The best shallow mount subwoofers are designed to produce bass, while remaining compact. Like any other subwoofer, they cover the lower end range of frequencies that smaller car speakers struggle to reproduce (6.5″, 6″ x 9″, and etc). The difference between a traditional component car subwoofer and the subwoofers on this list really comes down to the mounting depth. Sometimes your subwoofer selection may be limited by the amount of space you have in your car or truck, which is why slim series subwoofers with a shallow depth were designed.

Bass can't always be added to your system through larger speakers like 6x9s. And even if you do have 6x9s, in almost every well-rounded car stereo you'll find at least one subwoofer. There really is no substitute. If you have a truck, sports car, or just a car with little room; you can still add bass to your stereo though. That's what these subwoofers are designed and engineered to do – fit in tight spaces. Apart from the depth of these subwoofers, they operate pretty much the same and produce the same bass as a normal subwoofer too. 10 years ago, we may have caveated this list with the fact that slim subwoofers don't typically perform to the standards of a high-performance stereo or a component sub. But a lot has changed in the past decade in shallow subwoofer technology that has brought their performance up to par while maintaining the incredibly thin profiles.

In addition to depth, subwoofers are broken down into different sizes (or diameters). The most common diameters of subwoofers on the market are 8″, 10″ and 12″. More recently, manufacturers have also introduced a 13″ diameter as well. Of all the measurements, the diameter of a subwoofer arguably has the most impact on the subwoofer's sound. It's pretty simple, the smaller the diameter, the less surface area the subwoofer has. The less surface area, the less efficient it is as producing lower frequencies. 12″ subwoofers are the most common subwoofer on the market for most automotive applications, followed by the 10″. If you're not sure which subwoofer size or type you need for your car or truck, consider reading through our article about choosing the right subwoofer.

About this List

In this list of best shallow subwoofers, we compile our top picks based on our own experience, research and first hand tests of products. The products on this list, and all of our lists for that matter, are our own representation of best performing, high quality and long lasting products from reputable brands. Our goal is to provide you with trustworthy recommendations that you can have confidence in purchasing any one of the products we recommend. But it's also worth noting that not every speaker is ideal for every application so we try to point those scenarios out as well.

Looking for a different type of subwoofer? Check out these list!

Best Slim Car Subwoofers List

1. Best Overall Pick: Rockford Fosgate Power T1S2 Shallow Subwoofers

Rockford Fosgate T1S2 Slim Subwoofers front, side and back view

Rockford Fosgate Power T1S2 Series Subwoofer Review

Meet the Rockford Fosgate Power T1S2. These shallow subs are far from cheap, but they are beautifully engineered and perform incredibly well. If you want to get high quality bass from a shallow enclosure you'll be hard-pressed to find a better series of slim subwoofer than these. The 10″ model needs a mounting depth of only 3″ yet handles 500 watts RMS!

Besides depth, heat can be an issue with subs. Especially those mounted in a sealed enclosure and tucked behind a seat. Rockford addressed this issue by using an aluminum diecast frame that incorporates integrated heat sink fins to help transfer heat more efficiently. For components, these subs are built around a single 2-ohm voice coil with dual Nomex progressive spiders. They're optimized for sealed enclosures so we wouldn't recommend a ported configuration. And the removable die cast aluminum trim ring adds a nice look if you want to show the off. From specs to tech, the T1S2 is hard to beat right now which is why they're at the top of our list.

Pros
  • Superior build quality for enhanced durability
  • Fantastic sound delivery
  • Powerful sound output
  • Eye-catching design
Cons
  • Price is on the high end but worth it
Rockford Fosgate T1S2-10
T1S2-10

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 500W RMS SVC 2Ω

Price Comparison

Rockford Fosgate T1S2-12
T1S2-12

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 600W RMS SVC 2Ω

Price Comparison

2. For Trucks & Under Seats: JL Audio TW3 Shallow Series Subwoofers

JL Audio TW3 Shallow Series Subwoofers front, side and angle view

JL Audio TW3 Shallow Series Subwoofer Review

I mentioned how much shallow series subwoofers have progressed over the years. The TW3 series from JL Audio is their flagship model and are a great example of how much R&D has been put into these types of subs and why I can honestly say that performance should no longer be a concern. This super-thin subwoofer is packed with innovative engineering and technology to give consumers the ultimate sound with minimal space. They use a combination of rugged polypropylene cones to reduce cone flex and a rubber surrounding that provides long-lasting and efficient cone movement.

But the elephant in the room with these subwoofers is JL's Concentric Tube Suspension™ technology that's baked into a cast aluminum basket. Reducing depth without limiting excursion is one of the biggest challenges with shallow subwoofers. JL tackled this issue head on by incorporating an innovative design that places the spider along the outside of an enlarged voice coil. The combination of the spider placement and size of the voice coil allow the motor structure to sit inside of the voice coil rather than around it. This design allows the sub to sit at only 3 1/4″ tall but has the excursion that's actually higher than a JL Audio 12W3v3 traditional subwoofer. Pretty incredible.

If you're looking for the best tech and design on the market right now, these subs have it. And being a JL product, you can trust the product will perform incredibly well an last.

Pros
  • High-quality, performance driven technology
  • Stylish and durable construction
  • Space saver with deep sound
  • Substantial power handling
  • Available in 2 different size options
Cons
  • When is JL Audio ever.. cheap?
JL Audio 10TW3-D4
10TW3-D4

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 400W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

JL Audio 10TW3-D8 shallow subwoofer
10TW3-D8

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 400W RMS DVC 8Ω

Price Comparison

JL Audio 12TW3-D4
12TW3-D4

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 600W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

JL Audio 12TW3-D4
12TW3-D8

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 400W RMS DVC 8Ω

Price Comparison

Buy on Crutchfield.com $479.99
Buy on Amazon.com
Last Amazon price update was: July 2, 2022 4:23 pm

3. Low Cost Pick: Pioneer TS-A Shallow Series Subwoofers

pioneer ts-a series shallow subwoofers front, back side view

Pioneer TS-A Shallow Series Subwoofer Review

Pioneer's TS-A Series is the latest version of Pioneer's Shallow Series lineup of subs. They were originally released in 2019 and before then, we had their TS-SW series present on our list. The TS-A is an improved version of the TS-SW and they're packed with innovative, patent-pending features that help it deliver powerful bass while maintaining a slim enough profile to fit into a broad range of vehicles. Features like an oversized cone surface to increase the surface area of the woofer without increasing the overall size give the subwoofer deeper bass at higher volumes. A reinforced cone structure prevents any sort of failure under heavy load and gives the sub a stiff and responsive reproduction of your music. All stuffed nicely into a compact frame that sits at 3 3/8″ tall.

Even though the TS-A may not have undergone a complete overhaul like JL Audio's TW3, they're a definite contender and perform very well at a great value.

Pros
  • Three different size options to choose from
  • Quite affordable
  • Deep bass and great sound delivery for the price
Cons
  • Low power handling compared to other subwoofers on the list
Pioneer TS-A2000LD2 front angle view of slim subwoofer
TS-A2000LD2

Subwoofer Size: 8
Power Handling: 250W RMS DVC 2Ω

Price Comparison

Pioneer TS-A2500LS4 front angle view of shallow/slim subwoofer
TS-A2500LS4

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 300W RMS SVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Pioneer TS-A3000LS4 front angle view of shallow subwoofer
TS-A3000LS4

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 400W RMS SVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

4. Runner Up, Low Cost Pick: MTX FPR Shallow Series Subwoofers

MTX 35 Series Shallow Subwoofers front, side and angle views

MTX 35 Series Shallow Subwoofer Review

In our opinion, the simplistic, sleek design of the MTF FPR series looks great when installed. Designed to be pushed to the limit with your heaviest, bassy-est songs, the MTX 35 Series Shallow Subwoofers were engineered to perform well in the toughest and tightest environments. The 35 Series feature a rigid polypropylene cone, surrounded by nitrile-butyl rubber surround that offers long-lasting durability without cracking or delaminating. They have what MTX calls an Inverted Apex Surround, which is basically a folding rubber surround design that takes up less space between the frame of the subwoofer and the cone. This allows for an increased surface area and increased volume displacement (more bass!). You can read more about this feature on MTX's website.

Combined these features with MTX’s unique Spider Plateau Venting design that keeps the subwoofer cool while pumping intense jam sessions and you have a high quality, high performing shallow subwoofer that'll last. Note that this subwoofer does require a sealed enclosure and should not be placed in a ported configuration.

Pros
  • Two different options to choose from
  • Great audio quality
  • Really shallow mounting depth (less than 3.5″)
  • Well-rounded bass without distortions
  • Neat Inverted Apex Surround design that allows for a larger cone and more displacement than some competitors
Cons
  • Lower sensitivity than other subwoofers
  • The subwoofer is designed for sealed enclosures only (no ported enclosures)
MTX 3510-04S front angle view of slim subwoofer
3510-04S

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 300W RMS SVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Buy on Crutchfield.com $89.95
Buy on eBay $119.95
Buy on Amazon.com
Last Amazon price update was: July 2, 2022 6:23 pm

MTX 3512-04S front angle view of slim subwoofer
3512-04S

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 300W RMS SVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

5. Highest Volume Pick: Alpine Type-R Shallow Series Subwoofers

Alpine Type-R Shallow Series Subwoofers side, angle and front view

Alpine Type-R Shallow Series Subwoofer Review

Whether you’re looking for a subwoofer for recreational purposes, or a competitive level sub that will dominate, the Alpine Type-R Series Subwoofers will compete with any of the options on our list. They were designed for high power and high volume bass while keeping a low profile. They're another great alternative to a traditional component subwoofer, yet fit in all of the un traditional, tight areas.

Alongside JL Audio and some of the other manufacturers on this list, excursion was a key focus of Alpine's. More excursion means more output, and the patent pending ‘Pass-Through Gap Geometry' spider design allows the sub to maintain the excursion that matches many traditional subwoofers without sacrificing depth. An aluminum cone with Santoprene rubber surround and cast aluminum frame with radial finned heat sink help the subwoofer maintain rigidity to prevent flex at high outputs while deflecting heat. The Type-R checks all the boxes when it comes to a slim subwoofer design, and it's an Alpine, so you can trust it will last.

Pros
  • Good, consistent bass delivery regardless of how hard and long you're pushing it
  • Two size options to choose from
  • Great subwoofer technology with modern features
  • Quality construction and high-level performance output
Cons
  • Higher price
Alpine SWR-T10
SWR-T10

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 600W RMS SVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Buy on Amazon.com
Buy on Crutchfield.com
Last Amazon price update was: July 2, 2022 9:23 am

Alpine SWR-T12
SWR-T12

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 600W RMS SVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Buy on Amazon.com
Buy on Crutchfield.com
Last Amazon price update was: July 3, 2022 1:25 pm

6. Heavy Duty Pick: Kicker CompRT Series Shallow Subwoofers

Kicker CompRT Best Slim Subwoofers front, side and back view

Kicker CompRT Shallow Series Subwoofer Review

Kicker has been a well-know brand in the automotive stereo industry since 1973. Their CompRT shallow mount subwoofers have been on our list for a while now and they recently refreshed the design for 2021. The RT designation signifies shallow mount design, and they are available in sizes ranging from 6.75 up to 12″. The 10″ CompRT has a mounting depth of 3.4375″ (3 7/16″) which is competitive with the other options on our list. They are sold as “all-weather” too so could conceivably use this on a bike, Razr or Can-Am.

Among some of the features on these subs is Kicker's proprietary heat management system. More recently, they've improved the forced air cooling system that allows it to operate up to 25% cooler (according to Kicker). What's also worth pointing out is the stout, heavy duty components and design. When you look at one of these in person, you get a better sense but you can really tell that one of Kicker's primary focus was rigidity and durability with this sub. You'll also notice their signature red cone stitching on the outside which give it a great look if you want to showcase them somewhere.

Pros
  • Good, consistent bass delivery
  • Two size options to choose from
  • Great subwoofer technology with modern features
  • Quality construction and high-level performance output
  • Can be placed in ported or sealed enclosures
Cons
  • Less punchier bass than others on our list
Kicker 48CWRT82 for best shallow subwoofers list
48CWRT82

Subwoofer Size: 8″
Power Handling: 300W RMS DVC 2Ω

Price Comparison

Kicker 48CWRT84 shallow slim subwoofer
48CWRT84

Subwoofer Size: 8″
Power Handling: 300W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Kicker 48CWRT102 front view of slim subwoofer
48CWRT102

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 400W RMS DVC 2Ω

Price Comparison

Kicker 48CWRT104 shallow subwoofer front view
48CWRT104

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 400W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Kicker 48CWRT122 slim subwoofer front view
48CWRT122

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 500W RMS DVC 2Ω

Price Comparison

Kicker 48CWRT124 slim subwoofer
48CWRT124

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 500W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

7. Best Value: Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 Shallow Series Subwoofers

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 Shallow Series Subwoofers front, side and angle views

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 Shallow Series Subwoofer Review

Rockford Fosgate’s Punch entry level lineup of speakers, amps and subwoofers is among the most recognizable line of products in the industry. Over the past 15 (or more) years, they've made a name for themselves as being an incredible bang for your buck. Rockford's P3S Shallow Series Subwoofers were designed to match the performance of their component P3 woofers, just in a smaller package. A large undertaking considering these slim subs only have a depth of 3 9/16″. Rockford uses a thin anodized aluminum cone and dust cap that is light enough give the woofer an efficient response, but rigid enough to maintain its shape during high powered, heavy bass. Combine these features with their M-Roll Santoprene™ surround, and you get a long lasting high output subwoofer that sounds and feels like a standard component subwoofer. Even though these might be an entry level series of subs, we feel they definitely hold their own on our list, especially for the price.

Pros
  • 3 different size options available
  • Stylish design and compact construction
  • Price is on the lower end
Cons
  • Relatively low power handling
  • Certain components are not as durable as others and can break down earlier
Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-8
P3SD4-8

Subwoofer Size: 8″
Power Handling: 150W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-10
P3SD4-10

Subwoofer Size: 10″
Power Handling: 300W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-12
P3SD4-12

Subwoofer Size: 12″
Power Handling: 400W RMS DVC 4Ω

Price Comparison

8. Best Technology: JL Audio TW5v2 Series Shallow Subwoofers

JL Audio TW5v2 Series Slim Subwoofers side, front and rear views

JL Audio TW5v2 Slim Series Subwoofer Review

The TW5v2 slim subwoofer series is designed to give you the ultimate bass sound experience from the shallowest mounting depths. It's JL Audio's flagship shallow subwoofer right now. Don't let the position of this sub on our list confuse its capability, quality and output. This is among the best subs on the market by far.

If you read our TW3 overview earlier on our list, the TW5 features many, if not all of the same features as the TW3 including the Concentric Tube Suspension™ technology that allows the motor design to fit inside the voice coil to reduce depth while maintaining excursion. You can read up more about their technology on JL Audio's product page.

Comparing between the TW5v2 and TW3

The biggest differences between the TW3 and TW5v2 subwoofers falls into a few areas.

  1. Power handling: The TW5v2 can handle more power than the TW3
  2. Voice coils: The TW5v2 is a single voice coil available in 2 or 4-ohms while the TW3 is a dual voice coil subwoofer that comes in dual 4 or 8-ohms.
  3. Cone: The TW5v2 has a different cone design than the TW3. The TW5 is mica-filled while the TW3 is polypropylene. And it also features FCAM which is JL's patented method of adhering/connecting the cone to the spider. FCAM is arguably better than that used by the TW3.
  4. Size: The TW5v2 is ONLY available in a 13.5″ diameter while the TW3 comes in either 10″ or 12″ diameters.
  5. Price: The TW5v2 is almost twice the price as a 10TW3. Enough said.

The reason we placed the TW5v2 ‘lower' on our list here is because of two things: price and size. The price really is unattainable for the average stereo enthusiast. And the 13.5″ diameter is not a universal size that most stereo enthusiasts or installers use. You'll need to buy a JL enclosure or make a custom one. Otherwise, this is probably the ultimate shallow subwoofer.

Pros
  • Require extremely shallow mounting depth (Less than 3 inches)
  • Powerful, deep, and accurate bass delivery
  • Great performance and clear sound
  • Quality construction for better durability
  • Can handle power up to 600 watts
  • Good looking subwoofers
Cons
  • Only offered in a 13.5″ size at the moment
  • Price isn’t too friendly
JL Audio 13TW5v2-2 slim subwoofer side and front view
13TW5v2-2

Subwoofer Size: 13.5
Power Handling: 250W RMS 2Ω

Price Comparison

Buy on Amazon.com
Buy on Crutchfield.com
Last Amazon price update was: July 2, 2022 6:23 am

JL Audio 13TW5v2-4 front view of slim subwoofer
13TW5v2-4

Subwoofer Size: 13.5
Power Handling: 250W RMS @ 4Ω

Price Comparison

Buy on eBay $914.86
Buy on Crutchfield.com $829.99
Buy on Amazon.com
Last Amazon price update was: July 2, 2022 6:23 am

Choosing the Right Subwoofer

When choosing the best shallow subwoofer that will fit your needs, you have to ask yourself, “What kind of bass am I looking for?” Sometimes the best shallow subwoofer isn’t the biggest. Different sizes of shallow subwoofers respond and produce different sound to different music and 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 like heavy rock, double bass and fast paced electronic. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy soft and light bass. An 8″ subwoofer is one that compliments a system rather than overwhelms.

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 such as rap and club music. But if you’re looking for big bass, you may have to double up with the 10″ to achieve what you are looking for. Click Here To View Our 10″ Subwoofers.

12″ Subwoofers – If you listen to a big variety of music but enjoy heavy bass then a 12″ subwoofer is for you. The 12″ sub is the most common in the marketplace today, mainly because they are so universal to any music that is listened to, produce a heavy bass and cover a deeper range of frequencies. It won’t keep up with fast paced music such as heavy rock or metal as well as the 10″, it will sound great for all varieties of music, especially rap, electronic, club and pop.

15″ Subwoofers – If you are looking for ear bleeding bass then you are in the right category.

So to sum up, when choosing the best shallow subwoofer to fit your application you need to take into consideration the level of music you want to listen to, the type of music, as well as the 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.

All of the top rated shallow subwoofers require an amplifier. Check out all of the Best Reviewed Amplifiers, and more information on how to choose an amplifier to meet the specs of your Best Thin Subwoofer.