The Best Car Subwoofers of 2019
Last updated on July 8, 2019
A Good Subwoofer = The Ultimate Back-Seat
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 2019” 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.)
Here Are Our Picks for the Best Car Subwoofers of 2019:1) The Best Compact Car Subwoofer: JL Audio CS110LG-TW1-2 2-Ohm 10" TW1-Series Subwoofer with Compact Enclosure
2) The Best Car Subwoofer Under $200: Kicker 42CWQ102 10" CompQ Subwoofer w/ Dual 2-Ohm Voice Coils
3) The Best Car 12-inch Subwoofer Under $200: Infinity Infinity Primus 1270B Slim 12" Subwoofer w/ Sealed Enclosure
4) The Best Car Subwoofer Under $300: Kicker 41L7102 10" Q-Class L7 Subwoofer w/ Dual 2-Ohm Voice Coils
5) The Best Car Subwoofer Under 500: Kicker 46CWTB102 10" 2-Ohm TB-Series Subwoofer Enclosure w/ Passive Radiator
6) The Best Powered Subwoofer For The Car: Infinity Powered 10" Subwoofer System
7) The Best Budget Car Subwoofer: JBL CLUB 1024 10” Subwoofer
8) The Best Sealed Car Subwoofer: JL Audio CS112G-W6v3 Sealed ProWedge™ enclosure with one 12" W6v3 subwoofer
9) The Best Sounding 10-Inch Car Subwoofer: Focal Sub P 25 F Expert 10" 4-Ohm Flax Cone Subwoofer
10) The Best Subwoofer For The Silverado Sierra: Kicker 2014-2017 Silverado/Sierra Double Cab PowerStage System
#1) The Best Compact Car Subwoofer: JL Audio CS110LG-TW1-2 2-Ohm 10 Inch TW1-Series Subwoofer with Compact Enclosure
BRAND & MODEL: JL Audio CS110LG-TW1-2 2-Ohm 10 Inch TW1-Series Subwoofer with Compact Enclosure
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…"
#2) The Best Car Subwoofer Under $200:Kicker 42CWQ102 10" CompQ Subwoofer w/ Dual 2-Ohm Voice Coils
BRAND & MODEL: Kicker 42CWQ102 10" CompQ Subwoofer w/ Dual 2-Ohm Voice Coils
REG PRICE: $199.95
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.
#3) The Best Car 12-inch Subwoofer Under $200:Infinity Infinity Primus 1270B Slim 12" Subwoofer w/ Sealed Enclosure
BRAND & MODEL: Infinity Infinity Primus 1270B Slim 12" Subwoofer w/ Sealed Enclosure
REG PRICE: $149.95
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.’
#4) The Best Car Subwoofer Under $300:Kicker 41L7102 10" Q-Class L7 Subwoofer w/ Dual 2-Ohm Voice Coils
BRAND & MODEL: Kicker 41L7102 10" Q-Class L7 Subwoofer w/ Dual 2-Ohm Voice Coils
REG PRICE: $249.95
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.
#5) The Best Car Subwoofer Under 500:Kicker 46CWTB102 10" 2-Ohm TB-Series Subwoofer Enclosure w/ Passive Radiator
BRAND & MODEL: Kicker 46CWTB102 10" 2-Ohm TB-Series Subwoofer Enclosure w/ Passive Radiator
REG PRICE: $349.95
Why it won
You want a serious, kick-ass subwoofer in the trunk, but don’t want to lose the storage space? Boom, done – the 10-inch Kicker TB-Series Tube Speaker was made to order for exactly that situation. Whether mounted horizontally or vertically, you will love the sheer power (works best with 400 watts of recommended power / 800 peak) and deep detail via the TB’s ABS tube construction.
Also included: spring-loaded terminals, a powerful ceramic magnet, a unique heat management system, Kicker’s signature red copper stitching, and protective grilles.
The Kicker TB-SeriesTube Speaker is a great idea for any tight space, including boats and ATVs – and it’s an easy choice for “best under $500.”
#6) The Best Powered Subwoofer For The Car:Infinity Powered 10" Subwoofer System
BRAND & MODEL: Infinity Powered 10" Subwoofer System
REG PRICE: $399.95
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.
#7) The Best Budget Car Subwoofer:JBL CLUB 1024 10” Subwoofer
BRAND & MODEL: JBL CLUB 1024 10” Subwoofer
REG PRICE: $74.95
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.
#8) The Best Sealed Car Subwoofer:JL Audio CS112G-W6v3 Sealed ProWedge™ enclosure with one 12" W6v3 subwoofer
BRAND & MODEL: JL Audio CS112G-W6v3 Sealed ProWedge™ enclosure with one 12" W6v3 subwoofer
REG PRICE: NA
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.
#9) The Best Sounding 10-Inch Car Subwoofer:Focal Sub P 25 F Expert 10" 4-Ohm Flax Cone Subwoofer
BRAND & MODEL: Focal Sub P 25 F Expert 10" 4-Ohm Flax Cone Subwoofer
REG PRICE: $349.99
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.
#10) The Best Subwoofer For The Silverado Sierra: Kicker 2014-2017 Silverado/Sierra Double Cab PowerStage System
BRAND & MODEL: Kicker 2014-2017 Silverado/Sierra Double Cab PowerStage System
REG PRICE: $1249.95
Why it won
This vehicle-specific upgrade kit by Kicker was made for the 2014 - 2018 Chevy Silverado and Chevy Sierra (see the spec list at the bottom for specific models) and requires a stock radio with 2 control knobs as indicated in the sketch below.
Installation is, for the most part, simple – no cutting required, given the PSIEXT14 mounts directly to preexisting factory locations. (Though mounting the amp under the dash takes a little time.) The kit includes the subwoofer and a high-efficiency 200 watt amp, plus mounting hardware and cables, etc. – and everything is optimized via 32-bit digital signal processing (DSP) tuned specifically for your vehicle. Three things are true:
1) The end-result looks totally OEM, in fact most of it is hidden. 2) The amplifier does an excellent job of parsing the signal – highs were crisp and crystal clear, mid-range occupies its very own space, and no surprise: bass rounds out the mix with serious punch.
And 3), trying to replicate the kit with a custom installation using different components would easily cost 2 or 3 times as much. Better to save your money, save time, and save your truck’s OEM look – a win / win / win by Kicker.
Made for: 2014 - 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab/GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab with base audio, or 2015 - 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 Crew Cab & GMC Sierra 2500/3500 Crew Cab with base audio. Not compatible with Bose audio systems. Not Compatible with RPO code IOB (7” screen with no CD slot). Does not work in 2019 and newer 1500 trucks.
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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 come 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.
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