Everyone likes cheap when it comes to spending their hard-earned buck. After all, who pays more than they need to, to get what they want?
Fewer people like cheap in the sense of low quality, but if you’re on a tight-budget and can’t spend upwards of $500 on a car subwoofer and you don’t want a competition sub anyway, read on for a guide to buying a cheap subwoofer for not much money.
When you see subwoofers on manufacturers or on online retailers websites, there are usually a few specifications called out to help define what’s on offer. These typically include power handling capabilities (RMS/Peak), size, frequency Response, and sensitivity.
The size of the woofer is a good starting point for finding the subwoofer you need. Most today’s subs are sized at either around 10- or 15 inches. There are also some 18 and 20 inch subwoofers made as competition subs. A the smaller end, you may also find 8 inch subwoofers.
The size of the subwoofer also gives a guide to the overall bass output, helping you make a decision if boomy, earth-shaking bass is key to your needs.
Choosing the best cheap car subwoofer is a daunting task. The sheer number of cheap subwoofers on the market is enough to make your head spin. We know better than anyone else how hard it is to shop for a budget car subwoofers. That’s the reason why we did the research to help you make an informed buying decision. So what are the best cheap car subwoofers of 2016?
Is a budget subwoofer right for you?
Bargain-hunting is great when you’re shopping for a new car audio component. You don’t have to shell out several hundred dollars for a subwoofer unless you’re a seasoned audiophile who wants to be heard miles away.
A decent sub-$200 subwoofer is good for anyone who’s just wanting to add some bass to their car audio system without breaking their bank account (Don’t expect to turn your ride into a rolling thunderstorm of bass and rattle license plates with cheap subwoofers. A strong budget subwoofer, however, will deliver more than enough bass to satisfy almost anyone).
If you need a solid, very well-engineered subwoofer with strong bass output, and great power handling capabilities, you’ll have to shell out some serious dough – around $200 – $500. If you can’t spend that much but need a subwoofer that’s designed to reproduce and deliver enough bass to satisfy anyone, a budget subwoofer like the ones we recommend represents the perfect mix of power and price.
Best Cheap Car Subwoofers Reviews
When it comes to budget car subwoofers, Rockford Fosgate is one of the most legendary. They offer some of the best car subwoofers for more than a reasonable price.
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12 subwoofer is designed to deliver deeper, louder bass. It features a rigid anodized aluminum cone that holds its shape under heavy load, while staying light and responsive. This Punch P3 12″ inch sub uses a new technique that yields a relatively larger woofer cone of up to 25% than competing models of the same size, so this sub can push more air for even bigger bass.
Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 series car audio subwoofers are built on a long-standing experience and in-depth loudspeaker knowledge. By using an anodized aluminum voice coil former on their subs, Rockford Fosgate is able to dissipate heat from the voice coil more efficiently. The aluminum voice coil former acts as a heat-sink to dissipate heat build-up in the motor structure during high SPL conditions, so you get incredibly consistent bass performance. This P3 dual 2-ohm voice coils sub features an extended pole piece and bumped bottom plate that leaves more room for maximum excursion.
The P3D2-12 subwoofer can handle a great deal of power. It’s rated for 600 watts RMS. To drive this subwoofer, we recommend a mono amplifier rated between 500 and 700 watts RMS at 4 ohms. It can be mounted in either a sealed or ported enclosure, so you can choose the kind of bass you want for your system.
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12 Specifications
- Size : 12″
- Sensitivity : 85 dB
- Peak : 1200 watts
- RMS : 300 – 600 watts
- Frequency response : 27 – 250 Hz
- Top-mount depth : 6-11/16″
The TS-W304R by Pioneer is another great cheap 12″ inch subwoofer that doesn’t forfeit quality for price. It’s one of the best car subs at its price point. It sports a rugged cone made from injection-molded polypropylene supported by treated foam surround that keeps the cone under control so the sub sounds great in either sealed or ported enclosures.
The TS-W304R sub is equipped with a tough 6-layer voice coil that allows it to to handle up to 300 watts on continuous basis. The stamped basket features a magnet cover for extra protection, while extra venting helps to cool the sub’s internal motor structure and protect against thermal breakdown. To properly drive this subwoofer, look for an amp rated between 200 and 400 watts RMS at 4 ohms.
All in all, this sub is a good buy for the buck. It delivers clear bass, with no echoing or vibration noise. We’ve come across a ton of people who have bought and swear by these subs. You don’t have to shell out big bucks to buy overly priced subs when you can get all the bass and performance that any non-audiophile could possibly need.
Pioneer TS-W304R Specifications
- Size : 12″
- Sensitivity : 95 dB
- Peak : 1200 watts
- RMS : 50 – 300 watts
- Frequency response : 20 – 220 Hz
- Top-mount depth : 5-5/16″
Kicker is another recognized car audio brand that offers some of the best budget-friendly subwoofers. The 10C104 is one of kicker’s best selling car subwoofers on the market, and that’s no coincidence. It’s a very well-engineered and well-built subwoofer.
The Kicker 10C104 10 inch subwoofer features a thick, flex-resistant polypropylene woofer cone supported by ribbed foam surrounds which allows for longer excursion and better linearity. Its strong motor structure, double stitching, and extensive venting ensure long-lasting performance that won’t break down when the bass gets heavy.
This single voice coil subwoofer can handle up to 200 watts RMS to bring out the depth that your music has been missing. Its 4-ohm impedance makes it compatible with almost any amplifier on the market. This 10″ inch sub can be mounted in either sealed or ported enclosures. It’s also suitable for free-air applications.
Kicker 10C104 Specifications
- Size : 10″
- Sensitivity : 86 dB
- Peak : 400 watts
- RMS : 200 watts
- Frequency response : 30 – 500 Hz
- Top-mount depth : 5″
If you want to save yourself from the hassle of finding a good subwoofer, mounting it in the right enclosure and hooking it up to a compatible amplifier, then Kicker Hideaway compact powered sub is a great choice.
At just over three inches tall and nearly 14 inches long, this KICKER’s bass machine combines a 150-watt amplifier and an 8-inch subwoofer to add thumping bass to any car audio system from the tightest locations such as under seat or in storage areas where you don’t usually find regular subwoofers.
The Kicker Hideaway subwoofer comes with various features including a remote bass control for fine-tuning bass levels on the fly, adjustable low-pass crossover, variable +6dB bass boost, phase-cancelling switch for max output and two automatic turn-on options. It also features high- and low-level inputs for integration with nearly any aftermarket or factory-instaled headunit.
Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway Specifications
- Size : 8″
- Built-in 150 watts RMS amplifier
- Frequency response : 25 – 120 Hz