Best 12 inch Subwoofer – Expert Weighs in

Buying new 12-inch subwoofers for your car can be a little overwhelming, as there are so many different options on the market that you can choose from. High-quality speakers are the best way to make sure that you are happy when driving and that you can easily listen to your favorite music, but if you want heavier bass that sounds big and deep, you need to invest in the best 12-inch subwoofer on the market. This will ensure that you can get the most enjoyment from listening to music when on the road.

You don’t want to risk accidentally buying the wrong subwoofers for your car, which is why you will want to use this guide to make sure that you choose the right option for your needs. Picking the wrong product may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to your sound not being as deep and throbbing as you desire. If you want great 12-inch subwoofers for your vehicle, there are a few that you will want to consider right off the bat as your best options.

CT Sounds Strato 12-Inch Car Subwoofer

The CT Sounds Strato 12-inch car subwoofer is one of the best dual 12-inch subwoofer options on the market. Not only has it been professionally constructed, which means that it won’t be damaged by regular use, no matter what type of music you play, but it also is ridiculously powerful, making it a wonderful option for anyone looking for a powerful subwoofer for their vehicle.

Not only will you be able to enjoy all of the low-end nuances of your music with this great subwoofer, but you will actually be able to feel the way that your music sounds. The 800 Watts of RMS power is impressive enough, but the fact that it boasts 1600 Watts of peak power makes it even more powerful and ensures that it will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Thanks to the design of this subwoofer, you can enjoy a full and rounded sound, no matter whether you are listening to classical, rap, country, or rock. This makes it a versatile subwoofer that works well for most users. This a versatile subwoofer because it makes it easy to listen to any type of music. It also can be mounted inside ported and sealed enclosures, depending on your needs. The dual voice controls offer exceptional power and ensure that songs all sound clear and sharp.

The paper cone in the CT Sounds Strato is double-stitched, which means that this subwoofer is capable of producing highly nuanced tones and sounds. Additionally, the subwoofer itself is constructed from high-quality durable plastic, which is designed to last for years. This ensures that no matter where you live or what type of setup that you have in your vehicle, you aren’t going to have to worry about the condition of your subwoofer or whether it will fail you when you need it most.

Check out this stress test to hear this subwoofer in action. It’s easy to see how much power and punch this subwoofer provides for any song. It can easily handle even the highest-powered frequencies without any worry about the product being damaged, even when used with high inputs from the channel amp.

What We Liked

  • Incredibly powerful
  • Even when used at loud volumes, the sound is clear and full of power and punch
  • Easy to control sound for great nuance
  • Y35 grade magnet, which is one of the most powerful magnet options available
  • Not only do these subwoofers offer great sound, but they are attractive as well

What We Disliked

  • More expensive than others on this list
  • Doesn’t offer the best performance when used at lower volumes

Kicker 12” 800 Wall CompVR 

This is, hands-down the best cheap 12-inch subwoofer. It’s incredibly affordable, which means that it is great for people who are on a budget.  While this is not the most powerful option available, it’s affordable, easy to install, and packs plenty of punch.

Because it has an RMS power of 400 Watts and a peak power of 800 Watts, this subwoofer is great for handling any kind of music. This means that it can easily handle jazz, rap, rock, classical, and more without the low thumping tones of the bass suffering. As it has dual voice coils, it offers tons of flexibility when you’re setting up your sound system in your car. It has two voice coils that have their own connections but are connected to a common core.

The stiff core is made from polypropylene, meaning that the sound is controlled and doesn’t get too punchy. This design is important, as it ensures that the subwoofer will last for a very long time without being damaged. This reduces the expense of maintenance and means that you won’t have to replace it anytime soon.

Thanks to the 360-degree back bracing on this subwoofer, you never have to worry about dependable performance. This back bracing, when combined with the perimeter venting, allow the voice coils to remain in place during use and also prevents them from overheating. This means that the subwoofer provides dependable performance at all times, no matter how long the subwoofer is in use.

Because this subwoofer is designed to not only offer great sound performance but also to last for a long time without being damaged, it is a great choice for the heavy user. Even though it is not as expensive or powerful as other subwoofers on the market, it is a wonderful option for anyone looking for a reliable piece of equipment that offers a great low-end and won’t fail, no matter how hot it is. You can hear more about the specs of this great subwoofer here.

What We Liked

  • Sensitivity of 86.9 dB won’t distort even when music is very loud
  • Offers plenty of power by itself, but can be paired with another for more volume and sound control
  • Dual voice coils are made from anodized aluminum
  • Can handle a lot of power without breaking up or sounding tinny
  • Provides great low-end for any type of music, no matter the song that is being played
  • Concise sound is clear without any chance of being muddy or distorted

What We Disliked

  • Not quite as nuanced as a higher-end subwoofer
  • Not as powerful as other subwoofers on the market

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC

This is an incredibly popular option for anyone looking to install a subwoofer in their vehicle, and for good reason. Not only is it known for being incredibly powerful, thanks to its RMS of 600 Watts, but it features peak power of 1200 Watts. This means that once you install this subwoofer in your vehicle, you won’t have to worry about how loud you can get your music and whether or not you will be able to really feel it when it’s on.

Rockford Fosgate has long been known for producing high-quality subwoofers, and the P3D4-12 is no exception. It’s packed with great features and was professionally designed to ensure that it provides the deep and throbbing bass that people crave from their subwoofer.

The voice coil formers on this subwoofer are made from anodized aluminum, which means that they quickly allow heat to dissipate. Because of this, there is very little chance of the voice coils heating up and becoming damaged. This is a great feature that really sets the P3D4-12 apart and makes it an ideal option for most users.

Additionally, the installation of this subwoofer is shockingly easy. The FlexFit basket was designed to ensure that installation is flexible and could be accomplished by most people without having to hire a professional.

Lead wires are important in any subwoofer to ensure the best possible sound performance, and the lead wires in this subwoofer have all been multipoint stitched. This technique is beneficial because it not only reduces the mass of the wire but also ensures that strain and stress are spread out instead of concentrated. This allows the wires to better withstand heavy use, fatigue, and changes in current that may easily damage other subwoofers.

One problem that some people run into when installing a subwoofer in their vehicle is that it simply doesn’t offer them all of the power and sound that they want. That’s not a concern with this subwoofer, as it was designed to provide not only an incredibly beefy low-end sound but also louder tones that help you to really feel the music. You can learn more about this powerful subwoofer here.

What We Liked

  • Fast and easy installation can be accomplished by anyone
  • Heat dissipates quickly so that the subwoofer isn’t damaged
  • Strong build is designed to last for a long time without being damaged
  • Handles power up to 1200 Watts
  • Features a CEA-2031 industry certification

What We Disliked

  • To get the best bass you may need to invest in a more powerful amp
  • Doesn’t ship with an enclosure
  • Has a lower sensitivity than other options on the market

Skar Audio EVL-12 D2

Thanks to the great features packed into this subwoofer, it is one of the best 12-inch subwoofer options available, even though it is a little bit more expensive than other options on this list. It is shockingly powerful and offers 2500 Watts of peak power, which is more than most people are ever going to need. This means that you can always enjoy the best bass and purest sound when using this subwoofer in your car.

Heating up is a real problem for some subwoofers, but not the EVL-12 DV. It has a multi-spoke basket designed specifically to prevent the subwoofer from overheating. In other words, you can use it all day without problems. Additionally, it features a 4-layer aluminum voice coil. This was chosen to help combat overheating as well.

The double staff ferrite motor structure is what really gives this subwoofer all of its power and is what makes it one of the strongest and most impressive options on the market. Thanks to the power of the motor in combination with the voice coil and cooling basket, it’s easy for users to see how this subwoofer can handle heavy output for long durations of time without failing or overheating.

There’s a high roll foam surround that is included in the construction of this subwoofer, and this is what gives it the power that it needs to produce incredibly low-end frequencies without worrying about responsiveness. Additionally, this subwoofer has an incredible suspension that relies on premium lead sires to hold everything in place. This essentially means that you never have to worry about rattling or your subwoofer moving too much when you are playing loud and deep bass.

Unlike some subwoofers that excel at producing low-end bass but struggle with ultra-low-end sounds, the EVL-12 DV can easily handle all of the low sounds that you want to enjoy. Even though it has a higher price tag than similar options, some of the advanced features and components of this subwoofer really set it apart. You can check out this unboxing video to see more about the Skar Audio EVL-12 DV.

What We Liked

  • Offers high power handling
  • The bass is deep and punchy
  • It does a great job remaining cool even when used for long periods of time, thanks to the multi-spoke basket
  • The voice coil is durable and able to withstand extreme conditions
  • The high foam surround ensures that lower notes are all accurate

What We Disliked

  • Has a lower sensitivity than some other options
  • Due to the heavy weight, it can be tricky to install on your own

JBL GT-BassPro12

One great benefit of this subwoofer is that it features a durable polypropylene cone that is surrounded by a high-quality rubber surround. Together they work to ensure that you enjoy cone resonance dampening and an incredibly reliable subwoofer that won’t fail under any conditions. Additionally, this technology ensures that you can enjoy bass that doesn’t just sound natural, but which is also tight and surprisingly powerful.

There are few things more frustrating than having to stop the car to make an adjustment to your subwoofer, which is why the GT-BassPro12 comes with remote level control. This allows you to easily adjust your sound without getting out of the car, ensuring that you can enjoy the best sound quality at all times.

There is a built-in amp in this subwoofer that was designed specially to complement the performance of the subwoofer. Some people who are putting a subwoofer in their car have to try to find the right amp on their own, and this can be really difficult. Rather than dealing with this stress, you can enjoy having one built in, which means that it will work perfectly with your subwoofer.

The vented pole piece of this subwoofer ensures that the motor stays nice and cool when operating. This results in better power handling and also ensures that you use less power when listening to music. Because you won’t run the risk of your motor overheating, you won’t need to worry about expensive maintenance or repairs.

The Slipstream port on the GT-BassPro12 is advanced. It was designed to ensure that you don’t have to deal with port noise when enjoying loud volumes from your music. Port noise occurs when the port can’t pass the air that it needs to in order to be efficient in its operation. Thanks to the Slipstream port on this subwoofer, however, you won’t have to worry about any distortion in your music.

No matter how high you turn up the volume, you can enjoy exceptional listening thanks to the power and control that this subwoofer offers. You can see the power of this subwoofer here.

What We Liked

  • Durable and strong die-cast aluminum basket
  • Cone is made from polypropylene
  • Improved venting around the motor prevents the subwoofer from overheating
  • Slipstream port removes any port noise and ensures that bass is distortion-free
  • Features signal-sensing to turn the unit on and off when there is an audio signal

What We Disliked

  • Is incredibly heavy and difficult to install on your own
  • Not great for use with ultra-low-end bass notes

Sundown Audio E-12 V.3 D4

Thanks to the highly durable and high-quality stamped steel frame of this subwoofer, once you install it in your vehicle you won’t have to worry about it moving around or becoming damaged, even when you listen to your music at very high volumes. This is great for anyone who wants to be able to enjoy both loud and quiet music without worrying. This steel frame is a new addition to this subwoofer and is strong and rugged.

The spider is glued and bolted to the frame to ensure that this subwoofer is compact, reliable, and durable. Additionally, this subwoofer features a much larger voice coil than other similar models. This provides a high thermal capacity that will prevent the subwoofer from being easily damaged.

It’s perfect for small and ported enclosures, and thanks to its lightweight, it’s fairly easy for most people to install on their own. The spring-loaded terminals are easy to use and offer plenty of durabilities to prevent the subwoofer from failing with regular and heavy use.

Heat dissipation is highly important for all subwoofers, and the E-12 V.3 D4 has a two-inch black aluminum voice coil that was specifically designed to help release heat and reduce the possibility of damage. This great heat dissipation is perfect for use in any type of vehicle and allows you to use this subwoofer for long periods of time without worrying about its condition.

Another feature of this subwoofer that was designed specifically to help prevent it from overheating is the 4-layer copper voice coil wire. This is a high-temperature wire that won’t overheat and cause damage to the subwoofer.

If you want to hear if this is the right subwoofer for you, you will enjoy hearing the thumping sounds of this subwoofer here. It features stitched on “mini-xl” tinsel leads that are designed to prevent the subwoofer from failing or becoming fatigued.

What We Liked:

  • Highly sensitive, especially considering its size
  • The voice coil has been designed to withstand heavy use
  • The vented magnetic gap is durable and powerful
  • Offers an impressive RMS power of 300 Watts
  • The 4-layer copper voice coil wire is designed to help withstand damage from higher temperatures

What We Disliked:

  • Has a higher impedance than other similar subwoofers
  • Tends to run a lot hotter than other subwoofers, especially when used at full or high power

Pioneer TS-SWX3002

This subwoofer is unique thanks to its pre-loaded enclosure. This design allows users to easily install it either in the cabin of their vehicle or the trunk, making it highly versatile and easy for most people to use. The compact dimensions don’t mean that it’s not powerful, as it offers up to 1500 Watts of peak power. This means that you can enjoy the booming bass that you want without having to worry about sacrificing space in your vehicle or dealing with a difficult installation.

The large cone in this subwoofer is surprising, given the shallow design of the unit. This cone was chosen on purpose, as it allows the subwoofer to produce low-frequency bass that is deep and loud without sacrificing sound quality.

The rigid cone is made from an injection-molded MICA resin. This process results in a cone that is surprisingly durable and rigid. Because it’s so rigid and durable, this cone is able to produce a highly accurate bass response. Additionally, it features a dual spider. This is by design, as it allows for control of the cone’s motion and offers the necessary stabilization.

The angled push terminals on the TS-SWX3002 are unique, as they make it easier than ever for the wires to be connected to the speakers. When the wires are connected in a straight direction, it not only saves space around the setup but also makes the overall installation much faster and easier.

Unlike some sealed subwoofers that struggle to produce a reliable and accurate bass, this subwoofer does a great job. It’s not as powerful as some subwoofers on the market, but this means that users don’t have to worry about the sound being too loud or difficult to listen to.

It’s fairly easy to tweak the subwoofer after installation. In other words, you can easily adjust the sound and power so you get the deep booming lows that you want without any distortion. Because it is sealed, it won’t produce the same thumping bass that other subwoofers will, but it is still a great option for improving the bass in your car without breaking the bank.

Enjoy a demo of this subwoofer here.

What We Liked

  • The shallow compact design offers a very tight bass
  • The enclosure surface is scratch resistant, non-slip, and carpeted
  • Features a reinforced cone structure
  • Is relatively inexpensive for the quality
  • Its compact dimensions make it a great option for many types of vehicles without taking up too much space

What We Disliked

  • Is a little taller than other options
  • Doesn’t feature side brackets to make it easy to mount

Here is a summary comparison of the subwoofers reviewed:

Product Price Dimension Weight RMS Power Peak Power
CT Sounds Strato 12 Inch Car Subwoofer $$$$ 6.8 x 11.2 x 12.6” 12.18 pounds 800 Watts 1600 Watts
Kicker 12” 800 Wall CompVR $ 4.9 x 4.9 x 11.4” 24 pounds 400 Watts 800 Watts
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC $$$ 14.5 x 14.5 x 10” 20.4 pounds 600 Watts 1200 Watts
Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 $$$ 14.5 x 14.5 x 11.5” 34.2 pounds 1250 Watts 2500 Watts
JBL GT-BassPro12 $$$ 12 x 22.4 x 14.5” 38.6 pounds 150 Watts 450 Watts
Sundown Audio E-12 V.3 D4 $$ 12.25 x 12.25 x 6.5” 27 pounds 500 Watts 750 Watts
Pioneer TS-SWX3002 $$ 9.3 x 23.4 x 17.2” 25.6 pounds 400 Watts 1500 Watts

Final Verdict

It’s easy to see how many great options there are on the market when you’re looking for the best 12-inch subwoofer. When shopping, you want to make sure to take into consideration not only your budget but also how much power you hope to get from your equipment. The CT Sounds Strato 12-Inch Car Subwoofer is the best overall option for most people and is powerful enough to provide all of the volume that you want without sounding muddy or low-quality. The incredible 1600 Watts of peak power really set it apart from other options on the market and make it an exceptional choice for anyone shopping for a subwoofer for their vehicle.

The Kicker 12” 800 Wall CompVR is the best choice for people who are on a budget, thanks to its lower starting point and the fact that it offers so much power. Additionally, this subwoofer is professionally designed so that it won’t easily break or be damaged, no matter how much you use it or how hot it gets. Since it comes at a lower price than the others on this list, it is the best cheap 12-inch subwoofer that you can buy without worrying about sacrificing quality.

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