Finding the best car battery is not exactly a fun job. But it can be extremely frustrating to experience a dead battery and the best way to avoid this is by learning about car battery performance, quality and other battery features.
Let’s start with the basics. Car batteries come in a variety of weight, lengths, height, cold cranking amps (CCA), and amp-hour. The average life span of car batteries is around 3 to 5 years but this isn’t to say an excellent brand can churn out one that will last up to 10 years. On the other hand, its life span can be shorter if you have poor driving habits or live in extreme weather conditions. According to Battery University, factory defects is a low 7% of the total number of car batteries manufactured which suggests that if a car battery stops working or does not work at all, it’s most likely either a bad fit or human error in picking the right one.
Of all the factors that were considered in reviewing the best car batteries, we put the most emphasis on performance. Your car battery should consistently perform at optimum level regardless of the number of car accessories. Therefore, if you want to enjoy your high performing car stereo, it‘s important to consider battery performance because there is a chance of draining the battery with the wrong choice, especially with an upgraded stereo or other accessories.
Here's a list of the top rated car batteries of 2018. Click a battery series to go to the full review, or just scroll down to view all of the reviews:
|Our Rank||Car Battery||Cold Cranking Amps||Capacity||Volts||Price|
|1.||Optima Red Top||720 - 800||44 - 50 Ah||6 - 12v||$$|
|2.||XS Power D||190 - 1700||35 - 140 Ah||12V||$$$|
|3.||Odyssey Extreme||100 - 850||7- 55 AH||12V||$$|
|4.||AC Delco Professional||630 - 925||60 - 95 Ah||12V||$$|
|5.||Exide Edge AGM||440- 770||45 - 68 Ah||12V||$$|
Choosing the Right Battery
The factors that were considered for this review include: performance, power, safety and maintenance, price, type, special features, warranty, and customer feedback. Even though we placed a heavy emphasis on performance, it is important to consider these other factors as well while researching the best battery for your car.
Best Car Batteries List
1. Optima Red Top Series Batteries
Optima Red Top Battery Review
The Optima Red Top Series is a 6 cell AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) type with 800 CCA that uses 99.99% pure lead. This allows electricity to flow faster because there are no impurities and is capable of holding voltage longer. Compared to conventional car batteries, this battery has much more internal surface area and a stronger structure that is completely sealed and able to hold its shape no matter what the conditions are.
Other impressive facts to note about the Optima Red Top Series include:
- Zero leaks
- Maintenance free
- 2x longer life
- All weather resistance
- 5 second starting power
- High vibration resistance
The Optima Red Top car batteries have a 3 year warranty and are well known for holding voltage. But they need to be charged soon after starting the engine because they are not meant for deep cycling. This battery consistently gets high ratings for performance and reliability. It is also known to extend far beyond the 5 year battery life experts say is the maximum life span for car batteries. This means huge savings!
On the downside, the battery cannot be left idle for long periods and requires a special charger (like a trickle charger), which is sold separately. Also, if you buy your Optima battery from a non-accredited dealer, you will not be allowed to claim warranty.
Just like when choosing a home subwoofer, when choosing the car subwoofer to fit your needs, you have to ask yourself, “What kind of bass am I looking for?” The best subwoofer isn’t always the biggest. Different sizes of subwoofers respond and produce different sound to different music. Finding the right match for your music preferences is key. Let’s talk about the different sizes of subwoofers and what kind of sound they emit.
- 8″ Subwoofers – The smaller the woofer the faster, more responsive and punchier it is. An 8″ woofer can keep up with faster paced music. Heavy rock, double bass and fast paced electronic are great candidates for an 8″ sub. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy soft and light bass. An 8 inch subwoofer is one that compliments a system rather than overwhelming it. If you like very heavy and loud bass, this might not be the ideal choice for you.
- 10″ Subwoofers – 10’s are very common. They are the most well-rounded and safest choice for a subwoofer on the market. The 10″ can keep up with fast paced music while creating a respectable amount of bass. They are good for fast paced music, and also good with heavier bass music. Rap, rock, club music, you name it. The 10″ subwoofer will cover it all. But if you’re looking for big bass, you may have to double up with the 10″ to get the volume you want.
- 12″ Subwoofers – If you listen to a wide variety of music but enjoy heavy bass, a 12″ subwoofer is for you. The 12″ sub is the most common in the marketplace today. This is because they are so universal. They're great for pretty much all types of music, produce a heavy bass and cover a deeper range of frequencies. They won’t keep up with fast paced music such as heavy rock or metal as well as the 10″. But, it will sound great for all varieties of music, especially rap, electronic, club and pop.
- 15″ Subwoofers – 15″ subwoofers aren't a common size sub. They're not a great solution to the everyday music listener either. But, if you are looking for ear bleeding bass then you are in the right category.
To sum up, when choosing a sub for your car or vehicle, you need consider a number of things. To start, the level of music you want to listen to, type of music, and confinements of the location. 8″ subwoofers are great for leveling out a sound system while a 15″ will wake the neighbors. Your safest bet is the 10″ or 12″ subwoofer.
Remember, all of the top-rated subwoofers require an awesome amplifier. Check out all of the Best Car Amplifiers, and the Best Subwoofer Amplifiers for information on choosing an amplifier that'll meet the specs of your subwoofer.
Best Component Car Subwoofers: What to Look For
Car subwoofers are essentially oversized speakers. They require much more space, power, material – pretty much more of everything. When adding a car subwoofer to your car stereo, you will need to make sure to pay close attention to specific things when researching to make sure you have both the right subwoofer, and the right components to power and house your subwoofer. Below is a list of criteria we recommend considering when you’re choosing a subwoofer for your car:
Speaker Design and Materials
The best subwoofers will add a whole new level of audio to your car. They help round out your system, supporting your speakers where needed – in the low frequencies. Here’s a couple of things to note about your speaker’s design and materials when comparing:
Woofer: The subwoofer’s woofer can easily determine the responsiveness, and overall quality of the speaker. The stiffer and more lightweight the material used, the more effective the subwoofer is. Polypropylene is a very common material used for the cone, as well as woven fabrics such as carbon and kevlar. Aluminum and titanium are also used in higher end subwoofer woofers.
Woofer Surrounding: The woofer surround also is an important aspect of the speaker system and effect the sound as well. Durable, lightweight, and free moving materials are used to allow the woofer to move with as little energy possible. The material is essential for a long lasting and performing speaker too. As speakers get older and used, humidity levels and wear-and-tear can crack and even break the surrounding of the woofer. Forms of Rubber surrounding are typically the most long lasting an high performing material. Foam and cloth surroundings are found on less expensive component speakers, with lower performance and shorter life spans.
There are multiple power handling ratings for subwoofers and speakers, the two most important to note are RMS (Continuous) Power Handling, and sensitivity. RMS Power Handling tells you what your speaker can handle continuously. Note that many providers used to sell customers on the ‘Peak’ handling since this is a much higher number than the RMS. But Peak is only the measure of what the speaker can handle in short bursts. RMS is the more important
Sensitivity is another highly important measure to look at when comparing and finding the right subwoofer. It’s the measurement of the amount of sound that a speaker will emit with the power it’s given. Essentially this is you measure of efficiency. The higher the sensitivity, the more efficient the subwoofer is.
Many of the criteria we’ve been discussing is pretty standard across all car speakers. But here’s a measure that’s pretty unique to subwoofers – Enclosure Specs. Car speakers don’t really need to consider this because you’re typically mounting a speaker in a door, or on a bracket the car. But a subwoofer needs to have an enclosure dedicated to it. There are pre-made enclosures everywhere, or you can even build your own enclosure to customize it to the contours of your vehicle, but in any case you’ll need to match the specs of your enclosure as best as you can to the specs of the recommended manufacturer enclosure specs.
There are two type of enclosures, and typically the manufacturer will provide recommended specs for both: Sealed Enclosures and Ported Enclosures. A sealed enclosure is a box that is fully concealed. These boxes are great for precise and clean bass with little distortion. Sealed enclosures are the standard when it comes to well-defined bass. Ported enclosures have a hole in the box to port sound. These enclosures are excellent for outdoor settings and provide louder, but sometimes less defined bass.