The ultimate powered subwoofer buying guide.
Would you like to improve your car’s mediocre audio system?
Are you tired of listening to its shallow sound?
Then you are at the right place since a properly selected under seat subwoofer can solve all your problems.
The first and easiest way to improve the factory audio system of a car is to add some extra bass to it and the best under seat subwoofers can pumps out a tremendous amount of bass.
Adding some punch to the low end delivers a big improvement to any stock system and can definitely make your music come alive.
When people think of extra bass, what usually pops up in their minds are those big box subwoofers which take up a ton of space in the cars and usually, teenagers use them to rock the block.
However, you do not have to give up the good bass even if you drive a compact car or if you need every space in your trunk for your family.
The best under seat subwoofers are small, compact devices which can add just the right amount of bass to your music without having to sacrifice any useful cabin or cargo space.
They are completely self-powered devices, you don’t have to install a separate amplifier to drive them, so they are very easy to install in any vehicle even if you are not an audio expert.
However, buying the best under seat subwoofer isn’t as easy as you’d think.
There are several options you can choose from, but fortunately, in this buying guide, I’ve collected together the best 20 under seat subwoofers available in 2018 to make your choice easier.
Although all of them are great devices and everyone has different needs, I highlighted some of my top picks which I think to provide a really outstanding value and definitely worth to check them.
- Slim profile
- Solid aluminum enclosure
- Wired bass remote
- Can get warm
Overall, the Cerwin-vega VPAS10 is a great compact device, if you are looking for an impressive quality bass in a ridiculously small sub, look no further.
- Very compact size
- Great build quality
- Wired bass remote
- For larger cars, it may not be strong enough
The Kenwood KSC-SW11 is an extremely compact subwoofer, which can add some nice bass and round out your existing sound system.
- Powerful sound with 300W RMS
- Heavy bass
- Quick-disconnect plugs
- Pretty large
The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is a powerful, durable device which can fill even bigger cars and trucks with crystal clear, heavy bass.
Best budget speaker
- It can easily fit under any seat
- Nice look
- Very good price
- Slightly lacks in the deeper lows
The Rockville RW8CA is a nice little sub which delivers great value for a surprisingly budget price.
- Slick, muscular look
- Powerful sound
- Can go pretty deep
- Pretty large
- A bit pricey
If you need real power, then the JBL GT-BassPro12 is unbeatable. It is highly recommended for larger trucks and cars.
Best All-arounder: Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10
It is a great compact device, if you are looking for an impressive quality bass in a ridiculously small sub, look no further.
Best Subwoofer for Compact Cars: Kenwood KSC-SW11
If you drive a sports car, a convertible or just simply have a very limited amount of space then the Kenwood KSC-SW11 is the best choice for you. This is one of the smallest, powered under seat subwoofers on the market. It has the same size as a ream of paper, so it can easily fit into very tight spaces.
However, don’t let this small size fool you, the KSC-SW11 has more than enough bass to round out your stock system with quality sound.
Best Subwoofer for Larger Cars or Trucks: Rockford Fosgate P300-12
If you need something powerful for a larger car or truck then without a doubt, the best choice is the Rockford Fosgate P300-12. It got a durable, quality enclosure housing a large 12” woofer matched with a powerful 400W amplifier. This little monster is one of the most powerful under seat subwoofers on the market. It is strong enough to easily fill even a larger truck with heavy thumping bass.
The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is an excellent device, you would be very hard pressed to find a better, semi-compact, easily removable solution.
Best Budget Option: Rockville RW8CA
Fortunately, you do not have to spend a ton of money to get a decent, quality under seat subwoofer. The Rockville RW8CA is one of the best value speakers on the market. It was completely made from metal and houses an 8” driver driven by a 150W amplifier in a very compact size.
This little sub delivers great value for a surprisingly budget price.
Biggest sound: JBL GT-BassPro12
If you don’t care about the size, just want the deep, thundering, window shaking bass then the JBL GT-BassPro12 is the perfect speaker for you. A large 12” woofer and a slipstream bass port ensure that it can play so low notes that you didn’t even know existed in your music. This is definitely a beast which can easily shake your car and rattle your windows.
If you need real power, then for this price the JBL GT-BassPro12 is unbeatable.
1. Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10
Before buying an under seat subwoofer, every sports car owner should take a closer look at the Cerwin-vega Mobile, since it provides an amazing combination of a slim profile and a serious power.
Its box is only 2.6” thick but it houses a 10” shallow mount subwoofer with an impressive 200W RMS and 400W maximum output power.
So this small beast packs some serious punch, its frequency range is awesome while the sound is full but not overpowering.
Given it’s a compact, powered subwoofer you're not going to win any competitions with this but it can deliver a big improvement to any stock sound system, filling out the low end and adding a solid kick to it.
Its size is only a half of a shoe box, so it can easily slide under or behind your seat without taking up a ton of space.
The Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 is ideal for convertibles or compact cars with a very limited amount of space.
The build quality of the box is top-notch, it is well-built and got a robust, solid cast-aluminum enclosure which can’t be damaged in normal operation.
To ensure the long lifespan the unit got a built-in thermal protection circuit to avoid any overheating problems.
The installation is easy, you can run the signal from an aftermarket radio via RCA interconnects or you can use high level inputs coming from the speakers.
In terms of features, it comes with a wired bass remote, so you can set it up just the way you like it and as an extra, it features a delayed soft remote turn-on to prevent ear shock.
Overall, the Cerwin-vega VPAS10 is a great compact device, if you are looking for an impressive quality bass in a ridiculously small sub, look no further.
2. Kenwood KSC-SW11
Without a doubt, the Kenwood KSC-SX11 is the smallest, powered under seat subwoofer on the market.
This is the best choice to improve your sound system if you drive a sports car or have a very limited amount of space.
With its 11 x 7.5 x 2.8 (L x W x H) inches dimensions, it has the same size as a ream of paper, so it fits easily under any driver’s seat without taking away any foot space from the backseat passengers.
So it’s a very compact sub for very tight spaces but don’t let this small size fool you.
Of course, you cannot expect a 12” subwoofer performance from a such small unit but despite its compact size, this small guy does a pretty good job.
It gives a nice boost in the mid-lows and fills out the sound very well.
It’s a good choice to quickly improve a mediocre sound system and fills in the low-end for a full, solid music experience.
With its 150 watts of peak power and 75 watts RMS, it is not a full-blown pro setup that will rattle your windows or provides serious heavy kicks but this small sub can add a lot of depth to your music.
Kenwood is a well-known brand name in the audio industry and in terms of quality this sub will not disappoint you.
Unlike the cheap products of other unknown manufacturers, the KSC-SX11 has a great build quality.
It has a metal screen over the cone to protect it from damage and got a great overall styling, so you can also make it visible in your installation since it looks really slick.
The Kenwood KSC-SX11 comes with all the required wiring and hardware included, so the installation is really a breeze.
It comes with a wired remote, equipped with a volume control, a variable low-pass crossover and a phase selector switch, so you can easily adjust the sub to fit perfectly to your sound system.
Overall, it’s a great little sub with a very solid construction and a basic price. The KSC-SX11 is not a super powerful, ground-shaking sub but it does well what it’s intended to do, to add some nice bass and round out your existing sound system.
3. Rockford Fosgate P300-12
If you are looking for some serious bass but want to avoid the hassle of building an own system, then the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is an excellent all-in-one solution.
This little monster features a 12” subwoofer and an exceptionally powerful built-in 300 Watt RMS amplifier.
With this, the P300-12 is one of the most powerful under seat subwoofers on my list.
If you think this sub can add the needed bass to your sound system, you are right but actually, it can add much more than that.
If you want, this baby can get uncomfortably loud and low and can easily rumble your seats and rattle your windows.
On top of its serious pure power, the P300-12 has a tight, clear, heavy bass even at low gain.
Rockford is a well-recognized name and a trusted brand in the audio industry, so it is not a surprise that the sub has an impressive build quality.
It got a durable enclosure with a metal grille which can easily stand up to some scratches and dents in your trunk.
The thermal and overvoltage protection ensures that the P300-12 will last long and you will never have any overheating issues.
It got several controls like a built-in 0°/180° phase switch and a 12db/Octave low pass crossover control, so you can easily tweak the sound to your liking.
It also comes with a handy bass knob what you can use to adjust the bass level just from the driver’s seat.
With its 12” woofer size and relatively thick profile, the P300-12 is one of the larger powered subwoofers.
It can take up some space in your trunk and you can have some problems trying to fit it under the front seats.
Fortunately, it is equipped with quick-disconnect plugs so you can remove it easily when you need some extra cargo space.
Overall, the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is a powerful, durable device which can fill even bigger cars and trucks with crystal clear, heavy bass. It won’t destroy your kidney stones or shake the neighbors' windows but for this price, you will be very hard pressed to find a better, semi-compact, easily removable solution.
4. Rockville RW8CA
The Rockville RW8CA 8" 600 Watt is the smallest Rockville subwoofer on my list.
If you are strapped for space and looking for something for your sports car or convertible with very little space to install a subwoofer under the seat, there is just no better alternative.
The Rockville RW8CA is now the lowest profile, powered subwoofer you can get for your car.
With its 12.4 x 11 x 2.7 (L x W x H) inches dimensions, it can easily fit under any seat.
This little sub rocks, it’s small and compact but packs a great punch.
It was made of metal all the way round, the construction appears to be tough, and the unit has a heft to it that makes you feel confident it will last.
On the top of that, it looks great, you do not have to hide this small sub, you can even mount it in a place that is visible because it's pretty sharp-looking.
The RW8CA is a great all in one solution with a built-in amplifier so installation and wiring are also easy and clean.
It is compatible with any cars since it has both low level RCA inputs and high level inputs with auto turn-on technology.
This means that using the high level inputs, you don't need a remote wire from your receiver to trigger the unit on and off since the sub senses that an audio signal is present and it turns on automatically.
When you turn off your music, the amplifier built into the subwoofer will also automatically turn itself off.
The setup is easy, you do not have to remove the receiver, you can simply use the high level input and wire it to one of your speakers.
The RW8CA has 600 watts of peak power and 150 watts RMS.
This is not the most powerful sub you can get but believe me it just packs the right amount of punch.
Its power is enough to nicely fill out the lows of a factory sound system and to add a solid kick to it.
The Rockville RW8CA is definitely not for bass heads and it's not going to blow the doors off but it adds a nice depth to your sound system.
It is also a good choice if you don’t want an overwhelming bass or annoying your neighbors.
It would probably work even in a bigger car just make sure you install the sub in a place where it shares the cabin with the driver.
However, for bigger trucks, I recommend the larger Rockville units from this list.
The RW8CA comes with several controls so you can tweak the sound to your liking and you can dial in the perfect balance with the rest of your system.
As an extra, it comes with a remote bass knob, so you can mount the controller within hands reach to adjust the bass level.
To make it long lasting, it also got a thermal protection unit which prevents the sub from overheating.
Overall the Rockville RW8CA is a nice little sub which delivers great value for a surprisingly budget price.
5. JBL GT-BassPro12
The compact subwoofers can nicely round out your sound system, but what if it is not enough if you want the real thumping bass and teeth-rattling lows?
Then you go and buy the JBL GT-BassPro12.
This sub is just simply awesome as you would expect from a JBL product but let’s start with the most conspicuous thing that it looks fantastic.
It is built into a solid black box decorated with grey metallic elements, looks so cool you won’t want to hide it in your trunk.
The speaker-protection bars and the slipstream port give the speaker a slick, muscular look.
You can see right off the bat that it packs some serious power.
The GT-BassPro12 is a pretty large box, so if you are looking for something compact, then this sub is not for you.
It is not a slim device by any means since it takes up a significant amount of space in your cabin or trunk but with its great sound, it deserves every space.
By checking its pure specifications, you will not face with outstanding numbers.
It houses a 12” woofer driven by an amplifier with 150W RMS and 450W max power.
However, don’t’ let that the low power rating fools you, this thing slaps much harder than you would expect.
If you crank it up, it can produce a thundering bass shaking the car and rattling the windows.
It can also play such low notes you didn’t even know existed in your music.
It’s loud enough to even wake the neighbors and fill the largest cabin with heavy, deep lows.
Thanks to its thermal protection circuit and class D amplifier, you don’t have to worry about overheating even after several hours of continuous usage.
For the sake of easy installation, it got flexible low and high powered connections that allow you to connect it to any car audio system.
To make the setup even easier you don’t have to use a remote turn-on wire for the sub since it automatically turns on when it senses a signal on the speaker level input.
It comes with a remote controller, so you can adjust the bass level just from the driver’s seat even if you place the speaker into the trunk.
If you need real power, then for this price the JBL GT-BassPro12 is unbeatable. It is highly recommended for larger trucks and cars or if you just simply want some heart-pounding bass.
6. Pioneer TS-WH500A
If you have a hard time to find an under seat subwoofer which fits in your car, then you should definitely check the Pioneer TS-WH500A.
It got an extremely slim profile, so you do not have to give up the good bass even if you drive a convertible with a very limited amount of space.
With its 2-3/8” height this is one of the slimmest subwoofers on the market, so it is a really good option if you are looking for something under your seat or if you just simply do not want a bulky box to take up any space in your cabin.
To achieve this slim profile, the Pioneer’s engineers had to use a unique, innovative technology in this sub, called HVT.
HVT stands for Horizontal Vertical Transforming which means that thanks to the woofer’s unique linkage mechanism, the horizontal movements of the drivers are transformed into vertical movements, so the subwoofer can have a significantly reduced physical depth while maintaining a greater excursion.
The result of this is superior bass reproduction without destructive vibrations in the enclosure.
This compact package contains an amplifier with 50W RMS and 150W peak power as well as two speakers, one firing up and the other firing down.
While the pure specs of the amplifier are not outstanding don't let that fool you.
Thanks to its unique design the Pioneer TS-WH500A offers a wide low range frequency reproduction and a superior sound quality.
As you would expect from Pioneer the build quality of the sub is excellent.
It got a steel top and bottom and a metal mesh covering the woofers.
With its remote controller tweaking the speaker is a breeze since you can adjust the gain, the frequency level and it has a phase switch.
Thanks to its compact nature, the installation is very easy, especially because the package contains all the required wiring.
Overall, the Pioneer TS-WH500A is a great, meticulously designed speaker. It won’t give you window rattling bass but for compact cars with tight space, this is one of the best options.
7. Rockville RWS12CA Slim
The Rockville RWS12CA is the largest and most powerful sub from Rockville in this list.
If you are after a booming bass which hits hard and rattles every bone in your body than you should definitely check this sub.
Even its specs are impressive since it has a 12” woofer driven by an amplifier with 400W RMS and 1200W peak output power.
This is enough to easily produce a window shaking experience in a compact car and strong enough to fill a larger SUV or truck with heavy bass.
The RWS12CA is built into a well-constructed, durable box and without a doubt, this is one of the best looking subwoofers on the market, so you don’t have to hide it under a seat since it looks really slick.
Though it has a relatively slim-profile with a sealed enclosure and shallow mount sub, it is on the larger side of the under seat subwoofers.
With its 24" L x 15" H x 6.65" D dimensions it will fit only under some pickup, truck seats, so by many cars, it has to be installed in the trunk.
It can be bought with a full wire kit which contains everything you need for the quick installation.
The RWS12CA features a quick-connect high level input with smart turn-on, so when you turn off your music signal the amplifier will automatically turn itself off.
The speaker comes with a remote bass control, adjustable low-pass crossover, variable +12dB bass boost, and 150mv to 5 Volt gain control, so you can easily dial in the perfect balance with the rest of your system.
Overall, the Rockville RWS12CA Slim is a powerful subwoofer providing an outstanding value for a surprisingly great price.
8. JBL BassPro SL - JBL 8
JBL is a pro brand in the audio industry and as you would expect their under seat subwoofer the JBL BassPro SL is also in the premium category.
It got a slim-profile durable ABS enclosure which is not just long lasting but looks pretty good.
Its compact case contains an 8" woofer and an efficient Class D amplifier with 250W peak and 125W RMS power, so it’s definitely not the most powerful sub but despite its size, it can produce an outstanding quality sound.
While it’s not extremely loud, this sub delivers a crystal clear bass with absolutely no distortion.
The BassPro SL also provides several options to adjust the sound according to your car’s acoustic environment.
With a manual crossover control, you can set the upper and mid-bass level and in addition, it has a bass boost and a volume controller.
Unfortunately, a remote knob is not included in the package, you can only buy it separately.
The BassPro SL got a robust woofer driven by an energy-efficient high-class amplifier which ensures the device keeps always cool no matter how hard you blast it.
For installation flexibility, it can be supplied by both a traditional low level RCA and a high level input, so it is compatible with any car.
If you are looking for an earth shattering bass this isn’t the sub for you but the JBL BassPro SL can bring an audiophile bass experience into your car, which can elegantly compliment your system without overpowering it. However, this premium sound does not come cheap, the BassPro SL is one of the most expensive 8” woofer on this list.
9. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8
Alpine is a leading Japanese electronics manufacturer with a long history in the audio industry.
They are producing quality products from car audio to navigation system and you can find Alpine equipment in several luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes or Aston Martin.
It is not a surprise that their under seat subwoofer is also in the premium category.
The Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 represents high quality, you can tell right off the bat that this sub was built incredibly well.
The whole device is packed into a solid aluminum chassis, so you cannot find cheap plastic anywhere.
The integral package contains an 8" quad-coil subwoofer and an amplifier with 120W RMS and 240W maximum output power.
This is not comparable to the power of a pair of 12 inch kickers but it is definitely decent given we are speaking about a small, compact sub.
The PWE-S8 is recommended to those ones who prefer quality over quantity since it has an impressive, rich, clean bass which will not shake your windows but simply will make all your music sound better.
It measures only 13.5” L x 9” W x 3” D (at the tallest point) so it fits invisibly under the back seat or driver’s seat.
Another great feature of the Alpine PWE-S8 is that it got an included bass level controller, so you can tweak the sub just from the driver’s seat.
On the side panel, it provides several additional settings like it has a phase, gain and LP crossover controllers for greater flexibility.
The installation of the sub is a breeze since it can fit just about anywhere in your car, however, it is worth to mention that the wires are relatively short, so you should keep this in mind when planning the installation.
Overall, the Alpine PWE-S8 is a nice compact powered subwoofer with a durable premium enclosure, however, this high quality is coupled with a quite high price tag. While it performs far better than what you would expect from this very compact enclosure, for larger trucks and bigger sedans you are better choosing a more powerful sub from this list.
10. KICKER 11HS8
Steve Irby started the Kicker story 40 years ago by hand-building professional-speaker systems with great enthusiasm but very limited resources in a narrow, one-car garage.
Today, Kicker’s products are created in a 280,000-square-foot facility by 200 employees and sold over 2,000 dealers in approximately 50 countries.
The company grew big but the quality approach remained, so it is not a surprise that their woofers are also on the premium side.
The Kicker 11HS8 is the brand's first compact under seat subwoofer promising a great frequency output in a small enclosure.
Its body is just over three inches high and packs an 8” woofer and an amplifier with 150W RMS output power.
This power is enough to add incredible depth and punchy bass to any stock audio system.
With its 25-120Hz frequency range, it is capable to handle any type of music from rock to hip hop.
Given it’s an 8” woofer, it won’t stop your heart beating but it can add a lot of depth to your music and a well-balanced bass.
The Kicker 11HS8 is a pretty heavy, solid construction, you can feel right off the bat that it packs lots of materials inside.
Since it is still a relatively compact device, it won’t’ cause a problem to install it even into tight spaces and its quick connect plugs make the installation even easier.
It features high- and low-level inputs with auto turn on option so it is compatible with any factory or aftermarket systems.
On the side of the device, there are several adjustment options to tweak the sound of the woofer to your liking.
It got a low-pass crossover, a variable +6dB bass boost, and a phase-canceling switch.
With the sub, you also get a remote bass level knob so you can easily tune it to the genre of music you are listening to.
Overall, the Kicker 11HS8 is a perfect solution for anyone looking to punch up the bass in a small car or hatchback.
11. Rockford Fosgate PS-8
This features an 8” woofer in a really compact enclosure with its 14.4 H x 9.4 W x 3.3 D dimensions, so it fits easily into even smaller cars without taking up much space.
In this unit, the 8” woofer is matched with a 150W amplifier creating a closed system for the optimal performance.
While you cannot expect the same powerful sound what the 12” Fosgate delivers with its 300 watts, this small sub does pretty well what its intended to do.
It adds the required depth to your music and frees up the low frequencies from your other speakers, allowing them to focus on the mids and highs, so you don’t get just simply more bass for your stock system but it will boost all the sound for a fuller listening experience.
The woofer is packed into a durable custom sealed enclosure with a full metal grille on the front, which prevents the speaker from any damages in the cabin or cargo area.
For safety features, it’s fitted with thermal and reverse polarity protection circuits, so you can blast the music for several hours without worrying about overheating damages.
The installation of the sub is a breeze, since the package contains all required wiring and mounting hardware.
Though the Rockford Fosgate PS-8 has a quite slim profile if you need extra space, you can take it out easily since it is equipped with quick disconnect plugs.
Regarding adjustment options, a 12db/Octave low pass crossover, a bass boost EQ and a built-in phase switch ensure that you can adjust its sound to your preference.
It also comes with a remote bass level control for easy level adjustment.
If you have a larger car or a truck then you should rather check the more powerful Rockford subwoofers but if you are looking for something into a compact car then the Fosgate PS-8 is an ideal choice.
12. Sound Storm LOPRO8
What sets the Sound Storm LOPRO8 apart from other 8” under seat subwoofers, that it looks really sharp.
It got a full metal casing with a grey-black, brushed, metallic finish and a robust speaker grill.
It’s a really solid package with an 8” woofer and a high efficient 600W peak power amplifier.
Although it is just only 3” thick, so can easily fit under any seat, if your space allows I suggest installing it into a visible location, since its slick, stylish look can really add to the overall aesthetic of your cabin.
It does not just look fantastic but it is pretty durable, it feels like a tank with very quality metal construction, so it can easily resist all scrapes and bumps.
The LOPRO8 produces an accurate sound with clean hitting lows, which is not overwhelming but puts out some great tone to fill out your music.
It is not the most powerful sub with earth shattering bass but it just puts out enough bass to fill out the hollow stock stereo sound and make your music come alive.
The LOPRO8 is packed with all the necessary circuits to ensure the long lifespan like thermal, overload and short protection circuits.
In terms of features, it provides several customization options with a Variable Low Pass Crossover, Subsonic Filter, Phase Control and a Remote Subwoofer Control.
Thanks to its high and low level inputs, this small amplified subwoofer can be easily installed into any car and it is compatible with almost any in-dash stereo systems.
What is amazing about this woofer that you cannot find any cheap plastic on it, also the controllers and the connectors felt solid. This is also true for several other subwoofers on this list, however, the LOPRO8 provides all these quality materials for an incredibly budget price. So if you are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice the high quality and looking for something for a compact car to round out your stock stereo system then you don’t have to look further.
13. Infinity BassLink SM 8
The Infinity brand belongs to the same Harman group as the JBL, AKG or Harman Kardon.
So if you know the premium products of these brands, you already know what you can expect from the Infinity BassLink SM 8 under seat subwoofer.
It provides a premium sound in a compact, durable, slim-profiled ABS enclosure.
If you like the BassPro SL subwoofer of JBL but cannot afford its high price, then the Infinity BassLink SM 8 can provide you a similar performance and design but with around 40% reduced price.
Both have the same body with the same 2-13/16" H x 9-7/8" W 13-9/16" L dimensions.
Though you can spot some minor design differences between the two woofers they are pretty similar, they even have the exactly same controller and interface layout.
So the BassLink SM 8 has the same low and high level inputs and adjustment options like a manual crossover control (50Hz – 120Hz), a phase switch and a bass boost control, so you can easily tweak it according to your car’s acoustic environment and your listening preferences.
Under the hood, it also features an 8” shallow-profile woofer driven by an amplifier with 125 Watts RMS and 250 Watts peak output power.
This power is enough to punch up the bass in a smaller car and add a nice depth to the music, especially if the woofer is positioned under the driver’s seat or if it shares the cabin with the driver.
Its bass is clear, tight and deep, delivers a big improvement to any stock unit.
It can fill a medium-sized cabin, however, for larger trucks and SUVs you’d better choose a unit with a larger 10 or 12” woofer.
Apart from other subs, the remote bass controller is not included in the box, so you have to purchase it separately.
Overall, with the Infinity BassLink SM 8, you can get a Harman quality product, with a compact size and premium sound but for a significantly reduced price.
14. Pioneer TS-WX130DA
The Pioneer TS-WX130DA is the tiniest, powered subwoofer solution of the Pioneer, this is hands down the smallest unit on the market.
If you drive a sports car or a convertible with a very limited amount of space, even if you think that there is no space for a subwoofer in your car, you should check this small speaker.
It measures only 8" x 5-1/4" x 2-3/4”, which is even smaller than a ream of paper, so it can slide easily under any car seat.
With this, there is no such small car where you have to live with the hollow sound of the factory system.
The TS-WX130DA features a 160W max and 50W RMS class D amplifier and an 8” x 5-1/4” aluminum woofer cone in a custom-designed enclosure.
With this power, this small unit won’t give you thumping bass and heavy kicks but it can add a respectable amount of low end to a stock system.
To achieve the biggest improvement, mount the unit as close as you can to the driver’s seat.
The TS-WX130DA is a pretty solid, compact sub, the whole unit was made from durable metal and also the woofer cone is protected by a metal mesh speaker grille.
It comes with all required wiring and mounting hardware for the easy installation.
On the bottom, you can find a small cut-out containing the control and connection panel.
For the sake of flexible installation, it is equipped with both standard RCA and high level inputs.
The sub comes with a wired remote which contains a gain level controller, a crossover frequency selector, a phase switch and a digital bass control with two selectable bass modes to tune the subwoofer for different music genres.
So you have several configuration options to dial in the perfect balance with your sound system.
Overall, the Pioneer TS-WX130DA is an extremely compact system, in a durable enclosure. Thanks to its small size, it can be easily installed in any car, which does not have space for larger woofers. Of course, you can’t expect much power from this small unit but it has a quality sound, which can nicely supplement the sound of a factory system.
15. Rockville USS8 8'
Rockville produces very good value speakers, so it is no wonder that several Rockville products managed to get on this best 20 under seat subwoofer list.
The Rockville USS8 is a great budget 8” subwoofer with a decent performance and an unbeatable price.
It got a compact body which is only 2.9” thick so it is a great solution if you are lacking in space or if you don’t want to install a bulky box in your cabin.
Though the USS8 has a slim profile don’t let the small size fool you, this little box is a beast which packs some serious punch.
It got an 8” woofer driven by an amplifier with 600W max power and 150W RMS power.
Installing it under the driver’s seat, this powerful box can produce some clean hitting lows and fill even a larger cabin with deep, accurate bass.
Of course, it is not so powerful as the larger 12” woofers but unless you have a really large truck it is strong enough to do the job.
Just as by the other Rockville subs the build quality is excellent, it is a durable device with quality controls and plugs.
Despite its budget price, the USS8 got some nice features what you can usually find only in more expensive woofers.
Such feature is the thermal and short protection circuit which prevent the speaker from overheating problems or the soft delayed turn-on which eliminates any nasty thumps when you turn on the sub.
To make the daily operation even more convenient the sub automatically turn on/off if you drive it via the high level inputs.
The installation is easy and you can quickly tweak the bass to fit your system with its gain, bass boost, and subsonic filter controls.
It also comes with a remote bass knob that allows you to adjust the sub just from the driver’s seat.
The Rockville USS8 provides an outstanding value for a budget price, it is a really recommended especially if you drive a compact car.
16. Blaupunkt Blue Magic XLf 200 A
Blaupunkt is well known for its quality audio products and it is not a surprise that their compact under seat subwoofer the Blue Magic XLf 200 A is also in the premium category.
This 8” low profile woofer provides the German quality and a powerful sound packed into a small box.
The Blue Magic XLf 200 A is a compact enclosed subwoofer with a peak power output of 300W and 125W RMS.
This high efficient class D amplifier is matched with an 8” aluminum compound-membrane woofer for the best sound quality.
This combination can produce a defined, clear sound with a wide 20 – 150 Hz frequency response without any distortion.
Putting this small unit under the driver’s seat, it can fill the whole cabin with tight, quality bass.
Don’t expect any obnoxious sound, this sub provides just that right amount of bass to round out your stock system.
Thanks to its low profile woofer and compact body, which only measures 13.4 x 8.9 x 3.1 inches, it can be easily installed into any vehicle without taking up a ton of space.
What makes it even better, that it got quick-disconnect plugs so you can easily remove it when you need some extra space.
The installation is a breeze, no remote signal is required since it supports auto turn on function both via RCA or high level inputs.
In terms of sound adjustment, there is a volume, crossover and phase controller on the bottom of the device, however, unfortunately, you won’t get a remote controller, so you won’t be able to quickly adjust the bass level.
Its fiberglass-reinforced ABS housing got a nice dark grey color which fits well with any interior.
The coolest design element of this sub is the aluminum compound cone which got a nice metallic blue color, referring to the name of the brand ‘bluepoint’.
The Blaupunkt Blue Magic XLf 200 A is a great, compact under seat subwoofer which can really bring your bass to life, however, this premium quality doesn’t come for free, this is one of the most expensive units on this list.
17. Pioneer TS-WX1210A
Pioneer gained a very good reputation in the audio industry with their best in class speakers.
Generally, they are meticulously designed and represent high quality, so it’s no wonder that the TS-WX1210A is the third Pioneer woofer on this list.
While the other two were very compact under seat woofers, the Pioneer TS-WX1210A is a robust, 12” beast.
If you want the Pioneer quality and you drive a larger car or truck then this is the woofer for you.
TS-WX1210A is a self-powered, active subwoofer built into a 20-3/4 x 15 x 11 inches shallow sealed box.
So this is not the sub which will easily fit into a compact car or slide under a seat, however, in exchange, it packs some serious punch.
It houses a 12” subwoofer and a built-in class D amplifier with 1300W max and 350W nominal output power.
With its wide 20 – 150 Hz frequency range, it can fill the cabin with crystal clear, heavy bass without any distortions.
Cranking it up to maximum volume, it is powerful enough to rumble your seats and shake your mirrors.
The fully carpeted enclosure got a durable and scratch resistant surface.
It is designed for high rigidity and to reduce internal standing waves.
In terms of accessories, it comes with the mounting hardware, wiring, and a remote bass level knob.
With its RCA and speaker level inputs, it can be easily installed in any vehicle.
The TS-WX1210A comes with several adjustment options, it has a gain, a frequency, a bass boost level and a bass boost frequency controller, so you can easily dial in the perfect balance with the rest of your system.
Overall, the Pioneer TS-WX1210 delivers well above its price point and it is an excellent choice if you want to fill a larger car with deep clean bass.
18. BOSS Audio BASS1000
What makes the Boss Audio BASS1000 subwoofer apart, that although it is a compact, small under seat woofer it can deliver an impressive 500W nominal and 1000W maximum output power.
It is a totally self-contained unit, housing an 8” woofer matched with a built-in class A/B amplifier.
Given its small 13.54 x 9.84 x 3.3 inches size, this strong unit can really surprise you with its powerful bass response.
Installing it under the driver’s seat, this subwoofer works extremely well, it can add some good and solid bump to your music.
It is ideal to round out the stock system and fill out the cab of any compact car.
Since it got only an 8” woofer, this power maybe not enough for a larger truck and can lose a lot of potentials if you install it into the trunk.
The BASS1000 is fully covered by metal, the construction is well done and the overall build quality is good.
It looks really robust with all the protective elements at the side and the corners.
The only downside of this construction that the metal housing can be pretty hot after several hours of usage.
The sub is packed with thermal, overload and short protection circuits, so, fortunately, you don’t have to worry that overheating damages the unit.
As an extra, it got an auto power on feature, which works with the high level input.
To make the device more appealing there is a blue led light built around the speaker grill, which can be turned off with a dedicated button.
At the bottom of the sub, you can find the high and low level inputs and several adjustment options to tweak the sub according to your needs.
Here you can find a gain, a bass boost, a low pass, a subsonic controller and a phase switch.
It also comes with a handy remote controller, so you can easily adjust the bass level from the driving seat.
The Boss Audio BASS1000 is a premium product which delivers an excellent value for a budget price.
19. Rockville RVB12.1A
The good news is that you do not have to spend a ton of money if you want a sub which sounds good and hits hard.
The Rockville RVB12.1A packs lots of power and can be obtained for a budget price.
It is built into a relatively large box, so if you want something compact, this is not the best choice for you.
However, if you want something which sounds big and deep what you can literally feel in your chest then the RVB12.1A is the best bang for your buck.
This is a complete system with a 12” woofer and a class AB amplifier which delivers 300W RMS and 500W peak power.
A kevlar reinforced pulp cone and an aerostyle bass port mounted on the side ensure that you get a deep, tight bass.
This sub is not just something which fills the lows and rounds out your sound system, this can do much more.
If you crank it up, it can thump the car with bass and rattle your windows.
With this sub also the heavier bass notes hit pretty well without any distortion.
It is an excellent choice even if you are a basshead or just want something which is really powerful.
The woofer is built into a trapezoid carpeted enclosure, which measures 17 x 14.75 x 15.25 inches.
It got a sloped back to fit perfectly against the rear seats in your trunk.
The build quality is very impressive, the box is a durable, solid construction.
The embroidered logo on the carpet looks great and gives a premium look to the device.
Thanks to the low and high level input ports of the speaker it is super easy to install in any vehicle.
In terms of configuration, it got a gain and a crossover control to tune it to your equipment and environment.
Overall, the Rockville RVB12.1A is a powerful, excellent sub with a quality sound, for this price it is unbeatable.
20. Sound Storm LOPRO10 1200
The Sound Storm LOPRO10 1200 easily earned a place on this list with its high-quality enclosure, compact size, and impressive output power.
We have already checked its 8” version which was a great, super compact sub but if your space allows and you need even more power then you can choose the larger 10” version.
It got a 15.2 x 11.2 x 2.8 inches box housing a 10” woofer and an amplifier with an outstanding 600W nominal and 1200W maximum output power, so even the pure specifications of the sub are impressive, they foreshadow that this little beast packs a great punch.
And really, cranking it up, it puts immediately a smile on your face.
What you can expect from this sub, is clear and heavy low notes with a much fuller music experience.
Given it is still a compact sub, it will not give you ground shaking bass but it is more than enough for everyday usage.
It got the same high-quality metal enclosure as the 8” unit, the build quality is top notch and it looks pretty cool, so you can mount it even into the trunk since it will resist every scrape and bump.
It also comes with a remote bass knob you can use to quickly adjust the bass level just from your driver’s seat.
After several hours of usage, it can be pretty hot, so it is better to install it in a location where it gets proper airflow.
However, it features thermal, overload and short protection circuits, so you don’t have to worry that overheating damages the unit.
On the top of the speaker, you can find several customization options like a Variable Low Pass Crossover, Subsonic Filter, Phase Control and a Remote Subwoofer Control, so you can easily adjust it according to your taste and environment.
Thanks to its high and low level inputs, it can be easily installed into any car and it is compatible with any stock stereo systems.
The great thing is about this sub that despite its several features and quality materials, it is available for a real budget price. If you're hesitant to buy it, don't be, this is an amazing unit with a great build quality and great sound.
10 Things to Look for When Buying the Best Under Seat Subwoofer
1. Where to place the under seat subwoofer?
As its name implies, the most common place where you can put an under seat subwoofer is under a seat in your car.
In the ideal case, this is the driver’s seat, since to achieve the best performance you should install the sub as close as possible to you.
In this case, you are literally sitting on the woofer, so you can fill every bass notes.
This is the recommended installation mode, however, it is not always possible because of the tight space under the driver’s seat.
The second best option to put it under the passenger’s seat.
The disadvantage of these installations that the sub can take up some foot room from your passengers sitting in the back.
Another common location where these subwoofers can be installed is behind the back seats.
In this case, the sub is completely hidden and it does not take up any foot room, however, it is not possible in many car models and the boosted bass level can also disturb the passengers sitting in the back.
The last option is to put the powered subwoofer into the trunk of the car.
Usually, this is the only option by the larger models and the obvious disadvantage of this installation is that the sub takes up some of your precious cargo space.
This placement works well by bigger, more powerful speakers, however putting a small, compact subwoofer into the trunk is not recommended since it might not be powerful enough to be heard well in the cabin.
You can also consider the armrest space of the backseats since some subs can properly fit even there.
2. What size subwoofer fits under your seat?
Normal sized cars and sedans can usually take any 8” woofers without a problem and even some compact 10” woofers.
For example, the 10” Cerwin-vega Mobile VPAS10 fits properly under the passenger seat of the Mazda 3.
In larger SUVs or pickups, you can usually install any 10” models and some slim 12” models under the seats.
For example, the Rockville RWS12CA Slim fits properly under the rear seat of a Ford F-150.
3. Power output
The output power of the built-in amplifier can give you some guidance about how powerful the given sub is.
However, there is not always a clear correlation between the high output power and the big sound.
For example, the JBL GT-BassPro12 is one of the loudest subwoofers, although it only has an amplifier with 150W RMS output power.
It can be also misleading that some manufacturers present the maximum output power of their subs, which only represents the maximum wattage the subwoofer is capable of handling in short bursts and it doesn’t really matter to the audio quality.
It is better to check the RMS (root-mean-square) powers in the specifications since it reflects the continuous average power the amplifier puts out, so it is a more realistic figure to compare two subwoofers.
Usually, the RMS power varies between 50W and 150W by the best under seat subwoofers.
4. Build quality
Another important aspect to check before buying a subwoofer is the build quality of the enclosures and the controllers.
As by any other products it is worth to avoid the cheap plastics, that is why all products on this top 20 list are made either from metal or reinforced ABS.
If you plan to put it into the trunk, it is worth to choose such model which got enough protection to resists dents and scratches.
5. Connection options
The subwoofers can usually accept signals from your audio source through low level RCA and high speaker level inputs.
Generally speaking, the low level inputs are said to provide a better sound quality, however using the speaker level inputs many subwoofers provide an auto turn-on function, so you don’t have to use a separate remote turn-on wire.
Some models provide quick disconnect plugs, so you can take them out easily if you need some extra space.
6. Adjustment options
Before buying, it is worth to check what configuration options the sub provides to adjust the sound to the rest of your system.
The most powerful ones usually have a gain, a bass boost, a low pass, a subsonic controller and a phase switch.
It is good to know that there can be many differences in the included accessories of the devices.
Some models come with all the wiring and mounting hardware required for the installation, while by other models you have to buy them separately.
One common accessory is the remote bass knob.
This can come in handy especially when you install the sub into the trunk, so you can quickly adjust the bass level just right from the driver’s seat.
Some models come with a remote bass knob, while others don’t, so it is worth to check this.
You can buy a universal bass knob anytime but it is always nice if it is included in the price.
Of course, the price is one of the most important factors when buying a subwoofer.
Fortunately, you do not have to spend a fortune to get a good device.
From around $100 you can find decent, budget speakers with quality sound.
The most under seat subs are in the $150-200 price range and the pricier ones are around $250 and above.
9. Sound quality
Probably, the sound quality is the most important factor for most people when choosing a sub, so it is worth to speak about what you can expect from these products.
Overall, these powered subwoofers are compact devices and generally, they can’t compete with large sub-amplifier combos.
The smaller 8” speakers can add a nice depth to your music and free up the low frequencies from your other speakers but don’t expect anything extreme thumping bass from them.
Among the 10” devices there are some powerful ones which can hit hard but if you want a real window rattling sound you had better choose something powerful from the 12” subs.
10. Protection circuits
To extend their lifespan, some advanced models feature several protection circuits.
These can be thermal, overload or short protection circuits.
As an extra, some units feature delayed soft remote turn-on to prevent ear shock.