The Best Subwoofer Boxes for Deep Bass: Enhance Your Subwoofer’s Sound
Improve your vehicle’s aesthetics and give your subwoofer a bass boost.
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON May 25, 2021
Having a high-quality set of subwoofers can help turn your vehicle into the best listening room. It’s exciting to feel the low frequencies vibrating through your car and having the doors and windows shake as you feel every beat of the song you’re listening to. However, with all the shaking that the speakers do, they may fall apart from the constant collision with the mounting space. This is why it’s critical to first house your subwoofers in an enclosure before installing them.
A subwoofer enclosure, or sub box, can help contain all the vibration from the drivers, so they don’t end up with mechanical damage. Having a correctly sized enclosure for your subwoofer can also provide a significant bass extension and reduce sound interference. So instead of building your subwoofer box from scratch, you should opt for a factory manufactured box that’s readily available for the popular types of car subwoofers on the market. Here’s a handy guide to choosing the best sub box that can fit in your car or truck.
This is a single speaker subwoofer box with a circular cutout for 12-inch subwoofers and a vented design for maximum airflow.
- Promotes better bass output with resonance
- Has enough space to accommodate almost any 12-inch subwoofer
- Compact design fits perfectly under truck seats
- May need more gluing before installation
- Carpet in the venting is somewhat awkward
This subwoofer box features a slim profile that’s designed to accommodate shallow-mount subwoofers with a 12-inch diameter.
- Slim profile ensures there's no space wastage
- Features an airtight seal for accurate bass
- Eliminates vibration noise
- Easy speaker installation
- Limited airspace for the speaker may compromise the sound quality
- Can only accommodate speakers with a shallow mount
This is a large subwoofer box with a vented design. It’s carpeted and has two circular cutouts for 12-inch subwoofers.
- Extends low frequencies for a deeper bass
- An excellent design for large vehicles
- Features clean looking edges
- Vented to keep speakers from overheating
- May start to fall apart from the back
- May produce a rattling sound when music is played at loud volumes
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Benefits of Subwoofer Boxes
- Optimal subwoofer performance. Even the best subwoofers would sound almost flat and somewhat distorted without a good subwoofer enclosure. Without an enclosure, the sound at the front of the speaker would collide with the sound radiation from the rear, which makes the speaker sound flat. A subwoofer box helps to prevent this sound cancellation, and the net result is a stronger bass.
- Protect your subwoofer. A subwoofer enclosure helps to contain the speaker within a limited space, so it doesn't move excessively when you play music at loud volumes. This helps to protect the speaker from physical damages such as rips or tears.
- Prevent overheating. It’s normal for your speakers to get warm, but they may start to overheat when they are in an incorrect position. Housing them in a vented enclosure ensures that the speaker receives enough airflow to keep it cool, especially when playing music for an extended period.
- Good aesthetics. Most manufacturers design subwoofers boxes with carpeted exteriors that match most vehicle interiors. The enclosed subwoofers make your car look classy, especially when placed in your trunk.
Types of Subwoofer Boxes
A sealed enclosure is an airtight box that doesn’t have vents but has single or multiple cutout openings for the speakers. Since there’s no air getting into the enclosure, extra pressure is exerted on the speaker’s body as it moves back and forth. While this may mean that your speaker needs a lot of extra power to overcome the pressure, the additional pressure allows the cone to move back and forth faster to give you a more accurate sound.
As opposed to the sealed boxes, ported or bass reflex enclosures have an additional smaller hole (port) at the bottom or sides that helps to vent out some air and equalize the pressure inside and outside the speaker. Although you will get less accurate sound in comparison to a sealed box, it still produces a loud bass and helps to reduce your subwoofer's power requirements.
Bandpass boxes are on the larger side and combine both a sealed and a ported design. The design includes two chambers where the first one is a sealed enclosure that houses the subwoofer, and a ported box is built in front of it. Therefore, the subwoofer and the ported box are separated. This design helps to create a louder bass than the options above.
Free-Air Subwoofer Boxes
Free-air enclosures entail a woofer mounted on a board and then attached to the rear deck or a trunk against the rear seat. The trunk, in that case, would act as the enclosure, isolating the low frequencies from the back of the vehicle. This eliminates the problem of distorted sound from subwoofers without an enclosure. These types of boxes are convenient to install but only work with subwoofers designed for free-air use.
Altrend is a U.S.-based company that provides top-notch audio products. It has its worldwide hub in Delhi, India and is headquartered in Chicago, Ill. The company manufactures 259 unique enclosure models and is a renowned distributor of Banda Audio amplifiers. One deep bass subwoofer enclosure is the Bbox E12DSV Dual 12” Shared Vented Carpeted Subwoofer Enclosure.
America Sound Connect
America Sound Connect is a U.S.-based enclosure manufacturing company. It stocks more than 10,000 cool subwoofer box designs and also produces OEM radios and accessories like terminal cups, trim rings, subwoofer grilles, and wire ends. Some of its best-ported box designs are the ASC Dual 8” Subwoofer Universal Vented Port Sub Box and ASC Single 8” Subwoofer.
Rockville is an audio equipment manufacturer based in Inwood, N.Y. It designs high-quality marine, automotive, home audio products, including speakers, subwoofers, loudspeakers, and speaker enclosures.
Subwoofer Box Pricing
- Under $50: This is the price range for most single-subwoofer enclosures. They hold the same typical features of a carpeted exterior, air-tight walls, and subwoofer wiring. You may also get a few dual-subwoofer enclosures.
- $50 and up: Enclosures around this budget often have the best bass capabilities. Most are made from high-quality hardwood like MDF and have a quality carpet protecting the enclosure. Some brands sell their subwoofers alongside with their enclosures, and you could buy both if you need the entire music system upgrade.
Sealed boxes are the best for small to medium vehicles with little space in the car. It’s also more economical to go for a sealed box if you only have a single subwoofer speaker. Consider going for a ported or a bandpass box if you are an audiophile who loves playing loud music during long car rides.
If you have a small or medium-sized car, then an 8-inch or 10-inch subwoofer box may be a perfect fit. However, if you have the extra room in your vehicle, you can benefit from a larger, 12-or 15-inch subwoofer box as it can make the speaker louder. Also, having more space for air to move around the speaker can help to keep it cool. Getting a dual or triple sub box is a great trick to save your money and still get more bass.
The material making up the subwoofer not only speaks to its durability but can also help to bring out a better-sounding bass. The most common materials used to make subwoofer boxes are aluminum sheets, plywood, fiberglass, polycarbonate, and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). Of the options available, MDF and plywood boxes are some of the best materials since they are usually thick, strong, and more affordable than the other options. Fiberglass is also a solid choice since it’s strong, light, and has good weather resistance.
- Aesthetics. The enclosure should complement the interior of your vehicle. Most manufacturers make their enclosures with an outer carpeted layer or a slanted design that looks appealing when fitted into a car’s interior.
- Available Space. Take all the necessary measurements to determine if you have enough room in your vehicle for a new subwoofer box. The available space will also determine if you will go for a straight or wedge-shaped box.
Best Subwoofer Boxes for Deep Bass Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Apply additional wood glue to every wall joint to prevent any possible air leaks and to make the subwoofer more durable. Some aftermarket enclosures may come with a few defects, and it’s better to take caution before the enclosure falls apart.
- Always measure your subwoofer system and trunk size before buying a box. If you are buying your enclosure online, you should be keen on the product dimensions to get the perfect size that wouldn’t damage your subwoofers by rattling them.
- Install your subwoofer box away from direct sunlight to prevent heat damage. Use car window tints to keep everything in your vehicle cool on hot days.
- Consider installing the subwoofer box in the trunk or under the rear seats. This way, you get a more balanced sound from the subwoofer at the rear and the speakers at your door and/or dashboard.
- Even if you have a vented subwoofer box, try not to play music at loud volumes too often since it can still cause the speakers to overheat, and the internal components may get damaged
Q: What sounds better: a ported or a sealed box?
Ported boxes can produce a louder sound since there’s more room for air to move within the structure and extend the sound frequencies. A sealed box is an excellent choice if you prefer a more accurate sound with no rattling.
Q: How thick should a subwoofer box be?
Most subwoofer boxes on the market are roughly 5/8 inch thick. This size is not too heavy and is sturdy enough to last for years.
Q: What’s the best wood for a subwoofer box?
MDF wood is ideal for making subwoofer enclosures. The wood is strong, durable, and thick enough to limit distortion of sound waves. A close second is a plywood, which is lighter than MDF, but sturdy enough to create the best sound-quality if laminated. Your third best option could be fiberglass since it’s strong and light, and non-reactive to weather and temperature changes.
Q: Can I put different subwoofer sizes in one box?
It’s not advisable to do that. Always go for different boxes that are compatible with the size of your subwoofers. Otherwise, you may end up with distorted sound and damaged subwoofers caused by all the vibration from the extra space.
Q: Where is the best place to position a dual subwoofer box?
If you have the best combination of a high-performance amplifier, subwoofer, and enclosure, then it won’t really matter where you place the box as you will always get great sound quality. However, most people fit their sub boxes under the seats as it saves on trunk space.
There is a good reason for the ASC Single 12" Vented Subwoofer Box to be at the top of our review. Besides being easy to install in small vehicles, it helps boost the bass of even a low-powered subwoofer, so you can get better sound quality. Also great for small cars and available at a more affordable price is the Rockville RSTS12 12” Subwoofer Enclosure. It features a strong build and can accommodate most 12-inch, shallow-mount subwoofers.