If you wish to have more bass in your car, the best under seat subwoofer is the optimal solution. It’s also a space-wise decision, as usually the under-seat room isn’t occupied by any object or device.
Before pressing the “Purchase” button, make sure to clarify the following issues:
- Active or passive. Check if your sub has the built-in preamp or requires a stand-alone one to work.
- Connections. While all car subwoofers are equipped with the LFE input, some have double connections to provide for added gain or spacier headroom (high- and low- level input) and even RCA connections.
- Remote control. Managing the sub via the remote is quite handy, as you can power it on and off, regulate the volume and control the gain in some models. Still, for the correctly tuned subwoofer, the need for further adjustment is usually minimal.
- Fixation. Even the tight-fitting speaker might fall out of its place during the road jolts or emergency braking. To avoid that, some models are equipped with the Velcro straps or mounting brackets to fix the sub firmly under the seat.
- Protection. If you have a small car and there’s a possibility of your foot or another object to bang against the sub, ensure the latter has protective grills and the solid build.
Still wonder, what is the best underseat subwoofer? Check the following reviews!
Under Seat Subwoofer Reviews
The slim design of this sub is backed up by the solid build and high-quality components. A variety of features including automatic turn off, phase switch, low / high level switch, multiple filters, etc. adds points to this model as the best under seat subwoofer. Still, the high power handled by the sub causes it to warm up quickly, so for the prolonged use, the cooling fan might be needed.
The speaker has a 10-inch driver built in the 2.7-inch high casing. While being low-profile, it’s rather long (12.4 inches) and wide (13.4 inches) and thus, might be too tight to fit some small or cluttered under seat places. For the under seat subwoofer, it’s also quite heavy (the weight makes 14.25 lbs). Still, the sturdy body shields the high-power circuitry ensuring high-quality performance. The 200W RMS capacity and 800W peak back up the deep powerful bass with a solid base and even frequency response throughout the range. The latter makes 20Hz – 150 Hz.
The subwoofer is equipped with the low pass filter keeping the sound audible and distinct within 50Hz – 150Hz range. There’s also a bass boost from 0 dB to 18 dB at 45Hz adding more boom to the sound. The overall unit sensitivity makes 90 dB, while the volume is adjustable and can quickly fill your car with sound.
The installation is quite easy thanks to the built-in amp and high-level connections. This versatile under seat powered sub doesn’t require much fiddling with the wire; yet provides multiple comfort options.
- Separate protection circuits for overload, overheat, and short circuit issues.
- Automatic turning on and off at the high-level connection with the main speakers.
- Wired remote for level regulation and full phase switch.
- The soundstage is rather narrow, might cause fatigue.
- No mounting holes on the casing.
Video Rockville RW10CA
If you’re looking for a sub that is easy to install and regulate, has good protection, and doesn’t cost much, the SS8P model might be your best underseat powered subwoofer. Though not as powerful as many other units on the list, it still delivers a dynamic and concentrated bass, which wouldn’t crush your windows but improve the beats and overall low end significantly (in comparison with the factory-installed system).
This 8-inch subwoofer handles the 400W peak power while its regular operating power makes 100W. It also has a lot of protective circuitry and is equipped with several filters to deliver clean bass. The phase switch can reverse the polarity up to 180 degrees and deliver the punchier or more flowing, mellow bass with a lot of headroom. The general sensitivity of the Rockville SS8P makes 90 dB and the bass boost knob adds another 12 dB at 45Hz frequency. The impedance equals 2 Ohms. The response is gradual and even the little interference can be heard at high volume.
The low-pass filter cuts the ultra-low frequencies adding to the transparency of the sub-low end of the sound. The subsonic filter operating at 20Hz ensures low-to-zero distortion and preservation of the original sonic character of the signal.
Another benefit of this under seat subwoofer is its compact size. The unit is 11.4 inches long, 8.3 inches wide, and 2.8 inches tall and will fit most of the passenger vehicles and trucks. Considering it has a built-in preamp, the sub is lightweight weighing 9.53 lbs.
- MOSFET power scheme ensures high-quality sound non-depending on the battery state.
- The RCA input lets connect to different sources (head unit, portable MP3 player, etc.).
- LED light flashes green or red to show the working state of the sub.
- Feels a bit underpowered on the quick beats.
- Small rattling spotted when the volume and gain are winded up.
Video Rockville SS8P
This sub by Kenwood is very compact and would most likely fit even under the low-profile car seat. This car under seat subwoofer is 11 inches long, 7.5 inches wide, and 2.75 inches tall. It weighs 6.17 lbs only and makes one of the most lightweight powered subs for a car. Still, this also means the unit should be securely fixed under the seat in order not to slide away during driving or bump into the seat at the road jolts.
The unit is easy to connect to the head unit via the RCA port. There’s also a speaker level connection enabling to hook up the sub to the component audio system used in the car. The sub can be controlled via the cabled remote for the volume level, phase switch, and the low-pass filter. The sound emitted by the Kenwood KSC-SW11 is rich with harmonics. It doesn’t bring many dynamics but deepens the low end making it stand out while staying clear and distinct. The low pass crossover can vary the range of frequencies produced and cuts the distortion efficiently. The sound is transparent and full. The subwoofer provides the 75W RMS output, with the peak reaching 150W. The speaker is sensitive enough providing the neat volume control.
This underseat subwoofer can be wired directly to the car’s battery to ensure the constant voltage during the power supply. Still, this model is quite versatile and can be powered from the 12V socket as well.
- Fills the space with the low end immediately, provides a solid thump.
- The sturdy housing and metal connections make it a wear-proof model.
- Stylish aluminum casing with the glossy frame and large grill.
- Distortion is audible at the low volume level.
- The maximum volume isn’t loud.
Video Kenwood KSC-SW11
The 10-inch driver design, variety of controls, and aluminum casing are the highlights of this underseat subwoofer. It delivers a palpable thump and plays quite loud. Having a standard size and weight, it can fit as a trunk subwoofer as well. A stylish matte finish and a red rim around the driver make it look different from other models.
The dimensions of this speaker are 13.6 inches long, 9.65 inches wide, and 2.8 inches high. At 13 lbs, it’s also quite heavy. Still, having all the connections and controls on the same side, it can be installed in the way that the board is well accessible.
The subwoofer is complemented with the integrated preamp and has quite a powerful output. The average RMS capacity makes 200W and the peak one can reach 550W. The impedance equals 2 Ohms. The phase switch can be turned to 180-degree position to adjust the performance and bring a sharper main line and beats or make the bass deeper and more spacious.
The connections board features both the line inputs and the high-level ones enabling different hookup schemes. The controls include the variable low pass filter (between 75Hz and 150Hz), the gain control, and the bass control adding another 12 dB to the existing level. The Cerwin Vega under seat powered subwoofer also has the automatic turn on function activating the sub once the audio signal is detected, and shutting it off when the signal is out.
- Sturdy aluminum casing with reliable joints and control elements (knobs, switches, the remote).
- Efficient thermal and overload protection mechanism turns the sub off in case of a threat.
- The auto turn on function can be disabled with the special button.
- The sound becomes too abrupt when the sub reaches ¾ level of the volume.
- Mids might be excessively boomy at a high load.
Video Cerwin Vega VPAS10
The Pioneer TS-WX130DA has the slim remote control, the solid driver build, and multiple adjustment options. It also implements two preset modes varying in the frequency response and regulating the depth and dynamics of the lows.
The subwoofer has the preamp and offers a simplified connections panel. The latter consists of the power supply port, the RCA/SPK input, and the remote control connection. The panel also has an input level switch that enables the relevant connection circuitry (the low-level / high-level switch). Next to the switch, there’s the input gain control that lets optimize the output depending on the type of connection and the voltage of the source. It offers the “High” position for high voltage current supplied through the RCA connections, and the “Normal” one for regular RCA and speaker level input. This results in the high authenticity of sound and little-to-zero distortion, especially in the mid-bass range.
The maximum output produced by this Pioneer underseat subwoofer makes 160W, with the nominal wattage reaching 50. The 8-inch sub can operate in two listening modes: the Deep and Dynamic presets. The Dynamic mode is more sensitive with a 100 dB limit but offers the limited frequency range from 40Hz to 160Hz. In this mode, the sound is lively and the beats are sharp and exact. In the Deep mode, the frequency range is wider making 20Hz – 200Hz and has 95 dB sensitivity. It creates the wider soundstage and makes the bass less boomy.
- The remote is diverse featuring the large gain and LPF dials, and the phase and bass mode switches.
- The aluminum cone supported with the urethane filling provides precision and clarity of the sound.
- Low capacity lets the sub draw the power from the fuse box / system directly, without connecting to the battery.
- The connections panel is situated on the bottom making it hard to reach for the under-seat position.
- The power gets attenuated a bit at the high volume level.
Video Pioneer TS-WX130DA
If you’re looking to fill the low end of your car or truck sound without the major upgrade of the factory system, the PWE-S8 under seat sub should be on your comparison list. Its simple installation and straightforward controls make it user-friendly; the latter is within a quick reach while the remote with the volume level knob is also included.
The 8-inch speaker is encased in the solid aluminum housing feeling highly durable and damage-proof. The woofer is located in the middle part of the box, and shouldn’t suffer from an occasional hit or jolt. The connections panel is located in the niche on the side providing access to the knobs and ports and securing the latter from inadvertent hits.
The subwoofer is complemented with the powerful amplifier providing the 240W maximum output. The continuous capacity makes 120W ensuring the punchy bass with a lot of dynamics. The sound has a confident base with the rich harmonics and a clear main line. Meanwhile, the beats are accurate and sharp without being obnoxious. The sub’s sensitivity lets it play the music quite loud without getting distortion or waning of the frequency range. The unit performs confidently within the 32Hz – 150Hz frequency and can be tweaked via the low-pass filter dial from 50Hz to 150Hz. There’s also the phase selector (providing 0 and 180 degrees positions) and the gain knob.
The unit has the 13.5-inch length, is 9-inch wide, and 3-inch tall. It weighs 10 lbs and makes one of the compact and powerful truck subs under the seat.
- A combined high-level / ground / remote connection port lets you hook up the wire quickly and keep it neat.
- The SPN / REM power mode selector provides for different power supply patterns.
- The remote is wired with the 8ft cable letting place the bass knob in multiple locations.
- Needs several hours of playing to “break in”.
- The supplied mounting brackets are few and mightn’t be sufficient for some car / truck models.
Video Alpine Electronics PWE-S8
The design of this underseat powered subwoofer is eye-catching while being handy and simple to use. The unit is 13 9/16 inches long, 9 ⅞ inches wide, and 2 13/16 inches tall, which is a standard size for the 8-inch car sub. The weight makes 10.2 lbs. The upper panel has the leveled ornament and is performed of the stylish thick matte plastic. Typical for JBL acoustics, the woofer is located in the right part and protected with the grill. The panel also features the light indicators for power on (green) and protection (red) alerts making it easy to control the subwoofer current state.
The integrated amplifier produces the maximum 250W output and ensures the continuous RMS power of 125W. This grants the sub the solid base for the low and sub-low frequencies and the wide volume range. The 8-inch woofer produces the rich bass with a lot of attack and accurately drawn beats. While it doesn’t make the car throb with the sound, it represents the full frequency range with good clarity and no color to the initial signal.
The JBL under the seat subwoofer has the inputs for connecting RCA and speaker level wire, with the automatic turn on and shutdown function in the latter. It also provides the remote port, the volume, and gain (Bass boost up to +9dB) dials, as well as an LP crossover ranging from 50Hz to 120Hz. The overall frequency range makes 35Hz – 120Hz.
- The input load switch lets choose the optimal modification for different sources.
- Connections and dials are easy to reach due to the slightly protruding design.
- Gold plated screw-in connections for power, ground, and remote.
- The bass feels localized, the soundstage is narrow.
- The remote controller isn’t supplied.
Video JBL BassPro SL
If you’re looking for a versatile sub in your car that handles good power and provides a wide range of bass frequencies, look into the KSC-PSW8 model by Kenwood. This sub can emit a palpable thump while supplying all necessary harness for plug-n-play installation and comprehensive remote design.
The unit weighs 9.9 lbs, which is slightly less than the majority of subs of this size. It’s easy to accommodate this subwoofer under the seats of your car, as it’s 13.78 inches long, 9.45 inches wide, and 2.95 inches tall and would fit in most cars’ under-the-seat space. It’s supplied with the harness making the installation simple and straightforward. The harness is equipped with the 14- and 18-gauge wire for ground / power / speaker level connection and houses the RCA input as well.
The woofer of this Kenwood underseat subwoofer has an 8-inch diameter and is powered through the onboard amp. The latter ensures 150W RMS output with the peak one of 250W. The frequency range makes 35Hz – 150Hz, with the tweakable 50Hz – 125Hz range. The phase switch lets reverse the polarity to 180 degrees.
- A large volume dial on the remote is fitted with the protruding ticks to control the level easily.
- Ample low end with a solid base and accurate sub-low performance.
- The remote and connection harness are hooked up in the small niche on the bottom of the subwoofer securing the cables from bending.
- The sensitivity of 81 dB doesn’t provide the same clarity of the sound at the high volume.
- No onboard controls.
Video Kenwood KSC-PSW8
An Underseat Subwoofer is the Best for Compact Vehicles
If you have a small car or a compact truck, or your trunk is always occupied with the tools and articles, there might be little space to install the full-size subwoofer used in the large cars. Besides, the acoustic devices get warm quickly when operating; so, the sufficient space ventilation is a must.
The solution for the compact vehicles and the one having no space left for the full-size sound system is a subwoofer that can be placed under the seat. These subwoofers usually combine the small form factor with the good power output and diverse controls. While most of them don’t cause the windows to rattle, these subs make the low end sound fuller providing the enhanced effect in comparison to the factory system. Wonder, what is the best under seat subwoofer? Check the descriptions for the models we picked!
Powered vs Passive
The car subs can be powered or require an external amp. The powered type is the most frequent since these speakers already have the amplifier built-in and don’t require the additional equipment. This also entails easier installation with just a few wires to connect. The powered subs also save space significantly and make the optimal decision for small vehicles.
Meanwhile, the subwoofers with the stand-alone amp usually provide more power and clarity to the sound output. They do require some fiddling with the wire and counting the Ohms, Volts, etc. However, the external amp is usually much more powerful and offers the ability to upgrade the sound in the future
As was described before, the subwoofer that is placed under seats can be either fed by the external amps or internal preamp. They can draw the power either from the car’s battery directly or through the car acoustics / head unit connected. In the case of direct connection, the sound quality is usually higher.
The power range handled by the sub is described by RMS rating and the peak capacity, and is measured in watts. The peak rating is usually advertised by the manufacturers, but it describes the maximum power the sub can handle for a short period of time (peak) and keep the signal clean. The RMS rating is more important as it shows the general capacity of the sub and its regular power output. The higher the rating, the more sound clarity and richness you get.
The “size” can describe the physical parameters of the subwoofer box (L x W x H) or the diameter of the woofer. The subs used under the car seat are usually quite slim (up to 3 inches) but can vary in their length (10-15 inches) and width (8-13 inches). These subs usually are the powered type; so, the box also houses the amp and heat sinks. It might also include additional circuitry for thermal, overload protection.
The housing is an important part of the sub as it secures the sound clarity and determines the way it’s produced. There are three types of sub housing:
- sealed box. Provides the deep rich bass, accentuates the sub-low notes, and can handle more power efficiently in comparison to other types.
- ported casing. Works well for boosted bass and sharp beats.
- bandpass housing. Brings a wide soundstage and accentuates the higher lows.
Sensitivity is about the volume, sound quality, and efficient power handling. This parameter shows at what decibel level the noise becomes distinct, with further aggravation as the level rises. Thus, the more sensitive the subwoofer is, the louder you can listen to it without experiencing distortion. In some double-circuit subs, the sensitivity can vary depending on the mode chosen. Usually, the sensitivity of the subs placed under the car seat varies in the range of 80dB — 110dB.
Higher sensitivity also means less power is spent to produce the louder sound. This entails less current draw from the car battery and less heating issues for the sub itself.