The best under-seat subwoofer
Car Audio

THE BEST UNDER-SEAT SUBWOOFER (Guide & FAQs)

An under-seat subwoofer is exactly what you need to improve the quality of the audio system in your car without tearing up the interior to run wires everywhere or sacrificing too much space for a conventional subwoofer.

There are good subs but only the best under-seat subwoofers can deliver that hard-punching, rumbling, and high-quality bass that you desire while listening to music in your car. Especially if you lacks that sound quality audio setup in your car

Under-seat subwoofers can also bring the vibes & buzz and are just as efficient as the conventional subwoofers if not even more. The interesting thing about under-seat subwoofers is not only their compact frame but also the presence of built-in amplifiers.

If you’re looking to get the best under-seat subwoofer review for your vehicle but don’t know how, it’s a pleasure to announce that you’re just in the right place.

 

7 Top Under-Seat Subwoofer Review 2020

The battle for the title of the best was a tightly contested one with some of the biggest brands like Kenwood, JBL, Rockville, Kicker, etc. churning out impressive and quality products while some underdogs were also able to cut.

After we have tested and reviewed several under seat subwoofers, we also looked up the performance of these best under-seat subwoofers on Amazon to get first-hand knowledge of their performance.

Some of the qualities that form the basis of our conclusion were convenience, ease of installation, sound quality, amplifying power, portability, durability, power source, sensitivity, and overall performance.

In no particular order or preference, we present to you our top 7 best underseat subwoofer.

 

  1.                 Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer

Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 32Hz -150Hz

Power Rating – 120W

Size – 8 inches

 

OVERVIEW

The PWE-S8 Alpine Restyle Compact Powered Subwoofer is the ultimate sound master with portability and efficiency being the two words two that perfectly describes it. This performance monster is the easiest way to add that powerful, hard-hitting bass to your car’s sound system.

The PWE-S8 subwoofer is your haven when you want to add a powerful bass output to your sound system without giving up too much space in your car as it measures only a meager 8 inches and can fit comfortably under or behind the seat in your car or truck or the trunk of your SUV.

This Alpine under seat subwoofer features an 8-inch subwoofer that’s enclosed in an aluminum casing and preinstalled with a 120-watt powered in-built amplifier, an audible frequency response of 32Hz- 150Hz, a 0.1 – 4V RCA, and an auto-sensing level input located on the side panel of the PWE-S8.

It has a remote level knob with a 15” cable attachable to any part of the dashboard that affords you access and control of the bass level from the driver’s seat.

See Best Price on Amazon

Pros

  • Powerful Sound output
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy to install
  • Very portable

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • The sound output could use some improvement

 

  1.                 Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer for CAR

Kenwood KSC-SW11 Review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 35Hz -125Hz

Power Rating – 150W

Size – 8.25 inches

 

OVERVIEW

The Kenwood KSC-SW11 under seat subwoofer is the perfect one for you if you’re looking for an all-in-one sound system that’s compact and easy to install.

This compact yet powerful subwoofer can fit conveniently under or below almost every car’s seat, where it will deliver low frequency but hard-hitting bass that’s greater than or equal to that of the bigger ones in your trunk.

The Kenwood KSC-SW11 is a super subwoofer that is housed in a compact but rugged aluminum frame which helps it to absorb heat after being used for a long time. It features a built-in amplifier that delivers 75 watts and 150 watts RMS peak power and boasts of an audible frequency response of 35-125Hz.

The subwoofer has a power & ground harness with a wired remote control that gives you control over bass frequency level, adjust volume and crossover point, selectable phase control from 0 degrees to 180 degrees.

Everything about the Kenwood KSC-SW11 under-seat subwoofer is impressive from performance to build quality to user-friendliness to price tag.

Pros

  • It is very easy to install
  • Highly impressive sound quality
  • Very compact and durable
  • Excellent all-round performance

Cons

  • Quite expensive for budget buyers
  • Bass output quality can be better

 

  1.                 Pioneer TS-SWX2502 Compact Active subwoofer

Pioneer TS-SWX2502 review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 20Hz – 200Hz

Power Rating – 300W – 1200W

Size – 10 inches

 

OVERVIEW

The Pioneer TS-SWX2502 Compact Active subwoofer is your go-to guy when you need a sound system with hard-punching bass from a small enclosure.

Although the Pioneer TS-SWX2502 is slightly oversized at 10’ and would barely fit conveniently under many seats but could be perfect if you need something more powerful and a bit bigger.

This TS-SWX2502 subwoofer includes an angled push terminal that allows the connection wires to remain straight rather than bent which is contrary to what we have in other conventional subwoofers. And it is enclosed in an oversized cone structure which allows the subwoofer to deliver deeper and louder bass by moving more air.

Pros

  • Crisp sound quality
  • Powerful amplifier
  • Easy to install
  • Compact and beautiful design

Cons

  • Quite big and wouldn’t fit many cars
  • Quite expensive

 

  1.                 JBL BassPro SL 8-inch 125W RMS Powered Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer Enclosure System

 

JBL BassPro SL Review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 35Hz -125Hz

Power Rating – 125W – 250W

Size – 8 inches

OVERVIEW

The JBL Bass Pro under seat subwoofer has a compact and attractive look with an efficient design that perfectly complements the performance and exceptional bass quality that it delivers.

With an 8” shallow frame that’s designed to fit comfortably under many vehicles’ seats, the JBL Bass Pro boasts of an in-built class D amplifier that delivers about 125 watts – 250 watts RMS to it with an impressive frequency range of 125Hz.

The subwoofer has a bass boost, low profile filter, and a phase switch that allows you to get the best performance out of your subwoofer. Plus, the amplifier hardly gets heated so you don’t have to worry about installing the sub under the car or any other tight space in your vehicle.

The sub comes with a remote level controller, a 16.5remote cable, four 2-1/2” Hex socket screws & bit, two 1’ Phillips head screws, a quick start guide,

Pros

  • Compact & sturdy design
  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to install
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Quite expensive for budget buyers
  • Bass could be better

 

  1.                 Kenwood KSC-PSW8 250W Max (150W RMS) Single 8″ Under Seat Powered Subwoofer Enclosure

Kenwood KSC-PSW8 Review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 35Hz -150Hz

Power Rating – 150W – 250W

Size – 8 inches

 

OVERVIEW

The Kenwood KSC-PSW8 produces excellent, hard-punching bass performance in less space with its 8” frame that can fit conveniently under or behind the seat of most vehicles.

The subwoofer features a built-in class D amplifier that delivers 150 watts to 250 watts RMS to the speaker at a peak frequency response of 150Hz. It also includes a wiring harness, mounting brackets, and a wired remote control that allows you to control the bass volume level and select a phase control between 0 degrees – 80 degrees from the driver’s seat.

Other components of the woofer include 2 mounting breaks, 4 self-tapping screws,4 machine screws, an adhesive-backed hook-and-loop pad, an instructional manual, and a 1year warranty sheet.

It’s the perfect solution for people who want that rumbling low-frequency baas punch without sacrificing a lot of space in their car.

Pros

  • Sturdy and compact design
  • Great performance
  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Has a low sensitivity
  • Sound clarity can be better

 

  1. Rockville RWS12CA Slim 1200 Watt 12″ Powered Car Subwoofer Enclosure

Rockville RWS12CA review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 38Hz -500Hz

Power Rating – 300 Watts RMS & 1200 Watts Peak

Size – 12 inches

 

OVERVIEW

The Rockville RWS12CA slim under-seat subwoofer is arguably one of the best subwoofers not only within the Rockville family, but also one of the best subwoofers currently available on the market.

The Rockville RWS12CA slim combines subwoofers with a perfect enclosure and amplifier to produce an optimum bass performance that will keep you grooving and raving all through your journey.

The subwoofers feature some amazing characteristics that genuinely highlight their quality, including a built-in amplifier that delivers a peak power of 1200 watts and RMS power of 300 watts to the subwoofers with a frequency response of 38Hz to 500Hz.

The standard Rockville RWS12CA slim unit comes with a bass remote control, adjustable low-pass crossover, variable +12dB bass boost, and a 150mv – 5Vgain control.

The Rockville RWS12CA slim subwoofer is a combination of power, performance, and an exclusive design that can fit conveniently behind or under your car’s seat.

Pros

  • Exceptional performance
  • Crips audio quality
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Not so compact
  • Too many wirings
  1. Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway Compact Powered Subwoofer

Kicker 11HS8 Review

Specifications:

Frequency Response – 25Hz -120Hz

Power Rating – 150 Watts RMS

Size – 8 inches

 

OVERVIEW

The 11HS8 Hideaway Compact Powered Subwoofer is a testament to Kicker’s creativity and innovation as a powerhouse in the sound industry, helping them to set new standards for convenience and high bass performance in vehicles.

This amazing under-seat subwoofer is powered by a 150 watts RMS in-built amplifier that delivers deep, hard-punching bass at an incredibly low-frequency output of just 25Hz -120Hz.

The 11HS8 Hideaway under-seat subwoofer is only 3 inches tall and would fit conveniently under or behind your car’s seat or just about anywhere you deem too tight for anything else.

This incredible subwoofer also features a wired remote control knob that allows you to adjust and change the bass level, a fast disconnect harness with signal and power wiring to make installation easier, Velcro fasteners with Nylon straps to mount the powered subwoofer.

A 1-year warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee to make it all the more interesting.

What more can we say? Just get ready for some hard-punching bass and groove!

Pros

  • Incredible and powerful performance
  • Crips and clear sound quality
  • Easy to install
  • Very compact

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Durability could be better

 

 The Ultimate Buyers’ Guide

It is no news that under-seat subwoofers have become increasingly popular among sound enthusiasts who don’t have enough space in their cars.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re just looking to replace your old under-seat subwoofer, this guide will tell you all need to know about subwoofers. The Features and qualities to look out for, the biggest brands in the industry, the benefits of using under-seat subwoofers, and many more.

Stay tuned as we stunningly unravel all of this.

 

What Is an Under-Seat Subwoofer?

Under-seat subwoofers are smaller and portable subwoofers with in-built amplifiers which are housed in the same compact body. This category of subwoofers is all-in-one as you don’t have to buy a separate amplifier before you can use them in your car.

Under-seat subwoofers are specifically designed to fit conveniently under or behind your vehicle’s seat so you don’t have to sacrifice useful spaces in your car. The under-seat subwoofer helps to improve your car’s audio system by producing low-frequency bass.

 

Types of Under-Seat Subwoofer

There are two types of under-seat subwoofers namely: Powered & Passive under-seat subwoofers.

Powered Under-Seat Subwoofer

Powered under-seat subwoofers are pre-installed with in-built amplifiers that supply power to them. This type of under-seat subwoofers is the more common of the two categories.

Powered under-seat subwoofers are usually very compact and take only a little space under or behind the vehicle’s seat. They produce excellent sound and can create a buzz whenever they’re called upon but the only drawback is that you would not have the option of choosing the kind of amplifier that suits you.

Passive Under-Seat Subwoofer

Passive under-seat subwoofers are not so popular because they do not have an in-built amplifier of their own to supply power to them. They usually have to rely on external amplifiers for power.

Using an under-seat subwoofer with a separate amplifier means you will need to spend extra cash to purchase the amplifier, which means more wiring and a bit more complex installation, and ultimately have to give up more space in your vehicle to accommodate the subwoofer and the amplifier.

However, you get to choose any kind of amplifier that suits you to supply power to your subwoofer. Passive under-seat subwoofers produce better sound compared to their powered counterparts.

 

Best Under-Seat Subwoofer Top Brands

Just like every other product or service industry, there are leading brands, producing truly exceptional products in the form of under-seat subwoofers. These are the brands you look up to when you need to get the best under-seat subwoofer for your vehicle.

KENWOOD

Kenwood is a Japanese company that has been around for decades and it’s a household name when it comes to audio systems. They manufacture different products ranging from personal audio systems to car audio systems, Hi-Fi equipment, and several other audio or sound systems.

Kenwood is a company that is known for high-quality audio systems, and the Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Subwoofer is a big testament to the credibility of Kenwood as a top brand.

JBL

JBL is an American company located in Los Angeles, California. This audio system company is famous for producing top-notch audio equipment that includes speakers and headphones.

JBL BassPro SL Under-Seat Subwoofer is a powered subwoofer that delivers exceptional sound quality.

KICKER

Kicker is another household name in the sound industry, established in 1973 and based in Stillwater, Oklahoma. They’ve been able to maintain their high standard by churning out incredible sound equipment and accessories from time to time.

A proof of Kicker’s commitment to excellence and innovation is the Kicker 11HS8 Powered Subwoofer, an exceptional sound system that’s designed to fit tight spaces and produce hard-hitting bass.

ROCKVILLE

Rockville hasn’t been around that long as the New York-based company was only established in 2012. However, they quickly made a name for themselves in the industry through quality and innovative sound systems.

To have a feel of what a typical Rockville under-seat subwoofer sounds like, get yourself the Rockville RW10CA Active Powered Subwoofer.

ROCKFORD FOSGATE

Rockford Fosgate, established in 1973 and located in Tampa, Arizona, is another well-known brand in the audio system industry. They are known for producing high-quality sound systems for motorcycles, cars, and even boats.

The Rockford Fosgate P-300Powered Subwoofer is one of their best efforts and it’s also one of the best under-seat subwoofers you can find on the market currently.

 

Features to Look Out For In A Good Under-Seat Subwoofer

Below are some of the features and quality to consider or look out for if you must get the best under seat subwoofer for your vehicle.

  1.                 Power Source

Under-seat subwoofers are made as powered subwoofers or passive subwoofers.

The powered subwoofers are the most popular type and they come preinstalled with in-built amplifiers which means you won’t need an external amplifier and you can save more space in your car

The passive subwoofers do not have their amplifier and usually rely on external ones. They are not so common because you will have to buy a separate amplifier and also sacrifice more space in your car. However, you get to choose any kind of amplifier that you want

  1.                 Size

The size of the amplifier is another thing to look out for, as it will determine how much space you will have to sacrifice in your vehicle. The main aim behind the production of under-seat subwoofers is to fit into tight spaces.

Most subwoofers are small and lightweight, but some also come in slightly bigger sizes and won’t fit conveniently under your car seat, so you should pay attention to the size before buying it.

  1.                 Sensitivity

The sensitivity of the subwoofer will determine the amount of electrical energy it would require to produce sound. Subwoofers with higher sensitivity are considered to be more power-efficient than models with lower sensitivity.

  1.                 Frequency range

Frequency range gives you an idea of how low or how loud your subwoofer would play. Ideally, it is usually advised that you should go for subwoofers with a low-frequency range.

  1.                 Power

You will also need to consider the wattage and power of the subwoofer you want to buy. You will need a lot of power to get that hard-hitting, deep bass that you want in your car.

RMS and Peak Power are the two types to look out for.

Root mean square (RMS) power is the overall power generated at a certain volume, while Peak Power is the loudest volume your subwoofer can attain.

 

Other things to consider include

Impedance, Enclosure or Housing, The number of voice coils, Resonance Frequency, Ease of use & installation, Warranty, and finally and most importantly your budget.

 

Benefits of Under The Seat Subwoofers

  • Space Saving – Conventional Subwoofers take a lot of space in the car which means people with smaller cars would have to sacrifice their convenience to have one in their car.

However, under-seat subwoofers are lightweight and compact and can easily fit conveniently under or behind your car seat, so you can enjoy the quality sound without sacrificing space.

  • Inexpensive – Under-seat subwoofers undoubtedly have some expensive models, but most of them are still cheaper than the conventional subwoofers.
  • Easy Installation – Unlike conventional subwoofers, most under-seat subwoofers come pre-installed with in-built amplifiers that supply them with power. This makes their installation pretty much easier and straightforward.
  • Low Power Consumption – Most under-seat subwoofers come with built-in amplifiers, so they usually don’t need a lot of power to produce sound.
  • Improved Car Sound System – Under-seat subwoofers are known for producing incredible sound – low-frequency bass in vehicles. If you find the sound system flattened or rusty, you can improve it by introducing an under-seat subwoofer to help inject some buzz and hard-hitting bass.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the conventional subwoofers and under-seat subwoofer?

Subwoofers are designed to improve the quality of the sound system in vehicles without giving much thought to space & convenience, while the under-seat subwoofer was creatively crafted to offer great sound quality and convenience by fitting into tight spaces.

Do powered subwoofers need an Amplifier?

Most under-seat subwoofers have in-built amplifiers that supply power to them, so you would most likely not need an external amplifier, except you want to push the powered subwoofer’s bass output to extreme levels which may be dangerous to the sub.

How do I install my under-seat subwoofer?

The majority of the under-seat subwoofer is usually easy to install and they often come with an instructional manual from the manufacturers. The installation process includes some wiring works, so you would need to read and understand the instructional manual or you can hire a professional to help with the installation.

How do I get more bass on my subwoofer?

If your subwoofer uses an external amplifier rather than a built-in one, your best bet would be to get a more powerful amplifier for your subwoofer. The more the power of your amplifier, the deeper the bass.

However, if you use a powered subwoofer, you may need to buy a more powerful subwoofer or follow the simple steps below to get more bass out of the present.

  1. Remove the distortion by turning the amp gain to the minimum, adjust the low-pass filter to the maximum, and turn off the bass boost.
  2. Switch on the head unit and adjust all the tone controls to their mid-levels.
  3. Play some familiar music with high, mid, and very low range.
  4. Adjust the head unit volume to between 25 – 75 percent high.
  5. Slowly increase the amp gain until you hear some distortion.
  6. Remove the amp gain slowly till the distortion is gone.
  7. Lower the low-pass filter slowly until all high & mid-frequency sounds are gone.
  8. Match the subwoofer level to the volume of the receiver.

What is the best setting for a subwoofer?

The crossover frequency setting ranges from the subwoofer to subwoofer. However, it is best to set your FR to about 10Hz above the lowest frequency of your subwoofer.

You can check the instructional manual to find out the crossover frequency range of your subwoofer if you don’t know it.

 

Bottom Line

Under-seat subwoofers are the best way to improve the quality of the audio sound system in your car. You get to enjoy that rumbling deep bass that you desire without giving up too much space in your car

The best under seat subwoofers are powerful, reliable, easy to install, easy to use & control, and offers you excellent value for your money.

Any of the ones listed above will do the trick but if you are not a fan of those brands, remember to look out for those features and qualities listed above in whichever one you choose to buy.

The market is never short of options when it comes to under-seat subwoofers as different brands keep churning out products, making it an overwhelming task for a rookie or an average sound enthusiast to identify the best ones when trying to buy a subwoofer.

This is a comprehensive guide on how to identify and get the best under-seat subwoofer for your vehicle, also we’ve also reviewed and rounded up some of the best under-seat subwoofers available on the market in 2020.

Top Underseat Subwoofer Video

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