Thanks to the recent upgrades, the sub doesn’t have to be large to give out some decent bass. Thus, if you want to add something that will highlight the low-frequency performance of your audio system but not ready to provide too much space for this, the small-sized sub is your way to go. The best 8-inch subwoofer is your solution that is capable of providing some solid bass performance without being bulky like its 15- and 18-inch analogs.
In addition to the compact size, the 8-inch subs have another one advantage — the speed. Their small cone has a lower mass, less inertia, and is able to reproduce a more elastic and articulated bass. They are also able to provide quite a loud bass when installed in the bass reflex type of enclosure since they have the most optimal size for it. Plus, the 8-inch sub can also be installed in the tightest spots of your vehicle like the niche for the spare wheel storage, under the seat, or even directly in the center console. This way, you can easily install two or more of such subwoofers in your car which can potentially allow for even more powerful low-frequency sound.
So, the 8-inch subs are suitable for those who have limited space but want to highlight the sound picture with some pleasantly-sounding bass tone. It’s probably the greatest solution for pickup trucks and small cars. Such sub, due to its compact size, will also work for a non-standard arrangement.
The 8-inch subwoofer won’t shatter your windows with an extremely powerful bass sound, but it will definitely work better for your car audio system than a small speaker with the built-in tiny sub. So take a closer look at our top and do not hesitate to order the one you like.
8-inch Subwoofer Reviews
The present Pioneer 8-inch subwoofer goes supplied with a dual 2-Ohm voice coil, made of copper, and a mica-injected resin cone which gives the sub the ability to produce a richer and more precise bass tone. The oversized cone with double spiders ensures a larger cone and gasket surface but doesn’t change the external dimensions of the sub. The double spiders, unlike the damper, don’t require too much power to move the cone so they are more effective in minimizing the distortion. The single cone also keeps the overall moving mass at manageable levels which is important for high-quality sound and efficiency. It allows the sub to move more air, resulting in a louder and deeper bass.
The sub has a dual-layer surround but still won’t take too much of space since it has only 8.1 x 8.1 x 3.1 inches in size. Having 6.21 pounds of weight, it’s also not heavy. The mounting depth is also impressively small — just 2-5/8-inch which is less than half its other 8-inch analogs.
Since the TS-SW2002D2 is a low-profile shallow-mount subwoofer, it’s able to provide more installation alternatives for a large range of vehicles. This way, if you need the best 8-inch car audio subwoofer, this model from Pioneer can be just the one you need. It can be placed either behind or under the seat or in any other tight space. It works better in slender enclosures which make it a good solution for smaller vehicles. Both ported or sealed enclosures can be used for the installation of this sub, but it is recommended to use a UD-SW80D down-firing enclosure that is made specifically for this model.
Since this sub is capable of handling up to 150W of nominal power and 600W of peak power and also has a 20Hz -200Hz frequency response, it is powerful enough to be suitable for free-air application without losing the bass power. You can also install the infinite baffle mounting if you want to use the trunk as the enclosure.
What is more, the TS-SW2002D2 kit includes the self-tapping screws and the adhesive backed foam gasket.
- The sub’s connection system is easy to understand so you can mount it with ease.
- The sensitivity response rating of 86dB means that the sub ensures powerful bass without compromising the sound quality.
- The sub’s cone is able to withstand really high volume sound and provides fast response time.
- The sub goes without a protective grill, so you will have to buy it separately to ensure long-term use.
- This sub is not suitable for being used with an amplifier.
This 8-inch powered subwoofer from Rockville has a slim low-profile design and comes with a PWM MOSFET power supply. Its sealed, square-shaped enclosure looks pretty modern and is colored in black and blue. This model is mainly designed to work as a part of the car audio system and has 600W of peak power and 150W RMS. Besides, this sub is CEA-2006 compliant which means that it produces exactly this amount of power as it is claimed by the manufacturer. The SPL is rated at 100 dB, so this sub is highly efficient.
The weighs 12.38 pounds and its enclosure has only 12.4 x 11 x 2.7 inches in size so it can be easily placed under the seat in your car. It also goes as the all-in-one solution with a built-in amplifier, so both the installation and wiring are easy.
This sub has a bi-color LED which lights up in green when the sub is turned on. If there are some problems with the playback, it will change to red.
The phase shift (from 0° to 180°) is located on the sub. It can be used to correct alignment problems. This is especially useful when the subwoofer and the speakers are located at a different distance from the listener. There is also the auto turn on/off switch for high-level connections. When it’s in the “ON” position, the sub will automatically turn on when there is the signal input. If the amp detects no signal input, it will automatically turn off. The low pass filter (50Hz – 150Hz) allows you to set up the frequency range that you want the amplifier to receive. The RW8CA will play all sound below this frequency. If your audio system is weak in mid range, set the low pass filter knob high. The bass boost knob (0 – 18dB @ 45Hz) allows increasing the sound level in the bass frequencies.
There are also the input gain control, the remote level control port, the high level (speaker level) inputs, the low-level RCA inputs, and the power terminals. The subwoofer uses a 15A fuse.
This 8-inch subwoofer goes with a complete 10 gauge wire kit and the RCA cable.
- The sub is supplied with the tri-stage protection circuit: thermal, short and overload.
- The RW8CA has a low signal-to-noise ratio (>95dB) so ensures clear bass reproduction.
- All the controls, inputs and outputs are located on the same side which is very convenient.
- This sub tends to overheat.
- There is a pop sound when the subwoofer turns on and off.
Video Rockville RW8CA
The P3SD2, like all the 8-inch shallow-mount subs, is designed to work in tight spaces and in hard-to-fit vehicles since it reduces the sub’s overall depth. However, despite having a shallow-mount design, it delivers great bass punch and clear, loud sound in general. It has a mounting depth of 2.66 inches and a cutout diameter of 7.13 inches. This subwoofer is universal for both sealed (0.25 ft3) and vented (0.75 ft3) enclosures. You can easily place this sub under the back of the driver’s seat to feel every beat that comes from it.
This model is equipped with a slim 2-Ohm dual voice coil which allows getting optimal performance from the amp. Despite the fact that it’s not so good in terms of power (150W RMS/300W max) as its competitors, the P3SD2 features the anodized aluminum cone, the dustcap, and the poly-cotton spider venting design which doesn’t let the motor to overheat during intensive usage. The hybrid stamp-cast basket makes the sub weight less (11.8 pounds) and minimizes its resonance. The M-Roll Santoprene ensures good excursion for maximum productivity while being quite durable.
The P3SD2 meets the CEA-2031 standards which means that you can fully trust the indicated sub’s power capacity. This also means that knowing the most accurate characteristics, it will be easier to match the sub with the amplifier.
This model also uses the stitched tinsel leads which minimize the fatigue and potential shorting, spreading the stress over a bigger area. This also influences the sub’s bass performance in a positive way.
The Vertical Attach Surround Technique is designed to increase the cone surface while not making the sub installation troublesome. By changing the way the surround sticks to the basket, the sub gets up to 25% more effective area of the radiating cone. This increases nominal efficiency and maximum productivity.
This sub has a low-profile flex-fit frame, which uses slots instead of single screw sized holes. It allows you to adjust the installation of the subwoofer.
The P3SD2 has 10-AWG nickel plated push terminals and goes with one aluminum trim ring, eight self-tapping allen head screws, and allen bit.
- The sub is well-protected from thermal breakdown.
- The P3SD2 goes with a semi-flexible, removable protective motor cover.
- The push terminals make the process of attaching the speaker cable much easier: you only have to push the terminals and insert the cable.
- The sub requires one 12V battery to work.
- It doesn’t deliver plenty of volume.
The LOPRO8 goes with the built-in A/B class amplifier with specific linear circuitry that ensures high-quality sound and increases the power output. This high-quality amplifier also allows the sub to produce plenty of booming and rich bass. It also reduces the distortion level and improves the sub’s efficiency. This model has a compact low-profile design with 15 x 9.75 x 3 inches of size dimensions and 12.78 of weight. This way, this sub is the all-in-one solution which is suitable for space-constrained placement.
The sub has 600W of max power (300 RMS) being equipped with MOSFET power supply. This means that the sub provides better performance without taking too much power from the driver, ensures lower thermal impedance and gate-to-drain feedback capacity.
This model from Sound Storms is one of those 8-inch subwoofers that provide rich possibilities for adjusting the sound and have a large variety of connectivity options. All the available options can be found on both the face and rear panels of this sub.
The front panel of the subwoofer includes a remote level control port which allows controlling the subwoofer’s volume level independently. There are also an input gain control and the subsonic filter which allows filtering out the low-frequency noise and rumble (20Hz – 50Hz). There you can also find the bass boost (0dB – 18dB), the low pass filter (50Hz – 150Hz), and the phase shift (from 0° to 180°). The bi-color power LED indicator lights up in green when the power is on and in red when one of the protection circuits comes on.
The sub’s rear panel includes the power terminals, the fuse (15A), low-level RCA inputs, the high level (speaker level) inputs, and the spare fuse which is aimed to replace the main fuse in the case if it blows.
The LOPRO8 package includes the remote subwoofer cable and the high-level input plug.
- The sub can be connected to any in-dash stereo.
- The sub automatically turns off when the amplifier gets too hot or in the case when the speakers fail to cause a short.
- The lower frequencies sound is clean even when played at high volume.
- All the sub’s controls and inputs/outputs are located on the different sides of the unit making it confusing to operate.
- The sound quality depends on the place of installation.
Video Sound Storm LOPRO8
This 8-inch competition grade subwoofer from Skar Audio is truly high powered and high output unit which offers a decent sound reproduction and solid low note capabilities. It goes in a high-roll foam surround and has a competition grade pressed paper cone. The sub is supplied with a 2-inch 4-layer high temperature dual 4-Ohm voice coil which is made of copper and attached to the red spider system. This coil, along with the airflow cooling design, is aimed to withstand intensive usage without getting too hot. The high flux ferrite motor is very sturdy.
The Skar Audio 8-inch sub has an impressive 700W of max power and 350 RMS. The frequency response of 30Hz – 350Hz is also great as for 8-inch sub. However, the 83.7 dB of sensitivity is a bit less than that of the subs from the same class.
This sub isn’t limited to installation options. This way, it can be installed in sealed (0.55 ~ 0.75 ft³), ported (0.75 ~ 1.00 ft³) types of enclosure, but as for me, it sounds much louder in a vented enclosure. It also has a mounting depth of 4.56 inches.
The sub delivers hard-hitting low frequencies but still remains responsive and quite musical.
With 9.8 x 9.8 x 7.5 inches, this sub it quite a space-saving solution. It also weighs slightly more than 10 lbs.
- The sub is available in both 2-Ohm and 4-Ohm options.
- When the sub is matched with the mono amplifier, it delivers especially great performance.
- The sub produces the deep bass regardless of the enclosure type.
- The SDR-8 drowns out the mid frequencies.
- The spiders are pretty fragile and don’t seem to last long.
- The coil adds some noise to the sound picture at a high volume level.
The CT SOUNDS Meso 8-inch sub is an amplifier powered model that is designed to be installed in a car. It has an impressive 1600W peak power handling and takes 800W RMS. Being this powerful, the subwoofer delivers high sound resonance and improves the general sound quality of your car audio system.
The subwoofer has 160 Oz high-energy magnets and a double-stitched treated paper cone. The 2.5-inch dual voice coil can handle a lot of power at high volume levels so the subwoofer produces a powerful and high-quality bass. The Y35 graded ferrite magnet, attached to the subwoofer’s basket, ensures longevity. The basket frame is grabbed by sturdy arms. This way, the sub is able to handle powerful audio frequencies without getting damaged even at the highly-rated inputs from the amp channel. The sub itself goes wrapped in a composite foam with a high-ribbed rubber surround which has good protective qualities and provides the sub’s durability.
Its mounting depth is set to 6.6 inches. It has 11 x 11 x 11 inches of size dimensions. This subwoofer takes up less space when installed under the seat than if installed under the trunk. It can be either sealed (0.30 ft3) or ported (0.50 ~ 0.75 ft3).
- This sub is remarkable for having a crystal clear bass at the average volume levels.
- This sub is easy to set up and operate.
- It’s solid enough to handle the frequent, day-to-day use with ease.
- The sound may get distorted at high volume levels.
- Weighing 25 pounds, this sub is very heavy.
Video CT Sounds Car Audio
The Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 is probably the best 8-inch subwoofer on our list for those who searching for some retro-style sub. The subwoofer and the Class D amplifier go together in a robust, cast-aluminum, vintage-looking green enclosure. It delivers deep, booming bass and can become a solid upgrade to your car audio system. The sub has quite an average weight of 10 pounds. The sub has a 32Hz – 150Hz frequency response and 120W RMS power rating (240W of max power output).
All the inputs/outputs and the LED indicator which shows the amplifier circuit status (lights up in blue when it’s normal and goes off when the circuit is abnormal or the power supply voltage is too high) are located on the sub’s side. Here you can find the input/power connector, the RCA input jacks, the fuse (15A), the input/power wire harness, the speaker input leads to use the sub with head units that are not equipped with preamp outputs. There are also the battery lead, the remote turn-on lead, and the ground lead.
The switch settings are located on the subwoofer’s side panel as well. There are the phase switch from 0° to 180°, the low pass filter (50Hz to 150Hz), the input gain adjustment control, the SUB REM bass level input, and the power mode button. The is also the remote bass level knob which allows adjusting the overall bass level of the subwoofer.
The Alpine 8-inch subwoofer package includes the adhesive-backed hook and loop mounting fasteners (to mount the remote), 4 mounting brackets, 8 self-tapping screws, and 8 machine screws. This way, the sub is ready for installation right out of the box.
- The manufacturer provides brief and easy-to-understand instructions so it’s easy to set up and to customize the sub.
- This sub uses the high-quality high-excursion cone and a quad voice coil speaker driver which together provide loud and accurate bass.
- The PWE-S8 is the all-in-one solution and doesn’t require additional equipment to operate as amp and box.
- The mounting brackets make the sub look bulky.
- Having 13.5 x 9 x 3 inches of size dimensions, the sub may be too thick, causing problems when trying to fit it under the front seats.
Video Alpine Electronics PWE-S8
The TS-SWX2002 goes in a shallow-mount pre-loaded enclosure which has a compact design measuring 8.4 x 14.7 x 12.6 inches and weighs 11.4 pounds. The enclosure has 5/8-inch MDF construction, with a black carpeted surface which is non-slip and scratch-resistant. Being only 5-1/2-inch deep, it may be the best 8-inch subwoofer designed for standard, extended, and crew cab pickups. It also makes the sub suitable for most open-air spaces.
The sub uses a reinforced mica injection-molded resin cone which moves more air. The solid body of such a cone is more durable and is capable of producing richer bass sound, enhancing the bass response. The cone is also oversized which ensures louder and deeper bass.
The dual-spider design stabilizes the cone and helps support its linear movement. The sub has a single voice coil with 4-Ohm impedance, 150W of nominal and 600W of peak power. It also has quite an average 20Hz – 200Hz frequency response and decent 86 dB sensitivity.
The TS-SWX2002 has angled push terminals that allow the connection wires to stay straight. This saves more free space and makes the setup easier, and also reduces the load on the wires.
The sub’s kit includes 2 Metal “L” brackets and eight 1-inch mounting screws.
- This subwoofer doesn’t produce a distorted sound at the max volume level.
- It’s not prone to overheat or lose the sound quality during intensive prolong usage.
- The sub doesn’t provide an excessive bass so it’s suitable for more musical genres.
- It may require a separate mounting to give better output.
- The sound of this sub changes fast with poor settings.
The subwoofer alignment must be performed properly. The main purpose of it is to get a complete immersion in the sound picture. However, both physical and electrical subwoofer alignments are not easy processes. However, doing it in the wrong way can completely ruin the monitoring system’s accuracy.
The first thing to remember is that the sub and the satellite speakers should be in the same phase. To be precise, they should be in the same electrical polarity and have equal time alignment. Otherwise, the crossover area will have a clear bulge or drop in level. There are potentially many sources of phase shifts that can ruin the crossover area. It should be considered that the sub, as well as the satellites, has its proper mechanical phase response. Additionally, the crossover filters’ electrical phase characteristics should be taken into account as well. You shouldn’t also forget that the speakers will have different delay time because they won’t be located at the same distance from the listener. Plus, some types of cabinet constructions may cause some extra delay which can be changed a lot with frequency, exceeding even 40 milliseconds.
Some of the advanced subwoofers are supplied with a phase-adjustment facility that is designed to fix the mechanical and electrical phase distinctions between the satellite speakers and the sub. However, not all the designs are effective, and the phase correction can’t replace the delay compensation. In the case when the sub is placed closer to or further from the listener than the satellite speakers, the delay compensation will need the right time alignment. Although not all the bass or surround sound control systems are supplied with this function.
The low frequencies in the range from 20Hz to 200Hz spread from the sound source evenly in all directions since they are very powerful. They can go around the obstacles and penetrate through walls. For this reason, it’s commonly believed that a subwoofer can be located in any place, but this is wrong. This way, you should consider several things when it comes to an 8-inch subwoofer box placement.
Despite the fact that the low frequencies can’t be drowned out by furniture and other objects, the obstacles can distort their sound waves. In addition, the repeated reflection of low frequencies from objects can cause the reverb effect which can completely ruin the sound picture.
The sub should be placed slightly away from the front speakers. While the satellites can be placed on a stand or be hung on a wall at the same level as the listener’s head, the subwoofer should be placed on the floor. However, in the case, if the delay compensation is possible, it’s better to put the subwoofer at the same distance from the listener as the satellites. You also shouldn’t put the sub behind the listener.
Note that if you place the subwoofer in the center of the room, the amplitude-frequency characteristic of the sub will get worse. It will become unlineal which will negatively affect the overall sound quality of the sound system.
Some models of subwoofers are designed to be placed close to the wall. When you place the sub to the wall, the bass level, and its intelligibility will increase. You can install the subwoofer against the wall arbitrarily. Plus, the small changes in the sub’s distance to the wall can significantly affect the balance of deep bass, so you are welcome to experiment. Just remember that there shouldn’t be any objects between the sub and the listener. The subwoofer also should be turned towards the listener.
It should be mentioned that in the case if you have two subwoofers, it’s much easier to install them. According to the classical scheme, both subs should be located on the sides of the front speakers. You can use some alternative variants of their placement:
- in the corners of the front wall;
- in the middle of the front and rear walls.
If you want the sub to work properly without being locatable, the crossover between satellites and the sub must be set below about 90Hz. This means that the satellite speaker must have a response down to about 70Hz. Anything above this level begins to penetrate the midrange, and the sub becomes locatable.