What is the Role of a subwoofer in a CAR? How to choose the best car subwoofer?

The set of guidelines to choose the best subwoofer!

If you own a car and are fuzzy about the low thumping music system that came as default, then finding the best subwoofer for your car is really necessary to upgrade the car audio profile.

It could get really confusing as in which one to choose; like should you go for an under seat or boot subwoofer, car subwoofer and amp package, or an active powered subwoofer for car, so today we will try to answer a few general queries related to the car subwoofer selection, its role and what all to look for, while making the final buying decision. It is not very difficult once you get an idea of what you are looking for aka the needs (of we rather say the desire to listen to those sweet thumps). In the corresponding article, we tried to give you a very clear picture of what makes a car subwoofer best, and how to find the apt one for your car.

When searching, consider the following Top 3 things:


1 – Power

Just to make stuff clear, unless if you want don’t to crack up your entire neighborhood when you switch on your subwoofer then you shouldn’t be looking for an under seat model but rather the bog boy – boot subwoofer with a separate amplifier. As these devices will add a huge amount of bass to your audio system and they can be very loud indeed, just for the record they will not make your neighbor’s windows vibrate when you pass by their house. As now that you have got an idea on what to expect from an under seat subwoofer and a boot mounted one, let us see how to select the right model when it comes to power.

  • Peak Power

Peak power is representative of the maximum wattage the subwoofer is capable of dishing out in short bursts. If amplifier produces more watts than the subwoofer can manage, then it can produce sound distortions or noise or actually damage the subwoofer so we must be very careful when pairing the two i.e. amp and subwoofer, if you are not buying an active subwoofer. Manufacturers often divert their clients by stating the peak power rating on their subwoofer product cases or in their commercials. That is indeed the power a subwoofer can handle in short bursts, but it doesn’t really matter to the produced audio quality. So it is better to look at the RMS power instead.

  • RMS Power

The RMS rating is the actual power an amp put out simultaneously. In subwoofers, the RMS rating is a measure of how much power can channel through a subwoofer without producing any noise, distortion or actually harming the device. We have to consider the RMS power into account when we are pairing an amplifier and a subwoofer together. In any case, if the amp produces more power than the woofer can handle then make sure you turn it down a notch while especially if you hear a noise. As a thumb rule, it said that the closer the amp and woofer values are then the better will be the produced output. It is often suggested that we should choose an amp that is capable of producing at least 75% of the subwoofers claimed watts but does not or should not produce more than 150%. It should also be kept in mind that good speakers will make a cheaper amplifier sound high class, while not even the best amplifier would not make the audio good when it is being paired with a bad set of speakers. You can also check out which powered subwoofers are best?

Tech point: RMS
Literally “root mean square.” A DC voltage that will produce the same heating effect (power output in Watts) as the AC voltage. For a sine wave, the RMS value is equal to 0.707 times the peak value of an AC voltage.

Example: divide Peak-to-Peak by 2 (or in half) and multiple by 0.707 = RMS voltage.

2 – Size

The size of a subwoofer is actually the major selection factor for most of the buyer’s, including how it will behave and what amount of output is produced. More ever, it is wise that we should also take into consideration the installation issues as well and space which is lost when you are planning to buy a large subwoofer which completely depends on the vehicle you own.

Now that being said, let us take a look at how size influences; how a subwoofer

  • 8-inch Subwoofers

This is the most common type of subwoofer available in the market, and it is also the smallest size available. As a matter of fact, most car manufacturers install one or two 8-inch subwoofers from the factory as stock. The 8-inch subwoofers will provide an excellent clean, clear and crisp bass response but still, they do not add much bass to the songs as expected. However they have an easy step installation process and most of them will fit comfortably under the car front seats, even if is that you drive a small car. These subwoofers offer a good quality overall performance, but they do not produce that impressive or up to the mark bass. Hail bass-heads!

  • 10-inch Subwoofers

Like 8” this is also a most common size chosen for cars as subwoofers, and some manufacturers choose to install a single 10-inch subwoofer in their cars as stock version than 2x 8inch ones. Majority people who are interested in buying an under seat aftermarket subwoofer go for the 10-inch as it is highly recommended one, thanks to its corresponding small size that allows it to fit under the rear seats or to replace the original stock woofers that the manufacturer installed. 10-inch subwoofers have a great bass response and a nice clarity in sound. They actually produce more bass than the 8-inch models, and they are not actually difficult to install but manual reading is recommended. Some of them can be installed in the same location as the factory ones were in, and the others will fit undoubtedly under the seats.

  • 12-inch Subwoofers

Actually, the 12inch are rarely sort after, is not a very common size and most people who choose it would have previous experience with aftermarket audio systems and know exactly what they are looking to buy. Very a few car manufacturers install 12-inch subwoofers on their models as a stock version but you won’t be able to install the new ones in the same locations as the original ones. A 12inch subwoofer produces a very firm bass response and clarity, but it produces a lot more bass than the 8-inch model can ever produce and the output response can be easily noticed, there is a major difference between the bass that is produced by this and that produced by the 10-inch one. However, these models are very hard to install and they will take some of the passenger’s space as well.


3 – Position

Like the placement of a home theatre system speakers, the position matters the most here as well, it is very important to determine the correct position of the subwoofer, so better be aware of the dimensions. Or else, you might end up with a subwoofer which is too large for your car. It completely depends upon the type of car you own or how much space you are willing to sacrifice for the love of the sound, here are some of the guidelines of how to determine which type subwoofer would be the right one your car.

  • Sports Cars

Sports cars are a dream for many. They are mean machines which have great speed and acceleration and they are made to look impressive. However the downside of the sports car is that they are smaller in comparison with other models as the design of them is made by keeping aerodynamics in mind, which could restrict the space that can be used for the subwoofer system. If you plan to buy a subwoofer for your sports car, then we can firmly recommend you to go for the 8-inch models. It is true that some 10-inch models could fit under the seat of your car, but then you have to compromise on the passenger’s space.

  • Sedans

Sedans are much bigger than sports cars, so they have more space available for the installation of the subwoofer. If you drive is a sedan, then you can confidently choose between the 8 and 10-inch models. The 12-inch models might make the cut and fit, but again they will take up more space, compromising the car comfort for your passengers.

  • Trucks And SUVs

Trucks and SUVs have no limitation as they offer more space than any other models. This means that most of them will fit a 10-inch subwoofer comfortably under their seats, and some might even set a 12-inch one without any problems but it is, however, wise that you should still measure the space under the seats before buying a model and make sure your passengers will be able to place their feet under the chair comfortably.


Also, read – 

- Best golf cart bluetooth speakers
- Best wireless earbuds for small ears
- Best under seat subwoofer with inbuilt amplifier
- Best soundbars under $250 – Complete list!
- Best Boomboxes of all time!



Underseat car subwoofers are a good choice for people who are passionate about music and spend a lot of time in their car but also prefer to keep vacant space in the car for practical usage. Unlike boot subwoofers, these models do not take up too much space along with that they are easy to install and manage. Underseat subwoofers are not too loud, as a matter of fact, they are better suited for mature people who want to listen to high-quality music without bringing down the whole neighborhood, rather enjoying their share of the music. Other than that they are also great for people who are just beginning to improve their car’s audio system because of the easy to installation process provided by these woofers, most of these have a plug-and-play installation system saving time, space and money all at same time.

Advantages and disadvantages of under seat car subwoofers

Similar to any other product available on the market, under the seat car subwoofers are not so accurate. Even by considering the fact that though they might provide a good audio quality and enhancing your car audio system, they do have some disadvantages respective to the various parameters which come under buyers requirement.


Advantages of under seat subwoofers

  • Small and lightweight

Underseat subwoofers are small enough to fit under any car seat, and they are certainly very lightweight compared to other devices. The weight of the subwoofer will also allow you to remove them from the car easily and as often as you would like. If you know that the car will be occupied by many (people or stuff) and you might need every inch of the space; then these subwoofer takes up almost negligible space, you can always remove it when not needed. Apart from being lightweight, the subwoofer will not affect your car’s performance in any manner. Thanks to their small dimensions, these models can be installed under your seats, allowing you to use all the storage space your boot provides.

  • Easy Installation process

However, the major factor to choose these over conventional subwoofers is the ease of the installation process. The fact that most under seat subwoofers come with their own amp (active subwoofer) is a major advantage, as you can connect them to your sound system without needing another connection that eases the trouble. Some models come with a plug-and-play installation, so you will only have to hook them up to the power source and the car’s sound system is ready to use.

  • Affordable

Most under seat subwoofers cost only a fraction of what you would spend on a boot speaker and amp combo. They are the go-to product if you want to upgrade your car’s audio system and you are not willing to break the bank to do so. 


Disadvantages of under seat subwoofers

  • Can Be Inconvenient

Underseat subwoofers can be a little uncomfortable for your passengers, especially when you buy a large model. If you place them under the passenger seat, they can take up some leg space and if the passenger needs to stretch their legs, well sorry bass-boy. If you place them under the back seat, they can make it vibrate leading to more inconvenience.

  • Sound Quality needs an update

While most aftermarket sound woofers are better than the ones your car’s manufacturer installed in stock, they are not really that great. You will notice an improvement in the audio quality, but it could be better than what it actually produces.





While thinking about their car subwoofers, most people think about the big box you place in your boot that dishes out a core-shaking bass that makes your neighbors cup of tea spill when you drive by their house. Those models are the best and still exist, and people do still use them often. Now let us see how the under seat subwoofer would stand up against the big boys when compared side by side.

  • Space Needed

Here the under seat models will clearly take the upper hand. They won’t take up much space, and if you have chosen the right model for your car you can even use it to replace the subwoofers the manufacturer installed in the factory setup. It doesn’t even use that much of the space they usually occupy, plus it won’t make your passengers uncomfortable. Boot models take up more space as they are big in size, and some of them don’t even come with an inbuilt amplifier but only the subwoofer enclosure, so you will need a separate space for the amp as well. This is a major problem for people with space constraint. Especially if you are taking long trips more often.

  • Sound Quality

Boot models are the definitive winners in this category. They produce a much better sound than their underseat counterparts, and they will upgrade your driving experience dramatically. If you find the right speaker and amp combination, you can even let the whole neighborhood know which song you like best (whether they like it or not). Even though they improve your listening and your driving experience, under seat woofers are not as good as boot models. The sound aftermarket subwoofers produce are better than the sound produced by factory ones, but it doesn’t compare with what boots are capable of.

  • Cost

Underseat models are cheaper than boot ones. Not only are they cheaper, but most of them come with their own inbuilt amplifier, so you won’t have to spend extra money to make them work. Boot models are more expensive than under seat models, but they’re also better. They need an amplifier, and maybe an expert technician who knows how to handle the wiring and connections. So you will have to spend more to make them work, but once you do it will be worth it.

  • Ease Of Installation

When it comes to the installation process, underseat models are clearly the winners. Some models are very easy to install, and most people will be able to do it by themselves in under one hour if they’re following the proper instructions guide. Boot models have more complicated installations, and they will also need an amp to work, correct wire of the wattage you chose, good quality enclosure etc which makes the task even tougher.


Now as we have finalized reviewing many factors, pros and cons and general information about the car subwoofers, we hope that we have added some value and now you can make your choice comfortably. If there is still confusion and do not know the best under-seat powered subwoofer suitable for your car after reading this article, we recommend you take a quick look and analyze the requirement as it might sort out few things in the way.

You can also visit our page here –>> Best under seat subwoofers to buy with inbuilt amplifiers, the products we included in this here are not the only ones available ones on the market, but as mentioned they are among the best. All of them mentioned are very easy to install and produces excellent bass and enhance your overall audio experience to another level. All of them are small enough to fit under the seats of the majority of cars and they will upgrade your car’s audio system phenomenally.



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