There’s nothing that adds punchy and kicking bass like a subwoofer. Subwoofers are designed differently from regular speakers. Subwoofers are large in size and specially designed to reproduce low frequencies in the range of 20 Hz to 200 Hz. They come in different sizes, with 15 inch subwoofers being super large and ideal enough for music enthusiasts who like earthshaking bass. If you’re looking for subwoofers that can help you win a music competition with your car, then be assured that 15 inch subs have what it takes to win a serious music competition.
The challenge comes in choosing the best subwoofer. Subwoofer manufacturers are quite many today such that you’d be lost for choice. However, if you’re not careful enough, you might end up choosing a subwoofer that won’t live up to your expectations or fail to deliver the kind of performance you want. Thus, it’s necessary to make an informed choice when buying a sub. To make it easier for you, here’s a review of the best 15 inch subwoofers today, including the features to consider when buying.
Quick Comparison Table
How We Wrote this Review
Upgrading a sound system demands investing in the best sound equipment, including a subwoofer. However, not everyone knows how to choose the best subwoofer. Some people simply go for size while others consider the price. Some people assume that the most expensive subwoofer may be the best, but that’s not always the case. Also, a subwoofer that looks most attractive might not even sound right. Thus, there’s much more to consider than price, size, and aesthetics. When it comes to size, 15 inch subwoofers are ideal enough for anyone looking for an extra-large subwoofer. But what’s the best 15 inch sub? This is where our review comes in handy.
We wrote this review with the aim of assisting potential buyers to make better choices. Thus, we decided to review the best 15 inch subs to make the work easier for you. We tested different 15 inch subwoofer models for their performance. We also gathered feedback from current users. We compared and analyzed our findings and shortlisted seven 15 inch subs that met the criteria of being the best models today. Read on for a detailed review about each subwoofer in our shortlist.
The Top Seven 15 Inch Subwoofers Available Today
There’re dozens of fifteen inch subs available today, but only seven made it to our shortlist. Why is that so? Learn more in this detailed review of the top seven 15 inch subs, including the top features of each subwoofer model we shortlisted, what we liked most and disliked in each subwoofer, and the features to consider when buying.
1. New Rockville RVP15W8
The pair of (2) New Rockville RVP15W8 15” subwoofer boasts of 500 watts RMS each and a peak power of 1000 watts each. Thus, this subwoofer pair has what it takes to be the best replacement subwoofer for your bass needs. Let’s see why this subwoofer tops our list.
The Top Features:
- Accordion cloth surround– The surround of this subwoofer is made of accordion cloth material. This cone material enhances the efficiency of the subwoofer as it allows for enhanced cone movement with reduced effort. Accordion cloth material is extremely flexible, making it a great choice for the subwoofer surround. The surround is also rolled for increased surface area, thus more flexibility.
- Fiber-reinforced paper cone– The cone of this subwoofer is made of paper composite and reinforced with fiber. The paper composite material is lightweight for enhanced cone movement with little power demand. Fiber reinforcement makes the cone stiffer, thereby enhancing its damping qualities for tighter bass response.
- Paper composite dust cap– Another major feature of this speaker is its paper composite dust cap. The dust cap material resists moisture and keeps foreign particles away from the coil. The dust cap material is high tensile and strong enough. It also has great buffer performance.
- Nickel-plated terminals– The subwoofer terminals are plated with nickel. Nickel plating inhibits corrosion for a long-lasting connection. Nickel plating also allows the terminals to have a high melting point at room temperature.
- High temperature voice coil– Yet another great feature of this subwoofer is its 2.5-inch voice coil. The voice coil is designed to tolerate high temperature. This way, the subwoofer can be used for a prolonged period without any performance issues.
- High power handling
- 51 OZ magnet
- Conex spiders
- Tight bass
- Comes as a pair
- Not booming
- Bass is not enough for an audiophile
If you’re looking for a subwoofer that can deliver tight bass, then be sure to consider the (2) New Rockville RVP15W8 subwoofer. Although the sub is not booming, you’ll enjoy clean and tight bass.
2. Pyle PLPW15D
Pyle PLPW15D is specially built for power. The subwoofer boasts of taking a lot of power from an external amplifier for booming bass. Let’s look at its top features that made us consider it in our review.
The Top Features:
- High power rating– This 15 inch subwoofer has a power rating of 1000 watts RMS and 2000 watts peak power. As such, you can push the subwoofer really hard without any distortion, making the subwoofer ideal for loud bass.
- Push down terminals– The subwoofer comes with push down terminals for speaker wire connection. The push down terminals are spring-loaded to hold the speaker wire tightly in place, thereby allowing for enhanced audio quality.
- Unmatched performance– Pyle has designed this subwoofer for unmatched performance. It’s built with a 95 OZ magnet. The magnet enhances the bass performance. Moreover, it has a sensitivity rating of 92dB for enhanced clarity.
- Treated foam surround– The surround of this subwoofer is made of foam material. The foam material is specially treated for enhanced durability. It’s designed with a non-fatiguing suspension technology for enhanced performance.
- Dual voice coil– The subwoofer boasts of featuring two voice coils. Each voice coil has an impedance rating of 4 ohms. This way, you’ll enjoy more flexibility in wiring. You can either wire the subwoofer as 4 ohm or 8 ohm. Moreover, the four-layer dual voice coil resists corrosion for enhanced longevity.
- Easy to install
- Fits in most cars, RVs, and boats
- Stamped steel basket
- Ideal for both sealed, vented, and open-air enclosures
- Very affordable
- The dust cap may rattle at high volume
- Not ideal for an audiophile
Looking for an affordable 15 inch subwoofer? The Pyle PLPW15D is ideal for anyone working with a tight budget or anyone looking for a decent entry-level subwoofer.
3. Rockford Fosgate P3D2
The Rockford Fosgate P3D2 subwoofer is one of the best P3 series subwoofers manufactured by Rockford Fosgate. It’s made with high-end sound technologies. Let’s look at some of these technologies and features.
The Top Features:
- Anodized aluminum dust cap and cone– The subwoofer dust cap are made of anodized aluminum material. The material is stiff and yet highly damped for deep bass. Moreover, the material is very strong and durable.
- Spider venting– The subwoofer features a spider venting design. This design allows for enhanced ventilation to keep the subwoofer motor cooler. Thus, you can use the subwoofer for a prolonged period without overheating issues.
- VAST subwoofer cone technology– The subwoofer cone is designed with VAST technology for increased surface area. This allows for enhanced bass without increasing the size of the subwoofer.
- FlexFit basket design– Another great design technology incorporated into this speaker is the FlexFit basket design. This unique design allows for easier subwoofer installation. Thus, you can easily install the subwoofer in most motor vehicles with ease.
- Hybrid stamp basket- Yet another technology that comes with this speaker is the hybrid stamp basket. The basket is designed for strength with minimal weight and resonance. Thus, it allows for reduced weight of the speaker without affecting the quality of bass.
- Nickel-plated terminals
- Extended pole piece
- Bumped and vented back plate
- Excellent heat dissipation
- Protective magnet cover
- Higher price range
- Bass is loud but not very tight
The Rockford Fosgate P3D2 is indeed one of the best 15 inch subwoofers you can find today. Although its price range is on the higher side, it’s worth it due to the sound technologies integrated in its design.
4. Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72
The Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72 is designed using Kicker’s innovative sound technology and concepts. Its design and features make it a one of a kind 15 inch subwoofer. Here’re some of its top features.
The Top Features:
- Unique square design- The subwoofer is square-shaped, making it a masterpiece of art and design. The design makes it extremely unique and attractive. It’s actually a design you would boast about during a music competition.
- Patented extra cone area– This subwoofer has an extra cone area to deliver more sound. The extra cone area increases the surface area of the subwoofer. Thus, expect more booming bass from the subwoofer, all in a compact subwoofer design.
- Great heat dissipation- Another great feature about this subwoofer is its great heat dissipation. The subwoofer is well ventilated for enhanced cooling. Thus, you won’t have to worry about any heat issues.
- Shallow installation– The solid pole design allows for shallower installation. This is because you won’t have to leave some space for venting at the back area of the magnet. As such, you can install it in tight spaces without minding the back area.
- Cast aluminum basket– The basket of this subwoofer is made of cast aluminum. The cast aluminum material can withstand high temperature. Moreover, it resists corrosion and retains the dimensional stability of the subwoofer.
- High temperature dual voice coil
- Solid pole piece
- Tough build
- Patented square design
- Easy to connect with other subs in parallel or series
- Doesn’t handle a lot of power
- Higher price range
- The glue holding the cone to the voice coil softens during prolonged usage
The Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72 wins when it comes to innovative sound technologies and attractiveness. It’s ideal for anyone looking for a uniquely designed subwoofer.
5. Skar Audio EVL-15 D2
Skar Audio has designed the EVL-15 D2 to redefine how low frequency sound is reproduced. The kind of sound engineering incorporated in the design of this speaker makes it worth our consideration in this review. Here’s why we considered it in our list.
The Top Features:
- Double stack motor structure– The subwoofer features a double stack motor structure. This motor structure is what drives the subwoofer to reproduce powerful and accurate bass.
- 3-inch voice coil– The subwoofer comes with a 3-inch voice coil. The voice coil is high-temperature, making it tolerate prolonged usage without burning out.
- Cooling design– Another top feature of this subwoofer is the cooling design of its basket. The cooling design allows for pushing the sub to its highest levels for several hours without overheating.
- High roll surround– The surround of this subwoofer is made of high roll foam material. The high roll design allows for enhanced responsiveness. Thus, it reproduces low frequencies with a lot of accuracy and smoothness.
- Two-layer spider– The subwoofer comes with a two-layer spider. This makes the spider more effective in keeping the voice coil centered within the magnetic field while still allowing it to move back and forth.
- Pressed paper cone
- Advanced cooling system
- Clean, smooth bass
- Hits hard
- Well built
- Smells a little bit during heavy usage
- The dust cap can get dented easily
Looking for a subwoofer that can deliver smooth and accurate bass? The Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 will be your best bet for smooth and accurate bass.
6. QPower QPF15
The QPower QPF15 subwoofer features a dual voice coil for enhanced performance among other great features. We considered this subwoofer in our review due to these top features:
The Top Features:
- Aluminum former– The subwoofer comes with an aluminum former material. This material acts as a heat sink that lowers the temperature of the voice coil. This way, the subwoofer can be used for a prolonged period without overheating issues.
- Die cast frame– The frame that comes with this subwoofer is made of a die cast material. Die casting enhances the durability of the frame. It also enhances the dimensional stability of the frame.
- DuPont fiber spider– The spider of this subwoofer is made of DuPont fiber material. This material is extremely flexible and soft at the same time. It’s also high temperature, thereby enhancing the performance of the spider.
- Large foam surround– QPower has focused on designing this subwoofer using a large foam surround. Foam material is lightweight. Thus, it has high efficiency, thereby making the cone move more easily.
- Vented cooling design– The subwoofer is designed in a manner that allows cool air to easily penetrate the voice coil and other components. The vented cooling design allows the subwoofer components to remain cool when pushing the subwoofer hard for several hours continuously.
- Deep bass
- Quite loud
- They come as a pair
- They can take a lot of power
- Dual voice coil
- Demands a powerful amp
- RMS power rating is not given
Overall, the QPower QPF15 hits bass really hard and deep, with good quality build and can fit into small sub boxes. Thus, it’s a subwoofer worth your consideration.
7. Planet Audio AC15D
Planet Audio has not been left behind in our review. Its AC15D subwoofer is designed to satisfy the needs of most audiophiles. Moreover, it’s very affordable. Here’re some of its top features.
The Top Features:
- Superior surround– The subwoofer is built with a superior surround for enhanced performance. The foam surround material is very flexible, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the subwoofer. Moreover, the flexibility of the foam surround allows for better excursion of the subwoofer cone.
- Powerful voice coil– The voice coil that comes with the subwoofer is built to withstand high temperature. It also boasts of having great fatigue properties and strength for longer play times. Moreover, it’s lightweight for easier movement.
- Polypropylene cone– The subwoofer cone is made of polypropylene material. This material is highly durable and very resilient. Thus, it allows the subwoofer to be pushed hard.
- Reduced resistance- The subwoofer comes with a dual voice coil. As such, the subwoofer has lower resistance for enhanced amplifier efficiency. Consequently, the amplifier feeding the subwoofer will deliver more power, thereby allowing you to run the subwoofer at its peak level.
- Stamped basket– Another top feature of this subwoofer is its stamped basket. The basket provides a rigid and strong platform for the subwoofer components. As such, it allows for reproduction of clear and clean bass.
- High temperature dual voice coil
- Very affordable
- Easy mounting
- Strong, rigid basket
- May rattle at high volume
- They don’t hit very hard
- Some users complain of heating issues
The Planet Audio AC15D is a great entry-level subwoofer. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable entry-level sub with clean bass.
Features To Lookout for When Choosing the Best 15 Inch Subwoofer
Not all 15 inch subs are made equal. There’re certain features that make some subs outshine others. What are these features? Learn more by reading on for the features to lookout for when choosing the best 15 inch subwoofer.
The frequency range of a subwoofer determines the lowest frequencies it can reproduce. If you want the lowest bass, then ensure the subwoofer can play the lowest audible frequencies. Basically, a narrower frequency range will restrict the bass to that specific frequency range whereas a wider frequency range means the subwoofer can play a wider variation of bass. Here, your choice should depend on your preferences.
Most subwoofers come with an impedance rating of 4 ohms. You can still find subs rated at 2 ohms and 8 ohms. The impedance rating of a subwoofer affects how current flows through the coil. Here, the goal is to go for a subwoofer whose impedance rating matches with that of the subwoofer.
Number of Voice Coils
The most basic 15 inch subs come with a single voice coil. Today, you can find subwoofers with dual voice coils, meaning that the subwoofer comes with two voice coils built into one cylinder. Subs with dual voice coils come with the advantage of offering more flexibility in wiring. However, subs with dual voice coils are typically more expensive than those with a single voice coil.
Another crucial feature to consider is the sensitivity rating of the subwoofer. Sensitivity determines the power that a subwoofer requires to reproduce a certain amount of bass. Basically, a higher sensitivity rating means less power is required to produce louder and deeper bass.
When shopping for the subwoofer, you’ll come across peak power and RMS power ratings. Here, the most important power rating to consider is the RMS rating. The RMS rating of the subwoofer is a measure of the continuous power handling capability. Ensure the RMS rating of the sub you’re choosing will complement the power rating of the amplifier. Basically, the subwoofer you choose should have a power rating that can be comfortably fed by your amplifier. If you buy a subwoofer that has a higher power rating than your amp, then you might be forced to buy a more powerful amp.
FAQ On the Best 15 Inch Subwoofers
What is better between a 2-ohm and 4-ohm 15 inch subwoofer?
A 2-ohm subwoofer has a lower resistance than a 4-ohm subwoofer. Thus, a 2-ohm subwoofer will get more power from an amplifier than a 4-ohm subwoofer, thereby the amp works half as hard on a 2-ohm subwoofer as compared to a 4-ohm subwoofer. Thus, a 2-ohm 15 inch subwoofer may deliver cleaner and more powerful bass than a 4-ohm 15 inch subwoofer.
How can you connect multiple 15 inch subwoofers?
You can wire multiple 15 inch subwoofers either in parallel or series connection. If you have two 15 inch subwoofers each with an impedance rating of 4-ohms, you can connect them in parallel to get a total impedance of 2 ohms. Else, you can connect them in series to get an overall impedance of 4 ohms. Thus, when connecting multiple 15 inch subs in parallel, the overall impedance is half the impedance of one of the subwoofers and when you connect them in series, the overall impedance will be the sum of the impedances of all the subwoofers. Here, the choice of connection you’ll make will depend on the impedance rating of your amplifier on the kind of maximum impedance load it can push.
Can 15 inch subwoofers win a car music competition?
Yes you can. 15 inch subwoofers are very large in size. As long as you choose a powerful 15” sub, you can easily win a car music competition.
How can I prevent my 15 inch subwoofer from distorting?
In case you hear any distortion from your 15 inch subwoofer, it’s likely that you’re pushing it beyond its limits. Try to reduce the volume level on your receiver until the distortion stops. You can also reduce the gain or bass boost on your amplifier until the distortion stops.
What’s better between a round and a square 15 inch sub?
The shape of a 15 inch sub doesn’t determine its performance. Thus, the better option is the one that has better features. The shape is all about your personal preference in terms of aesthetics. Nevertheless, round-shaped 15 inch subs are more common than square-shaped subs.
Are 15 inch subs any good?
Yes. 15 inch subs are a great choice. They’re actually very large in size and are capable of delivering loud, booming, and earthshaking bass.
How do I choose an amp for my 15 inch sub?
When choosing an amplifier for your subwoofer, the most important thing to check is the power rating. Ensure the amplifier is powerful enough to drive your subwoofer. Here, ensure the RMS power ratings are a good match such that the subwoofer is neither underpowered nor overpowered by the amplifier.
How do I get more bass out of my 15 inch subwoofer?
It’s simple. First, get a good subwoofer box for your 15 inch sub. Next, ensure you have a good amplifier to feed the sub with enough power. Also, tune your receiver and amplifier properly.
If you’re upgrading your sound system and want to add more bass, then a 15 inch subwoofer will be your best bet. Luckily, we’ve reviewed the best 15 inch subwoofers available today. You’ll surely find a subwoofer from our review that can fit your budget and needs. Remember to consider all the important features when making your choice. After all, you’ll want the best value for your money.
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.