10 Best Powered Subwoofer for Cars – Reviews and Guide 2020
Everyone wants their car to sound better than others. And to make that possible, the bass is always the first thing to boost. But that’s only possible with the best powered subwoofer car.
If you want your car to have an attention-grabbing sound, you’ll have to get the ideal subwoofer. And for us, no type of subwoofer surpasses a powered model. That’s what we’re going to help you with today.
We want to explain why having a powered subwoofer is so fantastic and how you can get the most out of it. We’re also going over some of the highest-quality models available out there, so you can eventually pick the right model.
So, if you want to get a decent subwoofer for your vehicle and probably impress everyone around you, then this guide is for you. Keep reading, and you’ll learn everything you need about powered subwoofers.
What are Powered Subwoofers?
First off, let’s start by explaining what powered subwoofers are and why you may need one. There are two main kinds of subwoofers, the passive ones, and the powered ones. The passive ones are those that need an amplifier to work. Without a separate amplifier, they won’t be able to emit any sound or bass.
A powered model, on the other hand, is the one that comes with its own amplifier inside. It could be either a cone or a cabinet; it will have the amplifier built-in so the user won’t have to get it separately.
While there’s no clear sound difference between these two, it is safe to say that a powered subwoofer is way more practical and easy to install. They are also more efficient and often provide better durability.
On top of that, a powered subwoofer allows the tweeter and receiver to get more power. This eventually increases the overall sound quality and loudness of the audio system. And of course, it prevents the power supply of other devices from draining out.
In short, you could say a powered subwoofer is the best option you have for bass delivery. Surely, though, they may come with a price, but it is totally worth it.
10 Best Powered Subwoofer for Cars Reviews
Now that you are somewhat familiar with what a powered subwoofer offers, it is time to learn about the different models available. Here, we have reviewed 10 high-quality models that you should consider.
1. MTX RT8PT Universal Subwoofer
Simplicity but exceptional results, that’s what you get with the RT8PT model from MTX Audio. It is a universal subwoofer that goes well on any vehicle.
As an enclosed vented bass tube, this product delivers the ideal protection for the internal parts so you can get perfect sound quality for years. It is a small model at only 8-inch in size, boasting a low-profile design that you can place almost anywhere.
But it is not only the vented design that stands out but the superb sound delivery you get. With 120 watts of RMS power with its internal amplifier, you can expect decent bass sound at all times.
It handles all kinds of sounds effectively, using its 35Hz to 250Hz frequency response. You’ll feel how the bass goes out of the enclosed box and resounds effectively. If you like a strong bass that matches low frequencies, this is the model to go for.
The construction is also worth considering with a butyl rubber surround that makes sure the audio travels well throughout. Along with this excellent build, you get a straightforward installation thanks to its small design but also the additional mounting accessories like straps and wires.
You won’t need much space to make it work on your car thanks to its unique and small design. And surely, it will still manage to go the extra mile in terms of looks and efficiency.
In short, this is an option for the modest user who wants reliability & practicality. If that fits your demands, then this model is the one to go for.
2. BOSS Audio Systems BAB10 Car Subwoofer
Boss never disappoints, especially when it comes to subwoofers. And the BAB10 is the perfect example of what Boss is capable of. This is a 10-inch subwoofer with an under-seat design that you can place almost anywhere. The installation will be a piece of cake, and the overall sound will be more than decent.
You will enjoy a 1200-watt power that will surpass your expectations. Along with a low-pass filter frequency of 50Hz to 150Hz, you can be sure that your bass will be excellent. You will undoubtedly feel the bass, no matter what you’re listening to.
It also comes with a bass boost feature that makes sure your audio sounds fantastic. This pairs up well with the variable bass setting, which allows you to enjoy the bass capacity however you prefer.
This model also boasts a Mosfet power supply and matches well with a pulse width modulated design. Together, they make sure you get exceptional energy efficiency. Moreover, it also has a smaller and easier-to-handle design.
As for the connection, you can hook it up with RCA and speaker level inputs without problems. It will make sure that you can enjoy a straightforward installation no matter what you’re looking for. And it will fit almost with all kinds of separate audio systems.
With its small design, decent sound quality, and bass delivery plus its extra efficient features, this model is not an option to overlook. And don’t forget it also offers astonishing output, so you can be sure it won’t leave any power to be desired.
3. Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Subwoofer
If there’s a brand capable of delivering the best powered subwoofer for cars, then that’s Kenwood. And with the KSC-SW11, it provides just that.
Everything about this subwoofer is fantastic, from the 150 watts of peak power output to the noise-less sound – you’ll get exceptional performance. The built-in amplifier makes sure that even the simplest of sounds go through the high bass and surpasses your expectations.
But that’s not all; you also get a compact low-profile design that fits almost anywhere inside the car. You won’t have to turn the vehicle all over to get this subwoofer installed. And this same design also boasts an aluminum die-cast frame which ensures extra durability and resilience.
You get an RCA line with speaker level input. This will make installation a piece of cake with whatever type of audio system you pair it with.
What really sets it apart from the competition is the fantastic frequency response that goes from 35Hz to 150Hz so you can receive the loudest but also the lowest bass out there. It doesn’t matter what you’re listening to; you will surely feel the bass all around your car.
Pairing it all together, from the superb low-pass crossover to the wired remote to the excellent amplified capacity and even the high-quality construction – this model will never let you down. And for a decent cost, this subwoofer surpasses all kinds of expectations.
4. Rockville RW10CA Slim Low Profile Subwoofer
Now, we start with a really fantastic model, and it is the Rockville RW10CA. It is a slim low-profile model that goes well on any small or large car.
To surpass your sound delivery expectations, this unit boasts an 800-watt peak capacity and 200 watts in RMS. You could easily make your car the loudest machine in your neighborhood, and that too at a reasonable price.
It is a 10-inch model that fits almost anywhere without problems. And if it feels too large for your needs, then you can still get the same subwoofer but with an 8-inch design. Both options deliver exceptional sound quality so you can enjoy superb audio-playing experiences.
Along with a frequency response that goes as low as 20Hz and as high as 150Hz, you can expect an extra deep bass. This bass will quickly make your car a more exciting machine to drive and enjoy all kinds of audio in.
But that’s not everything you’ll get with this subwoofer. It also comes with RCA inputs with Auto Turn-On technology so you won’t have to tweak the woofer yourself every time before using. And with the adjustable input sensitivity, this gets even better.
The woofer also boasts a unique design with stylish colors. It will not only make your car more fun to drive but also way better-looking.
Overall, this is a high-quality model for those who want excellent quality for their money. It will surely surpass your expectations.
5. Rockville RWS12CA Slim Car Subwoofer
Rockville is one of those brands that you shouldn’t overlook if you are genuinely looking for quality. And with the RWS12CA, you are getting the best powered subwoofer for truck – a specific example of the quality it can offer.
This is a 12-inch model that will match any truck capacity to provide super loud sound and without taking much space. Especially with the 1200-watt power output, you can expect a high performance that will surpass all your expectations.
Moreover, this sound gets even better when you consider the 38Hz to 500Hz frequency response, one of the widest in the market. It will make sure that the deepest bass is felt, similarly to the highest sounds that a woofer can play.
Also, it comes in a unique design, boasting a super solid MDF enclosure with black tweet carpet and an embroidered logo. You won’t only receive a product that makes your car sound fantastic; it will also make it look more stylish.
But it is not the exterior that stands out, but the interior. The ultra-stiff composite pulp cone and the Kevlar reinforcement make sure that you can get several years of use without problems. This pairs up well with a 3D molded dust cap, a rolled steel basket, and a high-density foam surround build.Along with a super-easy installation system with gold-plated AGU fuse and holder, grommets, connectors, terminals, and ties, you can expect this model to be a fantastic option. It even comes with translucent SuperFlex power cables, adding an extra touch of style with a straightforward setup.
6. Pioneer TS-SWX2502 Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
Pioneer is one of those brands that you’ll want to think about every time you’re buying anything related to audio. And surely, the TS-SWV2502 powered subwoofer is a perfect example of why.
If you are a fan of exceptional sound that doesn’t leave anything behind, then this 1200-watt peak model will be an excellent choice. It will easily make your car vibrate without having to use too much energy. And still, it manages to sound clear enough, deep, and loud.
You will get 20Hz to 200Hz of frequency which allows extra depth in the sound and also decent highs. It doesn’t matter what you’re listening too; this woofer will make sure you can enjoy it to the max. And this gets even better when you add the 93dB of sensitivity, which increases the loudness it offers.
Overall, this model is also well-made and durable. You will get a MICA injection-molded cone covered in a carpeted and good-looking enclosure. This ensures that the woofer lasts a lifetime and also makes installation a piece of cake.
And of course, you can simply place it on the trunk of your car, or anywhere in your truck and it will make a perfect addition.
At 10 inches of size, it isn’t the smallest model you can get, but it is still small enough for you to set it up without much effort. If you want a decently convenient and well-sounding woofer for your demands, the Pioneer TS-SWV2502 is the product to go for.
7. JBL GT-BassPro12 Car Audio Powered Subwoofer
When it comes to brands that people tend to overlook but will actually never let you down, JBL comes as one of the best contenders. And the GT-BassPro12 is a powered subwoofer that makes it clear what JBL is capable of.
It is a 12-inch subwoofer that will make your car vibrate. But it is not the size that makes it so fantastic. It is the built-in 150-watt amplifier that increases the sound delivery exponentially. And with a frequency response of 35Hz to 120Hz, the audio quality will be even better, both in lows and highs.
The sound comes directly from a polypropylene cone enclosed in a vented polepiece. This enclosure helps to prevent damage from outside but also keeps the power on check while preventing overheating issues. On top of that, it comes in a small and good-looking black case that you can place anywhere.
This gets better with a unique set of protection bars directly over the cone, which helps to keep it protected while adding a nice touch to the sound. Along with a die-cast aluminum basket, you can be sure the woofer will be protected while adding a distortion-free performance at all times.
You will also enjoy a signal-sensing automatic turn-on system that makes it utterly convenient. Along with the input level, the bass-boost, the low-pass, and the phase controls, you can make this woofer sound however you prefer.
Whether it is from the remote level control to its construction or unique design, this model stands out for its quality in every way. If you want no less than fantastic results, this is the product you want.
8. Sound Storm Labs LOPRO8 Amplified Subwoofer
As soon as you set your eyes on the LOPRO8 from Sound Storm Labs, you’ll know this is a high-quality model that won’t disappoint you. Its unique slim design and decent sound quality make it the best powered subwoofer for cars.
This top-notch model comes in an 8-inch size or in 10 inches if you prefer. Both are decently sized to fit anywhere in your car from under the seat to the trunk or practically anywhere else. If you have a small car and need a space-saving alternative, this one will work for you.
Its internal amplifier comes with a Mosfet power supply that makes sure you can feel the bass on every second of audio. Also, it offers a superb 600-watt output that increases the overall loudness and delivery.
You will get an outstanding deep bass nonetheless, especially with a low-pass filter that prevents high notes from damaging the bass. Along with a high-level and low-level set of inputs, you can make this woofer work with all kinds of audio systems.
But the real advantage comes from the variable bass boost, which is ideal for adjusting the bass delivery when needed. You won’t have to make much of an effort to really produce a decent bass quality with this sub.
The small design, the superb compatibility, and decent sound quality make this budget-friendly powered bass an excellent choice. You won’t regret getting this model for sure.
9. Rockville SS8P Slim Under-Seat Subwoofer
Rockville never disappoints, and the SS8P subwoofer is not an exception. It is an almost flawless model for low-budget users who want the best budget-friendly subwoofer out there.
The first thing you’ll notice is a well-made design. At 8 inches in size, the woofer fits almost anywhere you want, either under the seat or on the trunk of your car without a problem. With its aluminum enclosure, you can enjoy a bass that won’t overheat too much.
This pairs up really well with the ability to provide 400 watts of power output. You will get a decently powered model that makes sure you can feel the bass at all times. And it prevents you from worrying about any issue thanks to an excellent Mosfet power supply and overload protection.
You will get decent sensitivity at 90dB, as well as a superb frequency response of 20Hz to 150Hz. This will help you achieve a deep bass that makes your car vibrate.
Along with all that, you will get the chance to enjoy a variable bass boost for extra 12 decibels of potency, a low-pass filter, and a subsonic filter for even better audio. If you like unique features to make the sound much better than usual, then this is your best choice.
The installation won’t be a problem, the construction will last a lifetime, and you will still receive exceptional audio delivery for an unbeatable price. If that doesn’t make this model worth having, then nothing will.
10. Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway Car Subwoofer
Before finishing this list of amazing subwoofers, we couldn’t leave Kicker outside. That’s why we brought the CompRT car subwoofer into the mix. As a powered model, it comes with an enclosed design made of aluminum. This cover makes sure you can get the most out of the sound while also enjoying a durable product.
The woofer sound quality is not bad either. It offers 300 watts of peak power output so you can enjoy your favorite bass audio. Whatever you prefer listening to, you can be sure this subwoofer will surely make it better with its depth.
That becomes even more real when you consider the frequency response it offers. At 25Hz to 120Hz, you will get the deepest notes without going too high.
In terms of practicality, this model also stands out, with a quick-connect plug that makes installation a piece of cake. It also comes with a remote turn-on for even more convenience, and bass control with low-pass crossover, a phase-canceling switch, and a variable bass boost.
You will have enough to make it work on any car without problems. At 8 inches in size, it will fit anywhere you want, leaving enough space for proper ventilation so you can prevent overheating.
It comes with high and low-level inputs as well, so the connection is practically seamless. And on top of all that, this subwoofer is still good-looking to match any car’s interior. If you are going for quality for a low cost, few models will match your demands like the 11HS8 Hideaway from Kicker.
Things to Look for before Buying a Powered Subwoofer
After going through the best powered subwoofer contenders that you’ll find out there, it is time to learn more about the different factors to think about when buying.
Here’s what to look for:
Output and Wattage
If you are an audiophile or someone who loves the decent audio quality, you will probably know that the power output is perhaps among the most important things to consider. And that’s for a good reason.
The power output tells you how many watts the woofer can handle to emit sound. So, the more watts it can support, the louder the product will be. This is also true for speakers, tweeters, receivers, head units, and more.
Having said this, the wattage alone won’t tell you how loud a subwoofer can be. But it is also true that if you pick a 1000-watt subwoofer, you will receive much better performance than a 300-watt or 500-watt model. So, go for a high wattage if you want to have more chances of a powerful performance.
The second thing to think about when buying a subwoofer is the frequency response. This is another factor that will make the difference between a well-sounding and a bad-sounding model.
But of course, the frequency of a subwoofer is far different than the frequency of a speaker. Remember, the woofer is the product that delivers the bass. So, instead of going for high frequencies, you’ll want to go for the lowest ones possible.
There’s a common practice to go for the subwoofers that offer 20Hz in the lows and at least 150Hz in the highs. This won't be a bad choice if you want decent sound quality and deep bass.
However, even if you get the deepest bass in terms of frequency, the delivery will also have great importance on how well you can feel the bass. So, going for 20Hz can be a good choice, but if you go for a well-made subwoofer with 35Hz or even 50Hz, you can still get a deep bass.
This factor also changes how loud the subwoofer can sound. While it doesn’t have much of an impact, it can actually change how you perceive the sound.
For example, the sensitivity is measured in decibels or dB. You will see subwoofers going from 86dB up to 96dB, but you can also find lower and higher measurements. This decibel rating refers to how much audio volume is necessary for the woofer to produce sound.
The more decibels it offers, the louder and clearer the sound will be. But of course, this can change depending on the amp, wattage, and frequency response. Overall, high sensitivity is usually better.
This part could take an entire article if we wanted to be specific and talk about everything the build of a subwoofer offers. But overall, we can say that the build of the cone, the enclosure, and the surround will have a significant impact on how well it sounds.
We recommend materials that stand the wear of time like rubber and aluminum, but also those that won’t produce any distortion like textile. And of course, the enclosure is also hugely important because it will tell how well the sound can travel from the inside to the outside.
If you can go for a nicely designed enclosure, then you’re probably getting an even better sound quality.
The size of a subwoofer is the last thing you need to think about. This aspect is one of the most crucial ones. The size won’t only change how big the woofer is, but it can also change how well and loud the product will be.
If you go for an 8-inch subwoofer, for example, you will receive a loud and easy-to-install model. But if you go for a 12-inch model, then you will probably receive a way louder but a bit more challenging design to install.
We recommend going for small options if you have a normal-sized car or a small one – something like 8 to 10 inches will work. But if you have a truck or a very spacious car, then a 12-inch and 15-inch subwofer model will work best.
Frequently Asked Questions
After reading our powered subwoofer reviews and learning how you can pick the best model, it is time to go over a few common doubts.
You may clear some doubts yourself with this section:
1. What kind of stereo receiver do I need for a subwoofer?
You can hook up any kind of stereo to your subwoofer. It is crucial to make sure that it comes with enough connections so you can hook up at least one speaker apart from the woofer.
2. Do I need more power to hook up a powered subwoofer?
They come with their built-in amplifier, and they may not draw as much energy as you expect. So, you won’t have to install an additional power supply or anything of the sort to make a subwoofer work.
3. Will I hear the woofer if I place it under the seat or in the trunk?
Yes, subwoofers are designed to be in specific areas of the car, such as under the seat and in the trunk without reducing their sound capacity.
4. Is it essential to get a vented powered subwoofer?
Ventilation is essential to keep subwoofers from overheating (especially in loud sessions).
5. Should I do any kind of maintenance to my subwoofer?
Apart from keeping the vents clean and free of dust or dirt, there’s no need for upkeep. We advise placing the woofer in a ventilated area if possible, to prevent overheating.
As you can see, the best powered subwoofer for cars will be the one that matches your overall demands above anything else. And as long as you are going for a woofer that fits all your requirements, then you shouldn’t have a problem with your choice.
Remember to go through all the info and advice in this article. Don’t hesitate and pick one now!