You may have read through all our other subwoofer articles to try and get an idea of what to do about your less than impressive car audio system. For instance, we had you covered with our list of top shallow mount subwoofers—but if you crave heavy bass and lack the space to install one, an underseat subwoofer may be the solution to your problem.
Another name for these cleverly situated subwoofers is a car hideaway subwoofer. One of the best things about this kind of subwoofer is they are easily installed, and save on space you might not have. After all, not everyone has a nice truck with a nice truck bed smoothly finished with roll on bedliners. Many need to find a space and under the seat is the best option for these smaller vehicles.
Let’s take a look at a few of these subwoofer under seat options.
Top 6 Best Under Seat Subwoofers – Reviews & Comparison
1 – Rockville RW10CA 10” 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer
Just looking at this sleek design gets us excited to add it to our vehicle. One of the best and most appealing parts of this subwoofer is it can handle 800 watts of power. So feel free to crank it up as high as you please. If that’s still not high enough, the same series from Rockville also has a 1000 watt option.
Another special feature this hideaway subwoofer has is the impressive 10-inch cone it possesses that is larger than many other ones on underseat subwoofers. The larger the cone, the deeper the sound without any distortions and is able to pump out deep bass.
Those who like to customize their subwoofer for that perfect sound will love this model since it can be tuned to the way you like.
The Rockville hideaway subwoofer also comes with a ton of other amazing features such as thermal protection which is needed to prevent your device from overheating.
As you can see from the picture, this model comes with everything you need to get it installed. You get all the RCA cables inputs in one package.
The slim design measuring at 10 inches makes this one of the most compact, subtle and inconspicuous underseat subwoofer options on the market.
- The power handling of 800 watts allows the Rockville subwoofer to act as a sound amplifier and cranked up to a high level.
- The nice and clean look of the subwoofer will fit in nicely in your car.
- At 10 inches, the dimensions of the slim subwoofer is one of the smallest we have seen.
- Once it’s cranked up to a high level, you will hear minimal to no distortions in the sound.
- The larger 10” cone will produce heavier bass.
- The thermal protection prevents the device from overheating and keeps you safe.
- Your purchase comes with all the RCA cables needed for easy installation.
- For audiophiles, this is a great choice since it can be customized.
- The sound quality may not be as good as advertised.
- The build isn’t that great.
2 – Kicker 11HS8 150 Watt 8” Compact Hideaway Powered Enclosed Subwoofer W/ Remote Bass Control
Did your eyes light up reading that title knowing that you can control the bass on the subwoofer? It’s smaller than the above option and a smaller size with incredible sound is what a lot of people are looking for. The Kicker 11HS8 has a built-in amplifier for even better sound.
The all black design gives a streamlined look to the interior of your car (if it’s black), It packs a lot of power, with the 150 watt amplifier that delivers a booming bass.
The under seat subwoofer is very well built with solid materials that will ensure a long life.
The spider design gives it higher performance and efficiency, so even with a smaller cone, this model still rivals a lot of other models on the market. Due to this, it’s good that it comes with a built-in amplifier.
At just 14 inches, it should slide easily under your car seat and save on space. It even comes with nylon straps for you to secure it to your underseat carriage so it doesn’t slide around.
The remote bass control it comes with allows you to fine tune the bass levels to find your sound.
- For an underseat subwoofer with a smaller cone, it does possess quite a lot of power and packs a punch.
- One of the best under seat subwoofers out there, the Kicker 11HS8 comes with a built-in amplifier for even better sound.
- Built with durable materials, the subwoofer is made to last.
- It is built with a spider design, guaranteed to improve the performance and efficiency of this underseat subwoofer.
- Keep it secure under your seat with the nylon straps.
- Measuring at 14 inches, it saves on a lot of space.
- For those who like to fine tune the subwoofer to find the perfect sound, you’re in luck as the Kicker 11HS8 comes with a remote bass controller.
- Slightly pricer.
- With some sellers it might not come with a warranty.
3 – Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch Subwoofer
A lot of smaller subwoofers come with amplifiers housed together for a more impressive sound. The small size makes it easy to move around and gives you flexibility with placement.
It is on the smaller side, but it’s still capable of producing clean and crisp sound. It will fit in your sports car too if space is an issue.
It’s a tough little subwoofer in an aluminum casting and will produce a deep bass at 120 watts. Don’t worry about driving on bumpier roads, the Alpine subwoofer can take the knocks and bumps that comes with being under your seat.
The RCA and speaker level inputs are located on the side, making it easy to install even for newbies.
The amps come with controls for low-pass crossover, phase and gain for you to match and customize it to the rest of your system.
You can hook it up to your driver’s seat with the wired remote input so you can control it easily at the wheel.
- This little but powerful subwoofer comes in an aluminum casting to withstand the hard knocks of the road.
- The high excursion cone is small, but still produces enough power for a deep rich bass.
- As far as under seat subwoofers go, it’s one of the best when it comes to installation. It’s easy even for the inexperienced.
- Control everything at the wheel by hooking it up with the wired remote input.
- The amps feature controls for low-pass crossover, phase and gain for you to tune it to your liking.
- It’s small and fits in tight spaces.
- The sound quality might be poor.
4 – Rockford Fosgate PS-8 8” 150W RMS Underseat Powered Car Stereo Audio Subwoofer
This is another option that comes with an amplifier to allow high power output without much distortion and won’t mess with your vehicles other systems.
If the above uncustomizable option isn’t appealing, we provided another one that comes with remote bass level controls for you to find the perfect sound to your liking. It can be hooked up to your driver’s seat and controlled at the wheel without you having to bend down and reset the under seat subwoofer.
The industrial grade vinyl that covers this under seat subwoofer is tough enough and offers adequate protection against bumps in the road. It’s one of the better constructed options we have seen.
It also acts as a short circuit, thermal, and reverse polarity protection. So no more fearing accidents that may happen in the cabin of your car.
Another very easily installed design for beginners, the input cables are easily connected and disconnected.
- The thermal protection is exceptional.
- It has minimal to no sound distortion.
- The enclosure is made from industrial grade vinyl that protects the subwoofer.
- The entire front face is protected by a metal grille.
- It allows for customization and easy remote control from the driver’s seat.
- Easy to install for beginners.
- It has no impact whatsoever on your car’s other electrical systems.
- The price isn’t nearly as affordable as other options.
- Could give out easily without proper care.
5 – Pioneer TSSWX2502 10-Inch Shallow-Mount Pre-loaded Enclosed Subwoofer
Pioneer is a pioneer in the audio world and a world-renowned manufacturer of media devices. Due to these facts, you shouldn’t be surprised that one of their products made it onto our list.
The slim body is made to fit into small crevices such as under your car seat or in your trunk. It also gives you more utilization of space.
Of course, the Pioneer under seat subwoofer packs a lot of power, despite its smaller but more desirable size.
The cone is made from reinforced mica-injection molded resin that gives it durability and flexibility to pump out deep bass and rich sounds.
No need to worry about the Pioneer under seat subwoofer slipping and sliding around on the road since the surface is made from a carpeted non-slip material. Not to mention, it looks very professional as well!
- As a Pioneer product, you can be sure it produces amazing sound despite the small size.
- The small size allows it to be easily portable and fits anywhere in your car.
- The reinforced mica-injection molded resin cone is tough and flexible.
- The carpeted surface prevents slipping and sliding of the under seat subwoofer during your drive.
- It’s a trusted brand.
- This is just a speaker and doesn’t come with an amp.
- The bass wasn’t impressive for some.
6 – BassPro SL – JBL 8” 125W RMS Powered Underseat Compact Subwoofer
In terms of power handling, the JBL BassPro SL isn’t the top of the line, but it’s our top choice for beginners since the installation is incredibly easy with everything labeled clearly.
It also looks super cool and sleek, a bit like DJ turntables. It does go under your seat but you could leave it out in plain view just to show it off a bit.
For beginners, this is still a customizable option with many inputs in the back for you to customize the bass to your personal sound preference.
The design allows this model to disperse heat efficiently even at high volumes. Try it next time, crank up the volume and see how hot it gets. This makes it a very safe option in terms of under seat subwoofers.
It’s very small, but it still comes with a standard 8-inch cone, like many of the other ones we have included on our list and delivers punchy bass.
- It’s super easy to install for beginners and is also customizable for the perfect bass sound.
- The build is high quality and durable.
- The design is amazing in terms of safety and thermal control. Even at high volumes, it remains cool to the touch.
- The design looks sleek and cool.
- The small size doesn’t hinder the sound as it still comes with an 8 inch cone delivering a punchy bass.
- It’s quite pricey.
- Might not have enough bass for your liking.
Our Top Pick: Rockville RW10CA 10” 800 Car Subwoofer
This makes our top choice for many reasons. One of the best parts of this under seat subwoofer is the power handling at 800 watts!
Another best feature is the larger cone it has compared to all other models. The usual standard is an 8 inch cone and that is already considered impressive, not to mention this one comes with a 10 inch!
Play this under seat subwoofer loud without any distortions and it comes with audio customization options.
Another best feature is the thermal protection, keeping everyone and everything in the car safe.
The small easily installed under seat car subwoofer comes with all the RCA cables for installation.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Under Seat Subwoofer
So you’re convinced. You already want to head out in search of the best under seat subwoofer or click “order”. Just hold on a minute. Do you know what to look for? Everyone has different needs and preferences. To save you the headache of having to return the product because it doesn’t suit your unique needs and taking up a lot of time, we’re going to tell you what to look for to find the best under seat subwoofer for you.
The power handling refers to the wattage. For those who like a deeper and louder bass sound and to crank up the music at high volumes, we recommend higher power handling. The higher the power handling, the more sound it can produce. So look for ones with high wattages, such as the Rockville RW10CA with 800 watts! However, you need to be realistic, the size of the subwoofer has a lot to do with the power handling. If you’re looking for bass that vibrates through your entire vehicle, then you shouldn’t go for an under seat option.
- Peak Power – This refers to the highest amount of power the under seat subwoofer can handle in short bursts, but it doesn’t mean you get clear crisp sound. It just refers to the power the subwoofer can handle regardless of sound quality. This is where people think they have a faulty product because they experience distortion at the peak power.
- RMS Power – The RMS power refers to how much power the amp can put out continuously rather than in short bursts. This is also the power wattage for how much power the under seat subwoofer can handle without damaging the product and causing sound distortion.
If you are looking for an under seat sub, then chances are your choices are dictated the space in your car. Think about where you are going to place it. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the size of the subwoofer directly impacts its performance and installation. Subwoofers come in a few different sizes, ranging from 6 inches to 12. 8 inch subs are the most common because they take the best of both worlds and roll it into one. They save on space and have adequate performance. However, they may not be sufficient for heavy bass lovers.
Next up are the 10 inch options, which are also quite common. Since you do have more space under your seat, a lot of drivers choose the 10 inch over the 8 as they have a better bass response compared to the latter. They are also relatively easy to install.
12 inch subwoofers are less common, although they provide better bass and response than all the other sizes, only those who know exactly what they want will opt for the 12-inch. They take up more space and aren’t manufactured by many.
Not all under seat subs come with a pre-built amp, but most do. The amplifier helps the little subwoofer play louder notes than it otherwise would. This is exceptionally useful to have if you have smaller sized subwoofer and you like a booming bass. Need suggestions for a separate amp? Check our review of the best 5-channel amplifiers for 2020.
vFor all the bass lovers out there, the cone is another deciding factor for the performance of the bass. The larger the cone, the more air it can displace. This means the bigger cone you have, the louder and more powerful the bass will be. So choose one with a bigger cone like the Rockville RW10CA with its impressive 10 inch cone!
Some models we have suggested allow for customization of the bass levels etc. Is this something you are looking for or is the factory default setting enough for you?
Whether you know what you’re doing or if you’re going in blind, you would want the installation process to be easy. Look at whether or not it’s easy to set up. Does it come with everything you need in the box?
Since you want bass, which is why you are installing an under seat sub. A lot of manufacturers will include the specs of the product, and one is the frequency. The lower the better in this case as it means your subwoofer can hit the lower tones. The frequency range is the range at which the subwoofer can function without sound distortion. Since heavy bass is at a lower frequency, you’d want a lower number on the frequency range.
A subwoofer with more sensitivity will be more energy efficient. It may also last longer as it uses less energy.
To keep you and your car safe, you need ample thermal protection. This is especially true if you love to crank up that beat. It’s easy for devices to overheat when they are overworked, so a good ventilation system is vital.
What materials are used to construct the under seat subwoofer? Make sure what you choose is tough, durable, and made to handle the bumps on the road.
As with any type of technology, we’d suggest buying an under seat sub with a guarantee, warranty or both. In case something happens or it comes damaged, you are eligible for are replacement or a refund. It’s just good sense to be able to protect yourself, especially for something with a higher price tag.
Benefits of Under Seat Subwoofers
With all that said, what exactly are the benefits of these little devices? Let’s take a look.
- Their size and lightweight body, which contributes to their portability and your convenience. Since it’s lightweight, it won’t affect the performance of your car either. They can be easily stored in the trunk if you need a bit more room in your car. They just give you more options in general and can slip into tight spaces.
- They can also be relatively easy to install compared to the ones you need to mount. Most of them come with their own amp so there isn’t any need to buy them separately and take up even more space. Some are so easy in fact that all you need to do is plug them into the power source
- A speaker and amp combo could cost you a lot more than just the hideaway sub. They are the more affordable option for those looking for better audio quality that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
What is the Best Subwoofer for Sound Quality?
We are going to mention our top choice product one more time, the Rockville RW10CA is still by far our best choice. Considering its power handling, the size of the cone and the make of the entire device, we feel like it knocks all the other options out of the water and blows all other competitors.
Hopefully with our factors to consider list you have already figured out which subwoofer is the best for your needs. You can even jazz up a stereo with one. Remember that a lot of these options also have the same design in a smaller or larger size and with different handling power. Whichever you choose, if you are tight on space and are looking for something to satisfy your deep bass craving, an underseat sub is a good option. It does well in the sound department for the most part by pumping out thumping bass and it slides right under your seat!