Best Competition Subwoofers of 2017 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

best competition subwooferThere’s nothing like driving on your favorite road with music blasting from your audio system. But if you like bass, there is no better audio system than one that has a competition subwoofer installed.

Finding the best competition subwoofer for your car is easy when you know what to look for. They are the go-to product of bass enthusiasts, and they’re the best option if you like driving and listening to music.

In the following article, we present the top 6 competition subwoofer reviews of 2017. All the subs we included on our list have an awesome RMS power rating, and they produce a clean and crisp sound. They will enhance your car’s audio system and improve your driving experience.

Top Rated Competiton Subwoofers

  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • Orion HCCA152 15" HCCA Series 2 4000W DVC Subwoofer
  • PRICE $$$$$
  • Size : 15 inch
  • Impedance : 2 Ohm
  • RMS power : 2000 watts
  • Max power : 5000 Watts
  • 3.8 Customer Rating
  • DS18 EXL-B15.4D Extremely Loud 15-Inch 3000 Watts Competition Subwoofer
  • PRICE $$$
  • Size : 15 inch
  • Impedance : 4+4-Ohms
  • RMS power : 1800 watts
  • Max power : 3000 Watts
  • 4.6 Customer Rating
  • Skar Audio ZVX-12v2 12" 1500 Watt RMS Dual 2 Ohm Subwoofer
  • PRICE $$$$
  • Size : 12 inch
  • Impedance : Dual 2 Ohm
  • RMS power : 1500 watts
  • Max power : 3000 Watts
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Pioneer TSW311D4 Champion Series 12" Subwoofer
  • PRICE $
  • Size : 12 inch
  • Impedance : Dual 4 Ohm
  • RMS power : 400 watts
  • Max power : 1400 Watts
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • American Bass XFL1244 12" Dual 4 Ohm Competition Car Stereo Subwoofer
  • PRICE $$$
  • Size : 12 inch
  • Impedance : Dual 4 Ohm
  • RMS power : 1000 watts
  • Max power : 2000 Watts
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • Power Acoustik MOFO 12-Inch Competition Subwoofer
  • PRICE $$
  • Size : 12 inch
  • Impedance : Dual 2 Ohm
  • RMS power : 1350 watts
  • Max power : 2700 Watts

Orion HCCA152 15″ HCCA Series 2 4000W DVC Subwoofer

If you’re looking for a boot subwoofer that will shake your neighbor’s coffee in the morning when you start your engine, the Orion HCCA152 is the right unit for you. This subwoofer is 15” wide, and it weighs about 80 pounds, so it will take up some space.

This sub is a monster. It’s really powerful, and it flexes around 4” when you turn it up. When you turn this subwoofer up, it will literally shake your teeth out. The sub can handle a peak of 5,000 watts and has an RMS rating of 2000 watts.

Pros

  • High-Quality Sound – The subwoofer produces a clear and crisp sound, and it will enhance your audio setup.
  • Deep – The sub is 7.5” deep, so it has an amazing flexing capacity. The sub will flex around 4” at full blast

Con

  • Very Large – This subwoofer is very large, and you might have some problems fitting it in your trunk. The size and weight of the sub make it difficult to install, so it might be better if you have someone to help.

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DS18 EXL-B15.4D 15-Inch 3000 Watts Competition Subwoofer

There’s nothing like driving on a new road listening to the songs you like. And when you have a high-quality audio system, the feeling only gets better. The DS18 EXL is a competition grade subwoofer that enhances your audio system. The sub is capable of handling 3000 watts of peak power and 1800 watts RMS.

This is a very loud subwoofer. If you turn it up, the whole neighborhood will enjoy your track list, even if they did not intend to. The sound quality is also top notch, and you can even discover new instruments in songs you’ve known for years.

Pros

  • Loud – This subwoofer is loud. Some people might even consider it an overkill. If you turn up the sub you won’t be able to hear your own thoughts.
  • Amazing Sound – The sub produces an amazing sound. The sound is so clear and crisp, you’ll hear every instrument in the song individually.

Con

  • Defective Units – Some customers complained that they received defective units. If this happens, contact the customer support service and they’ll replace your defective unit with a new one.

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Skar Audio ZVX-12v2 12″ 1500 Watt RMS Dual 2 Ohm Subwoofer

If you’re looking for a competition grade subwoofer to upgrade your car’s audio system, you should take a closer look at the ZVX-12v2 model produced by Skar Audio.

The ZVX-12v2 is a 12” subwoofer that’s capable of producing 1,500 watts of RMS power. The sub has a 3” voice coil and an effective cooling system, so it can blast music for hours without any problems.

This model has a very powerful speaker that will produce a high-quality sound, no matter what type of music you’re listening to.

Pros

  • Killer Bass – The amount of bass this subwoofer produces is one you can feel, not only hear. You should expect to start all the car alarms in your neighborhood once you turn up the sub.
  • Powerful – The sub is powerful, and it will rattle your teeth every time you turn it up.

Con

  • Bad Packaging – Some customers have complained that their subwoofers came in damaged packages. Make sure you test the sub right after it arrives, and contact the customer service if the unit is defective.

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Pioneer TSW311D4 Champion Series 12″ Subwoofer

Pioneer is a world-renowned audio systems manufacturer, so you shouldn’t be surprised to find one of their products in our list. The Pioneer TSW311D4 is a 12” competition grade sub that will handle 400 watts RMS. The sub’s peak capacity is 1,400 watts.

The subwoofer comes with dual 4-ohm voice coils, and it has a sensitivity of 95dB. This sub can be used individually or in a dual setup, depending on your preference. The sub is powerful, and it will produce a clear sound.

Pros

  • Great Price – This subwoofer is very powerful, and it comes at a decent price. The affordable price makes this sub a great choice for a dual setup.
  • Deep Bass – Pioneer managed to produce a subwoofer that delivers a deep powerful bass. This sub is a great choice for every bass lover.

Con

  • Distortion – Some customers complain that the sub causes some sound distortion. This might be true, but it’s not the sub’s fault. Most of the times, the distortion is caused by the installation, not the sub itself. If you’re not experienced in rigging up your own system, have a professional do it.

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American Bass XFL1244 12″ Dual 4 Ohm Competition Subwoofer

Not every subwoofer has to take up all your boot space. Some of them are smaller, even if they’re just as powerful. If you’re looking for a smaller sub that still packs a punch, you should take a closer look at the XFL1244 sub produced by American Bass.

This sub has a peak capacity of 2000 watts, and it’s capable of producing 1,000 watts RMS. This unit hits the lows very good, and it produces a clean and crisp sound. The sub is also loud, so it will rattle your car.

Pros

  • Beast – This 12” subwoofer is a total beast, and it will certainly attract everyone’s attention. The sound it produces is loud, but it’s very clean.
  • High-Quality – Despite the fact that this model comes at an affordable price, it produces a high-quality sound. Every note is clean, and you’ll enjoy listening to it.

Con

  • Freezes – Some customers complained that the sub just stopped working. This might be true, but if it happens it’s not the sub’s fault. Like any other sub, this unit will be damaged if you hook it up to a bad amp or one that’s too powerful for it.

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Power Acoustik MOFO 12-Inch Competition Subwoofer

If you’re looking for a powerful subwoofer, but you don’t want to break the bank buying it, you should take a look at the Power Acoustik MOFO. This unit has a peak power of 2,700 watts and is capable of producing 1,350 watts RMS.

This subwoofer is really surprising. You wouldn’t believe it’s capable of producing such a powerful sound by looking at it. The sub has a solid build, and it handles all the lows efficiently. The sound is not only loud, it’s also very clean. With the right configuration, this sub can hold its own when compared with other models three or four times more expensive.

Pros

  • Cheap – This sub is very cheap considering its specifications. It offers a great value for your investment.
  • Solid – The sub has a solid build, so it should be very durable. You will be able to use it for years, even if you blast music through it every day.

Con

  • Heats Up Quickly – This sub can heat up pretty quickly, so make sure you use a large box for it.

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What Is An SPL?

The Difference Between Sound Pressure and Volume

SPL stands for Sound Pressure Level, and it’s calculated in decibels. The human ear does not hear volume, it hears pressure. The closer you are to the sound’s source, the more pressure your ear will register. If you are far from the sound’s source, the pressure will be reduced, but the volume will remain the same.

It’s true that in most cases when you turn up the pressure, the volume will go up as well. Volume affects sound, but it does not affect our perception of how loud the sound is.

Unlike regular speakers, professional ones can produce more pressure without drastically increasing the volume. In other words, professional speakers are capable of producing more pressure with less volume than regular ones.

Why Is SPL Important?

It’s very important to know what SPL is because SPL can damage your ears. The human ears are capable of withstanding sound pressures of up to 80 dB. When the sound pressure is over 85-90 dB, the ears start to degenerate. If you spend a lot of time around speakers that produce a high sound pressure, your ears can be damaged irreversibly.

The further you are from the source of the sound, the less pressure your ears register. Professional speakers are specially designed to move a lot of air, so they will generate a lot of sound pressure. However, the sound pressure also affects the quality of the sound. If you increase the SPL, chances are the bass will be sloppy and ill-defined. It can also be damaging to your ears, depending on the amount of pressure produced.

Volume measures the intensity of a sound. You can say a speaker is loud even if you are far away from it and you don’t feel the sound pressure it produces.

Competition Subwoofer Buying Guide

competition subwoofer reviewsCompetition subwoofers are beasts. They produce a lot of bass, and maintain a good sound quality. Finding the right competition subwoofer for your car is not difficult if you know what to look for. In case you don’t, just read the following section of our article.

Here, we explain what to look for in a competition subwoofer, and how to find the right model for your car.

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Double DIN Head Unit

  1. Power –
    A competition subwoofer has to be powerful. That’s why you’re buying one in the first place. Here’s how you determine exactly how powerful a subwoofer is.

    • Peak Power –
      Many people see the peak power rating of a subwoofer and consider it the sub’s maximum capacity. That is partly true, but it’s a long way from how a sub really works.
      The sub’s peak power affects its performance, but only in a small degree. This is actually the rating of the maximum voltage the sub can handle in short bursts.
    • RMS Power –
      The RMS rating measures how much power the sub can handle continuously. This rating is the one that actually matters when you try to determine how powerful a sub is.
      You should know that not only the sub’s power rating will influence how it will behave once you install it. A subwoofer needs to be connected to a good amp if you want it to work as well as it can. You should always use an amp that has a similar power rating as the sub. An ideal amp should produce somewhere between 75 – 150% of the sub’s power rating.
  2. Size –
    As you could see from our short reviews, competition subwoofers come in different sizes. The sizes influence the subs performance, but a large sub is also more difficult to install and transport than a smaller one.

    • 12 Inch Subwoofers – These subs are not small, but they won’t take up your whole boot, either. If you like listening to a powerful bass, but you don’t want to sacrifice the sound’s quality for pressure, then 12” models are the right ones for you. These units are relatively easy to install, and they work nicely in dual setups.
    • 15 Inch Subwoofers – These subs are large, and they will take up more of your boot space. They can be very loud and they will make your teeth rattle even if you don’t turn them up to max. Most of them perform well in all lows, but you have to be careful when you install them. Installing them with an SPL setting too high can lead up to sound distortions. You can set them up in dual setups if your trunk space allows it.
      The size of the subwoofer is very important for its performance. The larger the sub, the more air it will push. You should also know that every sub will need a box in order to work. Large subs will need larger boxes, so they will end up occupying most of your boot space.The sub’s size is especially important for people who travel a lot. Larger subs are also heavier, so they can slightly affect your car’s fuel consumption as well as its performance.
  3. Cost –
    If you want to improve your audio system, you can do it with a competition subwoofer. Even though the subs are not very expensive, the whole setup can be, because you have to buy an amp, connecting cables, and a box. Each configuration is different, but the subs are a vital component, and you should spare no expense when buying one.

    • Cheap Subwoofers – Unlike other products, the cost of a sub is not necessarily related to its performance. You can find cheap models that are capable of amazing outputs, and if you hook them up to a good amp they will perform as well as any other expensive model would.One of the advantages of buying a cheaper sub is that you can buy more of them with the same budget. This can be very good, especially if you’re planning on using more for your configuration.
      Cheap subs are also a great choice for beginners. If you don’t have any previous experience with competition subs, buying a cheap one is a good way to start. You can experience with different configurations and figure out which one you like better before buying more expensive units.
    • Expensive Subwoofers – Even though there are some good cheap subs on the market, there are others that cost more. You might be wondering why that is, and if they’re worth the extra money.
      Well, these subs usually have better cones. The cones can be made out of composite or another strong material. Having a high-quality cone is very important for the sub’s performance, as it will stop most of the vibrations and lower the chances of distortions.These subs also have spiders larger than 7” which are less likely to sag. They are also more resilient to deformation, so they will be more durable than others. This will allow you to use them for a longer time at their maximum capacity.Subs are designed to withstand more pressure than their RMS rating, and expensive ones are less likely to get damaged when they have to produce a distorted signal.

How To Set Up A Competition Subwoofer Correctly

competition subwoofersIf you want to get a competition subwoofer, you have to know how to install it or have a professional do it correctly. No matter how expensive your sub is, it won’t perform as well as it should if you don’t set it up right.

First of all, you will need a box for your sub. The size of the box is very important, especially if you’re going for the larger models. The box acts as a support for the sub, but also plays a crucial part in its cooling process. If a sub is not installed in a box large enough, it won’t be capable of pushing as much air as it should.

Second, you have to make sure the sub gets enough power. If you have to upgrade your car’s battery to make it work, don’t hesitate. It’s very important to connect the subwoofer to the battery directly and avoid connecting it to the fuse box. The fuse box is often the cause of distortions or interference, and you might hear the engine noises through the sub.

Now that you powered the sub, you have to connect it to the amp. The amp is very important, and if you’re looking to make a competition setup, you should get a high-quality one. Choosing the right amp is a crucial step in your audio configuration. The amp’s power rating should be similar to the sub’s. You should not under power your sub because underpowering can lead to overheating. Besides finding a good amp for your sub, you should also set the amp’s gain correctly. If you don’t have any previous experience with setting the gain, you should do it using test tones.

How To Tune Your Subwoofer

If you want to listen to clean and crisp music, you should tune your subwoofer. Here’s how you do it.

  • Make Sure There Are No Distortions – If you want to remove the sub’s distortions, you should set the amp’s gain low to start. Play something and turn up the volume until the music starts distorting. Turn down the volume until the music sounds good again, and mark the volume. That’s the stereo’s limit, and anything past that point will sound distorted. Turn up the amp’s gain until the sound is distorted and then turn it down a notch so it will hear clearly. You have to maintain the amp’s gain values at the same level, but you can modify the stereo’s volume.
  • Find The Right Bass Setting – To find the right bass setting, turn the amp’s gain to its lowest level to start. Turn on the low-pass filter (usually marked LPF on the amp), and turn off the bass boost setting if it has one. Turn the bass tone on flat, and the subwoofer control to zero. Play music at a low volume, somewhere at about a quarter of the maximum volume. Turn on the sub until it overpowers your speakers without distorting the sound. Turn up the stereo’s volume and enjoy.

COMPETITION GRADE V.S. STANDARD SUBWOOFERS

You might be wondering what’s different between a competition grade sub and a regular one. Well, we made a list

  • Power Ratings – Competition subs are more powerful than regular ones. They have power ratings above 1,000 watts. And we’re not talking about the peak power. It’s the RMS power that matters
  • High-Quality Cones – Cones are very important because they determine the sub’s durability. A high-quality cone will stop most the vibrations that might affect the sound, so the music will sound better.
  • Large Spiders – The sub’s spiders play a key role in pushing the air. A large spider will push more air at once. Competition grade subs also have better spiders which will not sag as quickly as regular ones will.
  • Large Voice Coils – The coils will respond better to the magnet, and they will have a good reply.

Competition grade subwoofers are designed to handle more power. If you like bass but you don’t want to let the whole neighborhood know you’re in the area, you might not need one. Standard subs sound good, but they don’t produce nearly as much bass as competition ones. However, standard subs are cheaper than competition models.

Also, check out which Underseat Subwoofers are best?

 

Best Competiton Subwoofer Comparison Chart

ProductPriceSizeImpedanceRMS powerMax power
Orion HCCA152 15" HCCA Series 2 4000W DVC Subwoofer
$$$$$15 inch2 Ohm2000 watts5000 Watts
DS18 EXL-B15.4D Extremely Loud 15-Inch 3000 Watts Competition Subwoofer
$$$15 inch4+4-Ohms1800 watts3000 Watts
Skar Audio ZVX-12v2 12" 1500 Watt RMS Dual 2 Ohm Subwoofer
$$$$12 inchDual 2 Ohm1500 watts3000 Watts
Pioneer TSW311D4 Champion Series 12" Subwoofer
$12 inchDual 4 Ohm400 watts1400 Watts
American Bass XFL1244 12" Dual 4 Ohm Competition Car Stereo Subwoofer
$$$12 inchDual 4 Ohm1000 watts2000 Watts
Power Acoustik MOFO 12-Inch Competition Subwoofer
$$12 inchDual 2 Ohm1350 watts2700 Watts

Wrap Up

Despite their name, competition subwoofers can be used by everyone. They are very powerful and they will improve your driving experience. Finding the best competition subwoofer is a matter of preference and budget. Even the smallest of them can blow your mind once it’s used in a good configuration. The larger models are the types of subs you install when you want to entertain your whole neighborhood, even if they don’t want you to.

As you could see in our competition subwoofer reviews, these models are very powerful. In fact, they are so powerful that they might actually harm your ears. Keep that in mind when you choose your sub, and always be careful when you turn the music on.

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