Best 8-Inch Subwoofers for Your Car – Drop the Bass!
You’re driving around while listening to your favorite tunes. You know a heavy bassline is on its way and you’re anticipating the drop.
Then it drops and you barely feel it. Your car’s speakers just aren’t up to the task, so you realize that you need a powerful 8-inch subwoofer to really get the most out of your music.
Best 8-inch Subwoofers with Thumping Bass
With so many subwoofers out there, it’s difficult to determine which will give you that heavy sound that you’re looking for. I’ve taken the hard work off your hands. These are 6 car subwoofers that really pack a punch.
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One of the most powerful 8-inch subwoofers around, this can hit a peak power of 600W. Of course, it’s the RMS that counts most, but this comes in at a respectable 400W too. You should be able to count on this subwoofer to deliver loud music consistently.
I particularly like the fact that it comes with a remote control. The simple dial lets you adjust the volume quickly, which is handy when you’re driving through a quiet area.
It also offers plenty of customization options. You can adjust the gain, phase, and subsonic filter easily. There’s also a handy bass boost option for when you really want to feel the kick.
With a built-in amplifier, you also don’t have to worry about hooking it up to a car stereo or an RMS amplifier. However, the ports on the back give you that option too. I also like that the subwoofer packs protection against short circuits and thermal issues.
Unfortunately, it does take a lot of power to run it at maximum capacity. Keep an eye on your battery levels, else you may find that you run out of juice at an inopportune moment.
If you’re looking for pure power, the AC8D has you covered. It can reach a peak power of 1200W, which you’ll really feel while driving. It can’t sustain those levels for too long as the RMS is about 600W, which is still good given the subwoofer’s size.
With its 4 ohm rating, it’s compatible with most car stereo systems. I also like the polypropylene cone and foam exterior, both of which combine to add durability to the package. On a side note, the foam also allows for a more natural sound.
However, it does require a lot of space. You’ll need to give it about a cubic foot of room to ensure it doesn’t overheat and blow out. The manufacturer claims you can fit it into a 0.35 cubic foot space, but I think that may be a bit ambitious.
You get a three-year warranty when you make your purchase, which shows the level of confidence that Planet Audio has in their product. It’s another power hungry subwoofer though, so it’ll drain your battery with extended play. I’d recommend topping your battery up if you know you’re going to use it for a few hours.
The frequency response really impressed me with this subwoofer, as it has a range of between 20 and 200Hz. That means you’ll really feel the low end of your songs when they hit.
It’s also has a shallow mount, meaning you’ll only need 3 inches of space to get it set up. Of course, you also have to account for the 8-inch diameter, but this offers you more placement options than you get with many 8-inch subwoofers.
It has a peak power of 600W, which is respectable without being mind-blowing. The RMS comes in at a couple of hundred watts below that max, which is still decent for a subwoofer of this size.
It’s a 2-ohm setup, which does lower your customization options when it comes to which stereos you can install with it. Check your stereo’s ohm levels before buying.
Unfortunately, you’ll also find that it struggles at higher volumes. The sound has a tendency to distort, so you may want to look elsewhere if you like your music really loud.
This may not be the subwoofer for you if you’re looking for pure power. It’s 360-watt peak and 180-watt RMS pales in comparison to some of the other subwoofers on my list.
However, it comes into its own with regards to durability. It carries a special marine certification that tells you it’s just at home on a boat as it is in your car. This likely won’t mean much to many of you, but it highlights a build quality that allows the subwoofer to take a real beating.
The large frequency range also stands out, as it can go down as low as 30Hz or as high as 200Hz. This means your bass gets a really good kick, which you’ll feel while you’re driving.
It does have a large cone, which makes it difficult to fit into shallow mounts. Nevertheless, it should fit into narrow spaces quite easily, without the cone getting in the way too much.
The subwoofer is also completely waterproof, which protects it from spills. It also means you can install it in a boat without any worries.
At first glance, the VVX seems to offer impressive power. It can hit a peak of 800W, but it’s the RMS that really reveals how much power it packs. This drops to 400W, which is respectable but also nowhere near the peak power Skar advertises.
That’s not to say this is a bad subwoofer, by any means. It packs a competition-grade paper cone, which improves durability and creates a natural sound. The design also aids in cooling, so it needs less cubic airspace than many other 8-inch subwoofers.
You’ll also really feel its power when you kick it up to higher volumes. It creates a lot of vibration, plus it produces a heavy bass sound that purists will love.
The rubber surround also lends plenty to the package. It’s flexible enough to handle the heavy vibrations without splitting.
It’s not perfect though. The subwoofer has a habit of distorting the sound when you play at high power for an extended period.
A 2-ohm subwoofer, this packs less power than the other options on my list. It hits a peak of 300W, though the RMS is about half that. As a result, this may not be the best option if you’re looking for a huge punch from your subwoofer.
However, this controlled power coupled with some nifty design features do tackle the problem of overheating. A spider web venting basket allows air to circulate well, which keeps the subwoofer cool even after several hours of play.
It also has a decent frequency range, bottoming out at 38Hz. It can hit a top frequency of 250Hz too, which adds more texture to your music.
The low impedance does lead to some limitations. However, this may also make the subwoofer a good choice for offering a kick to low-powered stereo systems. It’s compact too, so you shouldn’t experience any issues installing it.
Having said that, it does require an enclosure as it’s not a free air subwoofer.
Things that Matter in an 8-inch Subwoofer
RMS vs. Peak Power
Most subwoofers give you a peak power rating. This is the highest amount of power that the subwoofer can handle before the sound starts to distort.
Naturally, you assume that a higher peak power makes for a better subwoofer.
But that isn’t always the case. A subwoofer with a high peak power may still sound awful, in some cases.
The Root Mean Square (RMS) is a more accurate reflection of the subwoofer’s quality. This tells you how much volume the subwoofer can handle for a sustained period of time.
You can find the RMS if you divide the speaker’s current by 1.414. The higher the RMS, the higher the quality of sustained sound you’ll get out of the subwoofer.
Each subwoofer has a sensitivity level. Measured in decibels, the lower this level, the more power you need to get it to produce a loud sound.
Ideally, you’ll find a subwoofer that offers both a high sensitivity with a high RMS. Most 8-inch subwoofers have a sensitivity rating of about 85-90db, which should be more than enough.
The shape of your subwoofer determines where you can place it in your car.
Sound subwoofers tend to work best when placed in the trunk. This allows them to slot into nooks and crannies without causing any space issues inside the car.
Other subwoofers have an elongated shape that offers you more options when it comes to placement. You can often place these inside the car itself, which means you get a clearer sound.
You also have to check if it’s a free air subwoofer. If it’s not, you’ll need to enclose it with enough cubic air space to keep it cool. Failure to do so can result in the subwoofer blowing after extended play.
If you’re looking for heavy bass sounds, you need a subwoofer that can play to a low frequency range. The lower the frequency, the more impactful the bass will be.
Moreover, the frequency range also affects the clarity of the music. A low range means you miss out on some subtleties. Don’t just look for a low end, as this means little if the subwoofer can’t also reach a frequency of about 200Hz.
Several factors affect a subwoofers frequency range. The design is the main one, as the manufacturer’s skill in this area aids in power distribution.
However, you also need to look at the build quality. A subwoofer made using poor materials may be able to produce a low frequency, but this may also cause wear and tear. Over time, this wear prevents the subwoofer from reaching the lower frequency ranges.
You’ll usually hook your subwoofers up to your car’s stereo system. Incompatible subwoofers won’t play, so you have to check for the different makes and model of the stereo that the subwoofer works with.
Furthermore, check the impedance. Measured in ohms, you’ll usually find that 8-inch subwoofers have a 4-ohm impedance. However, some have 2-ohm or 8-ohm impedance, which may not gel well with your existing system.
The Final Word
With my list, you should have the perfect starting point for your search for a powerful subwoofer. Each of the products I’ve examined here packs a punch, though some hit harder than others.
It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a subwoofer that hits so hard that it leaves your car shaking, choose one with a high RMS and sensitivity.