Subwoofers are specially made to deliver the kind of bass that regular speakers can’t. Subwoofer drivers are designed to reproduce the lowest frequencies in a sound signal. There’re dozens of subwoofer manufacturers today. They design subwoofers with drivers of various sizes, with 10-inch subwoofer drivers being some of the best. 10-inch drivers are ideal for reproducing punchy and heavy bass that is ideal for any bass enthusiast.
Considering the dozens of ten inch subs available today, it can be quite challenging to differentiate between the best and the poor models. Luckily, you shouldn’t worry about all that for we have made everything easier for you by preparing a list of the best 10-inch subwoofers. We have reviewed each subwoofer in detail such that you’ll easily point out the most ideal model for you. Moreover, we have included the factors to consider before making your choice.
How We Wrote This Review
Bass makes music sound deep and punchy. Music never feels complete without some bass. Subwoofers make it possible to enjoy the best bass experience. However, not many people know how to make the best choice when it comes to choosing subwoofers. Thus, we decided to write this review to make it easier for everyone seeking to buy a subwoofer. We started writing this review by gathering a list of 10 inch subs with the best features. We wrote this review using firsthand information from current users and the information we gathered when doing our research and comparison. Thus, you can rest assured that you’ll get the best sub from the review below.
A Review of the Best 10 Inch Subwoofer
There’re dozens of 10 inch subs available today. Here’s is a detailed review of the best models, including the most captivating features of each model and its hits and misses.
Comparison Table of Best 10 Inch Subwoofer
1. Pioneer TS-SWX2502
Pioneer is one of the most renowned music equipment manufacturers. The Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch sub tops our list of review based on its unique and captivating features. Here’s why we consider it as the leading ten inch sub today:
Its Captivating Features
- Shallow, compact design- This subwoofer is built in a shallow sub-box, making the overall design compact. The sub is very powerful despite being compact. Moreover, its shallow sub-box and compact design make it easy to fit in tight car spaces.
- Large cone structure– Another captivating feature about this sub is its large speaker cone structure. The cone is oversized such that its surface area is increased without any alterations to the standard dimensions of the subwoofer. The increased surface area allows the driver to move more air, thus producing deeper bass.
- Dual spider– The subwoofer features a dual spider design. The dual spider enhances motion control of the subwoofer cone as it vibrates. As such, the cone stiffness is optimized for enhanced accuracy in bass response.
- Preloaded subwoofer enclosure– With this subwoofer, you won’t have to invest in a sub box since it comes preloaded with a Pioneer designer enclosure. The enclosure is carpeted, making it look more aesthetically appealing and match with most car interiors. The enclosure carpet finishing is non-slip such that it doesn’t move around as the driver vibrates.
- Excellent bass– The subwoofer delivers deep and high-quality bass with all types of music genres. It also reproduces bass from all music instruments. As such, you won’t miss out on any bass notes regardless of the music genre or music instrument.
- Very tight bass
- Angled push terminals
- Accurate bass response
- Space-saving enclosure design
- Scratch-resistance enclosure surface
- Higher price range
- Doesn’t hit the lowest bass
The Pioneer TS-SWX2502 subwoofer is ideal for anyone who has limited space in their car. Its compactness is the most captivating feature.
2. Rockford Fosgate P300-10
Rockford Fosgate continues to revolutionize the car audio industry by developing some of the best car audio equipment. The Rockford Fosgate P300-10 is one of a kind car subwoofer. It’s an all-inclusive powered subwoofer that boasts of the following features:
Its Captivating Features
- Powered all-in-one subwoofer– This subwoofer features a subwoofer driver powered by a 300 watt amplifier, all built in one enclosure. Thus, all you’ll need to power this subwoofer is a power cable and sound signal. You won’t have to invest in a standalone car amplifier.
- Adjustable crossover– The subwoofer comes with an inbuilt low pass crossover. The low pass crossover filters out high frequencies and only allows low frequencies to get to the subwoofer driver, thereby allowing for clean bass. Moreover, the crossover is adjustable such that you can regulate the low frequency range you want to be reproduced.
- Closed-loop design– The sub enclosure features a closed-loop design. This design allows for optimum performance for the subwoofer driver and amplifier. The closed design also allows for easy integration of all the components within one space.
- Bass equalizer– Another attractive feature about this subwoofer is its inbuilt equalizer. The equalizer allows you to adjust the bass to your liking. Moreover, you can use the remote control that comes with the sub to adjust the base level to your liking.
- Detachable power and ground connector– The power and ground connector cables can be detached as needed, making it easy to move the subwoofer as needed. For instance, you can create room in the trunk for extra luggage by detaching the connector cables with ease and return the subwoofer as soon as you need it back.
- Auto turn on and off
- Voltage and thermal protection
- Bass boost functionality
- Large input terminals
- Inbuilt phase switch
- Higher price range
- The adhesive on the side panel melts under hot summer
The Rockford Fosgate P300-10 comes with an inbuilt amplifier, making it an ideal choice for any car audio system that doesn’t have a standalone car amp. You can power it directly from the receiver.
3. Rockville W10K9D4
The Rockville W10K9D4 ten inch subwoofer comes packed with numerous features to boast about. Read on to know why it made it to the third position in our list of review.
Its Captivating Features
- Four-layer aluminum voice coil– The subwoofer comes with a four-layer voice coil made of aluminum. Its four-layer design makes the coil more durable and enhances the performance of the driver.
- Ultra-stiff cone– The sub features a thick and strong cone. This allows the sub to handle more bass than other subs of its category. Thus, expect deeper bass with less distortion.
- Thick foam surround– Another captivating feature about this sub is its thick foam surround. Its thickness enhances the bass quality of the driver while still minimizing distortion. It’s also highly responsive to the cone vibrations despite being thick.
- Chrome-plated terminals– This sub features chrome-plated terminals. Chrome plating the terminals makes them resist corrosion and wear. As such, you won’t have to worry about exposure to weather elements.
- Nomex spider– The Rockville W10K9D4 subwoofer features a Nomex spider. This spider material is designed for strength. It’s tear-resistant, meaning that it performs optimally under heavy usage.
- Double stacked magnet
- High-temperature voice coil
- Polypropylene dust cap
- Properly vented for enhanced heat dissipation
- Cast aluminum basket
- May pop at high volume
- May cut out during prolonged usage
If you’re looking for a subwoofer with hard-hitting and thumping bass, the Rockville W10K9D4 will do just that.
4. JL Audio 10W0V3-4
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JL Audio always strives to manufacture high-quality car audio equipment. The JL Audio 10W0V3-4 subwoofer delivers high-quality performance like other JL Audio products. Here’re some of its most attractive features that made us include it in our review:
Its Captivating Features
- Elevated frame cooling– The subwoofer features an elevated frame cooling design. This cooling design allows for air to get directly to the voice coil. As such, the voice coil enjoys rapid heat dissipation, thereby it doesn’t overheat under heavy and prolonged usage.
- Large roll surround– The surround of this sub features a large roll surround. Its large size guarantees a larger surface area for enhanced cone movement, thus allowing for deeper bass.
- Optimized motor system– This subwoofer features an optimized motor system built under a patented technology. This motor design allows for precise and linear cone movement for enhanced bass reproduction.
- Tough polypropylene cone– The subwoofer cone is made of a tough polypropylene cone material. This material resists flexing such that the cone retains its shape and form even after prolonged usage.
- Two-inch voice coil– The JL Audio 10W0V3-4 sub features a two-inch voice coil. The voice coil is designed to drive the cone accurately. It also designed for the best performance even under extreme conditions.
- Low distortion
- Great cooling mechanism
- Can work with both ported and sealed enclosures
- Superior dynamic stability
- Tight, clean bass
- Doesn’t come with a grille
- Doesn’t come with a sub box
- May not be the best to competition level bass
If you’re a bass enthusiast who is looking for a subwoofer that will deliver clean bass, then consider the JL Audio 10W0V3-4 subwoofer.
5. MTX Magnum MB210SP
MTX Magnum MB210SP is designed as an easy way of adding rich bass in any car audio system. This subwoofer comes as a package comprising of a subwoofer driver and amplifier, all enclosed within one enclosure. Let’s look at the reasons that made us include this 10 inch sub in your review.
Its Captivating Features
- Lightweight dust cap– The subwoofer features a lightweight dust cap made of polypropylene material. The dust cap keeps the voice coil protected from tiny particles that may interfere with its performance. Its lightweight nature ensures that it offers protection without interfering with the voice coil and cone vibrations.
- Dual subwoofer system– The Magnum MB210SP features a dual subwoofer system. It comes with two subwoofers, each measuring 10 inches. The subwoofer can handle 400 watts RMS at most, with a peak power of 800 watts.
- Vented enclosure– The dual subwoofer system comes enclosed in a vented subwoofer enclosure. The vented design allows air to flow into the components, thereby allowing the system to remain cooler. The vented enclosure design also allows for louder bass.
- Heavy-duty carpet– This subwoofer enclosure is covered in a heavy-duty carpet. The carpet keeps the enclosure protected from any form of dents and scratches. As such, it will give you great service for many years to come.
- Adjustable bass– The subwoofer comes with an inbuilt amplifier. The amplifier powers the dual subwoofers with 250 watts RMS. You can adjust the bass response using the inbuilt low pass filter. Moreover, you can adjust bass boost to your liking.
- Mounting hardware is provided
- Hatchback style enclosure
- The inbuilt amp has short-circuit, overload, and thermal protection
- Large foam surround
- Durable construction
- The subs would perform better with a bigger box
- Distorts at high gain level
- The inbuilt amp is not powerful enough
Anyone who likes listening to bass that doesn’t rattle but is descent enough would find the MTX Magnum MB210SP as the best choice.
6. Planet Audio AC10D
Car music lovers who love bass but seeking for an affordable solution have not been left behind. Planet Audio has designed the AC10D for affordability. Besides being one of the most affordable 10 inch subwoofers, it comes packed with several desirable features. Let’s look at these features.
Its Captivating Features
- Flexible surround– The surround of this subwoofer is made with foam material. It’s flexible enough such that it allows the cone to move air efficiently. The surround is also manufactured for a long-lasting service. Consequently, the flexibility allows for enhanced excursion.
- High-temperature voice coil– The voice coil of this subwoofer is made to withstand high temperature. It’s able to maintain its strength and optimum performance under high temperature and prolonged use.
- Stamped basket– Another key feature that comes with this subwoofer is its stamped basket. The basket is built for rigidity and strength. It allows a listener to enjoy clear and clean bass.
- Resilient cone material– The polypropylene material used in making the cone of this speaker is durable and resilient. It delivers great bass and it’s also long-lasting.
- Dual voice coil– Yet another great feature for this affordable subwoofer is its dual voice coil. This makes it one of the best 10 inch subwoofer. The dual voice coil design allows for enhanced efficiency in terms of resistance. Dual voice coil translates to reduced resistance such that the amp is able to drive it with more power for peak performance.
- Most affordable on our list
- Huge power handling
- Heavy magnet
- Versatile wiring options
- Low resistance
- Needs a lot of power
- May rattle at high volume
- Only ideal for a starter and not an enthusiast
Want to add bass to your car sound system but working on a tight budget? The Planet Audio AC10D will be your best choice due to its affordability.
7. Infinity Kappa 1000W
Looking for enhanced bass experience in your car audio? If so, Infinity Kappa has engineered one of the best ten inch subwoofers available today. The Infinity Kappa 1000W 10” subwoofer is designed using innovative technologies that put it ahead of its competitors. So what are some of its best features? Let’s discuss that.
Its Captivating Features
- Selectable Smart Impedance– The subwoofer features an exclusive sound engineering technology that involves selectable, smart impedance. You can select between 2-ohm or 4-ohm impedance. All you’ll need to do is to flip the impedance selector switching.
- Aero-cooling design- The subwoofer is designed using an aero-cooling design. This technology allows the voice coil to remain cool. It also assists in optimizing power handling. This way, you’ll enjoy long term reliability from the subwoofer.
- Glass-fiber cone– Another advanced sound engineering technology built into this subwoofer is its glass-fiber cone. The cone is acoustically damped for reduced distortion. Thus, you’ll enjoy cleaner bass.
- Rugged construction– The subwoofer components are built onto a steel basket with rugged construction. It’s basically built for strength, quality, and durability. Thus, expect nothing but long term service.
- High-power handling– You can enjoy feeding this subwoofer with a lot of power for optimum performance. It has a power rating of 450 watts RMS, combined with a peak power rating of 1,800 watts.
- Suitable for both ported and closed enclosures
- Screw cover ring
- Self-adhesive gasket
- Accurate bass
- Easy wiring and wiring versatility
- Grille is not included
- Not the loudest
- Sounds a bit muddy when reproducing quick bass notes
Need a subwoofer without complicated wiring? The Infinity Kappa 1000W is built for versatility, with its selectable impedance making it convenient for wiring such that it’s hard to wire it incorrectly.
8. Kicker 43C104
The Kicker 43C104 subwoofer is specially designed to add new dimension to any car audio system. It adds valuable bass quality in the car. It handles 300 watts peak power and has an RMS power rating of 150 watts. With that said, let’s look at the features that made us feature it in our list.
Its Captivating Features
- Ribbed foam surround– The surround of this subwoofer is made of a foam material, which is light enough for seamless cone vibration. It’s built with a ribbed design for brighter bass with cleaner and more defined bass.
- 4-ohm impedance– Kicker 43C104 has a resistance rating of 4-ohms. This means that it’s capable of working with almost any kind of amplifier. Thus, you won’t find it challenging to choose an amplifier for this subwoofer and if you already have a car amp, it will power it effortlessly.
- Flex-resistant cone– The cone of this speaker is made of polypropylene material. The material is flex resistance with back bracing design for reduced distortion and punchy bass.
- Tough basket– The basket that comes with the subwoofer is made of tough steel material. Its tough construction creates a great foundation for huge bass.
- Extensive venting– The construction of the subwoofer is designed for extensive venting. The extensive venting allows for enhanced cooling especially when using the subwoofer heavily for prolonged time.
- Bumped back plate
- Rubber magnet boot
- Double surround stitching
- Injection-molded cone
- Grille is not included
- Not the best for lovers of rattling bass
Investing in the Kicker 43C104 10” sub will give you the best value for your money. It’s affordable while still delivering high-quality bass.
9. Skar Audio VD-10 D4
Skar Audio has not been left behind in our review. Its VD-10 D4 subwoofer is specially designed for installation in spaces with limited depth while still delivering decent bass. Let’s review some of its features.
Its Captivating Features
- Shallow mounting depth– Its mounting depth is at 4.41”. This makes it one of the most shallow mount car subs. Thus, you can install in in shallow spaces and still enjoy great bass.
- Dual voice coil– The subwoofer boasts of having dual voice coil. The two coils allow for enhanced high-amplitude bass.
- Single stack magnet– This speaker features a single stack magnet that gives the subwoofer a low-profile design. Thus, you’ll enjoy a lot of power from a subwoofer that maintains a shallow footprint.
- Compact design– This subwoofer boasts of having an overall compact design. The compactness of the magnet, basket, and other components make it possible to fit it in limited spaces, especially where mounting depth is highly limited.
- Advanced cooling design– Another great feature about this car subwoofer is its advanced cooling design. It’s designed to allow maximum air circulation around the components for a long-lasting service. This also translates to optimum performance under heavy usage.
- Requires small mounting space
- Reasonable price for its quality
- Ideal for both ported and sealed sub boxes
- Two-layer spider
- High strength surround
- RMS power feels a bit overrated
- Tends to distort a little bit at high volume
- Doesn’t hit the lowest bass frequencies
The Skar Audio VD-10 D4 is a great choice for use where depth is limited without sacrificing power and sound.
Buying Guide- The Features to Consider Before Buying the Best 10 Inch Subwoofer
Upon going through the above review, it’s obvious that there’re numerous 10 inch car subwoofers to choose from. Each choice comes with various unique benefits and an equal share of downsides. So how would you make the best choice? It’s quite simple. All you need is to select the subwoofer that is packed with the most desirable features. Here’re some of the features to consider when choosing a ten inch car subwoofer:
The mounting depth of a subwoofer refers to how deep a subwoofer should be installed. It determines the minimum space it can be installed in terms of depth without affecting its performance. This is a major factor to consider when buying a subwoofer, especially when you have limited depth in your car door or below the seat. If you need to install a subwoofer in your car door, then its mounting depth should be small enough to fit the door space you have in terms of depth. If you want to install the subwoofer in an enclosure and put it in the trunk, then the depth won’t be a big problem.
Sound signals comprise of different frequencies. A subwoofer is usually built to reproduce low frequencies. Low frequencies comprise of bass in a sound signal. Different subwoofers have a different frequency range. Some hit the lowest bass while others only hit mid bass. If you need a sub that can hit the lowest bass, then consider the one that reaches the lowest frequencies in its ratings. If you prefer mid bass, then ensure the frequency range of the sub is wide enough to hit mid bass.
Car subwoofers usually demand a lot of power from the amplifier. Hitting low frequencies is power consuming. Consequently, the subwoofer coil is prone to heating due to the heavy work it does to reproduce lows. If used for a prolonged period at high volume, the coil can easily heat up and even burn out if the subwoofer doesn’t have a proper cooling mechanism. Thus, consider a subwoofer that has a coil that tolerates high temperate. Its construction should allow for efficient air circulation. Moreover, it should have a proper cooling mechanism for optimum performance and durability.
Supported Subwoofer Enclosure
A subwoofer usually sounds better when it’s put in an enclosure. A subwoofer enclosure or box can be either ported or sealed. Some subwoofers are designed to only work with ported (vented) enclosures while others work best with sealed enclosures. Other subwoofers can work with any enclosure between the two options. Tight bass is best achieved with a sealed enclosure whereas louder bass is achieved with a ported enclosure. Thus, make your choice depending on the kind of bass you want between tightness and loudness. However, if you’re comfortable with any kind of bass, then you can choose a subwoofer that supports either type of enclosure for freedom of choice when building or buying the enclosure.
Impedance and Sensitivity
It’s important to consider the impedance and sensitivity ratings of a subwoofer. Impedance is usually measured in ohms. A lower impedance rating means that the subwoofer can allow more electric signals in form of sound signals to flow through it. This means that a subwoofer with a low impedance rating can draw more power from an amp such that you can turn the volume up without distorting easily. However, a sub with a low impedance rating require an amp with a high power rating. Thus, if your car amp has a low power rating, then consider a sub with a higher impedance rating. On the other hand, Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB). Sensitivity is important for it describes how loud a subwoofer will play.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a subwoofer for your car is the power rating. The most important power rating to consider is the RMS power. If you invest in a subwoofer with a high power rating (RMS power), then consider an amplifier that is capable of driving the subwoofer effortlessly. Avoid driving a subwoofer with excessive power to avoid burning it out. Under-powering a subwoofer can also lead to distortion and damage.
FAQ on the Best 10 Inch Subwoofer
Best 10 inch subwoofer box?
Subwoofer boxes are either ported or sealed. The best box for a 10 inch subwoofer will depend on the kind of bass you want. If you need tight bass, then the best sub box will be a sealed box. If you need louder bass, then the best sub box will be a ported/vented box.
What are the hardest hitting 10 inch subs? What is the hardest hitting 10 inch subwoofer?
If you want a 10” sub that hits the hardest, then consider the one that has a high RMS power rating. Also, it should have a low impedance rating (in ohms) so as to drive it with a lot of power without distortion.
What are the dimensions for a 10 inch subwoofer box?
A subwoofer is usually designed to work best in a certain volume of enclosure. The larger the subwoofer, the more volume it needs around it in a sub box. Thus, for the subwoofer to sound best, the dimensions of the subwoofer box should match with the subwoofer size. For a 10 inch subwoofer, the best dimensions are at least 11 inches wide, 11 inches tall, and 11 inches deep.
How much airspace does a 10 inch subwoofer need?
A subwoofer requires enough airspace in the enclosure to allow it to play efficiently and sound right. A 10 inch subwoofer should have an airspace of 1.0 to 1.5 cubic feet.
A car subwoofer is one of the most important additions you can add to your car. There’re many subwoofer sizes available today. Ten inch car subwoofers are one of the best sizes. They’re large enough for any bass needs. With this review in mind, you’ll be able to choose the best 10 inch subwoofer for your car with ease. In conclusion, choose the car subwoofer that fulfills all your bass needs.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.