For committed audiophiles, having a decent sound system in their car is an absolute must, spending those hot summer evenings driving across town playing your favorite tunes with a high level of bass and kick drum, or even driving down to the beach, parking up, opening all the windows and having a seaside party to your very own playlist.
One of the main issues you might run into when choosing a subwoofer for your car is having the right amount of space. Often trying to fit a hefty 15-Inch speaker in your tight Toyota Prius might not be feasible, resulting in you having less storage space overall.
The additional weight will also cost you a lot extra at the gas station, having to fill up on more fuel to get you and your sizable speakers from A to B.
That’s where full air subwoofers come in very handy. Built in slender designs, these would fit snugly into the trunk of your car or truck, conserving space by not having to mount the additional speaker boxes and also, more importantly, not sacrificing the desired sound quality.
But where can you find these unique quarter-sized speakers? What features does a free air subwoofer need to give you the best quality sound you need for your system? How much can you be looking to spend on a decent subwoofer?
Well, car-driving music-lovers should no longer fret about updating their sound system, because we’ve got answers to your quibbles and queries, with our in-depth list of some of the best free air subwoofers currently available on the market.
Then we’ve got a buyer’s guide to help you source your next free air speaker, along with some frequently asked questions about these unique subwoofers.
OUR TOP PICK
First up, we have a free air subwoofer that comes manufactured by a very well-established company that has specialized in car audio systems for the past decade.
And this subwoofer is no exception to the high level of artistry and technology. It is a 10-inch speaker that will give your bass that hard-punching throb for half the price of regular subwoofers - introducing the Kicker 10C104 Comp 10-Inch Subwoofer.
The Kicker has a very tough steel basket that gives you a stable underpinning for the vibrations that you can expect to be running through it.
It has an injection-molded polypropylene cone with ribbed foam to contain the sound, with double-stitching at the seams to guarantee that it doesn’t fall apart halfway across the interstate.
- This subwoofer is constructed from durable materials, with metal and rubber composition allowing for smooth sound transfer without shaking the unit to pieces over time. This is a subwoofer built to last.
- The motor structure has an impressive ventilation system that keeps the power core at a stable temperature and cools the unit down to avoid overheating.
- The 4-ohm impedance keeps it at pace with some of the more expensive and durable models on this list. This is also a very affordable subwoofer, perfect for people who want to supe up their first car.
- The bass capacity on this is slightly weaker than the more premium models, but it is pretty competitive considering its price.
Next, we’re sticking with the Kicker brand of subwoofer, with an even smaller model than our previous one - although that does not mean that it doesn’t pack a punch when it comes to sound and bass.
It will be a valued addition to your sound system and won’t waste the storage space in your trunk - introducing Kicker CompRT 300 Watt Subwoofer.
This has a dual 2-ohm coil that gives your bass tones a decent throb, with less than 3-Inches in height, you can install it even in the most cramped corner of your vehicle, making a serviceable replacement for your factory mounted sound system.
The injection-molded polypropylene cone won’t distort or warp when you crank up the bass, featuring a heavy-duty Santoprene rubber coating that will ensure the speaker won’t start to migrate when suffering from those hefty vibrations.
This means that it will last you a lot longer.
- This Kicker subwoofer can operate at 150 Watts, meaning that you might need to purchase a separate amp that can handle this level of power. At its lowest, the sub can hit 30Hz, which is a very growly tone for such a small sub.
- It can be wired to dual voice coils, achieving an upper impedance of 4-ohms, which makes it a very flexible unit for its size.
- This free air subwoofer is also great in a sealed enclosure. With a decent ventilation system, this unit will keep cooler and ultimately last longer.
- It might require some trimming if you’re looking to replace your factory-installed unit with this newer one.
Our next subwoofer is a little beefier than our previous models, although once again it is manufactured by the mighty Kicker company.
This is essentially a more developed version of the previous 300-watt model, with a similarly durable interior, although this can be cranked up to 400 watts, making for a better RMS performance - introducing the Kicker 43CWRT102 CompRT 10-Inch Subwoofer.
The biggest upgrade on this speaker is the increased range of frequencies, handling the lower end of the spectrum better than most, going as low at 25Hz, still preserving the clarity of those bass notes.
This is the perfect subwoofer for those committed bassheads who have little storage capacity in their vehicle.
With a dual voice coil, it can be wired for 1- or 4-ohm impedance, making it an incredibly flexible compact unit. It can also be mounted in sealed, free air or ported enclosures.
- This is a much amped-up version of the previous model, with added wattage that will enable you to boost your volume if necessary, while still taking up the same small amount of space.
- This model has a much more enhanced range of frequencies, capturing those low notes without the fuzziness and distortion that can occur when played at the higher volumes.
- The dual voice coil can be wired into an existing sound system to boost it over the 4-ohm level. This incredibly flexible unit can be wired for many different sound settings, it all depends on what you want from your speakers.
- Some users have complained that the sound of these speakers just isn’t as powerful as some of the morse expensive models.
Next up we have another trusted brand that has been working for years in the arena of audio sound systems, becoming a very trusted brand, maintaining their high standards of craftsmanship and innovative technology.
This subwoofer is no exception, with an acoustically damped glass-fiber cone, this speaker eradicates distortion so you can hear those low frequencies with crystal clarity - introducing the Infinity Kappa 1200w 12-inch Subwoofer.
The interior of this subwoofer utilizes what the makers call Selectable Smart Impedance (SSI) technology that allows the user to adapt its sound system to their specific needs without any complicated wiring. This configuration of wires is simple and easy to install, just by flicking a switch you can go from 1-ohm to 4-ohms.
Equipped with a steel basket and dual voice coil vents, this subwoofer can churn out on 500 watts, hitting frequencies as low as 23Hz with a refined bass sound free of distortion.
- The sheer versatility of this speaker unit makes it the perfect candidate to enhance your existing setup. Connect it quickly and effortlessly to amp up your existing presets and delineate those lower frequencies resulting in crystal clear bass tones.
- The unique construction of the outer and inner speaker will mean that the unit as a whole won't shake itself to pieces when turned up to the maximum volume, which is very handy if you like your bass-heavy music very loud.
- The compact storage element of this subwoofer will be perfect for those first-time buyers who want a decent system without taking up too much storage space.
- Some users have complained of power failure on this unit when operated at the maximum volume and RMS capacity.
Finally, we have a new contender to the space of car audio hardware, but one that is beginning to make a reputation for itself as a contender of some quality and stature, offering a wide range of reasonably priced subwoofers in your cars.
This is the best 12-inch subwoofer that Rockville has to offer, well-built, with an aluminum steel basket and black sanded finish, this is a subwoofer that will certainly stand the test of time - introducing Rockville W12K6D4 V2 12-inch 2400 Watt Subwoofer.
This beast can handle 600 watts of power continually, containing the suspension-shaking bass that it churns out with a strong cast aluminum body.
It also has an ultra-stiff paper cone with thick bonded foam to create incredibly clear and distortion-free bass tones.
- The blaring output of this machine is tempered and controlled by the solid build quality, with a polypropylene dust cap to prevent clogging and a thick foam surround that will help dampen the distortion and leave those low frequencies sounding bright and clear.
- The red stitching around the cone will guarantee that it holds together, even when you’ve got the volume turned up to maximum.
- The price - if you’re an entry-level car audio enthusiast, we thoroughly recommend picking up this affordable unit that packs a punch while saving space.
- Some users have complained that this speaker struggles with anything over 800 RMS.
Best Free Air Subwoofer Buying Guide
There are many different specifications you need to think about before picking up a pair of free air subwoofers, as well as whether you even need free air subwoofers at all!
Here follows some information about free air subwoofers and what they can provide your sound system.
What Are Free Air Subwoofers?
Free air subwoofers are a pretty accurate description of their physicality, they simply do not have an enclosure like some of the more expensive speakers. As a result, they don’t take up as much room in your trunk and can even be enclosed discreetly somewhere within the housing of your car.
You can attach a free air subwoofer on the rear deck of your vehicle behind the backs seats of the trunk. The fiberboard acts as an airtight seal that turns your trunk into a speaker enclosure.
In general, a free air speaker will find it more difficult to articulate those lower frequencies, and will often demand a lot more power than those speakers with an enclosure, but it does mean that you will save on space in your care overall.
What Is an Infinite Baffle And Is It Better Than A Free Air Speaker?
Infinite baffle and free air speakers often get aligned as the same thing, however, they are not, they’re just cousins.
Infinite baffle is when you use a board or mounting surface, which is called a baffle, onto which you attach your free air subs. The trunk of the car is still used as an enclosure in the same way as free air mountings are.
However, with infinite baffles, you have to make sure that you have subwoofers that are adapted for infinite baffles to make sure that the waves that are emitted from the back do not cancel out those emitted from the front.
Infinite baffles are not necessarily better than free air speakers, in fact, they pose even more of a challenge for installation, as you have to ensure that the front and rear of the baffle is completely sealed off to avoid noise interference. If the area is not sealed properly, you can expect a significant loss of bass.