How to choose the right subwoofer for your car or truck | Crutchfield

If you love bass, whether it’s the mirror-rattling kind or the more subtle kind that adds fullness and nuance to any music, a subwoofer is the way to go. Which sub is right for you depends on many factors, including the size of your vehicle, what music you like, and also the type of installation involved.

Shop for car subwoofers:

All subwoofers need an amp, whether it’s built into the enclosure of a powered sub or mounted separately from the enclosure. The installation for either type is roughly the same; you need to grab power from your car’s battery and then connect signal either from an aftermarket receiver’s preamp outputs or by tapping into factory wiring.

Need help getting started? Watch our video to find out more about installing an amp and sub in your car. A powered sub installation will be about the same as the process described here, except that the amp is built into the sub box:

You’ve got lots of choices when it comes to adding a sub to your vehicle, even if space is tight. Life is too short to live without good bass! You can always contact one of our advisors if you need some guidance, they’ll help you find the right sub for you.

Learn more at Crutchfield:
1. What are dual voice coil subwoofers?

2. Sealed vs. ported sub enclosures:

3. How to match subwoofers and amplifiers:

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  1. Surviver on October 5, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Install under your seat, and wallah vibrator while driving.

  2. Louis Barningham on October 5, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I have a 2004 mazda 3.. im thinking of upgrading the stereo and speakers and maybe a sub… if i put in a sub will it be ok to just use the factory stereo? how will i go about upgrading the factory stereo on a car like this?? thanks.

  3. Newton Isaacs on October 5, 2021 at 8:24 am

    On the powered subwoofers do you need speakers for it or do you not need it? Like is it Bluetooth I’m confused cause I’m kinda new at this

  4. John Marlow on October 5, 2021 at 8:24 am

    I insert a app and a subwoofer for not the door speakers doesn’t make no sounds what should I do

  5. Ian Williamson on October 5, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Anyone know the subwoofer at 2:06?

  6. KASAI on October 5, 2021 at 8:28 am

    sooo i got two different subs( gonna upgrade) in my car and one i just shoved the wires in amp

  7. Ryan Nankavill on October 5, 2021 at 8:29 am

    You can actually get a sealed AND ported box which is like a 50/50 blend of both rather than 100% sealed or 100% ported. I have a 15 inch fusion sub (125RMS and 600 watt maximum) running on twin quad Chanel 650 (125 RMS) watt pioneer amps in a sealed and ported box and it sounds beautiful.

  8. Gordo on October 5, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Whats the best for the clearest lyrics on bass

  9. lydell bell on October 5, 2021 at 8:31 am


  10. Ramsey Edward on October 5, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Which one is better Kenwood, Sony, pioneer or JBl?

  11. Titan Pras on October 5, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Very sad that you don’t ship to Canada quebec😞

  12. gerardo ruiz on October 5, 2021 at 8:35 am

    amplifier power should be higher than speaker power actually.

  13. Travis Smith on October 5, 2021 at 8:35 am

    I have a memphis mxamcapp hidden bluetooth reciever in 69 ford ltd. The reciever has front and rear subwoofer rca plugs. My question is if it is a 50wx4, could I push a single 10in sub without adding more power? Was going to put this in the trunk.

  14. JD Maslock on October 5, 2021 at 8:36 am

    I have a extended cab toyota and im trying to get 4 10’s and 2 1200 wat amp but I can’t decide between kicker and rockford Fosgate

  15. D W 9876 on October 5, 2021 at 8:38 am

    I don’t think he said ‘subwoofer’ enough 😂

  16. Bryce Cunningham on October 5, 2021 at 8:38 am

    most helpful video i’ve watched

  17. Pazz McWhy on October 5, 2021 at 8:39 am

    How to choose your speakers.. DONT BUY KICKER!

  18. Rudolph Angel on October 5, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I upgraded my door speakers and head unit, now I need an amplifier and a subwoofer to complete my sound system
    (The brand I use is pioneer)

  19. Hellseeker on October 5, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Thumps man, got to have the thumps, especially the Metal I listen too! Kicks that kick you in your arse! The f’n drops bro!

  20. $RonnieG$ on October 5, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Who the hell you talking too, golf clubs an groceries. Im 24 not 40 lol im building a wall with 2 jl w7 12s on 2 old 1000/1 jl amps with a 600/4 for my mids and highs

  21. KINGONE on October 5, 2021 at 8:44 am

    somebody should play masterpiece by dababy and came and saw by young thug…the bass is EXTREME

  22. Philip T on October 5, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Great video, about to look at crutchfield for a sub

  23. Brandon on October 5, 2021 at 8:46 am

    The right one? I think it’s what you want, buddy~ lol…

  24. Crimson Red on October 5, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Really good video series y’all have going on for beginners!!!

  25. Jerold Jorgensen on October 5, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Hi I am looking for kind of an idea of what sub and amp I should replace the factory with I’ve got a 2006 Civic EX coupe I’m kind of after a sub that acts a bit more bass that’s smoother

  26. Keegan Maroney on October 5, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Any idea what subwoofer would work with a Sentra? My Kia spectra had 1200watts which was way too much.

  27. Harald Perry Rhoden on October 5, 2021 at 8:53 am


  28. Hugoslav on October 5, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Me: a 14 year old kid who bought a cheapo 30usd used sub for my room
    …. Bought a second cheapo sub
    Mooved the subs to our cottage
    …… Bought a 3rd one, this time only 10", not 12"
    I love bass!

  29. Hellseeker on October 5, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Remember to put foam under your license plate

  30. DJ R on October 5, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Can you Please do a video rating the best all inclusive Powered Sub/Amp kits for under $500

  31. Nolan Hulin on October 5, 2021 at 8:57 am

    I have a 2015 Ford F-250 about 99.9% of the time I’m listening to country but when I do get in the mood to listen to rap or rock I want my speakers to be able to bump really hard and loud does anyone have any suggestions for what to get?

  32. Joaquin Pena on October 5, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Can i use the same amp..for 2 12s or 10s for bass. ..and two little speakers for the voice??

  33. orion 2250 on October 5, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I just want to go as low as I can at a reasonable db level. So I can sit and enjoy all of the music. Don’t need to rattle the trunk or make the sheet metal twerk..but hearing how the music was intended.. not too much to ask?

  34. Jacob Reichert on October 5, 2021 at 8:59 am

    I have the small angled 1×11 kicker speaker in my kia soul and it works good, but it gets hot even with maxed out AC. Nothing is set too high.

  35. Rie Vance on October 5, 2021 at 8:59 am

    For a nissan exterra, what size is going to sound good? There’s a Rockville 10" 500watt built in amp/sub combo I’m looking at. Idk if it’s going to thump or be hollowy. Or if the 6.5"300watt is ideal. Help !

  36. RROD 106 on October 5, 2021 at 9:00 am

    This man explains this so damn good

  37. George PPS on October 5, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I like your dedications to make these videos and also the selections for different models. But some are out of stock! I’ll still try to find products from your site and hire a pro install them for me.

  38. Iraqi Food Cart on October 5, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I’m watching this thinking, "I should be writing this stuff down so I know what to look for when I upgrade my bass"

  39. Mstubbs88 on October 5, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Cant help but wonder if thats my Kicker Comp C dual 12s lol

  40. GoblinPhreak on October 5, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Sealed is always better. Why? Sound Quality. Yes, ported can hit harder at a particular frequency. But you end up with port noise, and possible mechanical noise from the woofer itself (the excursion noise). Some people don’t notice it, or simply don’t care. Only get the sub in a tiny plastic housing with amp built in if you are pressed for room. Those kinds of things can fit under the seat, but they wont sound as good as a dedicated sub in a box, with an external amp.

    My first system I ever had was a 12" kicker in a sealed box in my 1993 del sol. I loved that system. Kicker speakers all around, single kicker 12." You could literally hear me coming down the street. My buddy would always say "I heard you coming" and it wasn’t anything special. I didn’t have 1000 watts of sub power. I had the door speakers connected to the headunit power (pioneer, so 15w x4) and then one of those walmart crunch amps. Way back when I didn’t know shit. Got the 12" kicker from the audio shop next door, they gave me a deal. The box was a "build it yourself" kit where you glue it and it came with straps to hold it together until the glue dried. I used nails to make it stronger when I glued it along with the straps, and later cut the straps. It hit hard. It rattled your chest. And then my next car was a 06 s2000. And I had a ported box and it never sounded "right." Then after that I traded the s2k in for an 2005 subaru wrx sti…. At that point I bought a dual 12" ported box combo (subs came in the box) and again, there was port noise and just never sounded as good as sealed. Ended up being an idiot and giving the subs too much power and it fried them. Because I wanted that hard hitting bass I used to get with my sealed system. And then I finally went back to sealed. A single 12" 500 watt rms capable subwoofer, and threw 500 watts rms into it. And sure enough, it hit harder, and sounded better than that dual 12" ported box. Ported boxes are only good at one frequency. And usually its a frequency music barely ever hits. Sure great for competitions but musically, its crap.

    Now the idea of those double camber builds. Where you have either two separate ports for front/rear of speaker or half sealed and half ported, those might hit well musically. But a typical ported box, trash.

  41. solorah on October 5, 2021 at 9:08 am

    can i add the kicker dual 12s on top of my bose system i have in my nissan?

  42. Charles Gutscher on October 5, 2021 at 9:10 am

    If I’m trying to upgrade factory equipment in my explorer sport. Im upgrading amp, upgrading speakers, the stock sub is an 8 inch sub in the factory location. Will an aftermarket 8 inch sub powered by its own amp get reasonably better performance than the stock sub?

  43. Helvete on October 5, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Not if you’re talking about and justice for all era Metallica

  44. Dylan Baldwin on October 5, 2021 at 9:14 am

    I like easily audible bass brought up along with everything else. I like articulation so I dont have to strain to hear a certain aspect of a song. I got a sterio new system for my car but next I’m going to get some kicker subs. Maybe a single 10 or 12. I listen to funk, rock and metal mainly but I do like to bump some old school gangsta shit sometimes. So I want articulation and clear cur sound with the ability to turn up and shake the car a bit and bump some bass. 10 or 12 good? Also this is my first sound system in a car. I’m a drummer and really like to listen to the all aspects of the music.

  45. Matthew Cook on October 5, 2021 at 9:15 am

    i broke my back window with my base dang

  46. Bryce Cunningham on October 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

    can this guy install my sub please

  47. Nick Rose on October 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Underseat ‘subwoofers’ are an insult to subwoofers. They should only be installed if you have no room in the trunk for a proper subwoofer AND you don’t have 6×8 or larger speakers already installed. Adding one is like pissing in the wind.

  48. Oscar Jung on October 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

    🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 I almost forgot the real America ❤️🦅

  49. Shannon Jones on October 5, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Pray ……… Subwoofer in basement castle o Madison and Mayfield retirement

  50. dnh300 on October 5, 2021 at 9:18 am

    but what would be better lets say for movies? (so deep bass notes and bass you can feel).

    -A very powerfull 8 inch subwoofer lets say a ´´Sundown Audio X8D4´´ this is an 8 inch 800 watt rms subwoofer.
    -Or A jbl gt4 15 inch subwoofer rated at 250 watt rms.

    And lets say they are in the same ported box (so both subs are tuned to the same frequency). I think a powerfull high excursion 8 could put up a pretty good fight against a less powerfull and less excursing 15 inch sub. Or am I totally wrong? I mean If you dont want to waste to much space in you home because of speakers. A more powerfull but smaller sub could be a nice solution, but ofcourse will cost more money.

    My apologies for my bad spelling and poor word choice. This is not my first language

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