Picking out a new subwoofer can be hard, and finding one with the right size, specifications and features to suit your needs can be even more of a hassle.
That’s why I’ve compiled this list of the best 12-inch subwoofers to help you figure out which model of subwoofer is best for your sound system.
Not only that, but I’ve included a brief Buyer’s Guide to help you narrow down your choices, as well as a short FAQ section to answer any burning questions you might have.
Are you looking for a new subwoofer for your home theater system? Then the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch, is the perfect fit for you.
Rockford Fosgate is a highly respected brand in the world of sound systems, known for its high-quality products. This subwoofer is no exception, delivering a strong bass without sacrificing the quality of other parts of your sound.
This subwoofer will easily integrate into your existing speakers, meaning you don’t have to get an entirely new speaker set up just to match your sub. Not only that, but this subwoofer sounds great with any and all speaker systems, easily handling high volume without distortion.
The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch is powerful enough to fill any room with deep, rich bass.
It doesn’t distort at all, even at high volumes, making it perfect for setting up a crisp and clear surround sound system for your home theater.
Not only that, but it is easy to set up and use, making it a great choice for anyone interested in building their first at-home sound system.
- It’s incredibly simple to set up, only requiring power, ground, and a source signal to get up and running.
- The simple design puts great sound first, with a sealed enclosure containing a built-in amp.
- While it’s best suited for home sound systems, you can also install it in your car if you have the space.
- This subwoofer is on the pricier side of things, even with its high power and quality.
- The bass can actually be too loud, so be careful with your ears (and windows!).
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The MTX Audio Terminator TNE212D is an absolute beast of a subwoofer system, boasting two separate 12-inch subs housed in one enclosure. This is definitely the subwoofer you want to go for if you like heavy bass and a fuller listening experience.
If you’re looking for something more powerful and want to go bigger, the MTX Audio Terminator delivers in full. With its two subs in a single unit, this model gives your music a dynamic feel that only benefits from the power of its 500W RMS subs.
While it might be bigger than the other models on this list, this sub still delivers much more power than you’d expect for its size.
And if you have enough space to house it, your car’s sound system will be dialed up to the max. not only that, but you can even get a matching amplifier included with the sub to remove all the guesswork and get you set up in no time.
Though the power might seem intimidating, the MTX Audio Terminator manages to remain remarkably clear and high-quality, without any distortion of fuzz in the audio. Just be careful with the gain; even 50% will be more than enough, and any higher you’ll be risking blowing out your car windows along with your eardrums!
- Everything is pre-configured for a quick and convenient setup.
- Having two subs in one unit gives you a more dynamic and esoteric bass.
- The sub is very reasonably priced for its size and quality.
- Don’t overdo it on the gain; you run the risk of cracking a window if you aren’t careful.
- With dual 12-inch subs, you’ll need plenty of space to house the unit.
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Pioneer has been around since the early 1900s, and they’ve since become a household name by creating sound systems that are reliable and durable while remaining affordable. Their TS-W126M is no exception, delivering 150 watts of pure power.
What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for with strong bass and a welcoming price tag. The TS-W126M is simple, effective, and delivers great sounds without breaking the bank.
It features a high-quality 12-inch subwoofer that is designed to deliver deep bass and crisp highs. At 350W RMS, it’s not quite as powerful as other 12-inch subs. That said, this simple sub is still more than capable of giving you a great listening experience filled to the brim with mind-blowing bass.
It’s built to last, made of durable polypropylene, and molded into a seamless cone for maximum stability that will let you keep using the sub for years to come.
- Its simple design means easy installation – just plug it in and you’re ready to go!
- You’d be hard-pressed to find a better sub at the same price.
- Durable materials will keep your sub in top condition even with heavy use.
- You won’t be able to get as much power out of this sub as other 12-inch subwoofers.
playing at too high a volume can lead to distortion.
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Here’s something with a bit more style. The Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 is certainly eye-catching, with a sleek and futuristic design that’s guaranteed to make your sound system stand out in more ways than one.
The EVL-12 D2’s design isn’t just for show, however. By ditching the traditional cone shape in favor of an advanced cooling design, this sub keeps its temperature low and prevents overheating. And trust me, it needs all the cooling it can get so it can handle the incredible power it can reach.
With a maximum RMS power of 1250W, this sub is a cut above the competition when it comes to oomph. This power translates to loud, clean, bass-driven music that will leave the whole block shaking.
because of its smaller size and compact design, this sub is easy to install in practically any vehicle or home sound system. You can set it up in a matter of minutes and get straight to enjoying the sub’s incredible power and quality.
There are some downsides, however, and the sub will begin to struggle in terms of performance when it comes to the higher thresholds of power. Push the sub too hard and you’ll start to experience distortion and even complete drops in sound.
With that aside though, if you use the sub at a more reasonable level you’ll be able to experience some of the best low-frequency bass available – even if you start creeping into ‘too-loud’ territory.
- The advanced cooling system prevents the risk of overheating.
- Can reach a massive 1250W RMS at its peak performance.
- Looks and sounds fantastic with smooth low-frequency bass.
- It can suffer at higher volumes, with performance dropping if you push it too hard.
- The sub itself can also be damaged at higher volumes if it vibrates too much.
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This beast of a subwoofer delivers incredibly powerful bass and crystal clear audio.
The large sub looks heavy-duty, and it definitely is, with a powerful 300W RMS and ribbed polypropylene cone that pumps out a rich and deep sound.
Functionally, the Kicker is designed to keep blasting high-quality sound for hours on end without ever slipping.
It uses perimeter venting around the outside of the speaker to keep itself cool, and its high temp voice coils maintain a great sound and rich bass.
Weighing in at over 8.5 lbs, this sub is an absolute monster. It’s got the brawn to back up its bulk, too – this subwoofer’s bass is incredibly strong and clear, without any distortion or kickback from vibration.
This is because of its sturdy, durable frame, made of a tough polyurethane surround and solid steel basket.
Its sturdy construction and tough materials mean that it can easily handle the powerful bass without a hitch.
- Incredibly smooth, crystal clear audio
- Its durable polyurethane casing makes it tough and sturdy
- Its powerful sound delivers crazy bass without any distortion
- Its size and weight mean you need to give it plenty of room and good support
- The monstrous bass can loosen the screws and damage the casing
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If you’re looking for a new 12-inch subwoofer, you might be struggling to know where to start. Even with these recommendations here, how do you pick out the sub that’s right for you?
If you don’t make the right choice to suit your needs and wants, you could end up spending a small fortune on a sub that doesn’t deliver the goods.
That’s why I’ve put together this buyer’s guide – so you can find the perfect subwoofer for your needs. Here are some things to look out for when picking your subwoofer.
While most people will agree that more power equals better performance, there isn’t necessarily a direct correlation between power rating and overall performance.
In fact, some manufacturers claim that lower wattage models provide superior sound quality. That said, the higher the power rating, the louder the woofer cone will move, which in turn produces an increased volume level.
The power rating of subwoofers is measured in RMS. This stands for Root Mean Square, and it is essentially how much power the sub can handle on a continuous basis.
While higher RMS doesn’t necessarily mean better-quality sound, it generally translates to a more powerful sound with richer bass and greater depth.
For example, the JL Audio 12W0V2-4 has a peak power output of 300W RMS, whereas the Skar Audio EVL-12 D2 has a peak power output rating of 1250W RMS.
While there’s a large disparity between the power rating of the two subs, there isn’t as large a difference between their sound quality. The former doesn’t have quite as much consistency as the latter (particularly at higher and lower ranges), but mid-range audio won’t have too much difference.
That said, you’ll still need to match the power rating of your sub with the power supplied by the rest of your sound system.
While all of these listed models have 12-inch subwoofers, there can still be a lot of variation between the overall size of the unit. Enclosed subs (ones that are pre-built into a box) will be bulkier and take up more room in your car or home.
Meanwhile, ‘free-aired’ subs don’t come with an enclosure and will need to be fitted into one before you can use them.
Some enclosed subwoofers are much larger than others. The MTX Audio Terminator TNE212D, for example, is massive compared to other models due to the dual subs it contains. This makes it harder to fit in with the rest of your sound system, especially if you want to install it in a smaller vehicle.
Meanwhile, free-air subs like the Pioneer TWS126M will arrive in a much smaller state before you install it in an enclosure. This makes customizing the subwoofer to your setup much easier, and you won’t have as much trouble trying to fit it into smaller spaces as long as you’re willing to do some extra preparation beforehand.
It’s important to consider the practicality of your subwoofer’s size before you pick one out to avoid any issues finding a place to keep it.
Another thing to consider when shopping around for a subwoofer is sensitivity. Subwoofers with a higher sensitivity are able to get more volume out of less power, and vice versa. Don’t think this means a subwoofer with a higher sensitivity is better, though.
While a higher volume with less power might seem desirable at first, subwoofers that are too sensitive are far more liable to distortion and poor sound quality. Louder doesn’t always mean better, and you want to prioritize the quality of your sound above its volume.
Ideally, the subwoofer you choose should have a sensitivity in the range of 80dB-99dB. Most good subs will be within this range, with the best ones in the middle (around 90dB).
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is It Important To Match Your Subwoofer’s RMS?
Matching the RMS of your subwoofer to the rest of your sound system (especially the amplifier) will ensure that it functions properly. If the RMS of your sub doesn’t match up, then it could cause problems with the rest of your system.
If the RMS of your sub is too low to handle the power from your amp, then it can cause it to burn out and overheat. This will cause your sub (as well as your amp) irreparable damage, costing you your sound system along with all the money it cost.
Meanwhile, if the amp is too weak then it won’t be able to power your sub properly.
This will lead to poor performance, an increase in distortion, and if you increase the volume of your amp and sub to compensate it can lead to the same damage.
Look at how much power your system supplies and how much your sub can handle before you make your choice.
Are Free-Air Or Enclosed Subwoofers Better?
This mostly comes down to personal preference and the type of system you have. If you’re building a subwoofer into your system from scratch, then you might be better off creating a custom enclosure for your sub that suits your required specs.
Meanwhile, beginners may benefit from a pre-built enclosed sub to help reduce the amount of guesswork needed to set up your system.
This will also help you get the most out of your system by having everything laid out and available from the moment you first set up your subwoofer, and you don’t need to worry about damaging your sub or getting dust in the enclosure.
Do I Need An Enclosure For My Subwoofer?
Enclosing your sub will give you the best experience possible, both through improved sound and the convenience of having your sub secured in a convenient box.
Without an enclosure, your subwoofer won’t have the acoustics that it should, which can affect how music sounds. you also won’t be able to experience the full extent of your sub’s base as its vibrations will dissipate into the air.
Some subwoofers come already in an enclosure, which makes setting the sub up much more convenient.
However, subs that don’t have an enclosure should be installed in an existing system or have one built for them ASAP to make sure you can have the best listening experience.
So there you are – a look at 5 of the best 12-inch subwoofers on the market. Hopefully, this guide has helped you find what you’re looking for!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and that you’re able to find the right subwoofer for you.
As long as you do your research and put some thought into your decision, you’re guaranteed to come away with a great new sound system with fantastic bass and clear sound.