The Best Competition Subwoofers 2018 [UPDATED]

Competition subwoofers are right at the top of the car audio echelon. Unlike conventional subs, these beasts are categorically designed to put you in the limelight by delivering ground shaking bass that announces your presence miles away before arrival.

Indeed, competition subs are simply the ideal accessories for finicky bass heads seeking to upgrade their ride’s audio quality and win.

In a hurry? Check competition subs on Amazon!

However, it is worth noting that these subs come in varying designs, features and specs, and hence, making it extremely challenging – more so for first-timers – to pick the best of the best.

If all you want is to gain an edge over fellow competitors in your neighborhood or city, it would be in your best interest to read on.




Price for 1 minute

Orion HCCA152

Power Handling: Peak: 5000 watts / RMS: 2500 watts

Polypropylene cone woofer

Rubber tri-radius symmetrical surround

Dual flat conex spiders with loop stitched tinsel leads

Enhanced voice coil cooling systems

15" PICK

Orion HCCA124

Power Handling: Peak: 5000 watts / RMS: 2500 watts

Impedance: 4+4

Polypropylene cone woofer

Rubber tri-radius symmetrical surround

Dual flat conex spiders with loop stitched tinsel leads

Enhanced voice coil cooling systems

12" PICK

Skar Audio VVX-10v2 D2

Competition grade 10" component subwoofer

The RMS power is 600 watts

The max power is 1,200 watts

2.5" high temperature voice coil

High strength paper cone with stitching


JL Audio 8W7AE-3 

8" 3-ohm subwoofer

polypropylene W-Cone with polyester foam surround

solid cast-alloy basket

no grille included: optional grille rods available

power range: 125-500 watts RMS

peak power handling: 1000 watts

frequency response: 23-250 Hz

sensitivity: 82.7 dB

top-mount depth: 6-7/8"

sealed box volume: 0.875 cubic feet

ported box volume: 1.0 cubic feet


Table of contents

The Best 18 Inch Competition Subwoofers

Our Pick: Re Audio XXX18D2 18″ 2,000 Watt RMS

If your sole goal is to out-do any sound system that stands against yours, it would most definitely be in your best interest to check out this beast by Re Audio.

It is not only gigantic physically, but also in regards to the sound it produces. At 110 pounds, you would want to source the help of a close friend during installation.

That said, expect it to deliver 4000 watts of peak power handling abilities, alongside a solid 2000 watts RMS. It will of course awe anybody in proximity to your vehicle, but you will require tons of space to mount it.

Given, you will have to fork out a handsome amount, and while at it sacrifice acres of space in your ride to own it. However, it should all be worth the while at the end of it all.

The Best 15 Inch Competition Subwoofers

Our Pick: Orion HCCA152 15” HCCA Series 4000 Watts DVC Subwoofer

As I mentioned, Orion is arguably one of the best competition subwoofer manufacturers currently. To bluntly put it, the innovative brand has simply mastered the art of bass production.

Topping the list of their high powered subs is the HCCA152 competition grade sub designed to top even other competition subs, leave alone the contenders you have in mind.

It is extremely powerful with a distinct ability to handle a peak power of up to 4000 watts and RMS of 2000 watts. Orion placed due emphasis on the sheer engineering of the subwoofer as you may notice with the 4” high temp coil, 90-pound weight and huge motor designed to move a whopping 4”.

This 15″ competition subwoofer is truly a must-have accessory for audio competitors. The immense punch it delivers speaks for itself and to tap its max potential, you will have to invest in the right box enclosure, companion wires, and amplifier.

There are tons of competition 15″ subwoofers on the market no doubt, but only few can deliver the amount of bass this beast does.

Runner-Up: VM Audio ECW150 Encore 15” 4000 Watts DVC

Indeed, the VM Audio sub allows you to pick the exact components you need to give you the best audio quality. The 15” beast is not only eye-candy and a great fashion accessory for your vehicle but also really affordable.

Generally, you get a peak power handling ability of 4000 watts and RMS of 2000 watts, 97 dB sensitivity rating, and dual 4 ohms impedance voice coils.

The best feature, though, has to be the lateral mechanical suspension and deep piston cone diaphragm designed to facilitate sound purity.

You rarely come across a 4000-watt sub that only requires a mounting depth of 9”. Considering its affordable price, this 15-inch competition subwoofer is definitely worth investing in.

Cheap Option (Under $100): Lanzar DCT15D Distinct Series 2000

Again, Lanzar is definitely not the most popular subwoofer manufacturer out there and in fact, you can tell this by just looking at the DCT15D sub.

It is not aesthetically pleasing, nor the type of product that grabs your attention from the get-go. However, its affordable price tag and great specs will have you pondering on whether really it is a worthwhile investment and true to this, it certainly is.

The competition subwoofer boasts a peak power handling ability of 2000 watts and RMS of 1000 watts. The 15” competition sub is designed with big foam surround, 92 dB sensitivity rating and impedance of 4 ohms facilitated by dual voice coils.

The best part, though, is that you need not fret over space as it only requires a mounting depth of 5.47” which is quite impressive for a competition subwoofer.

To sum it up, this is simply the best bass pumping subwoofer for music enthusiasts on a budget and for good reason. It strikes the perfect combination of power output, with great frequency response.

The Best 12 Inch Competition Subwoofers

Our Pick: Orion HCCA124 12” 4000 Watt

Orion is the brand to beat as you may have learned by now and the same applies when it comes to their 12” competition subwoofers as well.

For starters, it is one of the better-looking competition level subs and hence, a worthy investment for those seeking to add some pizzazz while at it.

That aside, you can expect some heart-throbbing bass enhanced by 4000 watts of peak power, an unparalleled impedance of 2500 watts and unlimited range that can be best summed as across town.

Thanks to its unique RMS, it doesn’t really matter how many hours of abuse you throw at it.

Indeed, the Orion product has a lot going for it and that is the main reason why it is purely the best 12-inch competition sub today. Procure a pair only if you regularly take part in a competition or perhaps, don’t have neighbors to distract every time you drive by.

Cheap Option (Under $100): Pioneer TS-W311D4 12″ 1,400-Watt 4

This Pioneer competition subwoofer is certainly no slouch regardless of being the cheapest 12” sub on our review and you can tell by just looking at its superior engineering.

It really does perform and sound like a Pioneer with 1400 watts of peak power to show for. True, the sub’s RMS of 400 watts may seem a little low for finicky music enthusiasts, but it makes up for this in frequency response.

Besides this, this beast boasts an impedance of 4 ohms and sensitivity of 95 dB – all this around 100 bucks.

It shouldn’t come as a shocker that Pioneer managed to come up huge in regards to the specs and features entailed in the TS-W3114D. It’s of course, the leading car audio manufacturer of all time.

Its price tag is surely its greatest strength, yet you may also include the shallow mount depth of only 6” or perhaps, the 20-125 Hz frequency response depending on the factor that tops your list of priorities.

Read our review of best cheap subwoofers.

Also Great: Kicker 10CVR12-4 2010 Comp VR Series 800 Watt

Kicker has prominently featured in a good number of our reviews and with this; you can tell that it is indeed a top car audio brand.

As usual, don’t expect to burn holes in your pocket with any Kicker product and the 10CVR12 12 inch competition subwoofer is certainly no exception.

These lightweight babies boast 800 watts of peak power, 87 dB sensitivity rating and an impeccable frequency response range of 25-500 Hz.

If that’s not enough to convince you, how about the RMS handling of 400 watts synonymous with larger subs. To cap it all, you will only require mount depth of 6.25” to squeeze its max potential out of it.

What else can you really ask from a competition sub in its price range? It sounds great, performs exceptionally well and delivers hours of abuse at a consistent clip.

Also Great: Re Audio Xxx12d2 12″ 2,000 Watt RMS Rated (4000w Peak)

Now, if the audio quality is truly your main goal regardless of the price you have to pay, this is just the product worth checking out.

This thing delivers unmatched bass lines and huge sound. At just under 92 pounds, you wouldn’t expect it to boast 4000 watts of peak power, or even 2000 watts RMS.

In a nutshell, this is a beast to bluntly put and in fact, your safest bet of coming out unscathed from a bruising audio system battle.

The Best 10 Inch Competition Subwoofers

Our Pick: Orion HCCA102 1500 Watts

By now you obviously know that the HCCA Series by Orion is the best it gets.

Similar to the 15” and 12” counterparts above, these speakers are designed to simply grab the attention of onlookers every time you come around.

If you thought 10” car subwoofers are too small to deliver attention-grabbing bass, well, think again as this beast will deliver 3000 watts of peak power in simplistic fashion.

With an impressive RMS of 1500 watts, it also doesn’t matter how long you thump to your favorite jams. This in combination with enhanced voice coil cooling systems and rubber tri-radius symmetrical surround make up for a pretty durable product overall.

As it has been the case throughout our review, this Orion beast will simply not allow you to play second fiddle to anyone.

Also Great: Skar Audio VVX-10v2 D2 10″ 1,200W

Unless you are an ardent competitor, you probably have never heard about Skar and it’s okay.

However, you may be missing out on one of the best products on the market. This is a 10-inch competition subwoofer that boasts of 1200 watts of peak and complimentary RMS of 600 watts.

If you think that this beast will cave in and damage easily, well, you are wrong. With a 2.5” inch high temp coil and high strength paper cone, it will definitely last for years while performing in top-notch condition.

The Best 8 Inch Competition Subwoofers

Our Pick: JL Audio 8W7AE-3

What more can be said of JL Audio other than it is a leading brand in its own right.

Their Anniversary Edition sub is truly one of a kind thanks to a number of great features such as a frequency response range of 23-250 Hz, a sensitivity rating of 82.7 dB and peak power handling of 1000 watts.

This combined with an impressive 500 watts RMS makes up for a really solid competition subwoofer. For extra rigidness, JL Audio decided to go with a polypropylene W-Cone with a polyester foam surround. That’s quite impressive for an 8” subwoofer.

This thing is pretty tight and solid. It produces neat bass lines with no distortions whatsoever and you can expect it to deliver a huge, fatigue-less sound regardless.

More reviews of best 8-inch subs.

On the Budget: American Bass 8″ 800W

American Bass went all out with this little 8” competition sub and you can tell by just laying eyes on the exterior engineering adopted.

It is quite a looker and thanks to a bold yellow color scheme, it is ideal for pizzazz addition. That aside, the sub boasts of 800 max peak power, and sufficient RMS handling of 400 watts.

You can almost be guaranteed of a lifetime service, enhanced by durable woven tinsel leads, solid double stitch cone and sturdy chrome push speaker terminals.

In a nutshell, it delivers huge bass synonymous with higher-end products, at an affordable price.

What should you know about competition grade subwoofers?

It goes without saying that in order to battle it out with contenders for the best audio system, having state-of-the-art competition subs is a mandatory requirement.

With this in mind, you will have to consider a number of factors such as the type of amplifier to incorporate in your system, the best enclosure box to complement the prospective competition sub, and placement of the overall audio setup in your ride.

In short, it is the perfect combination of these factors that will eventually determine whether or not you emerge tops.

Unlike our other reviews dominated by iconic brands such as Pioneer, the best competition subs as you will notice, are from less popular corporations like Orion for instance.

This just goes to show you how huge the difference is between conventional subs and competition subwoofers. In short, the high power output produced, and bass delivery is the sole aspects that distinguish competition grade subs from the rest.

But as mentioned earlier, you will have to invest in the right box enclosure and companion amplifier as well, in order to achieve the best results.

Bring your car stereo system to a next level by adding: touchscreen radiotweeter, audio capacitor, and an amplifier

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 or at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.