10 Vs 12 Subwoofer: Which Is Better?

10 Vs 12 Subwoofer: Which Is Better?

Do you really need 12 subwoofers? Or just 10? If you think the former is sufficient, you might find yourself in a difficult situation. This article will discuss why 10 subs are not enough and how to choose the right number for you. The 10 vs 12 Subwoofer: Which is better?


10-inch subwoofer

The second most popular size subwoofer on the market is the 10-inch. They are well-known for their small size and responsiveness. The 10-inch subwoofers are easy to install and offer a better quality of sound and bass response than the 8-inch models. These subwoofers are great for fans of country, metal, and rock music.

12-inch subwoofer

The 12-inch subwoofers are the most popular subwoofer on the market. They offer the perfect combination of loudness and accuracy. Its superior bass response and clarity make it stand out from the 8-inch and 10-inch subwoofers. If you are a fan of R&B and hip-hop, these 12-inch subwoofers will be the perfect fit.

Read more our related post: https://hookeaudio.com/what-size-subwoofer-do-i-need/

10 Vs 12 Subwoofer, Which Is Better?

1. Accuracy

You will find that smaller subwoofers are slightly more accurate than larger ones. They are usually “tighter and cleaner”. Subwoofers can be a little more precise than woofers.

Why is 10’s a little tighter than 12? This is because smaller drivers have lower Q because manufacturers usually put larger cones on smaller motors in order to increase SPL or sensitivity.

Further explanation: The manufacture reduces the power required to work with smaller subs. This decreases the stress on the 12 identical materials. This allows for more accurate sound reproduction, but lower volumes with smaller subs.

This means that 10” subs can be slightly more precise than 12’s subs. The 10s will hit faster because it’s smaller.

Let’s just say the difference is very slight. An audiophile will be able to tell the difference. You probably won’t notice the difference if you aren’t an audiophile. Many people believe that 10” subs don’t sound as tight as 12”, but this is a myth.

These people make a valid point, as magnets are today too powerful to make much difference. This assumes that subwoofers are decent-to-high quality.

They also prove a point that drivers with high Qts are generally not less tight than drivers with low levels of impairment.

They do require more internal pressure and larger enclosures to prevent ringing. These considerations are crucial for audiophile sound quality.

2. Bass Output

Bass output

You will notice a difference between the 10” and the 12′” subs. The 12” driver will produce more bass due to its larger cone area.

You won’t be able to tell the difference in size with subwoofers of any quality.

A 12″ driver will generally move more air than one 10″, and theoretically can produce lower frequencies and more bass. However, it is important to understand that all subwoofer systems will have an impact on this.

This means that it all depends upon several factors, such as the amount of airspace available, power availability, and type of sound system (SQ SPL SQL).

If you compare two systems that are similar in terms of power and space, the fact remains that the 12” will produce more bass. This is especially true when it comes to the midbass. You will feel the midbass more if it is larger than one that is smaller at the same volume.

Why is the bass more powerful in a larger driver? Simply put, the bigger driver doesn’t have to travel as far as the smaller one to produce the same level of bass.

The 12” sub is larger and has more surface area. More air is excited equals more bass. A 12” subwoofer can move more air than a 10”, which means that it can be louder with the same wattage.

If you’re comparing subs for bass output, one thing you should remember is that subs must be pushed hard in order to see this effect.

3. Performance and loudness

Performance and loudness

The sub 12’’ will be louder than the sub 10’’ because it has more surface area. This requires more power and therefore is louder. Subwoofer loudness can be created by moving air.

Let’s look at an example.

Let’s take a look at the JL Audio 10W7 and 12W7. The 10W7 requires 500W to reach peak performance, while JL Audio 12W7 requires 750W to achieve peak performances.

These are very similar drivers. These drivers are identical and made from the same material. They also use the same materials for all components, including the cone, voice coil, basket, and magnet.

It is important to remember that the increase of bass from the sub 12” is not proportional to the decrease in response precision. It’s a fair trade, according to us.

Power Handling

We have already stated that subs 12” will be louder than subs 10”. Power handling considerations are important.

Let’s ask you a simple question: Which subwoofer is louder? A 10” or 12” subwoofer, both rated at 1000W each, are placed in their respective optimized boxes and driven by the 1k amp.

You could normally just say the number 12, but the power rating will change that.

Different subwoofers have different power handling capabilities. This is especially true when subs come from different brands. This could lead to significant differences in air displacement depending on how power is handled.


Loudness can also be affected by sensitivity, which is often overlooked. For the same signal power, a speaker with a sensitivity of 94db will sound almost twice louder than a sub with a sensitivity of 91db.

4. Sound Quality

What is the difference in sound quality between subs 10” and 12-foot?

Only at the highest levels of sound.

When comparing two drivers from the same manufacturer, the only thing that differs is the cone size, there won’t be any sonic differences.

Only then will you be able to tell if you reach the limit of the 10′, at which point the distortion will begin to appear.

Sound quality is a complicated metric. The size of a driver does not determine how good a driver can produce sound. Other factors include magnet size and spider stiffness.

The 12” sub will have a higher output in terms of bass but it won’t necessarily mean a better quality of sound. It will be difficult to discern a difference in sound quality if your subwoofers have been maintained.

Here’s one example where you might notice a difference.

Let’s say that larger drivers respond better down low than smaller drivers higher up.

These subs will sound very different if they are operating at their best frequencies. You won’t notice a significant difference if they are driven in the same manner and with the same frequency range.

Remember that larger subs can handle more power so it is possible to notice a difference when you stress the smaller driver. Sonically, the drivers should sound identical when driving at higher volumes than the smaller driver.

5. Bass Control

As we mentioned, there won’t be any compromise in sound quality between 12” and 10”.

Smaller subwoofers are more capable of controlling bass frequencies.

6. Distortion

When we speak of sound quality, distortion is also important. All subs will distort and warp to varying degrees in operation.

Comparing matching subs of 10 and 12 inches, we will see that the 12-inch sub will distort more due to its larger surface area and higher power or load.

7. Tonality

There are some things you should consider if tonality is important for you (SQ and SQL). First, use a sealed enclosure no matter what driver you are using.

Compared to the subs of 10”, subs 12” will have lower frequencies. The 10” subs, on the other hand, may produce a more precise, controlled sound in the lower middle bass.

These are the conditions that you need to choose the right driver for the best tonality.

10″ Subs: If you have a subwoofer and midrange, or horn-loaded compressor drivers, then this is the right setting. If you are using a woofer, do the same.

12″ Subs: If you have a pair of dedicated midbass drivers between 60 and 250 Hz. Remember that 12” can play bass lower than the others.

8. Frequency Response and Resonant Frequency

Here’s a quick summary: Larger drivers respond better down low, while smaller drivers respond better up high. This means that 12”s will respond better to lower frequencies, and 10’s will respond better to higher frequencies.

Here’s the big question: Do you want a sub that can play only 5% of your music or one that you can enjoy for all your music?

Let’s get started

It is generally a tradeoff that favors lower frequencies. This is why? Because you need to move less to hit an SPL.

Keep in mind, however, that higher frequencies will result in an increase of your moving mass and therefore the gains at higher frequencies may not be equal to lower frequencies.

The 12” sub is, therefore, the better option in terms of bass frequency response. The 12’’ sub will perform better than the 10’’ sub when it comes to bass frequency response.

Resonant Frequency

Another consideration is the difference in resonant frequencies between 10” and 12” subs. Subs of 12” have a lower resonance frequency. You will experience reduced output and more distortion if the frequency is lower than the resonant frequency.

It will take more time for the sub 12” to distort if you play lower frequencies.

A 10” would be a better option if you are interested in balance. The balance of the 12’s will be better if the box is larger.

9. Dimension, weight, and power requirements

Many people choose a smaller bass driver because of weight, spae, and power considerations.

It is easy to understand why this is the case, except that there is only a 2-inch gap between the 12” and 10” sub.

However, this does not mean you should place a sub 12” in a small box.

Are 10 Or 12 Subwoofers Better?

The 12″ subwoofer can do almost all the work of a 10-inch model, but the same cannot be said for the 10 inches. Many people argue that 12 ” subwoofers are more powerful, louder, and produce better bass effects than the 12-inch model.

Do 10s Sound Better Than 12s?

The size of the subwoofer determines how loud it is when designing or upgrading an automobile audio system. Two 12s will be louder than two 10, so two 12s will always sound louder than two 10. The smaller subs will sound better if your song does not require a strong bass or fast attack. However, larger cones can cause minor distortions to sound quality due to their larger surfaces.

Are 10-Inch Subs Worth it?

A 10-inch subwoofer, when properly placed and powered, can perform as well as larger subwoofers in terms of sound quality, performance, and bass output.

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