So you’ve got your new speakers and amplifier dialed into a great tone in your car, but you’re missing that extra low-end impact. You’re not getting the rumble you really need, so you’re on the market for that key missing component, a subwoofer.
I’ve looked for the best 10 inch subwoofer that money can buy, so we’re reviewing the Kicker CompRT 43 CWRT, a fantastic option for audiophiles looking for a rugged option for their all-weather or compact vehicle. After years of comparing subwoofers in different systems, I’ve found it is vital to pick a subwoofer that isn’t easily blown out, and has a frequency range and power ratings to deliver huge bass. This Kicker 10 inch subwoofer not only sounds great, but works well with a range of amplifiers, and has a uniquely thin profile for easy installations.
Kicker 43CWRT102 10” 2-Ohm Subwoofer
There are a few important things to look out for when buying a subwoofer. Obviously fit is going to be one of the primary concerns for any system.
Kicker created the CompRT series to provide a sub with a thin profile, able to handle the majority of placement options, ideal for tricky space demands like on a motorcycle, ATV or truck cab. And it’s weatherproof, so it really does the trick for the most demanding environments.
This is a component subwoofer, so it’s just the speaker, you’re going to need to do a bit extra shopping for a subwoofer enclosure. The advantage of this being, you can find a box that suits your needs for space, and your preference of sound (e.g. sealed for tight accurate bass, ported for hard-driving rap, techno, etc…)
Kicker has been providing high-end name brand car audio equipment since 1973, making speakers, amps, subwoofers, and enclosure for a wide range of vehicle types, one of the widest in the market. They’ve become known for their good looking, and very rugged builds, making some of the most robust longest-lasting gear around while maintaining exceptionally high-quality sound.
What We liked
- Slim design for Easy Installation
- Rugged, all-weather manufacturing
- Power rating up to 500 RMS watts
- Dual voice coils provide options for either 4- or 1-ohm total impedance for higher outputs from the amp
What We didn’t like
- Low sensitivity at 84.8 dB
- Frequency range at 25-500 Hz could be lower, especially with a 500 Hz top end accentuating a bit of mid-range
Low-Profile for Easy Install
Kicker offers this CompRT series of subs, which is made from the same materials and has the same continuous power rating as their CompR line, but with a much slimmer profile, making installation in a wider range of environments possible.
At less than 3-1/2” tall, cargo space need not be sacrificed, and Kicker has managed to create this thinner model, without losing any of the power and low end that one buys a subwoofer for in the first place. Pair this with whatever enclosure best suits your space, a sealed enclosure only requires 0.8 cubic feet of space, and a ported enclosure, 1.25 cubic feet, it’s very economical.
And wherever this speaker ends up being installed, it is very much built to last. The polypropylene cone is surrounded with a robust rubber, and a signature heat management system and red cone stitching that is weather-proof and reliable.
Compatible with a Range of Amplifiers
The dual voice coils mean that the 43CWRT102 CompRT offers either 4- or 1-ohm impedance dependant on how they are wired. Whether they are wired in parallel or series will determine how much power they draw from the amp, opting for higher impedance will allow you to run this with a lower watt system, or lower impedance for a higher watt amp.
This allows you to get the most out of the highly power rated 100-400 watts RMS continuous power handling, and 800-watt peak power, which means it’s running efficiently between a hefty 100-400 watts and not running into any distortion issues before a very loud 800 watts. The frequency response range is a commendable 25-500 Hz.
Power ratings this high make its somewhat lower than average 84.8 dB sensitivity rating, negligible due to its high RMS power rating—you can run this sub at a higher than average wattage to make up for it. Sensitivity is how the speaker converts power to volume, so at 1 watt of power, this sub measures 84.8 dB volume output. A more average sensitivity rating might be closer to 96 dB for this sort of subwoofer size.
What’s a Good Amplifier for This Speaker?
If you have between a 300-watt to 600-watt amplifier rated for 1- to 4-ohms, you’ll be in good shape. In that range you don’t run the risk of overpowering the speaker and are still pushing it enough to get the most out of its range.
There are mentions from customers setting up 2 of these speakers (to really get things shaking!) in their system, in which case you’ll need around at least a 1000-watt amplifier to properly power them.
|Impedance [Ohms]||2 DVC|
|Power Watts [peak/RMS]||800/400|
|Sensitivity [dB 1w/1m]||84.6|
|Mounting Depth [in, cm]||5-1/4, 13.3|
|Mounting Diameter [in, cm]||9-1/8, 23.1|
|Min Sealed Box [cu. ft, L]||0.8, 22.7|
|Max Sealed Box Vol [cu. ft, L]||1.25, 35.4|
|Min Vented Box Vol [cu. ft, L]||1.25 35.4|
|Max Vented Box Vol [cu. ft, L]||1.75, 49.6|
What the Customers Are Saying
Overwhelmingly the reviews of this subwoofer is positive. The versatility of placement options is one of the main highlights pointed to from satisfied customers. Mentions of installations in ATVs and extended cab trucks show that this sub is a perfect match for anyone needing the full frequency range in an unorthodox environment.
For its size at 10” and thin profile, customers express surprise at how much thump comes with it. There’s reference to them not having the lowest of the low end, which we do agree with, but for the size and profile, they really do pack a punch.
Over many, many reviews I could only find maybe one comment that had something negative to say about the sound quality of the sub, but with the disproportionate amount of positive reviews makes it clear that this speaker can be purchased with confidence.
It’s worth mentioning that customers do affirm our opinion that it has great power ratings, and when paired with the right amp, don’t easily run the risk of being blown out.
For a video highlighting the details mentioned above:
Out of the many subwoofers I’ve reviewed, this Kicker really impressed me with the dynamic range it delivered through such a thin profile. Kicker has made its name as a reliable, high quality car audio manufacturer for good reason, the 43CWRT CompRT 10” Subwoofer is a great speaker, one that we highly recommend for anyone needing that low-end impact for their all-weather, or compact space needs. High power ratings and quality materials make it a robust and great sounding subwoofer, suitable for a range of car audio systems.
Need a different range impedance for your amplifier? Check out the 4-ohm sub from the same CompRT series –