Best 10 Inch Subwoofer in 2022

Alex | Last Updated On April 26th, 2022 | This post may contain affiliate links.

If you have recently decided to add a new car subwoofer, you may just be wondering just what the best 10 inch subwoofer (see also best 12 inch subwoofers) for your car audio system is. There are multiple brands, different models, and a variety of shapes of car subwoofers you can go for which can make the entire task of selecting the right one daunting and overwhelming.

Obviously, you want some deep accurate bass echoing from your car that a standard aftermarket stereo can’t provide. If you want that enhanced sound that rattles your windows and vibrates through your body right down to the core, the best 10 inch subwoofer is what you need.

You want to find that punchy performance that fits your budget, fits your car, gives a great bass boost, and improves the sound of your music overall. But it might take a bit of research or trial and error on your part to get that perfect new car subwoofer.

While this may sound a bit time-consuming, once you select the best 10 inch subwoofer, it will make all the time you spent researching worth it. Better yet, we have already done the research for you.

In this article, you will see five reviews on what we consider to be the best 10 inch subwoofer to meet a range of specifications and give you that oomph when you crank up the volume. Additionally, you can find a buyer’s guide that gives more information on just what makes good car subwoofers and touches on the different pros and cons when it comes to selecting a subwoofer for your wheels.

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Comparison of the Best 10 Inch Subwoofers

photo of the JL Audio<br> 10W6v3-D4JL Audio
10W6v3-D4
Best Overall 10 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the Rockford Fosgate<br> R2D4-10Rockford Fosgate
R2D4-10
Most Affordable 10 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the Alpine<br> R-W10D4Alpine
R-W10D4
Best Deep Vibrating Bass 10 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the Devmo<br> Gemini IIDevmo
Gemini II
Best Dual 10 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the PIONEER<br> TS-A2500LS4PIONEER
TS-A2500LS4
Best for Tight Spaces 10 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon

Reviews of the Best 10 Inch Subwoofers

After comparing a range of subwoofers, these 10 inch beauties by JL Audio definitely take the cake when it comes to high quality bass in a very compact package. If you want to reproduce some window-rattling and heart-thumping deep sound, this subwoofer is exactly what you need. It is a great combination of sound, size, and value.

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While it is a bit on the higher price end, the subwoofer features make up for that cost and balance out with the overall perfection of this 10 inch subwoofer.

It is an excellent choice for your vehicle as it includes a highly efficient and long-lasting cooling circuit that is specifically made to reduce distortion and create the perfect dynamic balance that is attuned to all music genres.

This sub is a great option for its sealed cube or ported enclosures that can outperform a wide range of comparable subwoofers. You will get a solid 2-8 ohms of power handling from the dual coils which make this small 10 inch subwoofer sounds better than some larger 12 and 14 inch beasts.

The dynamic motor analysis technology from JL Audio creates a level of solid bass that is better than pretty much any other 10 inch subwoofer on the market. This proprietary system faithfully reproduces tight, clean, articulate bass even under a heavy power load.

The look of these subs is both simple and elegant but can be a bit too simple for someone wanting a display piece in his or her vehicle. However, the black rim can be removed and painted or dipped for a customized color or accent piece for your car stereo system.

What We Like

There is exceptionally clear sound production from both frequencies.

The hard-hitting bass reproduction sounds fantastic.

It can be fitted into a ported enclosure and wired easily.

Know Before Buying

It can be expensive to start with.

It has a very plain matte-colored faceplate.

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When you simply cannot afford or do not need a high-end subwoofer but won’t sacrifice good sound quality for a budget subwoofer, the Rockford Fosgate is a perfect choice. While it does not have the major bells and whistles, it still offers excellent sound from its dual voice coil design that you would be hard-pressed to find in other subs at this price point.

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You will love this powerful little 10 inch subwoofer when it comes to versatility. It is extremely easy to install in a wide range of spaces, and also has a range of options for wiring configurations so you can have freedom in where you want to stick it inside your vehicle.

Plus, it is budget-friendly to make it a great option for setting up a dual or quad subwoofer setup. It will get you a great kit without breaking the bank.

While many of the components are not made from high-end materials, the ones they make use of are still durable and long-lasting for the price point. There is a mineral filled polypropylene cone which puts it right in the middle of the line when it comes to durability.

The hybrid basket is incredibly heat resistant and its durability comes in handy when supporting the cone and magnet to give you a deep and well-rounded return on your bass. As the outer casing that holds the rest of the components in place, it helps determine the sub’s sound quality.

While this subwoofer won’t win any beauty contests, it can fit perfectly into both vented and sealed enclosures without losing the depth of sound in either. Plus, it includes a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer which is somewhat uncommon for subs at this price point.

What We Like

This is an excellent entry-level, budget-friendly subwoofer.

Its high quality construction can take some abuse.

It has excellent heat dissipation as a dual voice coil subwoofer.

Know Before Buying

The internal materials can be somewhat lacking in quality.

The included hardware can be lacking in terms of a variety of sizes.

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Are you someone who loves rattling the windows, vibrating the chassis, and announcing your presence to anyone passing by? If so, this beast is the best 10 inch subwoofer for you. It is incredibly adept at producing a louder bass thunder that is absolutely top of the line.

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At this price point, you won’t find another subwoofer that can deliver this depth of bass frequencies. With the two-ohm and four-ohm models, you have a choice of which will work better for your setup and amplifier.

Regardless of your decision, this 10 inch beast will knock many 12 and 14 inch subwoofer out of the park by sheer sound output and excellent excursion. It gives that extra power at a good size that it would be hard for you to hear the difference.

This subwoofer is made from very high quality materials including an extremely durable Kevlar cone. With the amount of serious power this subwoofer is kicking out, you want a cone that can handle the abuse.

A heavy-duty santoprene basket is used as well to support the interior connections and keep your cone steady and stable even when blasting that epic bass. It protects the cone from being displaced to ensure accurate bass even at high volumes.

What We Like

Sound systems will get an extremely powerful bass vibration and depth.

High quality materials are used in the internal construction.

It is incredibly durable and ready to handle abuse from continuous power.

Know Before Buying

It needs a powerful amplifier to get the best sound quality.

It uses a very large magnet that requires a bit of space.

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If you want to get some deep bass return but do not have the room for a proper custom sealed enclosure, the Devmo Gemini is the answer to your prayer. It is a great option for consistent performance in tiny and compact spaces. It has a dual powered setup with a compact enclosure that gives you the freedom to place it almost anywhere.

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The Devmo Gemini provides dynamic sound on even the lowest frequencies which can be somewhat surprising from a 10 inch powered subwoofer. When you have limited car space but are still interested in good sound quality, the Gemini will fill in that ultra-thin space with impressive bass.

You will get 100 watt RMS power from the powered subwoofer with up to 90 decibels of precise bass power. The ported enclosure is durable and easily configurable to match your car interior.

Also with the built-in amplifier, you do not have to worry about shopping around for the right amplifier power to go with the dual 10 inch combination. The sub and amp are already matched and optimized to work in perfect synergy.

It is already put together and ready for installation in your sound system right out of the box. You will even get the cables and hardware you need to finish up the installation. You will have very few delays getting this dual set in position and having it booming out your favorite deep bass tunes.

What We Like

The ultra-thin compact dual enclosure fits tight spaces.

The dynamic bass return because of the dual setup rocks.

It can handle extremely low tones without distortion.

Know Before Buying

The extremely compact design may not be favored by everyone.

The sealed enclosure cannot be customized in most setups.

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If the previously reviewed subwoofer still is not small enough for your tight spaces, Pioneer has an extremely tiny yet powerful subwoofer that will fit almost anywhere. Measuring less than 4 inches in mounting depth, you can squeeze it into a number of very narrow areas including under the seats, behind the cab, or along the sidewall.

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Do not let the small size fool you. This subwoofer is made with glass fiber and mica injected cone to give you the optimum performance of clean and tight bass response.

It may not hit lower bass levels at 15Hz or similar but unless you are an extreme audiophile, it won’t be overly noticeable. Very few people can hear by ear the difference in the quality of bass between this and comparable subwoofers.

Whether you just have a tight spot or are decking out a small vehicle, this sub is great to be used singly or as a duo with another of its kind. With dual subwoofers, everyone in the car gets the same mood-boosting, heart-pounding listening experience no matter where they are seated

This small sub can likewise fit in any subwoofer enclosure of limited size. You can set it up in a custom enclosure or fit it into Pioneer’s premade subwoofer box to make installation with an amplifier a breeze.

What We Like

It is extremely compact and made for very small spaces.

It has an excellent value to money ratio when it comes to sound quality.

The highly rigid cone made with glass fiber and injected mica packs a decent punch.

Know Before Buying

It is lacking in the ability to hit extremely low bass ranges.

It may be too small for standard installation locations.

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How We Choose the Best 10 Inch Subwoofers

Car audio system on a black background.Subwoofer.

Sound Quality

Obviously, sound quality is one of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to selecting the right subwoofer. You do not want a tiny little thump when cranking up your favorite tunes. Nope, you want a deep booming thunder that turns heads and makes you feel every beat of your music.

A subwoofer that offers a crystal clear sound and has a rich dynamic across frequency range is exactly what you want. Whether you are rocking out to your favorite headbanger or simply want to shake your entire car with some rap, the best 10 inch subwoofer can create smooth-sounding music without distortion.

Bass Boosts

Next to overall sound quality, the amount of bass you hear is equally important. This is what is going to vibrate in your car and make you really feel the beat of the music.

Your built-in car stereo speakers can’t create a very clear sound free from distortion, but the best 10 inch subwoofer certainly can. You can really explore the sonic space of your favorite rock, country, hip-hop, or rap tunes.

In fact, most subwoofers can properly reproduce frequencies well below 80 hertz which creates a full booming bass that doesn’t overwhelm the other instruments in your favorite music. You may no longer hear the sound but you can still literally feel the music.

You won’t have to struggle with distortion on the loud bass beats even when you have it cranked to the max. The sub should be able to handle the bass boost and still sound right.

High Frequency Coverage

The speakers from your standard stereo system cover both frequencies in your music. They may play music just fine but they only provide the bare minimum clarity and volume to keep car prices low.

As a result, they can distort the low bass notes leading to music that is either lacking in bass or distorted to the effect that it takes away from the overall sound quality. You will know it when you are blasting your favorite song at full volume while driving, but then you have to turn it down because the sound seems hollow or wonky.

Subwoofers are connected to an independent amplifier and focus on your midrange and high frequencies to maximize the sound you get in return. You need something to power your sub and that something is an amplifier.

The right combination of subwoofer and amplifier will remove the distortion, balance the frequencies both high and low, and ensure you are getting the best soundscape of all genres of music. Simply put, everyone who wants a subwoofer in their car also needs a subwoofer amplifier.

Sensitivity Rating

The sensitivity is concerned with how effectively the sub can convert power into sound and is measured in dB or decibels. You have to make sure that your equipment will be able to handle the power properly or it will get fried.

It makes sense then that a sub with a high sensitivity rating that requires less power to reach a certain volume is better than a sub with a lower sensitivity. An underpowered amp or head unit will definitely require a sub with high sensitivity.

A good rule of thumb is to look for a sensitivity rating of about 90 dB to get the most desirable sound. Anything in the 80s is still satisfactory but a 90 dB or higher sensitivity rating will hit harder.

Power Handling

Just like a boxer, a woofer cannot throw a decent punch without sufficient power. The power handling indicates how much short burst and continuous power are suitable for your subwoofer without damaging them.

The short burst of power a sub can handle for brief periods of time is computed in peak wattage while the continuous power a sub can handle for prolonged periods of use is measured in root mean square (RMS) watts. The RMS is the more important number to consider since you are more likely to listen to your sub continuously for long periods of time.

The RMS represents the sub’s true power output and a higher RMS value also means more bass. The RMS can be as low as 50 or as high as 1,000 but an RMS wattage of at least 100 will already get you a decent amount of power.

Impedance

Impedance is the resistance to the flow of power from either the receiver or the amplifier as it operates with a musical signal. Its unit of measurement is ohm with car audios offering impedance ratings of 2, 4, 8, and 16 ohms with the higher ohms having higher resistance, and the lower ohms owning lower.

A lower impedance or 2 ohm subwoofer impedance will typically produce a louder sound than a higher impedance or 4 ohm subwoofer because of less resistance to the flow of electricity. Whether the difference in sound quality can be heard depends on the individual, with most people not able to tell the difference between the two.

Impedance is important when determining the compatibility between your subwoofer and amplifier. You have to check the specs of your sub and amp and match subwoofers with a higher impedance to an amplifier capable of operating with a lower impedance. What you cannot do is connect subs with a lower impedance like 4 ohms to an amplifier with a higher minimum impendence like 10 ohms.

Enclosure

An enclosure is the subwoofer’s box that can improve the quality of your car audio and give it a uniform sound by containing the sound frequencies that emit from the back of the sub. A pounding subwoofer’s enclosure can come in two options: ported and sealed.

The ported or vented type has one or more ports or slots in the enclosure that interact with the volume of air in the cabinet to help increase output. If you are always looking for more bass for your metal, hard rock, EDM, or hip-hop music, you are a prime candidate for ported subs.

A sealed enclosure, on the other hand, is completely sealed so no air can escape. Letting the air inside the box act like a shock absorber reproduces low frequencies more accurately for a punchier, tighter sound. It is easier to build and tune with high power handling capability.

Mounting Depth

When replacing your factory speaker with an aftermarket subwoofer, you need to calculate its mounting depth correctly. The mounting depth refers to how much space the sub will take up when mounted in your car measured by the height from the back of the speaker to its mounting frame.

In an ideal scenario, the mounting depth of your new subwoofer is either the same depth or less of the car manufacturer speaker you will replace. If not, you have to measure the length of the rear of the sub to gauge how far the speaker’s rear will project from the front mounting plane. You can add mounting brackets or spacers to hold your subwoofer in your car door.

Installation Options

Car audio specialist is holding in hand a car stereo equipment and is showing a thumbs up.

Subwoofers can come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Some are made to fit into compact areas, others are made for standard size enclosures, and others are made for shallow mount.

Additionally, you can find enclosed dual subwoofers that give double the bass return without requiring you to create your own enclosure. The combined power of two or more powered subwoofers working in tandem produces accurate, heart-pounding bass without peaks and nulls.

When searching for the best subwoofer for your car, always be sure you know where it will be installed. If you are installing it in your doors or under a seat, space may be an issue and you want to get ahead of it.

Luckily, subwoofers are made to produce non-directional audio so they can normally be tucked into unusual spots that standard speakers cannot. The bass sound will come from all directions and will be evenly distributed across your car’s surface area.

What is Better: Passive or Powered Subwoofers?

Trying to make heads or tails of all the information you find with subwoofers can be easier said than done. To make things more confusing, you also have the option of passive subwoofers or powered subwoofers.

But what is the difference, and how does it apply to you?

The difference between the two may not be as confusing as you originally thought. Passive subwoofers are simply the subwoofer itself. In order to be used, a passive subwoofer will need to be connected to an external amplifier.

The biggest downside to a passive subwoofer is that you will need to take into account the extra room needed for the amplifier as well as the cable to connect the subwoofer to the amplifier. You may have to pay more to get the amp which can sometimes cost more than the sub does.

Powered subwoofers include an internal amplifier, so they won’t have as many space restrictions as a passive unit. However, the initial purchase cost of a powered subwoofer will be much more than a passive one but if you are extremely tight on space, this may be your only option.

The biggest downside to a powered subwoofer is that if the amplifier blows out, you won’t be able to replace just that component. Instead, you will have to replace the entire unit.

There is very little difference in the sound quality you can get from both passive and powered subwoofers. When space is extremely limited, a powered unit is your best option.

But if you have plenty of room and do not mind installing a separate amplifier as well as a passive subwoofer, it will be the better option for you. You have to weigh the pros and cons of the two subwoofer types as they relate to your situation.

Things to Look For in a 10 Inch Subwoofer

When you are searching for a new 10 inch subwoofer, you are faced with a lot of different features between brands and models. But knowing which features are more important can help you make an educated choice on your next purchase.

Magnet Size

As with other speakers, a subwoofer’s sound is driven by a magnet and transmitted through the coil. Internal magnets on subwoofers can range in size and thickness which changes how the sound is produced.

The action of the magnetic fields inside your subwoofer is the main determining factor on sound quality. So you may think that bigger is better when it comes to the magnets, but is it?

While the quality of magnetic strength is important, the size of the magnet itself has very little effect on the force of sound the unit produces. Its physical size has little to do with how loud a sub will go or that it is better.

The size of the magnet is less important than its magnetic strength. The areas to focus on more would be the cone and coil, as well as the suspension system between those two components.

Basket Type: Stamped, Cast, or Hybrid

Subwoofers of all types and sizes include a basket. Some may be referred to as a harness or web, but the purpose is the same: it is the main support structure that holds the cone and coils.

There are three types of basket you may see advertised with your subwoofer and that is stamped, cast, and hybrid. What are the differences between these basket frames?

Cast baskets are excellent for dissipating excess heat from your subwoofer and are common in vehicle speakers. They are a very rigid option that can support subwoofers that are made for high performance output.

Stamped baskets are extremely common as they are the strongest option for this support structure. They are very resistant to bending and can resonate a variety of sounds and vibrations very well.

Hybrid baskets are an equal mix of both cast and stamped supports. They will have the strength of the stamped with the heat-resistant abilities of the cast while being lightweight as well. They are extremely popular and are found in a wide range of subwoofer brands.

Cone or Diaphragm Material

The cone or diaphragm is an internal component of your subwoofer that is moved by your magnetic coil system. It requires a support material around it to help amplify and focus the sound it produces.

There are a wide variety of materials that can be used for this job including:

Treated paper

Not your normal notebook paper, this paper fiber is woven and treated with durable coatings to ensure that it is both light as well as flexible. The flexibility and rigidity produce a full bass but its moisture resistance is suspect.

Carbon fiber

Commonly used in some lower-end subwoofers, it is obviously much stronger than the paper cones yet very lightweight. That said, it can be less durable than other options and may be prone to blow-outs with loud music.

Polypropylene

Exceptionally durable and long-lasting but also very rigid, a polypropylene cone can create a different soundscape compared to other subwoofers. It does not absorb moisture and perform pretty well with very low distortion but may not sound as lively as its counterparts.

Kevlar

A higher end material that is both lightweight and extremely durable, a Kevlar cone has tensile strength more than 14 times greater than that of polypropylene. It is an excellent choice for standing up to high demands but has limited dampening properties.

Magnesium

Due to its lightness, a magnesium cone is very common in low and mid-range subwoofers and is extremely cost-effective. It has the least coloration and distortion compared to other materials but is prone to poor resonance and pitch return.

Subwoofer Surround Material

The speaker surrounds protect the cone and withstand the strenuous job of producing bass frequencies. There are a variety of materials that can be found around the cone inside the subwoofer, and they should be durable enough to stand up to extreme temperature and humidity.

The job of these materials is to keep the cone in place without absorbing or distorting the vibrations. The materials should be extremely flexible and highly durable in order to serve their purpose well.

The majority of subwoofers will use one of these three materials:

Foam

This is the most commonly found material in subs as the foam is generally more flexible and cheaper than rubber. It is efficient at keeping the cone centered while being cost-effective. You will also find that foam is long-lasting and durable because of the new foam formulas.

Santoprene

A higher-end material that is also excellent for vehicle subwoofers is santoprene. Santoprene is exceptionally long-lasting and highly resistant to high and low temperatures to withstand pretty much any environment you put it through.

Urethane

A mid-range material that is almost as commonly found as foam, urethane is very durable, highly flexible, and can be somewhat cost-effective. Layers of urethane are strong and stable to produce a clear and tight bass response.

Summary

Best Overall 10 Inch Subwoofer
Most Affordable 10 Inch Subwoofer
Best Dual 10 Inch Subwoofer

Unfortunately, there is no single answer for every need when it comes to which subwoofer will work for your vehicle. What subwoofer is perfect for you and your needs may not work for another person.

While it will take a bit of research to get the perfect unit, almost any subwoofer will be an improvement over your built-in stereo system. You cannot get from your factory speakers the quality low-end frequencies a subwoofer provides.

Subwoofers are an excellent investment for your vehicle, especially if you enjoy getting a solid sound performance from your speakers. With a subwoofer, you can listen to your favorite music filled with plenty of basses loudly without hearing any distortion.

When hearing the bass is just not enough and you instead want to feel it, any one of the subwoofers on the list will give you exactly that. You can prevent yourself from missing out on the fullness of the sounds you are into with any of the choices.