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Everybody appreciates good audio quality, but not everyone is willing to pony up for a top-level system. Whether they're installing it themself or hiring someone to do it, it quickly becomes a costly proposition. Sometimes, all you want is decent or mildly upgraded audio quality. And let's not forget about broke teenagers who just want something loud—we've all been there. Or, perhaps you're simply replacing a factory component that's given up the ghost, and you're on a tight budget. One of the best ways to improve your in-car listening experience is with a cheap subwoofer.
There are more than a few cheap subwoofers on the market that promise great bang (or rather, bump) for your buck, but not all of them come with phenomenal ratings. But there are definitely some out there worth looking at: let's highlight a few at various price points.
Sorry, but Mom's old Honda Accord is definitely going to lose its rear window sooner rather than later.
Skar Audio IX-10 D4
- Good RMS
- Punchy bass
- Dual voice cell
- Great price
- Not the sturdiest construction
- Enclosure included
- Solid RMS
- Good audio quality
- Single voice cell
Lanzar 6.5” Car Subwoofer Speaker
- Very inexpensive
- Compact, easy-to-mount size
- Good audio quality
- Very low RMS
- Not of the best construction
The key word in all of this is "cheap." If you're after significantly more quality units, check out our guide on several hundred-dollar options. To get an idea of what to include in this guide, we read up on beneficial specs that any audio enthusiast would dig. Then, I compared units with the right specs, ratings, and included accessories, and weighed them against their price tags. For more on how we evaluate products, have a look at this.
The Best Cheap Subwoofers Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Skar Audio IX-10 D4 10"
Dual voice coils for ease of setup
Common 10-inch size
It takes a quality amp to deliver solid sound quality
Not the sturdiest construction
This option by Skar Audio is the best overall for one appealing reason: It gets very complimentary reviews for being less than $50. That's less than a date at Chili's! The reason being, is people all seem to agree that it's got good, punchy bass for the price. It's advertised as a 400-watt unit, but that's the peak rating, as its RMS, or, continuous wattage, is 200. That's still plenty healthy for its size, and sporting dual voice coils make it ready to install in any enclosure.
Saving money here ensures you can pair it with a reasonably quality amplifier, which consumers say is definitely needed to make the most of it. Money saved between the two can go towards a quality enclosure, proper sound deadening, and so on.
However, some folks report long-term build quality issues. Some componentry has fallen apart when faced with prolonged ambient heat over the course of a few seasons. Though, at less than $50/pop, either take advantage of its warranty or pony up for another if that happens in your ride.
Best High-End: Rockville VS10K54 10" K5 1200w Car Subwoofer
All set up in a quality enclosure
300 Watts RMS
Excellent bass output
Single voice coil
We're definitely taking "high-end" with a slight grain of salt, as this sub isn't quite up there with the units on our other lists. But it does sport some nice specs that are quite appealing. Most notably that it comes ready to mount in your car in its very own aesthetically pleasing enclosure.
Then, 300 watts RMS is plenty for continuously cranking your favorite tracks, especially when paired with any mid-tier amp. The bass quality itself is quite good, and it gets quite loud, too.
However, installation could be tricky for some applications due to sporting a single voice cell. But that just means you'll have to run more wiring or get more creative.
Best Value: Lanzar 6.5” Car Subwoofer Speaker
So cheap in price
Small size makes for versatile installation
Good sound quality
Not the best longevity
Just look at this lil' 6.5-inch fella, isn't he cute? This option by Lanzar might be the smallest on this list, but consumers point out that they were pleasantly surprised by its audio quality. It's not able to get very loud, reliably, as it's only good for around 150 watts RMS (600 peak), but if you're just after something reasonable, it could be fine for many factory or near-factory-level systems.
Though, this bargain-basement-priced option does have one hitch: Some consumers mention poor longevity, even when asked to work with relatively mild audio settings. But then, two of them are just barely over the price of the aforementioned Skar Audio option—the juice could be worth the squeeze.
Honorable Mention: Skar Audio Single 8" 800W Loaded SVR Series
Higher in price, though much higher in specs
Great sound quality
Quality enclosure included
Some quality control issues
Finishing up our list is another Skar Audio product, but this time with a quality enclosure and 800 peak watts. There are actually several options available in regards to size and whether you'd like two woofers in one; this is for a single eight-inch, a more common 10-inch is around $50 more at the moment.
This unit comes with a quality enclosure ready to wire and mount up and boasts as much as 400 watts RMS, plus 1600 peak. Meaning, it'll bump for hours on end. It sports great audio quality and will work with any conservatively spec'd amp at 350 watts just fine.
Though, some consumers complained of quality control issues, whether due to it not working or receiving a lightly damaged unit. Be sure to read up on the warranty if this is at the top of your list.
For the best all-rounder, you can't beat the Skar Audio IX-10 D4 10", especially if you want to build your own enclosure. For a higher-end experience, the Rockville VS10K54 10" K5 1200w Car Subwoofer simply, well, rocks. Finally, the cheap-in-price, high-in-moxy Lanzar 6.5” Car Subwoofer Speaker is a great budget option.
You've got questions. The Drive has answers!
These options are terrible, what else can invest my hard-earned money in?
Woh now, take it easy, we've got the perfect guide for you here.
Can I wire a subwoofer into a factory sound system?
Generally, it's better to integrate a quality aftermarket amplifier in between the two to get the most out of everything and ensure the best audio quality.
What else can I do besides buying a cheap subwoofer to improve my car's audio quality?
Checking and replacing weather sealing and vapor barriers, and adding insulation in key areas are solid moves. Then, either removing, replacing, or insulating various buzzy components helps, too, such as trim pieces, seats, hinges, and so on.
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.Learn more