Are your built-in car speakers just not doing your favorite song justice? A subwoofer is what you need. I know I’m guilty of not being able to rock out to my favorite beat because regular subwoofers are not up to par—we have awesome 8-inch subwoofer suggestions, but some may be a little less than your ears desire. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, there are subwoofers for trucks, sedans, hatchbacks, vans, etc. Shallow mount subwoofers won’t alter your overall aesthetics and will enhance the bass notes. So we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at some best shallow mount subwoofers, shall we?
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers – Reviews & Comparison
- 1 – Rockford Fosgate P3SD2 – 8 8-Inch Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
- 2 – PIONEER TS-SW2502S4 10 Inch, 1.200 Watts Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
- 3 – Alpine Swr-t10 10-inch 1800 Watt 4 Ohm Shallow Mount Subwoofer
- 4 – JL Audio 10TW3-D4 Shallow Mount 10
- 5 – Kenwood EXcelon KFC-XW800F 600W Slim Subwoofer
- 6 – Kicker 43CWRT102 CompRT 10” 2 Ohm Subwoofer
- 7 – Skar Audio VD-12 D4 12” 800 Watt Max Power Shallow Mount Subwoofer
- Our Top Pick
7 Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers – Reviews & Comparison
1 – Rockford Fosgate P3SD2 – 8 8-Inch Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
There is a reason most lists have the Rockford Fosgate as their number 1 option. The Punch series slim subwoofer delivers not only the best bass, but also adds an extra punch. This is the rough boom you will feel in a tight and enclosed space.
The slim Punch series Rockford Fosgate shallow subwoofer operates at a peak power handling of 300 watts rms with 2 Ohm dual voice coil and 10 AWG nickel plated push terminals offering more power than your regular car speakers. For more bass, the P3SD4-10 has dual 4-ohm voice coils.
The anodized aluminum cone and dustcaps plus a spider venting system, the slim Rockford Fosgate subwoofer is durable and will help it stay cool.
The Rockford Fosgate is designed with a stamp-cast basket that keeps the subwoofer lightweight and minimizes resonance.
Other than superior performance, the overall design of the shallow mount subwoofer is a right fit for both vented and sealed closures. The shallow mount only measures to about 2.66″, with a cutout diameter of only 7.13″. If you compare the Rockford Fosgate subwoofer to other products, that’s a compact design. But if you need more power, the T1S2 Series operates at 500 watts.
Be aware of the warranty conditions and purchase from either Rockford Fosgate themselves or an authorized reseller. This way you have a 1-year warranty to protect your product.
- When it comes to looking for the best shallow mount subwoofers, this is at the top of the list for its compact design and shallow mount.
- Rockford Fosgate delivers stronger and more powerful bass with an extra punch so you can enjoy your car stereo. Use with an amplifier and elevate your music experience!
- With 300 watts rms and 2 Ohm dual voice coil with 10 AWG nickel plated push terminals, it’s easy to operate and packs a lot of power.
- The anodized aluminum cone and dustcaps help keep the shallow subwoofer clean and cool.
- You generally see stamp baskets on higher end speakers, but this affordable option has one.
- The stamp-cast basket doesn’t add much weight to the subwoofer itself.
- This particular design is optimized for vented and sealed closures.
- The mount is so shallow it only has a mounting depth of 2.66″.
- It has a peak power of 300 watts
- Santoprene rubber surround
- Purchase the Rockford Fosgate at a reasonable price from an authorized seller and enjoy the 1-year warranty.
- The bass isn’t very deep.
- It needs an enclosure.
- Check on the site for proper wire information.
2 – PIONEER TS-SW2502S4 10 Inch, 1.200 Watts Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
Pioneer is considered one of the pioneers of sound (pun intended). This size 10 inch shallow mount subwoofer has a power handling of 100-300 watts rms. It has 1,200 watts peak power rating.
The Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 adopts a mica injected resin cone, which is lightweight and durable. With a depth of just 3 and ⅛ inches, this is a relatively flat-mount subwoofer.
It’s hard to believe that a subwoofer with such a shallow mount could pump out this much bass power. At size 10 inch, it’s slightly larger than our first option, but the materials used to produce this little power woofer are top notch. Not only does it have a high rating, but the Pioneer TS-SW series subwoofer also comes at a good price.
You’ll notice the oversized cone uses space well and takes up most of the surface area without increasing the overall size of the product.
To add, the 25-350 Hz frequency response rate allows the shallow mount subwoofer to provide deep and rich bass tones and elevate your audio experience.
It has an easy installation due to the small size.
- A leading innovator of car audio systems, Pioneer produces a shallow mount subwoofer with a power range of 100-300 watts rms. The peak power handling is 1,200 watts.
- Compared to other subwoofers on the market, the size 10 inch Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 audio system is lightweight with a sturdy mica injected resin cone. It has an elastic polymer rubber surround.
- The depth measuring at 3 and ⅛ inches is quite shallow for a subwoofer of this size.
- Pioneer sells at a great price
- Features an oversized cone
- The 25-350 Hz frequency response range perfect for the bass. Pair with an amplifier for powerful sound.
- The Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 has an easy installation, the steel basket keeps it in place.
- Doesn’t operate at the wattage claimed.
- Check the measurements because it may not fit a 10 inch sub box.
- May have poor bass quality.
3 – Alpine Swr-t10 10-inch 1800 Watt 4 Ohm Shallow Mount Subwoofer
Another great name in the car audio industry, Alpine produces some of the best products. The Alpine shallow mount subwoofer shows us why. At 10″it still comes in a compact design that packs a powerful punch when the bass is turned up.
The single 4-Ohm voice coil of Alpine delivers crystal clear sound quality with 300 watts rms to 600 watts rms power.
The Alpine SWR-T10 has an aluminum woofer cone. The injection-molded santoprene rubber surround keeps the Alpine SWR-T10 secured with no chance of sliding after setup. Santoprene surround has great benefits like weather resistance.
The ventilation achieved by a vented voice coil heat sink paired with the airflow management system, the subwoofer stays cool enough without any sound distortion.
Maintaining the slim frame, Alpine incorporates a neodymium 35SH magnet structure. Compared to previous subwoofers, the Alpine shallow mount subwoofer features a higher price tag.
- Alpine SWR-T10 features a single 4-Ohm voice coil that delivers clear and crisp sound. You’ll distinguish each instrument and vocal part on this sound system.
- 10 inches in diameter, the Alpine subwoofer is designed relatively thin
- Has 300-600 watts RMS power handling
- Features a big bass without distortion
- The subwoofer is kept cool enough by a vented voice coil heat sink plus an airflow system.
- Great aluminum woofer cone
- Features a santoprene surround keeps the subwoofer in place.
- The glue used in the subwoofer comes undone.
- Higher price
4 – JL Audio 10TW3-D4 Shallow Mount 10
The ultra-thin JL Audio shallow mount subwoofer also comes in a 12” option. A top subwoofer for truck drivers, JL Audio is made of quality materials and combines it with meticulousness for sound, you have the best bass for the small spaces.
This has a dual 4-ohm voice coil. The injection-molded polypropylene cone is resistant to vibrations. The polypropylene cone also keeps the speaker secured while belting out crystal clear sound. The rubber surround absorbs vibrations.
JL Audio has a concentric tube design and cast aluminum basket ensures longevity and durability. Standing at just 3.5 inches thick, JL Audio will blend in seamlessly in your car, especially those with a matte black interior.
It’s peak power handling is 800 watts. With about 400 watts amount of power and 100 watts RMS, JL Audio is an adequate speaker for its size, but if you want super strong bass, it’s not enough and you’re better off looking elsewhere. This one has a pretty expensive price.
- The rubber surround protects the JL Audio subwoofer from vibrations by absorbing them.
- The rubber injection molded polypropylene cone stabilizes the speaker
- JL Audio is designed to be compact yet packed with a lot of umph.
- The concentric tube technology delivers crystal clear sound for next-level music
- 100 watts rms to 400 watts RMS power and 800 watts peak power handling
- You’ll see that the construction is pretty durable. Aluminum basket ensures longevity.
- Dual 4-ohm voice coil
- Available in two sizes
- It is up there in the price.
- Some see that they don’t last very long.
- Doesn’t live up to the sound quality
5 – Kenwood EXcelon KFC-XW800F 600W Slim Subwoofer
You might be surprised to see the Kenwood name attached to a subwoofer, but they made it here due to the high performance of this shallow mount subwoofer.
Kenwood Excelon comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 8 to 12 inches, the Kenwood Excelon shallow mount subwoofer is a great option for truck and car drivers.
The power handling peak of 600 watts and 150 RMS, this option blows a lot of other subwoofers out of the water. That’s a lot of power for this dainty little subwoofer. It acts as an amplifier for your standard car stereo speaker and pumps out big bass.
The key feature we see is that it’s made from high quality material, plus a carbon glass fiber composite cone woofer, and Butyl rubber surround to dampen vibrations.
It has a dual magnet drive and linear spider for control over the woofers motion.
If you find the subwoofer overheating, it features a built-in heat transfer system to help rapid cooldown and the gasket is removable.
With a frequency response of 40-500 Hz, this is quite an impressive package in one small build. It has a good price considering the features.
- The minimal and sheer black design of the subwoofer blends well into most car interiors.
- At 8 inches, the subwoofer operates at 600 watts peak power and 150 RMS power.
- Features a carbon glass fiber composite cone built to last.
- The Butyl rubber surround dampens vibrations and increases durability.
- The linear spider and dual magnet drive control the movements of the small subwoofer.
- Helps prevent overheating, thanks to the built-in heat transfer.
- With a high frequency response, you will get clear audio without distortion.
- Impressive speaker power for its size.
- Easy installation and good price
- The sound isn’t good and is easily canceled out.
- Misleading wattage
6 – Kicker 43CWRT102 CompRT 10” 2 Ohm Subwoofer
Packed with substantial power, this small subwoofer works well in any weather with 2-Ohm voice coils.
The Solokon technology produces a robust and durable frame and with the compRT’s inner support system, you get a blend of great sound and a good build.
It does come with an injection-molded polypropylene cone. It’s compatible with both sealed and ported enclosures, it operates at 400 watts rms.
To prevent the device from overheating, the Kicker subwoofer comes with a unique heat management. With careful attention to the design and successful sound output, it really gives your car speakers the kick it needs.
The Kicker compRT is designed to be cool with the signature red stitching giving a bit of color to an otherwise monotone design. As for the price, it’s below the $200 price tag.
Be aware that the product does not come with an enclosure so you need to prepare a single one yourself. Enhance your listening experience by kicking your subwoofer up a notch with Kicker.
- The power is quite impressive with 2-Ohm voice coils. It operates at 400 watts rms.
- The patented Solokon technology coupled with the Kicker compRT’s interior support, you have a well built speaker on your hands.
- Polypropylene cone
- Shallow mount will fit in your sub box and car’s interior plus a bit of red stitching for extra flair.
- Reliablity and lifespan are increased, thanks to the unique heat system that prevents overheating
- It’s compatible with both sealed and ported enclosures.
- Easy installation and reasonable price.
- Some shallow mount subwoofers do not provide enclosures.
- The smaller version has less than impressive sound quality
- You may need an amplifier to make up for low power rating
7 – Skar Audio VD-12 D4 12” 800 Watt Max Power Shallow Mount Subwoofer
We are pretty sure your eyes lit up at the 800 watt max power in the title. Coming in three different sizes and six options, you can find 8-12 inch shallow mounts with either 2 or 4-Ohm voice coils.
You can get the peak power at a good 800 watts with 12 and 10-inch models while you have to “settle” for 600 watts for the 8-inch subwoofers. It has 500 watts rms.
For the larger 12-inch option, the mounting depth is slightly thicker, measuring at almost 5 inches. Take that into account when thinking about the best size to purchase.
If the mounting depth is too thick for your vehicle, simply place it under your seat if space is limited.
As for the cone, it’s constructed from pressed paper that is stitched to a premium foam surround.
It has a high frequency response rate at about 25-300 Hz and sensitivity at 85.9 dB (decibels).
The versatile subwoofer was designed specifically to fit into cars sub box. They optimized the design while incorporating the proper technology to pump out powerful sound. You get all these best features at an affordable price.
- Fits great under the seat or camouflages in the back of your car, thanks to the compact design.
- The frequency response rate has a 25-300 Hz range with sensitivity at 85.9 decibels.
- Operates at 500 watts rms
- This quality audio system comes in 3 different sizes and six options.
- High temperature voice coils and a ferrite magnet help enhance the performance of the speaker for car audio
- Affordable price
- The subwoofers blow out easily.
- Poor quality build.
- The materials used have a strange odor.
Our Top Pick
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2 – 8 8-Inch Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
Yes, there are many more great brand names on our list, but we chose the Rockford Fosgate shallow mount subwoofer as the best.
Yes, the price is not the most affordable one, but for the best pieces of technology, you get what you pay for with Rockford Fosgate. At a smaller 8-inch size, Rockford Fosgate is the slimmest at just 2.66″. This makes it the best for those who are mounting it.
The low profile design and colors fit into any car. With 2-Ohm voice coils and a 300-watt rms max power handling, this is a powerful option in a small package. The anodized aluminum cone, dustcaps, and spider venting design ensure high performance and durability. Overall, you get a high-quality audio experience.
To top it all off, the 1-year warranty of Rockford really takes the cake. If discreet is more your thing, read our top picks for under seat subwoofers in 2020.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Shallow Mount Subwoofer
We did the legwork and took the time to sort through more than a few subwoofers before we narrowed it down with the best of the bunch. That’s not to say they are without their cons. However, do the pros outweigh the cons? To answer that question, you need to know what to look for in the right shallow mount subwoofers first.
First off is the size, as there’s no single size for everyone. This seems like a no-brainer since you need to get one that fits great. Shallow mount subwoofers come in a few different sizes and we’re going to break down each single one. One thing to note is that the larger the shallow mount sub is, the thicker it gets. So don’t only look into the size, but also the depth as well.
- 8” – These are the smallest ones for your vehicle. The smaller it is, the better the response time. Of course it won’t produce as a heavy bass as the larger subwoofers, but if you are a person that enjoys light bass anyway and faster paced music, we suggest these smaller subwoofers for your vehicle.
- 10” – The ten-inch subwoofers are slightly larger but still function the same way. They are more suited to faster music, thanks to the response time. It won’t produce powerful bass notes (although heavier than the 8”). They are among the most common sizes you can find on the market. We know you might be limited by the size due to the design of your car, but you can try doubling up on these smaller subs to achieve the pounding bass you want in your vehicle.
- 12” – Another common option, they act as the perfect balance of high response time and deep powerful bass. For these reasons, this size is the most common on the market. They’re able to pump out any sort of music with enough bass and at the proper frequency. However, not all people of the space for this size.
- 15” – You haven’t seen a single option of this size on our list, and that’s because they are significantly bigger and less common for a vehicle. If you did the math in your head, you should realize that this size pumps out the most powerful bass tones but are much less responsive than the above three sizes. For those who like hip hop, this is great. However, if you like techno and electronic fast-paced music in your vehicle, look elsewhere.
The Shallow Mount
You’re looking for slim-designed subwoofers for your car. Make sure the measurement is compatible for the vehicle space it will occupy. You don’t want it to jut out too much and get in your way. No only will it cramp your space, it will cramp your style too. Look for mounts around 3-3.5″, anything more than that will restrict much space. To save yourself the headache of ordering the wrong size, make sure you carefully measure the proposed space beforehand.
Quality of the Cone
The cone is arguably the single thing that makes the subwoofer, so it only makes sense that it should be constructed of high quality and durable material. Anodized aluminum, carbon fiber, and mica injected resin are three reliable material options. We also suggested a few subwoofers that are made from these. A strong cone will also help improve sound quality.
Technological devices and products like the shallow mount sub often heat up during prolonged use. The same goes for your phone, computer, TV, etc. This could impact the performance of the device after some time. A good subwoofer would have an efficient cooling system built-in to regulate the temperature.
Durability and Reliability
Technological investments such as a flatscreen, home appliances and even your phone are expected to have a lifespan of at least a few years. The same goes when you use shallow mount subwoofers. It’s hard to know how reliable something is just by reading the specs and description, so the reviews of real consumers will come in handy. You get a glimpse of the performance when in actual use. Looking for subwoofers with a warranty or guarantee is also the smartest thing to do.
How much power can your shallow mount subwoofer handle before it caves or blows out? This is the meaning of the peak power. The higher the wattage, the more it can handle. So we suggest looking for ones from 6-800 watts.
You’ve also probably noticed the term “RMS” throughout this review. RMS stands for root mean square, and it refers to the power that a subwoofer can continuously handle. For subwoofers, 50 watts rms to 250 rms is a good start, but it’s also common to have higher rms.
However, this is greatly linked to the size of the speaker as well. So a smaller 8-inch option that only has a peak power of 300 doesn’t mean it’s a low-end product. Others opt for installation of subwoofers to factory stereos.
The sensitivity is in regards to how well your shallow mount sub can keep up and still pump out your music. The stats for speaker sensitivity are measured by how loud it is with one watt of power.
Next up we have the frequency. It just means the range of frequencies the speaker can produce. The broader the frequency range, the more versatile the speaker is.
Last but not least, the guarantee and warranty. We always urge consumers to look for products that have at least a single one or both. This is to protect the buyer in case anything is faulty when you use the product or you purchased the wrong item. You have to get your worth with the price you paid.
What are the Benefits of a Shallow Mount Subwoofer, are They Good?
There are lots!
First off, due to the size, the shallow subwoofer is more affordable than installing a full subwoofer into your car.
The stress is put on the words “shallow mount”. They are shallow because they save space, are more compact than regular subwoofers, and just overall look better.
The sound! We can’t forget the sound enhancing features they have! They will pump out the bass, and get your adrenaline going when you hear your favorite beat. Not only is the bass improved, but the sound will be even clearer than before. Dual voice coils are good options.
The come in many sizes that are meant to fit into your car. If you want a 15-inch for your love of deep bass but don’t have the room, certain designs can easily fit right under the seat.
Each year manufacturers are coming out with new and improved innovative designs of speakers, some shallow mount subs are on par or can even outperform their conventional counterparts.
What is the Smallest Subwoofer You Can Get?
While we’re not sure if this is the smallest or will remain the smallest shallow subwoofer, but it’s the smallest one we could find so far from a reputable brand.
The Kicker CompRT 43CWRT672 is a 6.75-inch shallow sub that can fit in a tight space. We also came across other ones at 6-6.5″, but we recommend the one from kicker just for general reliability.
I bet you’re wondering why they even make such small ones when the smallest we introduced above were the 8” shallow mount subwoofers.
That’s because the 6” subwoofers will have very little bass and will function more like mini speakers. Yes, they have a fast response time and can sometimes handle as much power as the 8-inch (some better built ones might be just as good), we believe the 6” subwoofers were designed for tight spaces. So if you want features more than the price and size, an 8″ is the better choice.
Shallow mount subwoofers are a great invention you can use to enjoy your favorite music from the confines of your car. You can enjoy deep bass regardless of the size and model of your car. Going back to our first question, do the pros outweigh the cons? We believe so! The pros greatly outweigh the cons, and there might not be any cons if you go for a product with warranty/guarantee. Meanwhile, if you need recommendations for a 5-Channel amplifier, we have you covered with this list.