Though it's difficult to go wrong with any of the subwoofers offered by JL Audio, the 12W0v3-4 manages to present an exceptionally good combination of performance and value. A compact design and 75-300 watts RMS of power handling provide plenty of performance, and the modest power requirements allow the 12W0v3-4 to put out decent bass without taxing your audio system. While this subwoofer isn't going to be the best or the loudest, it offers superb sound quality and is definitely one of the best buys in this price range.
Rockford Fosgate's popular 'Punch' line continues to earn our recognition, and the P1S4-12 continues the tradition of combining high performance and a budget-friendly price. The P1S4-12 is downright affordable, and can be found online for less than $100. This particular subwoofer is designed to handle 50-250 watts RMS; output is satisfying, but performance will be best when hooked up to a decent amplifier. The Kevlar-reinforced paper cone ensures accurate output, but the design does ultimately restrict performance when you crank the volume. Overall, the P1S4-12 does a great job of upgrading a factory sound system for those who aren't looking to really push their system hard.
Alpine has certainly built up a solid reputation with its Type-S line, and the SWS-12D4 is yet another addition that earns its stripes. Trickle-down technologies from the higher-end Type-R models ensure that the SWS-12D4 punches above its weight, and the details can back up the reputation. The Kevlar-reinforced pulp cone is combined with a Santoprene surround for tight, accurate bass, and the dual voice coils are designed to handle up to 500 watts RMS. For the money, the Alpine SWS-12D4 offers amazing performance with practically zero drawbacks.
Kenwood has just about dominated the budget subwoofer market for what seems like an eternity, and the KFC-W3013PS is the latest entrant designed to pick up where its predecessors left off. For starters, the polypropylene cone is paired with a rubber surround to deliver substantial bass, and supports extended cone excursion for added punch. Power handling ranges from 50-400 watts RMS, with a peak of 1200 watts. Given the bargain basement pricing, the KFC-W3013PS is an absolute steal.
Polk Audio's Mobile Monitor series represents a delicate balancing act between top-notch performance and budget-friendly pricing. While the MM1240 does tend to lean more towards the pricier side of things, this subwoofer boasts modern materials in its construction that explain the slightly higher price tag. The polymer cone, carbon composite basket, and butyl rubber surround is pure 21st century, and also carries the effect of certifying this subwoofer for marine use. Despite the heavy-duty design, the MM1240 can handle up to 425 watts RMS, and will survive in just about any condition encountered in a daily driver.
For the 10th anniversary of the W7 subwoofer, JL Audio marked this important milestone by discontinuing the W7 lineup. In place of the original W7 is the W7AE, which is identical to the 'regular' W7 with the exception of a few cosmetic modifications. The outlandish performance remains - this massive subwoofer is best suited for hardcore bass junkies or for competition use. The 12W7AE is 'overbuilt' for a good reason - this subwoofer boasts over an inch of excursion, combined with more cone surface area than any comparable 12-inch subwoofer. Bass output is tremendous - when placed in a proper enclosure, even a single 12W7AE can drown out most multi-subwoofer setups that competitors offer. All W7AE models require substantial power for best performance - in this case, JL Audio recommends anywhere from 400-1000W RMS.
Rockford Fosgate's Power subwoofers are commonplace in car audio competition thanks to their over-the-top performance. The T2D412 carries 'serious' styling which emphasizes the sheer bulk rather than attempting to disguise it. This 12-inch subwoofer has a nearly 'square' profile due to its massive magnet. Power handling is substantial - up to 1200 watts RMS to deliver pounding bass that will flex sheetmetal and rattle loose panels apart. Dual voice coils come standard, and the 4-ohm impedance rating enables versatile installations. Rockford Fosgate recommends using the Power T2D412 with either a sealed or ported enclosure - either setup will yield competition-grade output, so choose which one you like best.
For most enthusiasts, JL Audio's 12W6v3-D4 checks all the right boxes. While the 12-inch JL Audio 12W6v3-D4 might be pricey, excellent performance makes it worth it for those looking to have the best. Though a subwoofer by JL Audio at any price is unlikely to ever be a bad choice, the 12W6v3-D4 combines some of the top performance the brand offers, while the 600 watts RMS (peak 1,200 watts) delivers plenty of punch without requiring too much from your amplifier. The bass output delivers plenty of punch, and overall sound is clear and accurate. Dual 4-ohm voice coils expand your setup options, and the terminal jumper system allows for easy adjustments to the impedance. Although the power needed for this subwoofer is not considered exorbitantly high, a high-powered amplifier is still recommended to extract the most performance possible.
With their distinctive square subwoofers, Kicker has built a reputation for providing high performance at any price. The 12-inch Solo-Baric L7 puts out 750 watts RMS, with a a peak of 1,500 watts. The square shape allows the sub to push more air, making the the Solo-Baric L7 capable of hard hitting bass - even for its size. Sound quality is excellent, although the amount of bass detail versus hammering will depend largely on your particular setup. As with any high-powered subwoofer, an amplifier to match will be required to extract the most performance and avoid any potential damage.
Pioneer's TS-W3002D4 Champion Series PRO subwoofer packs a huge amount of punch into a relatively affordable package - especially when compared to similar-performing subwoofers. Putting out 1,000 watts RMS (with a peak of 3,500 watts), there's no question that a sufficiently powerful amplifier will be required to power this subwoofer. The result is powerful, thundering bass and a crisp, tight sound that is free of distortion - even at extremely low frequencies. The dual 4-ohm voice coils allow for flexibility in your setup, making the relatively reasonable price of the TS-WS3002D4 even more of a good value.
Unless you're planning on attending SPL competitions, the JL Audio 12W3v3-4 is one of the best subwoofers for everyday use. The W3v3 series strikes the perfect balance between bass output and sound quality - the 12W3v3-4 is capable of vibrating windows and mirrors while delivering spot-on low frequency reproduction. The W3v3 subwoofers don't require monster amplifiers for adequate performance - anywhere from 150-500W RMS is enough to extract substantial bass output. The 12W3v3-4 sounds very different when used in a ported box as opposed to a sealed enclosure, so try to get a live demo of the unit before deciding which is right for you.
Don't confuse this subwoofer for the P3D412 - the '-' indicates an entirely new model. The P3D4-12 is a 12-inch, 4-ohm subwoofer with dual voice coils, and sits at the top of Rockford Fosgate's midrange 'Punch' lineup. This is not a 'competition' subwoofer like the 'Power' models - instead, the focus is on accurate bass reproduction and controlled bass hits. The P3D4-12 manages to sound powerful without excessive boominess, and resists distortion even at louder volumes. Power handling is rated at 600 watts RMS, so be sure to use a powerful mono- or 2-channel amplifier for full effect.
Alpine's Type-R subwoofers all offer excellent performance, and the SWR-12D2 is no exception. The dual 2-ohm voice coils offer wiring flexibility as your system changes, and power handling ranges from 300-1000 watts RMS, with 500 watts per coil. The SWR-12D2 is a subwoofer that can put out a lot of volume without distortion, while the Santoprene surround keeps everything accurate and controlled. At such a reasonable price, the Alpine SWR-12D2 offers a great combination of punchy bass and affordability.
Focal Access 30 A1 DB Subwoofer
Focal has built up its reputation for top-end audio products, no matter the price tag associated with any particular model. The Access 30 A1 DB may represent an 'entry-level' pick from the Focal subwoofer lineup, but this subwoofer is anything but basic. For starters, the cone material is typical Focal: a woven glass-fiber base is paired with a butyl rubber surround to ensure strength and fidelity, even at higher volumes. The basket is specifically tuned to resist unwanted resonance, and the dual 4-ohm voice coils provide added flexibility with wiring. Power handling ranges from 50-250 watts RMS, and bass output is impressive all-around.
Pioneer has simplified its subwoofer offerings, prioritizing solid performance over everything else. While the TS-W3002D2 may not match up with a competition subwoofer, it boasts enough performance on its own to stand out from the crowd. The injection-molded polypropylene cone base is reinforced with basalt and carbon fiber, giving this subwoofer the ability to push out plenty of bass without distortion. The multi-layer surround controls cone movement well, and the dual voice coils can handle up to 1000 watts RMS combined. Given its attractive price tag, the Pioneer TS-W3002D2 is easily one of the gold standards on the market today.