Best Free Air Subwoofer Reviews of 2020 – Beginner Guide
Those who value bass surely have thought or used subwoofers to get the best quality sound. Without quality bass, the audio feels rather vacant is something most of us will agree on.
But suddenly installing one isn’t all that easy as you have to consider factors like if your car has enough space, if the weight is bearable or if woofer needs to be enclosed.
This is where free air types really stand out as they don’t require much space nor carry weight. Besides, they don’t need to have an enclosure either.
Hence, here we are reviewing the best free air subwoofers for you to easily install in your car.
What Does Free Air Subwoofer Mean?
Free air subwoofers are the simplest kind of woofers, but they require a precise setting. These usually don’t need enclosures and can be installed easily.
They are usually mounted on the rear deck or the trunks of a car.
Free air subs are ideal for cars as they don’t require much space. Although specific drivers are needed for this, it is still simpler than other models.
However, in trying to fit the car, these subs lack the same power and bass that other subwoofers have. But with a good product, you can minimize the effect of that.
9 Best Free Air Subwoofer Reviews
Before you go forward, you must remember free air subs are usually smaller and don’t usually give as much bass as other kinds of subs.
1. Pyle Car Subwoofer Audio Speaker - PLPW8D
If you’re looking for a small compact device within a reasonable price, you won’t get a better deal than this for sure.
Pyle, the brand behind this sub, has done the impossible by providing an all-round speaker with enough power to do the job in price that is almost next to nothing. You won’t find a sweeter deal than this.
But this product isn’t for those who are searching for high-end finishes, as the output, although satisfactory, won’t turn heads.
However, it doesn’t mean that you will be left with inaudible sound, because it has a power of 400 watts to 800 watts. On top of that, this also comes with push-down speaker terminals for added consistency.
It also has a built-in 40 oz. magnet to increase your car speaker’s performance. In addition, the SPL adjusts sensitivity to ensure clarity.
However, you should hold onto your expectations, as too loud a sound might affect the sound clarity. This will certainly be better than the factory speaker of your car.
Therefore, for moderate sound levels, this will certainly appease you, but if you expect loudness with boosted bass, then you’ll be disappointed.
Installation is straightforward. With an amplifier and wire kit, you can set this up easily. Another advantage of owning this, you can almost set it up with all cars, boats, or buses.
In conclusion, those who are experimenting with woofers can try this or those who require just the minimal output will be satisfied with this. For this price, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.
2. Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 8-inch Shallow-Mount Subwoofer with 600 Watts Max Power
Pioneer is a brand with a long list of products including speakers, headphones, and other devices that go with vehicles.
To say the least, they know what kind of sub your car needs because they have been making devices for serving that very purpose.
This is quite expensive in comparison to the other products. However, that means you’re also getting superior quality for it.
It supports 150 watts RMS with the peak being 600 watts. Therefore, when it comes to quality, you can expect the best. This is also suitable for loud sounds. Therefore, you can have a clear and crisp audio bass.
That is only further ascertained by its frequency range of 20-200Hz. With a range that goes as low as 20, you can expect to hear even the faintest of beats with utmost clarity making this one of the best open air subwoofers.
While you can use this in boxes too, the reason why it’s good for your car is that you can also use it as a free air woofer. Therefore, you can easily place this in cars, boats, or any other vehicle that supports a sound system.
Moreover, even when you use this without the enclosure, you will get standard bass. If you have a factory sound system, this will upgrade it to an even better sounding speaker.
So, even if this is a little expensive, it’s a good investment as you can trust the brand to give you a product that is going to last a while.
3. PIONEER TS-SW2502S4 10-Inch, 1.200 Watts Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
The second pioneer product in our list is a 10-inch device which is known for its superior bass tones.
When you buy car woofers, you are constrained by space and told not to expect the same output as a full-sized woofer. But with this Pioneer product, you can expect it to be as good as those in terms of richness of the bass.
This shallow mount product takes a very small space, and you can almost place it in any car you wish to. With a mounting depth of 3-1/8", you will be able to fit it in your car easily.
However, this will cost you more than the smaller woofers. But people who value the rich beats of quality bass should not have any problem going through this expense.
With a power of 300 watts and peak power of 1200w, this holds a respectable place in the list of powerful woofers even in comparison to the boxed ones.
To top it off, its frequency range also ensures you can hear a variety of bass tones without a miss.
Hence, a powerful speaker that has the clarity and richness along with deep sounds is just the perfect device for your car to let the neighbors know you’ve arrived.
Now you may be fretting over the installations of the shallow mounts, but it is actually very easy to install in your car. You can just follow a few video guides and get done with it.
This product will undoubtedly give you great value for money as it will last a while. But you might find this product undesirable as some customers have complained about this woofer not matching its said specifications.
Regardless, this is a great budget sub for your car. So, you will enjoy listening to it.
4. MB Quart DS1-204 Discus Series 400-Watt Shallow Subwoofer
This is one of the most budget-friendly products. If you want proper bass to accompany your car’s sound system for a cheaper rate, then look no further.
We love this because if you want to at least buy anything of a similar class you’d have to spend considerably more.
The product is perfect for those who don’t spend a whole lot of time listening to their car speakers. Their use is limited, but they want the use to be as harmonious as possible.
But for someone who doesn’t use the product frequently, it would be irrational to spend extravagantly on it. So for those people, this sub is a perfect choice.
It takes almost next to no space to mount, and you can do so with ease. It doesn’t take too many additional items to mount, can be done with a wiring kit and you can replace it with any sealed or ported box as per your taste.
While it is thought that small space means small bass, it is not like that anymore. You can fit these shallow woofers in any tightly spaced car and get exhilarating effects.
They are also a great replacement for your factory subs as they can fit into any box with ease. So for this price, you won’t find a better product than this.
However, although this work as a great replacement, the thing with these sort of products is they might not go the distance for you. If you buy a product for the best price, you always run the risk of having it run out quicker.
5. 2 JBL CS1214 12" 2000W Car Subwoofers Power Subs Audio Woofers 4 Ohm SVC Black
It is unlikely a sound system review will not include a JBL product as they are one of the most well-known brands in the business.
Their product does not only sound great, but it is also made of premium materials. So you are getting a reliable and durable product for the long run.
While free air woofers can never really compete with traditional ones, it is always assumed the bass will not be that clear in this system. JBL have their own way to deal with that by providing two subs to help bridge that gap.
With two proper devices, you will hear all the right tones and the beats with utmost clarity. Sure this won’t be loud enough to shatter windows but will certainly give you the actual feel of the audio that you’re listening to.
As you get two of these, chances of finding the right impact increases for you. However, if you’re still unsatisfied and have the means to, then you can always add the sealed or ported boxes to get yourself the best experience possible.
But we do think with two 12 inch devices most users won’t ask for more. Regardless, knowing that you can even make your system better off should give you more incentive to buy it.
Amazingly, its peak is 2000W but what matters is the RMS which is around 250W. But where this really gets better is there’s two of them, so you get around 500W RMS, which is a lot.
More importantly, though, can it maintain 250W consistently? The answer to that is, of course, it can. JBL won’t deceive you regarding such matters, which is another reason why you can avail their products.
6. Kicker CompRT 43CWRT672 6-3/4" Dual 2-ohm Component Subwoofer
This is another popular subwoofer brand that you can’t just ignore. Their products are simple but effective.
Most of the comp series product has been well received by the customers.
Again, their products aren’t the cheapest but they are good, and that is what you want.
This particular product is one of our favorites because of the range it has. With a frequency that goes as low 30 Hz to as high as 500 Hz you can expect to not miss a single beat. It may be the faintest beat or the loudest oomph, but it will certainly go past your ears.
Hence, this device gives you the satisfaction of listening to trenchant bass. Moreover, if you’re discontented with the overall loudness, you can change your free air system to sealed or ported system without delay.
Why that is so, is because it was made to be used in all conditions. So you can get good use of it as a free air also as boxed. It simply depends on your preference.
But it’s not all wins for you as this model does lack in power. With a power of 150RMS, this will not be a beast. However, what they have lacked in power they have tried to make up in quality.
It has one of the most well-designed materials. We say that because it features a polypropylene cone alongside a rubber surround. Therefore, it can properly hit the lows that its frequencies support as well as the loud heavy beats without any glitches or stops.
7. CT Sounds Tropo 10 Inch Car Subwoofer 450w RMS Dual 2 Ohm
This is one of the best 10 inch free air subwoofers, if not the best. It has all the features you’d want your free air to possess.
One of the first things you look for in a sub is its voice call. If the device has a dual voice call, then it’s a win because it’s safer to set it up. This has a dual voice call.
In addition, this is also super light, weighing only 15 pounds. Therefore, you can fit it almost anywhere.
Now, when you’re adding free air subs to your car, you want it to have a considerable amount of power to make up for the lack of enclosures. This has one of the best RMS with 450W and a peak of 900W. If this doesn’t harmonize your car’s factory audio, then nothing will.
Due to the virtues of its power and overall superior material, you will get a crisp and clear sound.
The superior materials used in designing this, include its special magnet. This uses a ferrite magnet, which is the best magnet, and it’s safely placed within.
Owing to its design, it is definitely one of the most durable products. Furthermore, for those who want more, this comes with an additional basket which is very sturdy and can accommodate even better bass beats.
However, as a result of these features, this is also expensive. More expensive than others of its kind but you can certainly get more power in this than its substitutes.
8. Infinity Reference REF1200S 12" Shallow Mount Subwoofer
As always infinity products have the most modern designs. This stylish woofer doesn’t only perform well but looks really stylish as well. As a free air device, this shallow mount subwoofer is a must-have.
Although this is larger than most as it has a diameter of almost 12 inches, it takes very little mounting space, ranging about 3.25 inches.
So, even if it does take a bit more space, in reality, it’s very light weighing only 12 pounds. Therefore, if you’re disregarding this for its size, don’t as it is very light and can be mounted in a tight space.
Taking a small place in your car, can it give you the sound you want? With a power of 250 RMS and peak of 1000RMS this little sub is powerful enough to shake your car up.
This is the advantage of shallow mounts, as they make the beats even better with relatively lower power. In addition, to its power, this also has a decent frequency range, hitting as low as 25 Hz. So, you can rest assured that you will hear even the deepest bass with excellent clarity.
Sensitivity is another factor in which this excels, with a sensitivity of 92dB, this sub will give you the sound you deserve.
Finally, when you install it, you won’t have to worry for a while as this is a long-lasting product.
However, the only complaint one might make is in perfecting its slim and sleek design; it had to forgo a bit of its hardness as the beats will not hit that hard.
9. Skar Audio IX-8 D4 8" 300 Watt Max Power Dual 4 Ohm Car Subwoofer
There is no doubt about the efficacy of this subwoofer. Skar has done everything right with this little product.
With a power of 150W RMS, you can expect decent and raucous bass. But to keep the balance they also have a 4-ohm configuration for a softer output. Meaning the beats will be soft as well as neat.
This also features a dual voice coil to give it more flexibility and make it safer to wire.
However, with its power, don’t expect it to be the loudest. It might even crack up if you try louder volumes. But what is has should be enough for an occasional user whose extent of use is a few hours a day.
This is perfect for all cars, boats and any other vehicle that supports the device. There is nothing all that outstanding about this, but this won’t disappoint you either.
Why we have included this is not simply because of its bass output but more due to its well-balanced features. It uses quality materials to go with it.
Using the best magnets and the cones that you could only find in a high-end product.
So, who are the ones who should buy this? If you are looking for a good stable product that isn’t going to be the loudest but will still give rich bass beats, then you should purchase this.
This will hit all the right beats, but maybe it won’t give you that glass shaking feeling.
But many users prefer it that way. In addition, compared to the price you’re getting this at, it is actually very good.
Things to Check before Buying
Subwoofers are not things you buy every day so you should buy a product that lasts. Moreover, installing them is also tedious so it’s best to get something you can use for a long time.
Therefore, in order to get the best products, you need the knowledge and understanding of its requirements.
You need to check the RMS before you buy the woofer.
RMS determines how well it can handle loud and low bass. If the RMS is not adequate, the sound will come out jittery.
Remember free airs are not boxed, so their power is the only source of mind-boggling loudness.
However, don’t get confused by the peak power. In determining power of the woofer, you need to consider the RMS and not the maximum power.
The frequency range is an important indicator of the level of richness you will get. Different audios have different frequencies that they inhibit. If the range isn’t wide, it won’t be able to capture those frequencies, and it will sound empty or poor.
Therefore, having a high and low range is crucial for it to be the best free air subwoofer.
Enclosures and Car Space
As you already know, most free airs don’t have mounting boxes, but they do have shallow mounts that produce a greater quality sound than common free air subs.
But those require more space. So you should consider if your car can fit it before buying it.
Most cars do have the space to fit in shallow mounts, but then some do not. You should talk to a car technician before you impulsively buying the sub.
Design and Material
As there are numerous brands and these brands also have a variety of price ranges, you might not notice the intricacies within.
That is most products can have a cheaper rate but those won’t necessarily last. So before buying, you should consider the quality of the magnet and the cone.
In short, if the magnet and cone are of standard material, then it can be said that the product will last.
While single voice coils are easier to hook up, dual voice coils are the preferred ones. You should buy a sub with dual voice coil because it gives you more flexibility and freedom to wire it more safely.
Price and Brand
When it comes to subwoofers, just buying from a good brand won’t necessarily ensure your product needs as different products have different outputs.
So you shouldn’t buy something just because it’s expensive and from a well-known brand.
You should consider the above-discussed points first and then select brand and price.
That said, going for a well-know brand is not a bad idea since they have an obligation to their consumers to provide high-quality products.
However, no matter which brand the product comes from, you should always check if it meets your requirements before spending your hard-earned money on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are shallow mounts better?
If you want louder and stronger bass, then shallow mount subwoofers are better. But some car might not be able to fit them.
2. Is a free air sub with 150W RMS enough?
It is not the most powerful, but if you are someone who doesn’t need very loud bass to appreciate the audio, then it’s certainly more than enough.
3. What is the first thing to check before buying a free air subwoofer?
The first thing to check is probably if the device will support your car’s drivers. Although it usually does so in that sense, you should look at the power.
4. Why do I need a car amplifier?
Cars need amplifiers to process audio signals. A single channel amp is the best amplifier for cars.
5. Do I need to check impedance?
For the sub, the lower the impedance, the better it will sound. But for the amplifier some impedance is needed. You should check the amplifier’s impedance.
Buying a sub is never an easy decision because there is a lot of technicalities that most of us don’t understand.
However, it’s up to you to do the proper research and get yourself an ideal free air subwoofer. Nevertheless, you won’t have to do much legwork since we have done most of the research for you.
Therefore, we hope this review guide helps you to get the best free air subwoofer for your car.
Nevertheless, don’t forget to tell us which one you have bought in the comments.