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Rob Hephner

Professional Auto Sound Expert

Best Car Audio Subwoofers & Car Subwoofers

Featured On:

  • Car Sound Performance
At sometime during the 1970s, somebody decided to drop a home woofer in a car and the rest is history. No single component makes as big of an improvement on sound quality in a vehicle as a subwoofer. While most people think that a woofer is just about going boom-boom, they don’t understand how much the subwoofer improves overall impact and clarity of music if properly used. When I sold car audio in a retail store, we used to have a setup that allowed us to play a woofer in a customer’s vehicle. This demo, while rather simple, was highly effective in helping improve systems. Once you hear a woofer in your own car, you’ll have a hard time listening to music without one.

The basic technology of a subwoofer hasn’t changed much since the 70s but the refinement of materials and how the subwoofer is designed and built has helped to make subwoofers more efficient and much more durable in an automotive environment. A modern subwoofer for an automobile may look just like a woofer from a home stereo, but in reality they are worlds apart. If you are a music aficionado, one subwoofer will most likely suit your needs, but if you want the hard core slamming experience of bass that you can only get in a vehicle, you’ll be buying as many as you can fit.

Regardless of the experience that you want, all of my top five list are excellent subwoofer. The overall amount of bass just depends upon how many subwoofers you add and how much power (see amplifiers) you put to them. I picked these based upon two criteria, first that they provide the most accurate bass reproduction and second by which ones have the most durable performance.

For the best car audio subwoofers, turn to our experts who help you improve the clarity and overall impact of your music. Always the best price, these car subwoofers add the right amount of bass for a powerful sound.

Best Car Subwoofers by Rob Hephner

The Best You Can Get

  • JL Audio W7 Series

    Rob says: The W7 series is the most touted of subwoofers in the mobile electronics industry and for good reason. Just a taking a look at one of this speakers gives you a hint as to the powerful output they can provide, but a look into how the product is built reveals that it can prove just as much control as output.

    The W7 has a unique look in the fact that when mounted you will see no mounting ring or screws. This is because the surround actually rolls over the mounting ring, which gives more available area for the cone. It is a clever trick to increase the efficiency of the package by using as much space as available.

    This series incorporates six individual design patents that, coupled with JL’s rich heritage of providing excellent subwoofers, makes it number one in my list.

  • Rockford Fosgate Power Series

    Rob says: When it comes to subwoofers, bigger usually is better and when it comes to the Power series from Rockford Fosgate, big is what they are about. Nothing is under-built on this product. It exudes massiveness and installs fear in all those it should.

    Let’s face it, most people buy a subwoofer to make an impression and they usually want to be heard before they are seen. The most recognizable feature of the Power series is the aluminum cone so when they are seen it will make a positive impression, but you’ll be asked to show them off because people will have heard you coming.

    I pick the Power series as my number two pick because as the woofer manufacturer Rockford is known for their raw power and strength. While these speakers can deliver a finessed quality sound, they are really about power and they deliver.

  • Kicker SoloX Series

    Rob says: Kicker made its name by building boxes with subwoofers in them and the term “Kicker Box” has been applied to almost any automotive use of a subwoofer since. Obviously, they have a strong heritage and their customer service and product offers over the years has kept them at the top of the top in subwoofer market.

    One look at the SoloX series and you will notice they are different than your average subwoofer. Those who understand geometry will instantly get that a square offers more surface area than a circle and this is the very reason for the shape that you see in the SoloX series. On top of the displacement advantage, this series also makes it easier for installation as putting a square into a square box is a lot easier than putting it in a circle.

    Because of the solid performance from the SoloX series and its solid build, I place them in third of my overall top five picks.

  • Image Dynamics iDMAX Series

    Rob says: Image Dynamics is not as well known as the others in my top five, but its product is a strong offering in the world of automotive subwoofers. The look may not be as polished as other brands but the performance is on par with all of the ones I place above the iDMAX Series.

    Image Dynamics is a small company that designs their products from the ground up - they design, build, and process every one of these woofers. Normally a company of this size would be good for a best buy offering but the performance of this series puts it solidly in the top five and specifically in the number four position.

    The only reason that the iDMAX Series is not rated higher is due to the availability of the product. If you find a local dealer that can help with enclosure size recommendations or you are skilled enough you feel comfortable with calling the company direct, this product might move up on your personal list.

  • JBL GTI Series

    Rob says: If you have ever heard of anything in the audio market you have certainly heard of JBL and when it comes to automotive subwoofers JBL brings their extensive knowledge and experience in the pro audio world to bear. The JBL GTI Series delivers clean crisp bottom end with the power you would expect from a concert level experience.

    The JBL GTI Series balances a strong finessed look with a cone that screams concert. While many think that exotic materials are needed in subwoofers the paper cone, if properly designed, it can provide the kind of experience for those who want the multiple woofer experience in their vehicle.

    Because of their strong heritage in the pro audio market and obsession of building products that deliver upon that heritage, the JBL GTI Series ranks as the final entry in my top five, although depending upon your desires it could be your number one.

You will be happy with any of these

  • MTX Thunder Series

    Rob says: MTX is another company that has been around since the beginning and has a strong heritage of providing economically-priced products that perform well and are reliable.

    The Thunder series is a good example of balance between performance and price. This series offers exactly what most people are looking for in performance with a look that is neither dated nor stodgy.

    I pick the MTX Thunder Series at my top Best of the Rest list not only because of its performance and look, but because of its availability in the marketplace.

  • Lightning Audio Subwoofers

    Rob says: While Lightning Audio has been around for quite some time they are a relative new comer to the car audio scene. That being said, they are a division of Rockford Fosgate and positioned as a value brand. They get the technology from their parent corporation, but without all the higher priced individual parts.

    The Lightning Audio brand is all about value and you’ll find them in the big box stores associated with value. If you are looking for a well performing subwoofer that also brings some style to your installation, then this is the brand you’ll love.

    Because this line is built by Rockford Fosgate to be a value brand, is supported by their customer support and widely available. Lightning Audio subwoofers are placed number two in my Best of the Rest picks.

  • Boston Acoustics G1 Series

    Rob says: Boston Acoustics G1 series is yet another example of a strong company making a value-based line. With a strong heritage in the home audio market, Boston Acoustics extended that heritage into the car audio market by being a strong performer in this very category. With a consistent delivery of good products and good customer support, they have built an excellent following.

    The G1 series delivers bass at a great price point - all while maintaining quality sound. This line is more focused at good sound versus maximum output and as such makes it number three in my Best of the Rest picks. If you are looking for good sound, this is a great first-time product as it delivers all that you want from a subwoofer.

  • Bazooka Amplified Tube Series

    Rob says: While Bazooka has traditional looking woofers, they made their name in the market place with their tubes. This innovative approach allows them to deliver maximum sound out of an easy to install small package.

    I picked the amplified tubes series as my number four best buy because it reduces the amount of product you have to buy and install and also can be added to a factory system as your first upgrade.

    While the tube offers a lot of advantage, this subwoofer is really aimed toward a little more of the pop music and bass-loving crowd as it delivers a good bump for a little price. I personally had a Bazooka tube as my first woofer and at the time, it was the perfect fit. It delivered good sound, at a great price, and didn’t take up too much room.

  • Lanzar Vibe Series

    Rob says: Lanzar is another name that has been around for quite some time and is probably only known in the car audio market. Their chrome basket Vibe series are what entry level woofers are all about for some folks. If you want top bling out your trunk and don’t want to sacrifice sound, then this is my suggestion.

    While the bling does not take away from the sound, you will find that most companies that are serious about their subwoofers performance shy away from the look. Mostly because dozens of companies have come along and made their products look good, without building a quality sounding product.

    As far as a balance between looks and performance, Lanzar has won out and as such I place them as number five in my best buy looks. If you not only want to have good sound, but want to show it off, check the vibe series out.

Related Articles

Pick the best car audio subwoofers with some simple advice from our experts who scan the Internet for the latest high tech car gadgets. In car subwoofers, you want to look for the most accurate bass reproduction and the most durable performance. After that, car stereo subwoofer power is based on the number of subwoofers and the power you add to them (amplifiers). For a jamming good time, choose from our car subwoofer sound system recommendations at the best price every time.