If you’re looking for an easy, off-the-shelf and space-saving bass system,a powered subwoofer is a great way to go.A powered subwoofer combines both the woofer and amplifier in a one single enclosure.This means,there’s only one piece of equipment you’ll need to find a mounting place for.Powered subs are known for being very compact,so they won’t take too much space in your vehicle.While these subs can be huge difference makers in terms of bass quality,their smaller drivers and the included amps might not deliver all the sound power you want,especially if you’re seeking really big bass.However,their compact size and ease of installation is what makes them a great add-on to your stereo system.
Finding the best powered subwoofer can be a bit of a challenge, so we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Here’s a comprehensive review of the top rated powered subwoofer on the market. Check it out.
Advantages of a Powered Subwoofer
Aside from just being more compact, there are a lot of advantages to using this type of subs.
- Relatively easy installation process & Convenience : Matching the output power of an amplifier to a subwoofer can be a bit complicated for inexperienced users.It’s well-known that subs require more power than typical speakers to reproduce low-frequency sounds. If an external amplifier doesn’t put out enough power,the sub(s) begins to distort.Moreover,because some high-powered, large subs are too powerful,they can easily drain your car’s battery.In the case of powered-subs,however,both the amp and the subwoofer are pre-configured and optimized to work in conjunction,so there’s no need to bother yourself with matching an external amp.
- Compactness and Space-Saving : Powered subwoofer are compact in size & weight when compared to passive subwoofers.They take up less space in a vehicle,and that makes them best suited for smaller cars or where space is an issue – Sport cars for example.
- Cost-Effective : Powered subwoofers are very economical,given the fact that they come with a built-in amplifier — Saving the cost of buying an external amp to drive the subwoofer.
How do I find the Best Powered Subwoofer for my Vehicle?
When you’re shopping for a powered subwoofer ,there are a number of factors you should consider.
- Power — If you want your sound system to really shine out, there’s no substitute for plenty of power.So it’s a critical factor to be taken into consideration.And more specifically RMS power handling ,which refers to the amount of power a subwoofer can handle on continuous basis.You’ll generally notice that brands like to brag about their Peak power.Peak rating refers to the maximum amount of power a given speakers/subwoofer can handle in a brief musical burst.Don’t be fooled by that,RMS represent a more realistic and accurate measure than peak power.
- Sensitivity — It’s another crucial factor to be considered.The higher the sensitivity,the better.A sub with high sensitivity rating will effectively convert power applied to it into bass.To put it simply ,sensitivity goes hand-in-hand with power to reach high quality output.
- Frequency range — frequency range tells you how low your sub can play.The lower, the better.However,there are several other factors that affects sub’s performance including box type,mounting location …etc.
- Size of the woofer — It’s a never-ending question — we are not going to debate over which size plays loudest and lowest.All of them clearly work,but if you really wanted to compare sizes,i’m afraid you’ll need to consider other variables,including sensitivity,enclosure type,frequency range and power handling.However,admittedly,larger subs are a great way to go if you’re looking for big bass and have enough space to accomodate larger subs.Otherwise,don’t underestimate smaller subs,they can do pretty well if properly powered.To sump up ,It all boils down to personal preference,available space,budget and music taste.
Top 5 Powered Subwoofer Reviews
- Amplifier Power (RMS) : 200 watts
- Woofer Size (inches) : 10″
- Class : D
- Frequency response : 20-120 Hz
- Variable Bass EQ : -6 dB to +3 dB @ 40 Hz
- Warranty : 1 year
Infinity Basslink is one of the best selling powered subwoofers out there.We’ve found that a lot of people who have bought this sub are completely satisfied with what they’ve got and recommend it.Admittedly,it’s a well-engineered all-in-one bass system that’s built with compactness and space saving concept in mind and optimized for high-performance bass.So,you won’t have to sacrifice all of your available cargo space in order to enjoy the bass.This amplified subwoofer can handle up to 200 watts RMS.
The Infinity Basslink combines a 10″ woofer and 10″ passive radiator(also known as a “drone cone”) – increasing performance and limiting distortion – as well as an impressive Class D amplifier with 200 watts RMS being integrated into the enclosure.Infinity has incorporated special circuitry into the subwoofer to control voice coil position and to eventually maintain a linear motion of the cone,so the bass sounds fuller and richer.
The Basslink boasts a wide array of controls including variable low-pass filter,phase switch and Bass EQ.These will allow you to tweak and adjust your bass according to your liking and taste intensity.And with the included mounting brackets,you’ll be able to mount the rigid polymer box either horizontally or vertically.This subwoofer also comes with a wired remote control with 16-ft cable to allow you to adjust the sub’s volume from your dash.
- Power Handling : 300 Watts RMS
- Woofer Size (inches) : 12″
- Class : D
- Integrated Amplifier : 300 Watts RMS
- Frequency response : 35Hz – 150Hz
- Variable low-pass crossover : 50Hz – 200Hz @ 12dB
- Warranty : 1 year
We have talked about Rockford Fosgate several times before.Rockford Fosgate is a major brand when it comes to mobile audio gear,so naturally we wanted to include them in this lineup. They offer a wide range of different subwoofers ranging from 8″ to 15 inch in size,as well as shallow mount subwoofers.However,they have limited options for powered subs.
That being said, the first thing to notice about the P300-12 is its relatively compact size despite packing a pretty huge 12″ inch subwoofer and a built-in class D amplifier.So if you’re seeking big bass and wanting to save yourself the headaches of matching up a sub with a compatible amp and box while not sacrificing too much space (which hurts the bottom line),choosing this system will greatly benefit you in this regard.
Rockford Fosgate has been in the industry for many years,and they’ve gained a well-rounded experience and strong technical knowledge in various areas of In-Car Entertainment including speakers,amps,subs and enclosures. They also specialize in marine and motorsport audio.Long story short, these guys do everything, and they do it very well.
You’ll be amazed by the powerful impact this subwoofer adds to your favorite tunes,as it’s equipped with a significantly large subwoofer that can handle up to 300 watts RMS, as well as a powerful built-in amplifier.Several controls including phase switch, bass boost and low-pass crossover allow you to tweak the sub for a better sounding experience.High- and low-level inputs also allow you to connect this sub to almost any stereo system while the included remote let’s you adjust sub’s bass intensity from the front seats.
P.S : The Rockford Fosgate P300 is also available in 10″
- Amplifier Class : D
- Integrated Amplifier : 75 watts RMS
- Frequency response : 35 – 125 Hz
- Sensitivity : 110 dB
- Variable low-pass filter : 50-125 Hz
- Warranty : 1 year
The KSC-SW11 by Kenwood is one of the best powered subwoofer on the market.It’s actually the smallest powered subwoofer we’ve reviewed so far.You can even fit it under the seat.It makes a great solution for those who want to enhance their overall listening experience by adding some depth to their music without taking up a lot of space.
As for the Cons, it is true that given its tiny size,it doesn’t reach the superlative performance or big bass offered by sound systems with larger subs,but it certainly seems to bump up against its claimed frequency response range.
The KSC-SW11 feature an 8-1/4″ x 5-1/8″ woofer mounted in a rigid aluminum enclosure that eliminates rattles to some extent,while the built-in amp feeds the sub 75 watts RMS.The KSC-SW11 also comes with a wired remote that allow you to control your sub’s bass from your seat.
- Power handling (RMS) : 80 Watts
- Woofer Size (inches) : 8″
- Class : D
- Frequency response : 20-200Hz
- Impedance : 4 Ohms
- Warranty : 1 year
Let’s start with the pros. First of all, you can usually find it listed for about $90 at most stores and retailers; it’s a great starter subwoofer that won’t break that bank.Experienced audiophiles won’t be disappointed with this sub either.It can seriously deliver awesome bass.
One of the things that strikes you first about this sub is its cool blue illumination feature that will make your car look as great as it sounds.The SBP8A features an 8″ subwoofer than can handle 80 watts on continuous basis.It can reach as low as 20 Hz , which is the very lowest level of human hearing.Lower frequency response produces a fuller, richer sound.
When it comes to cons, we couldn’t find many except for the fact that RMS power handling is a bit lacking when compared to some other subs we’ve reviewed ,but given the size of the woofer, we assure you that it’s totally acceptable.