What Is The Best 15 Inch Subwoofer In 2017?
When you're out for a drive, one of the best things is to listen to some tunes so that you can enjoy the drive even more.
As it turns out, cars are near-perfect audio chambers, and if you listen to genres like hip-hop, electronica, or pop, then you'll crave a strong bass experience.
Unfortunately, your car's stock subs won't produce the best experience in most situations, which is why a lot of audiophiles prefer to purchase dedicated subwoofers for their vehicles.
So, which are the best? To answer this question, check out our guide on the best 15 inch subwoofer models on the market today.
Top 5 Best 15 Inch Subwoofers In 2017 Reviews
- What Makes A Subwoofer?
- What Are The Benefits Of A Dedicated Subwoofer For Your Car?
- Some Pre-Purchase Considerations
- Some Subwoofer Stats To Look Out For
- Power Handling
- Frequency Response
- 5 Best 15-Inch Subwoofers In 2017 Reviews
- CT Sounds Tropo 15 Inch Car Subwoofer
- Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 Punch P3
- Kicker C154 250W 15" Comp Series
- Skar Audio DDX-15 D2
- Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3
- Final Thoughts
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What Makes A Subwoofer?
Subwoofers have several dedicated components that enable them to produce their deep tones.
In general, a subwoofer has a similar component construction to a standard speaker, but the way a sub moves air is much more tightly controlled so that a thrumming sound is produced.
As a rule, a subwoofer will usually cover the lower end of the frequency, which is typically between the 20 and 200 Hz range.
Also, a subwoofer is usually made of plastic or wood and has a loudspeaker enclosure that has one or more woofers.
Like a speaker, a subwoofer converts an electrical signal into sound, but for a subwoofer, the diaphragm vibrates in a piston-like pattern that moves air in front of it in a tight pattern.
An amplifier then picks up the resulting force and creates the thrumming sound that subs are known for.
What Are The Benefits Of A Dedicated Subwoofer For Your Car?
A subwoofer has the ability to deliver the deepest tones that you'll be able to hear.
The human ear can only hear tones as low as 12 Hz in laboratory situations, so a subwoofer that can deliver a bass tone as low as 24 or even 20 Hz is more than sufficient.
Just about everyone can benefit from the low-end tones that a good subwoofer can deliver, but if you want a richer overall experience, we suggest looking for a sub that isn't a shallow mount.
A full-sized sub will have a larger cone, a wider surface area, and a tight fit; all of which are better at providing a richer, deeper tone.
While larger subwoofers are a little harder to install, most can still be placed in your vehicle in about four hours or so.
Once the installation is complete, you'll be impressed with exactly how much of an improvement a dedicated pair of subs can deliver to your car.
Some Pre-Purchase Considerations
If you have a tendency to go over a lot of rough terrain, be aware that this can cause gradual damage to your subwoofer.
Subwoofers have a wide variety of components in their construction, and some of these components, like foam, really don't do well when they are constantly jostled and vibrated.
Over time, these materials can break down, which means that you'll be purchasing a new subwoofer for your vehicle. Fortunately, some brands have lines of subs that are designed to resist this type of gradual damage.
If you find yourself consistently going over rough terrain, consider a sub that can take the jostling.
Subwoofers, especially ones that aren't shallow mounted, can take up a lot of space in your vehicle.
Also, the more powerful your sub, the more space it'll likely take up because sound definitely correlates with size when it comes to these types of speakers.
It's a good idea to get an idea of your vehicle's dimensions before you select a new sub system, especially since these are the larger, 15-inch subwoofers.
Larger subwoofers will make much more noise at high levels. This isn't always a good idea in the eyes of the law.
While you might like the huge thrumming tones of your dedicated sub, your neighbors might not be as crazy about it as you are.
Even though the main advantage of these systems is their volume, it's a great idea to know about the noise ordinances in your area before you purchase a powerful subwoofer set.
Some Subwoofer Stats To Look Out For
Subwoofers, like all speakers, have performance measurements that you should definitely consider. These are:
How a speaker handles wattage is directly measured through its power handling. This, in turn, is measured in two ways:
- RMS – Oftentimes considered the more important of the two, RMS means root mean square, which simply measures how much power the subwoofer can manage over a continuous stream. With RMS there aren't any spikes and performance greatly depends on overall efficiency.
- Peak Power – Peak power refers directly to your subwoofer's ability to handle spikes in output. A higher peak power means that when a particularly high burst of wattage is pumped through the sub, less signal is lost, and you'll hear more of the tone.
As mentioned previously, the human auditory system can only process tones that go as low as 12 Hz.
This means that for a full-tone experience, your new subwoofer should have a frequency response that can cover a large section of the low tone frequencies.
Usually, this ranges from 20 to 200 Hz for a subwoofer, but there are variances with some subs having a higher base and top-end frequency response.
5 Best 15-Inch Subwoofers In 2017 Reviews
One of the most important components of any speaker system, from headphones to subwoofers, is the magnet.
Our first product, the CT Sounds Tropo 14-inch subwoofer, has one of the best types of magnets available today – the Y35 grated ferrite magnet. This ensures that the current that runs through the sub's voice coils is more efficiently handled, which results in a larger sound.
Insofar as power performance, this subwoofer has a 450 watt RMS performance that ensures a nice continuous power management for the sub.
For two of these subwoofers, we suggest purchasing an amplifier that can manage 1000 watts so that you can have a clean RMS experience.
- They are very well designed; the frame is strong, which means that terrain shouldn't be an issue.
- Theyare fairly powerful; they have a 450-watt RMS and a 900-watt peak maximum power.
- They also have a great, high-power magnet.
- They are relatively inexpensive for their size.
- These subwoofers tend to have a problem with tones that are lower than 30 Hz at high volumes.
The CT Sounds Tropo performs very well, especially considering the price. We really like the sturdy design, the good-looking aesthetics, and their high-quality materials.
Rockford Fosgate really knows how to make a high-performance subwoofer for cars. To increase the size of this product's cone, Rockford Fosgate used their proprietary Vast Vertical Attach Surround system.
This squeezes a bit of extra performance out of this subwoofer. Its RMS performance is very impressive; the subwoofer can manage 600 watts of continuous power and has a peak power handling capacity of 1200 watts.
When it comes to overall design, these subwoofers provide a unique feature; they have a Flex-fit basket that's designed to help in the installation process. When available, the subs can use slots rather than screws, which can shorten the install times greatly.
- They are specifically designed for deeper and louder overall performance. An anodized aluminum cone is utilized that keeps its shape and doesn't have issues when it gets hotter.
- Despite how hot the aluminum cone will get, the copper voice coils will remain at a balanced temperature due to special venting technology.
- They have a tendency to be loud enough to come loose from the housing from time to time.
We really liked the Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 Punch and the "Punch" name was perfect because these have a lot of great, punchy power. With the high level of output that these subs have, make sure that you don't wake the neighbors.
The Kicker C154 is another quality subwoofer from a company that manages to craft very functional car audio components for the budget-conscious.
This model has great low tones; its base frequency response is 25 Hz, which isn't much higher than the lowest tones humans can hear. It also has a good level of RMS power handling; it can manage up to 250 watts of continuous power.
If you like to listen to music with a lot of punch, its peak power handling is 500 watts, which is definitely impressive for the price point.
- The subwoofer has a flex-resistant cone that is comprised of polypropylene; this allows for stronger lows that have a high degree of clarity.
- If you're looking to not spend a lot of cash, this is a great option.
- At a 4-Ohm level of impedance, it'll be compatible with most amplifiers.
- This sub has a very cool-looking design that you'll want to show off.
- This subwoofer doesn't come with a grill.
In our opinion, this is a great option for a subwoofer if you don't want to spend top dollar for large bass. This Kicker sub has plenty of output, low and bassy tones, and won't break the bank.
This subwoofer has some of the highest power output of all the subs in this guide. With an RMS of 1,000 watts and a peak power of 1,500 watts, you can expect some nice loud output with the Skar Audio DDX-15.
We love the fact that these subs can also handle higher notes as well. Its base frequency response is 41 Hz, which isn't the lowest, but with such raw output, you may not even notice.
Another feature that's interesting about this sub is its usage of a 2-Ohm dual voice coil setup. This provides a very efficient input to output ratio, which some audiophiles swear by.
- These subs handle power very well.
- This model of subwoofer was designed to be an SPL-grade sub, which means that it was designed for use in competitions.
- They sound very clean and clear.
- You won't get the lowest tones with these.
- They are very heavy at almost 40 pounds.
For pure power, you won't get much more output than the Skar Audio DDX-15 D2 Dual 2 1,500W Max Power Car Subwoofer. It's a professional-grade sub that has great tonality and a clean sound.
The final selection is another Rockford Fosgate sub. The P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC is a subwoofer with a great frequency response of 28 to 250 Hz, which provides some truly deep tones.
Like the Fosgate P3D2-15 version of the Punch, this sub can be installed fairly easily thanks to its Flex-fit feature that can use slots rather than screws. This also allows for more varied styles of installation.
Like the other featured Fosgate P3D2-15, this has an aluminum cone that draws heat away from the copper voice coils of this subwoofer, which allows for this product to keep a consistent level of performance, even when you've used it for years.
- This subwoofer provides a very strong bass experience.
- It has a great power handling profile; 600-watt RMS and 1200-watt peak power.
- The basket uses StampCast technology that makes it strong yet lightweight.
- Under 41 Hz, the quality dips somewhat.
The Punch series of subs always provides some good performance. If you need a relatively inexpensive subwoofer that has plenty of great performance, we suggest you give the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC a try.
Finding the perfect sound for your vehicle isn't easy, but good subwoofers can definitely simply the process greatly.
The products that we've covered here are all excellent for producing excellent bass without the frequency and performance loss of shallow mount subs.
If we had to pick one as our favorite, we'd select the Skar Audio DDX-15. These subs are simply powerful, which is what you really want from a subwoofer. They have great RMS and peak power and have an excellent frequency response as well.