A subwoofer is one type of woofer or low-frequency speaker that produces sound in the range of 20Hz and 2,000Hz or at the lowest range. Subwoofers may be found in home theater systems, car stereo systems, and commercial sound systems. They are a favorite of many who enjoy “feeling the emotional” sound that allows them to imagine that they are present in a movie or song. We all know that Kicker Subs are very popular. But the best subwoofer brands right now are Polk Audio, JL Audio & Power Acoustik. And below you’ll read why.
Prior to purchasing a low pitch or subwoofer system, several things should be considered. Consumers should first determine where they will need to use the subwoofer. For those who plan to use the system in their home, consumers should determine if they want an in-room or built-in subwoofer. If in-room is the preferred subwoofer type, size and casing should be considered since it could potentially take up space in a living area. For people who prefer a less noticeable speaker, built-in may be the best option. However, the later option is more expensive since there will be additional costs associated with installation.
For the purposes of this review, we will be focused on car subwoofers. When purchasing these systems, most people are considering the sound and the bump or hit provided by the bass. However, these systems must also be reviewed to ensure the speaker may be appropriately installed in doors or other parts of vehicles. Some subwoofers may be independently encased and used from a back seat or trunk. A variety of subwoofers is on the market with just a few being reviewed here.
Best 8-inch Subwoofer
JL Audio 8W3V3-4
The JL Audio 8W3V3-4 is a car stereo system. It is described as an eight-inch subwoofer weighing nearly ten pounds that could be used as a compact subwoofer. Customer reviews suggest that this speaker is a good fit for mid-sized cars and trucks. It has been lauded for its deep-bass sound.
For those who are looking for detailed information about power and space, the maximum wattage when used uninterruptedly is 250W. In addition, amplifiers used with the system should perform at the 75W to 250W range. In consideration of safety, the manufacturer notes that special care should be taken to properly secure this system into the floor plan. In addition, the system should not be installed behind thin materials. These measures should be taken to avoid the system dislodging during driving or an impact.
Best 10 Inch Subwoofer
JL Audio 10W3V3-4
The JL Audio 10W3V3-4 is a ten-inch single 4-ohm subwoofer. The system weighs in at about twelve pounds and is designed to project superior sound quality. The sound is deep but not overpowering and produces just the right hit or bang while still allowing the listener to understand the words accompanying the music. Similarly to the JL Audio 8”, the speakers are a good fit for mid-sized cars and trucks. This subwoofer is packaged independently; however, several photos from customers show customized boxes with two speakers. A professional should be contacted to ensure proper installation.
In comparison to the JL Audio 8W3v3-4, the 10W3v3-4 is only slightly bigger but packs almost twice as much power. The units are powerful with a maximum wattage when used uninterrupted of 500W. In addition, amplifiers used with the system should perform at the 150W to 500W range. Customer reviews were good with many people saying that the subwoofer met or exceeded their expectations. In addition, customers cautioned that the speakers should be used as recommended to ensure the best sound experience.
Best 15 Inch Subwoofer
Power Acoustik MOFO-154X
The Power Acoustik MOFO-154X is a big, powerful subwoofer. The system’s diameter is fifteen inches and it weighs in at over thirty pounds. This system has a high-end, royal blue finish with nickel cut accents. At first look, it seems almost too attractive to be covered in a speaker box. The system is designed for use in vehicles and, because of its size, may be installed in an available back seat or the trunk. In addition, several customer reviews indicated that multiple subwoofers could be used to create a dynamic and unique home theater system.
In regards to sound, this system can produce “ground moving” bass. Peak power handling with an amplifier is 3,000W. The system produces so much power that substantial bracing is required during encasement and installation. It’s almost like a powered subwoofer. The system is considered mid-grade and budget friendly. However, it produces sound comparable to more expensive models. For those placing the speakers in larger trucks, it should be noted that several customers purchased pairs of the subwoofer and built custom encasements.
Best Subwoofer Enclosure
Polk Audio db1222 Dual Enclosure
The Polk Audio DB 1222 Dual Enclosure is essentially two stylishly packaged twelve-inch subwoofers–each with their own polymer composite cone. The frequency range is 27Hz – 200 Hz. Maximum continuous output with an amplifier is 720 Watts. The sound it creates is described as thunderous bass. The unit is large with product dimensions of 18.5 x 32.5 x 14.8 inches and weighing in over 75 pounds. It may be operated on a 12V battery. The unit may be purchased for under $250.00 (on sale).
Customer reviews were very good with most giving the system high marks for clear, yet deep sound. Other words used to describe the system include excellent, amazing, and great. In addition, the subwoofer pair is securely encased in a trapezoid shaped medium-density fiberboard. Due to its size, there are concerns about the unit fitting securely. However, there are reports of the system being properly installed in cars ranging from the size of a Neon to a Chevy pick-up truck. Be sure to measure carefully and follow manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use.
Consumers should pay attention to cautionary notes about subwoofers. The systems range in style, size, and weight. It is very important to follow manufacturer’s guidelines during installation. A poorly installed system may result in damage to the speaker, vehicle or individuals. Finally, caution should be taken when listening to music from a subwoofer. Prolonged exposure in confined spaces may lead to hearing damage. Always refer to owner’s manuals for safety information.
Check out the video below to see how to install a subwoofer and an amplifier for your car.