As soon as the word subwoofer is mentioned, you probably immediately think of chest-booming bass sounds that shake and rattle everything around it. Although that is true, there’s a lot more to subwoofers than just strong vibrations. For some people, they’re important pieces of equipment because they can give music more depth and sound more realistic.
If you’re passionate about good music, you’ve probably thought about adding a subwoofer to your car. Although the big car speakers can provide a reasonable amount of bass, there is a limit to how much they can give you, and if you’re a hardcore audiophile, that just won’t do!
So, to get the best bang for your buck, you’ll need a 12-inch subwoofer. Not just any old sub though, you need the best 12-inch subwoofer! But which one do you choose? With so many models flooding the market it can be hard to know which one is best for you.
We’ve got 15 of the best 12-inch subwoofers for you to browse through, and once you’ve read our super useful guide, you’ll be able to choose the best subwoofer for your needs and preferences, so you can enjoy those bass tunes whenever you need to get your groove on!
The Best 12-inch Subwoofers of 2021
1. Skar Audio SDR-12 D12
First up on our list of the best 12-inch subwoofer is the Skar Audio SDR-12 D12. This subwoofer was designed to give you deep but low spectrum sounds. With its high flux ferrite motor, it has excellent power handling abilities even when it’s used for long periods of time.
This subwoofer is sure to become your ride or die due to its versatility. Whether you’re a newbie purchasing your first sub or an experienced professional, this subwoofer is a perfect choice. With its 2.5 inch, 4 layer high-temperature copper voice coil, this sub is sure to please.
Skar Audio is committed to designing and manufacturing amazing quality products and prides itself on always putting the customer first.
- Versatile – suitable for beginners or professionals
- Designed to give great sound
- Solid, sturdy build
- Great price
- Only shipped to certain locations
2. MTX Audio Terminator TNP212DV
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent subwoofer to add some bass to your car’s sound system, look no further than the MTX TNP212DV. The enclosure has been designed to handle RMS levels of up to 1000 watts and it’ll provide you with as much bass as you want.
This subwoofer has everything you need to get the best possible sound. The vented enclosure ensures a second-to-none performance, combining great design with functionality. This 12-inch subwoofer has awesome power handling abilities. It has internal wires that mean it matches perfectly to the TNA500D amplifier, which is included.
If you’re looking for a subwoofer with an excellent quality enclosure, this one has you covered! It’s constructed from super strong medium density fibreboard, which is a common and very popular material for subwoofer enclosures. This is due to its ability to contain the low-frequency sounds created by the subwoofer, ensuring you get a deep and balanced sound.
Encased in black aircraft-grade carpet, it will match most car interiors and is super strong and resilient. The classy, embroidered Terminator logo means you can use this subwoofer with pride! Your purchase will also come complete with a 2-year warranty, for worry-free shopping!
- Superior power handling capabilities
- Super strong enclosure material
- 2-year manufacturers warranty
- Quite expensive
3. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12
If you’ve been in the subwoofer game for a while, you’ll know that Rockford Fosgate is a brand that doesn’t need an introduction. A real heavyweight in the audio product industry, they put their passion for great sound into all of their products. For over 45 years they’ve been a global industry leader creating innovative and revolutionary audio equipment!
Just from looking at it, you can see that the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 is sheer quality, designed to last! The cone is constructed from pieces of solid and sturdy anodized aluminum, making it strong but ultra-lightweight. Its other features are equally as well built. The dust cap is created from the same aluminum material as the cone, making it super solid.
When it comes to the performance of this amazing piece of equipment, the first thing you’re likely to notice is how loud it is. The 600 watts of RMS provides balanced and consistent sound quality, even during low frequencies.
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Extremely powerful
- Balanced and consistent performance
- Awesome power handling capabilities
- May be too powerful
4. Kicker 12-inch Subwoofer
Next up we have this model from Kicker. This is a fantastic 12-inch subwoofer that has an amazing design and aesthetic, as well as being able to perform to a high standard. By choosing this subwoofer, you can be sure you’ll be getting a reliable sound from a sub that was built to last!
The sturdy polypropylene cone has an RMS level of 15-400 watts and the double voice coils help the amplifier to produce amazing audio quality. With the ability to deliver up to 800 watts, this model possesses brilliant power handling abilities. Enjoy reliable, consistent, and efficient sounds with the Kicker 12-inch sub!
- Unique design
- High performing and reliable
- Sturdy and built to last
- Dual voice coils
- This model usually sells out quickly
5. JL Audio 12W3v3-4
If you’re in the market for a subwoofer that provides high-end bass performance without the high-performance price tag, then the JL Audio 12W3v3-4 could be a winner. Although it’s affordable, don’t underestimate it. It’s perfectly capable of delivering powerful sound quality.
This subwoofer is specially designed to deliver dynamic bass sounds with its medium-power amplifier. The exclusive cooling system stops the subwoofer from overheating, thus preventing the vital internal components from sustaining any damage, increasing its longevity.
The 12W3v3-4 has a 12-inch mineral-filled polypropylene cone with the highly recognizable metallic JL Audio logo. The clever patented design takes the stress off the rubber surround during use, increasing its reliability and output.
- Amazing sound quality
- Built to last
- Chic and sophisticated design
- Not the most powerful model on the list
6. Polk Audio HTS
Are you looking for the best subwoofer for small to medium spaces? The Polk Audio HTS boasts a front-firing design with the brand’s exclusive Dynamic Balance technology that fills the room with amazing, multi-dimensional sounds.
Not only does it look amazing with its smart, round corners but it’s been designed to take your music experience to the next level, thanks to the ultra-deep bass that will come from the built-in 200-watt amplifier that boasts peak power of 400 watts.
The patented Power Port Technology gives you an incredible bass response, with the diffuser that smoothes out and prevents any turbulence. It also allows air to flow freely from the speakers to reduce the distortion, providing a more realistic sound.
- Power Port technology
- Smart and sleek appearance
- Incredibly versatile
- Not suitable for large spaces
7. Planet Audio AC12D
With its dual 4 OHM voice coils, 900 watts of RMS, and peak power of 1800 watts, this subwoofer has some power! It’s designed to cater to different types of enclosures and is a serious bass machine! The polypropylene injection cone and foam that surrounds it means you can expect a significant improvement from your car’s audio system.
If you want to turn your car into a premium audio system, this is the subwoofer you need! It utilizes a dual voice coil to deliver that heart-pounding bass that you’re after. The sub’s impressive 900 watts RMS delivers an even better bass performance.
- Versatile – works with any type of enclosure
- Delivers powerful sound
- Smart and classy appearance
- Doesn’t come with its own enclosure
8. Pioneer Alphasonik AS12DF
Just over halfway through our list of the best 12-inch subwoofers is the Alphasonik AS12DF. Thanks to the down-firing enclosure, you’ll be able to enjoy a much better and more efficient bass response with a rich, low-frequency range.
Because of the sleek design of the enclosure, this subwoofer can be fitted anywhere in your car and can be installed vertically or horizontally. The tough medium density fiberboard minimizes vibrations and the specialized bonding sealer creates an air-tight seal to make the joints stronger and to increase the bass.
The spun aluminum holds its own even when strong bass notes are being blasted through it. The down-firing enclosures provide superb performance, delivering amazing bass with less space.
- Strong cone construction
- Sleek design
- Reduced vibrations
- There are higher-end models available
9. Lanzar MAXP124D
The best 12 ” subwoofers offer incredible sound at a great price, and this model from Lanzar certainly ticks those boxes. It boasts a 1600 watt peak power that delivers high sound resonance. The edges have a foam suspension to keep the components free from damage and it’s built to be durable and easy to install.
Lanzar audio products are advanced pieces of equipment and are the result of meticulous tests designed to create performance-enhancing subwoofers. At Lanzar, their belief in craftsmanship and quality has led them to design and manufacture excellent quality audio equipment.
- 1600 watt peak power
- Dual voice coil
- A high-quality audio system that will enhance your car’s stereo
- Not as powerful as higher-end models
10. Soundstream T5.122
Next up we have this unique model from Soundstream. The Tarantula subwoofer has become very popular in recent years. This new and improved product boasts some awesome features, such as various impedance configurations so you have more flexibility to wire it. It’s also very versatile, whether you use it in sealed or ported enclosures, you’ll still get a great performance.
At Soundstream, they believe in bringing the very best audio products to their customers. They pride themselves on designing and manufacturing amazing sound equipment that will make your day better, from the dreaded work commute to your long-awaited tropical vacation.
- High power handling capabilities
- Injection-molded polypropylene cone
- Perfect for any car audio enthusiast
- Cool tarantula logo on the front
- Popular so may sell out fast
11. American Bass E1244
Are you looking for a powerful subwoofer without the eye-watering price that usually goes with it? Then take a look at the American Bass E1244. Featuring a stamped basket, these subwoofers have a 150oz stacked magnet underneath them with a non-compressed cone, surrounded by high-density foam for added protection.
For over 35 years, American Bass has been designing and manufacturing premium car audio systems and are renowned for their amazing customer service and great prices!
- Heavy-duty basket design
- High-density foam for extra protection
- Good power handling abilities
- Aesthetic isn’t very original
12. Rockford Fosgate P2D4-12
Known as “The Punch”, the P2 subwoofer carries on the tradition that Rockford Fosgate uphold. The 4 OHM dual voice coils offer more wiring flexibility and the 400 watts RMS ensures you get powerful sound. The peak power of 800 watts enhances the sound even more.
With its reinforced paper cone, you’ll be able to enjoy bass sounds that you can feel as well as hear, and the exclusive spider venting system prevents the voice coil from overheating, prolonging the life of your subwoofer. With the revolutionary Rockford Fosgate quality standard and a 12-month warranty, you can purchase this subwoofer in confidence.
- Built to an extremely high standard
- Cooling system to prevent damage from overheating
- Power may be a bit too much for some
13. Klipsch R12SWI
If you’re looking for the best 12-inch subwoofer to use in large spaces, then check out this model from Klipsch. Enjoy amazing, immersive bass sounds without needing to use a separate cable.
No matter the current setup of your room, the R-12SWI can fit in wherever you want it to, giving you more freedom to find the best place for maximum power and a visually pleasing display.
- Wireless connectivity
- Lightweight but durable
- Visually pleasing design
- Only limited stock available
14. Klipsch R-12SW
Here we have another great model from Klipsch. The R-12SW is the perfect 12-inch subwoofer for watching either movies or music. The elegant black and spun copper design will create a visually appealing display that will make you the envy of all your friends.
Thanks to its frequency range of 29-120 Hz, this model has great power handling capabilities and it’s designed to handle a wide range of sounds.
- Attractive design
- Low-frequency range
- Incredibly versatile
- Not the most premium model on the list
15. Boss CX122
If you’re a newbie to the world of subwoofers, you may be reluctant to shell out hundreds of dollars for something you may not even like. That’s where this sub comes in.
Thanks to its power handling capabilities, you can enjoy seriously powerful low-frequency sounds, making it suitable for beginners or professionals.
- Great power handling
- 3-year warranty
- Great low-frequency ranges
- Versatile – suitable for newbies or pros
- Color choice may not suit everyone’s taste
Buyer’s Guide: Considerations when buying a 12-inch Subwoofer
It’s a good idea to know how your new subwoofer will be installed before you buy it. Do you want to install it yourself or will you get a professional in for the job? Most subwoofers are easy to fit but a 12 inch one may be a bit tricky. Before you make your purchase, make sure you take a look at the instruction manual to see if you can do it on your own.
Make sure you know how it’ll be installed before you purchase it, you don’t want to part with your hard-earned money to find that you have no way of installing it!
There are lots of questions when it comes to the power of a subwoofer. One of them being; can the current sound system power the new subwoofer? To be able to produce different amounts of bass, a 12-inch subwoofer will require different amounts of power. To successfully integrate your new subwoofer with your current sound system, it needs to have similar power to the sub.
Also, consider how much power the subwoofer is capable of handling. You hear complaints of smoke coming from the voice coils or the subwoofer overheating because it couldn’t cope with the currents. You must know the power handling ability of your new 12-inch subwoofer before you purchase it.
When it comes to voice coils, you usually have two options; single and double. Which one you choose ultimately depends on what you want to get out of your subwoofer. If you’re more concerned with how much power will be produced by the sub, it’s probably a good idea to focus on the OHM load of the voice coils rather than the quantity of them.
The OHMs measure electrical resistance. The fewer OHMs, the more power the subwoofer will produce. If you’re looking for the flexibility of having more wiring options, a double voice coil may be a better option for you.
Type of Enclosure
Most 12″ subwoofers produce their sound from the front and the back. If it doesn’t have an enclosure the sound from the back will likely drown out the frequencies from the front. Having an enclosure on your subwoofer means you get a nice balanced sound.
Another benefit of having an enclosure is no more overheating. Most subwoofer enclosures are slightly bigger than the sub, meaning there’s room around in between them for the air to flow around freely. This helps the subwoofer to stay cool, preventing damage to the important internal parts. This is particularly important if you’re blasting out loud music.
They also look the part as well. Most manufacturers design their enclosures with carpet that will match the interior of your car. This makes your car look super cool, even more, if you have the subwoofer in the trunk!
What is the hardest hitting 12 inch subwoofer?
If you’re craving some serious power, then the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 is worth considering. This model is from Rockford Fosgate’s iconic Punch 3 range, and it delivers exceptionally powerful sounds.
The frequency response of 28-250 Hz and the peak power of 1200 watts all come together to create a deep and versatile performance. Even if you turn the volume all the way up, this sub will have no problem delivering strong and balanced bass sounds.
What is the best subwoofer on the market?
What is classed as the best 12-inch subwoofer on the market completely depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you’re after something stylish and powerful, the Skar Audio SDR-12 would be a great choice.
Another great option is the MTX Audio TNP212DV subwoofer. With its powerful Class D amplifier and vented enclosure design, this is a seriously powerful sub.
Looking for a serious subwoofer without the insane price tag? Check out the Boss CX122. This affordable sub packs a real punch and is easily suitable for beginners or pros.
Do I need a subwoofer?
If you have a full set of speakers, you may be wondering if you actually need a subwoofer. The main job of a subwoofer is to make you feel the music, as opposed to just hearing it.
If you watch a lot of action films or listen to music with a lot of bass sounds, such as hip-hop or house and you’re not using a sub, well, you’re missing out! A subwoofer will help you to hear and feel the sounds as they were intended.
Should I get a 10 or 12 inch subwoofer?
This ultimately depends on your own personal tastes and requirements. A subwoofer is a vital element of your audio system. Producing those low-frequency sounds will give you the best possible listening experience. If you want loud powerful sounds, then it’s best to go with a 12” subwoofer.