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10-Inch Subwoofers: When You Absolutely Need Bass

Ten-inch subwoofers represent some of the very best in car audio. Window-rattling, earth-shattering, gut-wrenching bass are some of the evocative imagery that people associate with subwoofers. With that in mind, what makes 10-inch subwoofers so great?

You Won’t Find These 10″ Subs at Subway: The 10″ Subwoofer

A 10-inch subwoofer for your vehicle produces more than just thundering bass; it delivers the power and clarity for low frequency sounds to really explore the sonic space of your favorite tunes. 

The best 10 inch subwoofer is going to not only grant you great bass response, but the clarity and crispness of bass at higher volumes will be significantly better. In this guide, we will take a comprehensive look at 10-inch subwoofers, and review the best products worth considering. 

What are 10-Inch Subwoofers?

In essence, a 10-inch subwoofer allows you to boost your bass on the volume of music or audio in your car speakers. 

Modern, door-mounted car stereo speakers may be able to reproduce crystal clear higher frequencies, but the small size cannot generate adequate low frequencies without heavily distorting. 10-inch subwoofers are able to reproduce frequencies below 80 Hertz on average, giving you that rich, full-bodied bass that really makes your music come to life.

These types of subwoofers also allow you to improve higher frequency performance. Subwoofers generally receive power from an independent amplifier so you can adjust the crossover frequency of your stereo. This sends all the low bass notes to the sub and sends the higher frequencies only to the woofers and tweeters. 

Standard stereo speakers have to handle both frequencies, but subwoofers let the woofers and tweeters maximize midrange and high frequencies.

A 10-inch subwoofer provides smoother sound without distortion. The best 10-inch subwoofers give you rich, dynamic, and crystal clear sound performance for all frequencies. You’ll be able to rock out to smoother sounding music free of distracting distortion—at neighborhood-friendly and Friday night volume levels.

10-inch subwoofers also come with versatile installation options. A subwoofer provides a bigger speaker enclosure for your bass notes to fully resonate, but its larger size means that it cannot fit inside your narrow car doors. Thankfully, a subwoofer generates non-directional audio so it can be installed in your vehicle’s trunk or under a seat, depending on the model or your preference.

With this in mind, 10-inch subwoofers come in a wide variety of types and customizations. Let’s take a brief look at each. 

Component 10-Inch Subwoofer

Component subwoofers are just the speaker itself, without the enclosure or amplifier. 

Components subs are offered in an assortment of shapes depending on how you prefer the subwoofer to be customized. These are the ideal type of subwoofers for shoppers looking to highly-customize their audio system with personally selected speakers, enclosures, and amplifiers. 

Powered 10-Inch Subwoofer

Powered 10-inch subwoofers are mounted inside a small, tidy enclosure and are powered by an amplifier. This type of subwoofer produces effective bass frequencies and great overall sound quality, but its compact enclosure prevents it from generating the power necessary for the hard-hitting low frequencies that rattle your fillings. 

Still, the small size and easy installation make them an attractive option for shoppers looking for a straightforward, space-saving sub.

Enclosed 10-Inch Subwoofer

Enclosed 10-inch subwoofers come pre-mounted into an enclosure designed for a perfect fit with the sub. You will have to source an amplifier with this kind of subwoofer. Though there aren’t as many enclosed subwoofers options to choose from, this is a perfect choice for buyers who want a convenient subwoofer setup. 

Vehicle-Specific 10-Inch Subwoofer

Vehicle-specific subs are designed to fit in convenient, space-saving locations in many cars, trucks, and SUVs, and are frequently color-matched to your vehicle’s interior. These subwoofers come pre-mounted in an enclosure engineered for best sound quality and fit with your particular ride. This is an excellent option for consumers who are looking for a convenient, space-efficient subwoofer solution that offers OEM-style and finish.  

Sensitivity Rating for 10-Inch Subwoofers

Sensitivity rating is the method for measuring the capacity of the subwoofer to convert power into volume. Subs with a higher sensitivity rating number need less power to generate loud, bassy sound without compromising clarity. Generally, sensitivity measurements of above 84 dB are considered decent, while any rating above 90 dB is regarded as excellent.

10-Inch Subwoofers are Perfect Enclosure Type Subwoofers

The type of enclosure your subwoofer is mounted into has a huge impact on how it sounds. If you want to maximize the volume of your sub, mount it into a ported enclosure. Its optimal airflow produces more sound while using less power. 

Alternatively, if you prefer a more precise, tight sound, mount your sub into a sealed enclosure. A sealed enclosure needs more power to produce the same volume as a ported enclosure.  

Power Handling of 10-Inch Subwoofers

The two most vital power handling ratings are Continuous (RMS) and Peak. Peak power handling indicates how much power a subwoofer can handle for brief periods of time. RMS denotes how much power a sub can handle continuously for long periods of time, making it the more important number to consider. 10-inch subwoofers meet both of these metrics

Impedance of 10-Inch Subwoofers

Impedance is the effective resistance of an electric circuit to the current flow, measured in ohms. The majority of 10-inch subwoofers for cars, trucks, and SUVs are rated at 4 ohms, but there are other options rated at 2 ohms and 8 ohms. Both a subwoofer and amplifier need to have the same impedance rating in order for them to work together. 

What Is The Best 10-In Shallow Mount Subwoofer?

Pioneer TS-A3000LS4

This 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer from Pioneer has a peak power handling ability of 1,200 watts and a power range of 100 to 300 watts. It has a Mica-injected resin cone. This helps it to produce an accurate bass sound. 


The frequency response is between 20 and 125 Hz. If you’re looking to really pump the sound and have a powerful system, then this subwoofer will be able to keep up. It’s also easy to install with its shallow mount design. 

You’ll get a louder and deeper sound out of this speaker, thanks to its ability to move more air than comparable speakers. Unfortunately, you may find that it can’t perform to the wattage that Pioneer claims. 

Despite the speaker being 10 inches, it doesn’t fit a standard-sized box, which means you’ll have additional costs of custom-fitting your new speaker. You may also find that the sound this speaker produces isn’t as smooth as others.

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How Many Watts Is A 10-In Subwoofer?

Unfortunately, when it comes to overall wattage, the answer is it depends. 

Take a 90-amp alternator X a 12-volt system, this comes to 1080 watts of power. A basic battery has around 500-600 amps of reserve power, so around 6000 watts. It would be best if you are upgrading the alternator to a 140 to cover those periods of heavy power draw. If you overwork the alternator, it could drain the battery down, making it where the car won’t even crank. 

It could also decrease the lifespan of the battery or fry the alternator.  Take note that the car basically runs off the alternator while running – the battery is just responsible for holding a reserve charge so that it can start the car. If you draw too much power through the sound system, you will only have a little amount of power left for accessories like the air conditioner.

To understand this, you need to know what is making the subwoofer loud. This isn’t going to be a science lesson with a lot of diagrams and technical equations. We’re going to give you a basic explanation of the sound pressure level and subwoofer power handling.

Note: Some audio manufacturers may promote ridiculous Peak Power ratings and this is solely a marketing tactic used to get people to think their product will be better, louder, and more powerful. However, if you ever actually took the time to sit down and look at the bizarre math calculations they developed, you’ll see that those numbers aren’t exactly realistic.

How Much Is A 10-In Subwoofer?

10 inch subwoofers range in price from $50 up to $500 depending on type, power and size. Car subwoofers are typically more expensive than regular home theater subwoofers that are designed for movies and music. 10 inch subwoofers are designed for high power bass and high volume playback.

What Is the Best Shallow Mount Subwoofer?

Pioneer TS-SWX2502

The shallow-mount subwoofer that comes preloaded in the TS-SWX2502 utilizes an oversized cone structure that provides greater cone and gasket surface without changing its standard external dimension. This cone surface allows the subwoofer to produce louder deeper bass by moving more air. 

Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10 inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure

It is made of a highly rigid cone made of MICA injection-molded resin which creates a rigid and durable cone, giving it the ability to produce accurate bass. The subwoofer includes a dual spider to provide more cone motion control for optimized stiffness stabilizing the excursion of the cone and support the subwoofer’s linear movement for accurate bass response. 

This subwoofer is easy to install with carpeted, non-slip and scratch resistant enclosure surfaces. 

Due to a creative enclosure design, the TS-SWX2502 enclosure can be installed quickly and easily for optimal utilization of space. Compact space-saving dimensions make it easy to fit the subwoofer in a variety of vehicles: standard-cab, extended-cab, or crew-cab.

The Pioneer TS-SWX2502 subwoofer delivers excellent sound quality, great for any type of music.

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What Is the Best Overall 10-In Sub?

Skar Audio SDR-10 Inch Subwoofer

The Skar Audio SDR-10 D4 10-inch dual 4-ohm subwoofer was engineered to dish out reliable, hard hitting, and low spectrum sound. Featuring a high flux ferrite motor, this woofer will provide extreme power handling for extended periods of time. 

Skar Audio SDR-10 D4 10

The SDR series will quickly become an overall favorite of many, as it’s perfect for people just entering the world of car audio all the way up to seasoned pros. 

The SDR-10 dual 4-ohm 10-inch car subwoofer features a 2.5-inch high temperature 4-layer high temperature copper voice coil that is attached to a Skar Audio signature red spider. The surround on the SDR series is a high roll foam surround which allows the woofer to produce riveting low end bass response. The SDR series has a max power rating of 1,200 watts and a RMS power rating of 600 watts.

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