The 7 Best Powered Car Subwoofers – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Powered Car Subwoofer

Powered car subwoofers are one of the best types of car woofers on the market. They already have a pre-amplifier inside and can output a decent bass that can sometimes rival much more expensive dedicated bass systems.

Best, you do not have to worry about additional purchases like a dedicated amplifier. Moreover, a powered subwoofer is an ideal choice for owners of small cars that have a small boot.

Additionally, beginners who have never installed their own car audio system before will love setting up a powered woofer. It has a number of audio outputs that is very easy to connect and fun to play with.

Pros and Cons of a Powered Car Subwoofer

As with any electronic device, a powered car subwoofer has its advantages and disadvantages. Knowing them will help you make a better purchase decision so here are a few of the most important ones.

Pros

  • Ease of use: While a conventional sound system might look intimidating and complex, it really is quite a simple device. Both the installation and usage is easy for absolute beginners.
  • Portability: Since everything is enclosed, a powered car subwoofer is highly portable. Additionally, they are also very easy to install and solidly built, so they can be carried anywhere with ease.
  • Versatility: Most car powered subwoofers are more versatile than other types of car subwoofers. Many models can be remote controlled and have powerful bass customization options. Additionally, they come in different shapes and sizes to suit various needs. Some powered subwoofers are big and meant to be installed in the boot, while others are small and compact and installed under the seat.
  • Value for money: You do not have to spend additional money on purchasing a dedicated amplifier with a powered subwoofer. It already contains a pre-amp that is usually more than enough for most people.

Cons

  • Less Power: A powered car subwoofer usually tends to have a lower power handling than a dedicated system. This is because the amplifier used is small and needs to fit inside the enclosure that already contains other components like the cone. Therefore, the bass that comes from such a system will feel smaller when compared with a dedicated system that can have a much higher power handling and bigger amplifier.
  • Price: The price is another big disadvantage of the powered subwoofer. It is usually more expensive than a dedicated system without necessarily being more performing than the latter.

Best Powered Car Subwoofers - Reviews

Image

Product Name

Power Handling

Rating

Current Price

Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure

Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered Car Subwoofer 

300 W

4.6

Kicker 11HS8 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure

Kicker 11HS8 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer 

150 W

4.1

JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch Car Audio Powered Subwoofer System

JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch Car Audio Powered Subwoofer System

450 W

4.6

Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 Powered Active Subwoofer Enclosure

Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 Powered Active Subwoofer 

450 W

4.2

Dual Electronics SBP8A Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

Dual Electronics SBP8A Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

160 W

4.4

Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

150 W

4.3

Rockville SS8P Under-Seat Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer

Rockville SS8P Under-Seat Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer

400 W

5.0

#1. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure

The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is one of the best-powered car subwoofers on the market. This model comes with a 5/8 MDF case enclosure with a class D amplifier with a rating of 300 RMS.

It isn't the most powerful unit in this review, but it still manages to output a deep bass. The 12-inches cone in the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 displaces a lot of air allowing it to produce a deep sound that few car subwoofers can rival.

Furthermore, the 300 W class D amplifier does a good job powering up the unit and there are no overheating issues even when used for an extended period. 

Another very interesting feature of this model is that it can be remotely controlled. This adds a lot of convenience to it. Moreover, there is a bass boost EQ panel to the side that allows you to customize the bass to your liking.

All in all, despite being a little expensive, the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 has an excellent build construction and produces a superb and powerful bass that is well worth the money.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction
  • Powerful bass
  • Bass boost EQ
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Requires a big car boot

#2. Kicker 11HS8 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure

Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)

Kicker 11HS8 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure

The Kicker 11HS8 is one of the smallest powered subwoofers in this review. Its small and compact size makes it quite versatile and there is a number of installation scenarios that the user can perform with this model. The most common is definitely placing it under the seat.

This unit rocks a smaller 8-inches woofer cone, but despite its small size it still manages to output a more than average sound quality.

Furthermore, a 150 W pre-amp is fitted in this model to power the whole thing. 150 W is more than enough for an 8-inches subwoofer and it will play loud, clear, and without any distortions.

Performance aside, the build quality is superb. This is definitely a woofer that was built to last and outperform other models in durability. The front even has a metal grille for added protection.

Due to its small size and lightweight, the Kicker 11HS8 can even be used as a portable powered car subwoofer and carried wherever you need a decent bass.

Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • Efficient design. Does not consume a lot of power
  • Excellent build construction. Durable and long-lasting

Cons:

  • Small 8-inches cone. Not the most powerful when compared to other models

#3. JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch Car Audio Powered Subwoofer System

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch Car Audio Powered Subwoofer System

This powered car subwoofer is certainly not the most affordable model in this review. However, it is one of the best in terms of performance. Indeed, it produces a. very powerful and deep bass with its 12-inches cone.

Furthermore, there are a lot of technologies like auto signaling that tells the roofer when to switch on and when to switch off for faster response times and a clearer bass sound. This unit is not quite as portable but it is built like a tank. Very durable and long-lasting indeed.

The woofer is made from a die-cast aluminum basket that provides durability. It is definitely a car subwoofer that is meant for heavy duty playback at loud volumes.

What we really like about this model is its versatility. There are a lot of customization options at the back that allows the user to fine-tune their music. This is a rare feature as other models usually only offer a very basic customization setting. Understandably so, this unit is much more expensive which justifies its price quite well.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for with the JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch. It is a worthwhile subwoofer that produces a deep and powerful bass that few models in this review can rival.

Pros:

  • Efficient design for best performance
  • Large 12-inches cone produce a deep and powerful bass
  • Signal sensing technology
  • Lots of customization options

Cons:

  • The price. It is an expensive subwoofer

#4. Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 Powered Active Subwoofer Enclosure

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 Powered Active Subwoofer Enclosure

When it comes to tight spaces, the Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 is a true winner. Indeed, this is a compact and low-profile 10-inches powered subwoofer that can be installed almost anywhere in the car.

Despite its relatively small size, it is still a powerful woofer that can produce a punchy bass. It is powered by a 450 W amplifier that is more than enough for most people. Furthermore, the whole unit is encased in a cast aluminum body for better heat dissipation.

Clearly, the Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 is meant to be installed in tight spaces and played at high volumes without the risk of overheating.

For those who need versatility, this model is highly customizable as the back of the unit has a lot of audio outputs and bass EQ settings.

Even if this unit is a little bit expensive, we can safely recommend this powered subwoofer. Especially to those who have tight spaces in their car and yet still need a decent bass quality. The 450 W amplifier is powerful and the woofer produces a deep bass that will satisfy anyone.

Pros:

  • Compact and low-profile. Can be installed in very tight spaces
  • Cast aluminum body for better heat dissipation
  • Many customization options at the back

Cons:

  • The price
  • Can be difficult to install

#5. Dual Electronics SBP8A Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Dual Electronics SBP8A Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

The Dual Electronics SBP8A is one of the most typical and yet futuristic looking powered subwoofer in this review. It is not a very powerful subwoofer with a power handling of only 160 W but it is more than enough for its small 8-inches cone.

This is an enclosed system that contains a 2-inches voice coil with a clear midrange frequency. Moreover, it has a low impedance of 2 ohms which means that you can use thin wires to connect to this subwoofer.

But one of the most striking features of the SBP8A is definitely its front acrylic window that when powered illuminates with a blue color. It is quite a stunning view and it will definitely amaze your friends. But looks are not everything. This unit still manages to pack a lot of customization options at the back. You can easily fine-tune your bass to your liking with this model.

Moreover, this woofer is more than a novelty item. It is a durable and solid unit that has been built to last and comes with a steel backplate to prevent enclosure vibrations during playback.

Despite having a smaller woofer cone, we find that there are many advantages to this unit. Mostly, it is meant for those who want to attract attention because this is a very flashy powered subwoofer.

Pros:

  • Front of woofer illuminates
  • Steel backplate to reduce vibrations
  • Rich music customization options at the back
  • 2 inches voice coil for midrange clarity

Cons:

  • Not very powerful

#6. Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer

We have yet another compact and low-profile powered subwoofer. The Kenwood KSC-SW11 is a model made from an aluminum enclosure that absorbs and dissipate heat well.

Since this unit is meant to be installed under the seat or in a remote place, it can be remotely controlled for more ease-of-use. It does not have a very powerful amplifier as it is rated at only 150 W but it does not have to as the cone and whole design is efficient requiring less power than other models.

As expected from a company like Kenwood, the build quality of this powered subwoofer is simply superb. It is built to last and can even be abused as it has excellent heat dissipation. It can withstand high volumes while producing a deep and punchy bass for an extended period with no problem.

If you need a small and compact powered subwoofer then this model is a worthy consideration.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality. Durable
  • Aluminum case for heat absorption
  • Can be remotely controlled
  • Easy to install by beginners

Cons:

  • Not a very powerful model

#7. Rockville SS8P Under-Seat Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer

Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)

Rockville SS8P Under-Seat Powered Car/Truck Subwoofe

Powered car subwoofers can sometimes be expensive. This is not the case with the Rockville SS8P as it is one of the most affordable powered subwoofers in this review. Despite its relatively low price, it still packs a punch and has many features that make it a very desirable woofer.

The amplifier inside this woofer has a big power handling of 400 W. Taking into account the small cone size of 8-inches inside this unit, and the powerful 400 W amplifier, you can conclude that it will produce one of the most powerful bass in this review.

It even has many internal circuitry like overheat protection and short-circuits protection as a safety measure. You can play this powered subwoofer at high volumes in all safety.

We note the presence of many sound customization options at the back like low pass crossover filters, phase control, and bass boost EQ amongst others. Additionally, a remote knob is included for controlling the sound at a distance. Neat!

All in all, despite being the most budget-friendly model in this review, the Rockville SS8P has a well-rounded set of features that makes this powered subwoofer value for money.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Powerful 400 W amplifier. Punchy bass
  • Low impedance. Thin wires can be used for connections
  • Versatile. Audio customization at the back

Cons:

  • Not the best build quality when compared to other models

How to Buy a Powered Car Subwoofer

How to Buy a Powered Car Subwoofer

Before purchasing a powered car subwoofer, here are some important factors that you need to take into account. They may stop you from making an expensive purchase.

Power Handling

The power handling gives you a good indication of the loudness of the woofer. In general, the higher the power handling, the louder you can expect the woofer to be. However, power isn't everything. For the best sound, the amplifier needs to be powerful and efficient enough for the subwoofer.

Enclosure Size

Since a powered subwoofer has to host both the woofer and the amplifier inside the enclosure, it can be big in size. Ensure that the total height and width of the enclosure will fit inside your boot, especially if you have a small car.

Enclosure Design

The enclosure design affects the sound of the woofer. In general, a closed loop design tends to give the best bass effect. Another option is to place the woofer under a seat for better bass reproduction. Of course, this is only possible for models that are compact and have a low-profile.

Cone Size

Each powered subwoofer comes with its own cone size. If you want a deep bass, it is always better to choose a size of 10-inches or above. For a punchier bass, 8-inches powered subwoofers are amazing.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is an important aspect of a woofer. The higher the sensitivity of the powered woofer, the more efficient you can assume the woofer to be as it responds to lower power to produce the same sound.

Tuning Options

For more versatility, look for powered woofers that provide the ability to fine-tune the sound. They usually have the bass boost EQ and low pass filters at the back. Moreover, many models can even be remotely controlled for even more ease of use.

Impedance

When installing the woofer, the impedance is another important factor. What the impedance shows is the type of audio wire you can use during installation. A woofer with a rated 2 Ohms impedance can be connected with a much thinner wire than a woofer with an impedance of 8 Ohms.

Conclusion

As we’ve seen, powered car subwoofers already have a pre-amp and are easy to install.

If you want a car subwoofer that does not take a lot of space in your car boot and do not want to invest in an external amplifier, a powered woofer is your best choice.

The only caveat is that they cost a little bit more upfront. However, performance wise, many powered subwoofer models can sound just as good as a dedicated bass system.

In case you still haven’t found the best-powered car subwoofer for your need, we recommend that you go through this review one more time.

  • April 29, 2018
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