If you’re looking for budget subs with size options, your best bet is to go with the Rockville or Skar Audio models. They are affordable, have a good power range which goes to a maximum of 5,000 watts, something that few others can’t offer. These subs are stable, lightweight, work efficiently, and can handle the heat.
But if you want to fall back on a brand name the Rockford Fosgate P1 series will suit you well. They are made for low distortion and high output and there are many size options. The peak handling is not as good as Rockville but these subs are efficient, durable, and compatible with a range of amplifiers.
Looking for an ALL-IN-ONE car sub solution? – see our review of powered (built-in amp) subwoofers.
Just to give you a heads up – all the units we recommend are sold individually (as one unit).
Table of Contents
- The Budget Car Subs We Recommend
- Around / Under $50
- Around / Under $100
- Everything else we recommend
The Budget Car Subs We Recommend
|Image||Budget Subs||Available Size||Power (RMS)|
250 (10”, 12” and 15”)
Around / Under $50
Skar Audio IX Series
Power (in watts RMS): 150 (8”), 200 (10”), 250 (12”)
Price: All under $55
The IX subwoofer series has three variants—8 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches. The Skar Audio claims that these are the most powerful and reliable drivers while also being affordable. If you are looking for a budget model subwoofer that is perfect for your car, you definitely want to check these out.
All of them come with a single slug premium ferrite magnet which helps it perform at peak levels safely for a good period of time. The subwoofers also come with a two-inch BASV voice coil which allows for optimal performance and cooling.
This is of high quality and is the feature that essentially keeps this woofer line in the running for some of the most powerful subwoofers in its class. They also come with an option of 2 ohms or 4 ohms.
The IX series subwoofers are a terrific combination of efficiency and reliability whether you plan to use them in a sealed application or a vented one. The rating is conservative and the drivers are assembled using components made of the highest grade. This is precisely what separates it from the rest of the competition.
The 8-inch subwoofer (more options) has a maximum power of 150 watts RMS with a maximum handling capacity of 300 watts. The 10-inch variant is rated at 200 watts RMS and a maximum of 400 watts. Lastly, the 12-inch subwoofers come with 250 watts RMS with a maximum power capacity of 500 watts.
All the subwoofers in the series also have an advanced cooling system. These products also have a high roll foam surround and premium strength paper cone which makes the driver quite versatile. If there is a con to these products, it is that some users have reported a little disappointment in its frequency range.
Skar Audio IX video preview
Around / Under $100
Rockville K9 Series
Power (in watts RMS): 250 (6.5”), 500 (8”), 800 (10”), 1000 (12”), 1250 (15”)
Price: All under $140
If you ask us what are the best budget subs given the price, specs, materials, and size availability, the answer would be Rockville K9 series subs. You’ll be paying around $140 for the biggest 15″ option, everything else is cheaper.
These subwoofers have an RMS power range of 250 watts to 1,250 watts with a peak power range of 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts – NO ONE COMES NEAR THESE NUMBERS (give the price). All the models come in 2-ohm and 4-ohm options.
The subwoofers also have two-inch, four-layer ASV voice coils that are wound with oxygen-free copper (OFC) wire that is made in the USA which makes the subwoofer stable.
Each of them also comes with a high-quality magnet and a cast aluminum basket with a finish that makes it efficient and lightweight. There are two chrome-plated post terminals that are the best in the market and can accept wires of any gauge.
They have a non-pressed paper-cone finish which makes them very stiff. The cone comes with reinforcements that make sure the sub runs for a long time. Additionally, there is a polypropylene dust cap.
The subwoofers can also handle a lot of power because they are thicker and stronger than most other subs in the market. The incredible sound quality comes from the thick foam surround and there is minimal distortion too. The heat is managed well as it is dissipated from a vented hole.
Rockville K9 Series video review
Rockville K6 Series
Power (in watts RMS): 500 (10”), 600 (12”), 1000 (15”)
Price: All under $120
Another nice affordable option from Rockville comes in form of K6 series subs. These subs come with an RMS power capacity range from 500 to 1,000 watts. And their peak power handling ranges from 2,000 watts to 4,000 watts.
The subs in this series are also CEA rated and have 2.5-inch, four-layer aluminum voice coils that are also wound with an OFC wire which gives the subs a long life thanks to the high quality.
Each of the subs comes with a high-quality magnet that is double stacked and weighs 100 ounces. The aluminum basket has a black sanded finish which makes the sub efficient.
The non-pressed paper cone is reinforced with fiber and has a polypropylene dust cap. The exceptional sound quality comes from the thick foam surround. There are custom-made rubber boot magnets that make the woofer look good while protecting the magnet. It is also why the sub is easy to mount.
Rockville K6 Series dyno test
Skar Audio SDR Series
Power (in watts RMS): 350 (8”), 600 (10”), 600 (12”), 600 (15”), 600 (18”)
Price: All under $140
Now, let’s talk about the SDR Series which features low spectrum sound that is hard-hitting and also reliable. This series has five subwoofers and they all feature a high flux ferrite motor.
This series is known for its ability to handle extreme power for a long period of time. These subwoofers also come with a sleek red spider system.
Combine that with a high roll foam surround and competition grade paper cone and you’ve really got something. That’s because the woofer is now equipped to produce an impressive low-end bass response each time you play it. It’s a great choice for a daily driver.
The 8-inch subwoofer has a power handling capacity of 350 watts RMS with a maximum of 700 watts. The rest of the models come with 600 watts RMS and a peak of 1,200 watts.
Skar Audio SDR Flex Demo
Skar Audio VD Series
Power (in watts RMS): 400 (8”), 500 (10” and 12”)
Price: All under $100
Our second recommendation is also from Skar Audio. First, let’s talk about the VD series which is a range of shallow mount subwoofers. It is best used in applications with a limitation on depth.
However, power and sound are left uncompromised. These subwoofers have a two-inch voice coil with a high-temperature range. There is a low-profile single stack ferrite magnet which makes it possible to handle a good deal of power while keeping the footprint shallow which makes their application quite versatile.
The 8-inch subwoofer has 400 watts RMS power handling with a maximum capacity of 600 watts. The 10-inch (more options) and 12-inch models come with 500 watts RMS and have a maximum handling capacity of 800 watts. All of them come with a dual 2-ohm capacity.
These subwoofers are great if you are looking for a device under the seat. That’s where the shallow mount feature comes in handy. All three of them come with a high roll foam surround and pressed paper cone which keeps them reliably functional for hours.
Rockford Fosgate P1 Series
Power (in watts RMS): 200 (8”), 250 (10”, 12” and 15”)
Price: under $150
The Rockford Fosgate P1 series has four different variants that are the first of The Punch subwoofers. They came around for the first time in the 1980s and soon became the choice of woofers for everyone who wanted a good bass impact.
The subs are made of VAST technology which has a 25 percent increase in the surface area of the cones. The cone paper is also reinforced with Kevlar fiber which delivers the bass the way you like it. All the subs come with a 2-ohm single voice coil. The 8-inch model comes with 200 watts RMS that accommodates a grille insert and a soft touch ABS trim ring which you will find in the box. These subs delivery impact whether they are in a vented enclosure or a sealed one.
The subs also have a linear spider stitching with embedded tinsel leads. The basket is made of integrated spider venting that keeps the device from overheating. The ABS trim ring can be rubberized with an optional grille for better output.
The subs also have custom 10-AWG nickel push terminals to enable high-temperature output. You will also find an extended pole piece and a bumped vented backplate to manage the same. And the magnet has a protective PVC cover. The manufacturer also offers a one-year warranty.
Everything else we recommend
Sound Ordnance M2 Series
Power (in watts RMS): 50-150 (8” and 10”), 50-250 (12”)
Price: Under $70
The selling point for this budget subwoofer series from Sound Ordnance is that it adds “some boom to your ride”. To begin with, there are three variants in the M2 series—8, 10 and 12 inches and they are all conveniently priced.
You can add more than one of them to your car if you want a little extra bass without burning a hole through your pocket. The subs are made of a tough glass fiber cone which keeps its shape and bass intact even when the volume is turned up.
They all also come with a butyl rubber surround sound which promises to keep the woofer movement on point for many years. The subs come in a steel basket which is a nice, little enclosure for the device.
The 8-inch model has a peak power capacity of 300 watts as does the 10-inch while the 12-inch model goes up to 500 watts. The 10-inch model comes with a dual 4-ohm voice coil so it gives you more stability while you play your music out loud.
It also offers flexibility if you want to change the specs in the future. The same is the case with the 12-inch model. And all of them come with a three-year warranty. So, that’s a load off.
Kicker CompR Series
Power (in watts RMS): 300 (8”), 400 (10”), 500 (12”), 800 (15”)
Price: All under $150 except 15″ option
If you are looking for budget subs, you might want to check out the 8- and 10-inch models. But the entire series has four models. These subs are sold by the Kicker as powerful and reliable. If you like your music loud and for a long time, you might like the Kicker CompR series.
The 8-inch model has a power capacity of 300 watts RMS with a peak capacity of 600 watts. The 10-inch sub has a power of 400 watts RMS and its maximum is 800 watts.
Now, all the subs have a double-stacked magnet and a powerful bass and there is a low-end response for thump. This series also comes with a signature red double stitching which makes the woofer cone and surround sound bond well which means the bass stays deep at all volumes.
All the CompR subwoofers also come with a suspension system that has a large diameter to eliminate distortion and accommodate linear movement.
Now about the heat. There is a forced-air cooling system that keeps the subs 25 percent cooler than the previous models from the same manufacturer. All the subs in this series come with two sets of coils that have brass terminals. They are spring-loaded and come with a satin nickel finish. Gently push the terminal and you will get the wiring options.
MTX Terminator Series
Power (in watts RMS): 150 (10”), 200 (12”)
Price: under $70
Here is another economically priced subwoofer series. This is the Terminator series from MTX. This series has two variants—10 inches and 12 inches. While the 10-inch model only has dual 2-ohm voice coils, the 12-inch model comes with an option of 4-ohm coils too.
The subs in this series are the pride of MTX engineers because of two main features. The devices have a spider plateau venting which cools the coils and keeps them from overheating. The second is the linear drive system which is asymmetrical and makes the cone move only in the linear direction and prevents distortion.
The venting technique also keeps the performance levels of the subs top-notch. For a budget subwoofer, this series has a lot to offer. It is described as a “badass pounder” which has an extended pole piece too. This makes the output smooth and piston-like drive.
The subs are also equipped with rubber surround sound, which makes them more durable and keeps them working for a long time.
The 12-inch model is known to give you bass in any rig and is labeled the classic Terminator. It is an entry-level sub but is touted to be better than every other model in its class and offers great performance. It has a single voice coil and has all the features that the 10-inch model does.
JBL Stage Series
Power (in watts RMS): 200 (8”), 225 (10”), 250 (12”)
Price: under $80
This is the Stage series from JBL. This series has three variants and they have all been designed for low distortion of bass and high output. The power handling capacity goes as high as 1,000 watts and it comes in sizes that fit anything from a compact car to a limo.
Now, the eight-inch model has a power capacity of 200 watts RMS and a peak handling capacity of 800 watts. The 10-inch model has an operating capacity of 225 watts RMS and a peak of 900 watts while the 12-inch variant has a power capacity of 250 watts and a peak of 1,000 watts.
Now, all the subs in this series are lightweight but have a stiff polypropylene woofer cone. This, along with the hi-roll rubber surround sound, gives them high efficiency and also durability. This is also why these subs are compatible with a range of amplifiers.
Here’s an interesting fact, these subwoofers are actually turned by some of the expert engineers in the business so that the output is a signature JBL sound. Something the manufacturer is quite proud of.
All the speakers are rigorously tested to make sure the efficiency and durability of the product are not compromised after purchase. This includes testing them in a variety of climatic scenarios. The products are frozen, baked, and shaken vigorously. They are also subjected to a blast of UV rays and are played at high power for days to make sure the product lives up to the promise.
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / *Image Disclaimer: We use images/data from Amazon Product Advertising API solely on products that link to Amazon. On products with the "Price at Crutchfield" button, we use images/data from Crutchfield.com as per the partnership deal.