Best 8 Inch Subwoofer in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On April 26th, 2022.
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You love your car and an intense sound, and you are ready to deck your wheels with a killer sound system. But where do you start?

You already know the oem speakers are not giving you the sound quality you want, but you also don’t have much room to work with when it comes to installing a new car audio system.

You’re in luck!

Subwoofers can help deliver a crisp bass boost to your car’s sound system so you can not only hear your favorite music but feel it as well. You might not be able to rattle the windows, but you’ll definitely get a decent feel for those low frequencies no matter what you are listening to.

Do you say you don’t have room for a 15 inch or even a 12 inch massive subwoofer and speaker set up? Don’t worry.

You can still get an incredible sounding audio system with the much smaller 8 inch subwoofers.

They are an excellent option for tight spaces or small vehicles, and can be tucked under the seat, behind the seat, mounted in the console, or squeezed into any other small available space you may have.

Their smaller size is definitely not a bad thing when it comes to sound quality either. In fact, you can get loud bass that is on par with the larger 10 inch subwoofers and 12 inch subwoofers.

Their ability to reproduce accurate bass and a variety of high and low frequencies is excellent, and as a smaller subwoofer, they won’t damage your wallet too much either!

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Comparison of the Best 8 Inch Subwoofers

Best Overall 8 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the Kicker 44CWCD84Kicker
44CWCD84
Most Affordable 8 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the BOSS Audio Systems CXX8BOSS Audio Systems
CXX8
Best for Small Spaces 8 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8Rockford Fosgate
P3SD2-8
Best Enclosed System 8 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the JBL BassPro SLJBL
BassPro SL
Best for Thundering Bass 8 Inch SubwooferSee On Amazon
photo of the Rockville W8K9D4Rockville
W8K9D4

Reviews of the Best 8 Inch Subwoofer

This Kicker car subwoofer lives up to its brand name by kicking you with some hard hitting bass of raw power. It is made to deliver a clear and crisp sound no matter what genre of music from planet audio you enjoy.

It boasts up to 400 watts of peak power and with a dual 4-ohm voice coil, you will get a good amount of flexibility when it comes to the sound adjustments of this audio system.

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One of the biggest draws to this Kicker is the fact that it delivers punchy bass without vibrations and distortion. When you crank up the volume and blast your favorite music from your car’s audio system, you can expect to get an amazing return on the highs and lows.

For the absolute best sound, be sure to mount this beast in a vented or sealed enclosure up to 1.2 cubic feet in size. Anything larger than that and the sound quality starts to drop.

What We Like

The audio signal of hard hitting bass tones is excellent.

Installation is easy and straightforward.

Enclosure sizes can be up to 1.2 cubic feet to significantly deliver more output.

Know Before Buying

The sub needs to be hardwired for proper usage.

It is not a plug-and-play out of the box.

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Whether you are looking for a temporary replacement subwoofer for your car’s stereo system or just want to dip your toe and see if an aftermarket subwoofer is for you, Boss has you covered with this very budget-friendly option.

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The Boss got a big sound and a very small price, which makes it a great choice if you want to purchase multiples.

The polypropylene cone offers a high level of durability even when under stress and as an 8 inch subwoofer, it is versatile enough to be installed in a wide range of areas.

This little subwoofer features a single 4-ohm voice coil that can handle 600 watts of peak power. It won’t blow you away with as much power like the big boys or even the more expensive 8 inch options, but it is still a very good step up from your factory-installed speakers.

You will still get a nice low thump from your bass tones and won’t have to worry about minimal distortion even when the volume is cranked up high.

Heat dissipation on this Boss offering is excellent considering the price. While it will still heat up over long play sessions, it won’t get to the point of total distortion quickly at all.

It takes a bit to install this car subwoofer, so get ready for that. Even if the installation instructions may seem a bit hard to understand at times, it is pretty straightforward, though.

What We Like

The sub is extremely budget-friendly for beginners or for those needing multiples.

It can deliver a decent bass boom for its size and price range.

It has excellent heat dissipation to help with distortion.

Know Before Buying

The installation instructions can be difficult to understand.

It may overheat with very extended playtime.

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This Rockford car subwoofer is great for narrow spaces. The low profile design of this beauty makes it versatile enough to be installed in countless spots around your vehicle from the console, to the back hatch, to the wheel well.

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The peak power output on this streamlined subwoofer is 300 watts. With the dual 2-ohm voice coil, you’ll love the quality of sound from such a compact sub.

Plus, it is nice to look at with its sleek faceplate and matte finish saving you the time in trying to hide it or enclose it away from view.

This subwoofer is made to dissipate heat quickly with a fully anodized aluminum cone and hybrid basket. You can crank up the volume and let it blast for hours without having to worry about the subwoofer shorting out or distorting from fatigue.

What We Like

The compact and narrow design is great for very small and tight spaces.

It can deliver a massively big sound from such a small package.

It is manufactured with a focus on heat dissipation to prevent shorting out.

Know Before Buying

It may need to be broken in over a week or so.

The installation instructions can be somewhat confusing.

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Purchasing a car subwoofer that is already housed in an enclosure can save you a lot of hassle and time. This one from JBL has that part of the installation process covered. You won’t need to worry about building your own small enclosure and squeezing it into your available spot.

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This 8 inch subwoofer is housed in a high-efficiency ABS plastic case that can be installed almost anywhere. You won’t need to worry about ventilation or running an advanced cooling system to the amplifier either.

It is great for sticking under seats, in the console, or in other hard-to-reach areas where you might have some excess space.

This enclosed subwoofer is a great addition to your factory stereo. Simply wire them in together and enjoy the increased sound quality you’ll receive without breaking the bank.

It won’t deliver enough sound to blow the doors off, but it can definitely turn some heads at the red lights. It features a 250 watt peak power output with a frequency response from 35 to 120 hertz.

What We Like

The sub has a great low profile and thin design for easy under-seat installation.

It can be out of the box and play music within an hour.

It is equipped with a high-efficiency amplifier that does not need ventilation.

Know Before Buying

Sounds can be distorted at higher volumes.

It may lack some of that super deep bass sound.

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If the other options so far just haven’t cut it for you, this little workhorse from Rockville might. When you want some big bass sounds from your small subwoofer, this one delivers.

It is one of the few subwoofers in this size that can rattle car windows and give you a real feel for the music.

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This offering from Rockville has a peak power of up to 2000 watts and produces a deep bass that you can feel right down to your core. The dual coils with a 4-ohm capacity will get you turning heads with your music choice.

The frequency response is sensitive too and can handle a range from 48Hz to 800Hz which means you’ll get an excellent distinction between tones.

The custom tooled basket is cast aluminum so you know this little subwoofer is ready for some abuse. Do not be afraid to crank up the volume and get lost in your favorite music.

Plus, at this smaller 8 inch size, you can easily tuck it behind the seat or in the wheel well and leave plenty of room for other audio devices or speakers later on.

What We Like

The frequency range is between 48 and 800Hz to play the low, middle, and high tones correctly.

The cast aluminum basket has excellent heat dissipation.

Its small size can produce a bass sound that thunders.

Know Before Buying

The dust cap adhesive may need reinforcing.

Its customer service may be slow to respond to queries.

See On Amazon

How We Choose

Size

Car audio system on a black background.Subwoofer.

The best subwoofers for cars, trucks and other vehicles range in size from 8 to 15 inches. If you are searching for an 8 inch subwoofer, it is likely because space is probably limited in your vehicle. What makes an 8 inch stand out though is that it is compact enough to fit in small and tight spaces while still powerful enough to create more bass.

That’s because in the world of subwoofers, size doesn’t always mean quality. Large 15 inch subwoofers might look like an audio workhorse, but some can sound very distorted and not have a proper audio balance.

Smaller 8 inch subwoofers, on the other hand, are not necessarily those wimpy little tin cans that can barely produce audible sounds. In fact, some of the smallest subwoofers on the market can create those big booming bass beats you are looking for.

Sound Quality

Just because you are looking for a smaller car subwoofer to fit into a tiny space doesn’t mean you have to settle for a tiny sound. You want to not only hear your music, but feel that big bass thump as well.

When looking over these 8 inch subwoofers, we made sure they not only have a small and compact size but can also deliver a large and powerful sound no matter where you install them. When set up properly, they will deliver rich and powerful bass, excellent mids, and clear highs.

While they still won’t be as powerful as the big 15 inch beasts, they can deliver a lot of top-quality sound from a very small package. You might be surprised at how much punch they are able to pack in a compact.

Bass Boosts

To produce the best possible sound quality, getting a decent bass boost from your 8 inch is important. You might not be rattling the windows and vibrating the entire car with a smaller and more compact subwoofer, but you will definitely feel the thump of that nice low bass in your body and hear the highs and lows of your favorite music with no distortion.

We focused on finding 8 inch subwoofers that can land those notes without causing a distracting or gritty sounding vibration. You might even mistake them for 10 inches or 12 inches because they sound really nice with enough bass to hear over the traffic.

All of the subwoofers on this list are made to take some abuse when you crank up the volume and blast your tunes at max volume. If you think a good song is only as good as its bass line, our choices can show you how the bass could dominate a composition.

High Frequency Range

Finding a subwoofer that can cover a range of frequencies is important. Hitting those clean bass thumps is important, but so is delivering a crisp and clear sound on the higher end. You want your music to flow out of the speakers and sound good, not blast apart with such random contrast that it sounds like two entirely different speakers are being used.

The frequency range is measured from hertz (Hz) to kilohertz (kHz) and will give you an idea of how low or how high a subwoofer can go. You want the widest range possible so you will get the widest sound spectrum possible, too.

Subwoofers are connected to an independent amplifier to focus on midrange and high frequencies and maximize the sound you will hear. The right combination of subwoofer and amplifier will remove the distortion, balance the frequency range, and ensure you are getting the best soundscape from all genres of music.

Sensitivity Rating

Sensitivity is a measurement of how loud a speaker can get with a given amount of power. The sensitivity rating indicates how efficient the subwoofer will be when it comes to converting power into output volume.

A sub with a high sensitivity rating will require less power to reach a high volume compared to a sub with a lower sensitivity. More sensitivity means you will get a better output and sound quality while using the same amount of power.

It is measured in decibels (dB) and anything above 80dB is good. But you don’t want a sub that is too sensitive also because it can easily get muffled and distorted. Ninety decibels is an ideal sensitivity rating for cranking up the volume without getting distortions.

Power Handling

Power handling specifications indicate the most you can get from your subwoofers without damaging them. The spec is given in watts and can be calculated as the amount of power that your sub can handle continuously and the amount it can handle in short bursts without blowing.

The continuous power handling of a speaker is referred to in root mean square (RMS) watts while the peak power in short bursts is rated for watts. The RMS wattage is the most accurate representation of power capability by telling what a subwoofer can comfortably handle for an extended period of time.

The RMS rating is the one to pay attention to also when pairing a subwoofer with an amplifier. The sub’s RMS specifications need to match the amplifier’s RMS capabilities. The closer the two ratings are to each other, the better off you’ll be.

Enclosure

The enclosure is basically the housing for the subwoofer and there are two main types: the sealed enclosure and the ported enclosure. Each type of enclosure has a significant effect on the type of bass it can produce.

Generally speaking, a sealed enclosure that does not have any opening will give you the most accurate and deepest sound. It traps the air inside which acts like a shock absorber against the cone of the sub, thus, all the notes get produced evenly.

Meanwhile, a ported or vented enclosure has one or more openings to let the air flow in and out and produce more volume. Besides being louder, the bass is boomier because of the unrestricted cone movement.

Impedance

As your favorite jams travel through your audio stereo system in the form of an electrical signal, the speaker wire will bring a specific electrical resistance which is called impedance. It is rated in ohms which measures the level of resistance.

A 2-ohm subwoofer has a lower impedance which means it can produce a louder sound for those who like to rock out. It will, however, draw more power from your car because of the low resistance. There may also be a dip in overall audio quality.

The 4-ohm model, on the other hand, will not deliver a loud sound but has a better sound quality. It generates a more compact and relatively softer sound which is popular among car audio fans. It also has a lower power consumption for the budget-conscious.

Number of Voice Coils

The voice coil is a coiled length of wire wrapped around a cylinder called a former that allows quick and accurate vibrations to reproduce sound. When choosing a subwoofer for your car, you can either go for a single voice coil or a dual voice coil.

Single voice coil subs have one length of wire wrapped around the former which give them a slightly lower price tag. They are ideal if you are looking for a quick and inexpensive upgrade without skimping on the actual quality of the bass.

On the flip side, dual voice coil subs have two coils of wire wrapped around the former, making them costlier. For that price, however, you can customize your stereo with the flexibility in wiring options the dual voice coil offers.

Installation Options

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

Additionally, you can find enclosed dual subwoofers that give double the bass return without requiring you to create your own sealed enclosure.

If you are cruising around in a smaller car such as a hatchback, you can still have a subwoofer that delivers big sounds. Eight inch subwoofers are small and compact and can be installed anywhere under the seat, inside the console, or behind a seat in the hatch.

There is no need to cut large pieces from your car door or the dash to get it installed. You can pretty much tuck these 8 inch speakers anywhere and still get an amazing return on your investment.

You might also want to check out this article about the best wireless subwoofers.

Which is better: Passive or Powered Subwoofers?

Trying to make heads or tails of all the information there are about subwoofers can be easier said than done. To make things more confusing, you also have the option between 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.

Powered subwoofers, on the other hand, already include an internal amplifier so you won’t need a dedicated monoblock amp and consider space restrictions like in a passive unit.

However, the initial purchase cost of a powered subwoofer will be much more than a passive one.

If you’re extremely tight on space, a powered subwoofer 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 don’t mind installing a separate amplifier as well, a passive subwoofer will be the better option for you.

Things to Look For in an 8 Inch Subwoofer

When you are searching for a new subwoofer, you are faced with a lot of different features between brands and models. This can make the entire process of finding your next subwoofer both time-consuming and overwhelming.

Knowing which features are more important can help you make an educated choice on your coming purchase.

Magnet Size

Car audio system on a black background.Subwoofer.

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

The action of the magnetic fields inside your subwoofer will be the main determining factor of sound quality. 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.

The areas to focus on more would be the cone and voice 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 baskets that you may see advertised with your subwoofer and they are stamped, cast, and hybrid.

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

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

Hybrid baskets are an equal mix of both cast and stamped supports. They will have the strength of the stamped type with the heat-resistant abilities of the cast model 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 the 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 a durable coating to ensure a competition grade paper cone that is both light as well as flexible. It is one of the most commonly used materials in constructing the diaphragm and cone.

Carbon fiber

The material is commonly used in some lower-end subwoofers and is very cost-effective. It is very lightweight but it can be less durable compared to other options and may be prone to blowouts with some loud music.

Polypropylene

Exceptionally durable and long-lasting, it is a material that is very rigid which can create a different soundscape in some subwoofers. It is slightly more expensive than competition grade paper cone and carbon fiber, and is not as commonly used.

Kevlar

A higher-end material that is both lightweight and extremely durable, it is an excellent choice for standing up to high demands. Kevlar is normally used in premium subwoofers as it can help deliver a sound amplification that is second to none.

Magnesium

This material is very common in low and mid-range subwoofers, and is extremely cost effective for manufacturers to use. However, it can be prone to poor resonance and pitch return, as well as the occasional distortion effects.

Subwoofer Surround Material

There are a variety of materials that can be found around the cone inside the 8 inch subwoofer. No matter what type of material is used, their job is the same which is to keep the cone in place without absorbing or distorting the vibrations from the music you are playing.

The materials should be extremely flexible and highly durable in order to do the job right. The majority of subwoofers on the market, regardless of their size or manufacturer, will use one of these three high-quality components:

Foam

This is the most commonly found in subwoofers as a budget-friendly material. Its cost effectiveness makes it desirable for a lot of manufacturers, and its efficiency keeps the woofer cone centered.

You will also find that foam is long-lasting and durable, and can take a good amount of abuse from loud tunes.

Urethane

This is a mid-range material that is almost as commonly found as foam. Urethane is very durable, highly flexible, and can be somewhat cost-effective.

It is a bit more pricey than foam, yet still budget-friendly. It does not have the same high quality as santoprene, but it is still a very worthwhile material to use as it gets the job done.

Santoprene

This is the higher end material that is excellent for vehicle subwoofers. Santoprene is exceptionally long-lasting and highly resistant to high and low temperatures.

For manufacturers who want to invest a bit more into their production line, this is a couple of steps up from just using foam.

Summary

Best Overall 8 Inch Subwoofer
Most Affordable 8 Inch Subwoofer
Best for Small Spaces 8 Inch Subwoofer

While the selection of 8 inch subwoofers may seem overwhelming, narrowing it down to what you personally put more value in can help pinpoint the best one for your needs.

Whether you want to get a subwoofer from a top brand name, or just want something that can deliver a better sound than your factory sound system, it is there to be found.

Subwoofers are a worthwhile investment for anyone that wants to get a better sound from their car’s audio system.

Some of the higher-end models may set you back a few bucks, but they can pay for themselves by delivering a quality sound with an excellent bass balance.