July 17

Best Under Seat Subwoofer – Compact powered car subwoofers

Audio

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So, you’ve just bought yourself a new car. You’re cruising down the highway, all that’s missing is your favorite banger blasting from the speakers. You play the song, but uh-oh, there’s no bass to give that much-needed oomph to the soundscape. This is why you need an under seat subwoofer.

If you’re tired of your car’s flat sound and looking for a quick way to resolve that issue, join me on my journey where I review the seven best under seat subwoofers you can find on the current market. 


In a Hurry? The Winner after 48 Hours of Research:

Rockville RW10CA 10' 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub

Our Rating: 95/100

Why it is the best?

  • It’s incredibly compact in size
  • It’s graded at 200W with 800W peak power
  • Thanks to the inbuilt amp it’s incredibly easy to connect with your car’s speakers
  • Features a 10” driver
  • Superb sound quality
  • Excellent price to performance ratio

How I Picked:

23 Resources 

168 Reviews Compared

48 Hours Of Research 

65 Popular Products Considered

Last Updated: June 20, 2020

By James Ruhle: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best under seat subwoofer available for those who want the best sound in their car. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best under seat subwoofers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.


Top Under Seat Subwoofer Picks - Comparison Table

Product

Dimensions

Driver Size

RMS

Inputs

Our Rating

Current Price

Rockville RW10CA 10' 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub

12.4 x 13.4 x 2.7 inches

10 inches

200W

Hi and Low Level

96/100

Rockville SS8P 400w 8' Slim Under-Seat Active Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub

14.1 x 8.3 x 2.8 inches

8 inches

100W

Hi and Low Level

94/100

Kenwood KSC-SW11 150W Low-Profile Amplified Car Subwoofer Enclosure+Amp Kit

11 x 7.5 x 2.75 inches

8 inches

75W

Hi Level Only

90/100

Pioneer TS-WX130DA Compact Active subwoofer

15.5 x 9.8 x 4.4 inches

8 x 5.25 inches

50W

Hi Level Only

90/100

BassPro SL - JBL 8' 125W RMS Powered Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer Enclosure System

17.2 x 14.8 x 6.7 inches

8 inches

125W

Hi and Low Level

90/100

Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer

13.4 x 9.1 x 2.8 inches

8 inches

120W

Hi and Low level

85/100

Kicker 11HS8 8' 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure HS8

13.78 x 9.45 x 3.15 inches

8 inches

150W

Hi Level Only

85/100

Best Under Seat Subwoofers Reviewed

Under seat subwoofers are an excellent way of improving your vehicle’s audio system without having to sacrifice valuable space. On top of that, most underseat subwoofers come at a reasonable price and can last for years before breaking down.

Finding the best under the seat subwoofers for your needs can be quite challenging in today’s over-saturated market. Besides well-known brands, there’s a whole bunch of other less known brands that pump out a new model every couple of months or so.

Thankfully, you’re at the right place. I did the research, so you don’t have to!

After many hours of research where I went through dozens of different subwoofer models, I managed to compile this list of seven best ones.

1. Rockville RW10CA 10” Underseat Subwoofer – Best 10 Inch Subwoofer

Rockville RW10CA 10' 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub

Our Rating: 96/100

They don’t make car seats like they used to. Back in the day, car seats were so tall that you could fit a military box under them. On the other hand, the car seats of today are sleeker and less tall. This makes installing a subwoofer under a modern car seat a bit of a nightmare. This is why the first place in my list goes to one of the slimmer underseat subwoofers on the market, the Rockville RW10CA.

So, before I get into performance, let’s talk about dimensions first. If your car seats don’t have a lot of room under them, then the Rockville subwoofer is the right choice for you. This fantastic device measures 12.4 x 13.4 x 2.7 inches.

When it comes to output, this subwoofer is just as impressive. RW10CA can pump out 800 watts of sound at its peak. And thanks to it’s 200 Watts RMS power handling, you’ll be able to feel every low tone in your music library. If you’re into trap music, I especially recommend you get this subwoofer since you’ll be able to feel that 808 bass this rap genre is so famous for.

When it comes to sound, I have nothing but praise. The RW10CA 10 inch driver produces crisp tones that can easily reach your bowels, all thanks to its impressive 20 to 150hz frequency response. This is why I don’t recommend you turn this puppy up if you have to go take a number two.

I love how easy to install this sub is. It comes with all the screws and standoffs you need. On top of that, thanks to the inbuilt amplifier, you won’t have to do any complicated wiring. All you have to do is connect your car speakers with this subwoofer’s high-level input, and the amp will turn on or off the speaker whenever it senses a signal. And if you want to connect it with your car’s sound system, don’t worry, there’s a low-level input as well.

And if you’re an audiophile, you can fine-tune the sound output by playing with the low-pass filter, gain, and bass boost knobs. Once you’ve got your settings dialed in, you can take advantage of the RCA Sub-Level remote input to plug in the remote control that’ll allow you to control the sub level without having to reach under your seat.

Pros

  • Comes with all the screws and standoffs you need to install it
  • Produces incredibly crisp low tones that can really move your bowels
  • 800W peak power with 200 RMS
  • Thanks to Hi-Level input, wiring this subwoofer is incredibly easy
  • Features an inbuilt amp

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Rockville SS8P 400w 8' Slim Under-Seat Active Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub

Our Rating: 94/100

The second place in my list of best underseat subwoofers goes to another fantastic product from Rockville. However, this subwoofer offers less power and a bit less bass. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad addition to your car sound system. Quite the contrary, the SS8P is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable bass upgrade for your car.

Out of the box, this under seat subwoofer comes with everything you need to install it under your seat, and with one more incredibly useful gadget of a sort. Besides screws, standoffs, and necessary cables, this subwoofer also comes with remote control. This remote is super-easy to install because it uses an RCA connector.

Another cool thing about this 8-inch bass driver is that it’s super compact in size. It measures only 14.1 x 8.3 x 2.8 inches. You won’t have any trouble fitting it under the seat no matter how low it is because the SS8P is just 2.8 inches high.

When it comes to sound quality, this little subwoofer really delivers. Even though it offers only 100 watts RMS and 200 Watts peak power, you can really feel the bass in your bowels when you turn it up to eleven. This 8-inch driver sounds more like a 10 inch one. Thanks to the inbuilt amp, you can fine-tune the sound settings to your heart’s content. The amp features a built-in 20Hz subsonic filter, a 50-150Hz low pass filter, and a 0-12dB bass boost! 

Unfortunately, the manufacturer didn’t disclose what’s the frequency response of SS8P subwoofers. From what I was able to gather, I think it’s safe to say the driver on this subwoofer can produce frequencies from 50 to 150 Hz.

Just like the previous Rockville subwoofer, the SS8P also features a high-level input that ensures easy installation. All you have to do is connect your car speakers with this subwoofer, and the inbuilt smart circuit will automatically turn it on.

The smart circuit is not the only component that’s impressive. To ensure SS8P subwoofers endure the day to day use, they feature an overload protection circuit and a thermal protection circuit. The latter ensures this speaker won’t blow-out due to a power surge. In contrast, the latter ensures internal components won’t melt when you leave your car under direct sunlight.

The only thing I dislike about this product is the overall design. It’s built out of plastic that feels really cheap.

Pros

  • Easy to install since it doesn’t require a lot of wiring
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Features an inbuilt amp that allows you to fine-tune the sound
  • Comes with an RCA remote you can install on your dashboard
  • Quite affordable for a high quality subwoofer

Cons

  • Bland design

Kenwood KSC-SW11 150W Low-Profile Amplified Car Subwoofer Enclosure+Amp Kit

Our Rating: 90/100

You can’t talk about car sound systems and underseat subwoofers without mentioning Kenwood. This company is well-known for producing high-quality car electronics ranging from dashcams and GPS navigation to car audio. In fact, Kenwood owes its popularity to its fantastic speakers.

Kenwood KSC-SW11 is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to making superb car speakers. This slim and compact subwoofer is just perfect for installing under your car seat - or somewhere else if you’re really limited by space.

Before I get into specs, let’s talk about dimensions first. As I said, this subwoofer is perfect if you have limited space in your car. It measures 16.2 x 9.8 x 4.2 inches, which means it can fit under most seats. And if you don’t have enough room, you can always install it in your trunk. 

The installation process is incredibly easy because this subwoofer features an inbuilt amp. This reduces the wiring clutter significantly. All you have to do to the Kenwood KSC up and running is to connect your car stereo to the input, hook it up with your car’s power supply, and you’re done! It comes with all the necessary screws and wires, which saves you time since you don’t have to hunt around for those.

Namely, the oil consumption on tested vehicles became drastically lower. We also felt the cars were running more smoothly on all types of terrain and finally, the rattle on the startup was as good as gone. And we are talking about a couple of vehicles we used for testing.

And the fact that the engine flush works with worn-out vehicles deserves praise on its own.

So we can't help giving this neat product a credit where credit is due.

In terms of drawbacks, we have touched upon them throughout the entire review. First and foremost there is the price. Since this engine flush is aimed primarily at the owners of older vehicles, we can't see many of these people paying such a steep price for this bottle.

The other complaint is that the results are nowhere near as good when we move to newer car models. Still, cleaning properties are rock-solid.

Pros

  • Works like a charm on older engines
  • Excellent cleaning properties
  • User-friendly
  • You can use it on both types of engines

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You can find more affordable alternatives

Pioneer TS-WX130DA Compact Active subwoofer

Our Rating: 90/100

Another company you can’t but not mention when talking about car sound systems is Pioneer. This company has been on the cutting edge of car stereos, radios, music players, and many other car and audio electronics. When purchasing one of their products, you can rest assured you’re getting a high-quality piece of equipment that’ll serve you for years. Unfortunately, purchasing an underseat subwoofer from a well-known brand also means paying a premium.

With that said, Pioneer TS-WX130Da Compact Active Subwoofer is one of the best underseat subwoofers I had the pleasure of reviewing. If you’re looking to add more bass to your driving experience, this subwoofer is the right choice for you. Thanks to its compact size of 15.5 x 9.8 x 4.4-inches, you won’t have any trouble fitting this subwoofer under your car seat. What’s more, even if you don’t have enough space under the seat - thanks to its compact size - you won’t have any trouble installing this subwoofer anywhere else in the car where you have enough space.

Pioneer TS-WX130DA is designed to provide you with the feeling of bass like never before. How is that? Well, unlike other underseat subwoofers I’ve reviewed so far, this one utilizes the power of its inbuilt digital amp to produce incredibly low frequencies. With deep mode on, this subwoofer has a frequency response of 20Hz to 200Hz. This means you’ll be able to not only hear your favorite banger but feel the bass permeating your insides. Although it features an 8-inch driver, it sounds like it has a 10 inch one.

I don’t know how Pioneer did it to make the bass so punchy on a drive that’s rated at only 50 watts RMS, but they somehow did it. Maybe it has something to do with the peak power that’s rated at 160 watts. Or maybe it has something to do with the 8-inch aluminum cone driver.

Just like with previous subwoofers on this list, Pioneer TS-WX130DA also features a high-level input. The second this subwoofer senses a signal, it’ll automatically turn on. And since this is a powered subwoofer, you’ll also have to connect it with your car’s power supply. 

To be able to fine-tune the sound of the bass, you will have to use the RCA remote that comes with this subwoofer. This remote can’t be screwed in, so you’ll have to keep it somewhere where you won’t accidentally step on it or crush it with your car door.

Pros

  • Incredible frequency response
  • Since it features an inbuilt digital amp, there’s no hassle with wiring
  • Incredibly compact in size
  • Produces a punchy, clear bass sound

Cons

  • The only way you can fine-tune the sound is via the RCA remote
  • Some might find it a bit underpowered

BassPro SL - JBL 8' 125W RMS Powered Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer Enclosure System

Our Rating: 90/100

JBL has been around for a long time. If you’re an audio head, you’ve undoubtedly used at least one of their products. This company is famous for building high-grade speakers that produce incredibly crisp and vivid sound. Recently they’re best known for their amazing wireless speakers and soundbars. But did you know they also dabble with car sound systems?

The BassPro SL 8 inch underseat subwoofer is incredibly compact in size, and it also gives you the ability to fine-tune the sound thanks to its inbuilt amp. This underseat subwoofer is a perfect example of how dedicated JBL is to manufacturing some of the best speakers on the market.

As I mentioned, this JBL subwoofer is incredibly compact. It measures 9.8 x 13.5  x 2.8 inches, which means it’s so small in size that it can fit under most car seats. In fact, I’m pretty sure it can fit under any car seat since it’s just 2.8 inches in height. Even cars with incredibly low seats have at least 4 inches of space beneath them.

Talking about size is all fine and dandy, but what about the sound quality. Well, this subwoofer packs quite a punch. It features an 8-inch driver that’s rated at 125 watts RMS and can pump out 250 watts of sound at peak power. The bass is quite punchy, especially when you play hard bass or trap rap. This is all thanks to the incredible frequency response of 35 to 120 Hz. No matter how low the tone is, you can rest assured you’ll be able to hear it and feel it.

And if you’re an audiophile, you’ll just love the inbuilt amp. The amp allows you to fine-tune this underseat subwoofer to your heart’s content. To be a bit more exact, the inbuilt digital amp features a variable low pass filter, variable bass boost, and you can also play around with the selectable phase switch.

On top of all this, this subwoofer also comes with a full protection suite. You don’t have to worry about it dying out due to a short circuit or due to high temperature because it comes with both a surge protection circuit and a thermal protection circuit.

And just like with other subwoofers I’ve reviewed so far, this one requires minimum wiring because it features a high-level input. And if your sound system isn’t compatible with this subwoofer, you can use low-level inputs.

Pros

  • Features both low and high-level inputs
  • Produces a crisp, punchy bass sound
  • Incredibly compact in size
  • Easy to install
  • Superb frequency response and power output

Cons

  • Because of the brand name, this subwoofer is a bit pricey
  • Doesn’t come with a remote control

Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer

Our Rating: 85/100

If you’re looking for a subwoofer that’s specially designed to provide you with that staple bass punch while remaining compact in size, look no further than Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Powered Subwoofer. Alpine Electronics is another company that’s well known for building quality car speakers and other audio equipment. And this subwoofer is an excellent example of this company’s commitment to making superb car audio devices.

If you own a sports car, this powered subwoofer is a godsend. Measuring only 13.5 x 9 x 3 inches, this sub can fit under any car seat. And if you don’t have enough room there, you can always install it in your trunk or under the back seat. Either way, you’re ensuring your car will be full of low vibes once you turn up the music!

When it comes to sound output, the little 8-inch driver is more than capable of filling out your entire car’s cabin with sound. Of course, since this subwoofer is rated at 120 Watts RMS, don’t expect to be heard two blocks away. Still, this is more than enough sound power to jam to your favorite tracks. Thanks to the frequency response of 32-150Hz, you’ll be able to hear all the low sounds with ease. The sound output is crisp and clear, and I haven’t noticed any noise muddying while trying out this speaker.

The inbuilt amplifier allows you to fiddle with the sound, just like with all the subwoofers I’ve reviewed so far. There is a variable low filter, a phase mode, and you can control the gain. Unfortunately, there is no bass boost knob, so don’t expect to blow the windows out with this sub. Still, this sub is one of the best choices if you’re looking for something compact that’ll provide a means of listening to your favorite music in its full frequency spectrum.

When it comes to installation, it’s quite straightforward. You can connect it with your speaker system via the high-level input, or if they’re incompatible, you can use the low-level inputs. Unfortunately, there is no RCA input for remote control, so be ready to spend a couple of hours fine-tuning the settings.

Pros

  • Because it’s only 3 inches deep, it can fit under most car seats
  • An excellent power output of 120 Watts
  • The driver produces clear and punchy bass
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with both high and low level inputs

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Not very powerful

Kicker 11HS8 8' 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure HS8

Our Rating: 85/100

For an underseat subwoofer, Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer has almost everything you should look for - it features a powerful inbuilt amp, it’s compact in size. It offers plenty of control over the performance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t shine particularity at any of these areas to justify its high price tag.

Kicker 11HS8 comes with an 8-inch driver that can output 150 Watts of power. This is more than enough to fill the entire cabin with bass, but it isn’t overly loud. This subwoofer gives much-needed color to the overall soundscape, but not more than that. What’s more, I noticed it was prone to clipping when playing certain songs. This is why I can’t recommend Kicker 11HS8 to anyone serious about music. Still, I would recommend it to anyone that’s just looking to improve your car’s overall audio quality. The enclosure is built out of high-quality plastic that doesn’t feel cheap and gives the bass much-needed reverb.

If you’re not satisfied with the output, you can always adjust it. Thanks to the inbuilt amp, you can fine-tune this subwoofer to your preferences. It allows you to adjust the gain, crossover, and you can even boost the bass. After you’ve dialed in your settings, you can later play around with the volume via the remote control that comes with the Kicker 11HS8.

When it comes to connectivity, this subwoofer only comes with high-level inputs. There’s no trace of low level inputs, but that’s OK since most people don’t use that input. All you have to do to be able to use this sub is to connect it with your car’s power supply and the speakers. Thanks to the smart circuit, the sub will turn on the second it senses a signal.

If you’re serious about audio systems, I would recommend you buy this subwoofer. It lacks power, and it’s a bit overpriced. You can get a sub at half the price and get much better bass with more power. With that said, I would recommend this sub to anyone that’s looking for a sturdy sub that’ll give more color to their music. It won’t blow you away with its power. Still, something is better than nothing.

Pros

  • Very compact
  • Easy to install since it comes with an inbuilt amp
  • Offers excellent control over the output
  • Comes with a remote control
  • Very durable

Cons

  • It lacks power
  • Clips when playing certain songs

Best Under Seat Subwoofers - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why buy an underseat subwoofer?

A: An underseat subwoofer is a perfect choice for every car owner who enjoys listening to music while driving. If you’re into hard-hitting bass, you’ll need a quality subwoofer. 

Underseat subwoofers are easy to install, they won’t take up space, and won’t be visible in your car. Whatsmore you’ll get the desired bass power. 

There are many options when it comes to subwoofers suitable for cars. But if you want to save up some space, underseat subwoofers are the best choice because they are designed to fit in the tight area below the seat. 

With an underseat subwoofer, you’ll get the deep bass, while wasting almost no space. 

Another fantastic thing about underseat subwoofers is that they’re relatively cheap. You don’t have to spend all your savings to get a high-grade subwoofer. And since most of them come with an in-built amp, you won’t have to shell out extra cash to use them. 

Q: Can you put subs under seats?

A: The answer is YES! 

Conventional subwoofers usually take up much space in your car. That is a big issue for most car owners.

However, underseat subwoofers are designed to easily fit under the car seat, and with that eliminate the issue of space. 

You can get subwoofers and install them in your car trunk, but with underseat subwoofers, you can use the space that you rarely use for anything. 

You’ll get the perfect sound and bass for your car without wasting any space. 

Underseat subwoofers are not just fantastic when it comes to saving up space, sound, and bass quality. They are also straightforward to install. 

Because of the unique design, you can install underseat subwoofers without the help of a professional. They all come with an installation manual, so you can do it all on your own. The installation usually takes around 1 to 2 hours. 

Q: Are under seat subs any good?

A: Let’s be real here. When it comes to subwoofers, the most important thing is sound output. 

The newer models of underseat subwoofers will give you a decent sound quality. Still, if you’re a true audiophile, you’ll definitely notice that the quality could be better. But, if that isn’t the case with you, you won’t have a problem. 

Another thing about this type of subwoofer is that it can be inconvenient sometimes. For example, if you get a larger model and place it under the passenger seat, the person sitting behind can’t stretch their legs. Also, they will vibrate, which can be annoying for some people. 

Other than this, there are no other significant downsides. 

Q: How do you wire under a subwoofer seat?

A: Wiring shouldn’t be a problem, even if you have never done it before. It’s usually straightforward, but if you think that you’ll mess up something, call someone to help you. 

The first thing you need to do is find a place where you’ll mount your subwoofer. Keep in mind that the inbuilt amp will generate heat, so make sure it’s mounted somewhere where it’ll get enough fresh air. And, of course, make sure you mount it somewhere where it can be easily accessible.

After you’ve found a place to mount your sub, you should check if you have all the necessary wiring. After that’s done, it’s time to disconnect your car’s battery, so you don’t accidentally fry something.

Now it’s time for the real job, running the power wire. Some subs come with a fuse, but if they don’t, you should wire up a fuse directly on the power cable. After that, you can pass the cable through the firewall and connect the wiring with your stereo.


After It's All Said and Done, I Recommend:

Rockville RW10CA 10' 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub

Our Rating: 96/100

Why it is the best?

  • It’s incredibly compact in size
  • It’s graded at 200W with 800W peak power
  • Thanks to the inbuilt amp it’s incredibly easy to connect with your car’s speakers
  • Features a 10” driver
  • Superb sound quality
  • Excellent price to performance ratio

Conclusion

Choosing the best underseat subwoofer was no easy feat. I went through dozens of different products before I finally decided which one was the clear winner. And the winner is Rockville RW10CA because it offers superb quality for an affordable price.

If you found this article useful, why not check out some other articles on this website and share them around!

About the author 

James Ruhle

Hi, I'm James. I've owned everything from a 1998 Renault Clio, to a modern BMW M3 and even a Tesla Model S. I've driven from Oslo, Norway, all the way to Budapest and back, and am a roadtripoholic. I hope you enjoyed this post from Healthycar.org, a blog I created to share some of the best tips and tricks, as well as products I've found to keep your car in great condition.

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