Reviews

Best Car Competition Subwoofers: Increase the Power and Bass

Pump up the bass and draw a crowd with these strong and sturdy competition subwoofers.

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BY Daniel Rika , Scott Roepel / LAST UPDATED ON September 23, 2021

If you want to feel the bump and thump of the bass both inside and outside of your vehicle, then you need a competition subwoofer. These high-quality subs are powerful and loud, allowing you to hear and feel every bass note possible. If you want to beat out all the other competitors at the next meet up, then check out these competition subwoofers to blow them all away.

Best Overall
Skar Audio EVL-15
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Summary
Summary

A powerful and strongly built 15-inch subwoofer with a competition-grade cone for the clear and precise sound quality of 2,500 watts.

Pros
Pros
  • The bass is loud and creates an intense sound that fills the vehicle with a premium sound. Plus, it comes with a high RMS rating and has great low and high tone quality
Cons
Cons
  • A few of the components aren’t very durable, such as the dust cap, and it will require a subwoofer box for maximum efficiency
Best Overall
Skar Audio EVL-15
Best Value
MTX Terminator Series
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Summary
Summary

Sturdy and tough dual 2-ohm subwoofers boasting 1,200 watts including 400 watts of RMS power. 

Pros
Pros
  • The subwoofers feature a polypropylene cone for improved quality and bass, and the speakers are protected by a thick rubber
Cons
Cons
  • You are limited by where you can put them due to their size, and they may be a hassle to set up and configure
Best Value
MTX Terminator Series
Honorable Mention
Rockford Fosgate P3D4
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Summary
Summary

Don’t be fooled by the size of these 12-inch subwoofers for they pack quite a punch and feature 1,200 watts and 600 watts of RMS.

Pros
Pros
  • The cone is developed out of a sturdy and reliable anodized aluminium for clear audio. It produces a great quality of bass that is clear and crisp and has a high power handling
Cons
Cons
  • You might need a custom box to fit the sub, it may heat up a bit if cranked at maximum capacity, and it has a low sensitivity rating
Honorable Mention
Rockford Fosgate P3D4

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Benefits of Car Competition Subwoofers

  • Enhance the listening experience. Stock and OEM car speakers are great, but they don’t give you the full HD quality sound you deserve. Standard speakers may not let you hear every note, instrument, or lyrics of every song, so you need something with a bit more power. Car competition subs make sure you hear every heart-pounding note and lyric without issue, so you are more immersed in the audio.
  • Prevent distortion. If you enjoy pumping up the bass with your stock speakers, you may notice the music can be distorted. That’s because your sound system isn’t equipped to handle bass past a certain level. Car subwoofers help control the sound evenly throughout the system’s tweeters and kickers so you get a richer sound quality.
  • Boost the bass. Competition subs enhance the bass of your music tremendously. They can make you feel like you’re at a rock concert with their deep bassy undertone. Throw the subwoofer inside a mounted box, and you’ll increase the bass even more.
  • Protect your stock speakers. If you really want to feel every deep note of the bass guitar or the low hum of an organ, consider a high-quality sub. Lower notes can damage your stock speakers because they aren’t designed to tolerate high levels of vibration. A sub captures all the low and bass frequencies so that your tweeters and smaller speakers aren’t burdened with them.

Types of Car Competition Subwoofers

Powered

A powered subwoofer comes with its own amplifier for additional power and versatility. This also makes it more suitable to fit in more compact spaces. These smaller-sized subwoofers actually feature a decent amount of deep and throaty bass levels. They are much better at delivering lower frequencies than OEM subs, but their size prevents them from releasing super-deep bass tones.

Component

A component subwoofer features just the speaker alone. They are better equipped for any audiophile who is looking to modify or enhance a speaker system. They can be paired with various types of enclosures, amplifiers, and other accessories for an improved bass tone. You will need to have a bit of car audio knowledge if you want to install it yourself, however.

Sealed Enclosure

As the name suggests, an enclosed subwoofer is pre-mounted inside an enclosure, typically a box, that is specifically designed to contain it. As with component subs, enclosed subwoofers do not come with their own amplifiers. You may have a more difficult time finding these as a complete set as their cases are typically custom designed.

Vehicle-Specific

If you are looking for a specific location to place your subwoofer, then a vehicle-specific sub can be designed for you. They fit in more compact areas, such as the trunk or door of your car, truck, or SUV. One of the benefits of a vehicle-specific sub is they can be matched to your vehicle's interior, and many come pre-mounted in their own enclosure. Yet, as with powered subs, their smaller size means they aren’t able to produce a big, booming bass sound.

Top Brands

MTX Audio

This company has a presence in three different places around the United States: Phoenix, Arizona; Winslow, Illinois; and Monroe, Wisconsin. MTX Audio is part of the Mitek Consumer Electronics Group and has been manufacturing and selling car audio equipment for 40 years. One of its popular car competition subwoofers is the MTX Terminator Series.

Skar Audio

Based out of Tampa, Florida, and founded by Kevin Schlenker, Skar Audio is a car audio manufacturing company. It is one of the most well-known and popular makers of speakers across the globe. The company designs and manufactures subwoofers, speakers, amplifiers, and bass systems for vehicles. The Skar Audio EVL-15-D2 is one of Skar’s and our top choices for competition subs. 

Rockford Fosgate

Rockford Fosgate, a subsidiary of the Tempe, Arizona-based Rockford Corporation, has been in business since 1973. The company manufactures car audio equipment, accessories, and speakers and designed the Frequency Energizer. It continues to sell audio products for not only your car but also boats, motorcycles, and other vehicles as well. One of its best-selling products is the Rockford Fosgate P3D4.

Car Competition Subwoofer Pricing

  • Under $100: These are general competition subwoofers that offer a better sound quality than your stock system. Typically, they will only feature one speaker with low-end sound quality.
  • $100-$200: If you want a high-quality competition subwoofer, then this is the price range you should consider. They may even come with their own enclosure for improved sound.
  • Over $200: This is where you will find premium subwoofer systems. They will include everything you need to make sure you get the best sound quality possible.

Key Features

Size

You can find subwoofers in various sizes that range from around eight inches to 15 inches. You may think that larger, more robust subs feature a louder and deeper bass, but that isn’t always true. Their size controls their max power and RMS (root mean square). If you have a smaller car, you may want to consider smaller speakers, but a larger sub may fit in the trunk.

Frequency Range

If you're looking for a really deep bass sound from your car competition subwoofer, choose a sub with a low frequency limit. The lower frequency is responsible for the bass output. A lower limit means it is capable of producing deeper and lower tones. You may find two similar subs, but one with a lower frequency will pump out deeper notes.

Single- vs. Dual-Voice Coils

Voice coils are designed to help you install the system. There are two different types of coils you can choose from and one really overpowers the other. Single-voice coils are used for quick and simple upgrades, while dual-voice coils offer flexibility when adding additional sound outputs. The majority of vehicle owners who want a better bass system go for dual-voice coils.

Power

All subs feature a wattage rating that dictates how much power they can put out effectively. If you overpower a subwoofer with constant streams of loud overbearing bass tones, it may reach a higher temperature and overheat and fail. You can look at its RMS to see how much power the sub can handle.

Other Considerations

  • Enclosure: Sound reverberates off of the ceiling, doors, and seats of your vehicle. Depending on where you place the sub, you may not get the best possible sound quality. Placing it in an enclosure will help evenly distribute the sound, so you get deeper tones.

Best Car Competition Subwoofer Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Skar Audio EVL-15

Skar is known for its audio systems, and its competition woofer is mighty impressive. This powerful and strong 15-inch subwoofer features a competition-grade cone. The material helps it provide a clear and precise sound quality of around 2,500 watts. Plus, it offers dual 2-ohm voice coil with a sleek black coating.


It produces a loud and solid amount of bass tones. Plus, it releases an intense sound that is capable of filling the entire vehicle with a premium and clear sound quality. The speaker also comes with a higher RMS rating and can be cranked up without being distorted, and still provide you with great low and high tones.


As far as it’s internal design and construction, you may encounter some issues. A few of the components aren’t that durable and can weaken over time. One of these components is the dust cap. Another drawback is the speaker may require a subwoofer box for maximum efficiency.

Best Value
MTX Terminator Series

Aside from these subwoofers having one of the most heavy-duty names of all time, these speakers are quite powerful. They come in a massive enclosure that enhances sound quality. The system is sturdy and features tough, dual 2-ohm voice coils that boast 1,200 watts, including 400 watts of RMS power.


Continuing with its high-quality design, the subwoofers include a premium polypropylene cone for improved quality and bass. Another added benefit is the speakers are protected by a thick layer of rubber to ensure they don’t rattle around while you drive or pump up the bass. Plus, inside the vented enclosure are two 12-Inch Terminator subwoofers.


If you hadn’t noticed, the enclosure is quite large. This means you will be limited by where you can put the speakers due to their size. The best place may be the trunk, but if you have a larger vehicle like a truck or SUV, finding a place shouldn’t be an issue. Another thing is they may be a hassle to set up and configure.

Most Compact
Rockford Fosgate P3D4

They may be on the smaller size, but don’t dismiss them because of their compact form. These 12-inch subwoofers pack quite a punch and feature 1,200 watts and 600 watts of RMS. Each one also comes with 2-ohm DVC voice coils and includes nickel-plated push terminals for additional strength and design. 


Another benefit to these Rockford Fosgate P3D4 speakers is each cone is developed out of sturdy and reliable anodized aluminum for clear audio. If you want a great deal of bass, these produce a high-quality amount of clear and crisp low frequencies as well. They also feature a unique spider venting design that keeps the motor cooler so they run longer.


As far as downsides go, you can find a few with these by Rockford Fosgate. You might need a custom box to fit the sub to get an even richer sound out of them. And while they feature a cooling system, they may heat up a bit if cranked at maximum capacity. They also have a low sensitivity rating.

Easiest to Install
Lanzar MAXP64

The 600 Watt power subwoofer has a frequency of 80Hz and 4 Ohm impedance. Lanzar MAXP64 is built to keep equipment safe with a specially treated foam edge suspension. 


Start listening to a variety of music that was made for driving. The Lanzar MAXP64 is a subwoofer that is pretty easy to install. It is designed not only for safety, but for durability as well. Its bumped, vented motor structure, and non-pressed paper cone work to enhance the stereo’s audio performance. 


The Lanzar MAXP64 subwoofer’s 1.5-inch high-temperature aluminum voice coil is corrosion resistant. It has a sensitivity of 87dB and a specially designed rubber magnet boot. The audio system comes with the necessary cables, template, and manual for installation. Makes a great addition to cars with owners who love playing their music loud.

Honorable Mention
Skar Audio EVL-12

The Skar Audio EVL-12 is the perfect subwoofer for listening to music loudly in your car. The Skar subwoofer is a 12-Inch dual 2-ohm sub with a peak power of 2,500 watts, a sensitivity of 85.1 dB, and RMS power of 1,250 watts. It has a high temperature 3-inch voice coil. The subwoofer’s frequency response range is 25 Hz - 250 Hz.


The Skar Audio EVL-12 bangs out deep, low, extremely responsive bass notes. The subwoofer has a high roll foam surround and competition-grade paper cone. Users report that it hits harder than many other competing subs, and you can feel it through your body when you’re at a stoplight. Many also report that it sounds like a 15-inch sub and sounds even better after you break it in. Unfortunately, it may not be as long-lasting as some other brands.

Tips

  • Invest in a more powerful amplifier when upgrading to competition subwoofers. This will increase the power and functionality of your subs without pulling power from the rest of your car.
  • For the best sound quality possible, lay out the speakers in specific locations. Imagine it’s like a movie theater with surround sound. The bass should be between the speakers or somewhere it can reverberate more efficiently. Smaller speakers should be placed all around the car in the corners.
  • Invest in a car audio capacitor if you get a new competition subwoofer. The capacitor will act as the battery for the amplifier and sub without drawing power away from your lights.
  • For the best possible outcome, consider having a professional install and connect the competition subwoofer.

FAQs

Q. What is the difference between a single and dual voice coil?

A: The voice coils attach the subwoofer to the amplifier as a power source. A dual voice coil allows a single speaker to output both stereo channels through one speaker, while a single voice coil will only allow one connection. You will get a crisper sound with a two-voice coil system.

Q. How much power will I need to run a competition subwoofer?

A: That depends on the amplifier you have. Check the amount of RMS your sub has and compare it with the amplifier to see if it can run the sub effectively.

Q. Do I need a subwoofer box or can I use the sub without one?

A: An enclosure will improve the overall sound quality and bass you get from the subwoofer. While larger, more robust subs may come in their own casings, smaller ones may not come with a pre-mounted box. If you want more volume out of the subs, consider ported or bandpass enclosures. If you want to get a deeper and lower frequency, choose a sub in a sealed box.

Final Thoughts

For a small yet mighty powerful competition subwoofer, consider the Skar Audio EVL-15

You can save a bit of money and go for the robust MTX Terminator Series.