If you want full, quality sound from your vehicle audio system, adding a subwoofer will give you some of the bass that’s been missing. However, space inside your vehicle is limited. So, underseat subwoofers are a great solution.
The power capabilities of most underseat subwoofers are much smaller than that of their larger contenders, but they’re designed for smaller, enclosed spaces; not for breaking the windows.
They also accommodate use in compact or sports cars, as well as in larger vehicles. Additionally, they cost and weigh less.
Are you looking for subwoofers to reproduce bass while remaining rather compact? Buying the shallow mount speakers cover the lower range of frequencies that others struggle to reproduce.
What Is an Under Seat Car Subwoofer?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is an Under Seat Car Subwoofer?
- 2 Comparing The Best Underseat Subwoofers
- 3 1. Rockville RW10CA Car Subwoofer – Best Slim and CEA-Compliant Subwoofer
- 4 2. KICKER 11HS8 8″ 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer – Cheapest Audio Upgrade
- 5 3. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer – Best Compact Underseat Subwoofer
- 6 4. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Subwoofer – Most Powerful Subwoofer
- 7 5. SSL LOPRO8 – Most Solid Underseat Subwoofer
- 8 How To Install An Underseat Subwoofer?
- 9 Why Do Subwoofers Blow?
- 10 Factors To Consider When Buying An Under-Seat Car Subwoofer
- 11 FAQs About Underseat Subwoofers
- 11.0.1 Q: What is an underseat subwoofer?
- 11.0.2 Q: How do I choose a subwoofer?
- 11.0.3 Q: Where should I mount my subwoofer?
- 11.0.4 Q: What are the advantages of underseat subwoofers?
- 11.0.5 Q: What are the disadvantages of underseat subwoofers?
- 11.0.6 Q: What’s the difference between underseat and trunk subwoofers?
- 12 Ready To Buy The Best Underseat Subwoofer?
If you love listening to music in your car, then you ought to have a good sound system in it. However, with limited space in a vehicle, especially a compact one, you cannot utilize the area to enjoy music to the fullest.
Speaker systems come with woofers that need space to have complete sound experience. To solve the issue of space, an underseat subwoofer for your car is a perfect choice.
These practically hide beneath your car seats – thus, letting you utilize the space adequately. Furthermore, these are quite simple to set up. Underseat subwoofers do not offer a loud-sound experience. Nevertheless, the quality of sound on these speakers is top-notch.
Therefore, they are much more preferable by mature individuals, as they enjoy listening to music without ruining the privacy of others around them.
These subwoofers can also be perfect for beginners who want to enhance their car’s speaker system with a simple plug-and-play setup.
Besides, to help you decide on the right underseat subwoofer for your vehicle, here’s our list of the top five picks.
Comparing The Best Underseat Subwoofers
|Rockville RW10CA Car Subwoofer|
|KICKER 11HS8 8" 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer|
|Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer|
|Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Subwoofer|
|SSL LOPRO8 Review – Soundstom Labs|
1. Rockville RW10CA Car Subwoofer – Best Slim and CEA-Compliant SubwooferIf you’re looking for a slim subwoofer that you can easily fit under the seat of your sports car, the Rockville RW10CA is the right model for you. This CEA-2006 compliant subwoofer is only 10 inches wide and 2.7 inches thick, so it will fit nicely under most car seats.
Moreover, it is capable of producing 800 watts of peak power and up to 200 watts RMS. Consequently, it produces clear and crisp sound.
Furthermore, if you are not happy with the sound quality or the subwoofer’s performance, the manufacturer promises to take it back within 30 days of reception date and fully refund you.
More Reasons to Love this Product
It has high-level inputs, so you don’t need a remote wire from your receiver to trigger the unit on and off. The smart circuit will sense that an audio signal is present and turn on your radio. Likewise, when you turn off your music signal, the amplifier built into this subwoofer system will automatically turn itself off.
Additionally, it is easy to install and designed with the user in mind from start to finish. Using the high-level input is also the fastest and easiest way to install an aftermarket amp subwoofer combination since you do not have to remove the receiver.
You simply use the high-level input and wire it to your speakers. All the inputs and outputs are on one side. This makes wiring neater and easier, giving you full sound control.
Lastly, this slim underseat subwoofer also has a level control for the volume, a subsonic filter to filter out the really low frequencies that the human ear cannot hear, a low pass crossover filter, phase control, and bass boost.
2. KICKER 11HS8 8″ 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer – Cheapest Audio UpgradeWhether 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 vehicle’s sound system.
It is just over three inches thick and 14 inches wide, so it will fit under most car seats without sticking out. Plus, it offers 150 watts of RMS power and comes with Velcro nylon straps for fast installation and a quick-connect power plug.
Ford owner say that The Hideaway is the best cheap audio upgrade you can do to the stock F150 system. Its output is surprising. However, the unit itself is much heavier than you’d imagine, but the various install options make it an easy addition to most vehicles.
3. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer – Best Compact Underseat SubwooferThe PWE-S8 by Alpine is an easy way to add powerful bass to your vehicle’s sound system. It features a powered 8-inch subwoofer paired with a built-in amplifier housed together in a cast aluminum enclosure.
This model is 13.5 inches long, nine inches wide, and three inches thick, so you can add low, punchy, accurate bass to your sound system without taking up much space in your vehicle.
Moreover, it has a compact shallow mount design, which gives you the flexibility to install it under or behind the seat of your truck, in the trunk of your sedan, in the hatch of your SUV, or tucked in any other compact space.
Likewise, its die-cast aluminum construction provides durability for ongoing performance, while its amplifier produces 120W of continuous power and its quad-coil subwoofer delivers 32Hz-150Hz frequency response. Its maximum power output is 240 Watts.
Additionally, the PWE-S8 easily connects to your sound system through the RCA or Auto-sensing Speaker Level Inputs, which are conveniently located on the side panel. The side panel also gives you access to Phase, Gain, LP Crossover, and Remote Sub Level Controls for proper sound setup and greater flexibility during installation.
Lastly, for professional installation, visit the store locator on the Alpine USA website to find an authorized Alpine retailer near you.
4. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch Subwoofer – Most Powerful SubwooferIf you’ve been involved in the aftermarket sound systems market in the last decade or so, you’ve surely heard about Rockford. This isn’t exactly an underseat subwoofer unless you are a desperate adrenaline junkie.
The custom-sealed 12-inch Rockford Fosgate P300 will literary blow you out of the seat with 300 watts RMS, making it one of the most powerful models available on the market.
Additionally, it has a closed loop design which will provide optimal performance between the amplifier, the subwoofer, and the enclosure. The hard casing protects the subwoofer against bumps and scrapes.
Moreover, the system itself is all-inclusive, so you only need to run power, ground, and a signal from the source to get it moving. It features a durable exterior that resists scrapes and bumps while in the trunk or cargo area.
Hence, if you need to quickly add bass to a system or want to alleviate the hassle of separate amplifiers and subwoofers, then the P300-12 is the right one for the job.
5. SSL LOPRO8 – Most Solid Underseat SubwooferSSL LOPRO8 is a very well-made and affordable subwoofer that carries a huge return on investment. It combines a built-in amplifier and an 8-inch subwoofer in a super-compact ported enclosure.
Moreover, it comes with various tuning controls to adjust your bass and give your music the extra punch it needs.
The amount of bass it can deliver is impressive, given the fact that it lacks venting ports. It is equipped with RCA low and high-level inputs and a remote bass level control, not to mention low pass and subsonic filters as well as a soft-delay remote.
How To Install An Underseat Subwoofer?
To install an underseat subwoofer, you will first need to disconnect the positive and negative of the battery unit. After that, you need to connect the power cable of the subwoofer to the positive of the battery.
The cable of the subwoofer needs to be brought to the compartment side, which can be done through the firewall of the car. You might have some soft opening in the firewall through which the cable can be inserted.
Now, depending upon where you want to install your subwoofer, you need to adjust the length of the cable. You also want the cable to be hidden from view, so make sure to lay it under the car’s rug.
It is advisable to drill the subwoofer on a wooden plank. That will prevent the subwoofer from vibrating too much in the car. Connect the power cable to the subwoofer.
Insert one end of the input/output audio cable in the relevant jacks of the subwoofer. The other end of the cable needs to be plugged into your car’s stereo system or radio.
You will have to take it out from the car’s dashboard. There should be a similar input/output jack present behind the stereo system. Plug the cables in it and reinsert the stereo.
Your plug-and-play underseat car subwoofer is ready to rumble!
Why Do Subwoofers Blow?
People often face a blown subwoofer in their cars. There can be several reasons for that to happen. Some of them are:
- Clipping – When you supply too much signal to the amplifier of a car, it raises the voltage in the subwoofer’s power unit. This phenomenon is called clipping. It causes the appliance to lose its bass-playing quality. You will also notice that the subwoofer is not able to play the bass notes while the music is on due to clipping. The sounds coming from it will randomly become too high and noisy. You can expect such a situation in low-quality subwoofers, as they do not have any protection against clipping. Too much “clipping” may lead to a blown subwoofer and amplifier.
- Excess Power Supply – Some car owners are unaware of the right level of power that needs to be supplied to the RMS unit of a subwoofer. As a result, the audio device becomes overstressed while playing the bass sounds. It further causes the unit to lose its quality, eventually becoming blown.
Make sure to keep the power supply and signal strength appropriate to match with the comfort levels of your under seat subwoofer. Too much amount will only damage it.
It is also essential that you notice any distortions in the sound coming from your subwoofer, to avoid irreversible damage.
Factors To Consider When Buying An Under-Seat Car Subwoofer
If you’d like to boost your default car audio system with an under-seat subwoofer, here’s what you should consider:
If you want deeper bass, a higher power handling by the underseat woofer is preferred. It needs to have enough power to convert electrical energy to sound energy. Hence, the higher the power rating, the more energy it can potentially transform into sound.
Almost all underseat subwoofers for cars come with a pre-built amplifier. Most class D amplifiers should be efficient and powerful enough to handle an under-seat subwoofer.
Additionally, take note of the power rating of the amplifier. The higher the better, as it will play louder.
The cone inside the subwoofer is the part that displaces air to produce the bass sound. The larger the cone, the more air it will displace. Therefore, choose a model with a bigger cone if you want a deeper and more powerful bass.
As an example, a 12-inch model will always produce a more powerful bass than an 8-inch model, no matter how good the 8-inch one sounds.
A subwoofer that is more sensitive will require less electrical energy to move the cone and produce a sound. Therefore, such a woofer is considered to be more power-efficient than other models. Moreover, since it consumes less, it will also last longer since the components will heat less and are more durable over time.
If you want a clean install and do not want audio wires to be visible, then you must use thin wires for the connections. However, only subwoofers with a low impedance will accept thin wires. For discreet installations, a two Ohms subwoofer is always better than a higher impedance model.
The resonant frequency is the minimum frequency the subwoofer can respond before it distorts. Lower is better in this case, especially since an underseat subwoofer will be in a confined space where it is more prone to distortions. A lower resonant frequency should help massively in producing a clearer and cleaner sound.
The RMS power is the total amount of continuous power a subwoofer can handle. In fact, it is the most accurate measurement of the subwoofer’s power. As the RMS power handling increases, so will the loudness capability. It is important to note that it’s better to overpower than underpower any type of speaker.
The powered subwoofer is similar to the enclosed subwoofer, except that it includes an amplifier along with the subwoofer, which is stored inside of an enclosure.
These typically do not take up very much space, but most people tend to install them in the trunk or on the floor behind the driver’s seat.
If you want an extra subwoofer in your car, consider buying a 15-inch subwoofer. It produces a sound that appears to come at once from all directions. It changes fluctuating electric audio signals to airwaves, which is perceived as sound by the ear.
FAQs About Underseat Subwoofers
Q: What is an underseat subwoofer?
It’s the baby version of a subwoofer, all encased in a single body. It is best for vehicles as it also has an amplifier built into it, without the hassle of wires.
Q: How do I choose a subwoofer?
Refer to our guide above for factors to consider. Your choice would depend on your car, your needs, and your preferences alongside the features the subwoofer can offer.
Q: Where should I mount my subwoofer?
As the title suggests, these subwoofers are best fixed under your car’s seat. Hence, you can place it there or in the trunk.
Q: What are the advantages of underseat subwoofers?
First, these are small, lightweight, and compact. They can easily be installed and removed and they will not negatively factor in your car’s performance or take up too much space. Second, they are cheap.
Q: What are the disadvantages of underseat subwoofers?
First, it could be inconvenient if you buy a large one, especially if you place it somewhere where people could be affected; like on the space people could’ve stretched in or slept. Second, being single and compact, their sound quality could be compromised.
Q: What’s the difference between underseat and trunk subwoofers?
Underseat subwoofers are lightweight, small, easy to install, highly portable, spaceless, and affordable. However, they are also not customizable, less durable, and more prone to wear and tear due to their placement.
Meanwhile, trunk subwoofers are customizable, more durable, and offers better sound quality than the former type. Additionally, depending on your preference, it could either be good or bad that it is heavier and comes in bigger sizes. The downside is that it costs more.
Ready To Buy The Best Underseat Subwoofer?
Many people decide to upgrade their car audio system at some point. This process should not be rushed since there are so many different factors to take into consideration.
The underseat subwoofer is the major component of an audio speaker, so it is crucial to choose carefully. All of the under-seat subwoofers reviewed above are top-quality products that are absolutely safe to use.
However, we do recommend that you have your under-seat subwoofer installed by a car audio specialist to avoid short-circuiting and other malfunctions.
Looking for a car speaker that offers durability and an incredible? Consider buying the best 6×8 car speakers that offer sensory experience while listening to music, podcasts or the radio.
Also, if you want to adjust the audio levels on your subwoofer and create special efforts, consider buying these pedals.