If you’re a keen audiophile, you’ll want to get the very best sound out of your car’s speakers. The factory car audio systems aren’t able to get the same standard of sound that you’re after. A subwoofer will be essential if you’re wanting to get the best bass out of your car audio system.
However, there are so many different subwoofers on the market. It can be difficult to choose which size is best for your car, let alone which model. How can you choose the right subwoofer for your car so that it will be able to deliver the right amount of bass that you’re after?
I’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of models to choose the very best 12 inch subwoofer for your needs. The 5 models that I’ve reviewed in more detail below will be able to get you the best bass possible in your car audio system.
On a side note if 12 inches will not do it for you, then check out our post of the Best 15 inch subwoofers.
Best 12 inch Subwoofer
Out of all the 12 inch subwoofers I reviewed, the Pyle 12 inch car audio subwoofers easily came out on top. This particular subwoofer comes highly recommended by other audiophiles, and comes with a range of great specs to make it our top choice.
The Pyle 12 inch subwoofer comes with a maximum power output of around 1,600W. This gives you an impressive bass response as well as full range of the surround stereo sound. So you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite songs as loud as you like!
This particular subwoofer comes with a dual 4 ohm impedance. Combined with the 90 decibel reading, this allows you to compensate for the undersized wire that is often found in modern cars. So you can still get the very best sound from your new 12 inch subwoofer. This will ensure that the subwoofer can reduce any distortion that may occur so you can have a clearer, crisper sound.
Another great feature of this 12 inch subwoofer is that it comes with a dual voice coil. The 60 ounce magnet structure combines with the 2 inch 4 layer dual voice coil to better the performance. This also means the Pyle 12 inch subwoofer is capable of handling higher operating temperatures without it impacting too much on the sound. There are also spring loaded push down speaker terminals included in the subwoofer.
You won’t have to worry about replacing this subwoofer in a couple of months’ time. The Pyle subwoofer has been built to last. It features a non-fatiguing rubber suspension, specially treated foam surround, specially designed rubber magnet boot, bumped and vented motor construction, and a non-press cone. All of these features combine to make it last for even the longest of plays.
- Easy to install – suitable for use in most car stereo systems
- 1600W maximum power output – works to actively improve the bass response
- Dual 4 ohm impedance – gives you clearer, crisper sound
- Beginners – best suited for those on a budget or new to subwoofers
Next up is the BOSS Audio Systems CXX12 12 inch subwoofer. This particular 12 inch subwoofer comes with a range of great specs to make it a great choice for those working to a budget. The BOSS Audio Systems CXX12 has a max power output of 1,000W as well as a single 4 ohm impedance. There is also a resonant frequency of 32Hz. All of these great specs combine to deliver an impressive amount of bass.
Provided that you break these subwoofers in correctly when you first install them in your car, you shouldn’t have to worry about them breaking after a few months. They feature a sturdy design using durable materials to give them added longevity. The poly injection cone gives the subwoofer maximum flexibility when you’re playing your favorite songs to ensure that it lasts you for as long as possible.
This particular subwoofer features a 4.8 inch mounting height as well as an 11 inch mounting hole diameter. So you should be able to easily install this in the majority of modern cars without too much issue.
Another great feature of the CXX12 is that it comes with a 3 year platinum online dealer warranty. This is great if you’re worried about your speakers blowing if you crank up the volume too high.
- Great specs – comes with a range of great specs for impressive bass
- 3 year warranty – includes a 3 year online dealer warranty for your peace of mind
- Durable – uses study materials for a long lasting subwoofer
- Break in – you will need to break in the subwoofer properly to get the best sound
If you’re looking for a decent quality budget subwoofer without opting for the cheapest on the market, then the Planet Audio AC12D 12 inch subwoofer is a fantastic choice. This particular subwoofer comes with a range of great specs to get audiophiles excited. There’s a resonant frequency of 32Hz and a sensitivity SPL (1W/1m) 22 decibels.
The Planet Audio subwoofer has been built to last. This subwoofer uses some of the most durable materials to ensure that it will be able to withstand whatever you’ve got to throw at it. The cone has been constructed using a sturdy polypropylene which will be more resilient than other materials. It will also be able to give you great sounding speakers, and you won’t have to worry about them wearing out too quickly.
Worried about your speaker overheating if you use it loads? The Planet Audio AC12D 12 inch subwoofer comes with voice coils that have been designed to withstand higher temperatures. These are able to do this while maintaining the impressive fatigue and strength properties.
Another great feature of this particular subwoofer is that it comes with a 3 year platinum online dealer warranty. This will be great if you want to give yourself more peace of mind. It’s also suggested that you get this subwoofer professionally installed so as to maintain the guarantee.
- Resilient – constructed using highly durable materials for added longevity
- High temperatures – voice coils can withstand high temperatures and deliver solid results
- 3 year warranty – comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty for added peace of mind
- Mounting screws – you will need to buy these in addition to the subwoofer
To get the very best from your subwoofers, chances are that you’ll have to pay premium prices if the above models I’ve reviewed don’t appeal to you. The Rockford Fosgate Punch P3D4-12 12 inch subwoofer is a great place to get started. There’s a choice between a 2 ohm and 4 ohm speaker, so you can choose the best for your audiophile needs.
The dual voice coil 4 ohm speaker gives you a maximum power output of 1,200W and an RMS power rating of 600W. So you’ll be able to get that crisp, clear bass that you’re after. The voice coils feature a spun-laced Nomex reinforcement collar and are able to cope with higher temperatures. So you won’t have to worry about them wearing out from extended plays.
The Punch P3D4-12 subwoofers come with anodized aluminum cones and dust caps. This includes a unique spider venting design which works to cool the motor. There is a hybrid stamp-cast basket included to give the subwoofers more strength. This also works to minimize the weight and resonance of the subwoofers when they’re playing your favorite music.
It can be devastating spending so much money on a subwoofer only for it to blow once it’s been installed. The Punch P3D4-12 comes with a 1 year warranty as standard to give you extra peace of mind. You can also rest assured that you’re buying from a reputable brand that will give you a quality build.
- Crisp sound – comes with a range of great specs for audiophiles
- Quality – made by a brand you can trust using the finest materials
- 1 year warranty – comes with a 1 year warranty as standard
- Pricey – on the more expensive end of the scale
Last but not least is the Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12 inch subwoofer. This particular subwoofer is another pricey option, but it delivers outstanding results. It comes with a whopping maximum power output of 2,500W and an RMS power rating of 1,250W. So it will be able to deliver an impeccable response to the bass from all of your favorite songs.
This particular subwoofer comes with a 3 inch dual voice coil with a black coating. It’s capable of withstanding the higher temperatures that can wear out less durable speakers. Combined with the heavy duty high roll surround, this means the Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 subwoofer is capable of playing the lower tones of your music with ease.
Another great feature of this subwoofer is that it has been designed to stay efficiently cool while it’s playing. The EVL-12 D2 comes with Skar’s signature single red damper as well as a two layer spider and advanced cooling design. This allows it to create thumping bass all while staying cool at the same time.
What’s really great about this particular style of speaker is that you can choose the size that best suits your car. Out of the two 12 inch subwoofers available, you can choose between the dual 2 ohm and dual 4 ohm models. This should allow you to find the best sound for your car’s audio system.
- 2 levels of impedance – choose between dual 2 ohm and dual 4 ohm models
- Powerful – maximum power output of 2,500W and RMS power rating of 1,250W
- High end – one of the best quality subwoofers on this list
- Pricey – one of the pricier options than other 12 inch subwoofers on this list
Trying to find the best 12 inch subwoofer can be a real challenge. There are so many different factors to consider that the experience can feel overwhelming. Especially if you’re new to your audiophile hobby!
I’ve put together a helpful list to show you everything you need to consider when it comes to choosing the best 12 inch subwoofer for your car audio system. This should help you to separate the wheat from the chaff and find a 12 inch subwoofer that actually delivers on the great bass that it promises.
Take a look at everything you need to consider below, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.
One of the most important factors to consider will be the power rating of your subwoofer.
While the maximum power output is an essential factor to consider, it’s the RMS power rating that you really want to pay attention to. This gives you the amount of power that your subwoofer can regularly handle. Anything more than this, and you could blow your speaker. The peak power is something that should be handled in shorter bursts.
You should also ensure that your vehicle amplifier is able to cope with the power of your subwoofer. You will need a decent amplifier in place in order to hear anything from your speaker.
The sensitivity of your subwoofer will play a big part in achieving the high output that you’re after with your power rating. If your subwoofer has a much higher sensitivity rating, this means it won’t need as much power to get the same amount of great sound as a sub that has a much lower sensitivity level.
Number of voice coils
The number of voice coils included in your subwoofer will be another essential factor to consider. There are single voice coil subwoofers available, but dual voice coils tend to be more popular among audiophile enthusiasts. This is because they give you more flexibility when it comes to wiring sound systems.
A sturdy dual voice coil will also be able to handle the higher temperatures from extended plays. This should also mean that your subwoofer doesn’t wear out as quickly.
Now that you have a better idea of what type of subwoofer you want to add to your car’s audio system, you will need to think about the enclosure type. This will determine where you can mount your sub, and could affect the sound you achieve.
Sealed boxes tend to give you the most accurate sound with some of the deepest bass tones. Bandpass and ported enclosures typically give you more volume.
You should think about what sound you want to get out of your subwoofer. It will also be important to consider whether your preferred subwoofer is suitable for your preferred enclosure type.
Another important factor to consider is the frequency range of your subwoofer. This will give you a better idea of how low your speaker will be able to play. The general rule of thumb is that the lower the frequency range, the more bass you’ll be able to hear from your audio system.
Remember that the amount of bass you hear will also be dependent on a number of other factors, such as the enclosure you’ve mounted it in.
The impedance of your chosen subwoofer will be another important factor to think about. This is typically measured in ohms. Ohms measure the resistance against the pressure of the amplifier.
The lower the impedance of your subwoofer, the easier it will be for your vehicle amplifier to supply power to it. It will be important to match the right amplifier with your new subwoofer, or you could risk damaging it.
For a 12 inch subwoofer, you should opt for either a 2 ohm or 4 ohm model. If you already have a powerful amplifier in place this may influence your decision. If not, you can then go on to choose the best amplifier to work with your new subwoofer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best 12 inch subwoofer to buy?
The best 12 inch subwoofers to buy are:
- Pyle 12 inch car audio subwoofer
- BOSS Audio Systems CXX12 12 inch subwoofer
- Planet Audio AC12D 12 inch subwoofer
- Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 12 inch subwoofer
- Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 12 inch subwoofer
Are 15 inch subs louder than 12?
15 inch subwoofers are arguably louder than 12 inch subwoofers, yes. This is because you can feed more power into them, and therefore get more volume. The larger 15 inch subwoofers are able to displace more air, however, this could also run the risk of the sound not being as clear. Out of the 2 sizes, the 12 inch subwoofer is more likely to have crisper, sharper sounds than a 15 inch subwoofer.
What is the hardest hitting 12 inch subwoofer?
Out of all the 12 inch subwoofers that I reviewed, the Pyle 12 inch car audio subwoofer came out on top. This particular subwoofer is available at a competitive price and comes with some of the best specs around. The Pyle 12 inch subwoofer will be able to deliver you a bass that slaps every time.