What is the Best 8 Inch Subwoofer? — Compact Additions to Your Car Audio System (2021)

best 8 inch subwoofer

To deliver booming bass in your vehicle, car subwoofers are the way to go. They don’t need to be too large, even at 8 inches they can deliver the right amount of power. However, to enjoy that deep bass, you need to know what to look for. To help you avoid purchasing a substandard product, our experts list the best 8 inch subwoofer reviews.

Best Overall
BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC Car Subwoofer
Best Premium Choice
Pioneer 8" Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
Best for Versatility
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC Car Subwoofer
Pioneer 8
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
The design on the P80DVC car subwoofer shows you BOSS Audio Systems means business with 8 inch subwoofer. With a max power rating at 1000 watts, this is one of the more powerful car subwoofer options you will find for a low end price.
Although it comes at a higher price, the Pioneer 8” shallow mount subwoofer is easy to install, has a very sleek profile, and is a masterpiece from a big name in the audio industry. The shallow mounting depth and small enclosure is suited to small vehicles too.
The Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 subwoofer is designed to fit with both vented and sealed enclosures. They are a shallow-mount, easy to install 8 inch sub that will be easy to house.
Best Overall
BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC Car Subwoofer
BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC Car Subwoofer
The design on the P80DVC car subwoofer shows you BOSS Audio Systems means business with 8 inch subwoofer. With a max power rating at 1000 watts, this is one of the more powerful car subwoofer options you will find for a low end price.
Best Premium Choice
Pioneer 8" Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
Pioneer 8
Although it comes at a higher price, the Pioneer 8” shallow mount subwoofer is easy to install, has a very sleek profile, and is a masterpiece from a big name in the audio industry. The shallow mounting depth and small enclosure is suited to small vehicles too.
Best for Versatility
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
The Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 subwoofer is designed to fit with both vented and sealed enclosures. They are a shallow-mount, easy to install 8 inch sub that will be easy to house.

Reviews of the Best 8 Inch Subwoofers

1. BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC Car Subwoofer

As one of the most powerful yet most inexpensive eight-inch woofers on our list, the BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC is the one to go with if you love to blast the bass. You will need to break it in, but after that initial process, the 1000 watts peak power rating makes this the second loudest eight-inch sub we mention.

It’s also a cheap eight-inch subwoofer that has dual 4 ohm impedance. Poly Injection Cone and Butyl Rubber Surround. The cone is made of treated paper that is more rigid to handle the bass vibrations, and the surrounding enclosure is made from foam. A foam surround is softer and more flexible than a rubber surround, therefore giving the subwoofer more efficiency and excursion.

Pros

Cons

2. Pioneer 8” Shallow Mount Subwoofer

As the most expensive option, the Pioneer 8” Shallow Mount Subwoofer demands a high price due to the beautiful design with an intense mounting depth and bass.

The 2 ohms voice coil subwoofer brings as much as 20 to 250 Hz lower impedance than other ones on the list, and gives 600 watts RMS making it more efficient. The construction and materials used to justify the higher price tag. The cone is made with Mica injected molded resin, which gives you a durable cone and one that offers the right rigidity for accuracy.

Our experts are also big fans of the small enclosed type of subs which delivers magnificent low frequencies from its small enclosure and minimalistic design with nothing but the Pioneer logo on the surface to catch your eye attention.

Pros

Cons

3. Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer

The Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 also features a very understated design that’s all black. It features dual 2 ohm voice coils and a 150 watts RMS power range, and 300 watts max power handling.  The frequency response is 38 250 Hz. The eight-inch woofer features an anodized aluminum cone and dust cap that is sturdy and long-lasting.

You can rely on the spider venting design to make sure the stamp cast aluminum basket and the motor keep cool over long hours of bumping your favorite tunes. The 8 inch subs don’t come with their own enclosure but are made to a ported enclosure or sealed enclosure that can deliver deep, low frequencies.

This woofer has consistently produced dependable audio products over their many years in business, and the 8 inch subs only add to that list.

For more products of the same brand, you can check our list of the topnotch Rockford Fosgate subs here. 

Pros

Cons

4. Kicker 44CwCD84 CompC 8-Inch Car Subwoofer

It isn’t easy to have a top eight-inch woofer list without the Kicker brand making an appearance. Kicker brings their classic, durable design that features a 4 ohm impedance dual voice coil that is excellent at heat management and durability.

The voltage rating is 200 watts RMS power, which means the max power is double that at 400 watts. The Kicker 44CwCD84 8″ Car Subwoofer is also optimized for sealed or ported enclosures for an easy setup.

The injection-molded polypropylene cone, stamped steel basket, temperature-resistant dual voice coils, and spring-loaded terminals make this 8-inch sub a great addition to your car audio system.

Pros

Cons

5. Infinity Kappa 8” Car Audio Subwoofer

Our team feels the Infinity Kappa 8” Car Audio Subwoofer has the most luxurious appearance out, one of the best 8 inch subwoofers on our list. It features a very impressive 1600 watts peak voltage rating, which makes the power handling of these 8 inches subs very high.

However, the RMS power is surprisingly low compared to the peak power at 400 watts, makings the Infinity Kappa option the same as the one from BOSS Sound Systems. The frequency response caters more to the low end ranging from 34 Hz to 200 Hz, so this is a great option for those who want good bass sound quality.

Pros

Cons

6. MB Quart DS1-204 Shallow Mount Subwoofer

Lasty, we have the MB Quart DS1-204 Car Audio Subwoofer. The mounting depth of this deep subwoofer is less than 3 inches, giving you a very sleek installation. The subwoofer comes in front and rear vented to allow for better airflow which leads to a longer lifespan. The rubber surround is resistant to fading and the insert is corrosion resistant.

The stamp steel basket will improve the overall sound quality of the bass by supporting the different components to give you the best bass possible. The high temperature voice coil can handle heat very well, so you can feel free to blast your music for longer.

Pros

Cons

7. Skar Audio IX-8 D4

Skar Audio makes it onto our team’s list with their very impressive IX-8 D4. The 8-inch subs have an advanced cooling system, which allows adequate airflow through the sub in order to help with heat dispersion. The result of this innovative system is longer playing hours without overheating.

The 2-inch BASV voice coil of Skar Audio IX-8 D4 also helps with long hours of bumping your favorite tunes at the 150-watt RMS or pushing it up to 300 max. The Skar IX series is very well priced since they are among the brand’s most reliable product line for car audio. 

Pros

Cons

8 Inch Subwoofers Buyer’s Guide

All the figures above are the best 8 inch subwoofers which are different from each other, and so are the materials used to create them, so how do you know which is best for you? Since there are a ton of car models available, it’s difficult for our team to pinpoint the one most suited to yours, which is why our experts created a list that breaks down what to look for in the top eight-inch woofers.

Design and Size

We won’t elaborate too much on the size in this part of our 8 inch subs review, because the focus is on 8 inch options. The design is what’s important when you’re looking at a new subwoofer. Our team always suggests looking for one that’s a deep mount. Not only will this make installation easier, but it will also give you a sleeker look. However, you can also choose top-quality shallow mount subwoofers if you prefer clean installation. Our experts recommend a top mount depth of under 3 inches for the best and seamless setup.

You can also do more research and find car brand specific subs, meaning ones that were created for your vehicle model. This way, you can be sure the 8 inch car subs will fit into the cutout. The same logic applies and you should ideally look for a top mount depth of under 3 inches.

If you are choosing an 8 inch sub, this size category is already on the more compact end. The only ones smaller are the 6 inch options but they are less common on the market. Anything less than 6 inches won’t give you the bass you want.

Other common sizes of subs include 10 and 12-inch options but there are some that are 15 inches for heavy duty and larger vehicles. Our experts say that an 8 inch car sub is the best balance for everyday sedans. Not only do they fit within your car speakers system easily, bring about some awesome bass acoustics without taking up too much space.

The size matters in a subwoofer because the larger it is, the more power it can produce. However, since 8 and 10 inches subwoofer options are so common and relatively close in size, they can sometimes overlap in the power rating arena. A well-built 8 inch sub with a high voltage rating can outperform a poorly constructed 10 inch with a lower RMS.

Power

Speaking of power, it brings us to our next item on the list. Your audio system benefits from a sub because of the power it brings. You want a great subwoofer that can deliver on the rumbles and thumps you get from your favorite tunes. For loud bass from your subwoofer, the power rating is your best friend.

The power rating of a subwoofer is split into two categories, just like speakers, they are the max power (e.g. Peak power for Skar Audio is 800 watts) and the watts RMS. The max power is the figure at which the sound system can be played at full volume for short periods. This figure is often much higher than the RMS, but our experts do not recommend playing your songs at this rating for risk of blowing them out.

The watts RMS is usually at least half of the peak power – the amount of power a subwoofer can handle continuously is what you should play your audio system at consistently. This is the safe number rating that can ensure your speakers are safe from damage over long periods of playing.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity rating helps your subwoofer achieve loud booms. The sensitivity can be considered the efficiency, and a subwoofer with a high sensitivity rating will require less power to play at the same volumes of a speaker with a low sensitivity. Subwoofer and speaker sensitivity is measured in decibels, or dB, and the higher the number the better.

Type

The best 8 inch subwoofers are split into different categories as well. Our team will address the most common ones starting with component subwoofers. A component sub is the basic subwoofer all by itself without an enclosure. A component subwoofer, like many of the ones on our list, are optimized to work with a type of enclosure, which we will cover in detail in a bit.

Since a component sub is essentially just the sub itself, it won’t have a built-in amplifier, which means you will need an external one. Who benefits from a componen sub? If you are a bit of an audiophile and want to create your own customized system, then a component subwoofer is the way to go.

Component subs offer more customizability, freedom to upgrade different parts and can be a part of a more impressive sound system.

There are also subwoofers that come with their own enclosures, and we refer to them as enclosed subwoofers. They’re not much different than a component sub and the only difference is it comes mounted and ready to go. This saves you the trouble of having to find a compatible mount if you don’t have one and reduces the time you spend building the system.

An enclosed sub will provide less bass than a component sub, so they are meant for people who aren’t too picky about the bass. If you are someone who isn’t well-versed in sound systems and don’t have time to build one from the ground up, then an enclosed sub is the one for you. An enclosed sub isn’t a powered or active one, so you may still need your own amp

That brings us into the next category of powered or active subs. The easiest car sub option for those that just want an all-in-one sub system that is simple to set up, then go for one of these. 8 inch subs that are active have the subwoofer and the amplifier rolled into one product.

Having the amp and sub together means you won’t need to spend time searching for a sub with the same power handling as your amp to ensure compatibility. Powered subwoofers are usually larger and heavier than the above options and greatly decrease the flexibility of placement for the different components.

Then we have the car model specific sub options that still bring excellent bass sound. These are the ones that are the least customizable as they are designed for your specific vehicle. On the plus side, you won’t have to worry your new sub won’t fit into your car as they are made specifically for you.

Amplifier

We mentioned amplifiers more than a few times and you may be wondering what that is and how to pick one. You have to be sure the one you choose has a compatible power rating with your sub.

Once you know how much power you will need, it will be much easier to pick the right amp. For standard bass systems, one or two channel amplifiers will do.

Voice Coils

The voice coils in the sub have often come up in our article today, and while they don’t have much to do with the sound production, it does have a big role to play in the durability and construction of the sub.

It provides the force powered by the magnets in your subwoofer cone. You may find solo designs or ones with dual voice coils. It’s common to find dual 2 ohm voice coils or ones that are 4 ohm, 6 ohm or 8 ohm of impedance.

Dual 2 ohm voice coils are a great starting point for anyone looking into a new sub for their car and our experts have found that a copper voice coil is best for longevity.

Enclosure

We mentioned that our experts would get into the type of enclosure commonly seen in an eight-inch sub or even among the best fifteen inch subwoofers. The enclosure is basically the housing for the component speaker. There is two main enclosure type, sealed and ported.

Sealed enclosures are a tight fit around your subwoofer and are the better choices for a high-quality bass sound that is very precise, clear, and crisp. They provide great frequency extensions and have very high power handling, and provides an excellent bass response.

When picking an amp for an enclosed sub, make sure you choose one that can handle high wattage.

You then have the ported enclosures that will typically provide more powerful bass sound at any volume compared to sealed ones. So if you like heavy bumps and thumps, then a ported enclosure is the best choice for you.

You can have your pick of sealed or ported/vented enclosures when you pick a component sub because they are mostly optimized to suit both.

Frequency Response

The frequency response is another feature that is paramount to the bass sound. The frequency range is measured from Hz to kHz (e.g. 38 to 250 Hz, 50 to 250 Hz, etc.) This range gives you an idea of how long or how high a subwoofer or speaker can go. For speakers, you want the widest range possible. This will ensure it can produce the sound spectrum most accurately.

For subwoofers, you want to focus on the lower frequency response. Since a subwoofer is geared towards the bass tones, the lower frequencies are what matters most. Choose a sub with the lowest frequency limit.

Installation

Our team of experts insist on choosing a product that’s easy to setup. Skar Audio products are known for sound quality and their design simplicity, which makes them easy to embed into your vehicle. 

The top mount depth is an important factor to pay attention to if you go for a component sub. The top mount depth should not exceed 3 inches if you want a sleek setup. Our experts have carefully chosen deep mount sub-options from many different brands to give you a wide selection. 

The installation shouldn’t take more than 30 min at most to be considered easy to set up. This high number is just when you have to hook up the system to an external amp and place it in a separate enclosure. Because the eight-inch sub is so compact, you can place it anywhere and won’t take up much space in your car.

The placement matters during the installation because the sound quality for the subs you place under your driver’s seat will be different from your trunk’s sound quality. Our team says that under your seat is the best option for direct audibility and feel of the vibrations [1]. But for rumbles and echoes that can be heard throughout the car, placing the subwoofer in your trunk is the way to go. One of the biggest challenges of adding a subwoofer to a car stereo system is finding the perfect place to put them without sacrificing passenger or cargo space. JL audio specifically designed these super-thin subwoofers for music enthusiasts who would love immense bass but have limited installation spaces. One product is the JL Audio 8″ Single 4-Ohm W3V3 Series Subwoofer. This JL Audio also is a great value for money.

Price

The price of your car sub can vary from under 100 dollars to over 150. Of course, the best 10-inch subwoofers may be more expensive than 8-inch subs.  There are a ton of aspects that can affect the price from something as insignificant as the  high performance brand to the minute details such as the materials used. 

Our team understands why many people tend to gravitate towards known brands, because their experience in the industry should speak volumes. However, that doesn’t mean you should write off newer or lesser known brands. They may provide you with a product of similar or better quality and a lower price.

Oftentimes, you end up paying more for the brand name than the product quality itself. To keep you from spending money on the wrong features, our team suggests focusing on the criteria in our buyer’s guide checklist and related posts.

Other factors that can influence the price are the inner parts such as the voice coil. If you have a dual voice coil design, chances are they will cost you more than a single voice coil due to the efficiency.

The materials used to make the cones will greatly increase the price as well. For example, injected resin cones will cost more than paper cones due to the high quality. Even the surrounds can affect the price. Foam surrounds are softer but rubber surrounds are more robust. A roll santoprene surround is an example of a rubber surround that is flexible for bass deliverance but sturdy enough for longevity.

Another item that will influence the price is the warranty. Some brands may require you to purchase an additional warranty if you want the components to be covered to extending the existing warranty will also cost you extra. More renowned brands such as Skar Audio, Boss Audio and Rock ford Fosgate among others will most likely equip their products with a 1-year warranty.

If you can find products that come with longer warranties or even lifetime warranties, then that alone speaks volumes about what you should expect from the bass sound performance of your subwoofer.

A period for no-hassle returns is always appreciated by our experts. Just in case you purchase a product that arrives damaged, is faulty, or the wrong size, you can return it without any questions asked. Looking for an outstanding product is only part of the consumer experience. You must also remember to protect yourself with buyer’s protection like a warranty and guarantee.

(Want to connect your subs and speakers flawlessly? Know what is a subwoofer pre-out and what it does to improve your home theater connection here)

FAQ

What is the hardest hitting 8 inch subwoofer?

The hardest hitting 8 inch subwoofer is the Skar Audio VVX 8V3 8-inch subwoofer. The subwoofer  comes in a dual 4 ohm with a peak power of 800 watts and 400 watt RMS. The RMS power of this sub is an equal match to the MB Quart DS1-204, which has a peak power at twice the number of the VVX 8V3 to bring the heavy duty bass sound you are looking for.

Is an 8 inch subwoofer good?

Yes, an eight inch subwoofer is good. An eight inch sub is the perfect balance between size and power. It’s easy to find a place for subs of this size and they won’t use too much power like their larger 10 or 12 inch counterparts. For the interior of a car, an eight inch sub is more than enough for powerful bass.

Our Top Pick For an 8 Inch Subwoofer: BOSS Audio Systems P80DVC Car Subwoofer

Our team has landed on the Boss P80DVC subwoofer as the best 8 inch subwoofer on the market. It’s a well-built subwoofer with a treated paper cone, which allows for the right amount of flexibility to accommodate the bass. The max power of 1000 watts makes the Boss Audio subwoofer one of the hardest hitting in this size category and it’s the most affordable on our list.

A cheaper subwoofer doesn’t have to be inferior, with Boss proving it with their 3 year platinum online dealer warranty.

For a list of excellent and reliable subwoofers, you can check these pages below: 

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Writer

Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.