Generally speaking, free air subs compromise of an enclosure with a boot volume, rather than the conventional design where the system consists of a separated tuned box.

The upside of free air subs is that they are quite easy to install and besides this, they are ideal for sedans where a “tight bass” approach isn’t necessarily the best path to take. They have flaws, though, and the main one is that they aren’t designed to deliver heart-throbbing bass as is the case with competition-grade subs for instance.

The Free Air Subs We Recommend

Free Air SubsAvailable SizePowerFrequency Response
Our Pick

Infinity Kappa 1200W 12' 1200...
$123.94 at Amazon



RMS: 500 W
MAX: 2000 W

RMS: 450 W
MAX: 1800 W

RMS: 400 W
MAX: 1600 W
23-400 Hz

30-200Hz

34-200Hz
Runner-Up

Infinity Reference REF1200S...
$81.52 at Amazon

RMS: 250 W
MAX: 1000 W

RMS: 200 W
MAX: 800 W
27-175 Hz

35-175 Hz
Also Great

Kicker CWCD154 CompC 15'...
$127.96 at Amazon

RMS: 600 W
MAX: 1200 W

RMS: 300 W
MAX: 600 W

RMS: 200 W
MAX: 400 W
25-500 Hz

27 - 500 Hz

30 - 500 Hz
Our Pick

Infinity Kappa 1200W

Available sizes: 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch

Infinity models are well known for their unsullied sound yield; the 12″ Infinity Kappa sub is a perfect reflection of that. The Kappa 1200W is an ingenious assembly with sleek flair to back it.

This sub is known to produce an off the charts tumble even with no box boost application. This makes it one of the market’s high soaring free air subwoofers globally. What’s even better is that it goes on to include innovative technology to boost its proficiency.

The kicker to this sub has got to be its power output; it dishes out a solid 500 Watts RMS and 2000 Watts at its peak. From that alone, you can already tell Infinity Kappa 1200W 12″ free air sub can drop a rather heavy punch. When it drops a tune, it does so with rambunctious bop that can do no less than blow your hat off.

Besides that, the sub makes wiring a breeze with its Selectable Smart Impedance; it lets you switch between 2 and 4 Ohms with remarkable ease. The configuration has never come this easy.

One look at its chassis would have you underrate its capability because, well, it might as well be the sleekest sub out there. Nevertheless, it’s steel basket is sturdy enough to stand any storm. It’s glass fiber made cone is can also take a punch thanks flex – resistant attribute. Cone excursion is cherry cake easy for this sub; this lets it stretch its capabilities to an impressive level.

The last but definitely not least mention is its aero cooling technology that helps keep its voice coil clear of any thermal mishaps.

This sub gives its counterparts a run for their money with its all flossy all capable package. Even under free-air application, it delivers musical strings with a notorious dynamism not to mention clarity.

Runner-Up

Infinity Reference REF1200S

Available sizes: 12-inch, 10-inch

This free air subs list would be incomplete without a shallow mount inclusion; small spaced vehicles too deserve a little bass too. And this case, the spotlight falls on the very much deserving Infinity Reference REF1200S.

However, don’t let its small package fool you, this sub is will have your mouth ajar once it drops a beat. Who said limited space should deprive you of the chance to shake up your car.

In all honesty, the 12″ Infinity Reference is rather teeny requiring a mounting depth of only 3.5″ for a proper setup. You can have it running from a very small portion of your car space. But, does it sound any good?

You’ll be pleased to know that this little fella is very much capable of kicking you off your boots. With a power RMS of 250 Watts and a max output of 1000 Watts ( that’s right), what more would you expect?

Sensitivity is a major kicker with this one coming in at 92dB. This sub also takes on the low frequency with decency as it’s frequency response ranges between 27 Hz all the way to 175 HZ. It also features switchable impedance allowing you to waltz between 2 and 4 Ohms at the flip of a switch.

Not only does this sub look good, but it’s also built to stand the test of time. To ensure a seamless reproduction, the sub is furnished with a rigid polypropylene cone that remits nothing but clean rhythmic tunes.

Is it small? Yes. Sleek and snazzy? Definitely. But does it pack a punch when the need arises? Absolutely. Infinity Reference REF 1200S is loaded with efficacy and a long-lasting service period guarantee.

Also Great

Kicker CompC CWCD154

Available sizes: 8-inch, 12-inch, 15-inch

As they say, bigger is always better. That statement might fall short every now and then but in this case, it couldn’t be more correct. When you feel it’s time to step it up to the 15-inch free air league, be sure to take the Kicker CWCD154 into consideration.

Large comes to its body as well as its competence. This sub runs a 600 Watts RMS rating through its chassis and can go all the way to 1200 Watts at its peak. Agreeably, a sub that powerful will have a car’s chassis vibrating uncontrollably if pushed all the to its limit.

Even at a relatively low volume, you would be right to expect all sorts of musical thuds and punches. Considering its 25-500Hz frequency response, there’s no limit the to what CWCD154 can drop. Calling it a hard-hitting sub would be a wry understatement of its capabilities.

In addition to the above, the subwoofer features dual 4 Ohms voice coils that back its reliability even when performing under extremities.

Its injection-molded polypropylene cone gives the sub remarkable hard-hitting strengths thanks to the fact this lets unrestricted excursions easily achievable. To wrap all that up is the Kicker signature yellow surround stitching that gives it a bit of an aesthetic pop.

For an inexhaustible dose of some clean, seamless and extremely bassy music, this is the go-to 15″ subwoofer. Needless to say, this sub represents the epitome of extreme free air bass bursts; its bound to keep heads bopping for a very long time.

Budget

JBL S2-1224

JBL is a giant in the industry and for that very reason, JBL strives to keep its users awed. An in truth, JBL S2-1224 is a representation of the greatness that is the JBL brand.

The thing with this sub is that it’s built to revamp your musical experience by bringing out the tunes exactly as they were intended. And you know what else? You don’t have to dig that far deep into your pockets to own it.

JBL S2-1224 subwoofer focuses on maximum power optimization as a way to get you the delivery you desire. How? Well, first and foremost, this sub comes packed with 275 Watts RMS which shots up to 1100 Watts at its peak.

Secondly, it houses an exceptional 3 inched voice coil instead of the conventional 2 inches; this revs up its power handling ability by a long shot. If you think that’s incredible, it gets better. Trying to configure your sub in an attempt to tap its full-on adeptness is nothing short of daunting.

JBL is known for its no-compromise methods of ensuring customers satiety. Palpably, S2-1224 stands as a testimony to that. There’s only so much that can be said about this 12″ free air sub. The standing fact though? It can definitely pack a punch.

Budget

Lanzar DCTOA15D

You definitely want a sub that has all it takes to keep you giddy and avid. And at an unbelievable price tag, Lanzar DCTOA15D lets you do just that. This hard-hitter tops the list within its price range with reliable reproduction and prowess. In addition, it brings to the table a whole lot of fresh innovative technological inclusions.

Power, every sub’s lifeline, comes reasonable catered for with the Lanzar DCTOA15D. The sub has a 200 Watts RMS rating and 400 Watts maximum output. Although this may not be the best rating out there, it’s sufficient for a subtle bass drop within a cabin.

In regards to how low or high this sub can take you, it’s 31-2kHz frequency response tells you all you need to know about its versatility. Its frequency range is incredibly wide allowing its users the privilege of a filtered musical episode regardless of the nature of its notes. Its dual-layered 3-inch voice coil gives it that reliability factor that most audiophiles relentlessly look for in subwoofers.

Moving to its design, the Lanzar DCTOA15D features a non-pressed paper cone with a lofty foam surround. This allows the sub punchy bursts without damaging its internal components. Other than that, its motor is vented to kick up its durability levels. Lastly, everything comes assembled carefully into a steel basket shelter that holds each component well in place.

Top-notch performance and output are, in a nutshell, what the 15 inch Lanzar DCTOA15D has up its sleeves. More importantly, it let’s those on the tight budget into the magnificent world of a boom.

Marine Option

Wet Sounds XS-10FA-S4V2

For all you boaters out there, here’s a little something for you too. Authentic marine subs are hard to come by, and that explains all the fracas encompassing the Wet Sounds XS-10FA-S4V2 subwoofer.

The geniuses behind this one of a kind conception intended to give boaters an adequate companion to help them take on voyages into the deep. The XS-10FA-S4V2 comes with a Bass upsurge that’s guaranteed to rock up the docks.

This package is made specifically for boat free air applications; it consists of dual XS-10FA-S4V2 subs, each with a 300 Watts RMS rating. At its peak, each of these subs is able to push a 600 Watt output. It takes on low frequencies coolly thanks to its 25-500Hz frequency response range.

I have to admit, the Wet Sounds XS-10FA-S4V2 overall chassis is nothing short of swank. With a contemporary silver protective grill, it’s proving to be a stylish addition to any boat.

Knowing just how harsh the briny marine milieu can get, it’s manufacturers made sure to brace up sufficiently for the task. It’s a powder-coated aluminum frame, magnet boot and gold plated terminals are some of the mitigatory inclusions to help it dodge potential moisture-related damages. With that, you can rest easy as the XS-10FA-S4V2 cranks up the waters.

A sub built to withstand battles waged in the deep is definitely no joke. The Wet Sounds XS-10FA-S4V2 means serious business when it comes down to dropping a punch; it will rev up any voyage regardless of how grim it may appear.

Free Air FAQ

What is a Free Air Subwoofer?

In a nutshell, this is a type of subwoofer that does’t require a mounting box/enclosure.

This is one of the main complaints when you consider incorporating a sound system such as a subwoofer with the soundbox in your car; you have a very good sound quality, but it takes up a lot of space. For this reason, if you want to enjoy pumping bass but without wasting much space, we recommend using a free air subwoofer.

In contrast, we also have to emphasize that a free air subwoofer is not going to have the same sound quality as a subwoofer mounted in a carefully designed case. The absence of a enclosure makes them very attractive to install, but on the other hand, they will admit less power than the other types of boxes, since there is no additional acoustic control of the excursion.

To conclude, using an open-air subwoofer is a good solution for those people who have a smaller trunk. Overall, it’s the easiest and most economical method to add some bass to your car music without giving up a lot of space.

How do you install a free air subwoofer?

In the installation of free air subwoofers, they are usually mounted on the rear cover or attached to a board placed between the rear seats of a car and the trunk. This board makes an airtight seal and turns the entire boot into an enclosure. However, as we have already discussed above, it should be noted that the use of a free air subwoofer can compromise sound quality.

One thing to note is that when mounting such a speaker on its rear platform or behind the rear seats, it is recommended to use damping material such as Dynamat or Hushmat in the trunk so that you can get a better sound.

Vincent Talbot

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API