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The best subwoofers for your car

Even if your car audio system sounds incredible, there may be times that you just want to feel the bass. The easiest way to do that is to add a subwoofer to your sound system or to upgrade the existing unit. Subwoofers are large speakers that produce bass that you can feel as well as hear, and are usually mounted in an enclosure or box that sits in your vehicle’s trunk or under the rear seats.

There are dozens of different brands and speaker types, so it can be hard to figure out which ones will work best for you. To help narrow down your shopping list, we’ve picked four subwoofers that will fit a wide variety of budgets and audio needs.

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JL Audio W7AE-3 Series


The W7 has been around for nearly 20 years, and for good reason. The masterminds at JL have improved on its design every year, updating it with the latest materials and engineering. The speakers are available in four sizes that include an 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, and 13.5-inch model.

Part of what makes the JL so special is its construction quality. The company manufactures its speakers with extremely tight tolerances, which means that every piece fits perfectly with every other piece. This creates a speaker that is long lasting and free of unwanted sounds. JL’s W7 speakers also feature a Dynamic Motor Analysis system, which reduces distortion and provides an analysis of sound dynamics and an elevated frame cooling system to improve ventilation.

Alpine R Series

Alpine’s R-Series subwoofers take the place of the company’s long-running and legendary Type R subwoofers. The new model features a Kevlar-treated cone and an upgraded surround that makes it more durable and responsive than its predecessor. The R-Series has 750-watt peak RMS, which is more than enough power for the average buyer, and the speakers are treated to prevent twisting and other damage that can occur at peak volumes.

The R-Series is available in four different configurations: 10- or 12-inch with a 4-ohm dual voice coil, and 10- or 12-inch 2-ohm voice coil models. The R-Series are also able to work with Alpine’s interchangeable grill system, which makes for easy customization.

Rockford Fosgate Power T1 Series

Rockford Fosgate T1

The Rockford Fosgate T1 comes with what the company calls VAST, which is a technology that allows the speakers to perform as if it were 25% larger. That gives the subwoofers the ability to produce a much larger volume of bass than other speakers of the same size.

T1 subwoofers have a Kevlar-reinforced paper cone and a die-cast aluminum frame for rigidity and strength. The speakers are available in a range of sizes, from a 10-inch slimline that can be mounted in a box as small as 14 inches tall by 16.75 inches wide by 9 inches deep. Other sizes include a 15-inch subwoofer and a 12-inch slimline.  The T1 series also includes an 8-inch sub specially made for BMW applications.

MTX 55-Series


The MTX 55 is a great pick for budget shoppers, as some sizes can be had for around $100. Even so, the speakers do not compromise on sound or build quality. The 55-series is MTX’s bestselling subwoofer, because the line brings down a lot of the features that make the company’s top-of-the-line speakers so good.

The 55-series comes with a rigid yoke and an inverted apex surround with a progressive suspension system that helps the speakers produce clear, loud bass. The line is available in a few sizes, from 10 inches up to 15 inches.

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