What is the Best Subwoofer Size For Car Stereo? Many people believe that bigger is better when it comes to subwoofer sizes for car audio systems. While we won’t argue that a speaker with a larger cone area is more efficient, the output capabilities of a subwoofer are heavily dependent on the enclosure it’s installed in.
In this article, we’ll look at the best subwoofer size for car and a surefire way to get the bass performance you want from your mobile audio system.
WHY DO YOU NEED A CAR AUDIO SUBWOOFER?
A lot of air movement is required to produce clear and loud bass. A small 4-inch speaker in your car or truck’s dash simply cannot pressurize and rarify enough air to produce acceptable bass. Subwoofers are speakers that are designed to produce sound at frequencies lower than 100 hertz.
These speakers have large voice coils to dissipate heat and suspension designs that allow for a lot of cone movement. Subwoofers, when installed in a properly designed enclosure, free up the smaller speakers from having to play bass frequencies. Focusing on midrange information reduces cone excursion requirements and reduces distortion.
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TYPES OF CAR SUBWOOFERS EXPLAINED
There are many different kinds of car subwoofers to meet everyone’s audio needs. The type of enclosure in which the sub is mounted will have a large impact on the sound quality. You will have either a sealed or a ported enclosure.
A sealed box will provide deep and accurate bass, whereas a ported box will allow you to play louder music where volume is important. Having said that, these are the most common kinds of car subwoofers.
1. Component Subwoofers
A component subwoofer is simply the speaker itself. To function properly, it must be housed in a subwoofer enclosure. These subs are intended to operate in a variety of enclosures and at both low and high power levels.
To power the sub, you’ll also need an external amplifier. Component subs are an excellent choice for those who want to build a truly personalized system, i.e. from the ground up.
2. Enclosed subwoofers
Enclosed subwoofers are essentially component subwoofers that have been pre-mounted in a customized box. This type is useful if you want to improve the bass quality but don’t have a lot of time to design and build your own sound system.
The disadvantage of these subs is that they cannot compete with component subwoofers in terms of raw bass production. Furthermore, you will still need an external amp to power them.
3. Powered Subwoofers
The main concept behind powered subwoofers is compactness. A powered subwoofer houses both the woofer and the amplifier, eliminating the need for an external amplifier.
As previously stated, powered amps are compact and won’t take up much space in your car, while also being able to be installed in places where other types may be impossible.
4. Vehicle-Specific Subwoofers
Subwoofers for specific vehicles can be powered or unpowered. They are designed to fit into the space available in your car model. They are also usually color-matched to the vehicle’s interior.
They, like powered subs, will meet your listening needs without taking up much space, but they are not the best choice if you want a lot of bass.
DOES THE SIZE MATTER?
The size of a subwoofer determines how loud and low it can go. As a general rule, the larger the sub, the deeper the bass. On the other hand, the available space will be an important consideration, which is why you will need to take measurements before selecting the desired model.
1. 8-Inch Subwoofer
This is the smallest and most affordable size available. Most car factory systems include one or two pre-installed. They are also the most straightforward aftermarket upgrade because they fit perfectly in the factory location. They can also be installed beneath seats.
This size provides excellent clarity and bass response, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer clean and clear bass rather than big bass. This size is ideal for fast-paced music genres such as Country, Punk, and Classic Rock, among others.
2. 10-inch Subwoofers
Because of its compactness and ease of installation, 10-inch is also a popular size. Compared to 8-inch subwoofers, subs of this size provide more bass response. Furthermore, it is the ideal size if you want a little extra power without sacrificing sound quality or overpowering your music.
3. 12-inch Subwoofer
This is probably the most versatile size because it can accommodate a wide range of music. It is a popular aftermarket purchase among audiophiles with a strong desire for bass. A 12-inch subwoofer is ideal for adding extra bass and works well with a wide range of frequencies.
Because of their large size, these subs are less responsive and are best suited for slower-paced music such as R&B, Rhythm & Blues, and even Rap.
4. 15-inch Subwoofer
Because of their large size, 15-inch subwoofers produce the most powerful and deep bass. They do not, however, have the same tight responsiveness as their smaller counterparts. These subs will take up a significant amount of passenger or cargo space, which is why they are commonly found in large trucks and SUVs.
With subs of this size, you may need to upgrade your car speaker, which may result in your music being flooded with bass. This is the type for you if you enjoy listening to Hip Hop, Rap, and other EDM genres. A 15-inch subwoofer can move a large volume of air, which is required to reproduce the heavily synthesized bass found in this music type.
SOME KEY SPECS TO CONSIDER
When you’ve decided on the type of subwoofer or system you want to buy, comparing specs can help you make a decision. Here are some important specifications to consider:
- Power — There is no substitute for plenty of power if you want a system that really booms. Pay attention to the RMS power ratings rather than the peak power ratings. RMS ratings are a much more realistic measure than peak power because they measure continuous power handling or output. Check that the subwoofer can handle the output power of your amplifier.
- Sensitivity — In order to achieve high output, sensitivity must be combined with power. A subwoofer with a higher sensitivity rating requires less power to produce the same amount of sound as a subwoofer with a lower sensitivity rating.
- Frequency range — Frequency range indicates how low a sub can play. However, keep in mind that the actual performance of the sub can be affected by a variety of factors, including the type of box it’s mounted in.
- Enclosure type — The type of enclosure in which a sub is mounted significantly impacts the type of sound it produces. In general, sealed boxes produce the most accurate and deep sound, whereas ported and bandpass enclosures produce more volume.
- Number of voice coils — Dual voice coil subwoofers are a popular choice among car audio enthusiasts who want more flexibility in wiring their sound systems. Unlike conventional subwoofers, which use a single voice coil, dual voice coil (DVC) subwoofers use two separate voice coils, each with its own connections, mounted on a single cylinder and connected to a common cone.
- Size of the woofer — It’s an age-old question: what size subwoofers play the loudest and the quietest? It’s not a simple question to answer; you must consider sensitivity, enclosure type, and available power. If your ultimate goal is to have a system that can play loud and low and space isn’t an issue, go for the largest subs. However, don’t dismiss smaller subs. Smaller subwoofers can produce a lot of sound when properly powered and housed in the right enclosure.
A subwoofer can reproduce bass levels that regular speakers cannot. It’s a fantastic addition that will enhance your overall audio experience.
Choosing the appropriate type and size for the job will go a long way toward ensuring that you get the quality sound that you desire in your vehicle. But, at the end of the day, everything must be balanced with the correct speaker sizes and amps.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big should my subwoofer be?
The larger your subwoofer, the more space you’ll need around it. A 12-inch subwoofer requires 1.25 cubic feet of volume space. Volume recommendations for a 10-inch woofer are 0.625 cubic feet and 0.375 cubic feet for an 8-inch subwoofer.
Are 15 inch subs louder than 12?
The question of whether 15-inch subwoofers have a better base than 12-inch subwoofers is not easily answered. The truth is that “better” is a matter of personal preference. Because 15-inch subwoofers are larger and displace more air than 12-inch subwoofers, the 12-inch subwoofer will have a crisper, sharper sound than the larger ones.
What sounds better 10s or 12s?
Subwoofer size frequently dictates loudness when designing or upgrading a vehicular audio system. That is, two 12s will be heard louder than two 10s. If your music does not require a deeper bass or a fast attack, the smaller subs will provide more sound consistency.
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