Best 10-Inch Subwoofers to Get Your Heart Pounding

Best 10-Inch Subwoofers to Get Your Heart Pounding

There is nothing quite like the heart pounding feeling of a good car audio system blasting the bass as you drive down the street. While the sound systems included in vehicles have improved significantly over the years, a stock audio system is simply not enough for people who want to truly feel every beat of their favorite music. To accomplish this goal, you need to install powerful subwoofers.

While subwoofers for your car audio system can come in sizes typically ranging from 8’’ to 15’’, the 10’’ option offers an ideal combination of powerful bass while maintaining clarity at all levels. As any audiophile can tell you, there are many things that will impact the overall sound of your car audio system. Keep reading for our top picks for subwoofers in 2021.

Essential Information for Choosing 10’’ Subwoofers

When shopping for subwoofers of any type, you will see a lot of different specs that you need to compare. Understanding each of the following factors will help you make the right decision.

Power Handling

The amount of power that your subwoofer can handle is one of the most important things to check. This will be listed in watts and will generally be rated by two separate numbers. Most speaker companies market their equipment based on the max power they can handle. While important, the max power capacity of a speaker rarely actually comes into play while in use. The truly important number is the RMS rating, which is the amount of continuous power that a subwoofer can handle without distortion.

Enclosure Options

Subwoofers need to be mounted in a case, or box, before being used. The specific box that is used will have a significant impact on how it sounds and where it can be placed in your vehicle. Some subwoofers come already mounted from the factory, and others will need to have the mounting box purchased separately and then secured into it.

While a subwoofer can technically be used with no box, it will not sound nearly as good and it will be very vulnerable to damage. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you avoid doing this. Our full buyer’s guide below has a section on the various Types of Enclosures available. Make sure to check it out to get the right one.

Voice Coils

You will have the option for either a single voice coil (SVC) subwoofer, or a dual voice coil (DVC). This refers to the number of inputs available for you to wire to the amp. While technically speaking a DVC subwoofer is better, it may not always be worth the extra expense. If you are going to be purchasing just one subwoofer for your sound system, an SVC model will be just fine in almost all cases. When using two or more subwoofers, the added expense of a DVC is worth it.

Taking the time to pick out the right subwoofers based on your budget, the type of music you enjoy, and how hard hitting you want the bass to be will get you great results. Below you will find the top ten 10’’ subwoofers available today. Read through each one to find the option that will best meet your needs.

Top 10 Best 10 Inch Subwoofers 2021

1. Best Overall Pick: Rockford Fosgate R2D4-10 Prime

Rockford Fosgate R2D4-10 Prime

Why we like it: This speaker delivers deep, powerful bass that is crystal clear. It is an exceptional subwoofer for a very reasonable price.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 250 Watt RMS, 500 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Dual Voice Coils

In the world of car audio, there are few names as iconic as Rockford Fosgate. They have been making incredible subwoofers for many years, and this is a great example. The R2D4 subwoofer is the choice of many car audio enthusiasts. It delivers extraordinarily deep bass when you want that hard hitting sound, but can also deliver the clarity you need no matter what type of music you are listening to. Perhaps most importantly, this is a very reliable subwoofer that will provide you with the sound you want for years to come.

With 250-watt RMS and 500-watt max power, this is not the most powerful subwoofer on the list. This means you are not going to get the ear-splitting volume out of this option. Instead, you will get a superb balance of volume, ‘punch’, and clarity.

If you are simply looking to push the power to the max, consider the Planet Audio AC10D subwoofer, which boasts a 1500 watt max power level. If you want added volume without sacrificing on audio clarity, we recommend installing two of these subwoofers. You won’t be disappointed.

Pros

  • Perfect balance of hard-hitting bass and audio clarity
  • Made by the iconic Rockford Fosgate company
  • Dual voice coils

Cons

  • Relatively low power handling

2. Best Premium Pick: Skar Audio VD-10 D2

Skar Audio VD-10 D2

Why we like it: This is a workhorse of a subwoofer that can provide you with endless hours of strong, clear bass.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 500 Watt RMS, 800 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Dual Voice Coils

This subwoofer from Skar Audio is made from very durable materials and can stand up to a ton of abuse. While it may not break any records in any specific area, it will absolutely rattle your windows every time you turn on your system and crank the volume.

One thing you might notice is that the RMS is well over half of the max watt for power handling. This is a great example of just how durable this sub really is. It can perform for hours on end at higher power levels than most other subs are rated for, which is exactly what many people will want.

Another great benefit of this sub is that it is a shallow mount model, which means you can install it in an enclosure that is quite a bit thinner than many other options. This provides you with additional options for placement and configuration. As a dual voice coil sub you will likely want to install two of these in one vehicle to get the best sound possible. Overall, there is a ton to love about this subwoofer and very little to be disappointed in.

Pros

  • Very high RMS compared to max power limits
  • Shallow mount subwoofer
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Does not outperform other top subs in any areas

3. Best Pre-Mounted: Kicker 10” Vented Thin Profile Subwoofer

Kicker 10” Vented Thin Profile Subwoofer

Why we like it: This woofer comes pre-mounted in a thin profile enclosure, allowing it to fit easily under or behind a seat and it is also very easy to install.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 300 Watt RMS, 600 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Single Voice Coil

The Kicker brand of subwoofers lives up to its name in that when the bass hits, you really feel like you are getting kicked in the chest, which is exactly what you want. This particular model can handle plenty of power to give you the volume and punch you desire.

While most people purchasing this subwoofer will primarily be listening to bass heavy music, the sound clarity is absolutely good enough to compliment any genre of music that you enjoy.

What really sets this option apart from many others is the fact that it comes pre-mounted in a low-profile enclosure. It can fit easily behind the seats in just about any vehicle, or flush against the trunk wall if you prefer. Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, you could even slide it under your driver’s seat so you can really feel it every time the bass hits. Installing this sub under or behind the driver’s seat is a great option, though it will produce an uneven sound for other passengers.

To have balanced audio throughout the vehicle you will either want to mount it in the center of the trunk or install two subwoofers. If you are going with two subs, you should consider an option that has dual voice coils, such as the Rockford Fosgate R2D4.

Pros

  • Pre-mounted in a low-profile enclosure
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Able to produce sharp, pounding bass

Cons

  • Single voice coil

4. Best All-In-One: Rockville RW10CA Slim Subwoofer

Rockville RW10CA Slim Subwoofer

Why we like it: This subwoofer is enclosed in a case that also comes with its own amplifier.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 200 Watt RMS, 800 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Single Voice Coil

If you want to add strong bass to your car audio system, but you do not want to have to go through a complex installation process, this is a great option for you. The Rockville RW10CA is another pre-mounted subwoofer, but this one comes with an extra bonus. Within the enclosure is a built-in amplifier that serves to provide the sub with the steady stream of power that it needs. With most other subwoofers, you need to buy the amp separately. Surprisingly, this has not resulted in the price rising significantly.

While this subwoofer boasts an 800-watt max power limit, the RWS limit is only 200. This would be more of a concern if you were using a separate amplifier, but since the built-in model is made specifically for this speaker, it is fine.

This actual audio quality on this subwoofer is not as crisp as you will find on other options such as the JL Audio 10W3v3, but it will be a huge upgrade compared to any stock system. If you are like the vast majority of people and not looking to win any car audio competitions or an audiophile with perfect pitch, this subwoofer is an ideal option at an excellent price.

Pros

  • Amplifier included in the enclosure
  • Very slim enclosure ideal for under-seat installation
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Low RMS compared to max power

5. Best Budget Pick: BOSS Audio Systems CXX10 Car Subwoofer

BOSS Audio Systems CXX10 Car Subwoofer

Why we like it: Simply put, the price. We were shocked at just how inexpensive this model is while still producing very respectable bass levels.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 400 Watt RMS | 800 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Single Voice Coil

When most people talk about car audio in general and subwoofers specifically, they discuss how to get the most powerful bass or the clearest overall audio. The fact is, however, for many people, these things just aren’t that important.

In many cases, the goal is to get a big upgrade to their vehicle’s stock system without spending a huge amount of money. If that is what you are looking for, it will be hard to find a better option than this.

The BOSS Audio CXX subwoofer will dramatically out-perform the stock audio systems in all but the very highest end of vehicles. The sound quality is very respectable, and you will get a bass hit that is unmistakable.

Sure, you aren’t going to get the precision or punch that you would find on something like the Rockford Fosgate R2D4, but you will love the upgrade none the less. Not only are these subs very inexpensive, but they can easily be powered by a smaller amplifier, which will save you even more.

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Significant improvement over stock speakers
  • Can be run on a low-cost amplifier

Cons

  • Cannot handle huge amounts of power
  • Does not hit as hard as other subwoofers

6. Most Powerful: Planet Audio AC10D 1500-Watt Subwoofer

Planet Audio AC10D 1500-Watt Subwoofer

Why we like it: This is a true powerhouse, boasting a 1500 watt max power that pushes out incredible volume for a 10’’ subwoofer.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 750 Watt RMS, 1500 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Dual Voice Coil

If you love those sideways glances that you see from the vehicles next to you (or even across the road) because your bass is pounding, this subwoofer is a great option. It is one of the most powerful subs you will find before having to move up to a 12’’ or 15’’ model.

Despite the huge power capacity, the price on these subwoofers is still very inexpensive. Just keep in mind, however, that if you want to get the full performance out of these subs, you will need a powerful amplifier installed as well, which will bump your total price up quite a bit.

As a dual voice coil subwoofer, you should purchase two of these subwoofers and have them enclosed into a single box. We recommend installing them into a box that is ported with the subs clearly displayed when you open the trunk. This is because this model uses a flexible foam material that has great excursion, meaning the speaker moves more than other models, which looks really impressive when showing them off.

While there is a lot to love about this sub, it is no surprise that a low-cost model that can take this much power is not going to have perfect sound quality. Don’t worry, the sheer volume and punch of the bass will more than compensate.

Pros

  • Can handle huge amounts of power
  • Great excursion for visibly appealing display
  • Surprisingly affordable

Cons

  • Sound quality is somewhat lacking

7. Best Audio Quality: JL Audio 10W3v3

JL Audio 10W3v3

Why we like it: One of the best sounding subwoofers on the market today.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 250 Watt RMS, 500 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Single Voice Coil

There is no doubt that the JL Audio brand makes exceptional equipment, and this model in particular will give you some of the cleanest, most heart pounding bass you will find anywhere. On top of having incredibly crisp and clear sound quality, this sub is also visually appealing. If you install it in a great enclosure, your vehicle’s audio system will look as sleek as it sounds.

The one big problem with this subwoofer is the price. It costs far more than other subs on this list, and the extra expense just isn’t justified. If you are Bill Gates and money is truly no object, you may as well move up to larger subwoofers at a premium level. If you are in any way worried about cost, this model is just too much. Anyone who absolutely has to have a 10’’ subwoofer and doesn’t care about money, however, will be very happy with this model.

Pros

  • Truly premium quality sound
  • Made from excellent materials
  • Will produce window rattling bass without distortion

Cons

  • Very expensive

8. Best Kit With Two Subwoofers: Belva 1000-Watt Complete Car Subwoofer Setup

Belva 1000-Watt Complete Car Subwoofer Setup

Why we like it: This kit includes everything you need to setup a full dual subwoofer audio system in your vehicle.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 500 Watt RMS, 1000 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Single Voice Coil

This is another all-in-one kit that includes everything you need to get your car audio system bumping. The big perk of choosing this one is that it comes with two 10’’ subwoofers installed in an attractive ported box. It also comes with the amplifier, so you do not need to purchase it separately. If you are looking for a simple upgrade to your car audio system, you won’t find anything that is much easier than this model.

If you are looking for premium quality and precision bass, these subs likely aren’t the right option for you. Instead, consider piecing together your own system using higher end subs such as the Rockford Fosgate R2D4. If you just want a good overall system that is easy to use, however, the Belva system will more than suffice.

This system even comes with a remote bass control that you can mount on your dash or near your seat to get precision control of your system, which is a great feature. If you do go with this system, let us recommend that you purchase some audio wiring rather than using the included wires, which aren’t of the best quality. This will give you an improved power flow, which translates to better sound.

Pros

  • Comes with everything you need
  • An easy and affordable way to upgrade your car audio system
  • Very attractive setup

Cons

  • Lower quality sound
  • Should buy better wires for installation

9. Most Durable: BOSS Audio Systems Elite BE10D

BOSS Audio Systems Elite BE10D

Why we like it: Great well-rounded subwoofer that can handle lots of power.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 400 Watt RMS, 800 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Dual Voice Coils

This is another nice subwoofer from BOSS Audio Systems. The main difference between this one and the BOSS Audio Systems CXX10 model is that this one has dual voice coils and the other is a single. Of course, the DVC option is going to be more expensive, and you should generally purchase them in pairs to get the full advantage. The quality of this subwoofer is quite high, though certainly not a premium option.

If you are looking to upgrade your current system and want to add a couple of good quality subs that can handle plenty of power, you will likely be very happy with this model. The bass produced by these subs is deep and strong, but not quite as clear as you will find on some of the higher-end options. While these speakers won’t be damaged when you turn the volume way up and hit the bass, there will be some noticeable distortion. If you just plan on listening to your music at reasonable (though still very loud) volumes, the sound quality is more than sufficient.

Pros

  • Can handle up to 800 watts of power
  • Affordable dual voice coil subwoofer
  • Made of durable materials

Cons

  • Some bass distortion at max volume

10. Best Stock Replacement: Studio Pro 10’’ Car Subwoofer

Studio Pro 10’’ Car Subwoofer

Why we like it: Very inexpensive subwoofer that will serve as a good replacement for stock systems.

Editor’s Rating:

Specs:

  • Power Handling: 150 Watt RMS, 300 Watt Max
  • Voice Coils: Single Voice Coil

This is a low-cost subwoofer that can be used to replace the stock subs that you have in your vehicle’s system. While you will need to look at the specs of your vehicle, you likely will not need to have an additional amplifier to power this sub since quality stock systems produce enough power on their own. Whether you are replacing a blown subwoofer in your stock system or adding this sub to get a little extra bass, you should be happy with the results.

Given the price and materials found on this model you really can’t expect to get the earth-shattering bass that other subs can produce. That being said, many people aren’t really looking for that anyway. Anyone looking to dip their toes into improved car audio or wanting to replace existing subs in their vehicle will find this to be a great place to start without risking much money.

Pros

  • Not very expensive
  • Likely won’t require an amplifier

Cons

  • Can’t handle too much power
  • Lower sound quality

Everything You Need to Know About Buying 10’’ Subwoofers for Your Car Audio System

Custom car audio system with four subwoofers and multiple amplifiers

Purchasing and installing new subwoofers in your vehicle is a significant investment. Not only do you need the subs themselves, but also the proper wiring, enclosure, amplifier, and more. You may even be purchasing a new deck and other components. Getting the right subwoofers will help ensure the end result looks and sounds just the way you want it.

The best way to make sure you make the right purchase for your situation is to learn more about this type of speaker, and how it is installed in your vehicle. Read through this guide to get a strong understanding of everything you need to know. If you are already familiar with the basics of car audio, just skip to the section that you need to learn more about so you can avoid any mistakes.

Amplifier for Your Subwoofer

All subwoofers need a lot of electricity in order to produce the powerful bass that you desire. In most stock car audio systems, the power comes from your vehicle’s electrical system, into the stereo deck, and then out to the various speakers. While this is fine for basic speaker systems, the deck cannot handle subwoofers that often need anywhere from 300 to 1500 watts of power at a time. This is where car audio amplifiers are required.

Amplifiers for car audio systems are quite complex and need to be handled properly. If you are not familiar with them, you will want to take the time to learn about car audio amps before making a purchase. The following, however, are the key aspects of amplifiers so you know what to look for when buying one.

Power Capacity

Similar to the subwoofers themselves, an amp is going to be rated based on how many watts of power it can feed per channel. Manufacturers will typically list the limits both in RMS (max continuous flow of power) and max watts.

While it might seem safer to have an amp that provides no more than the max watts that your subwoofer can handle, that is not the case. Insufficient power to a speaker can actually damage it just as much as far too much power. With this in mind, it is recommended that you choose an amp that can produce about 100-150% of the RMS watts of your subwoofers.

Power Source

If you are installing an amp that needs 600 or more watts of power, you need to upgrade your vehicle’s battery. This can be done either by swapping the existing battery out with a premium option, or better yet, install a second car battery that is dedicated to the audio system.

Number of Channels

Each amplifier will have a specific number of channels, which is how many ports are available to plug in speakers. Most people will connect one speaker to one channel. This means you need at least one channel per speaker you will be powering. There are a variety of other ways to hook things up, however, so just be aware that you have plenty of options. If you are only wanting to run your subwoofers through the amp, all you need is one channel per sub for the easiest installation.

Heat Production

Amplifiers have large amounts of electricity running through them. During peak use, they can get very hot, which has the potential to be a fire hazard. While you generally want to install the amp in an out of the way location, so it does not get damaged. Equally important is making sure that it is in a spot that is not near flammable objects so that it can operate safely.

Positioning Your Subwoofers

Before you purchase your subwoofers, you should know exactly where in your vehicle they will be installed. The options will depend on what type of vehicle you have, how many subwoofers you plan on purchasing, and other factors. While the specifics will vary slightly based on these things, the following are the main options you have available to you.

In the Trunk

The trunk is the most common place for your subwoofers. This area will give you plenty of room for a full-size enclosure for the subs. When going with this option, the type of enclosure will have a big impact on the quality of the sound your subs produce. We cover the various types of enclosures below in detail to help you to pick the right one.

Many people who are new to car audio mistakenly believe that having the subs in the trunk will distort or muffle the sound, but that is not the case. This location actually has the potential to provide you with the best overall sound quality.

Behind the Seat

Placing subwoofers behind the driver’s and/or passenger’s seat is a great option as it will really allow you to feel it when the bass hits. This is most commonly done in small sports cars or trucks with no cab since the speakers would make it difficult for passengers to fit in the back seats. In addition to really feeling the bass, this setup has the subs in the same area as the people in the vehicle, which can increase the overall volume.

Under the Seat

If you purchase a low-profile subwoofer, such as the Rockville RW10CA you can slide it directly under the seats of the vehicle. This directs the full power of the bass up and through the seat, which many people love. This option is great because it does not take up any usable room in the vehicle, and it is very easy to run the wiring since it does not have to travel as far as if the subs were in the trunk.

Replace Stock Speakers

The last, and least common, option is to purchase subwoofers to replace stock speakers in your vehicle. Some SUVs and other larger vehicles will have stock speakers that are large enough to be replaced by 10’’ subwoofers without any trouble. This option may require you to make some alterations to your vehicle’s seats, doors, or other areas so make sure you do everything properly to avoid causing damage.

Types of Enclosures

The type of enclosure used for your subwoofers is going to have a huge impact on not only the way they sound, but also the way they look. Some custom-made subwoofer enclosures can be true works of art that make your vehicle look amazing. Some are just functional boxes cut out of basic plywood.

The look of the enclosure can vary greatly, but there are generally just four options when it comes to the design that you need to choose from.

Sealed Enclosures

Sealed enclosures are basically just a hollowed-out box that has a hole the size of the subwoofer. The subwoofer is placed into the hole, facing out, and secured in place. The electrical wires are fed into the enclosure and hooked up, then the wire hole is sealed up. This option is best known for people who want ‘tight’ bass.

If you aren’t sure which type of enclosure you want to use, this option is an excellent place to start. They are typically inexpensive, and they have very few problems. They are also easy to make, if you want to go that route. You will find that they also produce a great sound that most people love.

Ported Enclosures

Ported enclosures, which are sometimes called vented, tuned, or bass reflex enclosures are quite similar to a sealed enclosure except there is one opening. This is typically a circular opening, sometimes with a plastic tube going into the box. The port size is determined by the size of the subwoofer. If it is too big or small, it will cause problems with the sound as it comes out. Ported enclosures can produce greater volume for the same amount of power, which is why they are desirable.

Single and Reflex Enclosures

Both the single and double reflex enclosures have the normal box with the subwoofer mounted in it, and then an additional box in the front. This makes it so you can’t actually see the sub at all unless the box is made with plexiglass (which is quite common).

On a single reflex enclosure only the box in front of the subwoofer is ported. With a double reflex enclosure both the box that has the sub and the front box are ported. These types of enclosures are also known as bandpass enclosures and operate very efficiently in that they are able to produce a huge amount of sound with lower amounts of power.

Get the Heart Pounding Bass You Need

There is a lot to know about subwoofers, and it can take quite a bit of time and effort to install them properly into your vehicle. The first time you switch on your new car audio system and pump up the volume, however, you will know that it was all worth the effort.

A powerful subwoofer can provide you with a car audio experience that you just cannot find anywhere else. Now that you know everything you need to make the right decision, review our top 10’’ subwoofers list to pick out the ones that you want for your new system.