Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 11:17 am
In this article: We'll review 6 of our best pick powered subwoofers for your car or truck, with quick reviews, photos and price comparisons to help you save money on the subwoofer you choose.
If you want to improve the sound system in your car, installing one of the best powered subwoofers is a great way to do so. These low-frequency speakers deliver superior bass to your sound system. They'll give your music more impact and rumble. Whether you prefer rock, hip hop, or dance music, having a subwoofer will make your vehicle more enjoyable and entertaining.
Powered subwoofers can be installed in nearly any vehicle. They're made for factory or after-market sound systems and deliver superior audio. When you have a subwoofer, you will instantly notice the difference in sound. These are an essential add-on to any audio system. They should absolutely be a part of your vehicle.
Like all electronics, however, some powered subwoofers are better than others. Powered subwoofers combine superior design with high-quality materials and advanced electronics. But before you choose one, you should understand some of the key things to look for in a powered sub.
Looking for a different type of subwoofer? Check out these lists!
Best Powered Subwoofers List
1. Best Overall Pick: JL Audio ACP110LG-TW1
JL Audio ACP110LG-TW1 Quick Review
The JL Audio ACP110LG-TW1 is a top-notch powered subwoofer. Compact, high quality, super powerful – the ACP110LG is the complete package. The key thing that stood out to us about this unit was its performance. It delivers clear, powerful bass without using too much space. Powered by a 400W (RMS) Class D amplifier, it’s also efficient and remains cool even at the highest loads.
The ACP110LG might not be the most compact on this list, but if you’re looking for performance and quality it’s among the best powered subwoofers. At it’s heart is a 10TW1 subwoofer, which in it’s own right is a high performance shallow subwoofer We highly recommend this woofer alone in our list of Best Shallow Subwoofers. The amp and subwoofer are enclosed in an MDF box that’s constructed with V-Groove technology. This makes it stronger and less likely to break or leak over time. The enclosure is also ported, for a louder output. As with most JL Audio equipment, it’s made from high-grade materials and built to last. If you want the best all-in-one powered subwoofer, you need to consider this one.
- 10″ woofer (10TW1) in ported enclosure
- Woofer impedance: 0.25 ohms
- Built-in Class D amplifier delivers 400 watts RMS at 0.25 ohms
- Recommended power/ground wiring gauge: 8 AWG
- Fuse rating: 30 A
- Dimensions: 21″W x 13-1/2″H x 6-5/8″D
- Weight: 25 lbs.
- 2 year factory warranty
2. Best Slim Design: Focal IBus 2.1
Focal IBus 2.1 Quick Review
It’s not always easy to get extra bass in many cars without having to sacrifice space or interior aesthetics. Some cars have very tight spaces to install a subwoofer, and many common models cannot fit in them. Focal understands this predicament and that’s why it built the Focal IBUS 2.1. At only 3” tall, this powered subwoofer is a perfect choice for many bass enthusiasts looking to boost their audio systems but lack adequate installation space. The unit can comfortably fit under or behind most car seats, or on the side of the trunk – preserving the original aesthetics of your car interior while delivering that all-important sound punch!
The Focal IBUS 2.1 is built with a strong aluminum chassis which features an 8” subwoofer and a 75W RMS amplifier for exceptional bass delivery. The unit comes with a remote control to help you stay in charge of the subwoofer at all times. The subwoofer also offers phase switch and low-pass crossover adjustments to help you fine-tune it and ensure there is perfect integration with your sound system.
- Fits in really tight spaces
- Has a 2ch amplifier built-in in addition to the subwoofer
- Has a rigid construction for durability
- Superb bass delivery
- Easy to use and install the subwoofer
- Wired remote control
- Helps preserve interior car aesthetics
- Lower power handling than others
- Higher price than others
JBL BassPro SL2 Quick Review
The BassPro SL has been on our list for a couple years now. Originally the SL model, they've now introduced a v2 of the model, dubbed the SL2. It's a great choice for tight spaces. Trucks, compact cars, or just a small area in general – the BassPro’s compact design gives it great versatility. It measures 13-9/16″W x 2-7/8″H x 10-1/16″D, making it a great candidate for an under-your-seat subwoofer.
Like all powered subwoofers, this unit is completely self-contained. It features a 125-Watt (RMS) Class D amplifier that’s built into the enclosure. It comes with your standard features like an adjustable low-pass crossover and boost control. And it also offers an optional wired remote control (offered separately GTO-RBC) that allows you to control the level of the subwoofer at all times.
We enjoyed the simplicity when we installed the JBL BassPro SL2. It was a breeze. It has the standard connections with gold plated screws, which were easy to wire. Simply connect power and speaker wires and place it wherever you want. Overall, the BassPro is an excellent choice for a powered subwoofer and should definitely be considered.
- Heavy-duty ABS plastic enclosure
- 8″ shallow woofer
- Class D amplifier with 125 watts
- Low-pass crossover (LPF) that allows you to adjust the output frequencies from 50-120 Hz at 12 dB per octave
- Bass boost (0 to +9 dB at 70 Hz)
- Speaker and line-level inputs
- Frequency response: 35-120 Hz
- Dimensions: 13-9/16″W x 2-7/8″H x 10-1/16″D
4. Best Under Seat Pick: Infinity Basslink SM 2
Infinity BassLink SM 2 Quick Review
As we all know, space for subwoofers can be a challenge. That was the inspiration behind the Infinity BassLink SM 2. It is made to be compact and convenient while delivering outstanding sound to your car, truck, or SUV. Originally on our list as the BassLink SM (without the 2), Infinity continues to improve upon their original design.
This product is the next generation of the BassLink lineup. It's one of the most popular subwoofer brands in the business. It has a plug that can be disconnect quickly. By pulling the pin and the harness, it disconnects easily and makes for simple installation and removal. This makes it great if you want to make room for golf clubs, sports equipment, or groceries. It’s one of the best speakers for hatchbacks because it is so convenient to move.
It is also has optional Bluetooth base control, which allows you to control the speaker without connecting wires. You can turn it up or down as you please, all with the use of your smartphone. Despite having outstanding sound, this Infinity powered subwoofer takes up less than a square foot of space.
- Optional wireless Bluetooth bass control
- 8″ woofer
- Wiring harness and mounting bracket
- Speaker and line-level inputs
- Measures 13 9/16″w x 2 7/8″h x 10 1/16d
Kenwood KSC-SW11 Quick Review
Don’t be fooled by this small, compact Kenwood powered subwoofer. It might be small, but this is a powerhouse of sound that can actually fit under a seat in most vehicles. That’s right – you can place this subwoofer under your seat and enjoy the sound (and feel) of your music! By placing this smaller subwoofer under a seat, you get the equivalent of placing a large, expensive, and space-consuming subwoofer in your trunk.
When you are looking for value and booming sound, this is one of our top choices. While it has a width of 11 inches and depth of 7.5 inches, it only sits 2.75-inches high, making it one of the top subwoofers for installing in a truck, car or any other vehicle that needs to save space. And with a 75-watt built-in amplifier and wire remote control, the Kenwood KSC-SW1 is convenient and easy to use.
It comes with a 14-inch speaker-level input cable. It also has a sturdy power harness, a cable security bar, and an adhesive backed hook and loop fastener. This means you’ll have practically everything you need for installation and use.
- Aluminum enclosure
- 8-1/4″ x 5-1/8″ subwoofer
- Remote control
- Power and ground wiring harness
- 75-watt amp
- 150 watt maximum
- Measurements: 11″ x 2-3/4″x 7-1/2″
Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway Quick Review
The goal of this Kicker powered subwoofer is to fit in any location. They clearly achieved this goal, as the Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway measures just slightly three inches in height. This small profile allows you to place the subwoofer nearly anywhere. It also creates one of the best amplified subwoofers for small cars or trucks with small cabs.
Although it is small, it is very powerful. It has a built-in 150-watt RMS amplifier. It delivers strong bass that will enhance your listening experience as you drive down the road. The 8-inch woofer is definitely capable of hitting low notes too. The remote control bass knob also lets you adjust the bass levels as you see fit. It even has nylon straps with Velcro fasteners and a quick-disconnect system.
It has bass boost control, speaker-level inputs, and an auto turn-on switch. This makes it highly convenient for use in your vehicle.
- 150 watts RMS amplifier
- Variable low-pass crossover
- Bass boost control
- Wired remote control
- In-line fuse holder
- Measurements: 14-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ x 9-3/8″
Best Powered Car Subwoofers: What to Look For
It’s essential that you understand what you are looking for in order to find the best powered subwoofer for your car. You will want one that meets your specific needs for your specific vehicle. It needs to fit your vehicle, as well as your preferences. So take your time and select and item with care.
First of all, you need to look at the dimensions and measurements of the powered subwoofer. Make sure the product you choose can fit in your trunk or under the seat. Take measurements to ensure that your car has enough space for the item you desire. If you are choosing a subwoofer for your trunk, you should have enough space no matter what you drive. However, if you are choosing a subwoofer that will be placed under the seat, you need to make sure there is enough height. This is very important if you have a car with power front seats, as these seats often have components underneath.
You should also be on the lookout for how much power the sub you choose can handle. This will be listed in watts and will give you a good idea of how much power the subwoofer can handle. The key thing to consider, since these subwoofers are already paired with an amplifier, is how powerful you'd like your system to be. The more power, the louder the system will be.
While we’re discussing power, be sure to keep an eye out for ohms. This'll indicate electrical resistance, or “impedance.” (It “impedes” the electrical flow.) Most subwoofers have 4-Ohms, but there is a vast variety of products available so finding the right one for your needs should not be a problem.
Before you install your subwoofer, you’ll need to know what type of enclosure it has. There are two common types, a sealed and a vented enclosure. Sealed enclosures are air tight and have a very basic design. Vented subwoofers, also known as “ported subwoofers,” have various vents that emphasize specific frequencies. Typically, sealed enclosures are better for small spaces like trunks or under seats. Ported enclosures are a great design for larger spaces.
The amount of voice coils will also make a difference. Voice coils give input to the speakers, and if it has one coil (know as Single Voice Coil or SVC), it will have one input that you need to wire. Dual voice coils, however, are popular among audio enthusiasts who want more options when wiring their system.
Finally, take into account the size of the subwoofer. While the enclosure will have its own measurements, the subwoofer inside the enclosure will effect how the speaker sounds. In most cases, the larger the subwoofer, the lower the frequencies it can reach. However, larger subwoofers can't keep up with faster bass. This may be heard more in fast pace rock or metal music. If space is not a concern and you want the lowest bass possible, then a large subwoofer is your best option.