Alpine S-W10D4 review: Is it Worth your Money?

Alpine S-W10D4 review: Is it Worth your Money?

The Alpine S-W10D4 S-Series subwoofer can turn even the smallest setups into a powerhouse. With the right amp, this sub can be so powerful that it becomes dangerous.

I’ve seen a lot of car audio setups in my time, and I have to say that I never would have expected the sound quality from such a small sub. It hits hard and has a really high threshold for power while requiring less than 5 inches to mount. After years of hearing and researching their products, I have high expectations for Alpine 10 in subwoofers, but this one is one of the best 10-inch subwoofers I’ve seen in some time.

With Alpine at the forefront of new car audio technology, it’s no surprise that the S-series is the top of the line. For 10-inch subwoofers in this price range, it doesn’t get much better than this. With a little bit of work (and the ability to weather just a few drawbacks and bumps along the way), you can get some of the best quality bass I’ve heard out of this subwoofer.

In this Alpine S-W10D4 review, I’ll talk about some of the features that I think make this subwoofer great.

Alpine S-W10D4 S-Series 10” Subwoofer

Alpine has been an industry leader in car audio since 1978 and has a reputation as one of the best manufacturers for all of your car audio needs. They found a lot of success when they first unveiled their S-series speakers, so they’ve decided to up the game with S-series subwoofers as well.

The Alpine S-W10D4 is one of the most powerful 10-inch subwoofers I’ve ever seen. With 600 RMS watts, it can handle a lot of power over long periods of time. What really got me are the 1800 Max watts. This thing is going to make your bones rattle with the right amplifier.

The S-Series by Alpine has a lot of new features that help to make it a powerful (and compact) subwoofer. It’s shallower than most other subwoofers of this size, allowing you to put it in even the most compact builds.

I’ll go into detail about the specific technologies for the S-series (and specifically the S-W10D4) in a moment. The bottom line is that Alpine is a great company that saw an opportunity to bring a powerful subwoofer at a great value. It definitely delivers on the bass.

What I Liked

  • Kevlar-Pulp Cone. When you want a deep, hard-hitting base, you have to make sure that the cone in your speaker isn’t going to be at risk. With a cone made of a Kevlar-Pulp blend, the cone is both strong and flexible.

 

  • Versatile enclosure options. You can choose whether to use this subwoofer in a vented or sealed enclosure, and the small mounting depth allows you a lot of space to work out the perfect setup.

 

  • Powerful double-stacked magnets. The Strontium Ferrite magnets in this subwoofer are another strengthening measure. You’ll get deeper bass from these magnets.

 

  • HAMR Surround Technology. Alpine’s unique excursion-building technology allows you to get the maximum bass and sound quality from your subwoofer. More on this in a moment.

 

  • Custom Steel Framing. The new standard motor for the S-series is powerful and causes a lot of vibration. The custom steel frame protects your motor and other parts of your subwoofer. It’s sturdy and well-built.

 

  • Dual Voice Coils. The Alpine S-W10D4 comes with two voice coils instead of one. Both are a 4-Ohm coil. The way that you wire them can change how the subwoofer works, which is great for versatile setups where you might want to play with your settings. You can achieve 2-Ohm, 4-Ohm, and 8-Ohm setups with this single subwoofer. Jumpers are included with the subwoofer so you can easily choose the wiring setup you want.

 

  • Rigorous testing. Alpine always does a ton of advanced testing on its products, from speakers to subwoofers and beyond. The manufacturer is one of the greatest things about this sub in my opinion due to customer service and extreme quality control.

 

  • Huge power handling capabilities. Did I mention power handling yet? The Alpine S-W10D4 can handle 600 RMS watts, allowing continuous deep bass. At max, the Alpine S-W10D4 peaks out at 1800 watts, which is incredible for the size of the subwoofer.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Requires a large amp. With the way this sub can handle power, you’re going to need quite a large amp to use it at its fullest. While this sub is marketed as a smaller model, it requires a larger-than-average amp. It evens out in the end, but still requires quite a bit of real estate in your trunk.

 

  • Grilles sold separately. At this price, you might expect your subwoofer to come with a grille. In this model, however, the grille in an optional piece that helps to protect your cone from extreme audio conditions. You can purchase them separately from the manufacturer.

 

  • You need to know your wiring. This is true for just about any subwoofer, but with the Alpine S-W10D4, it really stands out. The subwoofer has spring terminals all located on one side of the sub. This is supposed to make it easier to wire in, but it isn’t really any easier even with these changes. Keep in mind that despite the easy wiring claims, you still have to know what you’re doing with this sub.

Feature #1: Custom, High-Strength Steel Frame

One of the most important features that the Alpine S-W10D4 boasts is the custom steel frame. The motor within this high-powered subwoofer is able to withstand a lot of power, so it makes sense that you need a stronger frame to maintain build quality.

In addition to being extremely durable, the steel frame has both a vented backplate and frame leg vents to keep all of your equipment cool, with special emphasis on maintaining proper temperatures on the voice coil.

Feature #2: High Amplitude Multi-Roll (HAMR) Surround

HAMR Surround is High Amplitude Multi-Roll technology. Alpine has engineered this particular surround material to help the cone in your subwoofer’s speaker move as much as possible without having to be any bigger.

At rest, the surround has multiple folds within the material. As power increases and requires more from your cone, the HAMR unfolds, straightens out, and allows the cone to move safely. The result? Cleaner, more powerful bass that sounds goods and feels better.

Feature #3: Strontium Ferrite Double-Stacked Magnets

Inside a subwoofer, magnets help to stabilize your motor as you put it through more rigorous paces. When the magnets are beefy, the protection on your motor will be as well. With the use of these Strontium ferrite double-stacked magnets, Alpine is giving you the most durability it can in every possible way.

Combined with the other features and durability-boosting components the Alpine S-W10D4 offers, these magnets will help protect your motor in the long-term.

Vented or Sealed Enclosure?

Because of the shallower mounting depth, the Alpine S-W10D4 can be mounted in either a vented or sealed enclosure, depending on your preference. The user manual offers multiple examples of the proper way to set this subwoofer up with other components and specifications that are unique to this unit.

I enjoy that Alpine includes more than one example of each type of enclosure. This allows newer car audio enthusiasts to understand how the setups work. It also gives customers a heads-up on how to run this particular sub at its greatest capabilities with either enclosure.

Specifications

Power Handling 600 watts RMS
1800 watts Max
Size 10”
Nominal Impedance Dual 4-Ohm
Mounting Depth 4.7” (119.4mm)
Displacement 0.17 cu ft.
Voice Coil Diameter 2.6” (66.5mm)
Sound Pressure Level 86.4 dB
Shipping Weight 13.7lbs
Warranty 1 Year Parts & Labor

 

What the Customers Are Saying

I’ve read through all of the customer reviews on various retailer sites, and I can say that the reception for the Alpine S-W10D4 is overall positive. Many customers are impressed by the sound quality and the versatility you can achieve with this subwoofer.

Some are wary about the wiring, though. As with any subwoofer, you must be careful how you wire it to prevent damaging the subwoofer. Some people are not pleased with the way that Alpine markets this sub as easy to install. The boast that this subwoofer is thinner than others has led some to believe that the Alpine S-W10D4 is a shallow-mount sub, which just isn’t the case.

Here is a short overview of what makes Alpine’s new S-series subwoofers so advanced:

 

Final Verdict

I think that power and price blend well in the Alpine S-series, and the S-W10D4 is one of the best 10-inch subs they’ve offered so far. While it does have a few issues (and suffers from overzealous marketing), it’s a powerful sub that hits hard.

The ability to choose how you want your enclosure to look, the shallower mount for smaller setups, and some of the durability-based features really made this subwoofer stand out to me as a great choice for more seasoned car audio enthusiasts.

Other Choices

If you are newer to car audio, you should probably go with a smaller, less powerful subwoofer that doesn’t cost quite as much. I recommend the Boss Audio CXX10.

Want to tone it down a little? If you aren’t sold on all the features that the Alpine S-W10D4 offers, choose the Skar Audio SDR-10 D4 model. This 10-inch subwoofer is less powerful and less expensive.

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Alpine S-W10D4 review
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