The 10 Best Underseat Subwoofers of 2020 Reviewed

The 10 Best Underseat Subwoofers of 2020 Reviewed

Best Underseat Subwoofers

If only we were all able to have unlimited trunk space in order to put whatever subwoofer possible in our vehicles. You could warn people across country lines of your incoming vehicle with the bass blasting out windows.

But alas, we are not all gifted with unlimited trunk space and many times we have to make use of what we’ve got. That’s where underseat subwoofers come into play.

If you’re someone driving a compact car or in constant need of your trunk space, then an underseat sub may work perfectly for you.

With this list, we’re going to run through some of our top picks and layout all the specifications that you will need in order to find the best underseat sub for you. Let’s get started.

 

Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X10 Prime R2S

Rockford Fosgate knows their way around speakers and subs, pulling out all the stops to make this underseat sub a must buy.

This small form factor sub packs quite a punch with a 200 Watt RMS amplifier that’s built-in, providing you with plenty of power to keep the music pumping and giving you a solid, deep bass.

It’s 10-inches and can fit under just about any seat or for you truck drivers out there, behind the passenger seat (more on this in a second). The R2S-1X10 is a sealed sub and not a ported one, meaning it’s going to give you a bit of extra boom.

Being 10 inches, however, does mean that it’s going to take up more space than what you might be accustomed to. While we found it fit under just about any seat, it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. We had to move and push a little bit harder than you would normally like, but eventually, we didn’t have any problems.

But you are going to get more power and bass from this sub than you would from smaller, less thicker counterparts. If you’re not worried about seat space and want that extra bass, then this is a great choice to make.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very powerful sub meant to give you tons of bass
  • Sealed enclosure will give you more power
  • Made with durable components

 

Cons:

  • Size is an issue, has trouble fitting under some seats
  • Installation is a bit tricky because of the size

 

 

Kicker 11HS8

This is a tiny sub that brings huge sound in its small package. You can push this sub to the limits and expect top performance no matter what you throw its way.

Being just eight inches long and three inches high, you can almost hold this sub in the palm of your hand. Not that small, but you get the idea.

Despite its small stature, the sub is rated at 150 Watts RMS which is more than enough for your music. It’s an ideal sub for those who like good, clean bass that’s not going to overpower you. That’s to say, if you like some kick without being roundhouse kicked by Chuck Norris, then this is the sub to go with.

You will instantly notice a difference with this sub in the quality of your music and it’s a simple way to instantly take your music listening experience to the next level.

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Simple, quick installation that fits in just about every vehicle
  • Decent sound for size and power rating
  • Durable components from a top-notch brand

 

Cons:

  • You’re not going to get super strong bass with this sub
  • A bit pricey

 

 

 

Rockville USS8

This subwoofer comes loaded with features and is an ideal choice for those wanting to fine-tune their audio. It comes in a spall package, eight inches with just a heigh of two inches, and it slides under your seat quite easily.

It’s an easy sub to install, meaning you won’t have to fret about connecting wires or staying on your hands and knees for a super long time.

Plus it all comes at a pretty good price.

The built-in amp comes equipped with auto-on technology, meaning it will automatically turn off and on whenever you do the same with your car stereo.

This sub was built to last and it comes equipped with a heavy-duty mounting option in order to make sure it stays in place no matter where you decide to install it.

It’s not just the mounting option that makes it so durable, but the thermal protection circuit that keeps it safe no matter what temperatures surround it.

The Rockville USS8 isn’t the most powerful sub ou can find, rating at 150 Watts RMS. That’s enough to get the job done, but don’t expect it to rattle your windows.

To summarize, this is a quality sub that’s going to get the job done and provide you with quality audio performance.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very durable; comes with great components
  • The auto-on feature is an excellent touch
  • Easy to install and set up

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide great bass
  • Not a lot of power

 

 

Pioneer TS-SWX2502

It’s impossible to go on any list about any kind of car speakers, subs, etc., and not find a Pioneer unit listed. They are known for their quality sound and second-to-none durability.

While some subs require a bit of breaking in or fine-tuning in order to experience the deep levels of music, you’re instantly going to notice a huge difference with this underseat sub.

This sub isn’t for those of you that strive for booming bass, even within the limitations of an underseat sub. This sub is more about sound clarity and overall care for your music.

It’s also plenty powerful, being rated at 400 Watts RMS. With that power comes a bigger size, one that we found struggles to fit under the majority of seats. It did, however, fit just fine behind all the seats we tried. This downward-facing sub can even go in your trunk. It’s sturdy enough to last so you won’t have to worry about it breaking while in your trunk.

We found it difficult to classify this sub as a true underseat sub since it seems to mix the best of both worlds with small form factor and full-size  or shallow mount sub enclosures. It comes with a built-in amp, making the installation easy and painless for all you DIYers.

Overall, we can’t rave enough about its sound quality. If you’re happy sacrificing a little bass for sound clarity, then this is the ideal sub for you.

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Bargain deal and an immediate upgrade over your stock speakers
  • Incredibly simple installation, great for novice audiophiles
  • Unbelievably crisp and clear sound

Cons:

  • Can’t fit under most seats
  • What you gain in sound quality you lose in bass

 

 

Pyle PLBASS8

Even though Pyle typically makes bargain products for beginners into the car audio industry, you might be surprised to see the price point on this one.

Nonetheless, this Pyle sub is pretty powerful, peaking at 300 Watts which would put it on the higher end of the spectrum as compared to the majority of underseat subs on this list. It also has a strong sensitivity rating, able to provide an instant upgrade to your sound system.

Many users raved about how easy it was to hook up and install, which is a must for people who are looking to break into the car audio game.

Despite its small size, it can really put forward a lot of bass and make your vehicle rock. It’s not going to stand up to traditional subwoofers, obviously, but it still does plenty for being put under or behind your seat.

The biggest complaint is its durability. Some users have reported the unit frying out or distorting the audio after around a year of use. Even though those were few and far between, it’s still worth taking into consideration if you’re thinking about using this sub for quite some time.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Can fit just about anywhere, easy to install
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Provides great bass, powerful sub

 

Cons:

  • Questions about durability
  • A bit pricey

 

 

 

Sound Storm LOPRO8

If you happen to browse around in your local auto shop or throughout the web, it might take you some time before you come across this brand. While they’re not incredibly well-known, they’ve done a fantastic job with this underseat sub.

First and foremost, this is a sub for novice audiophiles and bass heads. If you’re someone accustomed to getting deep bass that you can tweak and poke until it’s perfect, it’s best to skip this section.

This is another bargain deal for those out there looking to break into the car audio system game and it has good enough quality for us to take a look.

Being eight inches, you can fit this sub just about anywhere you want and as their production description says, “great for vehicles that need bass but have limited space”.

It lacks the power that other subs have, meaning you won’t get as deep of bass as you want. But then again, it is tiny and a bargain deal, so you can’t expect it to blow your windows out.

It does with its own amp that has plenty of features, like a bass boost, gain, and more. You can easily adjust the sub until you find what works for you.

There is a 10-inch version of this sub that does offer more power and bass, but it’s not going to blow you away either.

At the end of the day, this is a bargain deal sub that can fit anywhere, provides an instant upgrade, and works well. Don’t buy it expecting second-to-none performance.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great settings and features for fine-tuning
  • Decent enough sound clarity and bass that you will instantly notice
  • Fits just about anywhere, simple to install

 

Cons:

  • Not enough airflow to give you a punchy bass

 

 

Cerwin-Vega Mobile VPAS10

Another less known name, we thought we’d give this sub a try. Let’s not kid ourselves, brand names can often add a few dollar signs to the price tag so we wanted to give something else a go.

The first thing we noticed about the VPAS10 was its rugged design. This thing is built like a tank and handles heat incredibly well. You’ll be able to blast tunes all day without missing a beat.

It’s a breeze to install, a welcome benefit from some other models that make it seem like breaking into Fort Knox would be an easier task.

We can’t go any further without mentioning that this sub lacks bass. It doesn’t hit the lows quite as well as other subs do, but that’s common for underseat subs. You’re going to get plenty of sound clarity but if bass is what you really want, you might have to skip on this one.

Overall, it is a pretty good deal and worth a try if you want a simple, affordable upgrade to your vehicle’s audio system.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Average price great for beginners
  • Overall solid sound quality
  • Easy to install and fits in almost all spaces

 

Cons:

  • Lacks bass, you won’t feel it

 

 

 

Alpine Electronics PWE-S8

While it may surprise you to see that it took this long for Alpine to make the list, we promise they more than made up for it with this high-quality underseat subwoofer.

It can fit in plenty of tiny spaces but packs a serious punch that makes you think it’s more in line with a traditional sub.

Alpine makes something for just about everyone, from those looking to get started in the car audio world to seasoned pros who’ve been upgrading their systems for years. This sub toes that line, being just basic enough for beginners but pulling out enough to make veterans happy.

It does come with a higher price tag and at that price, you might wonder why someone would pay for a sub that won’t pack as much as a traditional subwoofer were. Well, audiophiles can have all types of cars from giant SUVs to small compact cars.

At the end of the day, it’s pretty amazing that Alpine was able to stuff in so much in such a small space. This 8-inch sub is one of the best options for those who want a rich, clear bass and are willing to spend a little extra.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • High-value sub with sold performance in every area
  • Very easy to install
  • Durable materials, meant to last for the long run
  • Perfect for beginners and seasoned pros alike

 

Cons:

  • It comes at a high price
  • Despite the high price, it still can’t compare to a traditional sub

 

 

Rockville RW10CA

Every review, we try to pick out one product that is the jack-of-all-trades in its category. For those who just want a solid product that does what it needs to do and isn’t flashy about it.

For this set of reviews, we decided to go with the Rockville RW10CA. It makes sense that it’s here, as people have been singing its praises for quite some time now.

This 10-inch sub is rated at 200 Watts RMS and is fitted with the complete package. Its got the built-in amp, the sub itself, an enclosure, and a knob to adjust all your settings necessary.

With the size and enclosure, you’re going to find it hard to put it under your seat but it does fit perfectly behind your seat. It’s another sub that can go in the trunk and be able to handle all of the ups and downs that come along with your driving.

It is also one of the prettier subs you’ll see, with a nice, shiny blue finish and blue coloring that really makes it stand out from the rest. While all that’s nice, what comes out of the sub is the most important part.

This sub, like we said, provides solid sound in all areas. It does enough with the bass and hits every other mark, but it’s not going to blow you away in any category. It does what it needs to do in order to get the job done.

It’s ideal for beginners, so if you’re an experienced bass head, it’s a good idea to pass this one up.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great value for your money, good for beginners
  • Solid sound overall but nothing special
  • Power is sufficient for any type of music
  • Can be installed in multiple places

 

Cons:

  • Depending on how you look at it, not being great in one category can be a significant con

 

 

Kenwood KSC-SW11

Another smaller and compact sub, this Kenwood model is not quite as powerful as others on the list. In fact, it might even be the lowest coming in at just 150 Watts RMS. While you won’t be greeted with thudding bass or super loud volume, it is a quality sub that provides quality sound.

One thing we did like was the aluminum enclosure that is going to eliminate rattle completely while in use. It only adds to the reliability, as this model tested out at being one of the most durable we had seen.

It’s perfect for tight spaces, and many people found it easy to slide under the seat or install behind a seat.

You will notice a difference as soon as you install this sub, as it’s going to be boosting clear sound and quality to give you a great audio experience no matter where you are in the vehicle.

With the low amount of power required, it can easily hook up to your stock speakers so you won’t have to go out and buy an extra amp in order to make sure it works.

If you try to push the volume on this sub, you’re going to be given distortion in return. As long as you’re not trying to use this sub like a traditional one, you should have no problems at all.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Solid sound quality
  • Can fit in many tight spaces
  • Installation is incredibly easy, good for beginners

 

Cons:

  • Bass is severely lacking
  • Has problems with increased volume

 

Things to Consider Before Buying UnderSeat Subs

As with all items, there is a list of considerations that you should have before making a big purchase. An underseat sub is no different. We’re going to walk you through the most important considerations you should have when making the purchase.

 

Power

We’ve said it tons of times throughout our reviews but we’ll repeat it again just to make things clear. An underseat sub is not going to rattle your windows or let the whole neighborhood know you’ve arrived. If you want that, you need to be purchasing a traditional sub.

Even the most expensive, highest rated underseat subs are going to fall short to traditional models.

When it comes to power, there are two things you will notice on the specifications: peak power and RMS power.

Peak power is how much power your sub can handle in short bursts  It will not stay at peak power the entire time and honestly, you may never reach your peak power.

RMS power is what you really need to pay attention to, as its the amount of power your amp is putting out on a continuous basis. It also refers to how much power your sub can handle without distorting the audio or damaging the product.

Generally speaking, you should select an amp that can produce 75% of the subwoofer’s watts but cannot produce more than 150%.

 

Size

Perhaps one of the most important considerations, size is what you’ll want to look at in relation to your car. Generally speaking, underseat subwoofers come in sizes between 8-12 inches. The bigger subs are more difficult to install under your seat which is why many people decide to install them behind your seat.

Size does have an outcome on performance. The bigger the sub, the more power it can handle and a great power handling ability means more bass and greater volume.

It goes without saying that a bigger size is almost always going to be a more expensive sub as well. The size you choose depends on your budget, car space, and more. There is no right or wrong size as it varies by individual case.

 

Pros and Cons of Underseat Subwoofers

We’ve spent the entire section talking about underseat subwoofers, but now it’s the time to finding out whether or not you should actually buy one. So we’re going on a general pros and cons list of these subs as a whole.

 

Pros

  • Size-these subs are small and lightweight. If you’re looking for a sub you can buy and install in the same day without too much hassle, then an underseat sub is the right call. They don’t take up any space, so if you’ve got a family road trip coming up you can still get quality audio without sacrificing space.
  • Easy installation-generally speaking, these subs are much easier to install than their traditional or shallow mount counterparts. Since they come with their own amp, installation is quick and the optimal choice for beginners.
  • Inexpensive-while there are some more expensive models, underseat subs are almost always going to be less pain on your wallet than regular subs are.

 

Cons

  • Sound quality-as we said, we can’t lie to you about their sound quality. They just can’t stand up to traditional subs. If you’re looking for an easy installation at a cheap price, they’re OK but don’t expect top-notch sound
  • Inconvenience-installing a sub behind a seat isn’t very convenient, especially if you’re going to have passengers sometime. They may get in the way of people getting in or out of your car.

Final Thoughts

Deciding whether or not to get an underseat sub is completely up to you. If you have limited space and want an upgrade to your system, then you should invest in one.

If you want huge, booming sound then it may be best to go for a full sized sub with an enclosure and properly paired amp.

Bryce

Bryce Newell is an automotive enthusiast who loves to write about the latest news, products, and DIY projects. While Bryce is an amateur in the field, he is passionate about cars and has been since he spent weekends in the garage helping his dad rebuild a 68 Dodge Charger as a kid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *