6 Best Underseat Subwoofers of 2017 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

best underseat subwoofer-2017Underseat subwoofers are a great way to improve your car’s audio system without sacrificing valuable space to do it. Most models come at a decent price, and they’re durable enough to last for years.

Finding the right subwoofer model for your car can be difficult in today’s crowded market, so we decided to create a comprehensive buying guide to help you in your decision.

We’re certain that after reading out short underseat subwoofer reviews and our comprehensive buying guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which is the best underseat subwoofer for your needs.

Thanks to their small dimensions and easy installation process, you will be able to install most underseat subwoofers by yourself if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most models come with their own amp, so you won’t have to buy one.

 

Top Rated Underseat Subwoofers

  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • ROCKVILLE RW10CA 10″ 800 WATT SLIM LOW PROFILE ACTIVE POWERED CAR SUBWOOFER SUB
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 12.4 x 13.4 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight : 14.2 pounds
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz - 150Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB @ 1w / 1m
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • NEW KICKER 11HS8 8″ 150W HIDEAWAY CAR AUDIO POWERED SUBWOOFER SUB ENCLOSURE HS8
  • PRICE $$$$
  • Dimensions : 11.5 x 5 x 18 inches
  • Weight : 13.2 pounds
  • Frequency Response : 25-120 Hz
  • Sensitivity: Low level- 125mV-5V; High level- 250mV-10V
  • 4.6 Customer Rating
  • ROCKFORD FOSGATE P300-12 PUNCH 300 WATT POWERED LOADED 12-INCH SUBWOOFER ENCLOSURE
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 22 x 14 x 17.3 inches
  • Weight : 29.6 pounds
  • Frequency Response : 35Hz to 150Hz
  • Sensitivity: N / A
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • ALPINE ELECTRONICS PWE-S8 RESTYLE COMPACT POWERED 8-INCH SUBWOOFER
  • PRICE $$$$$
  • Dimensions : 13.4 x 9.1 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight : 10 pounds
  • Frequency Response : 32Hz-150Hz
  • Sensitivity: N / A
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • PIONEER TSSWX2502 10-INCH SHALLOW-MOUNT PRE-LOADED ENCLOSURE SUB WOOFER
  • PRICE $
  • Dimensions : 22 x 16 x 9 inches
  • Weight : 19.2 pounds
  • Frequency Response : 20 Hz to 125 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 93 dB
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Powered Active Subwoofer Enclosure
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 13.6 x 9.7 x 2.6 inches
  • Weight : 12.9 pounds
  • Frequency Response : N / A
  • Sensitivity: Adjustable Input Sensitivity

1 Rockville RW10CA Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub

If you’re looking for a slim subwoofer you can fit under the seat of your sport car, the Rockville RW10CA is the right model for you. This subwoofer is only 10” wide and 2.7” thick, so it will fit nicely under most car seats.

The Rockville RW10CA is capable of producing 800 watts of peak power and up to 200 watts RMS. The good thing about this subwoofer is the clear and crisp sound it produces.

This subwoofer is really easy to install. Thanks to the high-level input, you won’t have to remove the receiver, but simply use the input to wire the subwoofer to your speakers.

Pros

  • Easy Installation – The subwoofer is really easy to install, and you won’t have to use a lot of cables to hook it up to your sound system.
  • Auto Turn On/Off – The subwoofer will automatically turn on and off when you turn on your stereo and off when it no longer detects a music signal.

Con

  • Install Will Affect Sound – The sound quality will be affected by the installation process, so you have to make sure the subwoofer is snugly tightened.

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2 NEW KICKER 11HS8 8″ Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure HS8

Whether you have previous experience with aftermarket subwoofers or not, we can all appreciate a model that’s easy to install. The Kicker 11HS8 comes with a plug-and-play installation, so you can easily hook it up to your sound system.

The Kicker 11HS8 is just over 3” thick and 14” wide, so it will fit under most car seats without sticking out. The subwoofer is 8” wide, and it produces 150 watts of RMS power.

One of the major advantages this subwoofer has over its competitors is the ease of installation. This model comes with Velcro nylon straps for a fast installation and a quick-connect power plug.

Pros

  • Fine Tuning – The Kicker 11HS8 comes with a remote control that can finely adjust the bass levels just as you like them.
  • Plug-and-play Installation – You can install this unit very quickly after you take it out of the box. This makes it perfect for people who are not very experienced in aftermarket sound systems

Con

  • Defective Units – Some customers complained that their products weren’t working properly when they received them. If this happens, contact the customer service and they will change your unit for free.

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3 Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Powered Subwoofer

New -ROCKFORD FOSGATE P300-12 PUNCH 300 WATT POWERED LOADED 12-INCH SUBWOOFER ENCLOSUREIf you’ve been involved in the aftermarket sound systems market in the last decade or so, you surely heard about Rockford. Rockford is one of the leading manufacturers in this market, and their models still continue to amaze.

The Rockford Fosgate P300 will produce 300 watts RMS, making it one of the most powerful models available on the market. The hard casing protects the subwoofer against bumps and scrapes.

This model has a closed loop design which will provide the optimal performance between the amplifier, the subwoofer, and the enclosure.

Pros

  • Thermal And Over Voltage Protection – You won’t find so many car subwoofers designed with a thermal and over voltage protection. Thankfully, the Rockford has them, making it more durable
  • Intelligent On/Off Feature – This model uses an intelligent on/off feature that will start or stop the unit when you play music.

Con

  • Thick – The Rockford P300 is rather thick, so most people will have some problems trying to fit it under their front seats. This might not be a problem if you drive a truck, but it will definitely be one if you drive a sports car.

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4 Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer

If you’re looking for a small subwoofer that’s capable of producing a clean and crisp sound, you’re in luck. That’s exactly what the designers of Alpine Electronics had in mind when they created the PWE-S8.

The PWE-S8 is only 3” deep and 13.5” long, so it will fit nicely under your car seats, even if you drive a sports car. The subwoofer has a cast aluminum casing, and it can produce 120 watts RMS.

This model is easy to install, and you can connect it to your sound system using the speaker level inputs or the RCA located on the side panel.

Pros

  • Very Small – The PWE-S8 is a really small subwoofer, so you won’t have any problems installing it under your car seat, even if your car is not very spacious, to begin with.
  • Clear Sound – This model produces a clear sound. The low-frequency response will surprise everybody who enters your car, and people won’t believe that such a small woofer is capable of achieving this sound quality

Con

  • Pricey – This model is great, but it comes at a price. While this subwoofer sounds very good, you can find larger models in the same price range. However, the size makes it perfect for smaller cars

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5 Pioneer TSSWX2502 Shallow-Mount Enclosure Sub Woofer

Pioneer is a world-renowned manufacturer, and they develop some of the best products in the sound systems market, from earbuds to concert speakers. Well, you shouldn’t be surprised that they managed to produce a high-quality underseat subwoofer as well.

The Pioneer TSSWX2502 is only 6” thick, so it will fit nicely under the back seats of most cars. People who drive trucks might even be able to install it under the passenger seat if they want to.

The nice thing about this model is that it packs a mean punch, despite its small dimensions. People won’t expect such a clean and tight bass coming from a low profile subwoofer, but this unit manages to deliver.

Pros

  • Amazing Sound – This model is capable of producing a clean and powerful sound, despite its small size. It can actually rival larger units and hold its ground.
  • Good Low Profile – The TSSWX2502 has a good low profile that allows it to fit under most seats. Despite its low profile, the woofer delivers a good punch.

Cons

  • No Amp – This is just a speaker, so it doesn’t come with an amp. You will need an amp to connect it to your car’s sound system, so you will have to spend more money to make it work.

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6 Powered Active Subwoofer Enclosure

If you’re looking for a underseat subwoofer that’s small enough to fit under any seat, you should take a closer look at the active model produced by Cerwin-Vega Mobile. This model is only 2.6” thick and 13.6” long, so it will even fit under the seats of small sports cars.

Despite its small size, this subwoofer is loud, and it will produce a clear sound no matter what type of music you’re listening to. The 10” subwoofer has a durable aluminum casing, so it will withstand the occasional scrape or bump without any problems.

Pros

  • Easy Install – This subwoofer comes with heavy duty Velcro strips you can use to hold it in place. This simplifies the installation process considerably.
  • Great Price – This model produces a high-quality sound and it comes with its own amp. For what it offers, this unit comes at a very good price.

Con

  • Bass Needs Tweaking – Different styles of music, or even listening to different sources such as the radio or the mp3 player affect the sound. You will have to tweak the bass every time you change the source or the music style to get the optimal results.

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Underseat Subwoofer Buying Guide

underseat subwoofersFinding the best underseat subwoofer for your car is not very difficult once you know what you’re looking for. In the following section, we take a look at what makes a subwoofer good, and how to find the right one for your car.

  1. Power –
    Just to make things clear, if you want to wake up your whole neighborhoçod when you start your subwoofer, you shouldn’t be looking for an underseat model. These models will add a lot of bass to your sound system, and they can be really loud, but they won’t make your neighbors’ windows vibrate when you pass their homes.Now that you have an idea on what to expect from an underseat subwoofer, let’s see how to choose the right model when it comes to power.

    • Peak Power – Peak power represents the maximum wattage the subwoofer is capable of handling in short bursts. If an amp produces more watts than the subwoofer can handle, it can produce sound distortions or actually damage the subwoofer so be careful when you pair the two if you’re not buying an active subwoofer.Manufacturers often mislead their clients by stating the peak power rating on the subwoofer cases or in their commercials. That is indeed the power a subwoofer can handle in short bursts, but it doesn’t really matter to the audio quality. You should be looking at the RMS power instead.
    • RMS Power – The RMS rating is the actual power an amp put out continuously. In subwoofers, the RMS rating measures how much power you can channel through a subwoofer without producing distortion or actually harming the product.You have to take the RMS power into account when you’re pairing an amp and a subwoofer. If the amp produces more power than the woofer can take, make sure you turn it down a notch, especially if you hear a distortion. As a rule of thumb, the closer the amp and woofer values are, the better. You should choose an amp that’s capable of producing at least 75% of the subwoofer’s watts, but doesn’t produce more than 150%.You should also keep in mind that good speakers will make a cheaper amplifier sound better, while not even the best amplifier won’t sound good when it’s paired with a bad set of speakers.

    Also, check out which powered subwoofers are best?

  2. Size –
    best underseat subwoofersThe size of a subwoofer is a deciding factor in how it will behave. However, you should also take into account the installation problems and the room you lose when you’re thinking about buying a large subwoofer. Let’s take a look how size influences how a subwoofer performs.

    • 8-inch Subwoofers – This is the most common type of subwoofer, and it’s also the smallest size available. In fact, most car manufacturers install one or two 8-inch subwoofers from the factory.8-inch subwoofers provide excellent clarity and bass response, but they don’t add much bass to the songs. They are easy to install and most of them will fit nicely under your front seats, even if you drive a small car.These subwoofers offer a good all-around performance, but they’re not very impressive.
    • 10-inch Subwoofers – This is also a common size for car subwoofers, and some manufacturers choose to install a single 10-inch subwoofer in their models than 2 8-inch ones. Most people who want to buy an underseat aftermarket subwoofer go for the 10-inch one thanks to its relatively small size that allows it to fit under the rear seats or to replace the original woofers the manufacturer installed.10-inch subwoofers have a good bass response and a nice clarity. They produce more bass than the 8-inch models, and they are not difficult to install. Some of them can be installed in the same location as the factory ones, and the others will fit under the seats.
    • 12-inch Subwoofers – This is not a very common size and most people who choose it have previous experience with aftermarket audio systems and know exactly what they’re buying. Only a few car manufacturers install 12-inch subwoofers on their models, so you won’t be able to install them in the same locations as the original ones.A 12-inch subwoofer produces a decent bass response and clarity, but it generates a lot more bass than the 8-inch model, and you can notice the difference between the bass it produces and that produced by the 10-inch one. However, these models are harder to install, and they will intrude on the passenger’s space.
  3. Position –
    It’s very important to determine the subwoofer’s ideal position before you buy one. Otherwise, you might end up with a subwoofer to large for your car. Depending on the type of car you drive, here’s how to determine which type would be the right one.

    • Sports Cars – Sports cars are great. They have a great acceleration, and they look impressive. The downside is that they’re also smaller than other models, which could restrict the space you can use for the subwoofer. If you plan on buying a subwoofer for your sports car, we suggest you go for the 8-inch models. It’s true that some 10-inch models could fit under the seat of your car, but they might restrict the passenger’s space.
    • Sedans – Sedans are larger than sports cars, so they offer more space for the subwoofer. If you drive a sedan, you should choose between the 8 and 10-inch models. The 12-inch models might fit, but they will take up more space, making the car more uncomfortable for your passengers.
    • Trucks And SUVs – Trucks and SUVs usually offer more space than other models. This means that most of them will fit a 10-inch subwoofer comfortably under their seats, and some might even sit a 12-inch one without any problems. You should still measure the space under the seats before buying a model and make sure your passengers will be able to place their feet under the chair.

Who Is This For?

Underseat car subwoofers are a great choice for people who are passionate about music and spend a lot of time in their car. Unlike boot subwoofers, these models don’t take up too much space, and they are easier to install.

Underseat subwoofers are not very loud, so they are better suited for mature people who want to listen to music in high-quality without disturbing the other drivers or their neighbors.

They are also great for people who are just beginning to improve their car’s audio system because they are easy to install, and some of them even have a plug-and-play installation.

Pros And Cons Of Under Seat Subwoofers

Just like any other product on the market, underseat car subwoofers are not perfect. Even though they might provide a good way of enhancing your car audio system, they still have some disadvantages.

Pros Of Under Seat Subwoofers

Small And Lightweight – Underseat subwoofers are small enough to fit under your seat, and they’re certainly lightweight. The weight of the subwoofer will allow you to remove them from the car as often as you would like. If you know the car will be crowded and you’ll need the space the subwoofer takes up on your next trip, you can just remove it. Being lightweight, the subwoofer won’t affect your car’s performance. Thanks to their small dimensions, these models can be installed under your seats, allowing you to use all the storage space your boot provides.

  • Easy To Install – One of the factors that contribute to the ease of installation is the unit’s weight. However, there are several other factors that help. The fact that most underseat subwoofers come with their own amp is a major advantage, as you can connect them to your sound system without needing another connection. Some models come with a plug-and-play installation, so you will only have to hook them up to the power source and the car’s sound system.
  • Cheap – Most underseat subwoofers cost only a fraction of what you would spend on a boot speaker and amp combo. They are the go-to product if you want to enhance your car’s sound system, but you’re not willing to break the bank to do so.

Cons Of Under Seat Subwoofers

  • Can Be Inconvenient – Underseat subwoofers can be inconvenient for your passengers, especially if you buy a large model. If you place them under the passenger seat, they can take up space the passengers in the back need to stretch their legs. If you place them under the backseat, they can make it vibrate leading to another inconvenience.
  • Sound Quality Could Be Better – While most aftermarket sound woofers are better than the ones your car’s manufacturer installed, they are not great. You will notice an improvement in the sound’s quality, but it could be better.

Underseat Subwoofer VS Boot Subwoofer

underseat subwoofers reviewsWhen they think about car subwoofers, most people think about the big box you place in your boot that cranks out a bone-shaking bass that makes your neighbors coffee spill when you drive by their home. Those models still exist, and people still use them. Let’s see how the underseat models stand up when they’re compared with boot ones.

  • Space Needed –
    At this category, the underseat models are clearly the winner. They don’t take up much space, and if you choose the right model for your car you can even use it to replace the subwoofers the manufacturer installed in the factory. You don’t even use the space they usually occupy, and if you choose a good model it won’t inconvenience your passengers.Boot models take up more space, and some of them don’t even incorporate an amp, so you will need space for the amp as well. This can be a problem, especially if you have to leave on long trips frequently.
  • Sound Quality –
    Boot models are the definitive winners in this category. They produce a much better sound than their underseat counterparts, and they will enhance your driving experience dramatically. If you find the right speaker and amp combination, you can even let the whole neighborhood know which song you like best, whether they like it or not.Even though they improve your audio system and your driving experience, underseat sound woofers are not as good as boot models. The sound aftermarket sound woofers produce are better than the sound produced by factory ones, but it doesn’t compare with what boots are capable of.
  • Cost –
    Underseat models are cheaper than boot ones. Not only are they cheaper, but most of them come with their own amp, so you won’t have to spend extra money to make them work.Boot models are more expensive than underseat models, but they’re also better. They need an amp, so you will have to spend more to make them work, but once you do it will be worth it.
  • Ease Of Installation –
    When it comes to the installation procedure, underseat models are clearly the winners. Some models are very easy to install, and most people will be able to do it by themselves in under one hour if they’re following the proper instructions.Boot models have more complicated installations, and they will also need an amp to work, which makes the task even tougher.

Best Underseat Subwoofer Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEDIMENSIONSWEIGHTFREQUENCY RESPONSESENSITIVITY
ROCKVILLE RW10CA 10″ 800 WATT SLIM LOW PROFILE ACTIVE POWERED CAR SUBWOOFER SUB
$$12.4 x 13.4 x 2.7 inches14.2 pounds20Hz - 150Hz90dB @ 1w / 1m
NEW KICKER 11HS8 8″ 150W HIDEAWAY CAR AUDIO POWERED SUBWOOFER SUB ENCLOSURE HS8
$$$$11.5 x 5 x 18 inches13.2 pounds25-120 HzLow level- 125mV-5V; High level- 250mV-10V
ROCKFORD FOSGATE P300-12 PUNCH 300 WATT POWERED LOADED 12-INCH SUBWOOFER ENCLOSURE
$$$22 x 14 x 17.3 inches29.6 pounds35Hz to 150HzN / A
ALPINE ELECTRONICS PWE-S8 RESTYLE COMPACT POWERED 8-INCH SUBWOOFER
$$$$$13.4 x 9.1 x 2.8 inches10 pounds32Hz-150HzN / A
PIONEER TSSWX2502 10-INCH SHALLOW-MOUNT PRE-LOADED ENCLOSURE SUB WOOFER
$22 x 16 x 9 inches19.2 pounds20 Hz to 125 Hz93 dB
Powered Active Subwoofer Enclosure
$$$13.6 x 9.7 x 2.6 inches12.9 poundsN / AAdjustable Input Sensitivity

Wrap Up

If you still don’t know which is the best underseat powered subwoofer for your car after reading this article, we recommend you take a quick look at our competition subwoofers, here. These models are larger than the ones we just presented, but they’re also better so they might be the ones you’re looking for.

As you could tell from our underseat subwoofer reviews, the models we included in this article are not the only ones available on the market, but they’re some of the best. Most of them are very easy to install, and they produce a clean and crisp sound. They are small enough to fit under the seats of most cars, and they will improve your car’s audio system.

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