LAST UPDATED: June 24, 2019
Best 15-Inch Subwoofers: Enjoy Deep Powerful Uninterrupted Bass Tones
Our top picks for the best quality 15-inch subwoofers
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON June 24, 2019
If you spend a lot of time in your car, getting a 15-inch subwoofer might just make your ride more enjoyable. Subwoofers are designed to add great bass to your vehicle’s sound system while reducing distortion at the same time. Ideally, getting a bigger subwoofer will make a bigger boom. To guide you through some killer options, here’s a list of the best 15-inch subwoofers on the market and every single detail you need to know about them.
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Benefits of Subwoofer
- Enjoy sounds normal speakers can’t reproduce. Most speakers start dropping off at about 50 hertz, which will deprive you of full clarity and depth of bass tones. The best 15-inch subwoofer will reach down to 20 hertz or lower. With these kinds of speakers, you won’t miss a kick drum, pipe organ, or bass guitar. A 15-inch subwoofer lets you enjoy a more immersive sound experience compared to your normal speakers.
- Play loud music without distortion. In stock car systems, the woofers in your speakers might experience some trouble keeping up with the tweeters and mid drivers when you play music at high volumes. The best subwoofer plays low music notes effortlessly and distortion-free regardless of how loud you play it.
- Add control and speed in low-end transients. In several genres of music, the vocals and music start and stop rapidly, which takes a toll on smaller subwoofers. This results in an undetailed or smeared acoustic image. The best 15-inch subwoofer will have the speed and transient response necessary to reproduce bass with phenomenal impact and realism.
- Blend music seamlessly with full-range speakers. A good subwoofer needs to feel like it is an extension of your speakers without overpowering or drawing too much attention to itself. Combined with the best 15-inch subwoofer, your car speakers need to have clear and loud sound across the frequency spectrum.
Types of Subwoofers
Powered subwoofers are awesome. Ideally, this setup is an amplifier and a woofer in an enclosure. Since the specific amplifier in this setup is built-in, this subwoofer comes as one piece of equipment. Most powered subwoofers are compact and won’t require a lot of space in your vehicle. Powered subwoofers are very impressive; however, their smaller amplifiers and drivers may not provide the sound you want if you are looking for big bass.
A component subwoofer is just the speaker itself. It will need to be mounted in a subwoofer box to produce quality sound. You will also need an external amplifier to power this subwoofer. Component subwoofers range between 8-inches and 15-inches in diameter. You can also find models that are specifically designed to operate in high or low power and in variable types of boxes.
Enclosed subwoofers are pre-mounted to fit into a box that has specifically been designed to accommodate the subwoofer. Getting this kind of subwoofer eliminates the need to choose an ideal enclosure. However, on the downside, you will be limited by the number of box type shapes and speakers you have. You still need to install an external amplifier in your car to power this subwoofer.
These are subwoofer types that are designed to fit in out-of-the-way locations in cars, SUVs, or trucks. They often come color-matched with the vehicle’s interior. Just like the powered subs, these subwoofers may not be your ideal choice if you are looking for big bass.
Rockford Corporation is an American-owned company that designs and manufactures high-performance audio equipment for home use and automobiles. The company was founded by Jim Fosgate back in the 1970s while experimenting with audio technology. Most of Rockford’s car audio equipment is under the Punch and Punch POWER brands. Rockford’s products are available at more than 2,300 independent retailers in the U.S. and more than 60 countries. One of their popular products is the Rockford Fosgate P32D2-15 Punch.
Power Acoustik Electronics
Power Acoustik Electronics is an American-owned company based in Montebello, Calif., that manufactures audio and video products. Some of its products include stereo head units, crossovers, DVD combos, amplifier kits, woofers, tweeters, portable navigation devices, etc. Power Acoustik is a subsidiary of Epsilon Electronics Inc. One of their top-rated subwoofers is the Power Acoustik MOFO-154X.
Skar Audio is a U.S.-based car audio company in Tampa, Fla., founded by Kevin Schlenker. The small-scale company started as a hobby but grew into one of the fastest growing audio car brands globally. Skar Audio designs and manufactures subwoofers, speakers, amplifiers, and bass packages. The company was founded on a principle to raise the bar, defining new limits in the car audio industry. One of their popular subwoofers is the Skar Audio EVL-15-D2.
Best 15-Inch Subwoofer Pricing
- Under $150: There are a variety of 15-inch subwoofers retailing at this price. However, most of the subwoofers in this price bracket will have low quality builds and sound quality. Depending on the manufacturing company, 15-inch subwoofers under this rate are popular due to their affordability and basic performance.
- $100-$200: Some of the best subwoofers can be found at this price bracket. These subwoofers have much better construction and produce great basslines. They have a high tolerance for low frequencies and, combined with your car speakers, produce high-quality bass with no distortion.
- Over $250: There aren’t a lot of 15-inch subwoofers in this price bracket. However, subwoofers in this range are considered the best of the best. They have solid designs and can withstand high volume with zero distortion. They have a good rating and offer the best sound quality.
If you are looking for a system that booms, there’s no substitute for big power. Make sure you check the subwoofer’s RMS power ratings and not the peak power ratings. The RMS rating is continuous power handling or the speaker’s output. They are a much more realistic measurement compared to peak max power. For quality, seamless sound, check the subwoofer power against your amplifier’s power output.
Low frequencies are responsible for the bass output. Therefore, when comparing two subwoofers using this criterion, a subwoofer that has lower frequencies has the capability of producing more bass, assuming other factors such as the enclosure type remain constant.
A subwoofer’s sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB). This is the efficiency of a specific subwoofer to produce sound at a given power range. If you have a low-powered car stereo, getting a subwoofer with higher sensitivity is better, since it will require less power to perform. On the other hand, high-powered audio systems will work well with low sensitivity subwoofers.
- Enclosure Type: Sealed boxes will produce the deepest and most accurate sound. However, if you are looking to get high volume, then the ideal enclosure is bandpass and ported subwoofer enclosure types.
- Subwoofer Size: The size that plays the lowest and loudest is a never-ending argument in the car audio industry. Getting the loudest and lowest sound depends on a lot of things, including the sensitivity, enclosure type, and the available power. However, if your ultimate goal is to enjoy low and loud music and space isn’t an issue, then it would be advisable to buy the biggest subs. But do not underestimate small-sized subwoofers. If well-wired and installed in the right enclosures, they are capable of producing amazing sound from your car audio system.
- Several Coils: Most vehicle owners pick DVC (dual voice coils) subwoofers over single voice coils. DVC subwoofers support flexibility when it comes to wiring compared to single voice coils. Most top-of-the-line, 15-inch subwoofers come with dual voice coils.
- Impendence: Most subwoofers have a 4ohm impendence. However, 2ohm, 8ohm, and dual voice coil subwoofers have become popular. When deciding on what subwoofer to buy, get one that matches up to your amplifier in terms of impendence and power rating.
Best 15-Inch Subwoofer Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Rockford Fosgate Punch Series subwoofers have raised the bar in the car audio scene when it comes to sonic excellence. The Rockford Fosgate P3D2 is no different. It is designed to produce potent, seamless, powerful bass lines that add an exceptional feeling to your car audio music.
The Rockford P3D2 produces impressive sound backed by its VAST technology. This tech improves the nominal efficiency and output, producing clear, low-frequency sound. The Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 also produces deeper bass since it is designed with an extended pole piece with special venting. This feature gives sufficient room for high excursion while at the same time keeping the coils cool. Not many subwoofers are accorded industry certification. The Rockford P3D2 15-inch woofer is CEA-2031 approved, giving users absolute certainty that it is capable of withstanding pressure and its coils won’t get damaged.
An advantage of this subwoofer is it can handle loud, intense music played over a long period. It also comes with a strong build and high flexibility, meaning it can fit in almost any vehicle. The Rockford P3D2’s magnet is textured with a PVC cover for great sound and performance.
A drawback to the Rockford P3D2 is that the sound produced by the subwoofer might lack clarity when the speaker is under intense pressure. Some users have complained that the bass notes are not tight enough. Also, when playing very deep bass, the sound gets distorted.
Pyle offers a high-quality car audio upgrade without breaking your bank. This 15-inch subwoofer comes packing 2,000 watts peak power and 1,000 watts continuous power, which is enough to deliver clean bass with minimal to no distortion. It also features a four-ohm impedance voice coil, which resists overheating and corrosion to prolong the lifespan of the speaker.
To enhance the sound coming from the stereo, the unit is integrated with a 95-ounce magnet with a sensitivity of 92 decibels that helps to deliver powerful and clear audio. Aside from that, the unit has a tough construction featuring non-pressed paper cones and a basket design. It also includes a treated foam surround that helps to keep the internal components safe from mechanical damage.
While it may be an affordable audio upgrade, the sound quality isn’t as great as most of the higher-priced subwoofers. Also, you should consider pairing it with a decent mid-range speaker; otherwise, the mids might distort the sound. Apart from that, it may deliver a lower power level than what’s advertised.
Skar Audio is popular for one reason; they produce budget subwoofers that have surprisingly strong build qualities and outstanding performance. The Skar Audio EVL 15-inch subwoofer is no different and has a reputation; it pushes heavy air while thundering bass notes from your car.
The Skar EVL delivers powerful bass sounds accurately and also comes with a host of features that make it unique from other 15-inch subwoofers. The Skar EVL has been specially designed to deliver high-quality sound for a long period without distortion, including at high temperatures because of its air-cooling system.
An advantage with the Skar Audio EVL subwoofer is it features a competition subwoofer-grade cone and surrounds, resulting in uninterrupted, premium, quality basslines. You will also enjoy low and high bass tones thanks to its superb RMS power. The Skar EVL has 4ohms impendence and 1500 watts max RMS rating. While it's unfair to compare the Skar Audio EVL with some of the top-ranking subwoofers, it still packs enough punch to leave your competition in awe.
A drawback of the Skar EVL is it needs a custom box for it to achieve the desired bass output. Some users have also complained of durability issues. The Skar Audio EVL would be better if the bass was a bit louder.
With its ability to push out a maximum power of 2,000 watts, this Rockville subwoofer is a decent audio upgrade at an affordable price. The speaker is designed with a fiber-reinforced, non-pressed paper cone, which helps the speaker to deliver loud sound even without needing a lot of power. It can run efficiently on a continuous power supply of 500 watts.
Four-layer, aluminum voice coils with a two-ohm impedance increase the flexibility of the speaker so that you can match it with different amplifiers to enhance its power. It also makes it easier to pair it with other subwoofers. Besides that, the speaker has a typical basket design with a thick foam surround that helps to minimize sound distortion.
Admittedly, budget speakers aren’t for everyone for the reason that the audio quality isn’t as impressive as high-end speakers, which is the case with this subwoofer. Another drawback is that it can overheat during extended playtime or when music is played at loud volumes.
From the outward appearance, the Kicker Comp Car Subwoofer gives the impression of a durable and high-quality subwoofer, and that isn’t far from the truth. The speaker is designed with a super-rigid, injection-molded, polypropylene woofer cone that’s reinforced with a 360-degree brace backing. In addition, it includes a UV-treated surround. Such a heavy-duty design helps to increase its resistance to mechanical damage and prevent damages caused by the elements.
As far as performance goes, the speaker has a maximum power rating of 600 watts. It can handle a frequency range of about 25 to 500 hertz, which means that the mid-range frequencies won’t distort the sound. Also, it has a high sensitivity of 90.3 decibels, meaning that it can handle loud sounds.
The main issue with this speaker is that it has a low RMS power rating. It can only handle 300 watts of continuous power, which is lower than what other subwoofers on the market offer. Also, some users have received defective models that blow out in less than a few months.
You can’t go wrong if you decide to choose the American Bass Elite Series Subwoofer due to the fact that it has a durable construction with a chic finish. The speaker is designed with a hi-roll, high-density foam surround that’s reinforced with an elegant silver stitching. The surround helps to eliminate unwanted vibrations so that the sound can be clearer.
In addition, it has a double stack of 75-ounce magnets, which help to enhance the quality of the bass by increasing the vibrations. For maximum versatility, it has a dual impedance rating of 2 and 4 ohms, thereby diversifying your choice of amplifiers. Lastly, the speaker can handle a maximum power of 2,400 watts and a continuous power of 1,200 watts.
The main issue you will have with this speaker is finding the optimal position to install it so that it doesn’t interfere with (or complements) the interior theme of your vehicle. Another issue is that it might produce a slight crackling sound when playing loud music.
Rockville is one of the best audio equipment manufacturers, so it’s only fair to include more than one speaker in our buying guide. The Rockville Destroyer Audio Subwoofer is designed to handle a lot of power, which would typically damage standard subwoofers. It can handle a maximum power of 8,000 watts and an RMS power of 2,000 watts, which makes it a great speaker for an aftermarket head unit.
The speaker also features black, aluminum voice coils that can withstand high temperatures of up to 560 degrees Fahrenheit without getting damaged. Aside from that, it’s designed with a lightweight, cast aluminum basket and a triple stack layer of 300-ounce magnets for optimal audio power.
The price is its most significant drawback seeing that it has plenty of advanced features that aren’t typical to other speakers. Another downside is that the terminals might break if you play the audio too loud.
The Q Power Deluxe Series Subwoofers come as a pack of two subwoofers at a reasonable price. Each speaker can handle a maximum power of 2,200 watts. In addition, it features a large foam surround that promotes well-balanced sound, and dual voice coils that offer more flexibility in wiring your audio system.
Each speaker has a built-in 90-ounce magnet and a chrome basket design that’s optimized to fit in limited mounting spaces. It also features a vented air cooling design to prevent overheating from extended playtime or playing music at high volumes.
Though the bass quality is decent, you need to install the speaker in a subwoofer enclosure before mounting for louder bass. Also, the speaker might blow out if exposed to more than 2,000 watts of power.
If the bass quality of your sound system needs an affordable touch-up, consider including CT Sounds Tropo Car Subwoofer in the setup. The speaker is designed to handle a maximum power of 1,200 watts and an RMS power of 600 watts. For this reason, it can deliver loud and clear bass with minimal distortion.
The speaker can handle being played at high volumes as a result of its dual voice coils with a four-ohm impedance. It’s also constructed with high-quality components, including a heavy-duty, steel basket frame, a treated foam surround, and a high-grade woofer cone that’s topped off with an elegant black finish. The design promotes maximum airflow within the speaker to help produce well-detailed sound and to keep the speaker from overheating.
However, we are disappointed that it has limited heat protection features as with high-end speakers. Therefore, it may not be a surprise if some of the components, such as the voice coils, start overheating and as a result, get damaged.
- When installing your subwoofer, make sure it is set up in an area that is dust free. Dust negatively affects the performance of subwoofers. When tidying up, use a blower or vacuum cleaner to ensure your subwoofer is dust free.
- Don’t install your subwoofers close to metal parts that are conducive to magnets. Setting up your subwoofer close to metals will affect its electromagnet. Instead, use wooden or non-magnetic material.
- If you are new to installing car audio, it’s best to hire an expert or use the provided user manual. Most subwoofer manuals come with detailed information on installation and maintenance.
- If you are installing your subwoofer by yourself, make sure all the wires are properly plugged into the right jacks. Wrong connections could cause a short or blow up your entire audio system.
- Always install your subwoofers in spaces with adequate ventilation. Ventilation helps maintain your subwoofer’s durability.
Q: How much power do I need to power my 15-inch subwoofers?
A: The amount of power you need depends on the subwoofer you are looking to buy. Check the subwoofer’s RMS rating and match it to your amplifier. Your subwoofer’s RMS rating is what you will run your subwoofer at consistently.
Q: Will putting my subwoofer in the trunk affect the bass?
A: No. You will still be able to hear the bass from your trunk with a high-quality subwoofer. Bass sounds, when clear and loud, can go through most materials with ease.
Q: Can I install my 15-inch subwoofers myself?
A: Yes. Installing your subwoofer is not a complicated task. However, the entire process depends on the type and brand of subwoofer you are installing. Getting an expert to install your subwoofer is recommended.
Q: Do I need to have an audio amp to power my 15-inch subwoofer?
A: Yes. Subwoofers require alternative power to produce quality, low-frequency bass. Your factory stereo on its own won't be able to power your subwoofer without an external amp.
Our top product for the best 15-inch subwoofer is the Rockford Fosgate P3D4-15 Punch. The P3D4 is a premium, quality subwoofer that has been designed for impeccable sound and durability. This subwoofer is popular due to its deep, quality bass notes and capability to withstand intense pressure.
If you are looking to get a subwoofer that is more affordable but offers great value, the Pyle Car Vehicle Subwoofer is an excellent choice.