If you’re looking for a reliable vehicle-specific subwoofer, there are many great models that are available on the market. Researching the best 12 inch subwoofer for car that is out there can be tough though. With this article, Hooke Audio breaks down the features and specs of some of the top-rated brands, including the Rockford Fosgate, as well as the JL Audio, and the Pioneer.
Top Rated Best 12 Inch Subwoofer For Car
- The P3 Series is Rockford...
- The Punch P3D4-12 is a 12”...
- Featuring anodized aluminum...
- Best used in standard sealed...
- Famous Rockford Fosgate build...
- DIE CAST ALUMINUM BASKET...
- Multi pieces of new comex...
- 12W0V3-4 - JL Audio 12" Single...
- Mineral-filled, polypropylene...
- Large roll surround for...
- Elevated frame cooling brings...
- Designed for compact sealed...
1. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate is an industry name that doesn’t need to be introduced in the world of automotive audio systems. We are talking about a true industry powerhouse that has touched millions of cars all over the globe in some way or another.
Given the state of the world, I expect high expectations when I open packages.
This is what’s truly remarkable about this story. These expectations are almost always met. Rockford Fosgate Punch P3D4-12 Punch is an exception.
Even a casual glance at the unit will reveal the quality of the P3D4-12 punch P3. The cone is made of solid aluminum parts that feel very solid, but are still light.
Other components are equally satisfying. The cone’s dust cap is made of the same material and feels solid. Meanwhile, the surround can increase the cone’s efficiency up to 25%.
The fact that the P3D4-12 punch P3 looks great only adds to this foundation. The woofer has some lovely chrome elements that look great in a sports sedan. There is also what Rockford Fosgate calls FlexFit design.
This intriguing name refers to a slotted mounting system that allows you to adjust the angle of your sub once it is mounted. This small addition is a game-changer.
In terms of heat dissipation, the semi-vented design allows an exceptional level of breathability. It also ensures that the woofer doesn’t overheat regardless of how loud you play it.
Concerning the performance, I noticed first that Punch P3D4-12 Punch P3 sounds extremely loud. In some cases, it was so loud that the bass was almost unbearable for me. 600 Watts RMS provided fairly consistent performance and loud reproduction, even at the lowest frequencies.
All other specs are solid. The broad frequency range of 28-250Hz, 85 dB sensitivity, and peak power of 1200 Watts allow for an extremely strong and versatile performance that reproduces bass perfectly even when you turn the dial up to eleven.
Overall, this product is quite well-rounded. The only problem is the slight balance issues.
- The P3 Series is Rockford...
- The Punch P3D4-12 is a 12”...
- Featuring anodized aluminum...
- Best used in standard sealed...
- Famous Rockford Fosgate build...
- Substantially built
- You can choose from a 4-Ohm or 2-Ohm version
- Loud, precise performance
- FlexFit design allows further adjustment after mounting
- Solid specs
- Sometimes, the subwoofer can be too loud.
- It is possible to increase the frequency range.
2. American Bass XFL1244
American Bass has been in the business for over 35 years and is well-known with loyal customers.
It is difficult to deny that the company has had some bad days. Despite all its goodwill, it competes mainly in the entry-level car audio market.
The potential for greatness remains, and a company needs only one product to be successful. American Bass USA XFL1244 is that product?
The look is not surprising. The unit, with the exception of the dust cover that looks almost leather-like, is as simple as it gets.
Despite how much I love subs that look cool, I must admit that I consider build quality to be more important than appearances. XFL 1244 is an excellent example of this.
The components used in production feel sturdy and long-lasting. The basket is made of die-cast aluminum and the cone from carbon Kevlar reinforced paper non-press. You also get a pleasant addition of high-density foam surrounding.
These are just a few of the many things that American Bass put into this product. I can’t help but give them a big thank you.
The American Bass USA XFL1244’s performance is also not bad. It features two voice coils, an amazing frequency range of 15-250 Hz, and solid sensitivity of 89.6. The unit also has RMS power handling at 1000 Watts and peak power handling at 2000 Watts.
Even more interesting is the fact that all of these specifications are well-used, which is a departure from the previous product. Even though I was below the 32 Hz mark, the sound quality was still excellent. The blast I got through the speaker literally shook my body.
It will be a delight to learn that the bass reproduction of RHCP is extremely accurate, so even RHCP fans, you won’t miss any faster lines.
I was most concerned about the system’s endurance when it was exposed to greater power and pushed to its limits. Although I have not experienced any serious issues, the noticeable shaking is a sign that the sub should be kept in the appropriate settings.
- Amazingly well-built
- Amazing core specifications
- Consistent performance is the norm
- Fast bass lines accurately reproduced
- High production
- It can be quite dangerous to push the sub beyond its limits.
- Design that isn’t original
3. Sundown Audio SA-12 D2 REV.3
Sundown Audio SA-12 REV.3 sub is the best choice if you value power and quality of sound. This subwoofer is a beast, and it’s undoubtedly the best for powerful bass.
You can see why I think SA-12 D2 Rev.3 subwoofers are the best Dual Voice Coil. Also, the SA series subs have become the go-to sub for SPL competitions.
First, the Dual 4-ohm coil Subwoofer boasts a stunning 750W RMS power handling. Many reviews also state that this is a conservative load. It is powerful and provides the foundation for serious bass output.
It is hugely powerful and can handle tons of wattage. You will feel your car shake like an earthquake.
It is a stunning construction with a high-quality double-layer Nomex spider, an SPL competition-grade SPL paper cone, and a strong foam surround that can withstand the force and excursion generated by the motor structure.
Anodized aluminum is used to make the 2.5″ voice coils. This allows you to drive more power and last longer without causing damage to your voice coil. This system actually allows the 2.5′” coil to surpass the thermal performance of many 3′ coil drivers currently on the market!
The subwoofer is characterized by a 2-ohm impedance. You can wire it to either 4 ohms in series or 1 in parallel. This gives you more control over your power handling. The 4 Ohm version can also be purchased. It can be wired to either 2 or 8 ohms.
You can mount the 12″ subwoofer inside either ported or sealed. This will allow you to achieve the perfect bass sound. Soundown offers the best enclosure suggestion: 1.75 feet 3 ported tuned to 30Hz — F3 26Hz. However, it all depends on your personal preference.
This Sundown Audio SA-12D2 REV.3 12″ subwoofer is my favorite, especially at this price point.
You can expect it to be loud, powerful, full and all the other things you would want in a subwoofer. If you are serious about power and car shaking bass then the entry price is very affordable and you will absolutely enjoy it.
- Shakes your car
- Durable and tough construction
- Low bass is a powerful and incredible sounding instrument
- 2-year limited warranty
- A powerful amplifier is required
4. JL Audio 12W0V3-4
Do you want a subwoofer with high-end quality at a moderate price? The JL Audio 12W0V3-4 subwoofer is the right one for you.
It’s affordable but it has power, clarity, and overall tonal quality that is unmatched. I consider this my best 12-inch subwoofer.
The subwoofer can deliver up to 300 watts of RMS power and 600 peak power. This makes it powerful and easy to control. Although it is not as powerful as some 12-inch subwoofers, it still provides enough power to satisfy most users.
It can be mounted in both sealed and ported enclosures. The sub features a durable, polypropylene cone, which can withstand years of use and abuse. It wouldn’t be fair, wouldn’t it?
The cone’s construction and toughness are not just about strength and durability. It also helps reduce distortion and maximize sheer power.
The sub requires a bit more power to drive success with a sensitivity of 85 dB. It’s also not as sensitive as some subs, so it doesn’t easily distort and blow.
This sub is a single-voice coil. It’s not able to wire series circuitry. However, it is a 4-ohm subwoofer that can accommodate plenty of amps.
The JL Audio 12W0V3-4 subwoofer is a fantastic 12-inch subwoofer that delivers high-quality sound at a very affordable price. While there are many better subs, this is the best value for money.
- Average response lower than 30 Hz
- Very durable
- High-end quality at a reasonable price
- Some are not as powerful as others
- Uptempo music can make bass sounds muffled
5. Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12″ Subwoofer
Skar, although it is not obscure, is still a brand that needs to prove a lot in the world of audio equipment. This is not something you need to be concerned about.
Skar, the company that calls its flagship woofer line EVL, has the attitude to compete against the industry’s big guns. It remains to be seen if that extra edge will translate into real-life quality.
Let’s see if we can figure it out.
It takes only a glance to realize that EVL-12D2 tries to make a lasting impression. Its look is bold and confident.
Instead of the closed-cone system we are used to, we now have an advanced cooling design that allows the woofer access to new power sources without being toasted.
Add the high-temperature 3-inch voice coil to the mix and you’ll get subs that promise good sound reproduction at low frequencies.
Last but not least, I must mention that all the materials used, whether it be high-grade paper cones or high-roll foam surrounds, are solid and well-put-together.
So far, so good.
EVL-12D2 is a totally different beast when it comes to performance. I must say that this is not because I am lazy.
You can find all the components that make up a great subwoofer right here. EVL-12D2 packs a lot of power. The RMS power clocks in at 1250W, peak power rises to a staggering 2500W and the frequency range drops as low as 25 Hz. We are confident that this sub will shake the bed.
These impressive specs are not the problem.
The quality of sound will drop like a brick no matter how much power you put through the woofer. The system’s durability is also affected. Many users have had problems with their subs after pushing them to their peak power.
The speaker will work like a clock if you maintain the normal conditions. The bass is rich and clear, and even the middle-range volume creates a satisfying tremor inside the car.
- Solid construction quality
- Extraordinary core specifications
- Efficient cooling system
- Bass is deep and precise
- It is not the most durable on the market
- Once you push the sub to its limit, the performance is amazing
6. Hifonics 2000W 12-Inch Car Audio Subwoofer
The sub from Hifonics was the most powerful 12-inch subwoofer I reviewed. Dual 4-Ohm designs can deliver the power of up to 2000 Watts. This product is durable and reliable thanks to its heavy gauge and powder-coated aluminum, die-cast basket. Its solid design is durable, which is crucial when you’re driving around in your car.
This woofer is very efficient in heat dissipation. The vented body holds a 3-inch voice coil and heat is easily exchanged. The result is a lower heat level, which results in less distortion and better sound. The sub must be kept cool because its powerful motor with 70 oz magnets needs to produce serious power.
Although the speaker does not come with an enclosure, it is very easy to connect to your car’s stereo system. There are many options for voice coil and impedance settings. This gives you greater control over the power and allows you to adjust the settings to fit your car’s stereo system.
Hifonics uses its own dual-cotton spider technology with double-centering. This allows the woofer to balance power and eliminate distortion. It is one of the most robust and durable speakers you can buy for your car. This speaker can withstand a lot of stress while still delivering peak performance.
- Hifonics BRUTUS subwoofer with...
- Vented aluminum former holds a...
- Specialized Hifonics dual poly...
- Hifonics heavy duty aluminum...
- Vented high energy motor...
- Value for money.
- Powerful 4-Ohm design.
- Can handle up to 2000 Watts.
- Heavy-duty design.
- Vented cooling system.
- High-energy motor using 70oz magnets.
- Simple to install and mount on an enclosure.
- Very heavy.
- No enclosure included.
7. MTX Audio Terminator TNE212D
Do you want a dual 12-inch subwoofer with external power? The MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D subwoofer is for you.
This beast is very affordable and can create more volume than anyone needs. Did I mention insane? We are all insane, of course.
These dual subs are 12 inches in size and come with two woofers with 200W RMS power each. This dual sub is not as powerful as the single subs, but it creates a new soundscape.
A dual subwoofer will allow for a better bass quality thanks to the increased headroom.
Each woofer’s cones are made from tough, durable polypropylene. This ensures durability. They are available in vented or sealed enclosures. These enclosures are made of 5/8″ MDF and aircraft-grade black carpet.
The dual 12″ subwoofers provide a controlled, punchy, and nuanced bass. You can run both the driver and amp simultaneously, so you can lay louder but still get clean bass.
These dual subwoofers (12in) are not for everyone. If you have the space and want to enjoy cleaner, more precise bass at high drive levels, these dual 12in subwoofers are for you.
Do not be intimidated by the RMS. This subwoofer amp combo will make a big impact on any vehicle. Make sure it is large enough.
- Set of 2 subs and an enclosure
- Very affordable price
- Dual subs provide more dynamic bass
- This product is not intended for heavy commercial usage
- There is no such thing as too much size
8. Kicker 43CVR124 CompVR
The Kicker CompVR 12-inch Dual Voice Coil subwoofer is a great option if you are looking for an affordable and powerful subwoofer. Although it may not have the same quality of sound as high-end woofers, the Kicker CompVR will make a big difference in your soundscape for half the price.
The CompVR 12-Inch Subwoofer has a 4O dual-voice coil design and is designed for simple wiring. It has a recommended RMS power rating of 400 watts. This gives it enough power for bass reproduction in all genres.
Kicker CompVR is available in two or four-ohm dual voice coil. It also features Kicker’s famous red surrounding stitching, which expertly bonds the polypropylene cone to a ribbed area of Santoprene.
The SoloKon (TM), which combines the woofer with the back brace, keeps vibration at bay. This creates a cohesive system that produces powerful, distortion-free bass.
The driver boasts perimeter venting, Spiraled (TM), tinsel-lead technology, and a spring-loaded push terminal. This ensures that a Kicker is a high-performance machine.
Kicker has an advanced heat management system. Perimeter venting allows air circulation, while UniPlate (TM), the brand’s heat redirection system, heats the motor. This ensures that the speaker is quiet and reliable, which can be used for long periods and lasts.
The Kicker 43CVR124 CompVR Subwoofer is an excellent choice for budget-minded users who want maximum power and low cost. The subwoofer can be extremely loud and has a tremendous amount of low end.
It’s not as sophisticated as a high-end subwoofer but it’s still very nuanced and it’s good enough for most people.
- Amazing value for money
- Even at high volumes, sounds clear and concise
- Subwoofers are not as sophisticated as high-end models.
9. Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12-Inch 2000W Subwoofer
This entry-level, affordable Kenwood unit may be for you if you are looking for something that will “take your breath away” but not create a loud thump in the chest. The 400 Watts RMS rating leaves much to be desired.
Even though the peak power is 2,000 Watts, the difference between peak and RMS power is five times greater than the claim. This should be enough to tell you that it shouldn’t be tested. This Kenwood KFC is not meant to be “cooked” like fried chicken.
The subwoofer comes with a rubber surround and a polypropylene cone. Although they might not be as effective at absorbing distortions as foam surround sounds, it is unlikely that you will have any complaints about the quality of sound.
Although it’s not powerful, it provides enough bass and output to be a valuable addition to your car’s audio system. The frequency range is 27 Hz through 300 Hz, which in this price range is quite rare.
This is a 4-ohm subwoofer, just like the others on this list. It also comes with an 82dB sensitivity rating (which may not seem like much but it’s still accurate).
Although the company does not make any recommendations, some users suggested that a ported box could help get more bass from this subwoofer. It can also hit lows more than other subwoofers in its price range, which allows you to listen to a wider variety of music in your car.
This sub might be the most powerful in terms of sound quality and frequency level, but it is not the best if you need a lot more power.
- Excellent build quality and durable design
- Construction that is sturdy
- High-quality sound
- It is powerful bass, especially considering how much power it uses
- Absence of dual-voice coils
- A 12-inch subwoofer requires low power
10. Pioneer TS-A300D4 12 Inch Subwoofer
Pioneer, although not as well-respected as Rockford Fosgate is known for releasing products that stir the waters in the car woofer market.
Pioneer TS-A300D4 certainly is one of these products. Its primary purpose seems to be giving Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 a run for its money.
Is this a surprise that can knock the King of the throne off his feet?
Let’s see if we can figure it out.
The Pioneer TS-A300D4 hardware is a beautiful piece of hardware. This quality black cone is the star of this show. It’s made from mica-injected molded resin and allows for consistent airflow, producing deep and satisfying bass.
Keep in mind, however, that this is a sub-shallow-mount sub. Therefore, your expectations regarding power should be reasonable.
You will not find a tighter unit if you have a smaller vehicle.
A somewhat large, double-stacked magnet with a vented pole yoke was another surprise that surprised me. They do an amazing job in power handling.
Although the unit does have some limitations, everything I have seen so far has shown that it can push those limits to their limit.
You’d expect the same satisfying results from all these rock-solid blocks. The unit is able to compensate for the RMS of 400 watts, producing an incredibly accurate and tight bass reproduction.
This bad boy is not weak. With a peak power of up to 1500 watts, you can make teeth-breaking noise whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Add to that a wide frequency range (20-125Hz) and excellent sensitivity (93dB) and you will have a fantastic piece of equipment. Except for the inherent ones.
- PIONEER 12" Dual 4 ohms voice...
- 12" Glass fiber and mica...
- Butyl rubber surround and...
- Oversized 60 oz Double stacked...
- Smooth and seamless...
- High-quality build
- Excellent price-value ratio
- Amazing frequency range
- Loud, precise performance
- Dual-voice coils
- Great peak power
- You should be aware that the design with a shallow mounting has some limitations in terms of loudness.
11. Planet Audio AC12D
Although Planet Audio is not a well-known brand when it comes to car speakers some subwoofers from the company have the grit to be among the greats. The AC12D subwoofer is one such.
This unit has a remarkable power rating considering its price. It has an RMS power rating (900 Watts) and a peak power rating (1,800 Watts). Dual voice coils are four-ohm impedance, which may be why you see a pattern in this list.
Although the cones made of polypropylene are not as good as those made of other materials, they are more durable and may be able to withstand time. The cone comes with a stamped basket that promises cleaner sounds.
It can be used with either a sealed or a ported enclosure. This is especially true if it is used with an amp with a subsonic filter. A sealed enclosure (based on its quality) will allow you to enjoy a more focused and tight bass.
The sensitivity rating is 88 dB. This is quite good from a cost perspective. However, its displacement (10 mm), is not as high as some other items on this list. The resonant frequency of the device is 32 Hz.
The overall design of the unit favors power and durability over-refinement. A more powerful 12-inch version (the BBD12B) is also available. It has a lower resonance frequency and is of higher quality construction. It comes at a higher price.
Although this subwoofer is not ideal for a studio, it can be used as a cheap DVC subwoofer for your car. It has a powerful enough output and bass to make car rides enjoyable from a musical standpoint.
It comes with a 3-year warranty which is more than triple the market standard. It’s possible you won’t need it, as the subwoofer will last long enough if you don’t take your time installing it.
- Cone - Made from...
- Voice Coil - Our voice coils...
- Surround - Foam is very...
- Basket - The stamped basket...
- Specs - 13” x 13” x 6”,...
- Clear sound, with very little distraction
- Amazing value for money
- Three-year warranty
- If they are properly broken in, they can last a long time
- It is possible that the actual power handling capacity may be lower than what was promised.
- Amps with adequate ratings have been known to explode
Subwoofer Buying guide
The following buying guide might help you make an informed decision before placing your order. This guide will help you to understand the terms and features that subwoofers are known for.
Powered vs. Passive
Powered subwoofers are also known as “active” subwoofers. They come with an amplifier and a speaker. It is usually a single-unit sound system that includes all components. It usually comes with a sub-powered sub. It’s easy to install and maybe the best choice for beginners.
Passive subwoofers do not come with an amplifier built-in and must be connected to an external amplifier to work. This allows you to customize your sub-housing and configuration. Professional installation is required.
Down-firing vs. Front-firing
Subwoofers can be distinguished in larger spaces than in cars, because of the difference in bass between front-firing and down-firing orientations.
A down-firing subwoofer can leverage a floor surface to create a larger resonating area. This allows low frequencies and high frequencies to be dispersed more effectively in the space available.
Subs that are front-firing project sound directly in the front, which can make it difficult to hear in large rooms. However, they can still be very effective in cars if the sub is positioned and oriented correctly.
Wireless vs. Wired
If you don’t have a way to efficiently charge your wireless 12″ subwoofers once they’re installed in your car, the best option would be to use wired ones. Wireless subwoofers can be very bulky, especially when they house a large sub. This could make them unsuitable for housing, especially if you don’t have a lot of space.
I recommend wired subs for cars.
You need to be aware of two different wattage ratings when subwoofers are being considered.
RMS: This is the wattage that your subwoofer will generate continuously Use. Make sure your amplifier matches or exceeds your sub’s RMS power rating. A weaker amp (lower than the RMS wattage) can cause distortion.
Peak/Max Power: This is the maximum or minimum power your sub might use.
Although you don’t necessarily need to use an amplifier with the same peak wattage as your sub, it is better to use one that has some headway. For example, an 800 Watt Amp would work for subs with a 600 Watt RMS rating.
Frequency response can be different than a frequency range. This is the range of frequencies that a subwoofer is capable of reproducing. The sub will create better sound and bass if you are closer to 20 Hz.
Frequency response, on the other side, is how loud each frequency is. In ideal situations, each frequency should be the same level of loudness or as close as possible.
The more air it can displace, the larger the driver/cone. The size of the driver/cone is not the only variable that matters, especially in terms of sound quality. However, it has an impact on the amount and depth of bass the sub can produce. It is possible for larger drivers to cause distortions than smaller ones.
While size is important, it’s not the only thing that matters.
Dual or Single Voice Coils
Dual voice coils are simply different in terms of connectivity options. The dual coil has more connectivity options than a single coil, especially when it comes to series. The difference in the quality of sound is not significant.
Power handling equals RMS. This is how much power your sub can handle continuously.
Sensitivity simply refers to the distance at which a sound is louder than its power. A sub with 85 dB of sensitivity would produce a sound of 85 dB at one meter and consume 1 watt of power.
A lower impedance voice coils will produce a louder but less quality sound. A 2-ohm sub may sound louder, but not as good as a 4-ohm equivalent.
You will need the appropriate chart to match the sub’s voice coils to an amp’s impedance.
Crossovers refer to frequencies at which your speakers and subwoofers “pass the baton”. The speaker will hand off the responsibility to produce sound for low frequencies. For higher frequencies, the subwoofer will take over the responsibility. The crossover setting is dependent on your car’s speakers.
Ported vs. Sealed Enclosure
Enclosures or ports don’t allow air to enter and produce more precise and focused basses. These boxes are smaller but require more power to produce louder bass.
Ventilated enclosures produce louder bass. They produce a louder bass, are larger and less precise, but they also have a greater “thumpiness”.
Do you need more than one?
Unless there are significant differences in specs and size, it is common for more than one subwoofer to provide better results than one.
Placement is more about the sound than about where it will occupy the most space. Two options for placement are the trunk and under the backseat.
Although the warranty is positive, it should not be the deciding factor. Most of the sub-damaged items are not covered by a warranty.
Are Square Subs Better Than Round?
While square subwoofers have more surface area to move more air, traditional round subwoofers are generally better sounding because they are easier to control. The more accurately the subwoofer is controlled the higher the sound quality reproduced.
Is A 12 Or 15-inch Sub Better?
The answer to the question of whether 15-inch subwoofers have a better base than 12-inch subs is not an easy one to answer. The fact is, “better” is a personal opinion. 15-inch subwoofers are larger and displace more air than 12-inch subwoofers do, so the 12 in will have a crisper, sharper sound than the larger ones.
Are 12-inch Subs Loud?
The 12-inch subwoofers handle more power, they play louder, they are boomier, and many people find that they just sound better. … If you have never had a subwoofer before and you don’t listen to hip hop, a 10-inch subwoofer will probably be fine and that’s what I would recommend.
Which Way Should A Subwoofer Face In A Car?
Facing the subwoofer upward while in the trunk, gives you big bass without consuming a lot of space. This direction offers crisp sound with a slight advantage to high frequencies and treble, and won’t rattle loose parts in your vehicle as much.
The options for the best 12-inch subwoofer for cars are endless. There are many brands, styles, and sizes to select from, but determining the specifications for your specific needs before making a decision will ensure that you buy the right product and get the most out of it.
Last update on 2021-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API