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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Subwoofers for Trucks Reviewed

We review all the top shallow mount options and more with this detailed comparison guide.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Subwoofers for Trucks Reviewed

We review all the top shallow mount options and more with this detailed comparison guide.

by PITeam

by PITeam

Subwoofers help to reproduce low bass sounds and create a more dynamic sound. Trucks typically have different mounting needs because the interior cabin is so small. Shallow mount subwoofers designed explicitly for smaller interior cabins are perfect for truck owners.

Installing a subwoofer will provide a strong bass and sub-bass sound that will give you the optimal audio experience. A standard speaker won't come close to the power, volume, and quality of a high-quality subwoofer.

Types of Truck Subwoofers

  • Powered
    Powered or active truck subwoofers have an internal amplifier. Powered subwoofers are larger and more expensive than passive subwoofers.
  • Passive
    Passive truck subwoofers require an external amplifier. These amplifiers are compact and space-efficient.

How Do I Choose A Subwoofer for My Truck?

Power Output/Volume/Sound Quality

RMS measures how your speaker performs continuously, whereas peak power measures the maximum power output. RMS is a better indicator of how well speakers work because it measures the most consistent volume rating.

Frequency Response/Range

The frequency response will tell you how well your subwoofer can respond to different frequencies. Subwoofers react to low frequencies and should have ratings in the 20 to 200Hz range.

Impedance

The impedance rating demonstrates the sound quality of your subwoofer. The lower the rating, the better the sound quality is, and the better your subwoofer will perform. A subwoofer at 6 ohms to 8 ohms is acceptable, but a subwoofer at 2 ohms or 4 ohms is the best sound quality. Subwoofer above 8 ohms will showcase poor audio quality.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity ratings measure how clear, loud, and accurate the sound playback will be with your subwoofer. Look for a high sensitivity rating for best results.

Voice Coils

Subwoofers come with either a single voice coil or a dual voice coil. Single voice coils offer one connection. Dual voice coils offer multiple wiring options and are more convenient for truck owners though not necessary.

Cone Size & Subwoofer Shape/Dimensions (Design & Style)

We recommend choosing a shallow mount design for most trucks because this design can fit in tiny spaces. Trucks often have fewer options for mounting subwoofers, and you can make the most of your space with a shallow mount design. Many different cone sizes and shapes can come in shallow mount designs.

Extra Features

Extra features include suspension options: soft suspension, standard suspension, and extra stiff suspension. We recommend a subwoofer with a soft suspension in most cases, because these typically have the best sound in vehicles although the size of box and construction matters too.

Enclosure type

Most subwoofers come in sealed boxes or ported boxes. Sealed boxes are self-sealed and offer a clean sound, but will need additional amplifier power to generate a loud sound. Ported boxes will automatically be louder and have that “boom” sound that some truck owners love, but these boxes are more difficult to tune and customize. A bandpass enclosure is also a possibility, but these are extremely large and difficult to fit in a truck.

Durability/Warranty

Most subwoofers come with limited warranties that range from one to three years. Typically, the longer the warranty, the more durable the product.


6 Best Truck Subwoofers Reviewed

1. JL Audio 10tw3-d4

best subwoofer for truck
(shallow mount)

Dimensions

10-inch speaker

Frequency Response

24-200 Hz

Impedance

4 ohms

Mounting Depth

3.50 inches

Power Output/Handling

100-400 watts RMS, 800 watts peak rating

Warranty

Yes, one year limited warranty

The JL Audio site that is affordable, comes with a shallow mount option, and includes high-quality premium build parts. It can be challenging to add a low bass subwoofers in a truck where there isn’t much space or where you plan to lug a lot in the trunk.

Adding subwoofer speakers with a shallow mount install can give you the space you need and the sound you want. The shallow mount option on these speakers requires only 3.50 inches of mounting depth.

This subwoofer has a polypropylene cone that is stiff and won’t let high power cause distortion. The rubber surround helps the air move through quickly generating loud volume. The low 4-ohm impedance provides high-quality, accurate audio.

A frequency response of 24-200 Hz and a sensitivity response of 82.1 dB is excellent for precise sound. A dual coil system gives you multiple connection options. This subwoofer does not come with a grille, and you will need to add one yourself if dirt and debris is a cause for concern.

Rooney said on the JL Audio site, “If properly equipped with the proper “high end” amplifier and installed correctly the sound is awesome, bass is extraordinary, diverse, and powerful.”

If you want the best shallow mount subwoofer for truck option that can deliver great sound and comes from a respected brand, you want this 10” subwoofer from JL Audio.

Pros

  • Shallow mount option makes it easy to install in your truck and requires only 3.50” mounting depth
  • No pole vent makes it possible to keep the subwoofer towards the back of your preferred enclosure
  • Cast alloy frame for durability and stability

Cons

  • 10” speaker size is smaller for those audiophile enthusiasts who want 12” speakers
  • Lower RMS rating makes it easier to possibly blow a speaker with incorrect amplifier set-up or pushing the volume

2. American Sound Connection

best subwoofer for extended cab truck

Dimensions

12 Inch speaker

Frequency Response

27-500 Hz

Impedance

4 Ohms

Mounting Depth

5-7/8 inches

Power Output/Handling

150 watts RMS power, 300 watts peak power rating

Warranty

Yes, one year limited warranty

This subwoofer from American Sound Connection is best subwoofer for extended cab truck owners because of its custom enclosure box build. It also works with several GMC truck models. A sensitivity of 88.3db and a low impedance of 4 ohms make this a great subwoofer with high audio quality.

The 27-500 Hz frequency response is powered by a 150 watts RMS and 300 watts peak power. The power is a little on the low side, but again this is an affordable option. The downside to this subwoofer is purchasing an amplifier that kicks too much power through the speakers and blows them out. Be careful in matching audio components.

The black carpet aesthetic is clean and sophisticated, but the yellow accents may or may not match your truck’s interior aesthetic. A binding terminal cup helps keep wiring in place. The built-in grilles on the speaker keep out dust and debris so that your speaker lasts. American Sound Connection offers a one-year limited warranty for all subwoofers purchased through an authorized retailer.

If you want a custom enclosure box build that perfectly fits your truck without going through the trouble of hiring someone to create a custom enclosure box build, then you want to purchase this subwoofer. To make sure it fits with your truck, measure before you buy.

We recommend measuring your rear seat looking at a width of 56-¾” x front height of 10" x rear height of 6-1/4 “ and a depth of 13-¼”. If this fits in below your rear seat, then you’ll love the custom fit and strong audio quality at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Custom enclosure box build
  • Low impedance rating of 4 ohms
  • Perfect fit for Chevy Trucks from 88-98 and fits most newer models as well

Cons

  • RMS and peak power are lower-end ratings
  • Custom enclosure box build will only fit particular trucks, and you should measure before you purchase

3. BassPro SL — JBL

top under seat model

Dimensions

8 inch speaker

Frequency Response

50-120 Hz

Impedance

4 Ohms

Mounting Depth

N/A — fits under seat

Power Output/Handling

125 watts RMS, 250 watts peak power rating

Warranty

Yes, one year limited warranty

The BassPro SL from JBL Audio is the best subwoofer for truck owners with little room for speakers. This convenient subwoofer comes in a compact, hard, durable plastic mold, that can be easily placed underneath one of your seats. Simply slide the subwoofer under your truck seat and then set up the wired connections.

These speakers are only 8” but deliver great bass sound with a low impedance of 4 ohms. The low profile woofer won’t be able to create as strong of a bass sound as other units, but those units won't fit under your seat. A class D amplifier is included, and a low-pass crossover variable can reach frequencies from 50-120 Hz.

Aesthetically, this unit is primarily composed of low build parts, including lots of plastic pieces. However, you won’t see these speakers as they fit under your truck seat. The hard plastic components also create a more durable subwoofer that can stand up to being accidentally "kicked" by passengers from time to time. 

Johnny from JBL’s site says, “Regular cab pickup and have 2, one under each seat. Bass is deep and can feel it. Adjustments on stereo head unit are critical.” 

To make this subwoofer speaker work best for you, we recommend digging in and adjusting the stereo unit. Quick adjustments as you play music can let you set an optimal baseline and make the most of your subwoofer.

If you want an under seat unit that is easy to install and inconspicuous in your truck, then you want this subwoofer set. The low profile and high-quality audio make this a great choice for all of your bass needs.

Pros

  • Most compact option for all trucks, simply slide under one of your seats
  • 8” shallow profile woofer
  • Strong frequency rating 50-120 Hz

Cons

  • Low on power with 125 RMS and 250 peak power rating
  • Will not fit under all seats, check that it is compatible with your car model before purchasing

4. MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator

best sounding option

Dimensions

12 inch speaker

Frequency Response

40-400 Hz

Impedance

4 Ohms

Mounting Depth

5 ⅞ inches

Power Output/Handling

250 watts RMS, 800 Peak Power Rating

Warranty

Yes, two year limited warranty

The MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator subwoofer is the entire package for a truck owner who doesn't want to mess with a box, an amp, and a subwoofer. This subwoofer comes with a package that includes a mono amplifier and two 12" subwoofers mounted in a sealed box.

All you need is the wiring, and you can enjoy your favorite music with thumping bass sound. The aviation-grade carpeting on the enclosure protects the speakers while enhancing the sound quality.

The enclosure is made from ⅝" MDF, which is a thick and strong material for a bass speaker enclosure. This helps the speakers hit lower frequencies and project sound better. The low impedance level at 4 ohms with a 40-400Hz frequency response means that these speakers generate clean, clear, high-quality audio.

The easy installation is one of the selling points of this system. It’s a plug-and-play install, which works well for truck owners with little overall speaker knowledge.

If you want a great product with a package that lets you focus on more important things (like best sound option) then the Mitek Terminator TNP212D2 package is perfect for you and your truck audio set-up. The only thing you need to add in is the wiring, and you'll be ready to listen. 

Pros

  • Terminator package comes with a box, an amp, and your subwoofers so you won’t need to worry about matching components
  • Affordable and comes with a two-year warranty
  • Sealed enclosure is made of ⅝” MDF, which is thick and strong material for hitting those low frequencies

Cons

  • Voice coils do not have as much ventilation as other models
  • Lower build quality and cheaper materials make these subwoofer speakers less durable compared to other speaker options

5. ASC Package Dual

best subwoofer for regular cab truck

Dimensions

12 inch speaker

Frequency Response

27-500 Hz

Impedance

4 Ohms

Mounting Depth

5-⅞ inches

Power Output/Handling

150 watts RMS, 300 watts Peak Power rating

Warranty

Yes, one year limited warranty

The ASC Package Dual subwoofer speakers are one of our most affordable 12” speaker options. These subwoofers are also great for a standard cab truck because they were designed specifically for that type of vehicle interior.

Little mounting depth at 5-5/16” inches makes it easy to install these speakers without losing vital interior space. With a low impedance of 4 ohms and a frequency response of 27-500 Hz, these subwoofer speakers deliver exceptional audio quality. 

The gray carpet enclosure covering is not aesthetically pleasing and the build materials could be of a higher quality. That said, the materials are acceptable for the price point. The sealed enclosure is a selling point because you won't need to enclose these speakers yourself.

The sealed truck sub box is already built and constructed with strong MDF. A high-temp coil wire and vented pole piece, as well as a coil-cooling perimeter venting add-on, keep this speaker from blowing up. However, make sure you use an appropriate amplifier to avoid blown speakers.

If you need an inexpensive speaker option, this is a great choice. American Sound offers a one-year limited warranty for their speakers. This is the standard speaker warranty so you can rest easy knowing your budget but still comes with the same protections more expensive speakers do.

Pros

  • Low impedance of 4 ohms for great sound quality
  • One of the most affordable truck subwoofer options
  • Coil-cooling perimeter venting keeps speakers safe even in high temperatures

Cons

  • Unattractive gray carpet enclosure material
  • Easily blown speaker due to cheaper build materials

6. JL Audio 12W7AE-3

Top of the Range

Dimensions

12 inch subwoofer

Frequency Response

18-200 Hz

Impedance

3 ohms

Mounting Depth

9-½ inches

Power Output/Handling

1,000 watts RMS and 2,000 watts peak power

Warranty

Yes, one year limited warranty

The JL Audio 12W7AE-3 subwoofer speakers are perfect for audio enthusiasts. These speakers are made with the highest build quality materials and offer the best specs of any subwoofer on our list. The smooth, clean black finish works well in any vehicle and puts forth a feeling of luxury with the sleek minimalistic speaker face.

These 12” speakers have a frequency response between 18-200Hz and an 86.2 dB sensitivity rating. Both ported and sealed box enclosures are possible with detailed instructions from JL Audio available in the box for both.

Billy says on JL Audio, “This sub hits hard. If you love bass and are a serious bass head, you will surely appreciate this sub.”

If you want to get the most out of your truck’s bass experience, this is what you need. These speakers provide a powerful clean “boom” and can hit the highest and lowest bass frequencies with ease.

The OverRoll surround technology makes it possible for the speaker to generate sound using the entirety of the speaker's flat plane. This helps keep the sound towards the outer edges of the speaker and results in a louder sound.

JL Audio also uses their proprietary dynamic motor analysis technology to optimize the speaker's motors. This helps the subwoofer deliver powerful sound consistently so that you won't experience random "drops" in sound quality. Maximum 1,000 watts RMS and 2,000 watts peak power for strong power handling.

If luxury is your goal, then you need the JL Audio 12W7AE-3 subwoofer speakers for your truck. These premium subwoofers deliver low bass sounds at an incredibly low 3 ohms. Pick up a pair for top of the range audio experience in your truck.

Pros

  • 3 ohms is one of the lowest impedance levels available in tuck subwoofer speakers and delivers premium audio quality
  • Maximum 1,000 watts RMS and 2,000 watts peak power for strong power handling
  • OverRoll Surround technology creates a greater circumference that can be used for sound.

Cons

  • Expensive, and is sold individually
  • Only one year warranty, not much for an expensive product but comparable to other subwoofer warranties

Truck Speakers vs Subwoofers

Your standard truck speakers provide a great mid and high-frequency audio sound system, but cannot hit the low bass and sub-bass frequencies that a subwoofer can. If you want superior sound performance at the lowest bass levels, then you want a subwoofer.

The woofer and tweeter in your current truck speakers can continue to hit the mid ranges and high ranges while your new subwoofer takes over the bass and sub-bass ranges. This creates the ultimate sound experience. Don’t settle for less with standard speakers. Get your subwoofer installed and start experiencing strong bass with your music.


Truck Subwoofer Installation

Every subwoofer has its own specific installation instructions. However, the overall installation process tends to be similar.

To start, you need to decide where to place the subwoofer in your truck. The best place to install a subwoofer in your truck is under the rear seats. To do this, you will need to remove the underlying structure and place the subwoofer with its enclosure there. This will require tools.

Once you have installed the subwoofer, you will need to connect the wire to attach the amplifier. Most amplifiers are placed under the hood. When installing the connecting wires, be careful to securely attach them to the vehicle, and conceal them.

The final step involves connecting the amplifier cable to the stereo and RCA ports. When you have finished the installation, check to make sure that everything works by turning your speakers "on" and playing some music. Then, put the rear seat back and enjoy your new audio system in your truck.

Youtube videos like this one can be an excellent source of advice. 


Common Subwoofer Issues & Fixes

One common subwoofer problem that truck owners experience is a “clipping” noise. This noise typically occurs when the amplifier does not have enough power to support the subwoofer. This can also happen when wires are not fitting correctly or have been burnt.

To fix this problem, check your amplifier and subwoofer specifications. Does your amplifier have enough power to run your subwoofer? If not, upgrade your amplifier. Next, check your wiring connections. Are any of the connections burnt or loose? If so, purchase and install new writing cables.

Another common subwoofer problem is when the power won’t turn on. In this instance, you first want to check the wiring on your subwoofer and amplifier. However, if your speakers still won’t turn on, it’s time to consider your vehicle’s battery.

Too many truck owners are unaware that if your battery is old and inefficient, it may have a difficult time powering your subwoofer. The quick fix here is to replace your truck’s battery. You can test your battery for free at an auto shop.


Essentials for Truck Subwoofers

  • Amplifier
    Every truck subwoofer must be paired with an amplifier. You can use your truck’s existing amplifier (if it has one) or purchase a more powerful custom model. Make sure that your amplifier can support your subwoofer. You want to ensure that the watts RMS rating and the impedance of the sub are supported. 
  • Proper Enclosure
    Truck subwoofer enclosures help support the low frequencies coming from the front of your speaker by eliminating some of the excess sound coming from the back of the speaker. Choose a ported or sealed enclosure and carefully place your subwoofer inside. Some subwoofers come with their own enclosures, and you won't need to complete this installation step.
  • Dynamat Kit
    Powerful truck subwoofers lead to thumping bass, and a Dynamat Kit can help keep your subwoofer steady. Too much vibration leads to more inferior sound quality, and the Dynamat Kit will take any vibration and dampen it to keep the focus on your sound. You can purchase a Dynamat trunk kit on Amazon.
  • Polyester Fiber Box stuffing
    Your truck subwoofer will have sound waves that connect with the excess air in your enclosure. This can create poor sound quality. Using polyester fiber box stuffing can make all the difference with your sound.
  • Amp Wiring Kit
    An amp wiring kit is perfect for truck owners who need to connect their radio, speakers, and subwoofer. These kits come with all of the cables you need to make connections and power your speakers.
  • Speaker Wires
    Speaker wire cable is used to make connections between speakers and amplifiers or receivers. If you need additional speaker wire, you can purchase the wire separately to finish your installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need an enclosure for my truck subwoofer?

Truck subwoofers that have more of a “tight” and “clean” bass sound are enclosed in a sealed box. However, truck subwoofers that have a more “boom” and “loud” sound tend to be in a ported box. You do need an enclosure for your truck subwoofer, but you can choose from a sealed or ported enclosure option.

What is the best subwoofer size for my truck?

The best subwoofer size depends on the amount of space available in your truck cabin. Most truck owners choose 10” or 12” subwoofers, but some can fit 15” subwoofers in their vehicles. The 12” model is recommended for most truck owners because it offers slightly elevated sound quality and volume compared to a 10” model.

How many subwoofers do I need for my truck?

We recommend purchasing two subwoofers for your truck to create the ultimate sound experience. You will get greater clarity, stronger sound, reduce resonance, and create more of a surround sound stereo system. If you want the ultimate audio experience in your truck, you want two subwoofers.

What brands are the most reliable and provide the best warranty terms/customer service for truck subwoofers?

We recommend choosing a truck subwoofer from the following brands if you want a reliable product with great customer service and a strong warranty: JL Audio, American Sound, ASC, MTX Audio, BassPro, and Bose.


Conclusion

Truck subwoofer speakers will take your audio experience and enhance it so that you can enjoy the bass and sub-bass frequencies in your music. Standard truck speakers might capture the mid to high frequencies, but they simply cannot deliver those low frequencies the way a subwoofer can.

If you want to turn your truck into a musical machine, we recommend purchasing two of the JL Audio 12W7AE-3 speakers. These speakers have everything that a truck owner could want: low impedance rating, shallow mount depth, reliable peak power, RMS power handling, and high-quality build materials. Take your driving to the next level with powerful subwoofer speakers to hit every low.

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