit their specific needs.
Below is a list of the best car subwoofers that provide deep bass and are available with or without a built-in amp.
The Best Car Subwoofers
1. Best Active: Pioneer TS-WX300A Powered Subwoofer
The Pioneer TS-WX300A is a popular and highly rated car subwoofer that’s produced by the reputable Pioneer brand. It features a 30 cm woofer that’s integrated into a ported, bass reflex design enclosure and it delivers 1,300 watts.
As it’s a powered car subwoofer, it also features a built-in amp, which is a class-D amplifier that allows you to adjust the settings to get the type of bass that you require.
If you are looking for a car subwoofer with a built-in amplifier that’s easy to install and provides deep bass, the Pioneer TS-WX300A is perfect. Compared to similar performing subwoofers, it also offers great value for the money too.
2. Best Passive: Sony Xplod Passive Subwoofer
The Sony Xplod (also known as the XS-NW1202E model) is a premium car subwoofer that delivers an impressive peak power rating of 1,800 watts. As it’s a passive subwoofer, it doesn’t have a built-in amp but we would recommend a 1,600 – 2,000 watt external amplifier in order to get the best out of it. In terms of the subwoofer itself, it has a 12 inch polypropylene cone with dimples, which according to Sony provides added rigidity for low and accurate bass tones.
Although expensive, the Sony Xplod is a high quality subwoofer that’s enclosed in a compact housing to suit most car installations. Rest assured, when connected to an appropriate amplifier, the Xplod will provide deep bass all-day long.
3. Best Budget: Alpine SWT-12S4 Car Subwoofer
An alternative to the standard box design is a tube car subwoofer, which the Alpine SWT-12S4 demonstrates in the above photo. The shape means that it can be installed easier in smaller cars but also remain powerful with heavy bass.
The SWT-12S4 is the brand’s new and improved model which includes a 10 inch cone and a double stitched high roll foam surround for improved cone control and excursion.
Overall, the Alpine SWT-12S4 is an affordable bass tube that provides excellent low bass which will cause any car to shake with bass. It also offers the best bang for your buck when you consider its performance and it won’t disappoint.
4. Best Small: Alpine SWE 815 Car Subwoofer
Another car subwoofer offered by the reputable Alpine brand is the SWE 815 model and it follows their great reputation. It’s a powered subwoofer that’s ready to use out of the box and features a built-in 150 watt amplifier.
To enclose the subwoofer, it uses a high quality bass reflex box with a vented wedge shaped design that allows for maximum power output for extended periods.
To conclude, the compact Alpine SWEE 815 is perfect for smaller cars or complimenting an existing OEM speaker setup. It’s an active subwoofer that’s easy to install and can be used straight away for hard hitting bass.
5. Best All-Rounder: Edge Audio 12 Inch Active Bass Enclosure
Edge Audio produce a wide range of car subwoofers but their 12 inch powered subwoofer is the best option. This is because it combines hard hitting bass with excellent value for the money.
This particular model is the brand’s new and improved model that now features improved performance and a tweaked design. In terms of its power delivery, peak power is rated at 1,200 watts whereas the RMS power is rated at 400 watts.
Overall, the Edge V2 car subwoofer is an excellent all-round option that ticks all the boxes and won’t disappoint. If you require further power, the brand also offer larger subwoofers or even a twin setup to best suit your requirements.
6. Best Budget Runner-Up: Caliber BC112SA 12 Inch Car Subwoofer
One of the cheapest active car subwoofers that’s actually worth buying is the Caliber BC112SA. It’s an active car subwoofer that features a 12 inch cone which is able to produce a peak power output of 600 watts.
If you require an affordable subwoofer that provides great bass, the Caliber BC112SA won’t disappoint. It isn’t going to win any bass competitions but it’s well-built and offers superior quality when compared to similar priced alternatives.
How We Rated The Car Subwoofers
As we’ve owned a number of car subwoofers over the years, we have plenty of experience to pick out the best from the hundreds available. Whether you require a subwoofer that’s compact or one that’s designed for hard hitting bass, we used our experience, research and multiple factors to rate the recommendations above.
Some of the factors that we considered included their RMS and peak power ratings, type, size, construction, design, warranty and value for money.
Car subwoofers are a great addition to any vehicle and they are available in a wide range of shapes or sizes. Ideally, the size of your car should reflect the size and power output of the subwoofer you decide to buy. If you drive a small saloon or hatchback, the compact subwoofers are more than ideal and will easily provide door shaking bass.
All of our recommendations are available in a wide range of subwoofer types and are suitable for all budgets. It’s important to note that not all of the subwoofers will come with wiring and you may need to purchase it separately.
Car Subwoofer FAQ's
The main difference between passive and active subwoofers is that a passive subwoofer requires an external amplifier whereas an active subwoofer features a built-in amplifier.
The placement of your car subwoofer in terms of where the box is placed and the direction the speaker is facing can make a big difference. Generally, the recommended placement for your subwoofer is to have it facing towards the boot of your car. This is primarily due to the fact that it creates a balanced sound and it can be fastened behind the rear seats for stability whilst driving.
The size of a car subwoofer varies but the most popular sizes include 8, 10 or 12 inch cones. The best size for your car is a matter of personal preference but if you opt for a large car subwoofer, we would recommend that you take measurements of your boot beforehand.