10 vs 12 Subwoofer

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Updated October 17, 2022

Whether it’s an attempt to increase your home theatre experience or to rattle the rearview mirror off your car, success relies on having the best speakers and, more specifically, the best subwoofer. Purchasing a rumbling bass unit elevates an entire sound system, but selecting the correct size can be difficult. So to help you along, let’s compare two of the most popular sizes, a 10 vs a 12 subwoofer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Subwoofer size impacts the speaker’s overall volume, frequency response, and cost.
  • A larger subwoofer produces deeper bass and higher volume.
  • Smaller subwoofers are better at handling higher frequencies and are easier to manage.

If you’re looking for different sizes, try checking out our other article comparing 8-inch vs 10-inch subwoofers. If you want something even bigger, look into 12-inch vs 15-inch subwoofers.

Insider Tip

To improve a subwoofer’s performance, try placing it in different areas of a room and run sound tests.

Comparing a 10-Inch Subwoofer vs a 12-Inch Subwoofer

It may seem trivial to nitpick over two inches. However, when you dig into how size affects each unit, you realize that two little inches can make a big difference in a subwoofer. Size significantly impacts things like volume and sound quality, and once these differences are understood, you can confidently select which one meets your expectations.

When considering subwoofer size, first define your intentions and limitations. What’s your price range? Are you looking to prioritize bass or create a more holistic sound quality? How big is the room the subwoofer will inhabit? 

Volume & Bass Output

As you might imagine, a larger speaker produces more volume and deeper bass. But don’t assume that more volume and bass are necessary. 

Determining the need for a heavy bass response depends on your entertainment preferences, like the types of music and movies. It also depends on the size of the room. Because, commonly, rooms don’t need the power of a larger speaker driver. Too much bass might overpower the rest of an audio system. Therefore, always match the speaker to the room/space you’re in. 

Sound Quality

There are many ways to determine the sound quality of a bass speaker, and size typically isn’t one of them. Instead, specs like impedance, materials, design, and placement are better ways to determine quality. 

Warning

Always check the speaker’s impedance and ensure it’s compatible with the stereo amplifier.

If you’re looking for deeper bass levels, go with a 12-inch sub. However, smaller models provide a clearer, tighter bass sound because they respond better to higher frequencies. 

Portability

The size difference between a 10-inch and 12-inch subwoofer is significant in terms of weight and dimension. For example, with a car or home theatre setup, a ten-inch subwoofer is more manageable to install or move. And because of their portability, 10-inch models are the most popular size subwoofer. You’ll also find that the smaller model is easier to place in a home setup.

Affordability

Generally, the larger the speaker, the larger the hit on your bank account. However, this isn’t always the case because the price depends on factors like brand and features. But all things equal, expect to pay more for a 12-inch unit.

STAT: Subwoofers are speakers that play a frequency range of 20-200Hz. (source)

10 vs 12 Subwoofer FAQs

What size subwoofer comes in cars?

Factory subs that come built-into cars are typically 8-inch or 10-inch speakers.

Will a ten-inch subwoofer work for a home theatre?

The answer depends mainly on the size of the room. However, a ten-inch speaker is the most popular choice for home theatres.

Which size sub has the most resonant bass sound?

Concerning sizes widely available to consumers, a 15-inch speaker will produce the deepest bass.
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