Best 12 Inch Subwoofer of 2018 & Buying Guide

There is no single music system that performs remarkably well without the inclusion of a high-performing subwoofer. The key to all the low frequency effects of a car or home stereo system is, of course, the bass. In most cases, people view subwoofers as regular speakers.

That’s true, but you will be more capable of buying the best subwoofer for your car or home system if you consider subwoofers as a completely different category. The best low frequency drivers to your car are 12 inch subwoofer, especially if you are a big fan of hip-hop and RnB music genres.

Replacing your car’s factory-installed speakers with larger aftermarket speakers may not necessarily guarantee you the best quality of low frequency sound. Therefore, the best solution is to settle for 12 inch subwoofers.

The best 12 inch subwoofer reviews provide you with crucial buying information, and reference for future purchases.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

One of the most important questions that you have to ask yourself before buying a 12 inch subwoofer is, “What defines the best 12 inch sub?” You need to know what to buy because there are numerous models on today’s market. The following are the main factors you have to take into consideration.

What is the best type between passive and active subwoofers?

Subwoofer systems are engineered in two assortments: active and passive. A passive subwoofer is usually driven by an external amp. This type of a subwoofer requires more power to regenerate low frequency sound. The stereo system must be able to output the power the subwoofer needs to put up with the bass effects regenerated by the unit without exhaustion.

The design of a passive subwoofer includes a speaker with crossover circuits to separate the low frequency as well as reproduce it, effectively. It may include outputs to the main speakers as part and parcel of the circuitry. This may provide a midrange and high-frequency speaker output for the mains to use while it manages low frequencies.

On the other hand, an active or powered subwoofer integrates a built-in amp for the subwoofer units. It can accept a speaker input from the amplifier or receiver. It can be connected to an unamplified output from the preamplifier or the receiver. Unlike passive units, the crossover components in a powered subwoofer divide the frequency of the sound into smaller portions.

The separated frequencies include high, low and at times midrange. These frequencies are delivered to their designated drivers for reproduction. You should consider active subwoofers, if you do not want to deal with the issue of inadequate power of passive units. The inbuilt power allows these subwoofers to reproduce greater and thriving low frequency sound experience.

What is the ideal power handling?

Pioneer TS-W304R

Pioneer TS-W304R

This is simply the amount of power a subwoofer unit can handle. You need to know how much amp power will be needed to run the subwoofer you are buying. The best 12 inch subwoofer may have the following power handling specifications: peak power 1400 watts and RMS 400 watts. This means that the woofer can handle 1400 watts within a given period and 400 watts continuous.

Therefore, if you attempt to supply more power than the rated peak value, then you might end up causing the units to distort. To maintain efficiency, the RMS power rating should be close to the amp rating. If you mismatch a subwoofer to your car stereo system, then again, you might end up underutilizing or distort the performance of your subwoofer.

How efficient is the subwoofer?

A subwoofer’s efficiency is determined by its sensitivity. The rated value specifies how much power a given model requires to reach a relative volume level. It also informs you how loud the subwoofer will sound when supplied a particular amount of power. Normally, units with a higher sensitivity require less power to reproduce effective low-frequency sounds.

Sealed or ported, which is the best enclosure?

There are several subwoofer enclosures, but the most popular ones are sealed and ported. A sealed or infinite baffle is the more basic of the two, but it offers the cleanest sounding effects.

This design isolates the back of the subwoofer from the front. It provides simple build and controlled response for several subwoofer uses. The slow and low-end roll-off offers the best transition into thrilling frequency range.

Pioneer TSW311D4

Pioneer TSW311D4

Sealed enclosures have a number of benefits. They are remarkably simple to construct, not to mention that they are more forgiving. The enclosure size can deviate from the desired size and it will still perform as expected. These subwoofers have higher power handling ability and they have improved transient response. These units are capable of responding more efficiently to changes in the sound.

A ported or vented subwoofer is similar to a sealed subwoofer, but it is incorporated with a port to increase the amount of bass or output. The wave that is channeled through the port or ports strengthens the output or bass volume. In most vented enclosure designs, the port is made of a PVC tube. The length, as well as the diameter of the port tube, determines the tuning frequency.

There are mainly two benefits of using ported enclosures. The first one is above the port tuning frequency. A ported subwoofer is regarded more efficient as far as its optimal performing frequency is concerned. The second one is a low distortion/alteration around the port-tuning frequency. However, there are a number of demerits to this design because of the port, including complex design and construction, larger enclosure size, and possible port noise.

Best 12 Inch Subwoofer Reviews

1. Kicker 10C124 Comp 12 inch Subwoofer

Kicker 10C124

Product Highlights

  • Loudest Bass
  • Affordable pricing
  • 360 degrees of back bracing in the injection molded cone
  • Coil wire is high temp
  • To dissipate the heat, a piece of vented pole is present
  • For cooling the coil a sturdy steel basket is there
  • Leads are made durable with double stitching
  • Terminals are spring loaded to make them handy


The Kicker 10C124 Comp is a high-performing ng subwoofer that provides the best quality bass among all the competing models. It is made highly affordable for the consumers who need a low price subwoofer with maximum features. The look is really amazing that it offers the attraction of latest woofers.

As a whole, it offers everything a person can ask for in a subwoofer. The performance provided by this woofer is remarkable. It has multiple features that make it innovative and one of a kind low frequency driver. The back bracing is 36-degrees, which improves on the sub’s performance. The voice coil is made of high quality material and it does not burn because of the high-temperature resistance.

These features along with the tinsel lead equipment make it a durable subwoofer. It can be used for the factory upgrades. The push terminals are nickel plated, which improve the quality of the unit. The unit is highly ergonomic and user-friendly; so, installation and operation are not challenging.

2. Pioneer TSW311D4 Champion Series 12 Inch Subwoofer

Pioneer TSW311D4

Product Highlights

  • 4 Ohm Dual Voice Coils
  • Seamless Cone
  • 2 layers of elastic polymer which are fiber reinforced
  • An attached steel basket that is stamped
  • Power handling of maximum 400 watts
  • Peak power handling is 1,400 watts.
  • Dimensions of 14 inches × 14 inches × 8 inches
  • Weight is 14.5 pounds
  • Sensitivity is 95 dB
  • The response of frequency is 20 – 125 Hz.

The Pioneer TSW311D4 is a well-built Champion series subwoofer engineered for quality performance. The single-piece basket ensures that the sub reproduces a loud and rhythmical bass sound that keeps you glued in your car.

A proper ventilation and cooling system work in this system to turn the audio results in a good quality. The vibration is also reduced by the use of high-quality machinery and technology. The sound leaks are minimized by the improvement in stiffness of the basket.

At higher volume, it is essential to make the cone lightweight in order to eliminate any distortions. This is an excellent example of a fully integrated low frequency driver with every possible feature. In addition, the high linear sound is produced with the sound outline and playback response.

3. Kicker 43CVR124 CompVR 12 Inch Subwoofer

Product Highlights

  • Dual voice coil
  • RMS handling of power is 400 watts
  • Maximum power handling is 800 watts
  • 4-ohm impedance
  • Mounting depth is 6.25 inches.
  • Sensitivity is 86.9 dB
  • Weight is 10 pounds
  • Dimensions are 14 inches × 14 inches × 8 inches

The Kicker 43CVR124 CompVR is a high-quality 12 inch subwoofer with the best value provided to the consumer. The price is affordable and with the finest performance. The power handling ability of this subwoofer is astounding. The wiring is made easy and durable because of 4 Ohm dual coils for voicing.

The bass is of such high quality that a music loving person will feel great after having this subwoofer in the car. Powerful magnets are used in the firm polymer cone. The use of high quality venting keeps the subwoofer cool while reproducing deep bass sound.

In addition, the sensitivity level is adequately controlled to ensure that the system does not fail to perform. The quality of sound and coverage is ensured by the providers. If you supply it with the recommended power ratings, then this will be your most preferred sub.

4. MTX Audio TN12-04 Terminator Series Subwoofer

Product Highlights

  • Spider plateau for cooling the voicing coil
  • The magnet structure is of 28 oz.
  • Dimensions are 14.2 inches × 14.2 inches × 8 inches.
  • Long-lasting and Durable because of rubber surrounding
  • Audio logo of MTX is on Dust cap
  • Weight is 8 pounds


The MTX Audio TN12-04 is a high-tech terminator series subwoofer that has good looks and is equally exceptional in the voice quality. It features great engineering that provides the mixture of everything a person could wish for as far as deep bass sound is concerned.

The venting system is of spider plateau, which keeps the voice coil cool and ensures that the entire unit works properly. The loudness of this woofer is guaranteed by the linear drive organization in the asymmetrical order. It is also a highly durable subwoofer because of the high-quality materials used in the construction.

The price is reasonable with the incorporation of all the latest features. This is the perfect 12 inch subwoofer with the 4 Ohm technology for the money.

5. Pioneer TS-W304R 12 Inch Component Subwoofer

Pioneer TS-W304R

Product highlights

  • 1300 watts maximum power handling
  • Size is 12 inches
  • Weight is 9.2 pounds
  • The depth is 8 inches
  • Dimensions are 12 inches × 8 inches × 12 inches.
  • Warranty of 1 year

The ported or sealed closure can be used and both of them are equally supported because of the fact that the unit is highly versatile. There is no wireless remote for this device so the manual system is used. The efficient design ensures that the low frequency sound produced is not distorted. A composite cone woofer is added, which is seamless and adds up to the bass quality.

The maximum power handling of 1300 watts makes it ideal for car audio performance, and there are 6 layers of the copper coil for voicing. Among the best 12 inch subwoofer models this product is one of a kind. The optimal performance is ensured by the good handling of power and delivery of excellent voice, in the form of smooth response.

The Wrap Up

The best 12 inch subwoofer reviews have elaborated the most crucial features to look for and how the best models look like. However, this should not limit your search. You can use the information we provided, such as type of subwoofer, performance features, and enclosure designs to find a more satisfactory model or models for your car or home theater system. Always aim for a model that will deliver the best performance. The one consideration that matters the most is that the subwoofer specs have to match with your car stereo or home theater specifications.