Our Guide to Choosing the Best 12 inch Subwoofer

Best 12-inch Subwoofer

When subwoofers are mentioned, most people would think of that annoys bass, shakes and rattles everything inside the car. Though it may be true, there is more to subwoofers than that. The effect is a low frequency sound that is essentially a big part of almost all types of music. Thus, they give your audio more depth and realism.

In this article, we will discuss what a subwoofer is, as well as its benefits. In addition, we will also talk about three of the most popular types of subwoofers. Later on, we will give you the top five choices for the best 12-inch subwoofer available today. Not only that, you will also find below the factors you need to consider when buying a subwoofer. After you finish reading this article, we hope that you can evaluate your options better.

Top 5 Best 12 inch Subwoofer 2017 Market​

What is a Subwoofer?

Before we proceed with the discussions, let’s discuss first what a subwoofer is. A subwoofer is a loudspeaker that aims to reproduce low-pitched audio frequencies called bass. They are meant to augment the low frequency range of the speakers, which covers higher frequency sounds. Having one of these can give your audio more depth and realism, like saying your music is coming to life.

Subwoofers are considered as a vital part of your car sound system as they amplify bass sound waves. This is the reason why they are very popular for all music and audio enthusiasts. Once you have it installed in your car, you will notice the huge difference in the quality of sound. This way, you can enjoy your music more while you are driving.

Benefits of Subwoofer for Cars

If you are still curious about what a subwoofer can do to your car audio system, read on. In this section, we will talk about some of their benefits before you make a purchase decision. We might just convince you to buy right away and have it installed in your car as soon as possible.

  • Subwoofers prevent distortion. The bass range is more likely to sound distorted if you use a normal loudspeaker. The reason behind that is that the sound is strong but your speakers are underperforming. You can always get rid of this annoying sound if you have a car subwoofer.
  • Subwoofers improve your speakers’ lifespan. Playing higher volume of bass is obviously good in terms of sound quality. But doing so can damage your speakers. If you don’t have subwoofers, your speakers will wear easily, as they are not intended to handle powerful sounds.
  • Subwoofers improve the audio system experience. This may be the most important reason why car owners invest in subwoofers. A regular car stereo normally comes with a small audio system; hence, they deliver poor audio quality. While with a subwoofer, there is an option to create a better bass and adjust your frequency tones.

Three Types of Car Subwoofer

Before making your way to purchase a car subwoofer, you should know first what type it is that you need. In this section, we will discuss the three most popular types of car subwoofers. From this, you will have a general idea of what will be compatible with your car audio system.

Kicker 11S12L72 12-Inch 1500W 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

Via: Amazon.com

  • Powered Subwoofers: This is also known as the active subwoofer. It contains its own amplifier, which solves the problem of inadequate power. By having its own power, this type of subwoofer can produce a greater and more booming sound experience. Ease of connection is what makes the powered subwoofers ideal for most people.
  • Enclosed Subwoofers: This might be perfect for beginners, as they are already pre-mounted. This is also great if you do not have much space in your car. One advantage of having an enclosed subwoofer is the ease of installation.
  • Component Subwoofers: This subwoofer only comes with a speaker. One disadvantage is that you have to purchase the enclosure and the amplifier separately. On the upside, you can have your car audio system highly customizable as you get to choose your own parts.

Essential Factors to Consider When Buying a 12-inch Subwoofer

After deciding on what type of subwoofer you need, comparing some of the specifications can be very helpful. In this section, we will talk about some of the essential factors to consider to help you decide.

  • Power: This is considered as one of the most important factors that should affect your decision making. Having more power would mean that it could produce more bass. But keep in mind that investing in a powerful subwoofer will be a bit expensive.
  • Voice Coils: This feature is very popular for most audio enthusiasts and car owners. The reason is that having voice coils would mean more flexibility and more wiring options.
  • Installation: Before making a purchase, make sure you have the instruction manual and all the specific components for installation. If you have those, installation would be very easy. Though some would require help from a mechanic, you can choose one that you install on your own.
  • Power Handling: This is also very important as it determines how many watts your subwoofer can accommodate. Having more than 1000 watts is impressive but you should also watch out for some that do not really deliver. It is advisable to read reviews like the one above because some users have experienced burning up of speakers. To add, go for those that feature motor cooling.
  • Price: Keep in mind that you have to set a budget if you are going to buy a subwoofer. It is also a way to narrow down your options. If you are willing to invest on a more advanced subwoofer, be prepared for its price.
  • Reviews: If you are still clueless about which subwoofer to choose, consider reading up on user reviews. This is very helpful as the reviews come from the users themselves. Their experiences can make it easier for you to weigh the pros and cons for each product.

Top Picks for the Best 12-inch Subwoofer

In this section, you will find detailed reviews of the top five choices for the best 12-inch subwoofer. We will provide you some of their top features and specifications. Aside from that, we will also give a rundown of their pros and cons to give you a better idea.

1. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 4-Ohm 12-Inch 600-Watt RMS 1200-Watt Peak Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 4-Ohm 12-Inch 600-Watt RMS 1200-Watt Peak Subwoofer

The PD34-12 Punch subwoofer belongs to the brand’s top performing Punch P3 series. It delivers 1200 watts of peak power handling and now features anodized dust caps and aluminum cones.

Unlike previous versions, the Punch P3 subwoofer is equipped with unique spider venting that allows motor cooling. It also features a new stamp cast basket cones that provides strength while minimizing resonance and weight.

It features custom 10-AWG nickel plated terminals, as well as diamond cut cast aluminum trim ring. Aside from that, it has an extended pole piece and bumped vented backplate.

Another great feature is that it offers the Vertical Attach Surround Technique, also known as VAST Surround. This feature improves the speaker’s effective radiating cone area that provides up to 25% more effective radiating than normal speakers.


  • Can accommodate power handling up to 1200 watts
  • Excellent stamp-cast basket cone design
  • Can dissipate heat


  • Sound may be a bit too loud according to some users
  • Some users had issues about their speakers blowing up after maxing out to 1200 watts

2. Alpine SWR-12D4 Type-R 12-Inch 1000W Subwoofer with Dual 4-ohm Voice Coils

Alpine SWR-12D4 Type-R 12-Inch 1000W Subwoofer with Dual 4-ohm Voice Coils

The Alpine Type-R Subwoofer will enhance the audio system and provide big bass to almost all vehicles. One interesting feature of this is that the cone is made from Kevlar treated pulp, the material in bulletproof vests. In addition, it has HAMR Santoprene that allows larger amounts of excursion unlike other subwoofers.

This type of subwoofer is intended for use of those who want thump and accurate response. Another great feature is that the Alpine Type-R Subwoofer delivers up to 3000 watts peak power handling.


  • Features cone made from Kevlar treated pulp
  • Has HAMR Santoprene that provides huge amount of excursion
  • Can accommodate up to 3000 watts peak power handling


  • More expensive than other 12 inch subwoofers
  • Beginners may have some issues regarding the complexity of installation

3. Infinity Reference 1262w 12-Inch 1200-Watt High-Performance Subwoofer (Dual Voice Coil)

Infinity Reference 1262w 12-Inch 1200-Watt High-Performance Subwoofer (Dual Voice Coil)

The Infinity subwoofer is a 12-inch dual voice coil subwoofer than can deliver up to 1200 watts peak power handling. Its cone is made from high-efficiency polypropylene and is equipped with roll rubber surrounds.

One great feature of this subwoofer is the dual voice coil that makes way for more wiring options. To add, it offers vented pole pieces that allow extra cooling to enhance power handling.

This subwoofer is guaranteed to make your audio experience more moving. It features innovative materials and engineering that makes the brand outstanding. It’s not enough that this subwoofer offers extreme output; it also provides impressive accuracy.


  • Can accommodate up to 1200 watts peak power handling
  • Material is made from polypropylene
  • Features dual voice coil and vented pole pieces


  • Some users had issues about the coil burning up at 600 watts
  • Lifespan is short

4. Kicker 11S12L72 12-Inch 1500W 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

Kicker 11S12L72 12-Inch 1500W 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

The Kicker subwoofer is a square shaped subwoofer that features impressive design and looks, as well as superb performance. It delivers powerful output since it contains one square piece cone with aluminum alloy basket. It has a strong polypropylene cone with santoprene surround that allows output force handling.

The Kicker subwoofer features dual high-temperature voice coils that improve your amplifier to deliver high-quality bass. This car subwoofer can deliver up to 1500 watts power handling capacity, due to its materials that disperse heat efficiently. To sum, this product can give you better performance, a louder sound and efficient handling.


  • Can deliver up to 1500 watts peak power handling
  • Made of one square piece cone with aluminum alloy basket
  • Cone is made from polypropylene with santoprene surround
  • Features dual high-temperature voice coils


  • Speaker is loud but may sound distorted
  • Installation may be a bit complex

5. JL Audio 12W3v3-2 12 Inch Single 2 ohm W3v3 Series Subwoofer 12W3v3

JL Audio 12W3v3-2 12" Single 2 ohm W3v3 Series Subwoofer 12W3v3

The JL Audio subwoofer is proven to deliver the appropriate performance for medium power applications. The brand is known to incorporate several exclusive techniques that enhance reliability and linearity. Also, this is best used with 150 watts to 500 watts power range amplifier. In addition, peak power handling can reach up to 1000 watts.

The exterior of this subwoofer is also impressive. It features a mineral filled polypropylene upper cone, as well as the metallic JL logo that makes it look more sophisticated. It also offers the Nitrile Butadiene Rubber or NBR surround.

One major advantage of getting the JL Audio subwoofer is the patented cooling technology. It allows minimum compression; thus preventing the possibility of burning up.


  • Best for use with 150 watts to 500 watts amplifier
  • Peak power handling is up to 1000 watts
  • Features mineral filled polypropylene upper cone
  • Classy and sophisticated style
  • Comes with patented cooling technology that prevents heating


  • More expensive than other subwoofers
  • Might not be compatible with higher ranged amplifiers
  • Not built to last


Now that we are at the end of this article, we sure hope that we gave you some valuable information. If you are having difficulty deciding what to choose, considering the above reviews can make things a lot easier. The process of choosing the best 12-inch subwoofer may seem tricky but using this guide can be of great help.

By carefully reviewing the five best options above, it would give you an idea of what and what not to purchase. It is vital that you read up on the product reviews, their pros and cons, as well as user reviews. Be responsible to weigh their differences so that you will be able to make the right choice without regrets.

Looking for other products that you can use for your car? Click here to learn more.