If it’s hard to hear bass notes clearly in your car, you may benefit from a quality subwoofer. The problem with bass is that road noise from tires and engines generate a lot of low frequency sound that can cancel out your bass. Maybe it sounds great in the driveway but when you’re on the highway it doesn’t sound like it’s enough. And no matter how good those 6.5″ component speakers or 6×9″ speakers are, they’ll struggle to overcome this noise.
A component car subwoofer is a larger speaker that’s designed to emit bass efficiently and effectively. It also frees-up the component speakers to handle just the mid-range frequencies which can eliminate distortion and even help you increase volume if tuned properly. But just like car speakers, there are many different subwoofers to choose from, and their features and prices vary widely.
There’s really two types of mainstream subwoofers on the market: passive and powered. A passive subwoofer needs a separate amplifier (consider one of our subwoofer amplifiers). By eliminating the enclosure, this makes the unit more compact, and so creates more options for installation. Our Best Car Subwoofers guide compiles the most highly-regarded speakers and takes you through the tricky business of deciding which size will suit you best. Or, if you’re looking specifically for a free-air application subwoofer, we’ve got you covered too.
In addition to traditional passive subwoofers, we also cover the best powered subwoofers, which have an amplifier built-in to simplify installation. These units have a subwoofer that sits in an enclosure from the factory, which may simplify (or complicate) mounting.
When space is at a premium – perhaps you’re going for an under-seat installation – a shallow mount subwoofer might be the answer. As the name suggests, these need less depth than regular subwoofers and might be easier to install. Read our guide to the best shallow mount subwoofers to find out more about this option.
A subwoofer will give your music more rumble and impact, but there’s a lot more to consider before parting with your money. Our guides are our recommendations based on our first hand reviews and experience in the field. Our goal is to provide you with a trustworthy guide that will provide you with the information you need to make a decision on a great product.
We’re frequently updating our lists too, so bookmark our pages for the next time you’re in the market for a car subwoofer!