There are many reasons why you might be looking for a subwoofer, from enjoying some bass to getting the most out of a car audio setup. The thing is, choosing the best 12-inch subwoofer is not an easy task. It can get confusing trying to figure out which one will provide the high-quality sound you are after while also being within your budget and finding space within your vehicle’s trunk or interior. To help you become a smarter buyer, we’ve put together a list of 12-inch subwoofers that are worth looking into.
Check also: 10 Best In-Wall Speakers
Best 12-inch Subwoofers
For those who don’t know, a 12-inch subwoofer is amongst the common sizes of subwoofers currently available on the market today. They are capable of producing a deep and powerful bass sound with great strength. They are also easy to install in any vehicle and many offer great value for their price. This article will feature the top 12-inch subs that can give you what you need without breaking your bank account or requiring too much space in your car.
Check also: Best Powered Bookshelf Speakers
1. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 4-Ohm 12-Inch 600-Watt RMS 1200-Watt Peak Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate is a well-known name in the car audio industry. This model, in particular, is one of their most rated products on Amazon. It features an advanced MDF construction with a blue poly-injection cone that can deliver up to 1200 watts of peak power. The subwoofer is also equipped with the patented VAST technology that helps boost sound and increase deep bass levels across the entire frequency range. The model has a compact design with tuned ports that allow excellent airflow for increased efficiency and linear excursion for great sound quality. It has an impedance of 2-ohm nominal/4-ohm maximum that allows it to pair easily with a wide range of amplifiers without having to worry about overloading them.
- Easy to install
- Produces sound quality with great bass output and powerful lows
- Great value for price
- Small mounting depth can make it difficult to fit inside some vehicles. You’ll need a custom box for it. It’s stock mounting depth is 3-3/4 inches. To get the best performance out of this model, you’ll need at least 4 inches of clearance behind your seat. It also requires a large port so the box must be big enough to accommodate those requirements. Backing off on power can also help increase sound quality, so you might want to try that instead of just getting an oversized box for the subwoofer.
2. Pioneer TS-A300D4
This model is designed with a true 4-ohm voice coil and 600 watts of peak power. Its polypropylene cone helps improve clarity and durability, whereas the graphite-reinforced poly cone helps reduce distortion and linear excursion for good sound quality. The subwoofer comes equipped with a patented VAST system that has been designed to help reproduce accurate mid-bass frequencies while still delivering deep bass levels. It also features a dual voice coil configuration that gives it an extended range of low-frequency responses.
- Available in a wide range of sizes
- Supports both 4-ohm and 2-ohm inputs for your amplifiers
- Produces deep bass levels across the entire frequency range
- Produces accurate mid-bass frequencies with rich sound quality. It’s capable of producing a deeper dive into the low frequencies compared to other subwoofers at its price range.
Its voice coil is only rated to handle around 400 watts before it starts to heat up, so you’ll want to take that in consideration if you plan on using this model with high-power amplifiers.
3. Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12″
The model uses a 1.95-inch voice coil for incredible bass output and linear excursion that helps produce great sound quality. It also has an MDF cabinet with a die-cast aluminum basket and a sturdy mounting plate that helps increase the unit’s strength. It’s equipped with a specially designed dual voice coil design that increases its range of low frequencies while also helping reduce distortion, which allows it to deliver accurate and full-bodied sound quality. Really strong voice coil for accurate bass response. Voice coil also comes with a high temperature and short-time thermal protection that helps it survive higher than average power levels from your amplifiers. High power capabilities allow you to pair this model with any amplifier regardless of its output power rating.
- Easy installation due to its compact design
- Production of consistent bass response throughout the entire frequency range is one of the best in its price range.
Lacks the ability to get a deep bass response if you don’t have enough room behind your seat, so might not be ideal for vehicles with small trunks or small-sized drivers that may find more room in back seats.
4. Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12-Inch 2000W Subwoofer
The 12-inch subwoofer comes equipped with a 2 inches voice coil and features a hybrid cone construction. The unit also offers a down-firing ported enclosure that helps enhance its sound quality by allowing maximum airflow and efficiency. It has a dual 4-ohm voice coil configuration and an impedance of 2 ohms nominal / 4 ohms minimum to allow great connectivity with amplifiers without needing to worry about overloading them.
- Full frequency response and linear excursion for deep bass reproduction
- Four-layer spider design allows it to produce clean deep bass tones at high power levels, which makes it ideal for those who want to push the limits of their audio systems.
- The cone is made of paper and might not be as durable as other models.
5. Pyle PLPW12D
The 12-inch subwoofer is a true 4-ohm design with a built-in 600-watt amplifier. It has been designed with an advanced stiff 1.5-inch aluminum cone and an advanced rubber surround, which help produce crystal clear sound quality at high power levels. It’s also equipped with a specially designed dual 4-ohm voice coil subwoofer that increases its dynamic range and gives it consistent deep bass levels no matter what type of music you play or how much power you are feeding it.
Produces deep bass levels that are rich, full-bodied, and accurate. It’s not meant to produce the low-end rumble that you might get from a subwoofer with an excessive cone diameter. Its small cone simply does its job by reproducing deep bass notes accurately without adding too much-unwanted distortion or additional resonances to its sound quality.
The included foam surrounds can become uncomfortable for some people because it tends to make you feel like you’re sitting on a block of foam. You might want to consider using something else instead if you’re sensitive about your seats feeling stiff or hard when sitting down.
6. MTX Audio Terminator Series
This model comes with a 3.5-inch voice coil and is equipped with a single 4-ohm voice coil configuration. The unit is made of cast aluminum and has a black durable powder-coat finish that helps it look great in any vehicle. It has a top plate design that helps improve airflow so you can expect to get a good bass response without distorting the sound quality. It uses an ICW (inside the coil wind) design, which helps reduce noise and distortion while improving the overall efficiency of the unit.
- Produces accurate bass response regardless of how much power you push it with
- The very compact design makes it ideal for tiny vehicles or cars where space is limited behind the seats.
- It doesn’t have a high power handling capacity.
7. Kicker 44CWCS124
This model uses a specially designed cone and surround configuration that allows it to produce detailed bass tones at high power levels without overloading your amplifiers or causing distortion. The unit also features a dual 4-ohm voice coil design, which allows it to play nice with virtually any compatible amplifier without suffering from low-frequency overload. It uses an extended 70 oz double-stacked magnet structure that helps improve response time and greatly reduces distortion in the system so you can enjoy great sound quality no matter the type of music you are listening to or the volume level at which it’s played.
- Optimized design for better bass response
- Impedance is easy to match with an amplifier via its dual 4-ohm voice coils so you can easily replace this model if it becomes damaged or stops working.
- Some users might find the voice coil to be too small for its price range.
Guide to Buying the Best 12 Inch Subwoofers
1. Price: How much are you willing to spend on a subwoofer? You can find subwoofers sold for less than a hundred dollars, but if you want the best sound quality, you’ll want to spend more money.
2. Power Handling: If you plan on using your car audio system seriously, then it is better to look for a subwoofer that has at least 1500 watts of peak power handling. The power handling determines how much power your amplifier can drive the subwoofer with before it starts to overheat and might damage the woofer. Overheating will cause distortion in the sound quality, so it’s not worth it unless you plan to turn your car into a mobile concert venue.
3. Speaker Size: The bigger the better if your budget allows it. Bigger subwoofers can produce more bass responses at higher power levels. The bigger the cone, the better bass response you’ll get at reasonable listening levels because they can easily handle higher power than most smaller-sized subwoofers.
4. Speaker Composition: Most subwoofers use paper cones, but some manufacturers are using composite cones that help reduce distortion and produce better sound quality. Composite cones tend to be sturdier but they are also slightly heavier than paper ones, so this is something you should consider before making a purchase decision on a particular model of the subwoofer.
5. Sensitivity: Sensitivity is the power in watts that your amplifier needs to drive the subwoofer at 1 standardized pressure. It distinguishes between different models of subwoofers when it comes to how much power your amplifier can easily handle with little chance of overloading. If you have multiple amplifiers, then a high-sensitivity model will benefit you because you can use a lower-powered amp and still get a good bass response.
6. Impedance: If you plan on buying multiple amplifiers, then make sure to keep an eye out for a subwoofer that has dual 4 ohms voice coils. This makes it easier to replace a subwoofer if one of them stops working because you’ll only need to replace the single low-quality 4-ohm voice coil with a high-performance dual 4-ohm voice coil. Your amplifier will then be able to drive the subwoofer at lower power levels and still produce great bass response.
7. Frequency Response: Some subwoofers have a range of 10 Hz to 20000 Hz while others have a range of 20 Hz – 20000 Hz. This means that some models can reproduce low bass notes (down to 20Hz), while other models can reproduce high-frequency notes (up to 20kHz).
What are the benefits of Subwoofers?
- 1. It improves the bass response of your car sound system by adding low-frequency sounds to your music.
- 2. The subwoofer amplifies the low-frequency sounds that can’t be heard by your ears and are only audio when played through speakers at high volume levels, which means you’ll enjoy even more powerful and detailed bass notes from your music.
- 3. You might be able to hear the subwoofer better in a vehicle due to its proximity to your ears since it’s usually placed as close as possible behind or under the seats of a car.
- 4. Subwoofers improve sound quality because they augment the low-frequency ranges of the audio signals sent from an amplifier.
You can get a vehicle with a 10-inch subwoofer, but if you want to experience the best sound quality while playing your music, then you should definitely increase the size of your subwoofer. The more bass notes that come through the system, the better. We have listed some of the best 12 inch subwoofers on the market in our guide and we hope you’ve found it useful. Happy troubleshooting and have fun!
Virat Raj is a Digital Marketing Practitioner & International Keynote Speaker currently living a digital nomad lifestyle. During his more than 10 years-long expertise in digital marketing, Virat Raj has been a marketing consultant, trainer, speaker, and author of “Learn Everyday yourself: In Pursuit of Learning” which has sold over 10,000 copies, worldwide.