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 sub 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.

Shallow Mount Subs We Recommend

Shallow Mount SubsAvailable sizesTop Mount DepthFrequency ResponseRMSPeak
JL Audio 12TW3-D4 12' 400W...
Our Pick

$352.52 at Amazon
12-inch, 10-inch3-1/2″22-200 Hz100-400 watts800 watts
PIONEER TS-SW3002S4 12'...
Bang for the Buck

$88.18 at Amazon
12-inch, 10-inch3-3/8″20-125 Hz100-400 watts1500 watts
Infinity Reference REF1200S...
Also Great

$88.95 at Amazon
12-inch, 10-inch3-5/16”27-175 Hz250 watts1000 watts
Focal Sub P 25 FS 10' Shallow...
Top Notch

$244.99 at Amazon
8-inch, 10-inch3-7/16”35 - 400Hz280 watts560 watts
Our Pick

JL Audio 12TW3-D4

Available sizes: 12-inch, 10-inch

Top-mount depth: 3-1/2″
Power range: 100-400 watts RMS
Peak power handling: 800 watts
Frequency response: 22-200 Hz
Sensitivity: 84.11 dB

When it comes to shallow subs, JL Audio has over the years, managed to give the top brands, 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 fewer than 3-1/2″.

For starters, you get continuous power handling of 400 watts RMS and 800 watts of the peak. Secondly, the impressive frequency range of 22-200 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 12TW3-D4 manages to achieve just that thanks to its slim design and extraordinary specs.

Bang For The Buck

Pioneer TS-SW3002S4

Available sizes: 12-inch, 10-inch

Power range: 100-400 watts RMS
Frequency response: 20-125 Hz
Sensitivity: 93 dB
Mounting depth: 3-3/8″

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 400 watts RMS 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 the 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 the 12-inch shallow mount subwoofers.

Also Great

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2-12 Punch

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

Power range: 50-400 watts RMS (200 watts per voice coil)
Peak power handling: 800 watts
Frequency response: 34-250 Hz
Sensitivity: 85 dB
Top-mount depth: 3-11/16″

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 400 watts RMS. That’s really impressive for a speaker that only requires a mounting depth of fewer 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 an amazing punch for those in the car and not bystanders.

Also Great

Kicker 43CWRT102 CompRT

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

400W RMS 800W Peak Power
2-8Ω Dual Voice Coils
84.8 dB sensitivity
3 and 7/16th” mounting depth
9 and 1/8th” mounting diameter

It’s the dual voice and average volume. I think if I had a 1950’s car with a bad speaker to resto-mod, I would mount this out of view and wire it in stereo to give the car’s audio system a more classic feel.

At 9 and 1/8th” you’ll be cutting a fairly big hole in your interior. That’s a drawback, to me, compared to the Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F 12in, which is bigger, louder, and only requires a 3 5/16th cutout. It would be a good choice for someone in the market for a reasonably priced subwoofer for any car they drive, it would make a good replacement subwoofer for any of yours that are broken or getting old and rattling.

I do prefer it to the Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X10 Prime R2S because of the higher power rating and dual voice coils, which give you more options for pairing with an amplifier.

Also Great

Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F

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

350W RMS 1,400W Peak Power
4Ω Single Voice Coil
91 dB sensitivity
30-700hz freq response
3 5/16th mounting depth
3 5/16th cutout diameter

This speaker is made really well, with a carbon glass fiber honeycomb cone, and aluminum die-cast basket. It’s powerful with that 3500 RMS Wattage and 91 dB rating.

The mounting depth and cutout diameters are both 3 and 15/16” but just a tad shy of the power and volume output of the Pioneer TS-SWX2502. It was really easy for me to install and I’m really happy with the sound quality and volume.

I heard all the high and low notes that I’ve been accustomed to since I’ve been buying high-quality subwoofers for all of my vehicles, but I noticed that the high range frequency spec is much higher than the rest, and I can’t see why that would be desirable in a subwoofer, but it hits those very low 30Hz frequencies, which is great.

Also Great

Infinity Reference REF1200S

Available sizes: 12-inch, 10-inch

250W RMS 1000W Peak Power
2Ω or 4Ω Switch Selectable Impedance
92 dB Sensitivity
Freq. Response 27-175Hz
Cutout diameter 11-1/8th”
Mounting depth 3-5/16th”

The 2Ω-4Ω switch-selectable impedance feature made it really easy to design around the amplifier, and if I switch amplifiers in the future, all I’ll have to do is change the selector switch to 2Ω.

I don’t necessarily need to change out my new subwoofers, and I don’t want to. These are very capable, low profile, good-looking speakers. They make booming bass notes, and they go all the way down to 27 Hz, so they come in a really close second place to the JL Audio 12TW3-D4 for the best bass-drops on the list.

This is a very versatile sub with a lot of power for anybody who really loves to bump loud music, or just get the most range out of any music. Just make sure you have the space to install them beforehand because they require an 11-1/8th” cutout. Otherwise, it’s an easy process and a great speaker.

Top Notch

Alpine SWR-T10

Available sizes: 12-inch, 10-inch

Frequency response: 28-200 Hz
Power handling: 300-600 watts RMS
Peak power: 1,200 watts
Sensitivity: 83 dB
Top-mount depth: 3-1/4″

Alpine has a knack for designing good-looking products, which are extremely loud. This 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 with 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.

Top Notch

Focal Sub P 25 FS

Available sizes: 10-inch, 8-inch

280 Watts RMS 560 Watts Peak Power
4Ω Single Voice Coil
87dB Sensitivity
35Hz-400Hz Freq. Response
3-7/16th” Mounting depth
9-3/16th” Cutout diameter

These are really beautiful French engineered speakers for a man with some serious taste. The dark color of the Flax material cone comes from the improvements made to the cone since the P25F model.

The cone has been reinforced and a new cooling system has been added. The size is comparable to all the other slim subwoofers on the list, and it makes deep, balanced, melodious bass tones from anywhere in the car or pickup. The cutout size is the second largest on the list.

It has a lower sensitivity than five of the entries on the list, only performing better than the Alpine and the Kicker and the frequency range is third on the list, but what makes these special are the unique technologies that were developed for this product line and the aesthetics and the balance that comes from the materials research that was put into making them.

Shallow Mount Subs with Preloaded Enclosures

Pioneer TS-SWX2502

Enclosure size: 18-5/8″ x 13-7/8″ x 6″
300W RMS/ 1,200 W Peak Power
Single 4Ω Voice Coil
20-200Hz Freq. Response
89dB Sensitivity

Pioneer angled the push terminals which saved a bit of space while I was wiring it in. I mounted it in my standard cab pickup truck with no issues, so it’ll probably fit in any car. Its sensitivity, frequency response, and RMS wattage ratings are all really good. It is loud enough, and it hits really low bass notes.

It sounds great and it has that Pioneer quality construction, with its over-sized rigid cone and dual spider. The enclosure is fully carpeted so it stayed in place easily after I installed it, and I ride to work on some rough roads. It’s a good fit for any car or truck you’ll drive, but personally, I would put something more powerful like the champion series, which has higher sensitivity and Freq. Response in a weekend getaway car. This speaker would make any music sound good, though, it just is not going to wake up the whole neighborhood.

Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X10 Prime

Enclosure Size: 13.5″ x 19.0″ x 5.25″ (bottom) x 3.25″ (top)
Single 2Ω Voice Coil
200W RMS 400W Peak Power

This is the thinnest and easiest to tuck away of all the preloaded enclosures I’ve ever dealt with, with a 3.25” top-mount depth. No sensitivity or frequency response rating was listed on their website.

The RMS wattage is also lower than a lot of the other speakers on this list, but it is definitely smaller than the other enclosures from Pioneer. It’s not the loudest, but it was a really easy installation with quick release compression terminals, it sounds good, and it came with 15’ of speaker wire.

This would be a good option for someone who wants a good subwoofer for a lower price, who doesn’t want to worry about wiring two voice coils, to make their commute sound better.

Vincent Talbot

Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API