Not all of us can dedicate a huge portion of our trunk to having a massive subwoofer, and a lot of audio enthusiasts want to hear the low-end without disturbing the peace.
If you’ve got a smaller vehicle, or you need your full trunk space, or you’re just looking for something a little easier than installing an amplifier and a big subwoofer enclosure, there are a number of use-cases where the best underseat subwoofer is a great option.
Editor’s Choice Underseat Sub
You shouldn’t buy an underseat subwoofer if you’re looking for the absolute loudest and hardest bass, but not everybody wants that in the first place. Also, these are less power-hungry than huge full-size subwoofers that fill up your trunk, so you may not need to upgrade your alternator or make any other major upgrades to your vehicle’s electrical system in order to support these.
Generally speaking, these are perfect for people who are in search of a huge upgrade to their car’s sound, but without making any big sacrifices.
You’re getting a lot of benefits, a lot of results, but you’re not going past the point of diminishing returns so this is a super practical option for regular folks who don’t want to go super hard into car audio, but still want to enjoy hearing their music the way it was meant to be heard.
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The Best Underseat Subwoofer Reviews – Which One Is Right For You?
1. Kicker 11HS8 :
t’s small, but this high-quality little subwoofer packs some serious boom. If you’re looking for a smaller form factor but still want to get something that’s optimized to push as much air as possible, this is a very safe bet!
As long as your expectations are in-line for a 150w 8” sub , you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at what it can do.
The Kicker brand of audio gear dates back to the early 1970’s, when a couple of buddies were making speakers in a garage. Coming from one small garage, to having their speakers and subwoofers inside of millions of people’s garages, is no small accomplishment.
This is a small 8” sub by a very reputable brand that can fit into small spaces because it’s only just over 3 inches in height. At 150w RMS, it’s got enough power to get the job done, especially if you’ve got it right under your seat.
This subwoofer is a good choice for anybody who wants clean, clear, but not overpowering bass. In the grand scheme of things, a smaller 8” sub that doesn’t eat up a ton of power is only going to be able to get so loud or deep, but when it’s right under or behind your seat, you’ll definitely still feel it.
You’ll notice a huge difference after adding this sub to your setup, so it’s an easy way to take your music to the next level.
2. Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X10 Prime R2S :
Rockford Fosgate is giving you a lot more than you’d normally expect from a small form factor subwoofer, but at the cost of coming in a slightly larger package.
It has a built-in 200w RMS amplifier that provides ample juice to keep the music bumping. If you’ve got a little extra space and don’t necessarily have to have the sub right under your seat, this is an excellent product to consider.
Another unique take on a small form factor subwoofer from a legendary brand, this time we’re looking at a 10 inch sub so it’s going to give you a little more depth than the Kicker one can. But that comes at a price: this one takes up more space. This is a sealed sub, rather than ported, which gives you a little extra oomph, which is always something that we welcome in smaller subs.
In some trucks, you can still fit this sub right behind the driver’s seat. It’s a bit too thick to fit under most seats, since it’s just under 9 inches, compared to other true underseat subs on this list that are closer to 3 inches thick.
It’s worth considering this product even though it’s a bit thicker because it’s perfect if you want all of the advantages of a small loaded subwoofer but don’t wait it directly under your seat. It’s a bit bigger, but that also translates into better (deeper and louder) bass.
Some of these featured subs are able to fit under seats more easily because they’re made with thin enclosures that aren’t really designed to improve the sound, but in the case of this Rockford Fosgate subwoofer, it gets some help from having a solid enclosure that’s made from 5/8th inch MDF which helps stop the sound from resonating in a negative way.
3. Pioneer TS-SWX2502 :
This sturdy little unit has the power and size that it takes to elevate your favorite songs and to bring forward a certain depth that you just can’t possibly hear with your car’s stock audio.
It’s night and day, but if you’re huge on clarity and care about that more than deep bass or loud volume, this budget loaded subwoofer isn’t necessarily an audiophile’s dream. Having said that, if you’re looking for something easy and effective, you should give this Pioneer more than just a quick glance.
There’s a lot to like about this shallow-mount subwoofer from Pioneer. Once again, it’s not going to fit under most seats, but it brings some serious heat to the table if you’re looking for something a little bigger, and a lot more powerful, coming in at 400w RMS.
While it’s a bit too large to go under your seat, it can fit behind most seats easily, and even if you do decide to put it in your trunk, it’s downward-facing so you can still use most of your trunk space without worrying about damaging the driver or having to keep the rest of your trunk empty.
In other words, this sub gives you the best of both worlds when comparing small form factor subs to full-size enclosures. The built-in amp makes life easy when it’s time to set up, and you don’t have to worry about correctly matching your subwoofer and amplifier which saves another step and eliminates some room for error, which is particularly beneficial for beginners to car audio.
But there’s more to the story than just size and power. Sound quality is integral, and in this price range you’re not going to get a bigger sub, with more power, and better sound quality for less money.
While this sub claims to get as low as 20Hz, keep in mind that those lower notes are going to be played at a relatively low volume, so that doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to quality, or depth of bass.
4. Sound Storm LOPRO8 :
his feature-packed offering from SSL gives you so much bang for your buck. They know what entry-level bassheads are looking for, and you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on too many features by saving a few bucks.
Sound Storm isn’t the most well-known brand of car audio equipment compared to some of the others on this list that are instantly recognizable by most people, but they’re putting themselves on the map with their entry into the small, affordable subwoofer category.
It’s a competitive space, because if you can impress a consumer with an entry-level subwoofer, they’ll be turning to your brand when it’s time for an upgrade. The entry-tier is where brands know they can build loyalty, so you can find some amazing value here.
Sound Storm Labs (SSL) also make a 10 inch, 1200w peak (600w RMS) version of this amplifier and subwoofer combo if you’re looking for something beefier. It’s kind of a toss-up in this size and price range in terms of what people are looking for, there are some people who want as much volume as possible on their bass, and others who are sticking to the smaller-size subs because they don’t want something that’s overpowering.
There’s no right or wrong answer, it just comes down to choosing whatever suits your needs.
The amplifier itself is full-featured, with options for low pass filter, bass boost, subsonic, and gain. Also, there’s a port for the control knob that you can mount to control your sub on the fly.
5. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 :
Leave it to Alpine to make a higher-end compact subwoofer that can fit into tight spaces but still packs a serious punch. It’s very well-made and feels like it’s a true step above a lot of the other options, especially the ones that are about half the price.
You get what you pay for, and Alpine hits a home run with this one, bringing amazing value and impressive performance.
Alpine is a fantastic brand to turn to for car audio upgrades. They make very capable entry-level equipment, along with some higher-end gear. This subwoofer falls somewhere in between. Compared to other underseat subs, it’s a higher-scale representation of this type of sub, but compared to full-size ones it’s going to leave you wanting a bit more.
For someone who is in the market for small form factor, but isn’t looking to spend as little as possible, this loaded subwoofer comes with everything you need and performs better than the less-expensive options in the category.
We have no idea how they were able to fit so much in such a tiny enclosure, but if space is your absolute biggest concern, but you don’t want to give up that much in terms of sound either, Alpine hits the mark.
6. Rockville RW10CA :
It’s easy to recommend such a powerful and capable subwoofer, it does a lot with what it’s got and brings a lot of value to the table.
It’s not perfect, it doesn’t get ridiculously loud, but overall it’s a great package for someone who is looking for a bit more than an 8” sub can offer. If you’ve got it right under your seat, you’re in for a treat.
This 10” underseat subwoofer from Rockville was also featured on our list of the best 10” subs overall, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see it here as well. If it’s good enough to make an overall list of the best subs with 10 inch drivers, it’s not a surprise that you’ll find it among the best in its main category (underseat).
We like this subwoofer a lot because it’s able to put in some serious work with the built-in 200w RMS amplifier and a 10” driver. This is a complete package, from the amp, sub, and enclosure themselves all the way down to the remote control knob.
There are 4 mounts that will help you attach it to the back of a seat, or keep it in place under a seat. It can also go in your trunk, but you’ll feel the bass a lot more if it’s closer to you, especially right underneath.
It has a nice shiny finish and the blue coloring really stands out. But what matters most from a subwoofer is whether or not it’s going to deliver the low-end frequencies that you’re hoping for.
This sub offers a good entry-point for anyone who wants better sound in their car, but it won’t be the last sub you ever buy. Think of it like a stepping stone and an entry point, and you’ll have your mind blown by the possibilities that follow.