Shallow Mount Subwoofer Buyer’s Guide
Whether you opt for one of the subs that we’ve covered above, or if you’re planning on checking out any of the countless shallow mount subs we haven’t discussed, there’s a few things you’ll need to know before you head to your local car audio store.
What is a Shallow Mount Subwoofer?
A shallow mount subwoofer provides the same functionality of a traditional subwoofer in a smaller package. Regular subwoofers are deep and heavy, and their size can make it difficult or impossible to mount them in small spaces.
Speaker companies recognized that for certain applications, a traditional sub wasn’t practical, and they’ve developed subwoofers that require 4” or less of mounting clearance to remedy the problem.
These shallow subs can easily be mounted in rear decks, along the sides of trunks, or in slim boxes that allow you to enjoy powerful bass without sacrificing much space.
How Do They Compare to Regular Subwoofers?
Compared to a traditional sub, shallow subs are much lighter and more portable, in addition to being thinner. They’re easier to mount, they can be mounted virtually anywhere, and they’re also much more portable than a traditional sub.
On the other hand, shallow subwoofers represent a significant departure from the design of traditional subwoofers. What you gain in ease of installation and space savings, you lose in sound quality.
Simply put, a shallow mount sub will never be able to compare to a traditional sub in terms of bass response or overall sound quality. That said, they’re still an ideal option for those who are looking to add full, deep bass to their car, but can’t install a traditional subwoofer for whatever reason.
If you’re looking to buy a regular subwoofer , have a look at our list of best subwoofer for car.
When you’re evaluating different options, there’s a few key metrics you’ll want to look at so you can ensure you’re comparing apples to apples, and selecting the best shallow mount subwoofer for your needs.
Subwoofer Size :
The size of the subwoofer is the most important consideration you’ll need to make when shopping for a new sub. You’ll find subwoofers in 8”, 10”, 12” and 15” sizes, and each size brings it’s own characteristics, pros and cons.
Smaller subwoofers, like an 8” or a 10” are the most responsive and punchy option. They’re a great choice for those who listen to heavy rock or fast paced electronic music. They can bring balance to a sound system, and provide good bass without overwhelming the system. But, if you’re looking for powerful bass that will turn heads, you’ll want to look for a larger sub.
12” subwoofers are arguably the most popular option on the market, as they offer the “best of both worlds.” A 12” sub provides deep and powerful bass, but it’s still responsive enough to handle faster paced music, such as hard rock and metal.
15” subwoofers are the largest and most powerful option, and they’re typically reserved for the true bass heads among us. A 15” sub provides the deepest and most powerful bass of any subwoofer. But, they’re large size makes them far less responsive, and they tend to muddy up or overwhelm any faster paced music. 15” subs are most popular for today’s 808 heavy hip-hop.
Peak Power :
Peak power refers to the amount of power the subwoofer can handle without any damage occurring to the subwoofer. This metric is a good indicator of how powerful the sub is compared to the competition.
A speaker’s sensitivity is another important metric to consider. Sensitivity is measured by how loud the speaker is with only one watt of power driving the speaker. If you’re not using an external amplifier, a high sensitivity speaker will provide you with more volume and power. If you’re using an amp, a speaker with lower sensitivity will be better for your needs.
Frequency Range :
The frequency range refers to the different frequencies the speaker is able to reproduce. A broad frequency range makes for a more versatile speaker, but that’s less of a concern when shopping for a subwoofer.
The frequency range is measured in hertz (Hz) and subwoofers usually have a frequency range between 20-200Hz. An average subwoofer may not be able to dip below the 100Hz range, while more expensive, professional quality subwoofers can dip as low as 20Hz.
Thanks to shallow mount subwoofers, it’s easier than ever to achieve deep, powerful bass in your car, regardless of what you drive. While there are some tradeoffs with a shallow mount subwoofer, the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks for most applications.
When you’re shopping for the best shallow mount subwoofer for your needs, be sure to evaluate important factors like the specs, build quality and overall sound of the sub before making your purchase.
Other subs to also consider :