There was a time when audio equipment like subwoofers could only interest studio experts or highly passionate audio enthusiasts in their home. They were expensive and complex to understand. Today, home audiophile type of performance is now possible in any type of car, truck, suv or van.
One of the best additions or upgrades you can do is to add a subwoofer. I recommend finding a place to mount a subwoofer in an existing location. If you can’t find one, a self-enclosed powered subwoofer may be the next best option.
Important Points About Car Powered Subwoofers
Powered subwoofers can perform several diverse functions, and therefore, it is great to have them in your cars, trucks, etc. The concept of powered subwoofers dates back to the 1980s when manufacturers would pre-install them. In general, the speaker space available in older car models was very compact. So, the buyers didn’t really have any other option.
While these pre-installed powered woofers worked very well, the only problem was that the bass could not be increased, and the volume was very low. To get rid of this problem and manage the space crunch, people started using powered subwoofers.
Top 8 Best Powered Subwoofers For Cars 2021
The MTX Audio RT8PT Universal Powered Subwoofer Enclosure is one of those car powered subwoofers that really last long while producing amazing sound quality.
This powered subwoofer is durable and can easily be installed without any professional help. The improved bass quality is very satisfactory, and the enclosure works fine to enrich the audio quality.
It is available at a low price, which is why it has become one of the most popular choices in America today. From experts to simple car owners like you and me, everybody has been in awe of this powered subwoofer for years now.
Even if you know nothing about speakers and their functioning, you will certainly appreciate the quality that this unit imparts to the simple radio sound we are familiar with.
If you are fond of brass instruments, like electric bass guitar, string bass, etc., and want to hear them in an audio mix, this powered subwoofer is the ideal option for you.
It is a highly recommended product that gives maximum value for money. Affordable powered subwoofer as efficient as the MTX Audio RT8PT Universal Powered Subwoofer Enclosure is very difficult to find.
The subwoofer uses an adjustable cross loop that is made with premium technology. Such loops are usually seen in high-end DJing subwoofers that commonly cater to a huge audience.
So, you can imagine the level of fine-tuning, and the intensity of the sound output that you will get by using the MTX Audio RT8PT Universal Powered Subwoofer Enclosure.
The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch 300 Watt Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure is another great option for you if you are searching for a high-quality powered subwoofer for your car. It is one of the best-powered car subwoofers. It does not require much space to fit in, and the enclosure is good enough to provide the necessary effects.
This unit is a self-contained powered subwoofer. Several different audio accessories are installed in one central system, including the soundbox and a separate amplifier. So, the manufacturers claim that it is an all-in-one solution for those people who are looking for good car audio accessories.
The amplifier is highly competitive because it can give a peak intensity of 300 Watts. Such high-intensity sound output is seldom found in the amplifiers that are installed in a powered subwoofer unit.
It is a very inclusive powered subwoofer that takes care of all of your needs. Although the amplification is not the highest among all powered subwoofers, the amplifier of the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch 300 Watt Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure works smoothly and doesn’t require any special maintenance.
Therefore, you only need to arrange for the power source and signal connection to start using the subwoofer. It is a compact product that can be installed easily in almost all standard car models. The enclosure can be directly connected to other equipment like the speakers which is possible due to the multiple input jacks provided by the manufacturers.
For the audio effects, the powered subwoofer has an adjustable low-pass crossover. It is a brilliant tool that provides the user with features like an adjustable bass equalizer. This equalizer is important for changing the audio quality as and when required. You get to choose between the 0 and 180-degree phase, an audio feature usually found in professional acoustic equipment.
The bass control can also be accessed using a dedicated remote for the subwoofer. Besides, the subwoofer has a traditional closed-loop design that helps in improving the performance.
Overall, it is a great powered subwoofer unit available easily on almost all common shopping platforms. It is durable, and the manufacturers give a one-year warranty with every purchase of this unit.
The Rockville RockGhost Hidden Powered 8″ Car Subwoofer comes in a spare tire subwoofer explicitly designed to save space for car owners. As the name suggests, if you have a spare tire in the trunk of your car, you can easily fit this powered subwoofer there.
It helps save a lot of space in the car’s interior parts, where you can fix some other accessories or keep it vacant for better hand and leg space.
Moreover, the powered subwoofer does not take a lot of space in the trunk which means you can easily keep your belongings there whenever required.
Besides its compact design, the superior-quality sound that you obtain from this powered subwoofer is another great feature of this unit. It produces a clean sound and is the best car powered subwoofer for melodious tracks that can be heard for hours altogether when you go on long drives.
The transmission of sound apart from its production and amplification is very clear. Ultimately, the whole acoustic experience becomes enjoyable with this powered subwoofer.
With many other features and equipment, this one also has a special amplifier. While it is not very powerful in increasing the intensity of the sound, it is good enough to provide a satisfactory experience.
The amplifier works smoothly and does not jitter or produce unnecessary vibrations at any time. It will be a great experience if you choose this subwoofer for your car. It is not very heavy on the car battery and lasts long in most cases.
The input power needed to run the Rockville RockGhost Hidden Powered 8″ Car Subwoofer is less than 5 volts which is a minuscule power demand, given that car batteries are strong and are made to last long.
The JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch (300mm) Car Audio Powered Subwoofer System is a high-tech subwoofer that is part of JBL’s Bass Pro series. T
he subwoofer has a solid aluminum enclosure, one of the best materials to give a rich bass experience. Besides, the aluminum cast provides improves the sound under all conditions.
The JBL GT-BassPro12 12-Inch (300mm) Car Audio Powered Subwoofer System comes with a special Slipstream port. The port is designed by tech experts and helps in eliminating port noises.
The port sounds to increase the chances of distortion. Hence, this powered subwoofer significantly reduces the chances of distorted sound production.
Like other powered subwoofer units that we have discussed, this one also comes with an attached amplifier. The special amplifier works to provide system optimization, as it is designed to match with the woofer.
The precise matching helps in giving better performance every time. Moreover, the amplifier, woofer, and Slipstream port are connected for better audio quality.
The unit also comes with high-quality sensors that help detect activity, so that the subwoofer gets switched on automatically. Moreover, this powered subwoofer also has a progressive system for heat dispersion. So, any thermal complication is prevented automatically by the internal components of this system.
In general, the unit also has an improved motor structure compared to other models in this series of powered subwoofers manufactured by JBL. Overall, it is a great product manufactured by a highly trusted brand for audio equipment.
The great input levels and an excellent bass boost are its most attractive features. The phase controls on the panel are easy to use and learn. Therefore, it will be an enjoyable experience to get the desired sound using this powered subwoofer from JBL.
The Rockford Fosgate P300-8P Punch 8″ 300 Watt Powered Ported Subwoofer System can be another great choice for your car. It is another all-in-one unit that encloses the subwoofer and a built-in amplifier in the same system.
Moreover, the bass enhancement that you get with this powered subwoofer unit is much better than what we usually expect from the common subwoofers available in the market.
The high-quality performance of this unit is due to the 8-inch high output subwoofer. This subwoofer decreases the resistance for the audio output, thereby reducing any chances of distortion. The built-in amplifier is powerful and can give a 300-Watt peak intensity sound output at any time.
Even though it encloses many types of equipment and circuits, this powered subwoofer is only eight inches in diameter. So, all common worries related to a subwoofer are resolved if you plan to buy this compact model.
Most powered subwoofers have a low-pass crossover. However, this unit has an adjustable crossover, giving the user a chance to adjust the bass boost using the equalizers on their own. It also has an additional onboard phase switch to juggle between the 0 and 180-degree phases, respectively.
There are several ports and jacks with which you can connect the enclosure directly to an external speaker. Speaker level inputs of this powered subwoofer can be used to establish a connection with the regular factory systems. There are other traditional line-level inputs that are available for using this subwoofer.
The manufacturers provide a full one-year warranty after the purchase of the unit. Moreover, the after-sale service provided by the company is also very good. Customers have always been satisfied with the acoustic accessories made by Rockford. Thus, you should seriously consider the Rockford Fosgate P300-8P Punch 8″ 300 Watt Powered Ported Subwoofer System if you are planning to buy a powered subwoofer soon.
You can also consider the Rockville RWS10CA Slim 1000 Watt 10″ Amplified Powered Car Subwoofer Enclosure for your car if you do not wish to buy separate amplifiers and speaker boxes.
The enclosure is about 10-inches in size and is capable of providing a fine-toned audio output. A plethora of audio options is available with this unit that can be used for adjusting the sound that you hear.
Since it is an integrated powered subwoofer, there is a dedicated amplifier within the central system. This amplifier’s main feature is that it can provide a peak intensity audio output of approximately 1,000 watts.
It is the highest output power that an amplifier, a part of a subwoofer system, can give. So, if you require high-volume sound output from your subwoofer, you should go with the Rockville RWS10CA Slim 1000 Watt 10″ Amplified Powered Car Subwoofer Enclosure.
The powered subwoofer has a 3D-molded dust cap made with acrylic. The molded cap can expand, and give a high-density laminated foam surround sound experience. Besides the cap, it also has a strong strontium magnet that gives strength to the powered subwoofer’s motor structure.
The enclosure is made with aluminum and is designed to be extra-slim so that it can fit easily in any car model. The wires and coils used in the central circuit are also made with aluminum, which gives the subwoofer a high thermal resistance. It helps keep the car safe as these wires do not melt easily when the power output starts rising.
Overall, it is a durable powered subwoofer unit with an attractive design. The equipment used in making this subwoofer is of premium quality. Therefore, you can expect sublime output and performance every time you switch on the subwoofer.
The Rockville RVB10.1A 10 Inch 500W Active Powered Car Subwoofer+Sub Enclosure Box is probably the jack of all trades for powered subwoofers. This unit can perform well in almost every department. There are several attractive features of the subwoofer, but the design is particularly very appealing.
As we have discussed, not many powered subwoofers can provide a high-power output. Some give output as low as 200 Watts, while few can even touch the 1,000 Watt mark.
This powered subwoofer unit lies somewhere in between, being able to give an audio output with a peak intensity of 500 watts. However, for a 10-inch powered subwoofer unit, regularly touching the 500-watt mark is a commendable job.
The subwoofer also has a decent frequency response, with the sound wave frequencies lying between 35 to 200 Hertz. The unit’s audio sensitivity is excellent, and you can get a continuous 88-decibel output from the subwoofer. To check the vibrations that distort the audio output, this unit also has an additional anti-vibration brace which is attached directly to the cabinet.
The enclosure has a backward directed angulation. This structural feature of the powered subwoofer helps it fit perfectly against the car’s rear seats. The powered subwoofer does not put a heavy load on the car battery. It is designed to work on an input voltage of fewer than 5 volts continuously.
In all, the product is excellent for the price at which it is available, and the performance, too, is very satisfactory. You will certainly enjoy using it in your car.
The Rockford Fosgate P500-12P 500 Watt / 12″ Powered Ported Subwoofer System is another good option. The powered subwoofer has robust hardware, along with some wonderfully fine-tuned wiring systems. This powered subwoofer can increase the bass manifold. Moreover, it also uses several other features to make the sound quality better.
People who have already bought and installed the subwoofer, suggest that it is one of the most durable items in this category. Many have used it for more than a couple of years and claim that they have not had any issues with the working of the subwoofer yet.
If you have a good pair of coaxial speakers in the car, this powered subwoofer unit will complement the speakers very well. The sound will be loud and crystal clear, without any distortions. Even if you have ordinary speakers, the Rockford Fosgate P500-12P 500 Watt / 12″ Powered Ported Subwoofer System can significantly boost the sound’s texture.
The Rockford Fosgate P500-12P 500 Watt / 12″ Powered Ported Subwoofer System has an adjustable low-pass crossover, which works in tandem with a bass boost equalizer.
Like all well-powered subwoofers, you can switch between the 0 and 180 degrees sound phases in this unit as well. The unit has a dedicated phase switch that can be used for this purpose.
With an overall diameter of 12-inches, it is easy to accommodate this subwoofer system in your car. Some people suggest installing it in the rear end of the car gives a better audio feel than in the front. However, you can choose the location as per your liking.
Rockford has been manufacturing audio accessories for cars for years altogether. Therefore, there is significant trust and reliability attached to this subwoofer model as well. It is a safe buy, and it will certainly work well for your car in the long run.
Why People Choose Car Powered Subwoofers
Those who are aware of audio equipment must be knowing the difference between subwoofers, amplifiers, and boxes used in cars. Car powered sub movers are a little different than all three.
The main difference is that powered subwoofers can increase the bass component of sound. However, they can be easily installed in the limited space available in cars, something which is difficult when you choose to fix all three separately.
Modern-day powered subwoofers are designed to give many other benefits too. Most of them have a special-purpose amplifier also.
Besides, they have adjustable controls that can work in tandem with your regular car stereos. Powered subwoofers are very easy to manage because all the crucial connections are present in a single central area.
The design and features offered by a powered subwoofer help in reducing the costs as well. Since the unit has a compact design that fits snugly in the speaker enclosure and comes with a dedicated amplifier, there is no need to spend money on additional accessories. In all, it is a modular accessory that will help car owners a lot.
Pros And Cons Of Powered Subwoofers
Till now, we have discussed many high-quality powered subwoofer units that are available in the market. However, these units have their share of problems as well. So that you have realistic expectations from your power subwoofers, here are a few pros and cons you must know.
We have already discussed several benefits of installing powered subwoofers in the car. Some of the most attractive features of a car subwoofer are its easy installation, affordable price, and the option of detaching the unit whenever you leave the car.
Even though these subwoofers can derive power from strong car batteries directly, there are limitations regarding the peak power that can be obtained.
If you are someone who wishes to get a very high peak sound intensity and expect that a powered subwoofer can provide volume levels equivalent to a separate amplifier, you will undoubtedly be disappointed.
Although powered subwoofers have an amplifier, it is very small in size and is not as competent as a separate amplifying device.
Important Factors To Consider
1. Sealed Enclosure
In all the powered subwoofers mentioned in our article, the main circuit is enclosed by a sealed box. While the sealed units are less likely to get damaged, the enclosure is more important for producing better quality bass sounds.
The other type of powered subwoofer that is available in the market is called the ported subwoofer. While it also provides almost all expected benefits of a subwoofer, the lack of an enclosure prevents it from creating a better bass experience.
2. Materials Used
The material with which the powered subwoofers are made also determines the quality of sound produced. Generally, four main materials are used in making these units.
These include- Aluminum sheets, Medium Density Fibreboard, Polycarbonate Lexan, and Plywood. If any of these is present in a powered subwoofer unit, it will give you better performance than other subwoofers.
Best Powered Subwoofers – Conclusion
With this article about the best-powered subwoofers for cars, you are well equipped to choose the one that best suits your purposes. Knowing the materials and the available features is important for finalizing a powerful subwoofer. There are variations in the kind of bass that different materials produce and their prices.
Are Powered Car Subwoofers Any Good?
If you find an ideal powered subwoofer unit for your car model, you will not have to look for any other subwoofer, amplifier, box, etc., separately. A good powered subwoofer will take care of all these needs and give a perfect quality sound. It will help modify the sound intensity and bass, thereby giving you a better acoustic experience every time.
Do Powered Subwoofers Ruin A Car?
Good powered subwoofer units do not even require much modification for installation in the car interiors. However, the subwoofers can damage a car if they start drawing high amounts of power from the car’s battery. In this case, the battery starts becoming weaker and dies out frequently. Moreover, you should not use a powered subwoofer if you already know that the battery is becoming weak.
Can I Put A Powered Subwoofer Under The Seat?
Underseat subwoofers are produced and sold separately by manufacturers. Not all subwoofers can be used for this purpose. You can check with the dealers if the powered subwoofer unit you have bought can be installed underneath a seat. However, in most cases, you will have to buy a separate under-seat subwoofer, as a powered subwoofer may not work well in this case.
Can I Use A Powered Subwoofer Without An Amplifier?
As stated before, many powered subwoofer units have their own amplifiers, meant for special purposes. While this amplifier is not as strong as a separate high-quality amplifier, it is more than enough to produce high-volume sound in most cars. So, if you do not require very high-intensity sound output from your stereo, a powered subwoofer can be used without an amplifier.
Do Powered Subwoofers Need Warming Up?
All subwoofers respond differently when turned on. Powered subwoofers derive electricity from the car itself. As the car engine takes some time to get warmed up, powered subwoofers, too, require time to work efficiently. Thus, to answer the question, powered subwoofers have a warm-up period.