Best 18-Inch Subwoofer Reviews 2020: It’s Not All About the Boom
You are here because you like clean sound at high volume. With your experience as a bass enthusiast, you are yet to know what enough bass means. While subs the sizes of 12 to 16 inches may provide plenty of volume, they are limited when it comes to low-end frequency handling. They don’t hit hard, and trying to stretch their potential with the EQ can actually blow them up. Life is too short for weak subs.
Just how deep can bass get?
And what is the impact of chasing after the low frequencies in your sound?
Well, smaller subs cannot answer these questions, which is why 18-inch subwoofers are essential for anyone intending to reap the benefits of a truly full-range system. Whether you are a professional musician, mobile DJ, or other music production expert, you surely need a reliable 18-inch sub. Some home theater and car audio lovers also like to set the bar high with regard to enjoying heavy punches in their music or movies. This review will help you get exactly what suits your needs.
How we chose the top six 18-inch subwoofers
Experiencing different audio equipment is our main job. Our team of very enthusiastic sound engineers, technicians, reviewers, and professional installers set to explore the 18-inch subwoofer territory. We conducted in-depth research on top performing subs from all competitive players on the market. The aim was to compile short, evidence-based reviews of subs that you can consider for your bass reproduction needs.
This project went deeper than desktop research and analysis of customer reviews. A lot of time was spent in the sound production lab testing and retesting different subs. After all the tests and analyses, we identified 6 top-class performers. All of them are from reputable brands. We’ve presented the summary of our reviews below. A short section on the factors to consider when choosing the best 18” subwoofer follows these subwoofer reviews.
Let’s get started. Shall we?
1. Rockville PBG18 18" Passive 2000W Sub – Best Overall
The PBG18 is unmistakably one of the most powerful and reliable professional subwoofers. This sound champ adds awesome thump to your audio and steps you system up for the delivery of clear, articulate, deep bass. It marvels at filling the bottom of the musical spectrum. You’ll also love the way this sub projects the thrill and rattle of action scenes in your favorite movies.
RMS/PEAK Power: 1000w/2000w
Frequency response: 35Hz - 4KHz
Features of Rockville PBG18
If you are looking for a favorably-priced sub that will add sensible boom into your music while maintaining musical clarity, Rockville PBG18 is one of the best options to consider.
Rockville PBG18 is a great deal for a reliable 18-inch sub that won’t hurt your pocket.
2. JBL EON618S 18" Self-Powered Subwoofer – state-of-the-art technology
Let this self-powered sub give your system the much needed low frequency reinforcement. As part of JBL Professional’s EON600 series, JBL EON618S delivers top-grade bass performance thanks to its premium components and sound-efficient design. Upon unwrapping this sub and seeing its rugged Duraflex enclosure, you’ll know for sure that it’s up to some serious bass business.
RMS/PEAK Power: 500w/1000w
Frequency response: 31Hz – 150Hz
Why is JBL EON618S the best self-powered 18-inch sub?
Despite its few transportation challenges, the JBL EON618S has continually wowed users with its clean, earthshaking bass. If you are a serious music professional, choose this 18-inch sub and it’ll give your music production business a worthy boost.
Say goodbye to mediocre bass with JBL EON618S powered subwoofer.
3. Skar Audio ZVX-18v2 D2 18" Car Subwoofer – Powerful bass performance
First off, the power handling of this 18” bass baby is mind blowing. 1600w RMS power is no joke, and you can expect the component parts of this sub to be of unbeatable quality. Skar Audio engineered this sub to stand up to any kind of bass production abuse. If you are a car audio bass fanatic, you don’t want to let the unique opportunity that Skar Audio offers you through this outstanding sub.
RMS/PEAK Power: 1600w/3200w
Frequency response: 20-400 Hz
Key Features of Skar Audio ZVX-18v2
If you’re keen on building your car audio system to achieve exceptional levels of bass performance, the ZVX-18v2 is an offer like no other.
Choose this subwoofer and start living your fantasies about big bass and awesome in-car entertainment.
4. Electro-Voice ELX200-18SP 18" 1200W Powered Subwoofer
Electro-Voice ELX200 is the kind of powered subwoofer models that have a sophisticated, modern design engineered to meet the needs of the most demanding music lovers. This model is ideal for both installed and portable applications, so you’ll love it if you want something you can use at home and away. Let’s explore more about this award-winning sub.
RMS/PEAK Power: 600w/1200w
Frequency Response: 47Hz -105Hz
What makes the ELX200 unique?
Something about the meticulous design of this sub makes it irresistible to serious sound professionals. If high efficiency, incredibly portable design, sound control and top-grade design are what you are looking for, you will find them in Electro-Voice ELX200.
Using this subwoofer is choosing to invest in high-quality and highly competitive bass performance. You will not regret this decision in the short- and long-term.
5. Seismic Audio Tremor 18-PW – Most affordable professional 18” Sub
Are you preparing for a gig but haven’t found a subwoofer that can meet the needs of the day? It is not easy to find a great quality powered sub, especially affordably. Seismic Audio has a solution – an 18” pro audio that delivers deep lows to give your music the round up you want.
500 Watts RMS; 1000 Watts Peak Power
Frequency Response: 40Hz - 300Hz
Unique features of Seismic Audio Tremor 18-PW
Let not the simplistic design of this sub mislead you into thinking that it is not a performer. The sub competes well with the other units we’ve included in this review, which means you can rely on it for your music production needs.
You’ve finally found a great powered sub at an affordable price. Consider using it and make significant savings on your purchase.
6. CT SOUNDS Tropo 18 D4 Car Subwoofer – Best price for 18-inch car subwoofer
At number 6 of our best performing 18-inch subwoofer reviews is the famous CT Sounds. Named Tropo 18 D4, this subwoofer showcases CT Sounds’ massive efforts in improving the Tropo series subwoofers. Most notably, the sub comes with a large voice coil, which means better high-power performance. Let’s not spoil the surprise for you. Dive right into the exclusive attributes of the sub explained below.
600 Watts RMS; 1200 Watts Peak Power
Why purchase CT Sounds Tropo 18 D4?
We were impressed with the way this sub takes on anything that is thrown to it – from bass heavy r&b and rap to jazz and gospel songs. It is definitely one of the best deals for an 18-inch subs.
Check out CT Sounds Tropo 18 if you are searching for a budget 18-inch sub whose reliability has been tested and proven.
Factors to consider when selecting the best 18-inch subwoofer
The ability to blast music is means unlimited fun for the majority of bass fans. What’s not fun is finding a big subwoofer that delivers this value sustainably and affordably. The selection process can even be stressful especially if you aren’t sure about what considerations to make to ensure that you end up with the best sub for your system and listening needs. It is noteworthy that not all big subs perform better than smaller subs. The reasons for this relate to crucial performance factors of which you must be privy when you go out shopping.
This section serves the purpose of highlighting the important factors to consider when evaluating 18-inch subs and comparing different offers on the market.
It has been said repetitively that a subwoofer is only as good as the power behind it. And when it comes to consuming power, 18-inch subs are really greedy. You don’t want to have a great sub but without adequate power for it.
In most cases, power deficiency is the cause of distortion and unappealing boominess in large sound drivers. Controlling the essential sound reproduction components such as the cone and surround is not easy due to the large surface area of these components. For this reason, poorly engineered and inadequately powered subs struggle to control the underlying pistonic movement and can never produce accurate bass.
In addition to considering RMS power handling, assess the sub’s magnet and voice coil. Bigger, higher quality magnets and thicker voice coils enhance better control over the driver. Thus, the sub is able to deliver big, quality lows without distortion and muddiness.
Powered vs. unpowered subwoofer
Powered subs come with their own amplifiers. For example, Electro-Voice ELX200 uses an inbuilt 1200w class D amplifier. This sub doesn’t require you to hook it up with another sub. Besides, you can wire the sub with other smaller speakers in your system to power them.
Passive subs, on the other hand, don’t have in-built amp and rely on external amplification.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and your preferences determine the better option. If you already have a powerful amplifier in your audio system, you may be good to go with an unpowered sub. On the other hand, if you don’t want to buy a sub and an amp separately, you might find a powered sub more attractive.
Low frequency Extension
The frequency response of a sub is considered among the most crucial factors of performance. A sub that handles more low frequencies can deliver deeper bass. The numbers to look out for are the lower end of the frequency response. For example, the frequency response of Rockville PBG18, our top pick, is 35Hz – 4KHz. This sub can handle frequencies as low as 35Hz. Sound pressure level (SPL) is related closely with frequency extension. Greater SPL is better in the production of low-end sound, so you want to be keen on this rating when comparing subwoofers.
Go for brands with a reputation of cutting-edge engineering. Purchasing an 18-inch sub is considerably a serious investment in your sound systems, and you don’t want to start looking for a replacement for your new but unrewarding sub. Top brand subs are designed to win the deep bass extension without giving up speed in transients and accuracy in frequency response. This quality of engineering is not achievable without huge investments in research and development, and you can be sure that only the big brands have the budget for R&D.
Top subwoofer brands are also known for their use of premium parts in the design of their products. Such high-quality parts not only promise serious sound performance but also enhance the durability of the products.
Size and weight of the subwoofer
18-inch subs weigh differently and come with different enclosure. These two aspects affect whether and how you will use your chosen subwoofer. If you are searching for a car subwoofer, consider the desired placement location of your sub, making sure that it will fit in your car. If you are a sound production professional, you might need to transport your speakers to different event locations. Think about portability aspects in the design of the unit.
Hopefully, you can now make your own comparisons between different 18-inch subs and settle on the one that best fits your needs.
Our pick for the Best 18-inch Subwoofer for 2020 is Rockville PBG18
Rockville is a leading subwoofer brand and it has designed the PBG18 for those desiring the real experience of a hard-hitting sub. We were eager to test the sub’s exceptionally high power handling, and we loved the intensity with which this bass monster rounds up the low frequencies in various sound.
What’s more interesting is the sub’s ability to balance punch and sound clarity. We had noted that most users mentioned this in their reviews, and we got to experience it loud and clear in our labs. The PBG18 will maintain great musical touch in your sound to ensure that you do not lose the sweet mid-frequency juices that make listening to music enjoyable.
Besides, the sub enclosure is sturdily built to last long, just like other Rockville products. All this value comes at an unbelievably affordable price. Certainly, Rockville PBG18 is a great deal at its current price.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about 18-inch subwoofers? Please feel free to drop your question or thoughts in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to talk to you.