The Best Subwoofer Boxes for Deep Bass: Enhance Your Subwoofer’s Sound
Improve your vehicle’s aesthetics and give your subwoofer a bass boost.
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.
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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.
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.
Honorable MentionAtrend Bbox E12DSV Dual 12” Subwoofer Enclosure
The Bbox E12DSV is one of the best speaker box designs for deep bass and is designed to work with almost all modern subwoofers. The box is built from hardwood MDF coupled with true mitered corners. Between the two subwoofer holes, there’s a rectangular channel that cuts across the grain to ensure that the woofers fit perfectly when installed. The exterior is covered with a premium charcoal carpet to protect the hardwood from damage and to add a touch of elegance to your interior design. The box walls are tightly held together with glue, and the shared chamber between the subwoofer holes makes it easy to connect wires to each woofer. Moreover, it has screw-down terminal cups for easy installation of the sub-speaker wires. The entire construction features 1-inch speaker baffles that limit sound interference from the front and back of the woofer to give you a distinct low frequency.
However, you may notice a rattling sound coming from the enclosure when you play music at loud volumes. Also, the subwoofer is known to start falling apart from the back since there aren’t enough screws holding things together in the design.
Honorable MentionASC Dual 8” SPL Subwoofer Box
It’s no surprise that more than one ASC subwoofer box makes our list, and this option in particular is ideal for mid- or high-end woofers. It boasts a dual vent design, which improves airflow to the subwoofers. The design also improves the sound quality of the subwoofers by creating a harmonious flow of low-frequency waves. It enhances back speaker pressure to create the best bass output. The box is made of ¾-inch MDF hardwood that is liquid nailed and then tightened with screws to create a sturdy structure. It’s a labyrinth-style port enclosure, meaning that you get one hole for each woofer. A high-quality carpet wraps around the enclosure with a total weight of 39.1 pounds. The back of the box features spring-loaded terminal cups to facilitate the best connection possible between the subwoofers and the amplifiers.
Its main drawback is that the carpet cover easily comes off with time, which may ruin your vehicle's interior design. Moreover, you may need to perform some maintenance to keep the subwoofer in good shape.
Honorable MentionQPower Angled Style 6x9 Speaker Box Enclosures
For a reasonable price, these sealed speaker boxes from QPower make it easy to add new units to your vehicle’s sound system. They’re constructed out of MDF board, 3/4 of an inch thick, lined with a poly-fiber covering, and glued at the seams and joints. One order includes two boxes. Other than price, the big advantage of going with QPower’s angled boxes is that it’s easy to modify them. If you want sealed speakers, they’ll provide you with clear, unblemished sound. But if you want to increase your bass, it’s not at all hard to vent them.
The tradeoff comes with the quality of the construction. The wood is a little thin, and the glue might need to be reapplied if pieces start slipping. We’ve also noticed that the hole isn’t an ideal size for all speakers, and sometimes proves to be too large.
Honorable MentionQPower QSBASS12 12” Sub Box
Designed to fit subwoofers with a 12-inch diameter, this cuboid-shaped enclosure from QPower can help enhance your musical experience by making the bass louder. This is because it features a vented design that allows air to move freely through the speaker to improve the volume. It measures 17.5 by 13 by 15 inches and is made of MDF material. The wall is 5/8 inch thick to give the box a sturdy build. On top of that, the outer wall is layered with a durable charcoal carpet. To make subwoofer wires easy to connect, the box also includes spring-loaded terminal cup connectors.
While it may be a decent single-speaker subwoofer box, it also has its flaws: the carpeting in the vent may easily come loose, which can make your interior look shabby. Also, it's a bit pricier than most single speaker enclosures.
Honorable MentionASC Hatchback Dual 12” Subwoofer Enclosure
Designed with a wedge-like design that matches the incline of the rear seat of a vehicle, this dual subwoofer enclosure is an excellent design for trucks. The hatchback design with a larger bottom mounting depth helps direct the bass towards the rear of the vehicle to create a deeper and richer sound. The walls are made from MDF material and are sealed to create a tight sound. It’s then layered with a high-quality dark-gray carpet that makes the box appear more elegant. It’s also equipped with spring-loaded terminal cups for proper speaker connection. The two circular cutouts can accommodate almost any 12-inch, entry- and mid-level subwoofer.
Unfortunately, the sealed design means that there’s limited airflow for the subwoofers you install. Be sure to check the recommended mounting depth for your subwoofers and only install them if they are a good match for this enclosure
Honorable MentionASC Triple 10” Subwoofer Box
If you would like to have all your subwoofers in one place, then the ASC Triple 10-Inch Subwoofer Box may be a good choice for you. It’s a large enclosure with three-hole cutouts that can accommodate almost any 10-inch subwoofer—you can fit three subwoofers in it. The sealed design helps bring out more accurate sound and create a balanced sound despite having multiple drivers in the same enclosure. It also has a six-inch mounting depth, so each speaker has enough space to vibrate. This box features a rigid MDF construction wrapped in a high-quality carpet that matches most vehicle interiors. It also includes spring-loaded terminal cups to provide the best connection for the speaker terminals.
Besides being on the expensive side, the main downside to this subwoofer box is that it takes up a lot of room in your vehicle. It’s best installed in large trucks or RVs with enough mounting space.
- 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.