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Car enthusiasts around the world generally have one thing in common – their love for subwoofers. This love is so deep that some might even call it a way of life.
There are numerous subwoofers around the globe, but few earn the title of best competition subwoofers. The power handling capability of a subwoofer is a key distinguisher when analyzing quality. Sensitivity and Impedance are also important factors to consider.
Let's have a look at some of the best competition subwoofers available on the market.
This top of the range 15” subwoofer has amazing power handling features. It sports the highest power handling of the lot – with an impressive RMS output of 2000 watts, and a peak power handling of an incredible 5000 watts.
The design consists of a cone-shaped polypropylene woofer and an enhanced voice coil cooling mechanism to ensure that you get high quality stereo output.
The Orion HCCA 152 is one of the best competition subwoofers available in town. Its symmetrical rubber tri-radius surround is complemented with dual flat conex spiders that have loop-stitched tinsel leads.
This incredible subwoofer has a myriad of advantages. Its excellent power performance is complemented with a unique high quality dual 2 Ohm coil, further pushing the boundaries of its potential sound output.
It’s worth noting that the Orion HCCA 152 subwoofer is massive and weighs a mammoth 82 pounds.
It’s also important to note that, given the amount of power this subwoofer generates, you may also need to upgrade your vehicle’s electrical system – including adding another battery - to accommodate the subwoofer's tremendous power. However, this is just a small price to pay to enjoy its exemplary performance.
Overall, the Orion HCCA 152 performs as well as you would hope from a competition subwoofer as this price range (At approx. $500). Its outstanding power output, coupled with its brilliant overall performance, makes it a favorite among customers.
If you are not too concerned about your car’s bass potentially waking up the neighborhood, or being the envy of your friends, this subwoofer is definitely one of our top choices.
The JBL W12GTI MKII is our lone 12” entry, and with good reason. An amazing one of a kind subwoofer, producing incredibly detailed bass - It has an RMS of 700 watts and a peak power output of 4000 watts. Providing 6 Ohm impedance and 91 dB sensitivity, and a wide frequency response ranging from 18Hz to 1000 Hz.
Dubbed as one of the best, the JBL W12GTI MKII provides an undoubtedly impressive performance. It has a stylish conical shape and comes in an eye-catching black color.
It also produces a sound that’s quite unlike any other: the deep, clean base that emanates from the speaker hits the eardrum without any annoying distortion.
The JBL W12GTI MKII has a myriad of advantages. The sound quality is simply unparalleled at this price range. In addition, it is quite durable and can last for more than ten years.
You can power this subwoofer using a variety of amplifiers that are readily available in the market. Unlike most car subwoofers, it is compact. This enables you to fit it easily inside the trunk of your car.
Weighing 38.8 pounds, the JBL W12GTI MKII is light and can easily be moved. However, feeding it with too much power can destroy it.
With a combination of amazing performance, great sound quality and compact design, the JBL W12GTI MKII proves to be a winner, and makes an excellent investment at this price range.
From Alpines Type-R series, the Alpine SWR-1542D is 15 inch subwoofer is built with a Kevlar reinforced pulp fiber cone as well as a cast aluminum frame that has a unique perimeter venting, surrounded by a high amplitude multi-roll design. The subwoofers engineering results in cooler operation, longer life, and tight accurate bass.
The subwoofer produces a frequency response range from 25 Hz to 500 Hz, and power handling of 750 watts RMS, and 2000 watts peak. It also includes a dual 4 Ohm voice coil, although sensitivity is a little on the lower side at 87 dB.
Affordably priced, this subwoofer is a popular choice among consumers, and if Amazon reviews are something to go by, there are a ton of satisfied customers.
Although it might not be the best subwoofer around, for the price this sub slaps hard, and produces bass that is loud and clean.
Ultimately, the Alpine SWR-1542D is a great mid level entry into competition subwoofers. Aside from the great sound quality at this price, it is also incredibly durable.
It’s therefore not surprising that many customers have nothing but praise for this quality subwoofer.
With an impressive RMS power handling of 2000 watts and a peak power of 4000 watts, coupled with an ususually high sensitivity rating of 97 dB, the slick looking VM Audio ECW150 15” high excursion subwoofer more than a match for other subwoofers in it’s price range.
It has a high excursion surround and a dual voice coil that sports some low frequency transducers, whilst it’s lateral high-thrust suspension mechanism gives it an additional extra edge.
It also has a linear-flex spider feature to ensure that low frequency notes are smooth and pure. This one of a kind subwoofer also has a high-magnitude dynamic cone to increase precision.
With numerous perks, including an aluminum voice coil that can operate at high temperatures, enabling it to handle high volumes of power. Additionally, its nickel-coated connection terminals prevent the wires from being oxidized.
This durable subwoofer is built to last for years. On the down side, it can be difficult to install, whilst also being hard to integrate with suitable peripherals.
All in all, this subwoofer does a great job of preserving the accuracy of sound, and producing a crisp, clean and loud bass, even at lower wattages.
Whether you’re coolly enjoying a hearty orchestra or some enthralling rock music, the VM Audio ECW150 provides some of the purest sound you’ll find at this price range.
This impressive subwoofer sports a 2.5-inch, Dual 4 Ohm, 4-layer voice coil, as well as a polyether foam surround and a non-pressed pulp cone. Its attractive royal blue finish has impressive diamond-cut accents.
Packing a punch at 1700 Watts RMS, with 3000 Watts Peak, the MOFO-154X design includes 8GA, nickel-plated compression wire terminals, a dust-cap with aluminum reinforcement minimizing cone flex during high excursions and low bass, and dual poly-cotton spiders.
Matched with a reliable amplifier, the subwoofer is capable of producing a satisfyingly pure sound. Customer can attest to the loudness of this subwoofer, as well as the clear and tight bass output. Furthermore, it is quite durable.
It’s also affordably priced at around $150.
This beast sports some impressive power handling: with RMS power handling of 1000 watts and a peak of 2000 watts.
It has an improved SoloKon cone and it’s stitched surround and airtight adhesive ensure that the cone doesn’t separate from the surround. It also has a solid, high-mass pile piece to help eliminate any damaging heat.
It has a fairly high sensitivity of 91.6 dB and a frequency response ranging from 18 Hz to 500 Hz.
There’s lots to admire about the Kicker 10CVX154. The 2000-watt peak power causes it to produce an impressively crisp sound while at the same time hitting the low tones effectively.
With such an unbelievable sound quality, you can enjoy your favorite tunes while cruising.
Care should be taken to match it with an adequate amplifier for optimum performance. Like similar subwoofers, it also performs best in a sealed or ported enclosure, needing some space to reach it’s full potential.
Not many subwoofers can live up to the excellence of the Kicker 10CVX154. Its crisp sound and riveting bass makes it one of the best value for money bangers around.
For a rundown of our choice of best subwoofers in other ranges, see:
Audio companies generally advertise their products using terms like "MAX" or "Peak power".
Forget about all that. When we're discussing power, RMS is the only value that lets you make any sort of meaningful comparison between two products. Why is that?
Well, RMS stands for Root Mean Square. No math lessons here; this just means that RMS measures how much continuous power a component can handle safely.
Peak power is how high the system can go at maximum output, but it can't stay at that wattage for long without causing problems.
That's why devices that advertise "peak power" are being a little misleading. What's really important is sustained sonic output for an indefinite length of time.
RMS lets you quickly and easily compare power outputs between components.
This means a speaker with 200-watt MAX but only 60-watt RMS is less powerful than a speaker with 100-watt MAX and 80-watt RMS.
When we start talking about speaker range or frequency response, you might have a general idea of what we mean.
On the surface, it's pretty simple. Range is a measure of how much of the audible sound range the speakers can produce. It's measured in Hertz (Hz), with low numbers being long, deep tones (like the boom of a drum) and high numbers being shorter, sharp tones (like the singing of a bird).
Obviously, we're only concerned with the portion of the Soundwave we can hear. Human ears are capable of responding anywhere from 20Hz to 20,000Hz (or 20 kHz).
Range is a simple concept to understand, yet difficult to master. If you want to fully appreciate the implications of range and how it applies to audio equipment, you have to dive into some complex mathematics. That's beyond the scope of this article.
For now, just remember: Range is a useful way to measure how much of the audible spectrum a device can produce.
Please note - it doesn't tell you anything about the quality of that sound! Don't make a purchase based entirely on response.
This fancy term just means how much AC resistance exists in the wiring of the speakers. Please note: Different frequencies can have different impedance values.
Generally, most loudspeakers will have resistance that ranges between 4- and 8-ohms. As long as your speakers have similar impedance to your amp, you'll be fine.
A higher impedance means that an amplifier will have to push more voltage to create the same sound quality. On the other hand, it also means a component can handle more juice without taking damage.
As long as you make sure these values are in alignment, you shouldn't worry too much about impedance.
This isn't how fragile or delicate your speakers are; nor does it have anything to do feelings. This is a universal metric that simply tells you how much sound pressure (loudness) an audio device will create at a stated distance on a single watt.
What does this mean to you? The more sensitive your speakers are, the less power they require to produce the same amount of volume. Basically, it's translating more of that raw power into crisp audio goodness!
My first car was a 2005 Subaru WRX. I loved her, but she had very shallow door panels and it was a struggle to find speakers with a profile narrow enough to fit.
Depending on your ride, you'll have more or less room to work with as you build a stereo system. Make sure you don't make the mistake I did and assume depth is universal - you could save yourself some serious money and a lot of heartache.
Work components around your car; don't work your car around components.
How much room will you need to mount the speaker in your vehicle? What's the difference between "top mount" depth and "bottom mount" depth?
Top-mount depth is how much room the top of the speaker needs from the point of installation. This is how far it 'juts' out into your car interior.
That means bottom-mount depth is how much room the bottom of your speakers need to clear the interior of your dash or panel.
For simplicity's sake, in our reviews we focus on the more commonly available measurement: top-mount depth.
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