When we’re out in our cars, we want a deep bass experience that can provide a truly immersive music experience. Cars are the perfect self-contained audio chambers, so when we have a great audio system with thrumming bass, the driving experience is significantly enhanced.
Unfortunately, our cars don’t always have the space for the largest subwoofer systems, and if we don’t want to do major enhancements to the structures of our cars, we can pick a smaller unit that can serve as the best shallow mount subwoofer.
These types of units provide the best performance for someone who is an audiophile or a lover of nuanced sound.
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What Are The Benefits Of A Shallow Mount Subwoofer?
Subwoofers are designed to produce some of the deepest tones that can be heard by the human auditory system. Everyone can use a good subwoofer for their music.
Shallow versions of the car subwoofer are small and portable so that you can hear some of these tones with relative ease in your smaller car.
As a general rule, the larger the subwoofer, the better bass response, but these shallow units really can provide some of the best basses for the size available.
The stock speakers that come in most cars simply cannot provide a true quality bass experience, so those who are looking for the thrumming sounds of a subwoofer must pick these types of products when they have a smaller car. The bass benefits far outweigh the slight loss of bass response that’s due to the smaller form factor.
Finally, the lightness of these types of subwoofers is a major advantage. In larger vehicles like trucks and boats, you don’t have to worry about a larger, more powerful subwoofer weighing you down when you’re traveling.
The same can’t necessarily be said of subwoofers that are mounted in smaller vehicles. Shallow mount subwoofers, on the other hand, are light and easily removed.
Shallow mount subwoofers are designed to fit in the tightest spaces in your car, so optimally, you’ll be placing them in your trunk or in the rear speaker’s deck. Here’s how each performs:
If you’re looking for a tactile bass experience, this is the best place for your shallow mount subwoofers. It’s in this area that you will feel the bass vibration the most. This is also the best place to blast your music if you are looking to be able to be heard from far away as these will provide a lot of outside sounds.
Rear Speakers Deck
When there is a need to compromise in favor of space, this placement is the audiophile’s choice. This arrangement won’t provide a loud musical experience outside of the car, but it will provide some of the best bass and treble balance inside the vehicle. With this setup, you’ll hear the clarity and power of the low notes and the high notes will resonate perfectly.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to install it on the rear deck, you can get similar performance behind the back seats. This will provide a similar audio experience to the rear speaker’s deck area. Both perform well from the perspective of an audiophile.
What Type of Space You’ll Need
As a general rule, these speakers will need anywhere between a three-inch to four-inch depth to be installed effectively. This isn’t much space, so you shouldn’t have too much problem finding a great location to install your new speakers.
Most models will vary in width, but you’ll find many in eight, ten, and twelve-inch varieties. For the most part, you’ll be able to fit two ten-inch subs in the back of a mid-sized sedan.
The surface area of the sub will also have a lot to do with its overall performance, check out this video for a better understanding of how size affects how a subwoofer performs.
Some Considerations To Make Before Purchasing
Do You Tend To Go Over Rough Terrain?
Do You Have Enough Space For A More Powerful Subwoofer System?
What Are The Sound Ordinances In Your Area?
Pioneer is one of the market leaders when it comes to subwoofer design. The Pioneer TSSWX2502 has a unique design for a shallow mount subwoofer because the actual subwoofers are preloaded.
As ten-inch subs, this product has a large area that is designed to remove a larger amount of air, which will increase the amount of loudness and depth of the bass of the music that you are playing.
As a matter of fact, these subwoofers hardly sound like most shallow mount products because they have a greater cone with gasket surface so that there is a minimal loss in base response, despite the reduction in overall depth.
Additionally, this subwoofer system has a dual spider setup that allows you to have better control of the motion of the cone structure, which in turn provides a better overall sound. These are also very durable thanks to a carpeted covering that protects the subs from damage.
- These are very light subwoofers; they only weigh about 20 pounds.
- At a 1200 watt maximum output, these are also reasonably powerful.
- As pre-loaded subwoofers, Pioneer was able to make them sound much better than the standard shallow mount models that are on the market.
- It has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 125 kHz.
- Output steadily degrades after extended use, which means that you’ll eventually have to replace them.
- These don’t perform that well at higher volumes.
- These also seem to degrade faster with any form of jostling on bumpy roads or backwoods paths.
The Rockford Fosgate R2 Ultra Shallow 10-Inch 4 Ohm DVC Subwoofer is a great option for those who want a powerful subwoofer with a very shallow depth of 3.4 inches.
They are ten-inch models, so you should easily be able to fit them in your trunk, on the speaker’s deck area of your car, or even under your seats. These don’t have an enclosure so you may have to purchase or even build your own if you are so inclined.
Additionally, these have a four Ohm level of impedance, which is perfect for pushing a sizeable load of sound through the subwoofer’s systems.
These are also very reasonably priced because Rockford considers these subwoofers to be their entry-level models. This version of the R2 series has a 400 watt RMS rating so you should be able to hear some great punchiness with these subs.
- These have great sound distribution due to the subwoofer’s stamp-cast basket.
- These fit well almost anywhere with their 3.4-inch mounting depth.
- The mica injected polypropylene cone is very responsive.
- It’s very reasonably priced.
- These speakers don’t work that well past 200 watts of output. If you try it, you’ll be able to hear the subwoofer pop.
- It has very good sounding mids and highs, but the lows can leave something to be desired.
- The coil has been known to blow early; fortunately, Rockford has a pretty responsive support team.
Another Rockford Fosgate product, the P3SD2-8 8″ Dual 2-Ohm Punch Series is designed to provide more punchiness than many of the other shallow mount subwoofers on the market today.
These are also the first eight-inch shallow mount subwoofers that we’ll be covering in this guide, and as a result of their smaller surface area, these subs have more of a punchy sound that’s well suited for metal, rock, and even some pop music.
The cone of the P3SD2-8 is made of anodized aluminum, which provides durable and static performance. This subwoofer’s trimming is also able to be inverted if that’s the mounting system that you prefer for your vehicle.
Additionally, the dual-voice control of this subwoofer really works well to provide a true bass response for those vehicles that may be lacking in the depth needed for a full-sized subwoofer enclosure.
- If you enjoy the faster-paced punchier bass sound that is popular with rock bands like The Cribs, then these are a great choice of shallow mounted subwoofers.
- Their eight-inch surface area really is perfect for smaller-sized cars without a lot of space.
- The depth is also very small; you’ll only need about 2 11/16 inches of depth to install these.
- If you like other genres of music that really require more bass response like rap or electronica, these aren’t going to be great for your vehicle.
- The sound of these subwoofers isn’t going to be overwhelmingly better than some factory subwoofers, but there will be an improvement.
These JL Audio shallow mount subwoofers have some unique design that uses several patented technologies to provide an excellent in-car experience for audiophiles.
It’s very much like the teams at JL Audio took the subwoofer back to the drawing board with this model. This model seems to only need a minimum of airspace in order to produce some great-sounding bass tones.
The cone body of this unit is unique and was developed proprietarily at JL Audio and named the “Concentric Tube Structure” cones. This design allows the placement of the long-throw voice coil assembly directly beneath the product’s dust cap.
This results in the magnet structure being placed at much closer proximity to the cone so that the overall product can have a smaller, less deep form factor.
As a result of this unique engineering, JL Audio was able to completely replicate the sound quality of their full-sized units, but in a very shallow housing.
- This woofer fits in places that you wouldn’t expect a truly high-performance woofer to fit.
- This is the audiophile’s dream device; its output is almost on par with full-sized units.
- They have a mounting depth of 3.5 inches.
- These have excellent surround sound capability.
- You only get one sub per purchase.
- They are a bit on the expensive side due to their engineering and sound quality.
- These subwoofers are limited to a 400 watt to 500 watt input.
Our final product is a pioneer shallow mount subwoofer that has powerful 1,200-watt output. These subs have a great performance in the lowest three octaves that inhabit the 20Hz to 160Hz range, so your bass will be virtually unaffected by the 3.125-inch depth. This thin depth is also perfect for fitting this particular product behind your seats without causing damage to the seats themselves.
Additionally, the SW2502S4 uses a four-layer coil system that is comprised of a heat-resistant polyester resin, which will keep the overall system cool and able to handle a demanding load of power. As a matter of fact, the power output on these is amazing considering the tight operational space.
- These are very reasonably priced for the output.
- The ten-inch width is great at producing the bassy tones that you’d expect from rap, techno, or electronica.
- This has a goodly power range of 100 to 300 watts.
- Its four Ohm impedance is very respectable so that sound loads don’t cause the sub to falter.
- The speakers are a little larger than ten inches, which can cause a problem with placement./li>
- If you try to hit peak power from the beginning, you can blow these speakers out.
Finding the Right Shallow Mount Subwoofer That’s Best For You
Achieving the best bass response possible is easy with the products that we’ve reviewed here today. Each will grant you some of the best thrumming tones available, and most are suited well for most types of music.
If we were to consider all of the products that we reviewed, we think that the best of the bunch is the Jl Audio 10tw3-d4 Shallow-mount 10. This uses a unique design that permits some truly unheard-of bass response, especially when considering the shallow mount form factor.
Its only noteworthy drawback is the fact that it is relatively expensive, especially considering that it can only be purchased in one sub at a time.
Still, this is a great deal if you love to hear every nuance of the music that you’re playing, so some might feel that the price is something that is only a slight inconvenience.
In any situation, take a moment to check these products out, execute your own due diligence, and you’ll quickly find the best shallow mount subwoofer for your needs.