02 Jul 9 Best Compact Subwoofers for Crazy-Good Sound
Subwoofers are essential for a good listening experience. Whether you’re listening to music or watching movies, a strong subwoofer is essential for creating a unique experience. But most subwoofers are quite large and take up a lot of space.
That’s where compact subwoofers come in.
Compact subwoofers are devices you use in addition to your regular speakers to add to the low frequencies. The human ear usually has trouble listening to sounds in the 20Hz to 200Hz range. Subwoofers allow you to listen to those low-frequency sounds.
Subwoofers are usually quite large. However, you can also get compact subwoofers that are less than 10” in depth. Most compact subwoofers aren’t as powerful as the larger subwoofers that come with larger drives. But some of them can pack great power even in smaller frames. When getting one, you need to decide which type of subwoofer do you need, active or passive one:
- Passive subwoofers are those that can only work in combination with external amplifiers because they don’t have an integrated power source.
- Active subwoofers come with integrated amplifiers so you can directly connect them to the power source to use them. You don’t need external amplifiers.
Compact subwoofers generally pack a pretty strong punch and bass in a small size that you can fit into any corner of your room. There are a lot of compact subwoofers on the market, so looking for the perfect one can be difficult.
In this article, we’ll make the search a lot easier by giving you an overview of the best compact subwoofers on the market.
Best Compact Subwoofers
1. Pioneer TS-SWX2502
Pioneer TS-SWX2502 is one of the best 10” shallow-mount compact subwoofers on the market. It has an extremely compact design, measuring 8.4 x 18.5 x 14.4 inches. As such, it can also fit into narrow and tight spaces such as under the seat of cars and trucks.
Despite being so small, it has a 10” oversized cone that’s made of mica-injected molded resin. This material is ideal for facilitating airflow, thus minimizing distortions and enhancing bass response. This subwoofer also has a dual-spider design that can simultaneously stabilize the cone and support linear movement, which is crucial for pumping out large volumes of sound and bass.
This subwoofer comes with two metallic L-brackets and eight mounting screws. You need to use those to mount the subwoofer in your car, wall, or anywhere you deem fit. This is a shallow-mount compact subwoofer so it cannot stand independently, you have to mount it somewhere. While this makes it even more compact, it also makes it slightly more difficult to install than most free-standing compact subwoofers. It has a mounting depth of 6 inches, so it won’t jut out of the wall too much.
Despite being a compact subwoofer, it has a powerful frequency range of 20 Hz to 200 Hz. You might experience some rumble in the lower ends of that frequency range, but that’s only natural. You should, however, note that this subwoofer is passive and doesn’t come with an inbuilt amplifier. As such, you’ll also have to purchase a separate amplifier to power it.
- Extremely compact in size.
- Has a narrow 6” mount depth.
- Can fit into tight spaces.
- Low distortions.
- Wide frequency range.
- You need separate amplifiers.
- There is some rumble and distortion in the lower frequency ends.
- Cannot stand on its own and must be mounted.
2. Rockford Fosgate PS-8
Rockford Fosgate PS-8 is an 8” active subwoofer with an inbuilt amplifier. It measures only 3.3 x 9.4 x 14.4 inches and 14.3 pounds, and it is meant primarily for cars and vehicles. However, this compact subwoofer can also be used in other compact spaces and electrical systems. Furthermore, Rockford Fosgate is one of the most reputable names in compact subwoofers, so you can also be assured of its quality.
This compact subwoofer is equipped with an 8” shallow-mount subwoofer and a 150-watt class D amplifier. It has a decent frequency range of 50Hz to 120Hz that can give your primary sound system a boost and amplify its bass. However, if you want a subwoofer with an extremely powerful bass, this isn’t the one for you. Even at the lowest frequency point, the bass isn’t overpowering, nor does it give that rumble sensation.
This subwoofer also has a wide range of controls based on which you can control the bass levels. You can also control it from the remote control. This compact subwoofer also has short-circuit, thermal, and reverse-polarity protection in place to keep it safe under various different situations.
This compact subwoofer needs to be mounted as it cannot stand on its own. However, the system comes with all the hardware and mounting devices you need to get that done. If you don’t want to screw the subwoofer permanently, you can also mount it with a heavy-duty velcro strap. The only part it’s missing is an RCA cable to connect it to your primary speaker system, so you’ll have to get that separately.
All things considered, Rockford Fosgate PS-8 isn’t the most powerful subwoofer on the market and it has a limited frequency range. But it’s one of the most compact, it’s easy to install, and it has its own inbuilt amplifier.
- Extremely small and lightweight.
- Can easily be installed in small and tight spaces.
- Has an inbuilt 150-watt class D amplifier.
- Is durably built.
- Various safety features are available.
- Bass control knobs are available.
- Comes with remote control.
- Has a limited frequency range.
- Bass isn’t very powerful.
- Doesn’t come with an RCA cable to connect it to head unit.
3. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8
At only 3 inches deep, Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 is one of the most compact subwoofers on the market. Its total dimensions are 13.4 x 9.1 x 2.8 inches and it weighs only 10 pounds. As such, it can be installed in the tightest and narrowest of spaces. It can also be installed in subcompact cars, whether in trunks, passenger seats, or any other tight spots.
This compact subwoofer is made of rugged cast metal frame and it has been designed to sustain considerable bumps and abuse. It resembles a little tank in appearance and it’s about as durable and weatherproof. Like the previously mentioned compact subwoofers, Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 is also a shallow-mount subwoofer so it cannot stand on its own. There are 4 mounting brackets available so you can use them to mount it in your car or any other electrical device.
Installing this compact subwoofer takes less than an hour and the instructions in the manual are easy to follow. If you already have RCA connections in your electrical system, the installation can be made even easier. The subwoofer is equipped with bass knobs so you can control the bass as well. If you combine two subwoofers in a series, you can also control both their bass with a single knob.
In terms of safety features, this compact subwoofer comes with an inline 15amp fuse. However, the fuse can only protect the internal amplifier. If you want to protect the entire subwoofer, you’ll need to add an additional 20amps fuse to the power cable.
Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 has a decently-sized 8” subwoofer. Its bass is impressive for its diminutive size, but it’s not overpowering and doesn’t create any rumbles. It has a frequency range of 35Hz to 150Hz. However, the bass starts trembling and distorting in the lower frequency ends. It is powerful enough for small and tight spaces like the inside of cars or small rooms, but not much more.
- Extremely small and lightweight.
- Can fit in extremely small spaces.
- Extremely durable.
- Comes with 4 mounting brackets.
- Has inbuilt amplifiers.
- Simple installation.
- Not a freestanding subwoofer.
- Limited frequency range.
- Bass distorts in the lower ends of the frequency.
- The inline 15amp fuse is only powerful enough to protect the inbuilt amplifier.
- You’ll need additional RCA connectors for installation.
4. Planet Audio P8UAW
Planet Audio P8UAW is a low-profile 8” compact subwoofer with an inbuilt 800-watt amplifier. With a height of just 3”, it is the perfect size for compact and tight spaces. Weighing just 11.8 pounds, its total dimensions are 13.9 x 9.9 x 3 inches. Since it has an inbuilt amplifier, it doesn’t require an external amplifier. Furthermore, its high-level inputs accept speaker output and the low-level inputs accept the pre-amp output signals.
This subwoofer is also equipped with Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors that allow it to immediately transition from full to non-conduction, enabling a high-efficiency output. The presence of Class-A/B amplifiers can also enhance the sound quality and efficiency while also eliminating distortions.
This compact subwoofer also has variable low pass and subsonic filter. The variable low pass filter can provide greater control over the frequencies passing through the subwoofer. And the subsonic filter can restrict low-end frequencies to protect the subwoofer and minimize distortions. You also get a wired remote with this subwoofer so you can control the bass level so that you can listen to music exactly as you like.
In terms of safety, this subwoofer has an auto shut-off feature that can protect the amplifier if there’s a short-circuit or if the amplifier gets too heated. They also have phase controls with which you can switch the speaker’s phase when the speakers or subwoofers are connected “out of phase”.
The worst aspect of this compact subwoofer is the lack of mounting or installation kit. You only get the primary subwoofer, you don’t get any additional mounting brackets, wires, or other tools you need for installation. As such, you’ll have to consult the instruction manual or get professional help to get it installed. Most compact subwoofers come with all — or at least almost all — tools necessary for installation. This one comes with nothing, which is a major oversight.
However, all things considered, Planet Audio P8UAW is an extremely compact subwoofer with a decent bass and frequency range. It just doesn’t have great value for money because it’s expensive and you have to get a bunch of additional tools.
- Compact size.
- Lightweight design.
- Inbuilt amplifiers.
- Minimal distortions.
- Equipped with various safety features.
- Comes with a wired remote control.
- Phase controls available.
- Poor value for money.
- Installation tools not provided with the subwoofer.
5. Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000
Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000 isn’t as compact as some of the other subwoofers on this list. However, if you want a powerful subwoofer that’s still relatively compact, you can give it a shot. This subwoofer is designed in the form of a 10” black cubic box that weighs 25 pounds. It features an inbuilt 650-watt amplifier along with 7.5” pressure-coupled bass radiators.
This subwoofer isn’t small enough to fit into cars. But it can be installed in small-sized rooms. It has the ability to generate powerful bass with accurate sounds that are extremely low on distortions. The non-resonant frame has been designed with several internal bracings that ensure the reproduction of clear and accurate bass without distorting vibrations.
This compact subwoofer comes with an LFE input that can facilitate connection and integration with all two-channel and multichannel speakers. It can also easily connect to the speaker’s RCA output. As such, installation is simple and you can get it done in a few minutes.
All things considered, the high-bass non-resonant sound and the durable design makes it one of the best compact subwoofers for those who care about both quality and compact size. Being a 650-watt subwoofer, it can provide enough sound for a large room of 2000 square feet as well. The only major drawback is the lack of a remote control with which you can control the bass. As such, you have to be satisfied with the kind of bass it offers and can’t change it.
- Tight and powerful bass.
- Loud and powerful sounds produced.
- Low distortions.
- Rugged design.
- No remote control available for the volume or bass.
- Not as compact as some of the other subwoofers on this list.
6. NHT Super 8
NHT Super 8 is an 11.2” cubic subwoofer that weighs 22 pounds. This is an active subwoofer with an inbuilt amplifier that can enhance the quality of any home theatre system. It can take the bass load off your primary speakers so they can produce louder sounds with lower distortions. Despite being just an 11” cube in size, it has a large 8” driver.
It is made of a glossy black finish and it’s an acoustic suspension system. There are no holes or ports in this subwoofer so you can place it anywhere you want without needing to mount it somewhere. It can easily fit into the tightest of spaces and the feet of the subwoofers are equipped with four cool aluminum feet to prevent any skidding. You can also use additional floor protectors to prevent it from damaging hardwood floors.
The technology used in this subwoofer is extremely powerful. It has a 300-watt amplifier that converts all the energy from the power socket directly into sound and not heat, as is the case with many amplifiers. Furthermore, it doesn’t even have an On switch and works based on the Auto On/Off feature whenever it senses incoming signals from your primary speaker system. This also makes it more energy-efficient than most subwoofers because it doesn’t waste any energy when not in use. This subwoofer uses less energy than a D-size battery when in standby.
One of the best features in this subwoofer is the Digital Signal Processing engine. This engine can single-handedly control the amplifier’s power, the equalizer, and the filters. Furthermore, the presence of an inbuilt limiter and compressor ensures that the amplifier doesn’t get fried during short circuits or through overheating. Another impressive feature here is the presence of a USB connector in the back panel. As such, you can wirelessly power it from the USB connector when necessary.
- Has an inbuilt 300-watt amplifier.
- Durable design.
- Acoustic suspension system allows it to be placed anywhere.
- Comes with floor protectors so it doesn’t scratch hardwood floors.
- All the energy is converted into sound, making it highly efficient.
- Automatic on/off feature.
- Has a Digital Signal Processing engine.
- Safety features can protect the amplifier from overheating and shorts.
- Can wirelessly connect from the USB connector.
- One of the larger compact subwoofers.
In this section of the article, we’ll give you some important information about compact subwoofers so you can make an informed and educated decision.
Thinking about upgrading your car’s basic audio system and bring some bass without sacrificing the amount of room left in your vehicle? Then you need an under seat subwoofer. The Cerwin – Vega VPAS10 Subwoofer is one good option to begin with.
Because of its small size and design, the VPAS10 is extremely simple to install in almost any vehicle. In fact, forget having any trouble putting this under-seat sub into narrower spaces where conventional subs might struggle.
You might think a 2 ohms 200 watts RMS may not sound that impressive, but when you realize how small in size the Cerwin-Vega VPAS10 is, you’ll wonder how they did it. This is particularly true when you consider the VPAS10’s max output of 450 Watts.
The adjustable bass boost is just but one of VPAS10’s many customizable features. The bass boost essentially allows you to regulate the power and depth of the bass since it spans from 0 to 12 decibels. Furthermore, the Cerwin – Vega VPAS10’s configurable input sensitivity function allows one to fine-tune their input.
Its audio settings may be customized via the remote control. Cerwin – Vega VPAS10’s “delayed turn on” feature is arguably its finest feature. This essentially allows you to gradually turn on the subwoofer. As a result, the listeners will not be as surprised as the bass builds gradually.
- The subwoofer’s tiny and compact form makes it easy to fit into confined and small places.
- Can use the configurable bass boost and sensitivity settings to produce a powerful and progressive sound.
- Comes with a circuit for thermal protection.
- Low-frequency reactivity.
- Not the most cost-effective small subwoofer you can find.
Most manufacturer claim their vehicle stereos are fine until someone comes up to you at a traffic light stop as they blast music that can even shake your windows. You will start looking into subwoofers only to discover that unless you spend a lot of money, your car won’t be able to fit, let alone drive one. If you have some extra cash to spare, the Kicker 46HS10 Compact Subwoofer is a place to start.
FIT+, or Fail-safe Integration Technology PLUS, is among Kicker’s most recent inventions. This function allows it to access input signals ranging from 0.25 V to 40V. Simultaneously, this characteristic of the 46HS10 makes it compatible with newer types of cars that have start/stop technology. The HS10 should function quite well on old cars as it does on modern vehicles.
The Kicker 46HS10 has a remote control that allows one to adjust the bass level of the speakers without getting up and fiddling with the radio’s loudness. This enables one to customise the bass of their music for the perfect sound, irrespective of the radio’s loudness.
- Frame is ultra-compact and long-lasting.
- Vehicle compatibility is fairly universal.
- It is not necessary to use an amplifier.
- With its tiny size, it has a fair amount of bass.
- Wiring might take a long time to install.
If you love music but don’t want the speakers to show, you can always get compact, shallow-profile full range speakers that can surprisingly give that punch. The JBL BassPro SL Under-Seat Compact Subwoofer is worth checking out.
The JBL Bass Pro SL is an 8-inch under-seat subwoofer that can fit into a very small area. The 200mm woofer is engineered to deliver minimal distortion and excellent bass performance while being housed in a unique ABS housing with a surprisingly small footprint.
The amp that drives the BassPro SL generates very little heat and requires very little current extracted from a vehicle’s power system. Custom circuitry is used in the BassPro SL to safeguard and deliver optimum performance at various output levels without compromising performance or listening experience.
BassPro SL has an electronic crossover function that adjusts from 50Hz to 120Hz, enabling one to fine-tune it to work best with the whole of your vehicle audio system. The RBC (Remote Bass Controller), which is available separately, is interoperable with this subwoofer and allows you to regulate the volume remotely.
- Easy installation process
- Adds a well-balanced bass
- Incredibly high performance in a little package.
- Not pocket-friendly
- No monster bass, but it’s okay
Which Factors to Consider when Buying Compact Subwoofers?
When purchasing compact subwoofers, you need to take the following factors into consideration.
Since you’re looking for compact subwoofers, the most important factor is the size. This depends entirely on the space of the location you’re installing the subwoofers in. For example, if you’re installing the subwoofers in a car, you will need them to be just a few inches in depth. Generally speaking, compact subwoofers should be less than 10” in depth.
However, you need to measure out your space and get subwoofers accordingly. You should also take into account the fact that the subwoofers will have to be installed at least a few inches from TVs to prevent the possibility of distortions.
The power of the subwoofer — represented by the watts — determines how much sound can be produced and how much area it can cover. Compact subwoofers generally don’t have a lot of watt power, but you should still try to find one with as much power as possible. When looking for compact subwoofers, you should try to get one that can pack the maximum power in the smallest frame.
Bass is one of the most important factors for people in terms of sound quality. Bass is generated when a subwoofer can hit lower frequency registers, and it accounts for the rumbling sensation produced by subwoofers. A good compact subwoofer will be able to produce strong bass without making it so overpowering that it distracts from the primary sounds.
You should aim for a subwoofer that has design elements and features in place to lower the distortions. Generally speaking, the greater the bass and the lower the frequency, the higher the distortions. As such, subwoofers need to use a variety of features to minimize those distortions so that a heavy bass sound can be experienced with perfect clarity and accuracy. Good compact subwoofers should usually have distortions in less than 10%.
I hope this article has helped you select the best compact subwoofer for your specific needs. As you can see, there are a lot of options to choose from. But you should get a subwoofer that can fit into small spaces in your room or your car and still give you a great experience.