Are you a real bass head? Well, what you need is an external subwoofer to attain the louder, and fuller bass required. But, what if space is an issue, though? Indeed, space is a hindering factor when it comes to car subwoofers and more often than not, you will have to sacrifice your entire trunk, if heart-throbbing bass is really what you desire. You can’t depend on doors or rear deck speakers to satisfy your needs – that’s a fact. Fortunately, there is a solution to all this. If you own a compact car, yet require fuller bass for fun rides, you can opt to purchase best shallow mount subwoofers.

For those in the dark, shallow mount subwoofers are basically powered speakers designed for simplistic installation, in depths of four inches or less. These powerhouses are technically the answer to your space problems and with them, you can expect the best low-frequency responses; only without having to occupy your trunk with large speaker enclosures. However, the sheer fact that shallow mount subs are special assets, makes finding a good one quite challenging. To make it easier for you, we sought to find out the best products on the market this year. Before we do, though, it is worth noting that there are shallow mount subs of varying sizes ranging from 10 – inch subs, to 15 – inch subs. Below, we delve on the best ones in every category.

Table of contents

The Best 12 Inch

Our Pick: Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-12 P3 Punch Shallow Mount DVC 2-Ohm Subwoofer

Rockford is a reliable brand with a solid reputation for crafting some of the very best speakers on the market. In fact, the manufacturer is a pioneer when it comes to car audio system and therefore, you can almost always be guaranteed of something special with any of their products. The thing about the P3 Punch is that it reflects just how a quality sub should perform. To put this into better perspective, let’s dwell on the features entailed in the P3.

Very few 12 inch subs can match the punch delivered by the P3 and this can be partly attributed to its impeccable power handling ability of a whopping 150 watts. That’s really impressive for a speaker that only requires a mount depth of less than four inches. In its arsenal, the Fosgate sub also boasts dual 2-ohm voice coils for enhanced wiring flexibility, alongside an anodized aluminum cone and dust cap designed to make it light. Rockford decided to throw in the exclusive M-Roll Santoprene surround technology that allows the speaker to remain rigid, while providing extra excursion to optimize output and maintain rigidness. The P3 is one of the most reliable subwoofers with an added punch – as its name implies – to deliver the best low-frequency response, for a twelve-inch sub.

The only fault I could lay on the P3, is that it simply isn’t designed to rock your car or draw attention with ground shaking bass as is the case with other subs. It is simply crafted to serve its purpose – to produce amazing punch for those in the car and not bystanders.

It can be fitted in limited spaces such as the rear deck or trunk, without compromising on the punch you so desire. Further reading: ROCKFORD FOSGATE PUNCH P3 SERIES SUBWOOFERS Full Review

Runner up: Pioneer Shallow Mount 12 Inch Subwoofer with 4 Voice Coils TS-SW3002S4 1500 Watt

By now, you are probably aware of the fact that Pioneer is simply the number one brand when it comes to car audio accessories and this isn’t by fluke in any way. It is the manufacturer that sets benchmarks in the niche, so why not in shallow mount subwoofers as well? The Pioneer TS-SW3002S4 is one serious punch facilitator and below, are a number of good reasons why this is the case.

For bass enthusiasts who like turning it up every now and then, the 1500 watts of pure punch provided by this sub should be more than sufficient to satisfy your needs. The one thing that distinguishes this sub from the rest, though, has to be the Air Suspension Control System technology. Most subs adopt the conventional spider design to keep the coil aligned while in throbbing mode. However, this design isn’t ideal for shallow mount subs as it affects the speaker’s rigidness to some extent. With the Air Suspension Control technology, Pioneer TS-SW3002S4 is able to lock in air between the main cone and drive cone to deliver heart-throbbing bass that is extremely rare for shallow mount speakers.

While it is a shallow mount speaker, Pioneer TS-SW3002S4 will require a sufficient amount of mount depth of more than six inches to reach its peak and tap into its beastly potential. However, it should go a long way in saving you some space compared to conventional subs.

Generally, this Pioneer subwoofer packs some serious punch – all wrapped in one neat, small package that should be more than ideal for compact vehicles. I would definitely recommend it for those in the search for a best 12 inch shallow mount subwoofers.

Also Great: JL Shallow Mount 12 Inch Component Subwoofer 12TW3-D4 400W Dual 4 Ohm Thin Line

JL Audio has been at it for quite a while now, and the manufacturer ensured that you need not compromise performance, for a shallow sub. The extra-slim sub packs superior engineering and modern technology to enhance ground-shaking bass while retaining a slim look. In short, you get rugged, yet rigid polypropylene cones, concentric tube technology, rubber surround for durability purposes and 3 ¼ inch cast aluminum baskets for easy installation.

Also Great: Alpine Shallow Mount 12″ Subwoofer Swr-t12 12-Inch 1800 Watt 4 Ohm

Should I begin by mentioning that this subwoofer sports an impedance of 4 ohms or the fact that you get a whopping 1800 watts to get you bumping to the latest tunes even on gloomy days. Of course, what else can you expect from a manufacturer with a solid reputation like Alpine? Regardless of whether you are looking for a sub to serve recreational needs or one that can stamp authority in competitive levels, this is a sub that won’t disappoint.

Also Great: Infinity Reference Shallow Mount 12″ Subwoofer – REF1200S

Infinity is a reputable brand and thanks to speakers such as the REF1200S, the manufacturer can only head towards an upward trajectory in regards to popularity. This sub is designed to specifically meet the needs of car owners with less room to give up. So, what makes this subwoofer special? Well, we can mention the 1000 watts of peak power, or perhaps the remarkable sensitivity of 92 dB. To cap it, this shallow mount sub only requires a mounting depth of 3.5 inches and hence, making it one of the best subs that require the least space. On purchasing the product, you also get a warranty of 1 year to prove that indeed, it is a durable speaker that you can rely on to deliver great punch without caving in.

Also Great: MTX Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofer – FPR-02

If you are searching for a competition level sub to deliver big bass and some due attention while at it, your safest bet lies in an MTX product. Indeed, the manufacturer has created a solid reputation for crafting great competition level subs and the FPR-02 is certainly no different. This sub can handle up to 400 watts RMS with a peak of a whopping 800 watts. The single 2 ohm voice coil isn’t necessarily the best out there when it comes to wiring applications, nor is the 82 dB sensitivity rating. However, you can always be guaranteed of an outstanding audio experience with MTX products and in specific, this subwoofer that comes complete with a 2-year warranty.

The Best 10 Inch

Our Pick: Rockford Fosgate Shallow Mount 10 Inch Subwoofer P3SD2-10 Punch PS3 10-Inch 2-Ohm DVC

Once again, Rockford emerges tops. The car audio manufacturer certainly knows what it takes to stay ahead of the pack and this can be partly attributed to its great wealth of experience; being one of the industry’s pioneers. Rockford has a string of impressive products on the market as you probably know by now and this 10-inch shallow mount sub is certainly one of them. Why exactly does the manufacturer keep popping up on our reviews? Let’s have a look at the key features of the PS3 – 10 inch Punch.

The one thing that distinguishes the PS3 Punch from other subwoofers is the fact that it comes with an exclusive M-Roll Santoprene Surround technology. In short, you get unlimited range and impressive surround features in every corner of your vehicle. The anodized aluminum cone packs dual 2-ohm voice coils to make wiring the sub, a walk in the park. Also, few 10-inch shallow mount subs can deliver the amount of punch this speaker packs thanks to an impressive peak power of 600 watts and RMS rating of 300 watts. In short, expect this beast to optimally deliver in a sealed enclosure with a mounting depth of only 3.75 inches.

The only fault that can be laid on the P3 Punch is the somewhat low sensitivity of 83 dB. Other than this, you can expect to have a great audio experience defined by unparalleled bass without having to worry about any distortions.

If procuring a sub that can do it all is simply your motive, the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2 is the answer. You get great bang for the buck, and pure bass alongside outstanding frequency range thanks to futuristic technologies. Besides, it tops our list for a reason, right?

Runner Up: Pioneer Shallow Mount 10 Inch Subwoofer TS-SW2502S4 1200 Watts

If you expected our review to lack at least one Pioneer product, you were wrong. Pioneer is a leading brand, with quality speakers in their portfolio to show for. This Pioneer shallow mount 10-inch beast has a lot going for it as we will see, but the one thing that we can pinpoint as its greatest strength has to be the sub’s impressive design. The slim sub is indeed a looker, and in fact, paints the perfect picture of how cool subs should resemble. That said, let’s have a look at the key features that define the Pioneer TS-SW2502S4.

For a 10 inch sub, 1200 watts of peak power may seem as far-fetched; but not for Pioneer. Indeed, you get a whopping 1200 watts of peak with 300 watts of RMS to ice the cake. Moreover, Pioneer managed to entail a remarkable sensitivity rating of 91 dB alongside an equally outstanding frequency response of 20-125 Hz. The manufacturer also decided to go with a mica-injected resin cone – as is the norm with most of its products – to not only enhance durability but also deal with distortions for optimal performance.

Unfortunately, this sub will require a little more room compared to its counterpart above. This means that you will have to go with a larger sealed enclosure with a depth of slightly more than 4 inches, to squeeze the most out of it.

When it’s all said, it is a Pioneer and hence, you can expect a great audio experience overall. Pioneer is one of the best brands out there and so is the TS-SW2502S4.

Also Great: JL Audio Shallow Mount 10 Inch Subwoofer 10TW3-D4

When it comes to shallow subs, JL Audio has over the years, managed to give the top brands (read above), a run for their money and for good reason. The Florida-based manufacturer has been creating the entire buzz with the JL Audio 10TW3-D4 thanks to a number of amazing features, besides the fact that you only need to mount this beast in a depth of less than 3.25 inches. For starters, you get continuous power handling of less than 400 watts and 800 watts of peak. Secondly, the impressive frequency range of 24-200 Hz should be more than enough to fill your entire vehicles with heart throbbing bass. When it comes to shallow mounts, the main idea is to get a subwoofer that can not only be mounted in a shallow space but also optimize on the least amount of total airspace. The JL Audio 10TW3-D4 manages to achieve just that thanks to its slim design and extraordinary specs.

Also Great: Alpine Shallow Mount Subwoofer 10″ SWR-T10 1800 Watt 4 Ohm

Alpine has a knack for designing good-looking products, which are extremely loud. This technically means that if your main goal is to get a high-performance sub that also doubles up as a fashion accessory, your safest bet lies in at least one Alpine Type R product such as the SWR-T10. This baby will deliver satisfying bass levels in a mounting depth of only 3.5 inches. If you expected 10-inch subwoofers to fall short in regards to the power output produced, it is worth noting that this one packs a peak power handling of a whopping 1800 watts and impressive RMS of 600 watts. Technically speaking, this is one of the easiest subs to mount and comprehensively, one of the best out there.

Also Great: Kicker Shallow Mount 10 Inch Subwoofer CompRT 10″ 2-Ohm

One thing about Kicker is that they always know how to design quality speakers for the low-end market. This basically means that if you are on a budget and seeking for a sub to enhance the overall audio quality of your compact car – there is no better place to look than the Kicker CompRT way. Indeed, you can expect to find a number of worthwhile features such as a sensitivity rating of 87.2 dB, 800 watts of peak power and impressive RMS of 400 watts. Generally, this is the ideal sub for those on a budget, period!

Also Great: MTX Audio FPR10-04 Shallow Mount Subwoofer

As stated earlier in this review, MTX is an expert at designing competitive level subs and the same applies to the FPR10-04. Despite being a monster in regards to punch delivered, it will fit in virtually any space within your car thanks to a mounting depth of only 3.25 inches. It handles up 300 watts RMS and peak power of 600 watts. The best part, though, is that you need not fret over distortions regardless of the amount of volume you throw its way.

The Best 8 Inch

Our Pick: Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-8 8″ Shallow Mount DVC 4-Ohm Subwoofer

If you have been closely following the trend throughout our review, you will notice that the best subs on the market simply follow suit in every size category. This is the main reason why Rockford remains the number one speaker even among 8 inch subs. That said, here are some of the key features to expect in the P3 Punch 8 inch shallow mount subwoofer.

The 8 inch P3 Punch is basically designed to match the performance of its larger versions (read above), which is no mean feat considering the low mount depth of only 3 9/16 required. It adopts the same mechanism of an anodized aluminum cone and dust cap, found in the 10 inch and 12 inch P3’s, alongside the exclusive M-Roll Santoprene surround features. In short, you can expect a high output, yet rigid sub for total bass satisfaction.

The 150 watts of RMS may seem low compared to the other subs in our review. However, this is an 8 inch sub and hence, sufficient enough to serve you optimally.

This is purely the best shallow mount subwoofer on the market when it comes to delivering high quality, ground-shaking bass. Regardless of whether you opt for the 12 inch, 10 inch or 8 inch Rockford Fosgate  P3, you can almost always be guaranteed of distortion-free sound and quality bass lines.

Also Great: Kenwood KFC-XW800F – 8″ Subwoofer

Of course, Kenwood had to pop up somewhere within our review. The KFC-XW800F shallow mounting sub packs all the key features found in most of the premium brands above such as an impressive impedance of 4 ohms, peak power handling of 600 watts and outstanding frequency response of up to 500 Hz max.

Also Great: Kicker 8 Inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer 40CWRT81 8″ CompRT 1 ohm

As always, you can always rely on Kicker to give you the best audio experiences; at pocket-friendly prices. The Kicker 40CWRT818 is certainly no different. For as low as 140 bucks, you get a shallow sub sporting 84.8 sensitivity rating, peak power handling of 600 watts and 300 watts RMS. Surely, what more could you ask for from a sub in its price range?

Also Great: MB Quart DS1-204 400 Watt 8 Inch Shallow Slim Subs DVC Car Subwoofers

Few of you have heard about MB Quart speakers and you will be forgiven – at least for now. The subs come as a pair and hence, delivering a peak power handling of 800 watts and RMS of 200 watts – more than you would get from either one of the subs above. Moreover, these pair of subs will deliver an impedance of 4 ohms and sensitivity of 81 dB. All this, for the price of one.

Vincent T
*Any prices mentioned in the article were at the time of publishing and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.