Whether you’re trying to win a car stereo competition or you simply want to amp up your sound system – competition subwoofers are the way to go.
A backbone of every killer car audio setup, competition subwoofers provide the bone-thudding, organ-rattling bass notes that impress onlookers and judges alike.
But to have the best sound system around you don’t just need to hear the music – you need to feel it too.
That’s why we are going to break down the subwoofer and identify the best ones on the market. The world needs more bass – and in order to get it, more people need to be informed and confident about their purchase decisions. Keep reading about the best competition subwoofers.
Best Competition Subwoofers – Product Reviews
Chances are you didn’t come here to learn about subwoofers – you came here to find the best ones available. So, without any further ado, let’s get into it!
1. Rockville Destroyer 12D1 Competition Car Audio Subwoofer
Rockvilles have extra thick and stiff cones that produce a sound that other subwoofers can only dream of. They have a wide frequency range of 37 Hz to 1K Hz.
When it can achieve peak power handling at 8,000 watts, there’s not much your stereo system can’t handle. With that much power, you can rock out any competition – but you need to be careful not to sacrifice sound quality for bass.
Rockville offers both 12″ and 15″ subwoofers. While 12″ subwoofers are the industry standard for great bass and unparalleled sound quality, for a bass competition you’ll need the 15″ subwoofers.
The excellent performance is due to the fact that Rockville built their Destroyer subwoofers with triple stacked, 300 oz Y35 magnets – the highest graded magnets in the world. Of course, the cones need to handle that sound and turn it into fantastic audio.
Rockvilles have extra thick and stiff cones that produce a sound that other subwoofers can only dream of. They have a wide frequency range of 37 Hz to 1K Hz.
Looking at the listed benefits, it’s easy to see how they earned our top mark.
- Contains triple stacked, 300 oz Y35 magnets
- Extra thick and stiff cones can handle up to 8,000 watts of power – more than enough for most stereo systems
- Wide frequency response between 37 Hz and 1K Hz
- 12″ and 15″ sizes available, allowing a tailor bass level with sound quality
- None – it’s our top-rated subwoofer for a reason!
2. DS18 HELLION 12.4D
These subwoofers aren’t perfect – but they’re close enough. Powerful enough to split soundboxes that weren’t built for competition level stereo systems. You feel the bass in your core.
To aid in the high-quality sound, they have three high strength 150 ounce magnets and can produce an impressive 4,500 watts of max power. Highly configurable with 4-Ohm impedances, DS18 Hellion 12.4D subwoofers allow you to tailor your sound system to various setups.
While there are tons of perks to the DS18 Hellion 12.4D subwoofers there are two drawbacks that kept them from vying for our top spot. First, they only come in a 15″ size. While this is phenomenal for producing a soul-crushing bass, it can’t keep up with the sound quality that a 12″ subwoofer provides.
Finally, let’s talk about the weight. These subwoofers weigh 60 pounds, making it one of the most massive options available. While this might not be a deal breaker to every audio enthusiast, those looking for a stereo system that doesn’t weigh down the back of their car might flinch at the added weight.
- 150 ounce high strength magnets
- Up to 4,500 watts of max power
- Highly configurable with 4-Ohm impedances
- Competition level bass that will rattle you to your core – it’s strong enough to break low-quality sound boxes
- Only comes in a 15″ size, which can impact sound quality
- Hefty subwoofer at 60 pounds
3. AudioPipe Sub-BDC4-12D2 Subwoofer
If you're looking for a subwoofer that prioritizes fantastic sound quality over pure bass – then you've found your dream subwoofer with the AudioPipe Sub-BDC4-12D2.
If you’re looking for a subwoofer that prioritizes fantastic sound quality over pure bass – then you’ve found your dream subwoofer with the AudioPipe Sub-BDC4-12D2. Its 12″ size is big enough to propel your bass to the next level – but it’s not so large that it distorts the audio.
It’s lightweight at only 35 pounds, and it’s wiring setup has a custom spider ring to make installation more straightforward than ever. Even better, it has a 250 ounce magnet that produces crisp and clear audio. This subwoofer brings the bass – but there’s more.The best part is the price. It’s half the price of other competition subwoofers, making it more affordable than ever to take your stereo system to the next level.
The only real drawback to this AudioPipe subwoofer is the overall wattage rating. While 1,200 watts of power are nothing to sneeze at – it does pale compared to some of the other subwoofers that we reviewed.
- Lightweight at only 35-pounds
- 12″ inch system prioritizes sound quality over bass level
- An extremely affordable subwoofer that gives everyone the option to upgrade their system
- Easy wiring setup makes installation a breeze
- 250 ounce magnets produce crisp and clear audio
- “Only” 1,200 watts of power (up to 2,800 watts of peak power)
4. Kicker 12-Inch with Enclosure Competition Subwoofer
There’s something to be said for convenience. While some people thrive on building their own custom systems for each competition, others prefer to leave the grunt work to the pros. This Kicker, 12-inch subwoofer setup has everything you need.
It includes the soundbox, the capacitor, the amplifier, and a wiring kit so you can convert your existing stereo system with a competition level subwoofer. Unlike other setups that only include a single subwoofer – Kicker comes with two, so you can really take your bass to the next level.
Even better for those looking for convenience – this subwoofer set can be installed in just a few minutes, even though you’ll need to install all of the different components. And you can tweak the bass output from wherever you are with the remote setup – giving you more control of your system from anywhere.
While this is easily the most convenient competition setup we’ve seen there are some downsides to having someone else do all the grunt work for you. First, extra convenience comes with a price tag. And the price tag for these subwoofers is almost twice what other subwoofers cost.
Additionally, while the 12″ subwoofers produce top-notch sound and are undoubtedly outstanding subwoofers, the rest of the supporting equipment that comes with this setup is a little shady. It’s not that it’s low-quality; it’s just not as high-quality as the subwoofers. It’s a bit of a bummer for such a great set.
Finally, the subwoofer can “only” handle up to 1,200 watts. That’s still a lot of wattage, but it’s nowhere near as high as some other competition subwoofers.
- Full subwoofer kit gives you everything you need
- Despite the entire setup, you can complete installation in a matter of minutes
- Comes with a capacitor, amplifier, enclosure, and wiring kit so you can convert your stereo system
- Remote bass control gives you control over your system from afar
- Two subwoofers are included with this setup
- “Only” 1,200 watts of power
- The price tag is significantly higher than a typical subwoofer
- Subwoofers are top-notch – supporting equipment is subpar for competition level
5. Skar Audio ZVX-12v2 Competition Subwoofer
Not only is this subwoofer massive, but it can handle up to 3,200 watts of power – making it one of the more powerful subwoofers on the market.
Whatever you’re looking for, Skar has it. Their 8″ subwoofers produce high-quality audio but can’t move enough air to make soul crunching bass. On the other hand, they have these 18″ behemoths that don’t have the best sound quality but make enough bass to knock your home off its foundation.
Not only is this subwoofer massive, but it can handle up to 3,200 watts of power – making it one of the more powerful subwoofers on the market. A large subwoofer with lots of power means tons of bass – which is why you want a subwoofer anyway, right?
While an 18″ subwoofer can’t help but distort some noise, that doesn’t mean that you want them to sound terrible. That’s why Skar Audio insisted on equipping these subwoofers with a massive triple stack magnet and a high temperature 3″, 8-layer copper voice coil.
It might be all about that bass, but you still want it to sound good! Skar Audio makes these high-quality subwoofers in the U.S.A. This is one contributing factor to their slightly higher price tag, but it’s really not that bad for a high-quality 18″ subwoofer.
- Size options from 8″ to 18″ – whether you’re looking for pristine sound quality or unrivaled bass, they have what you’re looking for
- Produces up to 3,200 watts of power
- Massive triple stack magnet
- High temperature 3″, 8-layer copper voice coil
- Advanced airflow cooling design
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Slightly more expensive than other brands
- 18″ bass produces distorted audio
6. Orion HCCA15 12-Inch Competition Subwoofer
Orion offers a 1-year warranty on all of their subwoofers, giving you a little more peace of mind that as long as you do everything right, you don't have to worry about blowing your subwoofer.
Power and wattage might not be everything, but they sure offer a great advantage. This Orion subwoofer can handle up to 5,000 watts during peak power – making it one of the more powerful competition subwoofers around.
Orion offers a 1-year warranty on all of their subwoofers, giving you a little more peace of mind that as long as you do everything right, you don’t have to worry about blowing your subwoofer.
The thing with this subwoofer is that it truly is the best of both worlds – tons of soul thumping bass paired with phenomenal sound quality. Mostly because the 12″ subwoofer also comes with a voice coil cooling system, dual flat conex spiders, and a polypropylene cone woofer.
All of these components work together to produce top-notch audio that leaves you wanting more after every rift and song. The only real drawback to this Orion competition subwoofer is the weight. At over 83 pounds, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a heavier subwoofer without upgrading to the next price bracket.
- Can handle up to 5,000 watts of peak power
- 1-year warranty for more peace of mind
- Enhanced voice coil cooling systems
- 12″ subwoofer produces high-quality sound without sacrificing extraordinary bass output
- Extremely heavy at over 83-pounds
7. Cerwin-Vega SPRO122D
With the Cerwin-Vega SPRO122D, you’re basically paying for the brand and not the subwoofer. It’s not that they are low-quality subwoofers. They just aren’t worth the often 4-digit price tag that Carwin-Vega slapped on them.
They can handle up to 2,000 watts of power – which is more than enough for most competition sound systems. Even better, Cerwin-Vega SPRO122D comes with a high-density, triple stacked, triple segment paired with an industrial-strength textured basket frame.
This combination produces high-quality sound. The 12″ subwoofers are a great mix between bass and sound quality, making these subwoofers a great set. However, there are other great sets available – without having to spend a small fortune.
They are far from being bad subwoofers, but they are insanely overpriced, which is why we can’t rank them higher on our list.
- Up to 2,000 watts of power output
- Industrial-strength textured basket frame
- High-density, triple stacked, triple segment magnet
- 12″ subwoofer offers a great mix of sound quality and bass
- Extremely expensive for what you get – truly not worth the price
8. Massive Audio 10-Inch Competition Subwoofer
Massive audio might not be a household name for audio competitions but if they keep pushing out products like this 10″ competition subwoofer, that might soon change. While a 10″ subwoofer can only produce so much bass compared to a 12″ or a 15″ subwoofer, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel the bass.
This subwoofer can handle up to 2,000 watts of peak power – which is an impressive amount for such a small subwoofer. The Massive Audio competition subwoofers come with double-stacked, 180 oz high-energy magnets. Massive audio paired the magnets with a 4-layer hi-temp voice coil, and the result is fantastic audio and bass.
While their small size is a drawback in many areas, a huge perk is that they are significantly lighter than other subwoofers – hitting the scales at a mere 22 pounds. Truly the only drawback to this Massive Audio 10″ competition subwoofer is that it can’t produce as much bass as a 12″ or 15″ subwoofer – but that’s genuinely just due to its smaller size.
- Up to 2,000 watts of peak power – incredible for a small subwoofer
- Double stacked 180 oz, high-energy magnets
- 4-layer, hi-temp voice coil produces stunning audio
- Extremely lightweight at only 22-pounds
- Loud and robust 10″ subwoofer
- Small 10″ subwoofer can’t produce the same amount of bass that larger 12″ and 15″ subwoofers produce
9. Power Acoustik MOFO
The old mantra that you get what you pay for has never been more accurate than it is with the Power Acoustik MOFO subwoofers. They are the most affordable option available if you want to upgrade your stereo system by adding a subwoofer.
These 10″ subwoofers can be yours for a price that only China can offer. But with a Chinese product comes Chinese quality and customer service. These subwoofers only come with a 90-day warranty – but since the company is in China, it’s nearly impossible to use.
One of the biggest perks of the Power Acoustik MOFO subwoofer is its insanely lightweight design. It weighs just over 5-pounds, but somehow it can still manage to run 1,200 watts of power. All of this power produces a lot of noise, making it one of the more powerful 10″ subwoofers that you can find.
It’s a super loud subwoofer, but it’s cheap and doesn’t offer the best sound quality. But if you’re looking for a 10″ bass competition, this might be the way to go.
- Extremely affordable subwoofer lets anyone get into the audio competition game
- Weighs just over 5-pounds, making it lighter than most subwoofers
- A powerful subwoofer for its size – can run at 1,200 watts
- Deafening system – but you get what you pay for
- Chinese made with a cloth paper composite – truly cheap materials
10. American Bass XFL1244 Competition Subwoofer
There’s really nothing wrong with these American Bass subwoofers – but there’s nothing that really sets them apart either. That’s a problem if you’re looking for competition subwoofers. These subwoofers aren’t going to win you any bass contests, nor are they going to win you any sound-quality competitions.
It’s a bit of a rock and a hard place; they’re good enough to compete but not good enough to win. But if you’re looking for a top-notch subwoofer to install in your car – this is a great option.
The 12″ design gives you adequate power without sacrificing sound quality. Furthermore, they can run up to 2,000 watts of power, making them one of the more impressive subwoofers you can get. They feature insulated triple-stacked, 220 ounce magnets to improve sound quality, and they have a cooling pump motor design that helps elevate them from the pack.
They are an affordably priced option that gets you exactly what you’re paying for. They aren’t the best of the best, but they aren’t terrible either.
- Up to 2,000 watts of power
- Triple stacked, 220 ounce magnets
- 12″ subwoofers provide a nice mix between sound quality and bass level
- Cooling pump motor design
- Mediocre performance – the subwoofer does everything OK – but not great
Competitor’s Buying Guide
When you’re trying to win a sound competition, there are tons of things you need to know. While you’re not likely to score an award if you’re a novice, getting out there and learning a few things is the only way you’re going to improve!
But how do you keep yourself from looking like a complete fool at your first competition? Keep reading our buyer’s guide, and we’ll set you up with everything you need to know to buy your first competition subwoofer.
What Is a Subwoofer?
Subwoofers are speaker components that excel in lower sound frequencies. They produce rich, deep sound and let you get a soul thumping bass that traditional speakers can’t provide.
Even if you’re not looking for speakers with a crushing bass that can easily shake the house, you’ll still need subwoofers. That’s because they take some of the lower frequencies away from the other speakers, improving the system’s overall quality.
Woofers or Subwoofers?
Technically woofers are a subcomponent of a subwoofer. However, recently these two terms have become so interchangeable that there really isn’t a difference between the two parts anymore.
When Do You Need a Subwoofer?
While subwoofers excel at producing great bass – and that’s what they’re known for – it’s not the only reason why you should invest in the speaker component. Subwoofers can also increase the sound quality in every stereo system – no matter what you’re listening to.
If your regular speakers don’t have to exert as much of their power towards the ultra-low frequencies, they can focus on the aspects that they excel at. This increases your audio quality no matter what you’re listening to!
What Else Do You Need to Win a Sound Competition?
If you’re looking to win a sound competition, you’re going to need more than just a good subwoofer. In fact, even if you have the best subwoofer money can buy, if you don’t have the rest of the setup, you won’t even be able to use it!
When you’re setting up your system for a competition, everything matters. The gauge of your wire, the capacitor, and of course, the soundbox are all needed to put your system over the top. If you fail to address one area, you won’t win the competition, and even worse, you might damage your system!
If you don’t know what you’re doing, spend the extra money to take it to a sound shop.They can help you set up your equipment and make sure you have everything you need. The little extra money now might save you a ton in new equipment down the road!
It’s All About That Bass!
If you’re looking for a competition level subwoofer, it’s probably for the bass. Don’t settle for a smaller subwoofer if you’re looking for something that moves more air than any other system. Subwoofers are about the bass – and if you aren’t happy with the results, you’ll just end up replacing it.
Sound vs. Quality – Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The louder you want your bass, the bigger you want your subwoofer. However, the bigger your subwoofer, the more it will distort the air around it – which will directly affect your sound quality.
The size of the subwoofer you should get really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re planning on entering straight bass competitions, the bigger the subwoofer, the better. But if the competition is to determine who has the best system – your subwoofer could end up being too big.
Check Those Watts!
Watts means power – and for most instances, the more power, the better. However, that logic stops right at the point when your current system can’t handle the wattage that you’re pushing into it.
Conversely, if you run too much wattage into a system that can’t handle it, you’ll fry the components and end up costing yourself a ton of money in new parts.
Finally, the more watts running through your system, the more likely it is to break – even if it is rated for high power usage. While this is alright if you’re expecting it, it’s a big reason why you should try to find a subwoofer that can handle a little more voltage than you plan on using.
It’s not just about the voltage. Resistance affects a ton of things including whether or not your subwoofer will blow up as soon as you set it up. Most speakers will have Ohm ratings between 1 and 5. Make sure that everything matches before setting up your system.
Failing to do so could end up being a very expensive lesson for you to learn. If you’re not sure if your system is set up correctly take it to a professional before connecting anything to power. The little extra price tag up front is well worth the peace of mind – and it might end up saving you a ton of money in the long run by saving your system from being fried!
How Much Should You Spend?
It’s not about how much you’re spending. It’s about what you’re getting. If you’re trying to win a few sound competitions, you’ll probably end up spending well over $1,000 on your entire setup. However, you could spend that much and still end up not winning if you aren’t buying the right components.
Strictly speaking, you can find a high-quality subwoofer for under $500, and if you’re willing to come down in size, you can find them for under $150. Keep in mind that if you plan on upgrading down the road, it’s always cheaper to either wait to get what you really want or spend the little extra money to get what you want the first time.
Other Places Where You Can Use Subwoofers
There are tons of applications where loud subwoofers can make all the difference. Whether you’re setting up the tunes for a family barbeque, a tailgate, or a long road trip, subwoofers are the way you take the music from your ears to your soul.
While people might ask you where you need subwoofers and a stereo system that loud – the real question is, where don’t you need a sound system that loud?
Don’t Compromise on Safety
Loud music is cool and all – but you only get one set of eardrums, and once they’re damaged, you can’t get them back. Your ears can safely listen to 80 dB or less. Once you get over that amount, you’re risking hearing loss.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get a stereo system that gets louder than that – but it does mean you should be a little farther away if you’re playing it that loud. It might seem like safety always puts a damper on fun, but you’ll be thanking us later when you can still hear your awesome sound system.
Sound Distortion Is Real
While it’s fun to watch your windows and mirrors rattle with the bass – it’s incredibly detrimental to the sound quality of your system. It’s why you need to take the make and model of your car into consideration when you’re building your system.
Take the time to understand your vehicle and what will work best with it. Building vehicle stereo systems is an art – and you can’t expect to master it on your first try.
Best Competition Subwoofers – The Final Verdict
While the Rockville Destroyer was our clear victor – you really can’t go wrong with any of the subwoofer options that we listed here. There are tons of subwoofers on the market. That’s why we took our time to research and select the best competition subwoofers that we could find. Believe us when we say there are plenty that didn’t make our list.
If you’re looking at getting into the competition sound game, it’s well worth the investment. Take the leap and crank up that bass!