A good car sound system relies on several components including the head unit, the amp, the woofers and the tweeters – but it’s the sub that really makes it boom. As a rule, the bigger the sub, the bigger the bass – and if that sounds like fun, here are our picks for best 12 inch subwoofer.
The Best 12 inch Subwoofer of 2019
1. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch 12 inch Subwoofer (Our Top Recommended)
This is a Class D 12” sub with built-in amp that is rated at 300 watts power RMS and has a frequency range of 35Hz-150Hz. If you are looking for a complete solution to add some deep and powerful bass to your system with a minimum of fuss, this could be worth checking out.
Since the amp is built in, it is easy to hook up and install. It includes a useful auto-on/off feature, which means you don’t need to turn it on manually every time you want to listen to music, and it has a remote so you can control the level of bass from your seat.
It also includes a bass boost equalizer as well as features to keep it safe it if anything goes wrong, including thermal protection and over-voltage protection.
This is a great option if you want to add some tight and accurate bass to your factory setup without over-complicating things. Although the price is higher than buying just a sub on its own, when you take into account the fact that the amp is built in, this is a very reasonably priced unit.
It would work equally well in conjunction with other speakers that are run off a separate amp.
Overall, a high-quality, affordably priced unit that can pump out some very respectable levels of bass. A recommended product.
2. Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X12 R2 12 inch Subwoofer
If you want to add some big, powerful bass to your car’s onboard sound system but you are short on space, this shallow 12” sub, also from Rockford Fosgate, could be an ideal option. It has dimensions of 13.5” x 27.38” x 5.25”, making it perfect for installation in smaller trunks.
This is a 2-ohm sub with a power rating of 100-250 watts RMS – or 500 watts peak. While that isn’t exactly enough bass to shake your bones or rattle your windows, it’s still a pretty impressive level of output that will easily be sufficient for everyday listening for most people.
A big plus with this sub is how easy it is to set up and install. If the rest of your system is already in place, essentially all you need to do is plug it into the amp and you’re ready to go.
This would be the right choice for someone who wants to add some bass to their setup but who doesn’t have space for a larger unit and who also doesn’t want to burn a hole in their wallet.
While there are perhaps better options if you have a higher budget and more space in your car, this would be a perfect compromise for someone who has a limit on both. A recommended sub from a trusted brand.
3. Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12 12 inch Subwoofer
If you are looking for a big chunk of raw power from your sub, you might wish to consider this beast, again from Rockford Fosgate. It is rated at 1,200 watts of peak power or 600 watts RMS, allowing it to deliver some big, growling bass – but it still comes with a relatively affordable price tag.
A big, beefy sub needs to be well put-together or it won’t be able to withstand the level of power it puts out – and this one certainly is. For example, it features a dual-linear spider with embedded 16 AWG tinsel leads along with an anodized aluminum cone and dust cap.
It benefits from VAST construction – this stands for Vertical Attach Surround Technique – which allows for an increased cone radius area and a significant improvement in sound. It also incorporates a high-temperature 2.5” voice coil and a big 102oz magnet for pumping, powerful sound.
This sub belongs to Rockford Fosgate’s Punch P3 range of products and is designed to give an impressive level of angry, aggressive bass at prices that are much lower than you would expect to pay for competition-level equipment.
If you want to install something in your vehicle that can deliver more extreme levels of sound without having to pay top dollar to get your hands on it, this sub is definitely worthy of your consideration.
4. Rockford Fosgate P2D4-12 Punch 12 inch Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate is a company that has been making quality car audio equipment for over three decades, and it is no coincidence we have included four subs from their range in this roundup – this is another top product from a well-regarded company.
While this sub doesn’t quite have the power handling capacity of the sub we looked at above, it still boasts a highly respectable peak power rating of 800 watts – or an RMS rating of 400 watts.
It also boasts the high-quality build that is a common feature of all Rockford Fosgate products. For example, this sub includes a 2.25” high-temperature copper-clad aluminum voice coil and a heavy-duty Kevlar-reinforced paper cone.
Similar to the model above, it also includes the same Vertical Attach Surround Technique VAST construction, giving the cone an increased radius area and improving sound quality and output.
This would be a great product for someone who wants a sub made by a well-known and trusted brand like Rockford Fosgate and who appreciates the quality of their products but who doesn’t quite require the extreme levels of power as the model above. Great value and very good quality.
5. Kenwood KFC-W3016PS 12 inch Subwoofer
Another well-known name in the world of car audio equipment with decades of experience to back them up is Kenwood, and this is a name that guarantees quality, performance and very reasonable prices.
This is a 4-ohm sub with a peak power rating of 2,000 watts or 400 watts RMS. It incorporates build features such as a tough and durable polypropylene cone and a strong and resistant rubber surround.
The highlights with this sub are the quality of the sound and the overall reliability. If you want to add some deep and powerful bass to your vehicle’s sound system, this would be a good pick – and at the same time, you know you’re installing a unit you can trust.
Overall, a great value sub that should last a long time. At this price point, it’s as good an option as any you’ll find – and it even looks stylish too.
6. Quantum Q3000/12D 12 inch Subwoofer
If you’re looking for a big, meaty sub to give your system’s bass a boost but you are on a limited budget, this sub from Quantum might be what you are looking for.
This sub is built for power and is rated at a whopping 3,000 watts peak. Of course, reaching this kind of output will depend on the rest of the setup you run it through, but if you come anywhere near this, it will be much more than most people will ever need for extended listening.
Although this sub comes with one of the lowest price tags of anything in its class, it can still put out a huge amount of deep, rumbling, clean bass. If you are interested in raw power for minimal cost, this could be the ideal option.
While it doesn’t come with the reputation of some of the better-established brands, in some ways this means you are getting a better deal since you are only paying for hardware and not the name. If that sounds like your kind of product, this sub is worth investigating.
7. 12W0V3-4 – JL Audio 12 inch Subwoofer
This 4-ohm sub from JL Audio has a power rating of 600 watts peak or 300 watts RMS. It is designed for optimum installation in compact, sealed enclosures or medium-sized ported enclosures.
It is a well-built sub and features components such as a mineral-filled polypropylene cone, a large roll surround and an elevated frame to give it enhanced cooling capabilities – this is a sub that is made to perform and built to last.
One advantage of this sub is that it is quite shallow, making it suitable even for vehicles where space is limited. However, there is no reduction in sound quality. One of these subs – or even two hooked up together – will give you a plenty of bass to turn heads as you drive past.
This is the kind of unit that would appeal to someone looking for an affordable option priced a little above the very cheapest subs and that offers a good combination of reliability, power and sound quality. A good pick to add some big bass without needing to spend a fortune.
8. JBL CLUB WS1200 12 inch Subwoofer
JBL is a company that regularly turns out quality speakers that deliver a big amount of power and levels of sound but that still remain at the affordable end of the market. If you are looking for a shallow-mount 12” sub in that category, this unit should be of interest.
This sub only requires 3 5/16” of depth, making it easy to fit into even the smallest of vehicles. We also like the fact that it has an impedance selector switch, allowing you to choose between 2 ohms and 4 ohms, also making it easier to pair and optimize with a wider range of other equipment.
This sub has a peak power rating of 1,000 watts or an RMS rating of 250 watts. The thing we really like is that when combined with a setup that delivers the power and quality these speakers need, you can expect some very loud, deep and penetrating bass, more than many comparable subs offer.
JLB is sometimes seen as an inexpensive brand but we prefer to see them as a brand that represents excellent value for money. This sub will give you some serious extra power in the lower frequencies but will cost you a lot less than many similar units. For this reason, it comes highly recommended.
9. E-12 V.3 D4 – Sundown Audio 12 inch Subwoofer
This speaker from Sundown audio would be another great pick if you are looking for a big, powerful sub at the lower end of the price range. It can comfortably handle a respectable 500 watts of power RMS and will add significant levels of bass to your onboard sound system.
This is a well-made unit that incorporates a 2.5” voice coil, allowing for advanced heat dissipation. The overall build quality is excellent, making this a sub that should last well while being able to give you the power and sound levels you require.
Of course, this sub won’t quite match top-end competition-level units – but for someone who wants to add some big power to their system without needing something that will shake the whole car, this is a sub that performs exceptionally for the price.
10. Kicker 44DCWC122 12 inch Car Subwoofers
If you don’t want to mess about mixing and matching components and just want big, pounding bass with a minimum of fuss, this could be the perfect solution. This is a combination of two 12” subs, a separate amp and everything else you need to make your car bang.
The 2-ohm subs are rated at 1,200 watts peak or 600 watts RMS and are built into a compact enclosure that is ideal for placing in even smaller trunks where space is at a premium. The whole setup looks great and will add a touch of class to your car – as well as a whole lot of bass.
This would be the ideal option for someone who is making a first-time upgrade to an in-car sound system but who doesn’t want to take baby steps when it comes to installing something that can really kick.
A great choice if all you want is plenty of deep bass but you don’t want to worry too much about the details of how you achieve the effect.
The key to a big, boisterous sound system
If you want a big, brash sound system that can pump out booming bass, you need a sub that can do the job. Choosing a 12 inch model will certainly allow you to produce some serious levels of sound, and if that sounds like something you would enjoy, any of our picks come highly recommended.