LAST UPDATED: December 21, 2019
Best Truck Subs: Get Bass You Can Feel
Top truck subs that can handle even the ultra-low frequencies of hip hop music
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON December 21, 2019
A truck’s stock speakers have decent sound quality, but they may be missing something. Perhaps they can’t produce the low frequencies that give your music that extra punch you can feel in your gut. Truck subs are designed to reproduce the extra-low frequencies from your sound system. Check out our selection of the best truck subwoofers in the buying guide below.
These enclosed truck subwoofers have a power handling capacity of 1100 watts and a frequency range of 30Hz to 200kHz. Their illumiNITE design creates a surreal viewing experience.
The speaker system is carefully crafted to deliver powerful and accurate bass. It has 4-ohm impedance and 2.5-inch voice coils that significantly increase the output efficiency. Its top-grade, in-line carpet makes for streamlined sound quality. It has a one-year warranty.
It is quite big and may not fit in some trucks. And if you connect it to a 1100-watt amp, it may blow. You must also be careful when handling it, as there are no spare parts provided.
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Benefits of Truck Subs
- Better sound. Installing an aftermarket subwoofer will let you achieve better sound quality by using better quality equipment than stock.
- More control. The sound system in your car is designed to achieve a decent sound that will appeal to the vast majority of people. Aftermarket subwoofers give you more control over the sound to customize it to your taste and music preferences.
- Accurate sound. A subwoofer is a dedicated speaker to the lower spectrum of tones. This allows it to have better accuracy in the sounds that it produces. Instead of trying to achieve several levels of sound, its components are designed for a small subset.
Types of Truck Subs
This is the stand-alone speaker that you’ll need to install into a subwoofer box for correct operation. You’ll also need to buy an external amplifier. If you’re looking to design a completely custom system from the ground up, then this is the way to go. You’ll find they range in size from 8 to 15 inches and can function on low to high power.
These subs come pre-mounted in a subwoofer box. This makes for easier installation since it takes a step out of the process for you. The downside is that you’re stuck with the options that are on the market, and they may not work for your particular vehicle. You’ll also still need an external amp for power.
These subs come with the box enclosure and the amplifier built-in. This makes installation even easier since everything is built into one unit. They also tend to be quite compact in size, which makes finding a place in your vehicle to accommodate it even easier. The downside is that they may not produce that big, heavy thumping bass that you’re looking for. They’re better suited as a factory add-on piece than a custom system component.
Some subs are manufactured with a specific vehicle in mind. They can come either powered or unpowered. You’ll find that they go in a specific place in your car. They’ll be color-matched and designed to fit seamlessly into your vehicle’s interior. They may not be as powerful as the component subs, but they’ll deliver plenty of bass and work for most car owners.
Founded in 1973, Rockford Fosgate has changed the audio industry by leading its competitors in design and engineering. The company’s enhanced systems are known for revolutionizing the sound systems available for cars and trucks. Check out the best in the industry with the Rockford Fosgate 10-Inch Shallow Loaded Enclosure for your truck.
Pioneer has been a leader in audio and visual products since its founding in 1938 in Tokyo, Japan. The company produces and develops audio technology for both homes and automobiles. The Pioneer 10 inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure will enhance the sound in your truck.
Founded in Japan in 1946, Kenwood is a household name in audio technology. A major segment of its product line is car audio. The company develops products that will enhance the sound quality in your truck. The Two Kenwood 12" Subwoofer is a perfect addition to your sound system.
Another Japanese company, Alpine, was founded in 1967. It produces top-quality audio and navigation equipment. The company’s main focus is to drive mobile media innovation through research and development. The Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer is an example of the company’s commitment to excellence.
Kicker was founded in 1973 and has developed a reputation for living loud ever since. What began as a two-man operation has grown into an influential company producing audio equipment that brings concert-quality sound to your vehicle. Experience the excellence for yourself with the Kicker CompC 8" Dual Component Subwoofer.
Truck Subs Pricing
- Under $50: You can find stand-alone component subwoofers in this price range. You can also find empty enclosures in this price range. The car speakers are 10 inches and under, from reputable companies, and come with basic functionality.
- $50 to $100: In this range, you’ll find smaller speakers with greater functionality and larger speakers with basic functionality. You’ll also find dual subwoofer enclosures.
- $100 to $500: These speakers range in size but have more features and refined performance. You’ll also find all-in-one units that have the subwoofer and amplifier contained inside the housing. As you move higher in this price range, you’ll find better-quality subs.
- Over $500: These are specialty component subs that are designed for someone wanting to create an entire sound system from the ground up. These speakers are typically an unnecessary investment for the average truck owner.
If you’re looking for a system that has that teeth-rattling boom, then you need plenty of power. Look for the RMS rating and not the peak power rating. This will tell you the continuous power capabilities of the subwoofer and not what it can handle in power spikes. This is a more realistic measure of the output you can expect.
After looking at power, you need to compare it to the subwoofer’s sensitivity rating. If the sub is more sensitive, then it needs less power to produce the same sound that a model with a lower sensitivity rating would need. This means you can increase sensitivity and lower your power needs.
This is the range of sounds that the sub can produce. It will tell you how low in tone the sub can go. But keep in mind that this is a subjective measurement. A lot of other variables will affect the performance of your sub and can limit this range. For example, the enclosure type can affect this.
- Enclosure Type. A sealed box will give you the most accurate sound and enable you to achieve the deepest tones. A bandpass or ported box will give you more volume to the sound. The one you choose is about personal preference and the sound you’re aiming to achieve.
- Size. Ultimately, if space isn’t an issue and you want the loudest and deepest, then go for the biggest—but don’t get hung up on size. Smaller subs can produce plenty of bass if given the proper enclosure, supplied with the correct amount of power, and they have the right sensitivity.
- Impedance. You need to match your sub and amplifier in both power and impedance. A standard impedance rating is 4 ohms, but it’s becoming more common to see ratings of 2 ohms and 8 ohms. This measurement is the amount of pressure or load the electrical system can handle. You don’t want to over or under load your sub from the amplifier output.
Best Truck Subs Reviews & Recommendations 2021
If you own a large truck and you like impressive speakers, you'll be delighted by these subwoofers. They do a lot more than just pump out great bass: their IllumiNITE lighting system produces a cool blue glow, making your vehicle look as great as it sounds. The speaker enclosure has a 12-volt input that powers the IllumiNITE system. An on/off toggle switch allows you to control all of the action.
The system's built-in protection circuitry keeps it safe. The 12-inch subs have polypropylene cones with a brushed chrome finish. The stamped steel baskets and foam surrounds ensure stability and control. We also like the carpet covering, mirrored chambers, plexiglass viewing windows, and 2.5-inch voice coils. If you want to feel like you're at a concert every time you hit the road, pair this speaker system with the right amp.
However, the dimensions of these subwoofers make installation challenging. In addition, the system has a peak power of 1100 watts, but it may blow if you connect it to a 1100-watt amp. The manufacturer provides no spare parts, so you must be careful when handling it.
This compact subwoofer is ideal to slide under your seat and provides enhanced sound to your stock stereo system. Its slim size of eight inches makes it low profile and easy to install.
The sub provides plenty of volume and has adjustable sensitivity for the perfect sound production. The aluminum box dissipates the heat and helps keep the unit cool. It also has overload protection that will keep your circuitry safe from accidental power spikes.
However, this all-in-one design and small size means that it may not be the most powerful sub on the market. It may not achieve some of the deepest tones. Some units also fail and may not work as intended.
Kenwood is a respected brand in the audio industry, and this subwoofer is a great option. The KSC-PSW8 takes the guesswork out of your audio upgrade. It is specially designed to produce great bass in less space. If you are not pleased with your truck’s sound system, take a look at this subwoofer. It fits under the seat in most vehicles, and its bass response is similar to that of a larger subwoofer.
This eight-inch Kenwood subwoofer is a great option for truck owners who want to enhance the bass of their audio systems without losing a lot of space. Its rigid enclosure eliminates rattles, while its sturdy, built-in amplifier gives it 150 watts RMS power. You’ll love the wired remote that Kenwood provides, as it allows you to control the bass from the driver's seat.
The sub has a frequency response of 35 to 150 Hz and a sensitivity rating of 81 dB. However, it may start producing a fluttering noise after a few months, and the bass may start to get muddy. The inline fuse Kenwood uses is also of low quality.
This 800-watt speaker system delivers crisp and clear bass in a small package. We love its deep impressive bass. It is CEA-2006 compliant, which means that it has been tested by the Consumer Electronics Association and it produces the power the manufacturer says it does. It features high-level inputs that make it easy for you to turn it on and off.
Installing a subwoofer in a truck is not easy because most people don't know where to install one in the first place. Rockville made the job simpler by creating a compact subwoofer at only 2.7 inches thick that fits under the driver's or passenger's seat. It has a thermal protection circuit, a short protection circuit, and an overload protection circuit.
The sub has awesome controls that allow you to modify the sound to your liking. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. But it has a few downsides. For starters, it is not very durable. After using it for several months, it may start to cut off, shut off, or not turn on at all. It may also get hot if you feed it with 5V or more from a head unit.
The JBL BassPro SL Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer delivers impressive bass from a low-profile enclosure that fits under the seats of many vehicles. Its eight-inch woofer puts out some strong bass.
The sub features a Class D amplifier that feeds it with 125 watts RMS power. Because the amplifier does not get warm when running, you can install the subwoofer under a seat or in another tight space in your truck. The amp's features include adjustable frequency and bass boost. Speaker-level and line-level inputs with an input load switch enhance its functionality.
However, we feel it is worth mentioning that this sub does not fit under the seat of every vehicle. For instance, you may want to get another under-seat speaker if you own a Jeep. It also lacks a good bass response, and its price is on the higher side.
The Rws12ca has a powerful amplifier and a sturdy enclosure for optimal bass reproduction. It features a 150Mv - 5V variable input level and automatic turn-on circuitry and easily pairs with any factory system with little wiring. You can easily install and remove the speaker thanks to its angled terminals. It has high-level and low-level inputs for integration with factory and aftermarket head units.
This super slim sub has a power handling capacity of 300 watts RMS and 1200 watts peak. It has a low pass crossover frequency range of 50hz-250hz and a 4-ohm impedance. We like its adjustable low-pass crossover, remote bass control, and gain control range. You can install it in a car’s trunk or under a truck’s seats.
This is one of the smallest subwoofers manufactured by Rockville, but don’t let its small size fool you: it produces very intense bass. However, it tends to heat up very quickly because it lacks a built-in fan. It also has a poor bass response compared to other speakers with similar specifications.
Kicker designed the 44TCWC104 to produce a lot of bass in a limited space. It fits perfectly under or behind the seat of a truck and produces powerful bass. The deep-sounding and high-performance subwoofer works well in a shallow enclosure. It has a flex-resistant cone and delivers low frequencies without distortion. Its foam surround helps keep the cone in place.
This speaker system will add muscle to your music. Its rugged, ported box allows it to produce crisp and clear sound no matter what type of music you play. Its strong steel basket creates a good foundation for big bass, while the venting ensures it doesn't blow when the bass gets heavy.
Medium-density fiberboard gives the enclosure a long lifespan. However, we don't like how the bass sounds when the volume is turned up. You also have to connect the speaker to an amp pushing less than 300 watts or it may blow after a short while.
Don't let its compact size fool you—this 10-inch Rockford Fosgate sub means serious business. It has an RMS output of 200 watts and is one of our top picks for a truck. Paired with a slim enclosure, it can be installed in compact trunk spaces or behind the seats of trucks. The subwoofer has a 2-ohm impedance.
Rockford Fosgate has become very popular in recent years, and both Ford and Mitsubishi use its audio systems in their cars. Its midrange subs are not expensive and have solid sound quality. This speaker has a well-built enclosure and distributes sound very well. The enclosure is covered with a high-density carpet and has quick-release compression terminals.
However, we’re not too pleased with the bass response. Even when you turn up the volume, the bass sounds more like treble. The sub may also start to produce a rattling noise after a while, and if you connect it to a powerful amp, the sound may get distorted.
- When shopping for a truck sub, take measurements of the space where you will put it. If you’re going to build your own sub enclosure, take backspacing into account as well as speaker diameter.
- A speaker’s peak power rating isn’t what it can constantly reproduce. The peak power rating is a speaker’s ability to produce instantaneous punches. The power output that a speaker can handle is known as its RMS (Root Mean Square) rating and is typically about half of its peak power rating.
- Pay attention to magnet size when shopping for a truck sub. Question a high peak power rating if the speaker has a small magnet.
Q: Can I mix and match components when building a stereo system?
A: Yes. You can buy a matched kit from a single brand, or you can piece your truck’s stereo system together with components from a number of brands.
Q: Do I need a crossover with a subwoofer?
A: Yes. Subwoofers are designed to produce sound in a specific frequency range. Forcing them to produce sound outside of that range can damage them. Most modern amplifiers have a built-in crossover or band-pass filter to keep highs and midranges from ruining your subwoofers.
Q: Do all truck subs come with an amplifier?
A: No. You can buy individual component truck speakers by themselves all the way up to complete truck subwoofer systems that come with the amplifier, subwoofer, and installation wires.
Car audio enthusiasts will appreciate the great sound of the Dual Electronics BP1204 illumiNITE Enclosed Car Subwoofers, which helps a car audio system deliver all the bass it can.
The Rockville 8" Slim Under-Seat Truck Subwoofer, our choice for the best value truck sub, is an excellent powered and compact subwoofer that will deliver decent sound from under your seat.