You’re here because you appreciate raw power. Whenever you go for a spin, you’re constantly cranking the volume in search of the dirtiest, most grotesque bass imaginable.
The perfect bass for you would be responsible for half the potholes on your street and have your neighbors hiding under tables whispering obscenities and Hail Marys.
Well, We’re going to help you find that rarest of all SPL basses that will finally satisfy your debilitating frequency dependency.
So, without further ado, here are our five favorite SPL subwoofers, a buyer’s guide, and a brief FAQ section, so you can become the pulse of the streets.
Need That Sub Hit Now? Here’s our top pick straight away.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Our first pick has a top of the line competition grade paper cone that’s capable of producing some truly face-melting bass tones because it’s both light and stiff.
This thing is swaddled in a super thick, stitched high roll foam surround that honestly looks impenetrable.
The super low-frequency resonance allows this beast to hit all those SPL low ends that will rattle your bones, but it was also specially engineered to have strong SQ functionality in the upper registers.
It also has dual copper voice coils perfect for dealing with lots of low end, and it has an insanely powerful 300 oz ferrite motor which ensures it’s going to be able to handle sickening amounts of high power usage.
Not for the faint of heart, irritable of bowels, or sensitive of ear, this sub has a frequency response between 22 and 250 Hz. Humans only begin hearing bass frequencies from 20 Hz, so you know this thing is designed to rumble your very core.
If that’s not evidence enough of this sub’s potential, it has a maximum power rating of 3000 watts. To give you a little bit of context, a 3000-watt generator will power a small house. This thing is huge.
- Super low fs for maximum SPL boom
- Engineered to give SQ response in the higher registers
- Affordable considering the quality
- Dual voice coils give you more power
- High-quality foam casing
- High-end paper cone technology
- Will require a decent stereo that can handle the load
While it hasn’t got quite the same low-frequency reach as our top pick, it still has an impressive fs rating of 33 Hz which is thought to have orgasmic qualities...so there’s that.
Frequencies around that level are still in that feeling rather than hearing it zone, so this is still going to rock your socks off and out the window, no problems at all.
This sub also has an SPL competition grade paper cone, so it’s going to be producing a very similar bass sound to our top pick, and it’s even surrounded by the same durable foam as well.
No, it’s not quite as powerful, but it has some really great appointments that definitely make it worth the money like the dual shorting rings in the motor that stop inductive distortion.
Sundown’s infamous optimized voice coil cooling system makes it impossible to overheat this sub anywhere within its power-handling range.
It’s been reported that some customers have been able to crank their Sundown SA Series subs to around 150 decibels, which is more than enough power for any car, trust us. 150 decibels in a confined space will literally burst your eardrums. 185 plus is likely to kill, so, yeah, this thing thumps like hell.
- 33 Hz low fs frequency response
- Powerful enough to handle any volume you’d be able to handle
- Thick and durable foam casing
- Competition grade paper cones will give great sound
- Can achieve pretty nice SQ sound
- Affordable for the quality
- Special cooling system means they’ll never overheat
- Not as powerful as our top pick (not that you’d need that much power)
- Short frequency response range
Coming in at number three is a force to be reckoned with. The Massive Audio Hippo has a special double-stacked high-energy Strontium magnet structure which, basically, improves the conversion efficiency. This gives you better low-frequency tones.
This thing doesn’t just sound amazing, it has a Kevlar-reinforced, competition-grade paper cone and a black anodized voice coil former with yet more kevlar in the form of spun lace.
If you’ve been let down by subs with short lifespans in the past and you hear pops and clicks in your nightmares, then this might be the sturdy sub you’ve been searching for.
It doesn’t have dual voice coils like our top two picks, but the voice coil it does have is quite long, so it will be able to handle plenty of power.
At 8 inches, this is the smallest sub on our list, yet it still managed to take third place which should really tell you something about its power and quality.
This monster sub has a 1400 watt power capacity which is plenty enough to blast out those girthy basslines in a satisfying manner, and the specialized foam casing and cast aluminum basket will keep it safe no matter how bumpy the ride.
Everything about this sub is designed for high power applications. From the reinforced fiberglass woven dust cap to the one-piece pole plate for added motor strength, this thing is going to get guttural in the best kind of way.
- Special magnet construction improves bass frequencies
- Strong competition grade paper cone will last a long time
- 1400 watt power handling
- Extremely durable
- Long voice coil
- Relatively affordable for what you get
- Single voice coil won’t handle as much as two
- Some customers say they’re not as powerful as advertised
Our next bass blaster is another highly rated option with massive low-end potential that doesn’t skimp on the SQ standard.
This sub has a powerful composite cone and a three-inch four-layer copper voice coil, so actually, this sub will be able to handle a little more than the Hippo XL.
The cast aluminum basket is lightweight but really durable and the overall build quality feels really solid, so don’t worry about taking your car off-road or down some gnarly tracks. It also has some very thick foam casing for extra protection
It has some pretty effective vents for cooling with great protection against debris getting in from the outside which is a great touch. A sub moves a lot of air around. It’s not unheard of for them to get a little clogged.
Installation should be really easy with this sub as it has two easy connect terminals on either side.
The sub is super powerful but very affordable. It’s not a bargain bucket sub by any means, but you could probably pick one up for around $100 cheaper than our top pick.
- Really long single voice coil will handle a lot of power
- Easy to install
- Can hit some really brutal lows
- Super affordable for the power
- Sturdy build
- Magnet construction offers better quality low frequencies
- Two voice coils would be better
- Has same casing as cheaper Audiopipe models
- Higher fs rating (not that you’d need any lower realistically)
We absolutely love this little sub! It’s definitely not going to make your eyeballs rattle a-symmetrically in your skull or unmake your car like the Skar, but this is the best bang for buck sub listed here.
It’s got a polypropylene cone which is commonly used for really high-end speaker cones, so you’re still getting a highly resonant material for a ridiculously good price.
It has a flexible cone casing which may mean it’s a little more vulnerable than our other picks with firm skirts, but the flex actually helps with excursion.
We really thought this thing would fall short on resonance frequency, but it has a shockingly low 32 Hz SPL sensitivity.
This is the perfect option for any young or new drivers out there looking to kit their first car out with a banging set up. It’s budget-friendly, quality for the price, and more than enough power for an entry-level audiophile.
- Super cheap compared to others on the list
- 1800 watt max load won’t need as advanced amp
- Surprisingly low-frequency response for a cheaper sub
- Flexible foam casing helps improve excursion
- Paper cone would have been better
- Doesn’t specify voice coil metal
- Not as quality sound production as others on the list
Best SPL Subwoofer Buying Guide
It makes sense to come up with a rough budget to save you trawling through every single product available. We’ve included SPL subs at a number of price points on our list, so you can get a feel for what’s available and decide what you’d like to spend.
Wattage refers to the overall power of your sub in terms of how loud it can ultimately go, but it’s actually a measurement of how much power you can put through it from your amplifier.
If you’ve got a really expensive, powerful amplifier, you need to match the minimum load capacity or you risk damaging it. You’re going to need a sub with a larger wattage to fill that load.
A higher wattage sub won’t just be able to blast out more decibels, it should also have a higher sound quality at lower volumes too.
Frequency Resonance (fs)
This refers to the range of frequencies your sub can emit. Humans start hearing bass frequencies at around 20 Hz, but it’s not a clear, resonant sound. You might only notice it was there after it stops and you hear proper silence.
So, for a quality SPL sub, you need something that can really explore those depths. We recommend going no higher than 35 Hz for maximum bass power.
A voice coil provides the motive force to the cone. A dual coil sub will therefore give a sub a greater overall output. They’re also responsible for the thermal power handling of your sub.
If you do go for an SPL subwoofer with a single voice coil, the longer it is the better, as these things run hot.
Read up on customer reviews for clues about installation. Some will be advertised as quick mount subs, but others may be quite difficult to work with, especially if you have limited space.
Some companies will offer professional installation. If it’s not too steep, we recommend taking them up on it.
- Paper Cones - Paper cones are perfect for subs, they’re lightweight and can be made incredibly stiff with certain treatments and coatings.
- Polypropylene Cones - Polypropylene is a great cone material for midrange speakers, but not as commonly used for sub cones. They may distort a little at very high volume.
- Metal Cones - Metal is the perfect substance to fight distortion as it’s so stiff, but is rarely used in subwoofers as it’s also quite heavy and will reduce the amount of air the sub can push.
A basket material should be a lightweight, durable metal. It’s the frame your sub sits in and the part of the construction used for mounting your speaker in place.
It shouldn’t really affect the tonal quality of your sub unless it’s unnecessarily bulky internally as you sub needs plenty of space to breathe.
Casing material tends to be more varied in the production of midrange speakers than it is for subs. Generally speaking, rubber is the most durable and protective substance for speaker casing. Subs tend to work better if the material has a little bit of flex to it as it helps with larger overall movement from its static position (excursion).
This is why a lot of high-end subs (especially competition SPL subs) will have a treated foam casing. It still offers the cone a lot of protection, but has just the right amount of give to let it really perform and push more air.
Subs are normally pretty safe in their enclosures anyway, so it makes sense to use a case material that will enhance performance at the expense of a very small amount of durability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are SQ and SPL subs?
SQ stands for sound quality, and this kind of sub won’t be able to go as loud or emit as lower frequencies as SPL subs. Their overall reproduction and accuracy is much better.
SPL stands for sound pressure level, and this kind of sub will be capable of vomit-inducing low frequencies and incredibly high volumes.
What hits harder, 2 ohm or 4 ohm subs?
Generally speaking, the lower the power demand of a sub, the harder it will hit, and the higher the demand, the better the overall quality of the sound will be.
So, there you go. Here’s everything you need to know to get that ungodly bass potential primed and ready in your car, certain to impress, terrify, and above all else, BOOM.