A 12 inch subwoofer is a great size to go with, if you’re still considering different options. It’s a good ratio of performance and efficiency with the power it’s fed, enough size to move some air around, and can deliver plenty of hard-hitting bass. While it’s true that bigger subs can do a better job, there’s also a point of diminishing returns, and 12” often falls right in the sweet spot.
The following subs offer fantastic value, great performance, and plenty of unique benefits. We’re going to be going over the most important information about each one, then picking out the notable pros and cons that you should know before making a final decision and choosing the subwoofer that’s going to fit your vehicle (and expectations) the best.
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Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Reviews
1. Dual Electronics BP1204 :
This sub is definitely going to attract attention, whether it’s because of the dual 12 inch drivers, or the bright glowing lights.
You’re paying a bit extra for the light show, so if you prefer a more standard looking subwoofer enclosure, there are other options, but if you enjoy the look of this, and are looking for a very affordable place to get started, you can build a really nice system with this at the heart of it.
The first subwoofer we’re featuring is not for everyone, but if you like the way it looks, it offers some pretty incredible value and a very unique style. Some people want something a little more subdued, or simply don’t care about appearance since they’re not going to have their trunks open to show off their system.
This is an awesome system that’s a notch above bare entry-level, and the unique enclosure with glowing lights and plexiglass almost makes it look more like a gaming computer than an enclosure.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that despite the aesthetics, this isn’t the most elite subs out there. It does take 600w RMS so it’s no slouch, and it claims to hit as low as 30Hz (mind you, not at the loudest volume when you start getting that low.)
Overall, the specs are nice, and if you like how it looks and you’ve been looking for a pair of 12” subwoofers that are already in the box and ready to roll, hook these up to your amplifier and you won’t be disappointed.
2. MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D :
This subwoofer set is a steal of a deal, with 400w RMS and 12 inch drivers, pre-installed into a heavy, strong MDF enclosure.
All that’s missing is an amplifier, and your favorite songs. It’s big, it’ll take up a good chunk of your trunk space, but it’s well worth the sacrifice if you’re looking to add some great bass to your car without breaking the bank.
If you saw that first option and want something a little more subtle, where every single penny is going towards extra power and performance, but you’re still looking for great value at a good entry-point… here it is. This is the subwoofer set for you.
Part of the Terminator Series by MTX Audio, the TNE212D is a more traditional dual subwoofer enclosure with a pair of very nice drivers installed. You just need to hook it up to an amplifier that can dish out 200-400w RMS at 2 ohms.
The frequency rating is 37Hz on the low-end, which is more than others we’ve looked at, but we always like to remind our readers at 37Hz at a good, strong volume is always better than something that can hit 30Hz at a whisper quiet volume.
3. American Bass USA XFL 1244
American Bass gives you everything you would expect from the name alone, and it also lives up to its specs.
If you’re looking for very loud volume, very hard-hitting bass, and you wouldn’t mind annoying your neighbors every now and then, here is your ticket into the promised land of deep, hard bass.
Now it’s time to look at some heavier-hitters. We’ve looked at a few less expensive options that come complete with the enclosures, all wired up and ready to connect to your amplifier, but now let’s look at a standalone subwoofer. You’ll need to find an enclosure to pair up with this subwoofer, but if you’re willing to roll your sleeves up that extra little bit, and to spend a bit more here, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
American Bass is bringing some serious muscle to the table with this offering. The cone is kevlar-enforced, but we don’t recommend using it for target practice. With the ability to comfortably accept 1000w RMS, with 2000w max, you can have the dual voice coils of this sub dancing around like crazy inside of it’s cast aluminum basket.
This sub needs just about 8 inches of depth in order to mount it, and weighs nearly 40 pounds so it’s got some serious weight to it. If you view the pre-made sets we’ve featured as being kind of like “toys” (especially the first one with the lights), then it’s safe to say that this subwoofer right here isn’t playing games.
4. CT Sounds Bio 2.0 :
Bio subwoofers by CT Sounds sound fantastic in a ported or sealed enclosure, they can hit some surprisingly low frequencies with volume, and they offer an excellent value for the price.
You can expect really decent bass on a budget from these subs.
This is a very impressive sub from an up-and-coming brand that hasn’t been around for as long as some of the others on this list, but that have already been making big waves in the world of sound. One of the advantages in dealing with a brand that isn’t a multi billion dollar worldwide corporation is that it’s easy to get help when you need it, and there is some great value to be had because their operating costs are a lot lower than mega-corporations, and they’re able to be a lot more agile and to push things forward at a faster rate.
In other words, we don’t necessarily see a ton of innovation coming from some of the huge brands, it’s more about keeping things chugging along. This is why it’s exciting to see options like the Bio 2.0 from CT Sounds.
This sub won’t break the bank or chew into your budget, but it will bring you the bass you’re searching for. You’ve got a ton of wiring options with the dual voice coil, so you can easily string this subwoofer together with additional subs, and you’ll have no problem finding an amplifier that can handle whatever configuration you’ve got in mind.
The high-quality magnet allows this sub to react quickly while maintaining a clear, clean sound. It can handle a max of 500w with an RMS rating of 250w. Make no mistake, pair up a couple of these with a good amplifier and the correct subwoofer enclosure and you’re going to feel it.
5. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch :
Rockford Fosgate is giving you everything you need to step up your bass in a big way. 300w RMS is enough to feel it, especially when it’s finely tuned in a great enclosure like this one.
You don’t need to buy a separate amp, it’s already built in. Getting yourself setup with a huge upgrade to your sound quality couldn’t get any easier than this.
Let’s change things up a bit and go a different route for this next recommendation. If you know anything about car audio, you’ve heard of Rockford Fosgate.
This time around, they’re offering up a loaded subwoofer, which means that the speaker itself comes pre-installed into an enclosure, which also has an amplifier built-in. Going this route means that you don’t have to worry about matching up your amplifier and your sub, nor building/buying an enclosure and having to measure it to make sure it’s the correct size.
Basically, Rockford Fosgate offers the P300-12 for people who want to boost their audio system’s bass capabilities as easily as possible, and quite affordably, too.
Unlike some of the more compact underseat or free air subwoofer configurations we’ve featured in the past, this one still has a decent size to it, which means you’ll get deeper bass frequencies and better volume, and better overall sound, since the bigger enclosure gives you more control over the movement of air, and that’s what bass is all about.
Instead of all of the above, you’ll only need to run power to this enclosure, a ground wire, and a source cable to connect it to your stereo. Despite the ease of installation and the all-in-one nature of this product, it brings you excellent sound quality and volume that’s been fine-tuned to optimize all 3 of the pieces of equipment to make them work together (subwoofer, enclosure, amplifier), which isn’t always easy to do if you’re getting each piece on its own.
Now, there is a ceiling to loaded subwoofers like this, and you do pay a bit of a premium in some cases, but for the average listener who wants to fill out their sound, and isn’t looking to compete in any bass competitions or to go too hard, this sub can absolutely bring the thunder.
7. Pioneer Champion Series :
Pioneer is bringing it with their Champion series. Even if we ignore the optimistic frequency range, this sub can still deliver some heat at lower frequencies (just not the lowest.)
It’ll work great on its own, or as part of a duo in a double enclosure. This is a solid budget option, we don’t have any major complaints.
Here’s a budget subwoofer from Pioneer with some high-end specs behind it. If you just looked at the numbers, you’d think this was a real heavy hitter. It’s not the greatest sub out there, we’d probably take the Bio by CT Sounds above this for just a bit more money, even though the Bio doesn’t handle as much peak power (which really doesn’t matter).
The peak or max wattage doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s not just how much power the subwoofer can accept, but what it does with that power.
For a 12” subwoofer in an average car audio setup, 300w RMS is going to get the job done. If your amplifier choice can handle it, you may want to consider grabbing two of these. Keep in mind that your wiring options are going to be more limited with this single voice coil, it just means you’ll have to plan things out better ahead of time since there isn’t as much leeway to change your plans once you’ve got things started.
7. Planet Audio Anarchy AC12D :
The general response to the Anarchy by Planet Audio is “Wow, I didn’t expect it to sound that good.” It’s not a perfect subwoofer, but we can overlook some of the areas that it lacks in by taking into account that it’s priced accordingly, and still infinitely better than not having a subwoofer at all.
This is a fantastic starting point for someone on a budget who wants enough cash leftover to buy a decent enclosure, and an amplifier, and doesn’t mind rolling up their sleeves and putting everything together themselves.
This dual voice coil subwoofer from Planet Audio gives you a lot of options and versatility. You can pair it up with a monoblock amplifier, with another identical sub, and even other styles of amplifiers. The DVC opens up a lot of doors, or you can keep things simple, too. It’s your call.
It boasts a realistic 32Hz on the low-end, but you have to dig a bit to find the RMS wattage. This product can handle an RMS wattage of 900w, depending on how you’ve got it wired up. 900w is plenty, especially compared to some of the other options on this list, but you’ve also got to keep in mind that this is a budget subwoofer so you probably want to pull back a bit and not drive it at a hard 900w all the time, it’ll help increase the longevity. If you want something you can push that hard, consistently, you’ll probably want to look at some higher-end options.
Having said that, this sub sounds great for the price. More experienced bassheads will be able to notice where it falls short with some more nuanced listening, but for most people, you’ll feel the hard bass hitting and be more than happy.
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