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Best Shallow Mount Subwoofer

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 the subwoofer is 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.  Let’s take a look at some options, shall we?

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 this model 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 subwoofer operates at 300 watts with 2 Ohm dual voice coils and 10 AWG nickel plated push terminals offering more power than your regular car speakers.

The anodized aluminum cone and dustcaps plus a spider venting system, the small and slim subwoofer is durable and will stay cool.

The design incorporates a stamp-cast basket that keeps the small subwoofer lightweight and minimizes resonance.

Other than superior performance, the overall design of the shallow mount subwoofer is a good fit for both vented and sealed closures. The shallow mount only measures to about 2.66 inches, with a cutout diameter of only 7.13 inches. If you compare the Rockford Fosgate subwoofer to other products, that’s quite a compact design.

Be aware of the warranty conditions and purchase from either Rockford Fosgate themselves or an authorized reseller. This way you get a 1-year warranty to protect your product.


  • When it comes to looking for the best shallow mount subwoofer, this is at the top of the list for its compact design and shallow mount.
  • It delivers stronger and deeper bass with an extra punch.
  • With 300 watts of power and 2 Ohm dual voice coils with 10 AWG nickel plated push terminals, it’s easy to operate and packs a lot of power.
  • The anodized aluminum cone and dustcaps will keep the subwoofer clean and cool.
  • You will generally see stamp baskets on higher end speakers, but this relatively 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 measures to about 2.66 inches.
  • Purchase 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.

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2 – PIONEER TS-SW2502S4 10-Inch, 1.200 Watts Shallow-Mount Subwoofer

Pioneer is considered one of the pioneers of sound (pun intended). This 10” shallow mount subwoofer has a power range of 100-300 watts.

It adopts a mica injected resin cone, which is lightweight and durable. With a depth of just 3 and ⅛ inches, this is another 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 10 inches 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 an affordable 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.

The 25-350 Hz frequency response rate allows for the subwoofer to provide deep and rich bass tones and elevate your audio experience.

It’s easy to install due to the small size, but once set, the steel basket will keep it securely in place.


  • A leading innovator of car audio systems, Pioneer comes out with a shallow mount subwoofer with a power range of 100-300 watts.
  • Compared to other subwoofers on the market, for the 10” size it is still quite lightweight and durable with a sturdy mica injected resin cone.
  • The depth measuring at 3 and ⅛ inches is quite shallow for a subwoofer of this size.
  • The price is affordable.
  • The oversized cone takes up most of the surface area, a wise use of space.
  • The 25-350 Hz frequency response is the perfect number for deep and rich bass notes.
  • Easy to install, the steel basket will keep it in place.


  • Doesn’t operate at the wattage claimed.
  • Check  the measurements because it might not fit a 10 inch sub box.
  • It might have poor bass quality.

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3 – Alpine Swr-t10 10-inch 1800 Watt 4 Ohm Shallow Mount Subwoofer

Another famous name in the car audio system industry, the Alpine shallow mount subwoofer shows us why. At 10-inches it still comes in a compact design that packs a powerful bunch when the bass is turned up.

The 4 Ohm voice coil delivers crystal clear sound you can hear every instrument in your favorite song. 

The injection molded santoprene rubber design keeps it safe and secure with no chance of sliding after the setup.

The ventilation achieved by a vented voice coil heat sink paired with the airflow management system, the subwoofer stays cool without any distortion to the sound.

Maintaining the slim and efficient frame, they also incorporate a neodymium 35SH magnet structure. Although compared to the previous options, the Alpine shallow mount subwoofer features a higher price tag than the rest.


  • It features a 4 Ohm voice coil that delivers clear and crips sound. You’ll be able to distinguish each instrument and vocal part.
  • 10 inches in diameter, the Alpine subwoofer is still a relatively thin design.
  • Turn up the bass and enjoy music with virtually no distortion.
  • The small subwoofer is kept cool by a vented voice coil heat sink and with an airflow management system.
  • Injection molded santoprene rubber keeps the subwoofer in place.


  • The glue used in the subwoofer comes undone.

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4 – JL Audio 10TW3-D4 Shallow Mount 10

The ultra-thin shallow mount subwoofer also comes in a 12” option. Also a top subwoofer for truck drivers, it combines quality materials and the meticulousness for sound, you get the best bass for the smallest amount of space.

The injection molded polypropylene cone is resistant to vibrations and keeps the speaker securely in place while belting out crystal clear sound.

The concentric tube design and cast aluminum basket ensures longevity and durability. Standing at just 3.5 inches thick, It will blend in seamlessly in your car, especially those with a matte black interior. 

With about 400 watts of power and 100 watts RMS, this is an adequate speaker for its size, but if you want super strong bass, you’re better off looking elsewhere.


  • The rubber surround protects the subwoofer from vibrations by absorbing them.
  • The rubber injection molded polypropylene cone also stabilizes the speaker when you’re on the road.
  • Only about 3 and ¼ to 3.5 inches deep, it’s a small and flat design packed with a lot of umph.
  • The concentric tube technology delivers crystal clear sound.
  • The construction is pretty durable.
  • Available in two sizes, the 10” and the 12”.


  • It is up there in the price.
  • They might not last very long.
  • Doesn’t live up to the sound.

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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 on here due to the high performance of this more affordable shallow mount subwoofer. 

It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 8 to 12 inches, the Kenwood Excelon shallow subwoofer is a great option for truck and car drivers.

The handling peak of 600 watts and 150 RMS, this option blows a lot of other options we have out of the water. That’s a lot of power for this dainty little subwoofer. It acts as an amplifier for your standard car speaker and pumps out heavy bass.

The key feature is the carbon glass fiber composite cone woofer, pure high quality material that is built to last, and Butyl rubber surround will dampen vibrations.

It also has a dual magnet drive and linear spider for control over the woofers motion.

If you find the subwoofer to be overheating it has a built-in heat transfer system  to ensure ventilation and rapid cooldown and the gasket is removable.

With a frequency response range of 40-500 Hz, this is quite an impressive package packed into one small build.


  • The minimal and sheer black design will blend well into most car interiors.
  • At just 8 inches, the small subwoofer operates at 600 watts (at most) and 150 RMS.
  • The carbon glass fiber composite cone is built to last.
  • The Butyl rubber surround dampens vibrations and increases durability.
  • The linear spider and dual magnet drive controls the movements of the small subwoofer.
  • No prevent overheating,there is a built-in heat transfer system.
  • The gasket is removable.
  • With a high frequency response, you will get nothing but crystal clear sound with minimal distortion.
  • The power of the speaker is quite impressive for its size.


  • The sound isn’t impressive and is easily canceled out.
  • The wattage is misleading.

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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 strong build.

Compatible with both sealed and ported enclosures, it operates at 400 watts. 

To prevent the device from overheating, the Kicker subwoofer comes with a unique heat management system. With careful attention to the design and successful sound output, it really gives your car speakers the kick it needs.

The design is also pretty cool with Kicker’s signature red stitching that gives a little bit of color to an otherwise monotone design.

Be aware that the product does not come with an enclosure so you need to prepare 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.
  • The patented Solokon technology coupled with the compRT’s interior support system, you have a very well built speaker on your hands.
  • The mount is shallow and will fit in with your car’s interior plus a bit of red stitching for that extra flair.
  • It comes with Kicker’s unique heat management system to ensure the subwoofer doesn’t overheat, raising reliability and increasing the lifespan.
  • It’s compatible with both sealed and ported enclosures.


  • Some shallow mount subwoofers do not come with enclosures.
  • The smaller version has less than impressive sound.

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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.

You can get the peak power of 800 watts with 12 and 10-inch models while you have to “settle” for 600 watts for the 8-inch options.

For the larger 12-inch option, the depth of the mount is slightly thicker, measuring at almost 5 inches. You need to take that into account when thinking about the size to purchase.

If the depth is too thick for your vehicle, simply place it under your seat is 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. They optimized the design while incorporating the proper technology to pump out powerful sound.


  • Fits under the seat or camouflages in the back of your car due to the compact design.
  • The frequency response rate is an idea 25-300 Hz with sensitivity at 85.9 decibels.
  • Comes in 3 different sizes and six options.
  • High temperature voice coils and a ferrite magnet enhance the performance and reliability of the speaker.


  • The subwoofers blow out easily.
  • Poor quality build.
  • The materials used have a strange odor.

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Our Top Pick

Rockford Fosgate P3SD2 – 8 8-Inch Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer

Yes, there are many more renowned brand names on our list, but we chose the Rockford Fosgate shallow mount subwoofer as the best.

 Yes, the price is also not the most affordable one, but for certain things such as pieces of technology, you get what you pay for. At a smaller 8 inches, this option is also the slimmest at just 2.66 inches. This makes it the best option 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 max power handling, this is a powerful option in a smal package. The anodized aluminum cone, dustcaps, and spider venting design ensure high performance and durability.

To top it all off, the 1-year warranty 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 options before we narrowed it down with the best of the bunch. That’s not to say they are without their cons. However, just like most situations in life, do the pros outweigh the cons? To answer that question, you need to know what to look for first.

Subwoofer Size

First off is the size. This seems like a no brainer since you need to get one that fits. Subwoofers come in a few different sizes and we’re going to break down each 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. The smaller it is, the better the response time. Of course it won’t produce as a heavy bass as the larger options, but if you are a person that enjoys light bass anyway and faster paced music, we suggest these smaller options. 
  • 10” – The ten-inch options are slightly larger but also function the same way. They are more suited to faster music due to the response time and won’t produce super deep bass notes (although heavier than the 8”). They are also 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.
  • 12” – Another common option, they act as the perfect balance of high response time and deep booming bass. For these reasons, this size is the most common on the market. They 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. If you did the math in your head, you should realize that this size pumps out the heaviest 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, look elsewhere.

The Shallow Mount

You’re looking for a slim design for your car. Make sure the measurement is compatible for the 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 inches, anything more than that will restrict your 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 what makes the subwoofer, so it only makes sense that it should be constructed of high quality and durable material. Anondized aluminum, carbon fiber, and mica injected resin are three reliable material options. We also suggested quite a few options that are made from these. A strong cone helps improve the sound quality as well.

Cooling System

Technological devices such as 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 for these shallow mount subs. 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. Looking for options with a warranty or guarantee is also the smartest thing to do.

Peak Power

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. 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 pump out your music. The stats for sensitivity are measured by how loud the sub is with one watt of power.


Next up we have the frequency. It just means the frequencies the speaker can produce. The broader the range, the more versatile the speaker is. 


Last but not least, we have the guarantee and warranty. We always urge consumers to look for products that have at least one or both. This is to protect the buyer in case anything is faulty with the product or you purchased the wrong item.

What are the Benefits of a Shallow Mount Subwoofer, are They Good?

There are lots!

First off, due to the size, the shallow mount subs are much more affordable than installing a full subwoofer system into your car. 

The stress is put on the words “shallow mount”. They are shallow because they save space, are more compact, 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.

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 under the seat.

Each year manufacturers are coming out with new and improved innovative designs, 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, 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 inches, 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” options.

That’s because the 6” options 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” options were designed for space saving.


Shallow mount subwoofers are a great invention that allow you 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 5-Channel amplifiers, we have you covered with this list.

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This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.

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