Best 12-inch Subwoofers in 2022

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Updated June 27, 2022

The best 12-inch subwoofer can produce low-end frequencies that aren’t only heard but felt. These powerful subwoofers can really shake things up, making them a popular choice for home theater systems technology, car audio systems, and anyone looking for an immersive sound experience.

12-inch subwoofers are a necessary component of any setup that includes the best speakers because they produce louder, more accurate sound. They’re made of durable materials and supply maximum power, but can also be less affordable and take up a lot of space.

Keep reading to learn more about whether a 12-inch subwoofer is right for you.

Top 12 inch Subwoofers

 #1   12-inch Car Audio Subwoofer and Car Speaker

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Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: It produces excellent quality sound with high bass levels and has a high-frequency response rate. It is very easy to mount and is housed in a stamped steel basket for durability.

Pros
  • Great quality sound
  • Produces high bass levels
  • Power handling peak of 1600 watts
Cons
  • Not ideal for shallow mounting

This 12-inch Car Audio Speaker Subwoofer from Pyle is a 1600-watt high power bass surround sound stereo subwoofer that comes with non-fatiguing rubber suspension and can get as loud as 90 decibels. It has a dual 4 Ohm impedance rating and a 2-inch four-layer dual voice coil to enhance its performance. The subwoofer also produces some serious bass, and with a frequency response of 30 Hz to 2000 Hz, the subwoofer is good enough to produce high-quality sound. This could make it one of the top car speakers for bass. However, some previous users did not like that it does not allow for shallow mounting.

The subwoofer has a power handling peak of 1600 watts and a bumped and vented motor construction that keeps the speakers safe for an extended excursion. The subwoofer is also pretty easy to mount, as it has a 5.1-inch mounting depth and a 12.2-inch overall diameter. The subwoofer is also housed in a stamped steel basket for increased durability.

 #2   Skar Audio SDR-12 D4 12-inchSubwoofer and Car Speaker

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: It is capable of deep bass production and has an advanced air cooling system that will keep it working well even in hot environments.

Pros
  • Deep bass production
  • Peak power level of up to 1200 Watts
  • Advanced air cooling system
Cons
  • Sold as a single set instead of a pair

The Skar Audio subwoofer is a 12-inch dual 4 Ohm car subwoofer with a peak power level of up to 1200 watts and a frequency response of 22 Hz to 300 Hz. The 12-inch subwoofer offers fantastic sound reproduction and also comes with a 2.5-inch high-temperature copper voice coil. The subwoofer has a sensitivity rating of 84.7 decibels, and since it also has a high flux ferrite motor, it will provide extreme power handling for long periods. However, some might not like that this subwoofer is sold as a single instead of a pair.

The subwoofer is also an excellent pick for bass lovers, as its high roll foam surround allows it to produce an intense bass response. Its RMS power rating is 600 watts and provides a mounting depth of up to 7.62 inches. It has an advanced airflow cooling system to remain in good working condition even in hot environments and a red Nomex spider suspension system that is both stiff and flexible.

 #3   Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 12-inch 1200-Watt Peak Subwoofer and Car Speaker

Award: BEST FOR BASS

WHY WE LIKE IT: It has very strong bass levels thanks to its use of VAST technology, and it can handle a lot of power thanks to a high RMS rating. Its anodized aluminum voice coil formers are also great for venting off excess heat.

Pros
  • Impressive bass production
  • FlexFit basket that allows for slight adjustments
  • Shallow mounting depth for cars that don’t have a lot of space
Cons
  • Difficulty with placement

The Rockford Fosgate P3D4 is a 12-inch dual voice call subwoofer that features anodized aluminum cones and dust caps and a spider venting design to keep it cool & functioning well over a long period. The subwoofer also has high temp voice coils and a decent mounting depth of about 6.66 inches which is ideal for cars that don’t have a lot of space. Its bass levels are also pretty impressive, and since it is engineered with VAST(Vertical Attach Sound Technique) technology, owners will enjoy greater sound clarity since the surface area of the cone inside the sub is increased by up to 25%. Still, some buyers have had a bit of difficulty with placement.

The subwoofer has a cutout diameter of 11.25 inches, and since it comes with a FlexFit basket, owners will be able to make slight adjustments to it even after mounting. Its bass production is pretty strong, and at high volume, owners should expect to have their windows rattle, and their ribcages shake.

 #4   Kicker 12-inch 800 Watt CompVR 4 Ohm DVC Subwoofer and Car Speaker

Award: BEST FOR LIMITED CAR SPACE

WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a shallow mounting depth and is therefore ideal for cars that don’t have a lot of space. Its two voice coils provide more wiring options, and its heat management system keeps it cool.

Pros
  • Shallow mounting depth for cars that don’t have a lot of space
  • 360° back bracing to keep it in position even when bass gets heavy
  • Dual 4-Ohm voice coils to provide more wiring options
Cons
  • Does not come with a grille included

The Kicker 12-inch 800-watt subwoofer is a shallow mount variant with a mounting distance of about 6.25 inches and boasts Kicker red surround stitching that binds the suspension perfectly to the cone. The subwoofer also uses an advanced heat management system where excess heat is redirected away from the motor. This keeps it nice and cool and also has it stay in good functioning condition for a lot longer. It features a 4 Ohm dual voice coil design to allow for easy wiring, and its ribbed Santoprene surround gives it added strength when under stress. Unfortunately, it does not come with a grille included.

The subwoofer has a frequency response of 25 Hz to 500Hz and a decent sensitivity rating of 86.9 decibels. Its mounting diameter is around 11 inches, and its bass production is distortion-free even when turned up to high volumes. It also features 360° back bracing to have it stay in position even when the bass gets strong.

 #5   Boss Audio Systems CX122 1400 Watt Subwoofer and Car Speaker

Award: BEST FOR EASE OF SETUP

WHY WE LIKE IT: It can handle up to 1400 Watts of power and also has a butyl rubber surround that is likely to last longer than a foam surround. Its bass production is also decent, and they’re pretty easy to set up.

Pros
  • Peak power handling capability of up to 1400 Watts
  • Decent bass production
  • Butyl rubber surround that lasts longer compared to foam surrounds
Cons
  • Not ideal for shallow mounting

The Boss CX122 is a very capable 12-inch subwoofer that can handle up to 1400 watts and has an RMS rating of about 700 watts. It has a custom-tool polypropylene cone that provides stability and durability and a sensitivity rating of about 94 decibels. Its frequency response ranges from 25 to 3000 Hz and has a mounting depth of about 5.4 inches. Unfortunately, it does not allow for any form of shallow mount installation.

This subwoofer boasts great bass production, and the sound quality is also high enough for pleasurable listening. It has a cutout diameter of 11.75-inches and weighs about 17.4 pounds. It has a sealed enclosure internal volume of about 1.2 cubic feet and a butyl rubber surround that is likely to last longer compared to foam surrounds.

 #6   Planet Audio AC12D 3600W Subwoofers and Car Speaker

Award: BEST FOR POWER HANDLING

WHY WE LIKE IT: At its peak, the subwoofer can handle up to 1800 watts of power and comes with dual voice coils that are great for withstanding high temperatures.

Pros
  • Can handle a peak power output of up to 1800 Watts
  • Dual voice coils that withstand high temperatures
  • Good build quality
Cons
  • No mechanism for heat management

The Planet Audio AC12D is a 12-inch subwoofer that can handle up to 1800 watts of power at its peak and comes with dual 4 Ohm 2-inch voice coils that are ideal for withstanding high temperatures. The voice calls also make it pretty easy to configure additional subwoofers, and with a mounting depth of up to 5.38 inches, it is good enough for cars that have decent-sized boot spaces, so there’s no need to make speaker boxes to hold it. It has a sensitivity rating of 96 decibels and an OK mounting diameter of about 11 inches. Still, some may not like that it does not have any advanced mechanism for heat management.

The AC12D is pretty easy to set up and comes with a polypropylene cone that is a very durable material. Its bass production is pretty good, and its foam surrounding provides it with high efficiency and excursion.

Beginner’s Guide to the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

What are Subwoofers?

A subwoofer is a loudspeaker that produces low-frequency sounds, typically from 20 Hz to 200 Hz. While smaller speakers can produce some low-end frequencies, they cannot deliver the deep, high-quality bass that is characteristic of subwoofers.

Subwoofers are used in a variety of applications, including home theater setups, car stereo systems, and public address systems. They’re larger than other types of high-powered speakers and enhance your experience with their deep sound.

These stereo components come in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. However, some can be as large as 15 inches, which offers a lot more power than smaller varieties, like the Amazon Basics USB-powered PC speakers.

Subwoofer shapes also vary and may include cylinders, cubes, or triangles, but the most common is a rectangular box. These shapes serve different purposes, with the most popular being that of a rectangular box because it is easier to produce low-frequency sounds in this shape.

12 Inch Subwoofers vs Smaller Subwoofers

The difference between a 12-inch subwoofer and a smaller subwoofer is size. A 12-inch subwoofer is larger and can produce more low-end sounds than subwoofers of smaller sizes. This makes it a popular choice for home theaters and car audio systems.

Traditional subwoofers are typically 8 inches or 10 inches in size and cannot produce the same low-end sounds as a 12-inch subwoofer. If you’re looking for a model that can deliver deep bass, then a 12-inch subwoofer is a great option.

Prices for 12-inch subwoofers vary, but they are typically more expensive than smaller models. This is because they are larger and can deliver a deeper sound.

How 12 Inch Subwoofers Work

Subwoofers of this size are typically powered by an amplifier that is connected to the subwoofer. The amplifier increases the power of the signal from the receiver and sends it to the subwoofer. This continuous power allows the subwoofer to produce louder and deeper bass sounds.

The sound that a 12-inch subwoofer produces is due to the size of the speaker driver, which is the internal component that creates sound. The larger the driver, the more low-end sounds it can produce. In addition, a larger driver means more air can be moved, creating a louder sound.

In a 12-inch subwoofer, the driver is typically made from materials such as paper, polypropylene, or aluminum. These materials help to create a deeper sound and improve the overall quality of the unit. Smaller subwoofers are often limited by cheaper materials like paper or plastic, which is why many 12-inch subwoofers can deliver better performance.

The enclosure type also plays a role in how a subwoofer produces sounds. It serves as the housing that surrounds the driver and helps to direct the sound. The enclosure may be sealed or ported, and each type produces a different type of sound.

Sealed enclosures produce tighter, more accurate sounds, while ported enclosures produce louder, more boomy sounds. If you’re looking for a subwoofer that will deliver deep bass, then a ported enclosure is the better option. A well-made enclosure can help to improve the bass response of the subwoofer, which also creates a better sound.

When the driver receives the audio signal, it vibrates, creating sound waves. These sound waves travel through the subwoofer and are amplified by the amplifier. The speaker cone then reproduces these sound waves, which are heard as bass sounds.

Active subwoofers also need to vent for maximum performance and power handling capability. These air vent solutions include ports, passive radiators, and power-saving thermal management systems.

Ports are the most common type of venting and comprise a hole in the cabinet that allows air to escape. This airflow helps to cool the driver and amplifier, which extends the life of the subwoofer.

Passive radiators are similar to ports, but they don’t have a hole in the cabinet. This is because passive radiators are actually a part of the driver. When the driver moves, it also moves the passive radiator, which creates airflow and helps to cool the subwoofer.

Power-saving thermal management systems use fans to cool the driver and amplifier. These fans run when the subwoofer is playing music and help to keep the components cool. This prevents the subwoofer from overheating and prolongs the life of the subwoofer.

One of the most effective types of venting is spider venting. This type of venting uses a network of metal spiders to cool the driver and amplifier. The spiders are attached to the cone and surround the coil, and when the subwoofer is playing music, they vibrate and create airflow. This airflow helps to cool the driver and amplifier and prevents them from overheating.

Why Should You Buy a 12 Inch Subwoofer?

If your speaker system at home already has a subwoofer, but the sound quality isn’t as good as you’d like, it’s time for an upgrade. If your sound system needs a boost to its bass, you’ll want to make sure to get one so you can enhance your experience.

Are 12 Inch Subwoofers Worth Buying?

  • They’re made of durable materials: Quality 12-inch subwoofers are typically made of better materials and built to be longer-lasting.
  • They move more air for a better sound: The larger size of the driver in 12-inch subwoofers means that more air can be moved, which produces loud audio. They also contain a better motor structure for a peak power rating, which increases the sound output.
  • They have a better bass response: A well-made enclosure can help to improve the bass tones response of the subwoofer and create a clean sound. They also feature a more dynamic range and consistent performance than smaller subs.
  • They have better cooling systems: Most 12-inch subwoofers come with better cooling systems that help to keep the driver and amplifier from overheating.
  • They come in a variety of shapes and sizes: There are a variety of 12-inch subwoofers on the market, so you can find one that fits your needs and space.
  • They’re louder and produce deeper bass sounds: 12-inch subwoofers are larger than other sizes so they can move more air and make a louder sound. The deep bass sounds are great for music lovers who want to feel the beat.
  • They’re easy to install: Most 12-inch subwoofers are easy to install and don’t require a lot of assemblies.

Why 12 Inch Subwoofers Might Not be for You

  • They take up a lot of space: 12-inch subwoofers are larger than other sizes, so they might not be a good fit for smaller spaces. If you are limited on space, you’ll want to look for smaller subwoofers, like the best 10-inch subwoofer.
  • They’re not as portable: Because they’re larger, 12-inch subwoofers are not as portable as other sizes. If you need something that you can move around, you’re better off with a smaller size.
  • They can be expensive: Quality 12-inch subwoofers can be more expensive than smaller sizes, so they might not be affordable for everyone. The price range varies, but you can typically get a much more affordable price from a smaller subwoofer, and you may not notice too much of a difference in performance. You may even want to look for the best bass Bluetooth speaker.
  • They need a lot of power: 12-inch subwoofers need more power than other sizes, so you’ll need to make sure your amplifier has the correct power handling capacity or it won’t sound as good as it could. While more power output produces louder audio, high watts of peak power will also affect your electricity bills.
  • They’re not as accurate: Because they move more air, 12-inch subwoofers can be less accurate than smaller subwoofers. To ensure more accurate sound, look for smaller enclosures.

How Long Will a 12 Inch Subwoofer Last?

A quality 12-inch subwoofer should last for several years with proper use. However, if the subwoofer is not well-made or if it’s overused, it may not last as long. It’s important to take care of your subwoofer and to keep it in a cool, dry place when it’s not in use.

You can enjoy up to 12 years of quality sound production when you buy a 12-inch subwoofer. These larger subwoofers are known for their durability, loudness, and deep bass sounds, making them perfect for music lovers who want to improve their audio experience.

The most fragile part of the subwoofer is the driver, so it’s important to keep it cool and free from dust and other debris. The surround and spider can also wear down over time, but they typically last longer than the driver. If you take care of your subwoofer, it will last for years and provide great sound quality.

Keep your subwoofer safe from moisture, extreme temperature changes, and dust to ensure the longest life possible. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to get the most out of your subwoofer.

If you want your subwoofer to last even longer, look for an anodized aluminum cone, which is more resistant to wear and tear than cones of other materials.

How to Choose a 12 Inch Subwoofer

If you’re looking for a 12-inch subwoofer, first consider the space you have available. Subwoofers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs and space.

Next, think about what you want the subwoofer to do. Do you want it for music or movies? Do you need deep bass sounds or just a little bit more bass? This personal preference will make all the difference.

Then think about your budget and power requirements before making a buying decision.

Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Key Factors

1. Should I be worried about space?

Consider how much space you have available before purchasing a 12-inch subwoofer. These larger subs might not be a good fit for smaller spaces, but they do produce better sound, so it’s a delicate balance. Only you can decide what’s right for you.

When considering your space, measure the width, height, and depth to make sure a 12-inch sub will fit. Even if you don’t think it will, you can check the dimensions on products of different shapes. Some shapes, like triangular subs, are designed to create maximum sound in smaller spaces.

2. Is how I use my subwoofer important?

It’s important to consider what you want your subwoofer to do before making a purchase. If you want to use it for music, you’ll need something that can handle higher power levels and a cleaner sound. However, if you’re just looking for a little more bass output in your movie-watching experience, a lower-powered subwoofer will do the trick.

12-inch subwoofers aren’t as versatile as smaller sizes, and they’re better suited for deep bass sounds. If you’re looking for accuracy, which is what you want if you’re playing a lot of music, look for a subwoofer with a smaller enclosure.

If your primary goal is to watch movies, you may be better off with a smaller size because your theater receiver might already have a built-in subwoofer.

3. How much power do I need?

Before making your purchase, think about the power requirements of the subwoofer. You’ll want to make sure your amplifier can handle the load.

Most 12-inch subs require between 100 and 400 watts of power, but there are a few that need more or less. Check the wattage requirement before you buy.

Higher wattage subwoofers will produce more sound, making them great options for listening to music, but they also require a more powerful amplifier. Subwoofers that have fewer power requirements won’t be as loud or as accurate, which should be fine for those who are simply watching movies.

This RMS rating is important to look for when purchasing a subwoofer because it tells you the amount of power the speaker can handle continuously.

Frequency response is also important. This is the range of sound that the subwoofer can produce, and it’s usually measured in hertz. Good frequency response for a 12-inch subwoofer is 20 to 200 hertz.

4. Should I worry about the cost?

Like anything else, 12-inch subwoofers come in a variety of price points. You can find a quality subwoofer for under $100, but it’s important to consider your needs before making a purchase.

If you’re looking for a subwoofer that’s great for music, you’ll need to spend more money than if you’re just looking for extra bass in your movie-watching experience.

Also, consider that a powerful subwoofer will require much power from your amplifier. The more powerful the subwoofer, the more it will cost. A single subwoofer or a single voice coil subwoofer will likely be found at a reasonable price, but a dual subwoofer can offer max power and high-quality sound if power performance is a priority. In this case, you’ll pay for a more expensive subwoofer.

Best 12 Inch Subwoofer FAQs

What are dual voice coil subwoofers?

Dual voice coil subwoofers have two sets of coils, which allow for more wiring options. This gives you more control over how the subwoofer sounds and how it's wired into your system.

What brand of subwoofer is the best?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It's important to consider your specific needs and preferences before making a purchase. However, some of the highest quality brands include JBL, Kicker, Skar Audio, American Bass USA, Pioneer, Rockford, and Sony. Some specific products of note are the Pioneer TS- series subwoofer, Kicker CompR, Rockford Fosgate, and Skar Audio EVL-12 D2.

What is the best subwoofer for deep bass?

If you're looking for the deepest bass sounds, you'll want to look for a subwoofer with a larger enclosure. This will allow the woofer to move more air and create a deeper sound. However, these subs require more power and take up more space. They also don't have as much accuracy as a smaller enclosure.

How much power is needed for a great system?

The amount of power needed for a great system varies depending on the subwoofer. However, most 12 inch subs require between 100 and 400 watts of power. Make sure your amplifier can handle the load before deciding which to purchase.
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