Best 12 Inch Subwoofers for Cars 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Post by 
Tom Schaffer
Last updated on 
December 20, 2020
1. Skar Audio
  • Offers amazing sound reproduction
  • High roll foam surround
  • Extreme power handling
2. Rockford
  • Bss you desire when space is limited
  • It has the capacity to handle power under continuous demand
  • Provides clean and accurate bass
3. American Bass
  • These slim woofers can make full-sized woofers jealous
  • Best sounding shallow mount Subs
  • Excellent quality, powerful sound.

A subwoofer is basically an audio device that is used to produce low-pitched audio frequencies of sound - which is commonly called bass. They generally come paired with at least two speakers, and the combination of the subwoofer and the speakers allows you to have access to the full spectrum of high-quality sound. If you wish to take your car audio to the next level, then a good subwoofer can do wonders.

You will be surprised to hear the difference a good subwoofer can make to your car’s overall sound system. It's also important to mention that subwoofers are capable of enhancing the effects of realism and dynamics, which really make a difference in the sound quality that your music system is able to produce.

Subwoofers are a lot more than just loud bass, and in this article, we aim to give you a good picture of what makes a subwoofer worth buying. We will start with a list of some of the best subwoofers that we have found in the course of our extensive research.

We have consulted with some leading industry experts, to corroborate the findings of many online reviews and ratings given to the products of this list. Hopefully, upon reading this article, you will be able to buy the best 12-inch subwoofer for your car’s music system, so that you can listen to your favorite tracks, and enjoy higher audio standards on the go all the time.


Factors To Consider While Buying The Best 12 Inch Subwoofers For Your Car

In the next section, we will discuss some of the factors that determine the overall quality of a subwoofer.

1. Power

This is the first, and generally, one of the most important factors that people look at before choosing a particular subwoofer to buy for their car’s music system. A subwoofer that has higher power is able to produce more bass - so it is important. However, a powerful subwoofer usually requires a significant investment.

2. Voice Coils

This is a feature that is very popular among a lot of the users of subwoofers. The main reason for this is that voice calls give you a lot of flexibility. It also gives you much more room for having better choices in terms of wiring options.

3. Ease Of Installation

If you are a first-time buyer of a subwoofer and you have not used one before, then this is a very important factor for you to consider. Even for more seasoned users, the ease of installing a new subwoofer, and integrating it with your existing music system is crucial. This is why it is advisable to try and check the installation methods and procedures before buying a new subwoofer.

Make sure to check the specifics of the installation process to get the best idea of how simple or difficult your new subwoofer will be to set up. Some subwoofer models require professional help to get set up. However, there are some variants in the market, which you can get and set up yourself with minimum hassle.

4. Power Handling

This is another important point, as it determines the total amount of watts that your subwoofer is capable of accommodating. Anything more than 100 watts is quite impressive in this regard. However, make sure to be wary of a few that do not deliver as powerful of bass as the power handling rating might suggest.

Always make sure to check the reviews of specific products if you see buying subwoofers online. We have heard many reports of users, whose subwoofers have burnt up due to poor power handling. Make sure to always go for ones that have a good record of durability and can last you a good amount of time.

Top 8 Best 12 inch Subwoofers 2021

1. Skar Audio SDR-12 D2 12" Car Subwoofer

Skar Audio SDR-12 D2 12

Skar Audio is one of the best names in the field of music accessories, speakers, and woofers. It has also carved out a niche for itself in the subwoofer industry. The SDR-12 D2 is a 12-inch subwoofer that is perfectly suited for smaller cars, as it is highly compact and easy to install. It is designed to function as a hard-hitting, powerful subwoofer that produces the best quality low notes, and is also rated highly for its capacity for sound reproduction.

One of the most popular subwoofers in the market at this point in time, the Skar Audio SDR-12 D2 also comes with a specially designed voice call feature, that is sure to improve your overall audio experience. It comes in the form of a 2.5’’ high-temperature copper voice call, that is fitted into the Skar Audio Signature Red Spider. The speaker is also surrounded by a covering of high foam roll, that elevates the quality of sound that you can come to expect on a consistent basis.

The peak power rating of this subwoofer stands at a healthy 1200 watts. It also comes with a competition-grade pressed paper cone. The frequency response of this subwoofer ranges between 22 hertz to 300 hertz. The sensitivity rating is also adequate, at around 84 decibels. The item is relatively light in terms of weight as well and comes in at a very healthy 18.26 pounds. This is why it has been considered one of the best portable subwoofers that you can buy. For all of these reasons, we can say that this one comes with some very good positives, that enable it to be considered as the best 12-inch car subwoofer.


2. Rockford Fosgate R2SD4-12 12" Subwoofers Subs

Rockford Fosgate R2SD4-12 12 Subwoofers Subs

Rockford Fosgate is one of the most promising and ambitious brands in the audio accessories business. It has managed to strike the perfect balance between price, and features on offer with its subwoofer models, and this has led to a rapid increase in sales. The Rockford Fosgate R2SD4-12 subwoofer is light and compact - but also manages to pack a significantly powerful punch, while fitting into a relatively tight space.

It also features an elevated motor structure that manages to reduce the depth of space that it requires. The Rockford Fosgate R2SD4-12 comes with an anodized aluminum voice coil former, that is responsible for allowing greater and better levels of heat dissipation. This is crucial in the long run, as it allows your subwoofer to have a longer shelf life and greater consistency in performance. Our readers will also be pleased to know that this subwoofer is considered to fulfill the requirements of CEA-2031 industry standards. Along with this, you also have stitched tinsel leads, that manage to give a decent boost to reliability and long-term performance by reducing fatigue.

Furthermore, in accordance with the CEA-2031 industry standards, it also features a mica-injected polypropylene cone, that is responsible for providing you with clean, crisp, and accurate bass production. A lot of people are worried about issues relating to overheating while considering different car subwoofer options. This issue is virtually non-existent in the case of this subwoofer, as it comes with a StampCast basket with integrated spider venting, which is monumental in its efforts to control temperature spikes and extend the average lifespan of your device.

The product has a total weight of around 24 pounds approximately - which is pretty standard for subwoofers in this price range. This particular subwoofer has a lot of positive reviews online, and we can see why so many people are happy with the performance of this product. Based on all of this information, if you are looking for the best 12-inch subwoofer for cars, this might be one of your best bets.


3. American Bass 12" Subwoofer

American Bass 12

Our next subwoofer for cars comes from the highly popular brand, American Bass. This American Bass 12" shallow subwoofer has come as a pleasant surprise for many long term users of subwoofers. Just like most of the other products on this list, this one also comes with a really good rating - which is a testament to the fact that it has been overwhelmingly well-received by many users.

The speakers along with this subwoofer, have a maximum output power capacity of 1500 watts - which is more than enough to give you a powerful audio experience. This highly sought-after subwoofer was first released in November 2015 - and it has sold like hot cakes in the market ever since. The last thing about this subwoofer that we feel the need to mention, is that it is totally wireless. We have seen enough of this subwoofer to know that it has a very high ceiling in terms of its performance capacity. Considering all of these factors, we would definitely urge you to go for it without further delay.


4. Kicker 10" Subwoofer Enclosure

Kicker 10

This 10 inch, 600-watt subwoofer from Kicker is our next choice of product, for this list of the best car subwoofers under 12 inches. This one is classed as one of the most stylish and aesthetically pleasing subwoofer models. The vented, thin profile is mainly responsible for giving this pleasing aesthetic. Because of its profile, you can easily fit it in literally anywhere. A lot of the people who use these subwoofers have reported the best results when they place it under or behind a seat.

Weighing in at combined 30 pounds or so approximately, this subwoofer enclosure is very much a product that is easily manageable - and this is one of the major reasons as to why it has been so successful. As far as other markers are concerned, this one comes with a 4-ohm impedance and 93.8 dB of sensitivity. In terms of the analysis that we have carried out, there are not too many subwoofers for cars that are available at a better price than this one. Because of this, we urge you to consider it, as we are convinced you will be pleased with the results.


5. Dual Electronics LU43PW 3-Way High Performance Speakers

Dual Electronics LU43PW 3-Way High Performance Speaker

The Dual Electronics LU43PW is the next subwoofer on our list of the best subwoofers for cars under 12 inches. We have already had some really good ones on this list already, and we have a few more to go. This is the best of studio-quality speakers that we have found, that are suitable for cars and are guaranteed to give you some of the best music quality you can possibly hope to achieve. The impressive thing about this product is that it is capable of functioning as a dual speaker that can be used both indoors as well as outdoors.

It comes with 100 watts of peak power that will get you bouncing right away. The 3-way design is also hugely influential in giving you the kind of sound quality that you usually find in dedicated studio speakers. The LU43PW from Dual Electronics is a very durable product that comes in an ABS enclosure, which gives it solid protection and extends the average shelf life of the product in total. Additionally, it also comes with specifically designed protection against rain and other harsh weather elements.

Another point that a lot of people have highlighted about this subwoofer is that it is extremely versatile in terms of the way you can set it up. You can choose to mount it either horizontally or vertically, depending upon the specifics of the place where you wish to position it. Make sure to note that you do need a separate amplifier for this setup, as it does not come included in the package.

The frequency response of the Dual Electronics LU43PW ranges between the 100 kHz to 20 kHz mark. With a sensitivity of 85.5 decibels and a 100-watt peak power rating, this one is well capable of meeting all of your requirements and expectations. Considering all of these things that we have discussed, it is easy to see why this product is so widely celebrated, and we can guarantee you that you will be impressed by its performance.


6. Skar Audio SVR-12 D4 12" Subwoofer

Skar Audio SVR-12 D4 12

Most of us like to listen to our favorite tracks while driving, and a car subwoofer delivers to you the rich, full, and dimensional aspects of music. . The Skar Audio SVR-12 D4 car subwoofer is the answer to your search for the best car subwoofer available in the market.

This one is a 12-inch subwoofer, that can be easily fixed in your car in any place that is convenient. The peak power of this subwoofer is 1600 watts and its RMS power is 800 watts. RMS stands for Root Mean Square, and it indicates the amount of continuous power that the subwoofer can produce. This is basically the approximate power that the subwoofer can give as output - without any compromise on the quality.

It is the edgy design of this subwoofer that will appeal to you at the very outset before you can even check its performance. It is facilitated by an advanced cooling design that allows the subwoofer to reach a height of power without getting heated up. The 4-layer copper voice coil is an additional feature that lets you make the most of the Skar subwoofer. All of this combined together ensures that the sound produced is of low frequency and great quality.

The motor is a powerful, high flux ferrite one that further supports the airflow cooling design at 34 Hz. This subwoofer has been specially designed to provide you with a bass sensitivity that is deep, dynamic, and extremely powerful at 86.5 dB. A high roll foam surround is stitched to the pressed paper cone to assist in the production of better sound. The frequency response range of the subwoofer is 22 Hz- 300 Hz.

With a deep and rich bass that is precise to the point, you also get a mid-range volume that produces quite some tremor. The build quality of the subwoofer is solid so that the device is able to last for a very long time. The core specs are worth praising as well, and so is the efficient cooling system. A drawback of this subwoofer is that once you start playing the music at the highest volume, a deterioration in the performance is noticed.

Get home this beast today and fix it in your car to enjoy music like never before. Car rides will only become more fun with such an immersive musical experience, especially during long drives when you just want to enjoy the wind, the smooth ride, the company of close ones, and all your favorite songs.


7. MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D 12-Inch Sub Enclosure

MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D 12-Inch Sub Enclosure

MTX brings to you its Audio Terminator Series TNE212D dual subwoofers, which are well-known for their excellent performance and quality. Both the subwoofers in the enclosure are 12-inch devices. It is very rightly called the Terminator Series, because the subwoofers are strong, powerful, and exactly what you require for parties as well as some quiet time all by yourself. It suits all needs as per your requirements.

The maximum power output on the subwoofers is 1200 watts, and the RMS power is 400 watts, and that makes this subwoofer a power-efficient device. It is internally wired and connected to a 2-ohm final load. The voice coil around the subwoofer is sturdy and measures about 2 inches. It comes with a rubber surround, that improves the quality of sound to a great extent. You will notice the MTX audio logo on the dust-cap - and this adds a stylish edge to the entire design of the subwoofer.

It comes with a 48 oz magnet and a frequency response of 37-150 Hz. The carpet of the subwoofer is aviation-grade, which ensures a smoother quality of sound that does not echo or get distorted. The black carpeting is quite durable as well, and it will last for many years to come - without you having to purchase a new one. The dual subwoofer is compact, lightweight, and wireless. Hence, you can place it in any part of the house, and expect it to easily fit in with the home decor.

You can also carry the subwoofer around from one place to another without any hassle. The wireless feature is an added advantage since it prevents the coiling up of wires that can be quite frustrating and difficult to untangle. MTX offers a 1-year warranty on this dual subwoofer. Consult the brand, if any damage takes place or if you are unable to operate the device at any point. It is best to keep such electronic devices away from the clutches of small children for their own safety.


8. Alphasonik AS12DF 12" Subwoofer

Alphasonik AS12DF 12

The Alphasonik AS12DF is our last and final product on this list of the best 12-inch subwoofers for cars. Alphasonik has emerged as a very good, viable option for a lot of individuals who are looking to buy their first subwoofer. It comes with a maximum power rating of 1500 watts - which is very good by market standards. The material used to build this beauty is the spun aluminum core, which gives it a very sturdy and durable base that ensures its long shelf life.

The frequency response of the Alphasonik AS12DF varies between 26 hertz to 500 hertz. Additionally, the high strength rubber, with enhanced EPDM is responsible for the enhanced sound quality that gives the perfect feel of high quality, surrounds sound. Furthermore, the AS down-firing enclosure is able to optimize bass response with a much higher degree of efficiency that ultimately leads to richer, deeper, heart-pounding low-frequency sounds - regardless of the enclosure installed position.

Along with the sleek design of this product, it is perfectly suitable for vertical as well as horizontal mounting capacity and can fit in the tightest of spaces. Also, the durable MDF wood construction manages to significantly boost its overall durability and enables it to function for longer durations without failure and exposure to damage. Considering all of these factors, it is easy to see why this subwoofer has been welcomed so well by consumers. We have enough proof of its capacity for performance, and we would urge you to place your faith in it too.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Are The Different Types Of Subwoofers That I Can Use For My Car’s Music System?

Subwoofers are of three main types, and we will discuss each one in brief. The first type of subwoofers that are popular in the current market is known as active or powered subwoofers. These ones come with their own amplifiers, which are there to address any issues of inadequate power. Thanks to its own power source, active subwoofers are able to produce more powerful and booming sound. Powered subwoofers are very easy to connect as well - which is why so many people choose to go for it.

The second category of subwoofers that are popular nowadays is enclosed subwoofers. If you have never used a subwoofer for your car’s music system, and you are looking for something to give you the taste and feel of high-quality music, then this one is your ideal choice. They come in a pre-mounted setup as well, which is another factor that makes it a very good option for beginners. Apart from this, enclosed subwoofers are generally quite compact and can fit in tight spaces - which always helps in the limited space capacity of a car. It also has the added advantage of being very easy to install and setup.

The third and final variant of subwoofers that we have come across is commonly called component subwoofers. These ones only come along with separate speakers. The major disadvantage of this type of subwoofer is that you will need to purchase the enclosure and the amplifier separately - that will result in additional spending. The upside of using a subwoofer of this variety is that you have a lot of flexible room for your own individual preference, in terms of customization.

Q2. What Are The Major Benefits Associated With Using A Subwoofer For Cars?

One of the biggest reasons why people buy subwoofers to complement their car’s music system is that it manages to significantly reduce or prevent distortion altogether. Another very important reason as to why subwoofers are popular among many audio enthusiasts is because it actually manages to enhance the performance as well the long term lifespan of your speakers.

It's all well and good if your speakers are capable of playing heavy bass, but it's very demanding for your speakers and causes them to wear out over time. Without subwoofers, your speakers will wear out quickly if you play a lot of bass-heavy stuff, as they are simply not built to play powerful sounds all of the time.

However, the most popular reasons as to why people invest in subwoofers and you should as well is because it completely transforms your audio experience once and for all. Most car stereo systems are decent in terms of performance - but they fail massively in terms of a direct comparison of sound quality with another subwoofer- powered music systems. Not only do you have the chance of getting better bass, but you also have the opportunity of adjusting frequency notes according to your own audio sensibilities.


In this article today, we endeavored to give you the best, and most comprehensive review of the best 12-inch subwoofer for cars. We started off with a brief intro regarding what subwoofers were, and how and why you should get one for your car’s music system if you don't have one already. Following this, we moved on to our next section - where we compiled our list of the best and most impressive subwoofers that you can buy at a very affordable price. We have consulted some of the leading industry experts to finalize the products on this list. It is also important to mention that a lot of these subwoofers have really good online ratings and reviews - which are a testament to the capacity of these products.

After the list, we moved on to some of the important factors that you should follow as pointers, in order to get the best value for your money while going for a subwoofer. We have tried to keep things relatively simple and straightforward in this aspect, as we want to reach out to beginners and newbies who are relatively inexperienced in buying products of this kind. Hopefully, the information we have compiled for you in this article equips you to make a more informed and nuanced choice with respect to the subwoofer that you ultimately decide to go for.

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