Car subwoofers have gained popularity in the recent past. They enable you to listen to your favorite radio station or music track in the best quality possible. Subwoofers improve the listening experience through the production of high precision low frequencies, the loudness of the music or the kind notwithstanding. Subwoofers are necessary for a car because most car speakers are relatively small and hence have a hard time producing sounds of low frequencies.
Owing to the new found car subwoofer craze, this article will educate you on these specialized speakers; factors to consider before buying them for your car and 5 best car subwoofers.
Be reminded that you don’t just walk-in into an electronic store and pick a car subwoofer. You will most likely be disappointed. You need to make sure that you buy an appliance that suits your specific need. You need to consider its price, its type, design, and material, and woofer specifications such as; speaker firing options, acoustic suspension, cross over, wattage, sensitivity, frequency range, enclosure type and impedance. These considerations are discussed below;
1. Type of subwoofer
There are many types of car subwoofers. In as much as consumers do try to have subwoofers custom made so as to fit their singular needs, the primary types of subwoofers include; subwoofer driver, powered subwoofer, and vehicle specific subwoofer.
Subwoofer driver also called woofer, or passive subwoofer is a primary type of car subwoofer. It consists of a basic woofer built inside an enclosure. It is available is a variety of sizes and capabilities. It functions effectively when powered by an external amp. This enclosed subwoofer makes sure that you don’t waste much time in setting in addition to eliminating the need to shop for an enclosure after you’ve bought the subwoofer.
Powered subwoofers are known for saving space in the car because they combine amplifier and the woofer within an enclosure. Because the amplifier is inbuilt, it only calls for a single piece of equipment to be installed. Powered subwoofers are also widely known for their immense ability to produce frequencies of intermediate range. The downside of powered subwoofers is that the bass it produces isn’t as powerful as the one produced when a woofer has an external amplifier.
Vehicle specific subwoofers are the best option in the event your car has challenges with space. This type of subwoofer is built to suit the needs of a particular type of car and can be customized to fit in a particularly small car space. They are designed to fit on the car doors and other small spaces. Owing to their small size, they are not as powerful.
Another type subwoofer is the component subwoofer. This is the speaker itself. For it to work properly, you need to attach in a sub enclosure or a subwoofer box. Component Subwoofers exist in different sizes and need powering by an external amplifier.
2. Design and material
Before buying a subwoofer, you need to pay close attention to its design and material used to build its components. Different subwoofer designs provide varying features and functionalities. Therefore, knowledge of the various makes of music box enclosures is handy in picking the right subwoofer to meet your specific needs.
For example, subwoofers with ports have been known to boost the quality of music through the free inflow and outflow of air. The same can’t be said of the sealed designs which block free air movement. However, the sealed subwoofers are good for low-frequency responses. Another well-known subwoofer design is the band pass design which is known for its resounding bass output.
Sealed designed subwoofers are relatively smaller than the ported subwoofers. You have to make a wise decision on this depending on the size of your car.
The material used in constructing the box influences functionality. Different materials offer varying qualities of sound. Fiberglass is known to offer the best sound quality. This material also allows for the box to be styled in various shapes.
3. Woofer Specifications
To get a bargain purchase, you need to compare the specification of different woofers. Some of the specs include;
This helps the buyer know the energy consumption of a subwoofer; regarding input and output. The wattage for most home and car woofers is 100 to 150 watts. Such a woofer can be used in a small and also medium sized car. If you need a large car subwoofer, the power might be up to 250 watts. However, it isn’t advisable to purchase a subwoofer of over 250 watts because it may be a nuisance to the public in addition to being too noisy for the people in a car.
Wattage is important in determining how much sound will be in the car. If you are the kind of a person who loves loud music consider the 250 watts subwoofer. It will serve you right.
• Size of woofer
Car subwoofers come in different shapes and sizes. The size of subwoofer you buy should be determined by the size of your car. A smaller subwoofer should be purchased for a smaller car and vice versa.
Sensitivity dictates power consumption. A car subwoofer with a higher sensitivity needs less power to give the same amount of sound as an appliance with lower sensitivity.
• Frequency range
If you need a subwoofer that can be able to handle sounds of low frequencies, then you will require a speaker with a high-frequency range.
• Number of voice coils
Voice calls can be single or dual. For a car music system, dual voice calls are preferred because they offer flexibility in wiring as compared to the single voice calls. Dual voice call subwoofers utilize two separate voice calls each having its connections.
• Type of enclosure
A car subwoofer’s enclosure type has a direct impact on the quality of sound produced. Sealed enclosures do produce deep and accurate sounds while ported and bandpass enclosure types give a higher volume sound.
Once you’ve settled on a subwoofer, you need to buy amplifiers that will match it as far as impedance and power consumption is concerned. Impedance affects the flow of current, and it varies from 2 to 8 ohms.
This term refers to the woofer’s frequency range. Most home and car subwoofers have a crossover of approximately 90 to 100 Hz. A small subwoofer may have a crossover of 35 Hz while big ones could have a crossover of over 150 Hz.
A crossover of between 80 and 100 Hz is considered optimal because a lesser crossover will lead to sound distortion. You need to pay mind to the fact that a higher crossover doesn’t necessarily translate to a subwoofer with a higher quality sound.
• Acoustic suspension/ bass reflex
Bass reflex denotes the power efficiency of a subwoofer brought about by an enclosure and ports which magnify the bass. We have subwoofers which utilize the bass reflex design.
A subwoofer with an acoustic suspension, on the other hand, utilizes a sealed box to create to create a tighter but less powerful sound. If you want a subwoofer with a greater bass, then you need to buy the bass reflex model.
Additionally, bass reflex models offer less offer sounds with lesser distortion as compared to the acoustic suspension models.
• Speaker firing options
Subwoofers come in a variety of speaker firing options; front-firing and down-firing.
Front-firing options mean that the sound produced by a speaker radiates from the sides and the front of the appliance. Down-firing means that the speaker sounds radiates from the bottom part of the speaker and then rises towards the listener.
Regarding sound production, the front-firing options are preferred because sound travels from the subwoofer to the listener without any interruptions such as obstacles along the sound path.
You don’t buy a very cheap subwoofer and expect it to outperform itself. Alternatively, buying a very expensive speaker isn’t a guarantee of good quality either. However, good subwoofers don’t come cheap. You need to spend a good sum on them. Be careful to spend on a good quality product. Make sure the above particulars of the subwoofer are worth the amount of money you are parting with.
Apart from the subwoofer, to have a complete car music system, you need the following components;
· A box building hardware in case you are interested in building your subwoofer enclosure
· An enclosure; in the event, you are purchasing a component subwoofer
· An amplifier; this is needed for the regulation of the component sub.
· A polyester fiber box; this is important in slowing down waves of sound.
· Dynamat kit; this serves to enhance a clear and loud bass through a reduction of the road noise and the elimination of subwoofer rattles.
· An amplifier wiring kit and the speaker wire; these are needed to transmit signals and power to the amplifier and the sub.
Having put the above factors into consideration, you can then proceed to buy your car subwoofer. Below is a comprehensive list of the 5 best car subwoofers that you can purchase on amazon. They are top rated subwoofers with surprising prices based on their specifications.
Top 5 Best Car Subwoofers
1. VM Audio Encore
It offers consistently high-quality sound at whatever frequency. The manufacturing company made sure the subwoofer was durable enough to allow usage for many years.
After buying this subwoofer, you are guaranteed of a deep bass exclusive of distortion and fading.
Its finest audio is attained when mounted onto a box enclosure.
With regards to its specifications, it has a peak power of 3000 watts, RMS of 1500 watts, low-frequency dual coil transducers, a high thrust mechanical system, and a wide surround with a high excursion.
2. JL Audio 10W3v3 car Subwoofer
This woofer has peak wattage of 600, an impedance of 4 Ohms, a top mount depth of 5.93 inches and a cutout diameter of 9.0625 inches.
Its size may just be 10 inches but rest assured, its sound quality is at the top. The device’s single 4 Ohm speaker an admirable high resistance of 4 Ohms for each speaker and a high RMS level with a maximum output of 600 watts.
The JL Audio car subwoofer has been getting positive reviews from most of its users owing to its audio prowess.
3. Kicker 40CWR122 12 inch Subwoofer
It has the following specifications; impedance of 4 Ohms, 18 to 100 Hz frequency response, peak wattage of 2000 watts, in addition to a molded cone which has a full-covering back bracing.
The subwoofer’s rubber surrounding, its polypropylene injection-molded cone and the frequency response of between 25 and 50 Hz make sure it has a deep base as long a sufficient box and an amplifier are provided.
For this subwoofer, the recommended sealed box should measure between 1.0 to 4.6 cubic feet while the ported box should measure between 1.75 and 2.25 cubic feet.
This appliance is decent and offers good performance for the money you are paying for.
4. Troublemaker 18-Inch SPL Subwoofer
This car subwoofer can’t disappoint. It competes well with the best subwoofers in the market. It is capable of handling sound pressures of above 170 dB.
Each speaker weighs 80 pounds and has a depth of 14 inches. To operate, these speakers do require a battery with a voltage of 13 Volts.
These speakers are worth the high price tag in that they offer the best sound, have a unique design and have a maximum power output of 7500 watts.
On the downside, these car subwoofers are heavy, and for that reason, they’ll require customized casing in addition to them requiring a high voltage battery for proper functioning. They are also visibly expensive.
5. JL Audio W7AE SERIES 12 inch Subwoofer
This appliance is king in automotive subwoofers by its right. It has the least amount of sound distortion, offers high-quality sound and has the best overall performance. It has a lead wire design whose aim is to reduce mechanical noise and distortion of sound. The elevated frame cooling in the design serves to provide for ventilation.
Additionally, the overall surround sound system is intended to boost speaker efficiency and enhance air displacement.