Is your car’s sound system simply not cutting it for you? Would you like something that’s more powerful and sounds so much better, especially with all that bass that makes for a fun and lively road trip jamming?
A powered subwoofer for cars would do just the trick in giving you music with more impact and vibe, so you can have a more enjoyable and entertaining time on the road. Here are the best powered subwoofers for cars that I’ve found just for you.
And to help you even further, I also provided a helpful buying guide at the end so you know all the important things to consider when buying a powered subwoofer. Happy reading!
- The Best Powered Subwoofer for Cars
- 1. Kenwood KSC-SW11 150W Low-Profile Amplified Car Subwoofer
- 2. Focal IBUS 2.1 75-Watt Flat 8″ Powered Subwoofer
- 3. JBL BassPro SL 8″ Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer
- 4. Infinity BassLink SM 8″ Ultra-Compact Hideaway Subwoofer
- 5. Kicker 11HS8 8″ Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer
- 6. MTX TNE212D 12″ 1200W Dual Loaded Car Subwoofers
- 7. Rockville 10″ Slim Low Profile Active Powered Subwoofer
- 8. Rockford Fosgate Punch Powered Loaded Subwoofer
- 9. Alpine Electronics Restyle Compact Powered Subwoofer
- 10. Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer
- Powered Subwoofer for Cars Buying Guide
- Benefits of a powered subwoofer
- Best Powered Subwoofer Size
The Best Powered Subwoofer for Cars
Take a look at these ten best powered subwoofers for cars that are super versatile, easy to use, highly portable, and will give you the best value for your money. I’ve reviewed a lot of different options for you to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that works for you and your car!
The best powered subwoofer for cars in my opinion is the Kenwood 150W Low-Profile Amplified Car Subwoofer, which is a small and compact powerhouse that offers so much value and loud booming sounds despite its tiny size.
In fact, it’s so small at just 11×7.5×2.75 inches that it can easily fit right under the car seat, so not only can you hear the music, you can feel it too- and of course save up some valuable trunk and floor space.
It also has a built-in amplifier that has a power handling of 75 watts, and comes with a wired remote control and a 14 inch speaker level input cable, as well as a cable security bar, a power harness, a loop fastener, and a stick on backed hook, so it’s also super easy to install!
- Sealed aluminum enclosure
- 200W RMS class D amplifier
- 35 -125 Hz frequency response
- Remote control and wiring harness
- Not the most durable option
My next best bet is the Focal IBUS 2.1 75-Watt Flat 8″ Powered Subwoofer, which gives you all the bass you’ll ever need without the bulky package of most powerful subwoofers, especially since this one only stands at 3 inches tall and can fit under your car seat.
Of course, you can also opt to place it somewhere on the side or back of your trunk. Either way, it’s small and compact, so it definitely won’t take up too much space nor spoil your car’s perfect looking interiors.
What you’re getting here is a strong aluminum chassis on an 8 inch subwoofer with a superior bass delivery, a phase switch, and adjustments for low pass crossover. It also comes with a remote control, so you can easily and conveniently adjust your settings and make the most out of boosting your car audio system.
- Sealed enclosure and amplifier
- 75W RMS amplifier
- 45-150 Hz frequency response
- Wired remote control
- Compact and durable
- Low power handling
Taking the third spot is the JBL BassPro SL 8″ Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer, which is a compact, well designed, and versatile under the seat subwoofer system that’s self contained and works excellently in giving your car audio system a much needed boost.
It makes use of a built in class D amplifier, and comes packed with various amazing features such as boost control, adjustable low pass crossovers, easy to wire standard connections, and even a wired remote control that you can purchase as an add on.
With a tiny size of just around 14x10x3 inches, a surprisingly easy and simple installation process, and ease of use and control, the BassPro subwoofer system by JBL is a definite must have in all cars, big or small, for an unforgettable road music experience.
- ABS plastic sealed enclosure
- 125W RMS class D amplifier
- 50-120 Hz frequency response
- Low-pass crossover and bass boost
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
- May not be suitable for Jeeps
Ranking fourth is the Infinity BassLink SM 8″ Ultra-Compact Hideaway Subwoofer, which not only offers superior sound and bass, but also comes in a conveniently compact package that helps you not have to worry about finding enough space to fit it in.
It’s a highly popular next generation subwoofer system that comes from a well known and reputable brand. It comes at less than a square foot for maximum portability, but has the capacity to deliver an outstanding sound quality.
Plus, it’s super easy to install and disconnect, so you can play music pretty much right out of the box, and move the subwoofer around in case you happen to need that tiny space that it occupies. And, you can even get it with a Bluetooth bass control!
- Sealed enclosure with amplifier
- 125W RMS amplifier
- 35-120 Hz frequency response
- Mounting bracket and wiring harness
- Optional bass control via Bluetooth
- Not the most durable option
In fifth place is the Kicker 11HS8 8″ Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer, which is arguably one of the best when it comes to amplified subwoofers for cars, cabs, and trucks. It’s a highly powerful subwoofer system that comes at a tiny size of less than 3 inches in height.
As such, it can conveniently fit in even the tiniest of spaces, making it perfect for small cars and other vehicles. But despite its tiny size, this one packs a punch. For one thing, it makes use of a built in amplifier and delivers a superior bass sound that just boosts the music.
Moreover, it comes with all the stuff you’d come to expect from a car subwoofer system, such as a remote controlled bass knob, a bass boost control, and automatic turn on switch, speaker level inputs, a quick disconnect system, and even nylon straps and velcro fasteners, all making for a fun and convenient listening experience as you drive.
- RMS amplifier and sealed enclosure
- 150W RMS class D amplifier
- 25 -120 Hz frequency response
- Wired remote control and bass boost
- With in-line fuse holder
- Not the most durable option
Next up is the MTX TNE212D 12″ 1200W Dual Loaded Car Subwoofers, which a full kit of subwoofer systems for automotive that features booming reverbs, a significantly stronger MDF, and a durable and rugged design.
It’s a complete and top quality package that comes with a loaded subwoofer system for cars, a capable mono amplifier, a mounting and installation kit, and so much more, all to give you a fun and easy road trip music experience.
The terminator subwoofers are even housed in such a way that gives you superior sound quality with minimal power guzzling, and are equipped with high powered amplifiers that are equipped with dust caps for added protection and prolonged service life. All in all, it’s a great product if you are looking for a boost in your car’s standard audio system.
- Full kit with incorporated cooling
- 400W RMS amplifier
- Easy to install
- Good value for money
- Poor customer service
Another excellent option is the Rockville 10″ Slim Low Profile Active Powered Subwoofer, which is hailed as Amazon’s best overall subwoofer, probably because it’s one of the most powerful options you will ever come across.
I’m talking about a peak power of 800 watts in a small 10 inch subwoofer that delivers superior sound quality and bass. It comes in 8 and 10 inch options, both of which are just 2.7 inches thick and can easily fit under your car seat.
To give you the best performance and the most convenient mounting and usage, this subwoofer makes use of high level inputs, has an automatic on and off feature, comes with wired remote control, and packs lots of other amazing must-have features to make your listening experience as unforgettable as it gets.
- Available in 8 and 10 inches
- 200W RMS amplifier
- 50Hz – 150Hz frequency response
- Optional amp and wiring kit
- Easily adjustable bass control
- Mediocre mounting feet
We also have here the Rockford Fosgate Punch Powered Loaded Subwoofer, which is another highly popular car subwoofer that comes as a compact and portable package but brings so much power and bass that you’ll definitely love.
It’s an all inclusive self contained subwoofer system that has the capability to produce deep and low sounds that not a lot of other subwoofers can offer. Perhaps that’s because it’s also one of the biggest (although still compact) subwoofers out there, and can therefore easily displace a lot of air needed to make those sounds.
It makes use of a high powered class D amplifier, is equipped with temperature control capabilities, and is also easy to install with just a power run and grounding. And, it also features a closed-loop design that’s sure to deliver optimum performance and makes for easy integration with various types of sound systems for automobiles.
- All-inclusive subwoofer system
- 300W RMS amplifier
- Available in 10 and 12 inches
- Compatible with OEM systems
- 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
- Considerably bigger than others
You might also want to consider the Alpine Electronics Restyle Compact Powered Subwoofer, which is built with a virtually indestructible die-cast aluminum housing that makes the subwoofer not only durable, but also keeps it cool even with prolonged use.
It comes at around 13.5 inches, so it’s a little bit bigger than most of the other options on this list, but it does come with a compact shallow mount that makes it flexible and versatile when it comes to finding the perfect place for installation.
Moreover, it’s a high powered subwoofer system that has a peak power of about 240 watts, and features conveniently placed inputs on the side panel that makes it even easier to use. The controls are also on the side, so you can adjust them conveniently on the go.
- Amazon’s Choice product
- 120W RMS amplifier
- 32Hz-150Hz frequency response
- Durable, flexible, and convenient
- Good value for money
- Prone to distortion with the base
Finally, there’s also the Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer. Which really packs a punch in offering the best bass than most other subwoofer systems for cars. That’s because it utilizes a specially tuned port that enables the sound system to give a maximum bass impact.
This very port also allows the subwoofer system to remain stable even with prolonged usage and super high and critical volume levels. And, it blends nicely with other audio systems, so it’s highly suitable as an upgrade for whatever car audio system you currently have.
What’s more is that the back panel is easy to work around in, and the rotary volume control is easy to use, so it’s perfect for those who want high quality sounds without too much complication. Plus, it sure looks nice and sleek, so there’s that.
- 50W RMS amplifier
- 40-160Hz frequency response
- Removable grille
- Easy to use back panel
- Heavier than other options
Powered Subwoofer for Cars Buying Guide
The beauty of powered subwoofers is that they are easy to install in almost any vehicle, and they instantly and significantly upgrade your car’s standard sound system for more bass and an overall better sound quality.
Trust me, you will definitely notice the difference that a powered subwoofer makes as compared to your typical audio system that simply doesn’t bring as much power and performance, especially since these things combine top quality materials, superior design, and advanced electronics.
But, are all powered subwoofers the same? The answer is no. Much like any other product, there are great ones, and there are mediocre ones. So, how do you find the best powered subwoofer for cars that will give you the best value for your money?
To help you out, here are the most important things that you need to look for when it comes to the best powered subwoofer for cars.
Benefits of a powered subwoofer
First of all, just how does a powered subwoofer benefit you? Well, here’s what it can do. Basically, a powered car subwoofer is designed for the best user experience for so many different reasons.
For one thing, it comes with a built in amplifier, so you don’t have to purchase one separately. It also comes in a compact size that usually fits under most car seats. And, it’s easy to install even if you don’t have an ounce of knowledge in electronics.
Plus, powered subwoofers generally look nice and sleek, and most importantly, they offer an amazing sound quality that you can’t ever hope to get from a factory car audio system.
Now, one of the first things you need to take into account is the overall size of the subwoofer, which essentially equates to the measurements and dimensions of the enclosure. This will determine whether the subwoofer can fit under your car seat, or you’ll have to mount it somewhere else, like in the trunk, for example.
Generally, you’ll want something smaller especially if you have a small car, and you can’t sacrifice any trunk or floor space for an extra audio system. If this is the case, the most important thing to check is the thickness of the subwoofer.
You need to compare that size with the height of your car seat and be careful for power front seats that come with extra components underneath, as you’ll have to account for those as well. In such cases, there might even be instances where mounting in the trunk is your only option.
In relation to the size of the enclosure is what type of enclosure it is, since this largely influences its size and where you can install it. There are generally three types of subwoofer enclosures, namely, sealed box, ported enclosure, and bandpass box.
A ported enclosure, which is also referred to as a vented subwoofer, makes use of various vents that are specifically engineered to highlight certain frequencies. These are great for low bass sounds that come plenty in hip hop, rock, and techno music.
The only thing is, ported enclosures are bigger and need more space, and as such, they are typically mounted in the trunk.
A sealed box or sealed enclosure is an airtight subwoofer system that features a basic design and is perfect for playing smooth, balanced, and ambient sounds that you get from classical and jazz music.
It’s also smaller and more compact than ported enclosures, so it’s highly suitable for installing under a car seat.
Now, there’s also the bandpass box, which is not as common as ported and sealed subwoofer enclosures. A bandpass box is the most superior when it comes to delivering low frequency sounds and gives you the strongest and most focused bass.
Best Powered Subwoofer Size
Aside from the enclosure size, the size of the subwoofer itself is just as, if not more important. This is because it’s what determines how the speaker will sound. Generally speaking, the larger the subwoofer is, the lower frequencies you’ll get out of it.
If you’re a fan of metal and rock music, then the subwoofer size should be a particularly important consideration for you. Of course, you should also remember that the larger the subwoofer size, the more space it takes up, so you need to account for that.
Another thing when it comes to measurements is the size of the subwoofer’s cone, which also affects the quality and depth of the bass tones you will be able to hear from the subwoofer system.
To give you an idea, an 8 inch cone delivers punchy bass sounds, while a 10 or 12 inch cone gives off deeper bass notes. Just remember, larger cones are pricier, and make for larger housings, and in turn, larger subwoofers.
Do you want a loud and rumbling car sound system that turns heads as you drive past? If so, then you need to prioritize the power handling of the subwoofer system, since it’s what directly affects the maximum volume of the system.
The good thing is that most, if not all, car subwoofer systems already come with built in amplifiers, so you mostly just have to look at the wattage of the subwoofer and the amplifier to get an idea of how loud the sounds it can produce will be.
One thing that’s directly related to power is sensitivity. To put things simply, a higher sensitivity rating for a subwoofer system means that you won’t need as much power in order to achieve loud and booming sounds.
On the other hand, a low sensitivity rating will require significantly more power. Meaning, it won’t be as efficient, and will consume more energy just to give you the same level of performance than a subwoofer with a high sensitivity rating can readily offer.
Another factor that is related to power is resistance or impedance, which is measured in ohms. This will determine what kinds of wire you can use to connect the subwoofer with your car’s audio system.
The general number is around 4 ohms. 2 ohm impedance ratings mean you can use thinner wires, whereas a resistance of 8 ohms will require thicker wires for installation.
Finally, you should also take into account the frequency response or frequency range of the subwoofer, which particularly indicates the lowest and highest sounds that the subwoofer can produce.
I might be stating the obvious here, but a lower frequency range means you’ll be able to enjoy lower and deeper sounds from the subwoofer. But, it’s important to remember that there are lots of other things that affect the reality of what sounds you’ll get from the subwoofer.
We all know that the best powered subwoofer for cars can bring out the very best in all kinds of music, whether it’s hard rock or mellow love songs. That’s because a powered subwoofer has a superior capacity in adding depth and bass, and enhancing the overall sound quality in your music.
There are lots of different powered subwoofers out there, but my most favorite one is the Kenwood 150W Low-Profile Amplified Car Subwoofer. It’s an absolute powerhouse that delivers superior quality sounds, comes at a tiny package that fits under your car seat, and is really easy and convenient to install and use.