What is the Best Competition Subwoofer? (2021) — Our Top Picks For Awesome Bass

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Subwoofers are the perfect anchor for a competition car audio system. They provide that strong, deep bass allowing you to impress anyone as you try to one-up your competitors. Excellent competition subwoofers can change your entire sound, but finding one to match your sound system isn’t so easy. If you don’t want an incompatible model that will damage your system, our experts have the best available options below.

Premium Option
Soundstream Tarantula T5.124
Editor’s Choice
DS18 EXL-10.2D 10-Inch Subwoofer
Budget Option
Kicker CompVR 800W Subwoofer

Reviews of the Top Competition Subwoofers

1.

DS18 EXL-10.2D 10-Inch Competition Subwoofer

The DS18 EXL-10.2D is our best car competition subwoofer. With dual 2-ohm and 4-ohm versions, this subwoofer is incredibly versatile. 

It has a mind-boggling 3,000W power output, as well as 2.5-inch dual high-temperature voice coils and a two-piece magnet that measures 200-oz and takes out any sound distortion.

The sub’s design is also great. On its top, you’ll get a large high roll foam surround that offers additional padding and easier mounting. If you’re playing loud music, this sub is what you need. Just note that it weighs 37 lbs. and will need a 12V battery to work.

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Cons

2.

Kicker CompVR CVR122 (43CVR122) 800W Subwoofer

Speaker aficionados understand that they’re not all the same. Well, when it comes to the best car competition subwoofers, hardly does anything come close to this beast from Kicker. 

A comprehensive sound system, this Kicker competition subwoofer comes with two options for competition grade paper cone, an enclosure system, and a powerful amp to help improve the volume and sound range. With a 12-inch diameter, the subwoofer will project sound as you would like. 

The Kicker CompVR CVR122 Subwoofer comes with a total impedance of 4 Ohms. With maximum power handling, this is one of the best competition car subwoofers out there. 

Pros

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3.

Soundstream Tarantula T5.124

Soundstream makes an entry on our list of the best competition subwoofers with the Tarantula T5.124. If you’re looking for a car subwoofer that will make an immense difference for your vehicle’s audio, this is a great option right here. 

The Y5.124 offers a peak of 2,000W. It’s not so high, but it will get the job done. Bass rating is impressive, so you get a proper sound that you feel as well as hear.  

With a 3-inch, 4-layer voice coil, this sub takes in different impedance levels. So, you can easily incorporate it into your existing sound system or use it as the central point of other sound setups.

Pros

Cons

4.

Massive Audio SUMMOXL104-10 Inch Competition Subwoofer

If you’re looking for a sub for your car and you believe that bigger is better, then this is something you’ll love for sure. Like the American bass sub above, this is one of the best competition subwoofers out there. 

Even with a 10-inch build and a small stature, this Massive Audio SUMMOXL104-10 offers a punchy and sharp sound. Its heavy-duty aluminum casket is properly reinforced with a kevlar fiber competition-grade non pressed paper cone and industrial textured finish. So, you get a sturdy subwoofer that can stand the test of time. 

The sub also delivers impressive sound. So, you get great sound with a long-lasting build.

Pros

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5.

Massive Audio HippoXL124

Another product from Massive Audio, the HippoXL 124, offers incredible performance as well. It has a peak power of 4,000W, which is enough to blow the roof off anywhere. The competition subwoofer complements this with great bass and a rich sound. 

With this 12-inch competition sub, you get a body with Kevlar reinforcement. This makes the subwoofer durable and offers impressive quality. The structure is also very solid, with a base and cast aluminum basket. One look at this, and you know that it’s the heavy-duty stuff. 

Whether sealed or ported, the Massive Audio HippoXL124 subwoofer works well. Sound distortion is very minimal, so you won’t have to worry about muffled bass.  

Pros

Cons

6.

Alphasonik VSW812 Venum 800

The Alphasonik VSW812 competition subwoofer is a decent option that gives crisp quality sound. It might not be the prettiest, but you’ll forgive all of that once you see it in action. 

With a 1,200W peak power rating, this sub was built to be a car subwoofer. It’s got up to 87 dB of deep, punchy bass, ensuring that it can even bring out the low notes without breaking a sweat.  

The sub has a non-pressed paper cone, which is supported by fiberglass, a two-layer surround. With this, it gives a broad frequency range that you’ll come to love.

Pros

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7.

American Bass 8" Competition Woofer 800W

While American Bass isn’t the most popular brand when it comes to subs and sound equipment, they definitely know their stuff. That fact is beyond clear with this competition subwoofer. 

With an 8-inch competition sub build, this American Bass competition subwoofer is compact and easy to carry around. Its impressive Watts peak power also makes it good for various settings. It uses a carbon-kevlar basket, as well as a woven base for a more textured look. 

This American Bass 8″ Competition Sub has a peak power of 800W, so it is great for low-bass music. It is great for easy listening, especially if you love classic, soft rock music.

(If you plan to bring a sub for an outdoor adventure, here are the top marine subwoofers available today) 

Pros

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Competition Subwoofers Buyer’s Guide

Seeing a pair of competition subwoofers isn’t just enough. You need to also know what to look out for before you make your purchase, so it gets easier for you to use the subwoofers and optimize their crisp quality sound. 

Even subs from the same manufacturer don’t always have the same features. From the mounting depth to the price tag and more, there’s a lot to keep in mind. 

Below, our sound engineers have outlined some of the most important aspects of competition subwoofers that you should consider before making a purchase. 

Size

These days, everything comes in different sizes. So, it goes without saying that you have a variety of sizes to choose from when subwoofers are concerned. Generally, the subwoofer sizes available include 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, and 15 inches. 

There are some manufacturers who have some numbers in-between, and you could even find the rare 7-inch subs too. But, those four are generally the standard when it comes to subs. They tend to just do the trick. 

When it comes to subwoofers, our sound engineers believe that bigger is always better. This is definitely true, especially if you will need crisp sound to fill up a large room or an open space. 

But, if you’re looking to get a subwoofer for your car or your room, you will find that you don’t need something so large. This is especially true if your car doesn’t have so much trunk space.

The rule of thumb is that you should know what works for you. A small subwoofer will more than do well when you’re in an enclosed space. If you’re playing in a broader space or your car has too much trunk space for it, then you need something bigger.

Power Rating

Our team also believes that power handling and rating are important factors to be considered. Usually measured in Watts, the power will also play a huge factor in determining the subwoofer’s capacity and output. 

As you can expect, a subwoofer with higher Watts of RMS power rating will deliver a bigger, punchier sound level. So, this is more ideal for wider locations. 

If you’re looking for a room or car subwoofer, you don’t need something with so many Watts of RMS power. Essentially, this factor works like the size. A sub with more peak power will perform much more. You can also watch out for its power handling capabilities. The power handling is essentially the limit of power that the sub can handle.  

Brands like Power Acoustik have been able to get some really unique options in terms of power rating. The Power Acoustik options are pretty great.

Bass Quality

Bass is the low-frequency, crisp sound that you get. It comprises instruments like turned kicks, kick drums, and more. While we might not hear the bass instruments much, the bass provides a back layer for the music that ties everything you hear together. 

Our experts explained that the top-performing competition subwoofers have impressive bass quality. This will go a long way in determining the tempo of the sound you hear and the output you get in the long run. 

There’s a reason why bass players have a lot of importance in bands. To bring that quality bass, you need a good competition subwoofer. You can never have too much bass.

You also want to keep in mind that quality costs money. You can find subs at a reasonable price, but they might not necessarily be of the best quality. At the same time, you don’t have to pay such a hefty price tag to get a quality sub. Some of the inexpensive subwoofer options are pretty great too. 

As it is with many other components, bass depends on a combination of quantity and quality. So, the fact that you have more bass doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting better bass. To begin with, you should know that its wattage will determine the sub’s power. Of course, a higher wattage rating means that the sub is more powerful. 

Our sound engineers recommend a more powerful sub over a less powerful one for several reasons. For one, it will be able to play louder and richer sounds. Also, a stronger sub will be able to handle those lower frequencies better and with more accuracy. A stronger sub can control its drive units much better, so you don’t have a problem with that. 

You should keep in mind that a subwoofer measuring 500 Watts doesn’t necessarily play a sound that is five times louder than one which measures 10 Watts. Generally, the wattage is a rough estimate of a sub’s strength – not how it should play. The fact that your sub measures 500 watts doesn’t mean you should always play it at full capacity 

Frequency Response

The audio frequency is an audible vibration that is emitted when sound is played. When you get a higher frequency, the sound you get essentially has a higher pitch. Humans can hear between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz in frequency, and a subwoofer’s job is to provide even the lowest of audible frequencies. 

A subwoofer with an optimal frequency response will have no problem reproducing sound quickly and perfectly. This is something you want to pay attention to. You also want to check the low-frequency mark to know how it will perform when playing sounds at low frequencies.

It might not be the most important factor, but there is no doubt that frequency response is a big one for many subwoofers.

Everyone loves that feeling they get when a piece of music has a rich bass component. The vibrations are better and more thrilling, and they make the musical experience a notch better. However, it should be noted that not all speakers can produce the same level or manner of bass. 

Generally, a subwoofer having less frequency means that it can produce greater bass. The frequency range means that the bass becomes deeper as you go lower on the scale. This is until you get to the range where you feel the bass – instead of just hearing it. So, a low-frequency rating on a speaker means that it will be able to offer the deepest bass in your tracks. 

Sensitivity and Impedance

The impedance of a subwoofer describes the amount of resistance that it carries. Generally, there is no correlation between a subwoofer’s impedance and its sound quality. But, you will need to ensure that the impedance in the subwoofer’s driver is an appropriate fit for its capabilities.

If you have a dual 2-ohm subwoofer and your power amp isn’t capable of driving up to 2 ohms in load, the amplifier power supply will struggle to offer enough current – leading to terrible sound quality. So, even the dual 2 Ohm [1] feature will be wasted. 

As for the sensitivity, it measures just how loud a subwoofer will be able to get while it is being fed by a specific unit of power. So, if you see a subwoofer with a sensitivity rating of 90dB, it means that the sub will be able to produce 90 dB of sound output with 1 Watt of Power while being 1 meter away. 

When a subwoofer has a high sensitivity rating, it will need less power to reach a high output level. Due to this, our sound engineers recommend that you get a sub with a high sensitivity rating. But, as you should know, sensitivity is not the only factor you should keep in mind when you’re considering a sub. 

Voice Coils and Cone

As the name suggests, the voice coil comprises a coiled wire that is connected to the speaker driver terminals. The voice coil receives current from a source and converts it into motion. When current is conducted through the coiled wire, the coil gets a magnetic field. 

In speakers and amps, dual voice coils reverse the flow of electric current. The movement of the voice coil is what moves the cone back and forth. As the cone moves, it vibrates and moves air in front of it – thus creating sound waves. So, the voice coil is incredibly important to the type of sound you get.

Generally, a small voice coil will have less Watts RMS power over the speaker cone. So, if you want more Watts RMS power, get bigger voice coils. You might not want to think of this much, but larger voice coils tend to provide better sound quality.

This is why you want to consider the voice coils when getting your sub. Bigger voice coils will help to optimize the Watts RMS power and improve the sound. Some subs even come with dual coils, optimizing your power and bass output even more.  

Regardless of whether you’re getting single voice coils or dual coils, always keep quality in mind.

Enclosure

You will also need to think about the enclosure or casing of the subwoofer. If the sub has a closed case, you will most likely be able to get better bass and more impressive acoustics. The sound is also crisp and sharper, so you can enjoy it to the fullest. Interestingly, you enjoy great sound even at lower volumes as well with a closed case. 

If you get an open subwoofer, you might have a bypass or a port with it. The open subs offer louder volumes, but the bass isn’t so great. As expected, the choice for you will mostly depend on what you need.

For the closed variant, you need to ensure that there are good quality materials in your sub. Things like a dust cap and aluminum dust cap fins will help to reduce dust when you place a regular subwoofer out in the open. You can enjoy it performing at full power and still not be scared of dust entry as the dust cap will trap all the dust.

 You should also ensure that the sub has a good cooling system, which will help ensure that it can deliver on maximum power pretty easily.

In some cases, you can actually get an enclosure for a sub that doesn’t have one. But, you will need to consider the material for the enclosure as well. In some cases, an enclosure can fit perfectly with the subwoofer and even help to amplify its sound. 

However, there are also instances where the enclosure and the sub don’t exactly fit. What you’re left with is a structure that is unable to function properly and which will affect the sound output.

Some manufacturers also offer enclosure options for their subs that don’t have. For instance, if you get a Power Akoustic subwoofer and you find that it doesn’t have an enclosure, you might be able to request one from the manufacturers. 

Material Durability

You also need to consider the material of the subwoofer you’re getting. As with everything, all the subs on this list will take a great deal of work and stress. This is especially true when they’re working at a temperature high volume. To get the right subwoofer, ensure that its materials are of the best quality.

Its material needs to be strong and durable enough to help its functionality in the long run. 

So, you need a sub that is made of high-quality materials and by a reputable company. Depending on what the material is, make sure that it is strong and durable enough. This way, you know it will last for a long time. 

Some subs even come with UV protective materials, which will help them work outdoors during the day. UV protection will be important to prevent the sun’s rays from damaging the sub’s internal components. 

If you will be putting the sub in your car, then you should think about how best it can fit into your decoration and vehicle features. Generally, you want to make sure that the sub doesn’t look too out of place in the vehicle and that its volume remains maximized. With the right materials, a sub will stay strong and still perform perfectly. 

Installation

Last but not least is the installation technique. The best competition subwoofers will be easy to install and work with, and you will barely need any help. Of course, all you have to do is check out the user manual to see what steps you will need to make.  

Installation technique is especially important if you don’t know much about subwoofers and sound systems. You don’t want something that will give you so much stress or be a pain to install.  

When installing, keep the mounting depth in mind as well. The top mount depth is the depth of a sub when installed from a mounting surface. It’s an important metric that will help you know how best to install the sub.

Another thing to point out with the installation will be the product’s features. Normally, you want to make sure that the sub has the right specs for your other sound system components. In some cases, this might mean that you will need to switch up a few other sound system components in order to accommodate the subwoofer. 

Of course, it is recommended that you look through a sub very well to know what you will need going forward if you hope to install it seamlessly.  

(For some installation tips, here are the things to do when connecting a powered subwoofer to passive speakers properly

FAQ

What is the best 15-inch subwoofer for competition?

The best 15-inch competition subwoofer is the DS18 EXL-10.2D 10-Inch Subwoofer. It is large and sturdy, and it provides an impressive sound that will blow the roof off anywhere. That massive audio offering can’t be discounted.

With a versatile build and 2.5-inch dual voice coils, this subwoofer lasts long and performs very well. It is also well-designed, so you get something that looks great. 

What makes a competition subwoofer?

There’s not much that makes a subwoofer qualified for the “competition” tag. However, the classification is usually applied to mean that competition subs have high power output and high RMS power ratings. Technically, anything can be used in a competition. But, the classification usually means subwoofers with highly impressive sound and bass ratings.

Our Top Pick For a Competition Subwoofer:
Kicker CompVR CVR122 (43CVR122)

The Kicker CompVR CVR122 (43CVR122) 800W Subwoofer is our top pick for the best of the competition-grade subs. The sub’s watts peak power is great, and its 12-inch size attests to its capacity. Lastly, it has a total impedance of an impressive 4 ohms. You can barely go wrong with the best competition subwoofer and its dual voice coils.

For helpful guides and simple tricks, we have the following pages for you: 

Proper ways to hook up a subwoofer in a car 

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.