Tag: Car Subwoofers

Focal Joins With Dealer to Produce Sub Boxes

Orca Design and Manufacturing, which supplies the Focal brand, has teamed with the new manufacturing division of retailer Mobile Toys of College Station, TX to produce new subwoofer enclosures sold under the Focal brand. The enclosures are part of two new Focal under-the-seat loaded subwoofer enclosures announced today.  They are designed specifically for late-model Ford […]

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Best Car Subwoofers

Best Car Subwoofers

When people ask me how they should start upgrading their stock car audio system, I always suggest getting a new subwoofer first. Adding a subwoofer is the best way to enhance a car audio system by unlocking the audio frequencies that were previously missing. Finding the best car subwoofer for your vehicle can be a difficult decision because there are so many choices and there are several ways one can install the subwoofer wrong. This page is dedicated to the best series of car subwoofers for particular applications.

Best Budget Car Subwoofer

Subwoofers don’t have to be expensive to sound good. In fact, a lot of affordable subs actually sound great thanks to the refinement of loudspeaker technology over the past 20 years. Technology and designs typically found just in high end woofers are now common in budget subs. My personal favorite budget subwoofer is the Kicker  CompVR series. It is a solid subwoofer with a great sound.

Kicker CompVR Subwoofers

The Kicker CompVR subwoofers are a standard for low cost, quality bass. They have been revised many times over the years as Kicker has found new ways to improve the sound and reduce costs. These aren't the most unique subwoofers, but they are great for those just getting started and not wanting to spend too much money on subs. They are available in 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch sizes. With a RMS range from 350 watts on the 8-inch to 500 watts on the 15-inch, these subwoofers don't need a large amp to power it. That helps keep the quality bass in budget.

Best SPL Car Subwoofer

If you are familiar with the Orion HCCA series of subs, then this shouldn’t come as any suprise to you. These subs are nasty loud and have ruled the SPL circuit for quite some time. They can handle insane amounts of power in a RMS, Peak, or Burp fashion. In case of a blown woofer, Orion makes recone kits that can easily be changed in the field. If you are looking for massive SPL from a massive subwoofer, the Orion HCCA has my vote.

Orion HCCA Competition Subwoofers

The Orion HCCA subs are the perfect SPL competition subwoofer because everything about this woofer is huge. Huge power handling. Huge magnets. Huge enclosures. Huge bass.

Best Sound Quality Car Subwoofer

For those that want insanely accurate sound from a subwoofer, I present the Morel Ultimo subwoofer. This is a absolutely brilliant subwoofer that looks as great as it sounds. The fine craftsmanship and legendary sound engineering from Morel bring a woofer that produces precise, detailed, and natural bass. Among all the technology in the Ultimo subs is a stand out 5.1″ voice coil that really brings the bass to life.

Morel Ultimo Subwoofers

The Morel Ultimo subwoofer is a award winning sound quality subwoofer that is carefully engineered for accurate sound replication. IT is available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch subwoofers with RMS ratings ranging from 800 watts to 1000 watts.

Best SQL Car Subwoofer

For those that want the best of the SQ and SPL worlds are SQL subwoofers, a perfect blend of quality bass and sheer loudness. Leading the pack of SQL subwoofer are the famous Image Dynamics ID MAX subwoofers. These were originally designed by the acoustic engineering legend Eric Stevens as a powerful sound quality sub and have proven themselves time and time again to the car audio world that they are capable of incredible, accurate bass.

Image Dynamics ID-MAX subwoofer

As one of the most popular SQL subwoofers ever created, the Image Dynamics ID-MAX subwoofer is an excellent choice. They are available in 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch sizes and have RMS power handling ranges from 1000 watts to 1200 watts.

Overall Best Car Subwoofer

My list of top subwoofers can’t be complete without a mention of the RE Audio SEX woofer because this is the best overall subwoofer available on the market. Not only do these subwoofers sound great, but they can pound. They are thirsty for power and can take a ton of it. In fact, it is common for RE Audio SEX woofers to be given twice the RMS in a daily driver because the drivers can handle it and still sound fantastic. In terms of price, loudness, and overall quality of bass, the RE Audio SEX subwoofer line is the best overall subwoofer series available today.

RE Audio SEX Subwoofers

The RE Audio SEX subwoofers are the perfect blend of price, sound quality, and powerful bass. They are available in 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch and all have a recommended RMS power handling of 750 watts.


Types of Subwoofers

There are many types of subwoofers out there and the more you know about them, the better you will be able to find the subwoofer that best meets your needs.

Subwoofers by Voice Coils

Every subwoofer has at least one voice coil and the voice coil(s) of a subwoofer determine how you will need to wire it up.

  • Single voice coil
  • Dual voice coil

Subwoofers by Impedance

Each of the subwoofer’s voice coils are engineered to a specific impedance. This impedance plays a major role in accurate subwoofer wiring and connecting it to the amplifier.

  • 1 ohm
  • 2 ohm
  • 4 ohm

Subwoofers by Size

Every subwoofer has a size that is defined as roughly the diameter of subwoofer cone. The different subwoofer sizes can impact the acoustic properties and change how the subwoofer will sound.

  • 6.5″ Subwoofers
  • 8″ Subwoofers
  • 10″ Subwoofers
  • 12″ Subwoofers
  • 15″ Subwoofers

Subwoofers by Sound

All subwoofers make sound, but not all bass is created equal. Some subs are designed more for loud sound levels, while other subwoofers are designed for accurate musical replication. The type of subwoofer you want will depend on the objective of your build.

  • SPL Subs
  • SQ Subs
  • SQL Subs


How to Install a Car Subwoofer

Installing a subwoofer in your car can be one of the most musically rewarding upgrades that could be made to a car. That is because most factory car audio systems do not include a subwoofer and are unable to accurately play the lower frequencies of music. When a sub is installed in the car, the overall frequency response of the car widens and the user will be able to hear the bass notes along a wider range of viable frequencies. This page is dedicated to helping you understand how to install a car subwoofer.

What you will need:

  • Subwoofer
  • Subwoofer Enclosure
  • Speaker Wire
  • Quick Disconnect Connectors
  • Wire Strippers
  • Polyfil (optional)
  • Industrial Strength Velcro (optional)

1. Wire the subwoofer to the correct impedance

The most important part of installing a car subwoofer is making sure the sub is wired to the correct impedance. This is very simple if you follow the wiring instruction that came with the subwoofer or view my wiring diagram pages. Make sure that the RMS wattage and final impedance of the subwoofer(s) match the RMS output of the amplifier at that same impedance.

For example, if you have a 500 watt dual 4-ohm subwoofer that is wired to 2-ohm, make sure that the amplifier puts out roughly 500 watts RMS at a 2 ohm impedance.

I recommend using 12 AWG speaker wire for making these connections. Only use thicker gauges in rare cases when the RMS of the subs are 1500+ watts. Failure to properly wire the subwoofer will result in improper wattage seen at the subwoofer and can cause permanent damage to the subwoofer and/or amplifier.

2. Mount the subwoofer in the box

Once you have wired the subwoofer to the proper impedance, you will be ready to mount the woofer to the box. Start by connecting the positive/negative speaker leads from the subwoofer and connect them to the inside of the subwoofers terminals. Usually this is done easily with quick disconnect connectors. With everything wired up, line the box with a healthy dose of polyfill (optional).

Assuming your box has a cut out the same size as the subwoofer, you should be able to simply set the woofer in the box cut out and prepare to screw it in place. Make sure that the subwoofer is lined up properly and not upside down. Then use some standard wood screws to mount the subwoofer to the MDF box. Be careful to not over tighen, but create a secure fit.

3. Connect the subwoofer to the amplifier

On the outside of the subwoofer box terminal (that has been connected to the speaker wire used to wire the subwoofer), you will be able to run positive and negative speaker wire to the amplifier. At this point, I recommend double checking all the connections and sending signal to the subwoofer to test it out.

4. Tune the Subwoofer

With everything connected, you can now tune the subwoofer to your liking by adjusting the subwoofer settings on your amplifier. This includes frequency response, bass boost, gain, subsonic filter, and other settings depending on the amplifier.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy the Bass!