When it comes to car audio, the bass is king. It’s no secret that a great-sounding subwoofer can improve your car audio experience.
A subwoofer in a car is an essential component of its sound system. Subwoofers generate low-frequency sounds that bring music and soundtracks to life.
If you enjoy music and want to improve your audio experience, investing in a quality car subwoofer is a great way to go.
In this article, we’ll review the 10 best budget car subwoofers. After that, we present a buying guide to assist you in selecting the best one for your needs. Whether you’re a music enthusiast or just someone who wants better sound in their car, this article is for you!
7 Best Budget Subwoofer for Car – Quick Summary
If you’re in a hurry, we’ve got some great models to help you choose at a glance. So don’t wait any longer – get started with our quick summary.
1. Best with single voice coil: BOSS Audio Systems CXX10 Car Subwoofer
“If you are looking for the best single voice coil subwoofer, look no further than the CXX10 subwoofer. With a single voice coil and an affordable price tag, this powerful subwoofer can give your car’s sound system a massive bass boost without emptying your wallet. It produces rich, deep bass tones that will make you feel as if you’re right in the middle of the action.”
2. Best with dual voice coils: Planet Audio AC12D Car Subwoofer
“The Planet Audio AC12D is the best dual voice coil subwoofer in the market today owing to its excellent sound reproduction. It’s affordable and easy to install.”
3. Best Budget Sub with Amplifier: MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D Car Subwoofer
“This subwoofer features impressive sound quality and power, making it perfect for anyone looking to improve the audio experience in their car. Plus, the included amplifier makes setup a breeze.”
4. Average Pick: Sundown SA-12 D2 REV.3 Subwoofer
“ Designed with deep bass in mind, this 12″ subwoofer is perfect for anyone looking to add some extra power to their music. And thanks to its affordable price, it’s within reach for even the most budget-conscious shoppers. Plus, it’s easy to install and fits most vehicles.”
5. Most Durable: JBL S2-1024SS Series II Subwoofer
“This subwoofer can withstand a lot of abuse thanks to its polypropylene cone woofer and rubber surround. It is ideal for driving enthusiasts or anybody looking for a serious bass performance that will last for years before giving out.”
6. Sub with Enclosure: Rockford Fosgate P300-10 Punch Amplified Subwoofer
“This subwoofer system comes complete with a 10” woofer, amplifier, and enclosure, all for a price that is hard to beat. It is powerful and produces deep bass tones, making it perfect for music lovers and avid car audio enthusiasts alike.”
7. Best Budget Sub with excellent RMS rating: Alpine RW12D2 12″ Subwoofer
“This subwoofer packs a punch and provides clean, powerful sound with an RMS rating of 750 watts. Whether you are listening to music or watching movies, the RW12D2 will give you the immersive experience you are looking for with exceptional power handling.”
10 Best Budget Car Subwoofers Review:
Here are the detailed reviews that cater to all information you need to know for making a perfect decision:
1. BOSS Audio Systems CXX10 Car Subwoofer
The BOSS Audio Systems CXX10 subwoofer features deep bass and excellent sound reproduction. It is ideal for music fans who want to get the most out of their driving experience. It’s a 10″ woofer with a single 4-ohm voice coil that’s resistant to corrosion.
This voice coil allows the subwoofer to function well in high-tension and high-compression situations. Note that subwoofers with a single voice coil are best for low- to medium-power applications.
Furthermore, this budget car subwoofer produces a maximum power of 800 watts and 400 watts of RMS handling power. With its 87dB sensitivity and 36 Hz resonance frequency, it delivers high-quality sound and powerful bass performance that will bring your music to life.
The manufacturer, Boss Audio Systems, made this subwoofer with polypropylene cone housing because of the resilience and durability of the material.
Plus, polypropylene helps with sound.
The surround that joins the cone to the basket is made of butyl rubber, which is chemically inert, airtight, and can withstand a range of weather conditions. However, this subwoofer doesn’t last more than a year before developing faults.
The CXX10 vehicle subwoofer from BOSS Audio Systems is designed to fit inside a medium-sized 0.65 cubic-feet sealed or 1 cubic-feet ported enclosure.
- This subwoofer delivers deep bass and impressive sound reproduction.
- It is made from polypropylene and butyl rubber that ensures it lasts long.
- You can use it in a sealed or ported enclosure.
- It is inexpensive yet provides great sound quality.
- It doesn’t last long.
2. Planet Audio AC12D Car Subwoofer
The Planet Audio AC12D car subwoofer produces 1800 watts of power, 88 dB sensitivity, and a 32 Hz frequency response to provide deep, rich bass that will make your music sound incredible.
It has a dual 4 ohms voice coil, which provides more wiring configuration options and increased power handling. You can easily connect additional subwoofers to it with wiring configurations to optimize the amp’s power output.
Note that dual voice coil subwoofers are best suited for medium to high-power applications.
This 12” subwoofer features a polypropylene cone housing that ensures it lasts long while providing clear, accurate sound reproduction. It has a foam surround to provide flexibility, which boosts efficiency and allows for a better excursion.
So, you will hear every note when you’re on the go!
The Planet Audio AC12D car subwoofer will thrive well in either ported or sealed enclosures. It is simple to install, so you can start enjoying great sound in no time.
- This subwoofer provides deep, rich bass that will make your music sound incredible.
- It has a Dual 4 ohms voice coil, making it perfect for medium to high-power applications.
- It is sturdy and well-built.
- You can use it in a ported enclosure or a sealed enclosure.
- It smokes when used at full power.
3. Skar Audio SDR-15 D4 15″ Car Subwoofer
The Skar Audio SDR-15 D2 subwoofer stands out from the lot in terms of power output and acoustic responsiveness because of its high flux ferrite motor. It has a maximum power rating of 1,200 watts and 600 watts RMS of power handling.
Plus, it has an 86.9 dB sensitivity and a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 250 Hz, meaning it produces less distortion. However, it will blow up when used at its maximum power for a long period.
That said, Skar Audio equipped this budget car subwoofer with a 2.5” dual 2 ohms high-temperature 4-layer copper voice coil that provides you with greater wiring flexibility.
They also included a one-of-a-kind red Nomex spider suspension system in the design, which is the ideal combination of rigidity and elasticity. Thanks to its durable construction, it will stand up to even the most extreme conditions.
You won’t have any problems installing this subwoofer because it is easy to hook up.
- This subwoofer offers good value for money.
- It is durable and lasts long.
- It features a high flux ferrite motor that’s responsible for its premium sound quality.
- Installing it is a breeze.
- It blows up easily.
4. MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D Car Subwoofer
MTX Audio is a well-known and respected brand in the audio industry. They make some of the best car subwoofers on the market, and their Terminator Series TNE212D car subwoofer is no exception.
This dual car subwoofer is capable of delivering a maximum power of 1200 watts, 800 watts peak power, and 400 watts RMS power. These power ratings coupled with its frequency response of 10Hz – 150Hz make it perfect for any audiophile who wants to add some thumping bass to their sound system.
MTX Audio used a 2″ aluminum voice coil in these subwoofers that dissipates heat much faster so it can play music for longer times without melting.
Also, they are housed in a ⅝” MDF enclosure with a black carpet finish that eliminates the need for installation. MTX Audio makes the enclosure in ported and sealed style. So, you can get whichever style you prefer.
This Terminator Series TNE212D car subwoofers come with a built-in amp, so you don’t have to worry about buying one separately.
It’s also designed to be incredibly durable, featuring a rubber surround and polypropylene cone, you can count on it lasting for years. Be informed that you may have to purchase a subwoofer wiring kit and wire crimpers to enjoy these subwoofers to the fullest.
- You get a pair of 12” subwoofers that come with an enclosure and an amp.
- You can get it in a sealed or ported enclosure.
- You don’t need to go through any installation process.
- This cheap car subwoofer puts out a lot of deep, clean bass.
- Some of the units sold are defective.
5. Rockford Fosgate P300-10 Punch Amplified Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate is a name that any car audio enthusiast is sure to know. They make some of the best subwoofers in the market. We’ll be looking at the P300-10 Punch amplified subwoofer, one of their most popular models.
If you need to add bass to your car stereo system and don’t want to deal with the hassle of connecting amplifiers and subwoofers, this amplified subwoofer is the way to go. But it doesn’t come cheap.
The P300-10 is powered by a 300-watt amplifier and has a Punch 10″ subwoofer in a bespoke sealed enclosure. It can handle 55 watts RMS and 110 watts maximum output. Plus, it puts up sensitivity of 88dB and has a frequency response range of 45Hz to 20kHz for producing clear bass.
To use this subwoofer, all you need is power, ground, and a signal from a source. It includes a remote bass volume control, a 12db octave adjustable low pass crossover, an integrated adjustable bass EQ, a built-in 0°-180° phase switch, and a built-in 0°-180° phase switch.
It was built with a closed-loop housing to improve performance between the subwoofer amplifier and enclosure — as well as simple integration with aftermarket or OEM audio systems that use RCA or speaker level signals.
The P300-10 Punch amplified subwoofer features an intelligent auto turn on/off function, so you don’t stress to turn it on when you turn on your car. Rockford Fosgate constructed it with ⅝” MDF to ensure it withstands harsh usage.
Plus, they equipped it with thermal and over-voltage protection to ensure it lasts for years. You don’t have to go through the stress of installing it. All you need to do is put it in your car, plug it in, and you can start blasting music to your taste.
- This car subwoofer comes with a 300-watt amplifier.
- It has heavy-duty construction and has thermal and over-voltage protection.
- It is easy to use in almost all vehicles.
- It produces a crisp, clear bass sound.
- It may not last long.
- It is not cheap.
6. Alpine RW12D2 12″ Subwoofer
Imagine hitting the open road with bass blasting as you cruise to your favorite summer song without sacrificing sound quality. With this Alpine 12″ subwoofer, this imagination is your reality. It features a 4-layer dual voice coil and can produce a peak power of 2250W and 750W RMS power.
This subwoofer has a frequency response that ranges from 24Hz to 200Hz to provide excellent power handling, clean output, and deep bass excursion. It also comes at a reasonable price.
Moreso, the Kevlar-treated cone of this Alpine RW12D2 12″ subwoofer ensures durability and stands up to the most punishing basslines. Alpine combined the cone with the Santoprene surround to enhance the subwoofer’s ability to produce powerful, hard-hitting bass.
This subwoofer is easy to install in any vehicle. You can mount it in a sealed enclosure or ported enclosure. We recommend pairing it with a high-quality amp to get the most out of it.
- It is inexpensive and offers good value for money.
- This car subwoofer has a Kevlar-treated cone, so it will last long.
- It produces powerful, hard-hitting bass.
- It is easy to install.
7. Sundown SA-12 D2 REV.3 Subwoofer
Coming from Sundown Audio, a company known for its high-quality audio equipment, the SA-12 D2 REV.3 subwoofer doesn’t disappoint. This subwoofer is perfect for music lovers and audiophiles looking for serious bass performance. Its dual 2.5″ 4-ohm black aluminum voice coil offers substantial power and high-quality sound at any volume level.
Whether you’re watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite song, it will give you the sound you need to feel the beat.
The Sundown SA-12 D2 REV.3 subwoofer is built using high-quality materials and components, so it can handle a lot of power without breaking down. It produces power of 750 watts and a sensitivity of 85 dB.
Sundown used an innovative pole vent in this subwoofer for superior heat dissipation. They also used a high-strength cast aluminum frame to guarantee that the subwoofer works in any enclosure, whether it’s ported, sealed, or band-pass.
- It works well in small ported, sealed, or band-pass enclosures.
- It delivers quality sound at any volume level.
- This subwoofer offers the best bang for the buck.
- It dissipates heat efficiently.
- After a few months of use, this subwoofer may quit operating for no apparent reason.
8. JBL S2-1024SS Series II Subwoofer
When it comes to car subwoofers, one name stands out among the rest: JBL. With years of experience in making quality audio equipment, JBL knows how to make a subwoofer that will deliver earth-shattering sound.
This S2-1024SS Series II Subwoofer is a perfect example of their expertise. With a power handling of 250W RMS or 1000W peak power, it is ideal for anybody looking for great bass performance in their vehicle. It also has a sleek appearance.
The JBL S2-1024SS is a 10″ car subwoofer with a 30 – 175Hz frequency response. It generates deep, powerful bass more accurately than standard ported boxes because of its high-roll surround, innovative cone design, and long excursion. To withstand extensive use, it has a polypropylene cone and a rubber surround.
Additionally, the innovative Slipstream port on the JBL S2-1024SS Series II subwoofer drastically decreases port noise at high sound pressure levels by reducing air disturbance.
For ultimate configuration versatility, JBL used their proprietary SSI (Smart Selectable Impedance) switch in this subwoofer, which allows you to choose between 2- and 4-ohm impedance. Note that this is the non-powered model that will require an amplifier to operate. Also, it is easy to install in any vehicle.
- It has excellent quality for the price.
- It produces deep, powerful bass.
- It can withstand even the most extreme conditions.
- You can choose between 2- and 4-ohm impedance for versatility.
9. Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10” Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure
Pioneer’s TS-SWX2502 10” shallow-mount pre-loaded enclosure is a great car subwoofer for those who are looking to boost their sound system without taking up too much space.
This subwoofer produces power up to 1,200 watts max and 400 watts of RMS power handling. It has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 125 Hz and a sensitivity of 93 dB, which enables it to deliver deep, thumping bass that will make your music sound awesome.
Its shallow mount uses an enlarged cone construction to give more cone and gasket area. The MICA injection-molded plastic cone surface circulates more air to help the subwoofer generate louder, deeper bass. However, when played at a high volume, this subwoofer becomes too hot and may blow apart.
The patent-pending, angled push terminals on this TS-SWX2502 Pioneer shallow subwoofer make it simple to connect speaker cables. The connection saves space and allows for easier installation.
Plus, it flexibly fits in the cabin or luggage area thanks to its innovative enclosure design.
- Its enclosure design makes it easy to install in a wide range of vehicles.
- It delivers deep, thumping bass.
- This subwoofer has a rugged construction.
- It’s inexpensive.
- It gets hot when used for a long period.
10. Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12” Subwoofer
To round up this review is the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12” subwoofer. This powerful subwoofer has a wraparound design that produces deep, distortion-free bass, perfect for enjoying your favorite music on the go. It has a peak power rating of 1200 watts and can deliver up to 400 watts of RMS power handling.
With a frequency response of 27Hz to 300 Hz, 82db sensitivity, and a single 4-ohm voice coil, this subwoofer will produce some serious bass.
Kenwood built this subwoofer cone out of polypropylene and used a “Square Array” pattern on the cone to increase low-frequency performance. To improve its mechanical and thermal longevity, Kenwood uses a “Stress-free Spider” and a “Thermal Efficient System.”
With the rubber surround, you can rest assured that it will last for several years. However, it is quite expensive than the others we have reviewed so far. Also, it takes a long time to break in.
It’s simple to install the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12″ subwoofer in sealed or ported enclosures. However, make sure the enclosure’s dimensions match that of the subwoofer.
- This subwoofer produces deep, distortion-free bass.
- It is well-built with a carefully thought-out design.
- It is easy to install in either a sealed or ported enclosure.
- It takes a while to break in.
- It is expensive.
Best Budget Subwoofer for Car Buying Guide
Car audio enthusiasts are always looking for the best subwoofer to match their car’s audio system. It can be hard to find a budget-friendly option that will not break your wallet and is still powerful enough to produce quality sound.
The following factors should help you choose a quality subwoofer without going above your budget.
Design of the subwoofer:
The very first thing to consider when buying a subwoofer is its design. Some subs are designed to be mounted in a sealed box, while others are made for use in ported enclosures.
However, some subwoofers come with their enclosure, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of placing them within one.
A subwoofer with an enclosure is best for those who don’t have any experience with car audio and don’t know how to install a subwoofer.
Non-powered or Powered:
To those who may not know, subwoofers come in two power styles; powered and non-powered. The non-powered subwoofers require an external amplifier to produce sound, while powered subs have their built-in amplifier.
If you have an amplifier, go for a non-powered model. If you don’t, the powered model is a better choice.
The size of the subwoofer is another important consideration. Most subwoofers are available in 10″ or 12″ sizes. You’ll need to double-check that the subwoofer you get will fit in the space available in your car.
Some woofers are designed to be mounted under a seat or behind a panel, while others are larger and require more space. Choose a subwoofer depending on your car design and the space available in it.
This specification tells you how much power the subwoofer can handle without being damaged. It’s important to ensure that the amp you are using is capable of putting out enough power to properly drive the subwoofer without causing any damage.
This specification tells you how low and high the subwoofer will play. It’s critical that the subwoofer’s frequency response you buy matches that of your other car audio components. A good frequency range for a car subwoofer is 20 – 200 Hz.
This specification tells you how loudly the subwoofer will play for a given amount of power. A high sensitivity rating means that the sub will play loud with very little power, while a low rating means more power is needed to achieve the same volume level.
This is the amount of power the subwoofer will use continuously. It tells you how long you can play music without hurting your subwoofer.
Consider a subwoofer with at least 600 Watts RMS if you’re searching for a powerful subwoofer.
Single vs. Dual Voice Coil:
The subwoofer’s voice coil aids sound production and it comes in two types; single and dual. A single voice coil subwoofer has one set of wires coming out of it.
While a dual voice coil sub has two sets of wires, which allows for more wiring configurations and increases the amp’s power handling capabilities.
You can go with a single voice coil if you’re new to subwoofers. In comparison to the dual voice coil, it is simpler to use and produces excellent sounds.
On the other hand, the dual voice coil requires more effort to set up. It can, nevertheless, provide you with the best sound quality and a pleasurable experience.
The type of enclosure the subwoofer requires is also an important consideration. Some subs are designed to be used in a sealed box, while others work best in a ported enclosure.
If you’re not sure which type of enclosure to use, consult with an audio specialist to help make the right decision.
It’s also important to think about the subwoofer’s price. Ensure you choose one that is within your budget. Fortunately, many inexpensive subwoofers in the market can deliver superb sound and performance.
Knowing these factors before making your purchase will help ensure that you end up with a subwoofer that meets your needs and budget. By considering all of these factors, you can find a quality speaker without breaking the bank.
It’s not always easy to find the best subwoofer for your car. That’s why we put together this list of 10 excellent budget-friendly options, with a buying guide to help you choose what is important in a subwoofer and how to go about picking one that will suit your needs perfectly.
We are sure that no matter which model you select from our list, it won’t disappoint!
Pro Tip: Before running a new subwoofer at its maximum, it must go through a brief but crucial ‘break-in’ period. This will guarantee that it functions as intended. The break-in period entails exposing the subwoofer to low-to-medium volume levels in the enclosure for hours.
Using the subwoofer at maximum before it’s broken in will cause it to fail prematurely and perform poorly.