Best 12 Inch Subwoofers for Bass Lovers in 2021
What kind of bass makes you stop and think, “that’s some really nice stuff” – is it the earth-vibrating bass that subs in competition cars give, or is it the tight, crisp bass that invigorates the air around well-maintained SUVs?
Whatever bass type pleases you, you know for sure that it comes from winning subwoofers. Great subwoofers give great quality bass. So, finding a high quality subwoofer for your car almost automatically means that you will be enjoying great quality sound in all your commutes.
When doing your selection, you’ll need to get a couple of things right to end up with a sub that recreates the low audio frequencies to give you the sound you desire. We are here to help you get those things right.
We present to you the top 10 best 12-inch subwoofers for your consideration. For all the subs, important performance specs have been verified by the editorial team lead, so you can be sure that our comparisons are reliable. We have included the comparison table below to enable you make a quick overview of the subs we’ve reviewed later in deeper detail.
Comparison Table of Best 12 Inch Subwoofers
Peak: 1300W / RMS: 350W
20Hz - 125Hz
Peak: 1200W / RMS: 300W
38Hz - 500Hz
Peak: 1200W / RMS: 600W
28Hz - 250 Hz
Peak: 800W / RMS: 400W
10Hz - 150Hz
Peak: 1000W / RMS: 250W
27Hz - 175 Hz
Peak: 1500W / RMS: 750W
20Hz -200 Hz
Peak: 2000W / RMS: 500W
35Hz - 200 Hz
Peak: 2000W / RMS: 400W
27Hz -300 Hz
Peak: 1100W / RMS: 600W
30Hz - 200kHz
Peak: 2500W / RMS: 1250W
25Hz - 250 Hz
How we prepared our list of best 12-inch Subwoofers 2021
The Audio Mention team has worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to find the top-performing 12” subs on the market. We left no stone unturned as we evaluated the important performance aspects of different subs. Our desktop researchers put in their level best to fish the best brands from the sea of subwoofers on the market. They also utilized efforts from far and wide to analyze real users’ reviews. Meanwhile, our technical team dedicated a lot of time testing different subs under various conditions. The objective of this project was to unearth all the relevant and useful insights on the performance of speakers that seemed to impress users, and here we are.
Here are reviews of the subs that are winning the hearts of sound enthusiasts.
1. Pioneer TS-WX1210A – Overall Best
With Pioneer TS-WX1210A, you’re sure of A-grade performance from a reputable brand. This 12-inch sub boasts of being one of the most powerful subwoofers with a built-in amplifier. It comes in a sealed enclosure, so its performance leans more towards bass tightness rather than aggressiveness. Make no mistake. This sub features some of the best features for the delivery of low frequencies.
Features of Pioneer TS-WX1210A
If you are looking for a powered 12” sub, Pioneer TS-WX1210A offers you excellent value. You only need space in your trunk for the large enclosure and all your bass problems will be put to rest.
No other sub can beat this serious bass champ. And you’ll be shocked at its price. The TS-WX1210A is definitely a great bargain.
2. Rockville RWS12CA – Runner UP
Every experienced car audio fan knows that Rockville has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of sound systems. The audio giant has done its magic again for bass lovers, this time with a 1200W 12” active subwoofer – the RWS12CA. This sub is nothing less of a smart, efficient, and powerful solution to your most essential bass needs.
What to expect from the RWS12CA
The RWS12CA is a great choice if you are looking for big bass in a small enclosure. This shallow-mount subwoofer gives your sound a nice boost without heating up or experiencing any major setback.
Be the next happy Rockville customer. Check out the RWS12CA today.
3. Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 – A bass quality that you can feel
How do you like to experience your bass - by hearing, or feeling?
Here is another brand that gives outstanding bass performance. Rockford Fosgate has brought together cutting edge technologies in the P3D4-12 sub to make sure that you not only hear the bass but feel it too. See its unique features below:
What makes Rockford Fosgate P3D4 -12 Punch P3 exceptional
There are many reasons why we loved this sub. Its innovative cone design, deep, aggressive bass, and stunning cosmetics are just but a few of the things that attract serious bass heads to the sub.
Take a few minutes to check out further details about this award-winning 12-inch sub.
4. MTX Audio TNE212D – Best for deep bass
You’ve probably met a friend who doesn’t get enough of deep bass. Or maybe you are that friend. We have evaluated many 12-inch subs from other brands and we have not yet found one that gets the lows as low as this sub. You have to check MTX Audio TNE212D. This sub will blow you away with its exceptional bass performance. See further details on its features below:
Features of MTX Audio TNE212D
With MTX Audio TNE212D, you’ve got an excellent performer that does not hurt your bank account. Considering all the features of this set of 12-inch subs, the set is undoubtedly a great deal.
You have the space, and you have the means to endow your car audio system with awesome bass. The solution is just a click away – try MTX Audio TNE212D.
5. Infinity Reference REF1200S – Clean and accurate bass
We do test many subwoofers on a daily basis, and once in while we find some surprising details about the units we test. One such surprising product is Infinity Reference REF1200S. At first glance, you may think of this sub as just an average performer. Its power handling is right about the average of good performing subs, and its frequency response is undeniably impressive. When you go deeper into the performance details of this sub, you start to see why it is more than just an average performer. Now, shall we?
What makes Infinity Reference REF1200S one of the best 12-inch subs
Infinity Reference REF1200S brings out all the delicious bass details of your music. You can count on this well-built subwoofer to give you the perfect bass you’ve been missing in your car audio.
Should you be looking for a 12-inch sub that digs out the lows really well, try the REF1200S with confidence.
6. Sundown Audio SA-12 D4 REV.3
Sundown Audio is a world-renowned manufacturer of sound equipment and parts including top-of-the-line cones, magnets, amplifiers and motors. If there’s one thing you can bank on Sundown Audio for, it is quality control. This company rarely disappoints when it comes to engineering audio products for the car audio equipment industry. See below how the SA-12 D4 REV.3 12-inch subwoofer has upheld the company’s admirable reputation.
Features of Sundown Audio SA-12 D4 REV.3
Sundown Audio SA-12 D4 REV.3 is one of the treasures of an experienced car audio fan. The small bass champion leaves mouths open with awesomely crisp bass, and it fits in many small spaces in most vehicles.
If you are looking for premium bass quality, you will be right to select this shallow-mount sub.
7. JBL CS1214 – For powerful bass output
JBL CS1214 12” power subs deliver all-round bass from as deep as 35Hz. These subs operate at 4 ohms and use a single voice coil at a 90dB sensitivity level. What’s particularly interesting about this subwoofer pair is its power handling. When the subs are combined, they deliver up to 2000w. See other captivating features of the subs below.
What to expect from JBL CS1214
These JBL CS1214 speakers are for anyone looking for entry subs that will give his sound system’s bass output a little boost. They may not be glass-shattering or competition grade but you can be sure that they will add some cool kicks to your favorite jams.
Buy this budget pair of 12 inch subs for a better in-car music listening experience.
8. Kenwood KFC-W3016PS – Cheapest option
Our research shows that many of Kenwood’s offers get a favorable reception in the market because the company has learnt to satisfy customers’ needs. Kenwood’s Performance Series comprises of well-built subs that suit different needs of bass lovers. The KFC-W3016PS falls in the 12-inch category and features sound performance attributes that provide reliable bass output in your car.
Features of Kenwood KFC-W3016PS
Kenwood KFC-W3016PS gives you the value of decades of hard work aimed at providing you with a powerful, lightweight, and reliable sub. Enclose this sub correctly, make sure that it receives appropriate power and nothing will stop you from partying as you drive.
This sub offers great value in terms of sound upgrade at a very low price.
9. Dual Electronics BP1204
Are you looking for an enclosed subwoofer that is optimized for bass output efficiency?
Dual Electronics BP1204 12-inch sub is a high-performance, digitally-optimized and powerful sub that gives you accurate and efficient bass. With an impressive power handling of 1100 watts, a lower limit frequency of 30Hz and 4-ohm impedance, this sub represents unrivaled sound performance superiority.
Unique features of Dual Electronics BP1204
Dual Electronics BP1204 wins on many fronts including design and sound quality. It offers an outstanding listening experience in an aesthetically pleasing enclosure.
Get this subwoofer set for your new model car and you will love how it complements your new ride.
10. Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 – One of the most powerful subs
Closing out list of best 12-inch subwoofers is one of the most powerful subs on the market today. The EVL-12 D2 packs quite a punch, as evidenced by a 2500w peak power rating. There is no denying that this sub, in its own right, is a master of low-frequency sound reproduction.
What makes Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 a winning 12-inch sub
This 2-ohm car subwoofer captivates you with its smooth, deep, clear bass. It can also get very loud, which is an important attribute for audiophiles. Apart from its lower sensitivity, everything else about this sub marks it for top-ranking bass performance.
If you have a nice amplifier, with Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 you will experience the best bass out of your system.
Important Considerations to Make When Choosing the Best 12-Inch Sub
We started by talking about how essential it is that you get quality bass from your speaker system. Evaluating the following factors will set you on the right way toward ending up with a 12-inch subwoofer that projects your music and other audio pieces as they are for your listening pleasure.
i. How much power does the sub need?
Power requirements have to come first always. Without enough power, you cannot get the performance you need from your sub. Also, a sub is at risk of serious damage if it is underpowered. There are some 12-inch subs that come with their own amplifiers (powered subs). As a general rule of thumb, the higher the power the more impactful the bass.
Go for the highest amplifier wattage that your budget can allow. Remember, RMS rating is the spec to check first when evaluating the power requirements and capabilities of any audio system. ‘Peak Power’ rating doesn’t really have much effect on the real-life performance of a subwoofer.
The sensitivity rating of a subwoofer influences how the driver uses the available power. It determines how much volume you get at a given wattage. A subwoofer that has a higher sensitivity rating will give louder sound at a given power level compared to a sub with a lower sensitivity rating. You should always aim for higher sensitivity ratings because they reflect higher power efficiency.
From our experience with different subwoofer brands, 88dB sensitivity lies somewhere about the average. If you want a very good (with regard to efficiency) subwoofer, consider sensitivity ratings of 92dB and above.
It is important that you understand the link between power and sensitivity. If for one reason or another you choose to install a low-powered subwoofer, then you’ve got to make sure that the sub has a high sensitivity rating.
iii. Frequency response
The idea behind including a sub in any audio system is to allow for the separation of frequencies to their respective drivers. Subs are good at reproducing the lows, that is, the frequencies at the lower end of the frequency response range. The lower a sub can push low frequencies, the higher the quality of sound.
To better understand this bass performance factor, consider two subs with the same power rating. One has a frequency range that goes as low as 27Hz and the other one goes as low as 20Hz. The sub with a 20Hz lower frequency limit is more likely to produce deeper and sweeter bass than the sub with a 27Hz lower limit.
iv. Subwoofer enclosure
Having a sub in an enclosure serves many purposes. First, a well-built enclosure helps to bring out the full potential of your sub. The enclosure improves bass quality significantly by enhancing the lows and their delivery. Sealed sub boxes are preferable for tight and accurate bass, but they need more power to deliver good quality music. Ported sub enclosures are designed to allow the production of louder bass. They need lower power compared to sealed boxes. Thus, if you have a high powered sub and you are looking for tight bass, choose a sealed enclosure. On the other hand, go for a ported enclosure if your sub has a lower power rating or if you are looking for louder bass.
Other crucial factors to consider when choosing subwoofers include size, durability, and design. You want to end up with a 12-inch sub that fits in the available space in your car, and one that is designed properly to last long.
Our pick for the best 12-inch subwoofer is Pioneer TS-WX1210A
Pioneer TS-WX1210A, a powered subwoofer, has all the qualities of an A-class performer with regard to bass performance. This bass champ adds tight and accurate bass to your sound. You are welcome to try this sub at the highest desirable volume with confidence as its in-built amp stands equal to the task.
Additionally, the frequency response of the TS-WX1210A is unparalleled. The sub can go down really deep to dig out all the awesomeness hidden in the bass tunes of your favorite jams. If music is an important part of you, this sub will make your in-car entertainment experiences so much better you’ll wish you had discovered it earlier. Imagine a sub that hits all the sweet spots of your music. And what’s more fascinating about the sub is that you can fine tune audio output to suit your listening preferences using the amplifier controls on this speaker. Pioneer TS-WX1210A is undoubtedly excellent value for your money.