Best 8-Inch Subwoofers: Small But Mighty Speakers That Boost the Bass

The best 8-inch subwoofers to give your audio system some much-needed punch.

byNorah Tarichia|
Car Electronics photo

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BYNorah Tarichia/ LAST UPDATED ON March 29, 2023

Audio isn't all about raw power and having the biggest possible speaker in every panel. Often, less is more, and provides a tighter, crisper, cleaner sound that will actually make your stereo shine instead of having the loudest thing out there. But if there's one thing missing from most stereos, it's a nice, tight bass response. And the modestly-sized 8-inch subwoofer provides just that. Here are the best ones we could find.

Best Overall
Kicker 44CWCD84 CompC 8 Inch Car Subwoofer

Kicker 44CWCD84 CompC 8 Inch Car Subwoofer


This 8-inch sub has a 4-ohm dual voice coil and a stacked magnet structure for clean, pure sound.

  • Produces super clean audio and transmits sound without vibration
  • One-piece UniPlate back plate and pole piece allows for excellent thermal management
  • Doesn't fit well in all automobiles
  • No plug and play installation
Best Value

Pyle PLPW8D 8-Inch Car Subwoofer


This is an affordable subwoofer that has an 800-watt peak power and 400-watt RMS power. It installs in 3.7-inch mounting holes.

  • Decent upgrade from factory speakers 
  • Features a durable and fatigue-free design
  • Features a shallow mounting depth that’s easy to install
  • May distort at loud volumes 
  • Not the best for bringing out deep, punchy bass
Honorable Mention

BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8 Inch Car Subwoofer


This subwoofer is a solid, great sounding subwoofer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s a 4-ohm single voice coil that can produce up to 600 watts.

  • Durable construction
  • Stamped basket is strong and resilient 
  • Rubber surround holds up to some serious wear and tear
  • On the expensive side
  • Not as high-powered as other high-end models  
  • You might need expert help when installing it

Summary List of 8-Inch Subwoofers

Our Methodology for Selecting 8-Inch Subwoofers

We scoured the world wide web for well-reviewed products and determined the best mix of value, ease-of-use, strength, and weatherproofness at varying price levels. These are all top-name companies, too—there are plenty of cheap products out there, but considering the fact that competition is currently so good among well-known names, we erred on the side of sticking with what any outdoor enthusiast would call a household name.

For more on how we came up with our lists of products, read more about our methodology here.

Best 8-Inch Subwoofers Reviews & Recommendations

The Kicker 44CWCD84 CompC 8 Inch Car Audio Subwoofer is engineered for clean and reliable sound that gives you the strong bass tones you want. The sub generates 400 watts of peak power and 200 watts of RMS power. It has a 4-ohm dual voice coil for wiring and sound flexibility and a stacked magnet structure for power control and handling.

One of the best things about this sub is that it transmits sound without vibration, and the backing plate and pole piece act like one solid unity to provide awesome thermal management. It’s recommended to install this sub in a ported or sealed sub enclosure with a minimum with a minimum rating of 200 watts. For optimal sound, use sealed sub boxes between 0.5-1.2 cubic feet or vented boxes between 0.66-1.2 cubic feet.

Unfortunately, this sub requires some hard wiring and isn’t just plug and play. Sometimes the sub won't sit flush, and it creates an awkward bump in the trunk. 

The Pyle Car Subwoofer Audio Speaker has a power of 400 watt RMS and 800 watts of peak power. It has a sensitivity of 89 dB, a dual 4-ohm impedance, and a 1.5-inch, four-layer voice coil designed to resist corrosion for a longer lifespan. The surround is treated with foam for durability, while the 3.7-inch mounting depth accommodates most cars, RVs, and boats.

This subwoofer is great if you're on a budget and have limited space in your vehicle. While it won't blow the roof off your car, it sounds good with an appropriate enclosure. Also, the dual voice coil enables you to achieve 2 ohms if your amplifier is a 2-ohm device.

However, while the subwoofer is a great price and produces decent bass notes, it doesn’t handle heavy, low punches. It also doesn't handle well at a high volume. If you turn the volume too high, you will hear some distortion.

The BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8 Inch Car Subwoofer deserves a shout out for being a solid, great sounding subwoofer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It features a polypropylene cone that is both durable and resilient. Rubber surround can take some serious punishment without getting damaged too easily. 

A stamped basket has excellent corrosion resistance, high thermal, and electrical conductivity, and can absorb and transfer energy to create a cleaner sound. This subwoofer also features a 4-ohm single voice coil that’s capable of producing 600 watts of max power, which isn’t amazing, but considering the price, it’s still a great deal. 

The voice coil is constructed to withstand high temperatures and maintain its strength, giving you lower weights and longer pay times. Plug and play installation would be nice, but wiring it up is relatively straightforward.

Skar Audio’s SDR-8 D4 Car Subwoofer is a dual 4-ohm subwoofer that has a peak power of 700 watts and RMS power of 350 watts. It's made of competition-grade pressed paper cones and features a high roll foam surround. It also includes a 2-inch high-temperature copper voice coil. 

This sub is very loud and very clear. It produces clean power and feels like most 10-inch subwoofers and even some 12-inch models. It hits very low and very hard, and the lower bass notes are as pronounced as the higher ones. When it's installed in a bass tube, the bass rolls off nice and smooth. It is a hefty subwoofer, feels tough, and is a great value. It's perfect if you want bass and a high-end sub for a low-end price but don't want it to take up too much space in your trunk.

One downside is the RMS and peak power may be slightly less than what's advertised, and it may not provide enough trunk-shaking power for some tastes. In addition, the surround may split and/or crack open over time, and it may require fiberfill to produce a better sound.

If you want the convenience of buying a subwoofer that's already in an enclosure, you can choose the JBL BassPro SL Subwoofer Enclosure System. This compact subwoofer is housed in a low-profile, ABS plastic enclosure that can fit under almost any car seat. The speaker has a maximum power rating of 250 watts and an RMS power of 125 watts.


It's equipped with a high-efficiency Class D amplifier that eliminates the need for ventilation or cooling fans in the system. Controls on the amplifier include a bass boost and an adjustable crossover frequency. The speaker provides soft starts when it turns on so it doesn’t startle you, and includes an Audio Sense Auto-On that turns on the subwoofer when an audio signal is sensed. 

However, it’s not the best for bringing out the deep, punchy, lower frequencies. Also, the speaker may sound distorted when playing audio at high volumes.

What To Consider When Looking For 8-Inch Subwoofers

Enclosure Type

This is an important feature because it affects the subwoofer's quality of sound. How the sub is enclosed can also impact performance. The best 8-inch subwoofer for a sealed box, for example, will generate the deepest base, while a ported enclosure and bandpass enclosure will permit higher levels of volume.

Single vs. Dual Voice Coils

Single voice coils are useful if you want a quick and simple upgrade to your audio system. Dual voice coils give you flexibility when it comes to adding additional sound outputs. If you enjoy customizing your stereo to find the best sound, consider dual voice coils.


Every subwoofer has a wattage rating that demonstrates how much power it can handle. It should be noted that this rating is for peak performance. A subwoofer that operates at its highest rating for an extended period of time will eventually overheat and fail. Look at the root mean square (RMS) to see how much power the sub can consistently handle.


Q: Does the type of enclosure make a difference? 

The type of enclosure greatly affects the sound of the bass. Most enclosed subwoofers are contained in pre-mounted boxes. If you want more volume, consider ported or bandpass enclosures. If you want deep, low frequencies choose a sub in a sealed box.

Q: Does a subwoofer need an amp? 

A powered subwoofer usually has a speaker and amplifier within the enclosure. They're ideal if you have a small vehicle without a lot of space for a separate speaker and amplifier system.

Q: Can I get away with using a cheap amplifier with the subwoofer?

If you purchase cheap audio equipment, it likely won't bring out the best sound in your speakers. It's better to put aside some money for a better quality system rather than purchasing cheap parts that you will probably replace anyway.

Q: Does the material of the subwoofer cone make a difference?  

Subwoofer cones vary in material construction, from paper to synthetics to composites. Paper is less durable, but it's lightweight and has a quick response. Overall, most types of material work just fine and produce equally great sound.

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.

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