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The Deep Bass

A subwoofer installed at Audiomotive in Ottawa

How to Choose the Best Subwoofer for Your Car

Whether you love sound or not, subwoofers are great for improving your car’s audio system. But they also aren’t an easy buy, as there are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right one. This article will explain the benefits of having a subwoofer while listing the main factors you should take into consideration when shopping around.


What Is a Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is a great addition to your sound system. It’s a loudspeaker that is designed to reproduce low-pitched audio frequencies such as bass and sub-bass, delivering a sound that is exciting, enjoyable and rich in quality.


What Are the Benefits of a Subwoofer?

Owning a subwoofer is an investment in quality sound. If you enjoy deep bass, a subwoofer is a sleek addition you’ll love to include in your car’s audio system. It will substantially enhance overall performance and improve the balance of your main speakers. Your sound will be richer and more detailed than it was before.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Subwoofer

Wattage and Power

You have to think about the wattage of the sub you have in mind. Since bass calls for lots of energy, more wattage provides that energy regardless of the volume.

Focus on RMS(continuing) power ratings and look for a subwoofer with a nice broad wattage range between RMS and peak (dynamic) power while going for as many watts as your budget allows. This is the best rule of thumb to ensure great quality sound for your car.


This is a significant determining factor when it comes to purchasing a subwoofer—size matters with subwoofers. Smaller subs can still deliver decent sound, but if you’re aiming for that low-end pulsing bass, 12” and above is the ideal.


Don’t underestimate sensitivity when considering the overall output of your sub. The SPL number (sound pressure level) is the way to determine the sensitivity of your subwoofer – you want subs with high sensitivity ratings they need less power to produce the same quantity of sound as lesser models with lower sensitivity ratings would.


In terms of frequency, you will want a subwoofer that delivers a lower end of the scale. Frequency is the range of sounds your subwoofer unit will produce—the lower the frequency, the better the bass will sound.

Ported Vs. Sealed

The difference in subwoofer sound is all in the question of ported vs. sealed. But what’s the difference? Ported subwoofers incorporate free-flowing air thanks to the openings in the cabinet. This produces more volume and less deep bass.

Sealed subwoofers come in enclosed cabinets and hits the bass deep. If that rich bass is your sound, opt for sealed. If you’re looking for loud and proud surface sound, ported is your pal.

Powered Vs. Passive

Inbuilt amps save space and deliver sound strength with powered subwoofers. They also deliver mid-range frequencies and are considered highly effective. Easy to install and enjoy, they’re low-maintenance and don’t require fussing around.

Their passive subwoofer counterparts require a bit more effort. With a passive sub, you’ll need an appropriate external amp, and extreme bass means more power is required to reproduce lower-frequency sounds. This puts a lot of pressure on your amp, because it might not be able to do your passive subwoofer any justice.


You want your subwoofer to be durable and dependable, so the materials that make up the unit are important to consider. Inspect the material of the surrounds and the cone, as this is what will impact the sound quality and durability of the unit.

Avoid paper cones or urethane surrounds- other cone materials work just fine, and rubber surrounds deliver an excellent performance.

Installation and Placement

Correctly placing and installing your subwoofer and amp can be complicated. Most vehicles are not equipped with a secure pre-mount to fit a subwoofer, you can find a kit for purchase at a specialty supplier that comes with sub and enclosure along with the mounting brackets. The only question that remains is where to house your system?


You could do it in your trunk to free up passenger seating, or you could be stingy and install it in your passenger seat. If you’re a solitary person, this might be a good bet!

Why Professional Installation Is So Important

Don’t mess around when it comes to installing and placing your subwoofer. If you’re by craft a handy person who is able to construct an apt placement for your system and have faith in installing it yourself, you could give it a try.

But don’t risk wasting the money you spent on your investment. Get your sub professionally installed by an expert from a supplier or any other type of company who can help you out.

Whether you’re a lover of music or you just really enjoy deep bass sounds, a subwoofer is a fun investment. So as long as you’re about to introduce your car (and your ears!) to something so enjoyable, spend the time and do the research before deciding which type of subwoofer you’ll be investing in.