If you’re reading this, it is likely because you are on the hunt for the best 12-inch subwoofers to transform your music with bigger, heavier bass. And we’re willing to bet that the speakers currently installed in your car do not meet the task. You came to the right place.
Equipping your car’s audio system with high-quality speakers is a great way of making the sound better. We all know that, right. And when it comes to sound, more is better in our book. Big car speakers like 6x9s provide a good deal of bass. However, there’s a limit to the amount of bass these speakers and even smaller 8” subs and 10” subs can give.
Choosing the best 12″ subwoofer is a big decision and we’re here to help. Take a look at our curated list of the best 12 inch subwoofers before you buy.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table for Top 10 12 Inch Subwoofers 2021
- How to Find the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer
- Best 12 Inch Subwoofers 2021 FAQs
- How much power does a 12-inch sub need (and can it handle)?
- How much space do I need for the installation of a 12-inch subwoofer?
- What are shallow-mount subwoofers?
- How do I make sure that I get earth-shattering, deep bass?
- Can you run two 12-inch subs in a truck box?
- How do I choose an amplifier for my 12-inch sub?
- I already have an amplifier, how do I find a matching sub?
- Do I need a professional to install my 12-inch subwoofer?
- Why we picked the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Subwoofer
Comparison Table for Top 10 12 Inch Subwoofers 2021
A lot of research work was put into this review. Our sound engineers and expert installers teamed up with experienced reviewers and real users to provide unbiased and accurate content on different aspects of each speaker.
We focused our efforts on the best of each top-performing subwoofer brand, carried out numerous tests and incorporated diverse comments from team members to come up with this comprehensive review. Let’s get started!
1. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12: Best 12” Subwoofer 2021
|Peak Power:||1200 W|
|Frequency Range:||27.7 – 250 Hz|
Rockford Fosgate has always led the subwoofer market with bass systems that best match your lifestyle and passion for music.
The P3D4-12 12-inch sub is where innovation and efficiency in sound production meet. The sub delivers deep, aggressive bass and has stunning aesthetic features that will make your car’s interior more attractive.
The winning features of the P3D4-12 subwoofer
- Big subwoofers usually heat up during high SPL conditions. Not the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 12-inch sub! With the anodized aluminum voice coil formers, this sub exhibits superior heat dissipation. The aluminum metal is like a heat-sink that quickly dissipates heat before it builds up on the voice coil.
- Louder sound but simpler installation: Rockford Fosgate sets the standard with the VAST technology. The P3D4-12 uses a VAST surround that significantly increases the effective radiating cone area. This means you get more sound from this speaker than from other models of the same size.
- Durable sub that can handle power up to 1200 watts: The P3D4-12 is a real sound horse. All the features are designed in the best way to ensure flawless production of more beefy bass notes and louder sound.
- Stitched tinsel leads create robust build: Lead wires are designed in the best way for high-quality sound performance. The multipoint stitched lead wire technique significantly reduces the wire’s mass and allows for the spreading of stress and strain over a bigger area, so that the leads can withstand fatigue, high current and extreme duty cycles.
- Passed industry standards: For the P3D4-12, the CEA-2031 certification means the sub can handle high power continuously. Listen to music at high volumes for many, many hours; and your voice coils will never get damaged.
- FlexFit basket for easy install
- Super strong build
- Can accommodate up to 1200 watts
- Excellent stamp-cast basket cone design
- Can dissipate heat quickly
- Reasonable price for the great features and performance
- CEA-2031 industry standard certification
- Doesn’t come with enclosure
- May need a powerful amp to produce the best bass
Our say: If you want to get the best value from your subwoofer installation, have this bass leader installed in your car.
The P3D4-12 offers resounding bass, excellent sound quality and unrivaled heat dissipation.
Go to Amazon and check out the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12. We think it’s one of the best subs you can get today.
2. Pioneer TS-A300D4 – Best of Champion Series
|Peak Power:||2000 W|
Many of the 12-inch subs that passed through our review panel proved to be durable and portable.
However, the flexibility of the TS-A300D4 got a lot of head nods from users. Wire this subwoofer according to your needs: together at 1- or 4-ohm, or separately at 2 or 8 ohms – and see what you get.
Benefits of Installing Pioneer TS-A300D4
- Impressive power capacity: Handling up to 2000 w of power, this sub is truly powerful. There’s no doubt about getting loud sound with this sub. It will kick out strong low frequencies for total enjoyment of your favorite tunes.
- Highly efficient in sound reproduction: The high sensitivity rating of 96 decibels puts this sub ahead of the pack. The sub is able to use power efficiently to produce sound. This makes it a good option if you want to hook up your low-powered car stereo with a powerful 12-inch subwoofer.
- Pioneer is the champion of high-quality, durable build designs: If you like elegant audio equipment, you will fall in love with the Pioneer TS-A300D4 at first glance. This heavy-duty 12-inch sub champions a rigid ribbed aluminum basket, a premium grade IMPP composite cone, and highly durable elastic dual layer polymer surround.
- Reputation of competition-level sound performance: Pioneer is universally known for its unmatched performance. This bass giant hits really hard. Just couple it with a powerful amplifier and thoughtfully-designed enclosure and you’ll be the guy (or girl) everyone is talking about.
- Suitable for many car models
- High (2000W) peak power level
- Spider design for better cooling
- Enjoy strong lows down to 20Hz
- Strong build quality for better performance and enhanced durability
- Quite heavy and therefore not that portable
- Can smoke when sub is run on higher wattages
Verdict: Pioneer TS-A300D4 excellently balances quality, performance and aesthetics.
It seems like a highly attractive option if you are looking for bigger bass and don’t mind having a big, heavy sub in your car’s trunk.
3. Planet Audio AC12D – Best for Sealed Box
|Peak Power:||1800 W|
Earn the bragging rights for bass wherever you drive. With an RMS of 900w, Planet Audio’s best sub, the AC12D, rules the bass effortlessly.
It’s designed with different enclosure types in mind but one thing doesn’t change: it is a bass beast. See its powerful features below.
Planet Audio AC12D Attributes
- Enhanced audio quality: The AC12D sports a polypropylene injection cone and foam surround. The least you can expect from this combo is improved quality of the sound produced by your car stereo.
- Excellent lows at high volumes: The AC12D is designed for those who want to make a premium car audio system. It uses a dual voice coil that helps to deliver plenty of punch at all volumes. This powerful bass performance is enhanced by the sub’s high RMS of 900w.
- Choose what type of bass you want: This sub thrives well both in a ported and sealed enclosure. If you are looking for greater SPL output and thumping bass, fit the sub in a ported enclosure and make sure the amplifier has a subsonic filter. For solid, tight bass, use a sealed enclosure.
- Can be installed in a wide variety of vehicles: The subwoofer has a resonance frequency of 32Hz and is small enough to be fitted in cars of different sizes. So, there is nothing to worry about the size of the sub no matter the type of car you have.
- Higher power handling capacity than other top ranking subs
- Excellent low end frequencies
- Small size and lightweight
Dual voice coils allow for sound quality improvement
- Great sonic value at reasonable price
- Can be used with ported and sealed enclosures
- Slightly lower sensitivity compared with other subs
- Doesn’t come with enclosure
Our say: This sub comes with outstanding features and you don’t have to be an expert to install it.
We think it a great bang for your buck especially if you want greater bass at higher volumes without roughing up your budget.
Order Planet Audio AC12D today and start ruling the bass wherever you drive.
|Peak Power:||2000 W|
|Frequency Range:||27 – 300Hz|
Why Kenwood KFC-XC1241??
Power, reliability, high-quality sound, and attractiveness are what you get from Kenwood KFC-XC1241. The sub is one from Kenwood’s Echelon Series. It comes with a promise of punchy, reliable bass in your car.
Let’s get deeper into the specs of this award-winning 12-inch subwoofer.
Features of Kenwood KFC-XC1241
- Earth-shaking maximum power handling: KFC-XC1241 2000W MAX power rating ushers you into party mood even when driving. Most of the real users who had a chance to test this sub loved its heavy and solid bass. With KFC-XC1241, your long journeys will change from boring to total enjoyment.
- Square Array Pattern helps to ensure the cone is protected from warping to facilitate continuous heavy bass production. A dual ventilation system adds even more protection to the sub. It helps to get heat out of the motor structure so that the speaker gives out those pleasurable long, loud jams.
- Rich, high-quality audio: The sub can handle extra-long cone excursion thanks to the heavy-duty polypropylene cone that is reinforced with tough rubber surround. Superior audio performance is also enhanced by the over-sized diaphragm and 4-ohm voice coil with an 8 AWG push terminal.
- Dual ventilation system and ‘Stress-free spider’: These two features work together to enhance the mechanical durability of the sub and allow for the release of heat from the motor so that the sub performs optimally for long duration.
- Good low-frequency output: The KFC-XC1241 is designed in such a way that the area of the cone is increased while maintaining a constant cutout diameter. This design is aimed at making it easier for the sub to achieve great lows.
- High power handling
- Pocket-friendly price
- Great thermal resilience and mechanical durability
- Sturdy design further enhances durability
- Can be installed in small cars
- Relatively lower sensitivity
- Bass may get distorted when power limit is exceeded
Our say: Take advantage of Kenwood’s decades of extensive experience in building market leading subs. The KFC-XC1241 12″ sub is a sure bet to more powerful and reliable bass in your car.
Upgrade your sound system with this baby today.
5. Pyle PLPW12D
|Peak Power:||1600 W|
|Frequency Range:||27 – 300Hz|
Pyle is slowly becoming the go-to place for a wide range of electronics and is noted for its rich collection of subs that enrich your media experience.
For the 12-inch subwoofer category, Pyle presents the PLPW12D 1600W dual 4-ohm sub, built with top-notch technology to revolutionize your car stereo’s sound.
Features and Benefits of Pyle PLPW12D
- It is exceptionally loud and powerful: A power handling of 800w RMS tells you that the PLPW12D doesn’t make a joke out of the power it gets. With a sensitivity of 90dB, a 60 Oz magnet and double layer 4 Ohm voice coil, expect quite superior sound volume and great lows at all volumes.
- Accurate and distortion-free sound production: As you know, the audio performance of any speaker largely depends on the cone design and material. Pyle PLPW12D champions a non-press paper cone that enables it to produce crystal-clear sound that doesn’t have the slightest trace of distortion.
- Outstanding speaker construction: A specially treated foam surround has been used to build this sub. The surround works seamlessly with the paper cone to deliver high-quality bass and better overall sound. Using foam surround is also aimed at improving the durability of the sub.
- Rigid and sturdy steel basket is used to offer the best protection for the interior of the sub. In addition to the basket being highly durable and reliable, it also makes it possible for the sub to be installed in a wide selection of locations inside the car.
- The sound quality is dynamite
- The exterior of the speaker is outstanding
- It produces a crystal-clear sound
- The highs and lows are superb
- Paper cone not very durable
- Installation may require expert help
Verdict: The Pyle PLPW12D is an intelligently engineered premium-quality sub is a great addition to a system that needs a highly efficient bass-focused driver.
|Peak Power:||2500 W|
|Frequency Range:||30 – 300Hz|
We thought we had exhausted everything about bass production until the Skar EVL-12D2 provided us with a sneak peek of the unique value offered by the Skar Audio EVL series of subs.
Viewed from any angle, this sub features an array of distinctive features that enable it to handle low-frequency notes with authority.
What to expect from Skar Audio EVL-12 D2
- Blow the car roof off with loud sound: Yes! This sub is among the most powerful we have come across during our recent subwoofer reviews. What can you do with 2500w of power handling capability? Think about that as you explore more about Skar Audio EVL-12 D2.
- Does this sub heat up during high power performance? Before buying such a powerful sub, you would probably want to know how it handles heat. During extended high power sound performance, the Audio EVL-12 D2 still remains cool thanks to the high-temp, 4-layer aluminum voice coil and the advanced cooling design.
- A flawless, riveting bass response: If you’ve experienced Skar before, you’d be looking for EVL’s signature spider design, high-temp coil, premium stitched wires and competition-level cone when you lay hands on this sub. Surely, you’ll find these features working together to producing a uniquely clear, articulate and deep bass.
- A heavy-duty double stack magnet ensures that the voice coil moves efficiently for precise sound response. The big, high-grade magnet is well matched with other heavy performance features to ensure that the sub produces the loudest sound and the biggest bass possible.
- Powerful sound production
- Deep and punchy bass
- Remains cool at all times
- High power handling capability
- Strong voice coil withstands extreme performance conditions
- Low sensitivity
- Heavy and challenging to install for some people
- May be too loud for some
Our view: If you are here for a powerful 12” sub that will turn your car into a bass powerhouse, grab yourself a Skar Audio EVL-12 D2. Quite simply, it kicks ass.
|Peak Power:||1200 W|
|Frequency Range:||27 – 500Hz|
Do you only have a little trunk space available for a subwoofer installation?
Are you wondering where to get the best 12-inch sub for some low-end muscle in your music?
This Kicker sub will kick big bass from the trunk to the entire car. It’s compact, powerful and highly efficient.
Features of Kicker-44DCWC122
- Maximum performance for all kinds of music: The 44DCWC122 comes with a rugged ported enclosure, which is the perfect enclosure design for this kind of subs to produce big bass. You will enjoy every jam in your playlist as this vented box does some magical sweetening of any tune that goes through the speaker system.
- Reliable for extended performance durations: Some subs give up amid heavy bass performance. Kicker has done everything to make sure there isn’t even the slightest chance of this happening while you use the 44DCWC122. That’s why a ribbed foam surround is used to promote long excursion and keep the flex-resistant cone on target.
- Built to last: Whoever put up the subwoofer box had the best idea of durability in mind. Solid wood and nice gray carpeting on top has emerged to be one of the most impressive enclosure designs. The speaker itself is also built with tougher material than those found in most subwoofers.
- Mind-blowing sensitivity: Everybody takes note of the high sensitivity of this Kicker sub model. 99.9dB is way higher than most speakers in our review. This sub is the best match for a low-powered car audio system since it can use the little available power to produce big beats.
- Highly compact hence it requires small installation space
- High power handling than other subs in the list
- Very high sensitivity
- Great cooling mechanism
- Rugged, vented enclosure for superior sound performance
- Wiring kit needs improvement
- Can perform better with a stronger amp
- Small size is not great for bigger vehicles
Verdict: We recommend Kicker 44DCWC122 if you need a quick upgrade to your sound system. It’s especially great for subwoofer newbies.
|Peak Power:||2000 W|
Still looking for a smaller sub that adds packs of punch? American Bass XFL1244 is for the people who cannot compromise on their love for music.
Its extra strong construction and great sonic capabilities landed a place among the best subs 2021. Even the most demanding sound enthusiast finds the XFL1244 satisfying.
What features makes the XFL1244 the best?
- First, the weight of the sub while in the package will give you a rough idea of the kind of no-joke subwoofer you are about to experience. This thing weighs around 35 pounds; American Bass was not going to fool you around with heavy weight and no bass. Just test it and verify.
- Reputation of distortion-free loud bass: American Bass subs are well known for giving out low and loud bass notes. Our lab tests found out that the sub can handle extreme amounts of power. Combining this power capability with other design features, we confirmed that the sub is really reliable for bass production.
- Built to hit really hard and remain intact: Meet the most robust subwoofer design in this model. An aluminum voice coil is attached to a three layer progressive spider that connects to the suspension. The spider diameters are anchored to the woofer frame via a synthetic spider landing. You can only find such a robust design in best performers like the American Bass.
- High-excursion abilities: A continuous power rating of 1000 watts is exceptional and requires a proper plan for heat handling. The XFL1244 uses a 3-inch copper coil wound on an anodized former for improved heat dissipation. A strong cast aluminum basket and anodized motor assembly also help to handle heat.
- 220-oz high-energy magnet for powerful sound production
- Heavy-duty construction
- High continuous power handling
- Very clean and loud sound
- Smaller in size thus perfect for installation in smaller spaces
- Sub freezes when run under excessive power limits
- Installation is a bit challenging
- Doesn’t come with enclosure
Verdict: This sound beast is reasonably priced and we think it is a perfect choice if you are searching for high power handling and above average sonic performance.
Don’t spend too much to get hard-hitting bass and better sound performance. Check out the American Bass XFL1244.
|Peak Power:||600 W|
|Frequency Range:||22 – 250Hz|
JL Audio combines a number of patented technologies to achieve great efficiency, excursion, and linearity.
Its power handling may be lower than the majority of competitor subs but its performance speaks for itself.
Let’s review some of the features that make the 12W0V3 an attractive option.
JL Audio 12W0V3-4 Features
- Generous amounts of excursion with large roll surround: Being part of the W0V3 series, this sub sports a rigid polypropylene cone that is highly resistant to flexing. This cone is able to withstand extra-long excursion thus allowing the sub to hit deep without distortion of low notes.
- Elevated frame helps to cool the voice coil: Another distinguishing aspect of the JL Audio 12W0v3 sub is the use of advanced cooling systems throughout the subwoofer frame. The Elevated Frame Design, in particular, is a big plus for the sub as it improves power handling and heat dissipation significantly.
- Long-lasting materials: The hefty 2” voice coil, durable foam surround, and mineral-filled polypropylene cone assure you that your sub is strong enough to deliver top-notch performance even under extreme conditions. In addition, the subwoofer is designed to work in sealed or ported enclosures, and there’s an option to add a grill for more protection.
- Tight, clean, articulate bass with DMA optimized motor: The JL Audio 12W0V3 sub features JL Audio’s proprietary DMA (Dynamic Motor Analysis) system that’s majorly responsible for reduced distortion. All transients are reproduced faithfully and that is why you get a tight, clear, precise bass from this sub.
- Elevated frame cooling system for maximum cooling
- Sub is compact and sleek – perfect for compact cars
- Smooth metallic silver exterior finish
- Ideal free air resonance
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Achieves lows up to 22Hz
- Lower power handling
- Needs an amp within the 75-300Hz range to deliver the best sound
- Highly priced compared to other subs
Verdict: The JL Audio 12W0V3-4 is well-built despite its low power output. The subs can produce a thumping bass and bring big impact to your sound.
|Peak Power:||1500 W|
|Frequency Range:||20 – 900Hz|
The Audiopipe TXX-BD2-12 subwoofer came in at number 10 because of its good performance and affordability.
Our tests showed that its 750W RMS is enough to satisfy just about any bass lover out there.
The sub’s nice features, a wide frequency range, and enhanced durability convinced us that it rightfully belongs to the class of best 12 inch subwoofers 2020.
Features of AudiopipeTXX-BD2-12 Subwoofer
- Get Audiopipe’s best subwoofer for hard hitting bass: The TXX BD2 12 is built for serious audiophiles who want nothing but the best sub for bass. It’s almost obvious that with 750w RMS and 1550w MAX powerratings, this sub will blast heavy hits out of your trunk.
- High reliability: Once in a while, someone is lucky to find a high-quality, absolutely reliable subwoofer whose price is unbelievably affordable. This is the case with Audiopipe TXX-BD2-12, which features a 150-Oz double stacked strontium magnet and 2.5-inch dual 4-ohm voice coils for reproduction of clean and detailed sound.
- Audiopipe pushes the frequencies lower for deeper bass notes: This sub has a frequency range that sets it apart from the rest of the competition. 20 – 900Hz is quite impressive, but the key benefit here is how low the sub takes the bass notes. You are sure to get very deep kicks especially if you find a perfect enclosure for the sub.
- Powdered black cast aluminum basket = high durability and elegant look: The sturdy basket not only complements the great looks of the sub but also enhances its durability. Thus, the TXX-BD2-12 upgrades your stereo’s sound performance and makes the car’s interior more attractive.
- Can handle high power levels
- Produces very loud audio
- Deep and impressively clear bass
- Strong build materials
- Great exterior looks
- Wiring the sub properly may be challenging
- You need to look for an enclosure for the sub
- May bottom up on very deep lows
Verdict: Audiopipe TXX-BD2-12 hits the spot for music enthusiasts who are keen on getting a great deal of value for their investment in a 12-inch sub.
How to Find the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer
There are many types of speakers that you can install in your car to have the desired listening experience while on the road.
You need something bigger and stronger, and you think a 12-inch sub fits the bill.
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a subwoofer:
Power needs and handling capacity
The discussion about subwoofer power is multi-dimensional. One of the first questions you should ask is whether your existing audio system can adequately power your new subwoofer. 12-inch subs consume different amounts of power to produce varying amounts of bass. If you want a sub that produces a lot of bass, know that it’ll consume a lot of currents. Your audio system should, therefore, have power abilities close to that of the sub.
The other important consideration about power is how much power the sub can actually handle.
In some reviews, you’ll see complains of voice coils smoking, or the sub heating up or burning because too much current was driven through them.
It’s crucial to determine the real power handling capabilities of the sub before putting it in the shopping cart.
Unfortunately, there are subs that promise high power handling in words but they don’t deliver.
Does it have a motor cooling mechanism?
When you decide that you’ll go for a high-power 12-inch sub, look for the ones with a motor cooling system. Such a system makes sure that the sub doesn’t heat up and/or break down during long hours of application.
What about voice coils?
Although the question of single voice coils (SVC) and double voice coils (DVC) is crucial, it is rarely explained well.
First, the choice between SVC and DVC depends on what you want from your subwoofer. If your main concern is how much power the sub will put out, consider the ohm load of the voice coil rather than the number of coils. Ohms measure electrical resistance and the less the ohms, the more power the sub puts out assuming a constant power supply.
You could be looking for flexibility; that is, you care about wiring options and intend to attach additional drivers to your stereo system. In this case, a DVC subwoofer is better than an SVC sub.
What is your budget?
To make your selection task easier, classify the available subs into two groups: the ones that are within your budget and those that rough it up. Keep in mind that even after purchasing the sub you might need to spend more money on a good enclosure or on installation.
Do you want to install the sub or have it professionally installed? Most subwoofers are easy to install but you might come across a 12-inch that could make you sweat.
It’s good to know beforehand about a sub’s installation. Look at the installation manual and be sure you can handle the wiring steps if you intend to do it yourself.
Other inevitable considerations include the weight and size of the sub and the required enclosure. Can the sub fit in the available space in your car?
Best 12 Inch Subwoofers 2021 FAQs
How much power does a 12-inch sub need (and can it handle)?
RMS power is the amount of power a subwoofer can handle continuously. The higher the RMS, the better the sub all other factors constant. Note that more power doesn’t always mean louder or more precise sound output.
Sensitivity rating (measured in dB) is an indication of how efficient the sub is in translating the power to the booming sound. A higher sensitivity rating implies that you get better audio even with lower RMS power handling.
How much space do I need for the installation of a 12-inch subwoofer?
What are shallow-mount subwoofers?
A shallow-mount subwoofer works similarly to a traditional subwoofer but in a smaller package. Unlike regular subs that are deep and heavy, shallow-mount subwoofers are lightweight and shallow. As a result, their size allows for installation in small spaces. Some manufacturers have realized the growing demand for smaller subs and now build shallow-mount units that require only about 4 inches of mounting clearance.
How do I make sure that I get earth-shattering, deep bass?
Can you run two 12-inch subs in a truck box?
How do I choose an amplifier for my 12-inch sub?
I already have an amplifier, how do I find a matching sub?
Note that the wiring of subwoofers that have more than one voice coil can affect the sub’s impedance.
Do I need a professional to install my 12-inch subwoofer?
If you have skills and experience in car audio customization, you can handle the installation with the right tools. Otherwise, the best idea is to hire a professional. You want to end up with a flawlessly installed sub for your car audio system to deliver at its best.
Why we picked the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Subwoofer
We promised to give you our recommendation for the best 12 inch subwoofer. Considering all factors, the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 sub emerges as the winner in our review.
Here are our reasons….
- Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 has a very robust build and this makes it reliable for loud sound and superior bass production.
- The sub’s heat dissipation is outstanding so you have zero worries that it might heat up or suffer a thermal breakdown.
- The P3D4-12 can withstand high power applications for longer than the majority of equally-sized subs.
- Its power handling of 600w RMS is quite impressive too. And what do you pay for this top-notch sub?
- The price is very reasonable compared to other high-performing subs in this review and on the market.
Last update on 2021-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API