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The Best Car Subwoofers of 2020

Last updated on February 27, 2020

A Good Subwoofer = The Ultimate Back-Seat Driver.

A good subwoofer is like putting a live band in the back seat, with a rhythm section you can feel even when the music is low. A great subwoofer will have you looking for the long way home, so you can enjoy more of your music – as loud as you like. But which one should you get? Subwoofers for the car come in all sorts of variations, and at all price levels. The good news: you don’t have to spend a fortune to significantly upgrade your system – if you know what to look for, or who to talk to. And that’s what our “Best Car Subwoofers of 2020” list is all about: our car audio experts cherry-picking the best on the market, by category.

Questions along the way? Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to one of our mobile technicians at our Route 309 Montgomeryville locale (1.866.961.7781) or email us here.  (You will make their day – they love this stuff.)

2020 Car Subwoofer Deals

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Why it won

Just because you have a compact car doesn’t mean you have to settle for compact music inside it. This 10-inch, JL TW1-Series sub packs a serious, Roberto Duran-like punch, and with its shallow mounting depth and minimal frontal clearance, you can fit it in the tightest of spaces without compromising power or quality. (The TW1 requires 200 watts of power to perform well.)

Also included: the JL Audio PowerWedge™ enclosure which features top-quality MDF construction, steel-mesh grilles, five-way binding post connectors, high-grade automotive carpeting, and JL Audio ECS internal wiring. The two were made for each other and deliver outstanding bass quality – even better than some of the larger subs we tested – in spite of its diminutive size. Like the song says: “it’s all about that bass…"

Woofer Size: 10" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 300W | System Nominal Impedance: 


Why it won

The Kicker CompQTM (42CWQ102) is considered one of the best 10-inch subwoofers on the market and a great choice for distinct, powerful, deep bass that doesn’t distort when pushed to the limit. (Though Kicker recommends a sealed or ported enclosure and 700 watts of recommended power. Peak Power = 1400 watts.)

The CompQTM features Kicker’s highest RMS power rating in a round subwoofer, and as a result, delivers every note with absolute detail. What’s more, Kicker’s build quality is excellent, from the ceramic magnet and computer-optimized voice coil to the UniPlate™ pole piece & backplate that keep the CompQ cool no matter the power level. And with spring-loaded copper terminals, you can run 8-gauge speaker wire to ensure every drop of power finds its way to the voice coil.

All in all, an outstanding product for the money – and unbeatable in our less-than-$200 category.

Woofer Size: 10" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 700W | Nominal Impedance: 

Reg Price:   $199.95

#3. The Best Car 12-inch Subwoofer Under $200: Infinity Primus 1270B Slim 12" Subwoofer w/ Sealed Enclosure

Why it won

Infinity takes things up a notch – more like 2 inches to be exact – with the Primus 1270B Slim 12-inch Subwoofer and its sealed enclosure. Infinity designed the Primus and its enclosure to fit just about any vehicle (hence the name “slim”) with a simple, straightforward installation. (A good place to note: Infinity also makes a 12-inch, home theater version of the Primus sub as well, which typically gets great reviews.)

The 12-inch woofer cone and the large voice coil play well together – with powerful, sternum-vibrating results and remarkable accuracy. While listening to a stand-up bass in an acoustic jazz piece, we could even hear fingers on strings. And you can turn things up without fear, given all Infinity subs undergo the company’s boot camp testing, which includes freezing, baking, and blasting at full power for days on end.

Last, not that it matters, this is one of the better-looking subs on the market. Just sayin.’

Woofer Size: 12" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 300W | Nominal Impedance: 4Ω

Reg Price:   $169.95


Why it won

Kicker won our “best for under $200” and they’re back again, this time for “best under $300.” The Kicker L7, another in the company’s Q-Series, may just be the most innovative subwoofer on the market because of its odd shape: square. And lest you think that’s a gimmick, it’s not. The square cone shape = 20% more surface area, which = more output, which = exactly what you want from a sub.

Kicker also incorporates something they call the “UniplateTM” which combines the pole piece and the back plate as one unit designed to pull heat away – necessary given Kicker’s over-sized magnet and aluminum voice coil. The sub’s unusual spider pattern is yet another Kicker exclusive and serves to provide optimal suspension. Added together, you get Kicker’s award-winning, distortion-free accuracy and power. (Continuous power handling = 750 watts RMS.)

All in all, the L7 is hands-down: best for under $300.

Woofer Size: 10" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 750W | Nominal Impedance: 2Ω

Reg Price:   $249.95


#5. The Best Powered Subwoofer For The Car: Infinity Powered 10" Subwoofer System

Why it won

There’s a lot to like about Infinity’s 10-inch powered “Basslink DC” subwoofer, starting with the fact it comes with a built-in, 200-watt RMS Class D amplifier designed to radiate minimal heat while using very little current from the car’s electrical system. And with its quick-release connections, you can take the Basslink DC out of the car in seconds should you need the extra room – though it has an extremely small footprint for such a powerful sub. (Less than 1 cubic foot.)

The Basslink DC enclosure is water-resistant, so it’s great for boats and/or muddy, off-road driving. We particularly liked the user controls which include a 180-degree phase switch, a crossover frequency control, an input sensitivity switch to optimize audio inputs, and best of all: a variable bass EQ with up to 9dB of boost at 70Hz. It’s small, it’s self-sufficient, it works with virtually any car audio system, you can uninstall it in seconds, and you can customize sound for your own preferences. And oh yeah – it sounds great.

Total home run, especially at this price.

Woofer Size: 10" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 200W

Reg Price:   $459.95


#6. The Best Budget Car Subwoofer: JBL CLUB 1024 10” Subwoofer

Why it won

JBL’s Club 1024 subwoofer makes for a great meat & potatoes upgrade to any vehicle. (P.S. JBL is a quality company and they don’t do junk –  at any price.) The JBL Club 1024 is a rugged polypropylene woofer with a durable rubber surround that comes with the option of selecting 2 or 4-ohm impedance with the flick of a switch. And you can crank it as high as you like – the Club 1024 uses up to 250 watts of continuous power handling and peaks at 1000. (We have a few economical amp suggestions that go great with the Club 1024.)

If you plan on enclosing the Club 1024, you only need .5 cubic feet. Or, if you want a ported enclosure, plan on 1.5 cubic feet for best results.

Bottom line: the JBL Club 1024 is our most economical way to upgrade your car’s audio – which is why it’s one of our better sellers – and a no-brainer way to enjoy awesome-sounding music on the road.

Woofer Size: 10" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 250W | Nominal Impedance: 2Ω or 4Ω

Reg Price:   $119.95


Why it won

The 47-pound, 12-inch, dual voice coil, JL Audio CS112G-W6v3 is a beast. You can rear fire, back fire, or down fire it. Recommended amp power = 300 watts RMS / 600 watts PEAK. The MDF-constructed, black carpet, built-in-America sealed enclosure is as good as it gets and includes multiple JL patented technologies, including JL Audio's proprietary Dynamic Motor Analysis system, or DMA for short.

DMA is a powerful suite of FEA-based modeling systems developed by JL Audio to address the issue of speaker motor linearity with the goal of reducing distortion. The result: far more accurate sound reproduction and powerful, articulate bass.

All in all, this is a versatile, high-quality bass driver in the strongest and best-sealed enclosure we’ve seen. If your goal is “as close to perfection as possible,” it’s hard to do better.

Woofer Size: 12" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 600W | Nominal Impedance: 2Ω


#8. The Best Sounding 10-Inch Car Subwoofer: Focal Sub P 25 F Expert 10" 4-Ohm Flax Cone Subwoofer

Why it won

Focal wins our “best-sounding, 10-inch subwoofer” prize with the P25F – a sub with an extremely rigid Flax cone (320 gr/m²) engineered by Focal for deep, powerful, awesome-sounding bass. (Flax is a hollow-tubed material that’s extremely strong, light, and much less expensive than the aramid fiber woofers used in Focal’s E 25 KX.)

P25F highlights include: double-stacked magnets, a 2-inch voice coil, and a rugged rubber surround. Power recommendations: 300W Nominal power, 600W Max. (We recommend a single-channel, 400 watt subwoofer amplifier that’s stable at 4 ohms.) And if you’re thinking about enclosing the P25F, plan for a 18.4-liter-closed cabinet or a 25-liter bass-reflex cabinet.

Specs aside: WOW. Focal continues to kill it in every respect. Build quality is exquisite, features are thoughtful and well-planned… and the sound is sublime. A great subwoofer fulfills a singular, necessary purpose which, at best, could be described as satisfying. With a great piece of music and the P25F turned up, Focal turns satisfying into thrilling.

Woofer Size: 10" | Continous Power Handling (RMS): 300W | Nominal Impedance: 4Ω

Reg Price:   $349.99


Awesome car audio? We got this.

That photo below? That’s part of our own custom car audio bay, and it’s where we’ve been doing award-winning, custom installations on cars, boats, and ATVs since 1979. The reason we’re pointing it out: so you know that we’re not just another online car stereo reseller – we have a national reputation for hands-on excellence. We don’t sell junk, we don’t do gimmicks, and we know what works. Whether you’re driving a 10-year-old Honda Civic or a brand new Tesla Model S, we can show you best-case-scenario options in all price ranges. 

World Wide Stereo Car Bay 

Need a great car stereo gift idea for dad? Looking to upgrade your car stereo, without ruining your car’s stock look? Our mobile electronics technicians love talking about this stuff, so please – call us at 1.866.961.7781 or email us here.  

One more thing...

Once you pick out your new sub, a last word of advice: buy it from a trusted dealer, and the more experience / the longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens. And if you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to talk to one of our car techs.

Speaking of trusted dealers… 

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. We’re brutally honest when it comes to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight. We love what we do, and we love sharing that love.

With us, you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, and support even years after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy." Ever.

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