The last thing you want to hear from your vehicle's sound system is some crappy music, right? Well, I'm pretty sure that you and everyone else would be willing to give it their all to enjoy every bit of their favorite tracks.
But here’s the thing…
Considering there are a lot of upgrades you could do to your audio system and the fact that the factory audio system your car comes with is not the best, it’s somewhat difficult to get a worthy upgrade. Speaking of upgrades, one of the best and sought after is a subwoofer.
By stepping the bass up a notch, there’s definitely going to be a huge difference from the sounds you initially listened to. So, how about we cut to the chase and head straight on to looking into what it takes to end up with the best car subwoofer?
Table of Contents
Most people confuse subwoofers for the usual car speakers. Whereas they may appear somewhat similar in appearance, subwoofers are larger in size. Though size is not that much big of a deal, the main difference comes in the performance whereby these bad boys deliver a much deeper sound as compared to the normal speakers.
Whereas most subwoofers are demanding a lot of installation space due to being large in size, there are the smaller variants. These are the shallow-mount types which have a very close resemblance to the normal speakers but have a much deeper sound while at the same time being less demanding of the installation space.
So, does the size of your subwoofer really matter?
Well, it basically depends on whether or not you’re an audiophile. If so, the larger the subwoofer is, the better. Since you got limited space in your vehicle, you should take accurate measurements. The last thing you want is spending your hard-earned cash on something that you won’t install in your vehicle.
Now that you have a picture of what subwoofers are all about, let’s head on and see what defines the best car subwoofer.
It’s always better to know the options you have when it comes to upgrading your car audio system. Here are the different types that’ll give you a head start when looking for the best.
Situated inside the enclosure of the subwoofer in order to operate as needed is the woofer itself. The best way to go with these is powering them up with an external amplifier. Depending on your requirements, you could choose any size ranging from 8 inches to 15 inches.
Whereas the traditional subwoofers are demanding of an enclosure, the vehicle-specific subwoofers are designed to save on space. As such, they can easily be installed in most vehicles but on the downside, you’ll not have as good a bass experience as you would when using the traditional subwoofers.
Want to save on space and at the same time get decent bass from your audio system? I'd really recommend that you go for these. Compact in size than the traditional subwoofers, powered subwoofers will need you to have an amp that steps up the power supply to them for a higher bass.
The bass will not be as high as what you’d get from one with an enclosure but will definitely be more than what you’ll get from vehicle-specific subwoofers.
Right, it’s a general rule of thumb that the larger it is, the better the subwoofer. If you’ll be needing an enclosure, the kind you go for will dictate the bass quality you get from your subwoofer. Here are the different kinds of enclosures you could choose from.
For a deep and quality bass, a sealed enclosure is the best way to go. As a matter of fact, with a sealed enclosure, you could get deeper bass from a small sub than what you’ll get from a larger sub in an open enclosure.
Under this category, you’ll have to choose between either the bandpass or the ported enclosure. The advantage you get from either of these is a louder sound but, on the downside, the bass is not really as good as that from sealed enclosures.
So, which one is the best?
It’s all a matter of personal preference. If accuracy is not what you’re concerned about, then any of the open enclosures will do the trick. If otherwise, then a sealed enclosure would serve best.
We’ve looked at how we can get different bass variations from the size and enclosures as well as the different types of subwoofers you could buy. Now how about we take a look at the technical features important to all subwoofers?
Regarding this, just like all car speakers, subwoofers too have two ratings- the peak and the RMS. As much as both of them are important, great attention should be paid to the RMS. A higher RMS value means that you’ll get more bass.
All subwoofers, however, require that you have either a compatible car stereo or an amplifier. As such, it would be rather useless to have a high RMS rating without as good an amplifier or head unit to power it up.
Measured in decibels, the sensitivity is the amount of power needed to produce a particular volume. Regarding this, the higher it is (recommended to be 92dB and above), the less the amount of power you’ll need to produce a high volume and vice versa.
So, if you don't want to upgrade your head unit or amp, it would be wise to go for a subwoofer that has a higher sensitivity rating.
Unlike sensitivity, the lower the impedance rating, the better of a subwoofer it is since it optimizes on the amount of power. It is therefore important that you ensure your head unit matches the power rating and impedance of the subwoofer you intend to get.
I’d recommend that you go for a subwoofer that has an impedance rated 4 ohms and below.
This is basically the frequency range within which a subwoofer operates. Since it's all about lower frequencies, it would be wise to go for one rated at 20Hz-200Hz. Anything lower than this would be a waste of money since the lowest audible frequency by the human ear is 20 Hz.
There are either the single or the dual voice coils whereby the latter is the best option to go with. Dual voice coils basically allow you to wire up the subwoofer in different ways and upon doing so get a better bass quality unlike the single voice coils that don't offer this kind of flexibility.
It’s time to call it a day. With all we’ve looked at regarding choosing the best car subwoofer, it should be much easier for you to get the best kick for your buck whether you’re upgrading or getting a new one. All you got to do is narrow it all down to your personal preference and the above and you’re good to go.