The Best 8 Inch Subwoofer – A Guide For Your Bass
Cars have a unique feature that's often overlooked: they have nearly perfect acoustic properties that greatly benefit from a stellar sound system.
This is why true audiophiles will kit out their car with good subwoofers so that the thrumming oomph of a strong bass performance can be felt as well as heard.
In most cases, our cars only come with mediocre to poor sound systems, which means that we have to do some work to make the sound experience better.
In this guide, we are going to walk you through the best 8 inch subwoofer models on the market today.
Top 5 Best 8-Inch Subwoofers Reviews
- Components Of A Subwoofer And How It Works
- What Are The Benefits Of A 8-Inch Sub System In Your Car?
- Some Subwoofer Stats
- Subwoofer Types
- Standard Sized
- Shallow Mount
- 5 Best 8 Inch Subwoofers Reviews
- Pioneer TS-SW2002D2
- Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8
- Polk Audio db840DVC
- Kicker 10C84 (10C8-4)
- Polk Audio AA3085-A MM840 DVC
- Final Thoughts
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Components Of A Subwoofer And How It Works
A subwoofer, no matter where it is located, will typically have several key components that help it produce that thrumming tone that is so valued. A car subwoofer's components consist of:
- Dust cap
- A Diaphragm
- Voice coil
Each of these components is important to the subwoofer.
For example, the spider holds the voice coil, which is responsible for the sub's vibrations, in place. The spider is also connected to the basket, which helps add stability to the subwoofer.
The voice coil's vibrations are powered by the electrical charge that is being pumped into the subwoofer from the car and as it vibrates back and forth, the diaphragm converts the movement to audible sound waves.
As the diaphragm moves like a piston, it compresses the air in front of it and relies on an amplifier for the loudest tones.
As you can see, it's a fairly complex system that can lead to some epic sounds for your car.
What Are The Benefits Of A 8-Inch Sub System In Your Car?
Simply put, the default sound systems in most cars are suboptimal.
A dedicated subwoofer will provide some of the bass that many other speaker types simply can't reproduce.
If you listen to genres like hip hop, jazz, heavy metal, or pop, then you should definitely consider a subwoofer so that you can experience all of the bass that the producers intended you to hear.
Even musical genres that don't have a lot of bass such as country and folk are greatly benefited by a good subwoofer, so overall, these types of speakers will almost always enhance your listening experience.
Some Subwoofer Stats
- Power Handling
- Frequency Response
If you're trying to find out the power handling of a subwoofer, typically, you can measure it by its RMS power and its peak power.
RMS means root mean square, and it's often considered the more important of the two. The RMS measurement of a subwoofer simply measures how much power the speaker can handle in a continuous stream.
The peak power, on the other hand, refers to how much the subwoofer can manage at its maximum and in short bursts.
Your amp will be providing the overall power and how your subwoofer manages this wattage will be what makes or breaks it.
This is all about efficiency. Subwoofers convert power into sound, so a sub's sensitivity is how well it does its job.
Subwoofers with a higher sensitivity rating will be able to produce a higher amount of sound.
Typically, the subwoofer's sensitivity is measured in decibels or dB.
Impedance measures the level of resistance in the electrical circuits of your subwoofer.
As a general rule, most subs have a 4 Ohm or so impedance.
Effectively, the better the impedance, the more balanced the subwoofer's output will be with its input.
This is the measurement that illustrates the range of sound a subwoofer can produce.
This is typically measured in hertz, and for subwoofers, the lower the base number, the deeper the tones and bass performance will be.
These subwoofers are sometimes mounted in a trunk or under a back seat.
In any situation, these can have a larger basket, which means that you'll get better bass and low-end frequencies with a subwoofer that is larger.
When we say that it's larger, we don't mean in diameter; wider doesn't have a massive effect on output, but depth does.
With a larger basket and cone structure, a subwoofer has a higher ability to move air, which can produce a more bassy sound.
With that said, a subwoofer that's this size will be much bigger and harder to mount than other kinds of subs.
Additionally, these will also be much heavier and harder to install and transport than other types as well.
Shallow mounted subwoofers are much easier to install but have a slightly lower level of performance than the other type.
The list of pros and cons are long, but effectively, they are lighter and smaller.
There is also a loss of low-end frequency performance with shallow mount units due to the fact that there is a compressed cone and a smaller basket.
Insofar as install locations, you can install a shallow mount speaker in two locations, either in your trunk or in the rear speaker deck of your car.
Because of their size, if you put your shallow mounts in either location, it won't be much of an inconvenience.
5 Best 8 Inch Subwoofers Reviews
The Pioneer TS SW2002D2 is one of the models of subwoofer that has 2 Ohms of impedance. This means that its voice coils have a better input to output ratio, which is caused by incorporating a voice coil with fewer windings.
Whether or not there is a large sound difference is subjective, but most audiophiles prefer 2-Ohm subwoofers to 4 Ohm units.
Additionally, these subwoofers use a mica-injected molded resin cone that is larger and moves a higher amount of air than similar subwoofers, which adds accuracy to the bass performance.
With a frequency response of 20 to 200 Hz, these subwoofers will be able to play some deep tones.
- These speakers only weigh about eight pounds, which makes them easy to transport and install.
- These are fairly powerful; they have a 600-watt maximum output.
- These have an excellent sensitivity of 86 dB.
- At higher volumes, there is some quality loss.
- As shallow mount subs, these don't quite have the bass performance that you'd get from larger and deeper subwoofers.
These Pioneer subwoofers have a good level of performance, and we really liked the fact that they have such a deep frequency response.
While shallow mount subs typically don't perform as well as larger subs, these can provide a good amount of overall output.
As another set of subwoofers for your car with an impedance of 2 Ohms, these Rockford Fosgate products are a good option for the audiophile who wants optimal bass in their vehicle.
Like our first subwoofers, these are also shallow mount units, which add to their overall value because of their ease of transportation and installation. In fact, these subwoofers only weigh 10 pounds.
We'd recommend these for anyone looking to replace stock subwoofers because they are so easy to install and will provide such an upgrade in bass performance.
While there are bassier subwoofers out there, these will definitely help make your music sound much more complex and full.
- For a fuller sound, Rockford Fosgate included two voice coils.
- It's very easy to install this subwoofer; in fact, you can typically install them in place of your stock speakers in about two hours time.
- These subwoofers product rock-solid sound, which is great because they aren't very expensive.
- The screw holes don't always line up with every stock speaker enclosure during replacement.
- They only have a frequency response of 35 to 250 Hz, which is a little high on the low end.
If you're a beginner to car subwoofers, the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 8" Dual 2-Ohm Punch Series is a great jumping-on point. They have good sound, a 2-Ohm impedance, and a relatively easy to install construction.
Our third product is a subwoofer from Polk Audio that is even certified to be used in marine environments.
Its overall performance is very steady; it has a good frequency response of 30 to 200 Hz, an RMS power handling level of 180 watts and a peak power handling ability of 360 watts.
Overall, this full-sized subwoofer has plenty of strong features that will sound great in your car.
In fact, many people use this subwoofer system to replace their stock systems and installation is actually very easy, even though this isn't a shallow mount subwoofer.
- Its RMS and peak power are very impressive.
- This is a fairly inexpensive speaker.
- Despite not being specifically a shallow mount subwoofer, this product is small enough to go anywhere, especially if you have a smaller vehicle.
- It is waterproof so that it can be used in marine environments but it cannot be submerged.
- Since this has a larger cone, you're may have to engage in some modifications to install it.
If you're looking for a subwoofer that can take a splash or two, the Polk Audio db840DVC is an excellent option for most. We particularly liked the depth of the tones on this sub, which is a result of a good overall frequency response.
Kicker subwoofers are known throughout the industry for their value; you simply don't have to spend a lot for these in order to get a good level of bass response.
If you're looking for a relatively distortion-free subwoofer, then the Kicker 10C84 is a great option.
These subs can handle 100 watts of continuous power (RMS) and have a peak power handling performance of 200 watts.
This is impressive in itself, but add to this these subwoofer's frequency response that spans the 30 to 500 Hz range, and you'll notice that these are very versatile subs.
- The cone is made of injection-molded polypropylene, which is rigid in order to provide punchy lows.
- With a 4-Ohm impedance, it's easily compatible with just about any amplifier.
- It's versatile enough to work well in a ported or sealed enclosure.
- It's very inexpensive for its performance.
- It doesn't come with a grill cover, which can be problematic dependent on where you're installing it.
- The foam surround can give out after a while.
These subwoofers are a great example of Kicker's ability to craft a great low-price speaker for the masses. These have an excellent frequency response and sound nice and punchy, which is great for a plethora of musical genres.a
The final selection in our guide to the best subwoofers is another Polk Audio product.
One of the biggest concerns for car audio systems are the rigors of the road: simply put, the jostling, bumps, and vibrations of a car can cause damage to your subwoofers and speakers.
To fight this damage over time, Polk Audio has constructed the cones of this speaker out of polymer and crafted the surrounds out of butyl rubber that will resist this type of damage and will not break down.
Performance-wise, this speaker has an impressive frequency response of 26 to 200 Hz and an RMS power handling of 100 to 250 watts. Its peak power handling is 500 watts as well.
- With a bass frequency response of 26 Hz, this subwoofer has some fairly deep tones.
- It's protected from the vibrations and jostling that can destroy other subwoofers.
- It's certified for marine use.
- This subwoofer doesn't come with a grill.
If you're looking for a subwoofer with tight and accurate bass, this might be the product for you. We loved the sturdy and durable design and its low, bassy tones.
A good subwoofer will be a great choice for anyone who wants to extend the performance of their car's sound system.
The models that we have selected are all excellent at providing great bass and all have good frequency response as well.
Out of our selections, we think the Polk Audio AA3085-A MM840 edges out the competition.
It has a great fit for smaller vehicles, has a low-end bass frequency that produces some deep tones, and has built-in protections that make it more durable.