What we have for you today is a brief explanation of most common questions like – What is an SPL subwoofer? What is an SQ subwoofer? What are the main differences? – as well as a rundown of some of the best SPL subs that are currently available.

The SPL Subwoofers We Recommend

SPL SubsAvailable SizePowerSPL Sensitivity
Our Pick

Skar Audio ZVX-8 D4 8' 900 Watt Dual 4 Ohm SPL Car Subwoofer
$169.99 at Amazon





RMS: 900 W
MAX: 1100 W

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W

RMS: 1600 W
MAX: 3200 W
80.0 dB


84.0 dB



86.3 dB


87.4 dB
Runner-Up

Massive Audio SUMMOXL104-10 Inch Car Audio 3000 Watt SUMMOXL...
$219.95 at Amazon



RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W
90.3dB


92.1dB



93.8dB
Also Great

Sundown Audio U-12 D2 12' 1500W RMS Dual 2-Ohm U-Series...
$379.99 at Amazon





RMS: 1500 W
MAX: N/A

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: N/A

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: N/A

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: N/A
84.9 dB


88.4 dB


90.2 dB


92.3 dB
Also Great

Earthquake Sound SubZero-10 10-inch Car Subwoofer, 1500...
$497.29 at Amazon



RMS: 750 W
MAX: 1500 W

RMS: 1250 W
MAX: 2500 W

85.9 dB


89.7dB

Our Pick

Skar Audio ZVXv2 Series

Available sizes: 8-inch, 12-inch, 15-inch, 18-inch

Skar Audio sure has a strong grip on exactly what we audiophiles out there love. The ZVXv2 series is far from a joke. In fact, every sub-woofer from this series is nothing if not phenomenal.

Packed with legitimately solid bass, these little monsters are rattlers on a whole new level. Did I mention they’re very pocket-friendly too? No wonder it got our number one trophy.

First of all, let’s talk about size. In total, the ZVXv2 series is comprised of 4 different sized subs. Namely, these are 8″ (1100 Watts max), 12″ (3000 Watts max), 15″ (3000 Watts max) and 18″(3200 Watts max). Each of these subs carries within them tremendous resonance. The ZVXv2 subs run on a high-grade paper cone center with a high roll form stitched surround. That alone gives them unbelievable throbbing faculties. They pack a tighter punch than most others within their class.

Ska Audio designed the ZVXv2 series as a particularly ferocious bunch. These subs retain smooth performance even in extremes such as high volume and temperature. Fitted with high-temperature voice coils and gigantic triple stack motors, you’ll marvel at just how far these subs can go. Each of them features a unique basket engineered as an advanced airflow cooling system. Even with the staggering amounts of power they all possess, you never have to worry about them crumbling under pressure. With RMS ratings between 900 Watts and 1500 Watts, this series was not made for the faint-hearted. If you love loud music with heavy low undertones, you’ll love these subs.

The ZVXv2 series will take a brutal beating without flinching. The reproduction remains both powerful and incredibly decorated even after years of performance. The best part is that they are all fairly priced. Also, they possess a trendy flair that we love all too much.

Runner-Up

Massive Audio SUMMOXL Series

Available sizes: 10-inch, 12-inch, 15-inch

Massive Audio, for well over a decade, has perfected the mastery of sound reproduction. The SUMMOXL is like none other we’ve encountered before. And guess what, it rocks. These speakers will have you stunned with their rugged yet sleek appearance.

Their looks are not the only thing they have going on for them. They sound so good you might just have an out of body experience. Yes, that’s how clean, detailed and polished the SUMMOXL sound is.

The series is comprised of three speakers; the SUMMOXL104 (10″), the SUMMOXL124 (12″) and the SUMMOXL154 (15″). Each of these beauties houses a 4Ohm voice coil which makes them high-grade workers. A Kevlar fiber, non-pressed paper cone sets the SUMMOXL speakers a long way aside from others. These cones are laced with a red stitched edge for consolidated support. The cone sits in EROM foam surround. This combination is the recipe for powerful, unsullied reproduction regardless of the volume.

Featuring an aluminum die-cast basket, these are speakers rock solid. The speakers also come with a cooling T-yoke design which dissipated heat as it builds up. Reinforced fiberglass woven dust-cap promotes high power application without the possibility of burnout. There’s also the triple stacked high energy magnet and oversized mirror image dual polyNomex spider.

All these features combined create a powerful sound-box that will shatter the glass of your windows at high volume. It is no surprise then that each comes with a power handling capacity of 1500Watts and 3000Watts at its peak. When it comes to output, you have got to love their low enriched dissemination of pure chords. Do you want that next level kind of sound? Look no further.

Also Great

Sundown Audio U Series

Available sizes: 10-inch, 12-inch, 15-inch, 18-inch

The Sundown U series was probably one of the market’s most anticipated debut of its time. Once we finally got our hands on these woofers, it was a relief to discover the series offered a lot more than we had anticipated. With an authentically functional design, these speakers spit loud and clear. They also pride themselves on their ability to function flawlessly even in extreme conditions.

They say old is gold and the U series comes swinging in total agreement. These woofers have that traditional suspension design which promotes extra-high excursion. In the face of modern speaker designs, these speakers prove that you can never go wrong with a calculated combo of both the old and new.

With 4 badass speakers on its table, the U series brings us unimaginable power in rather teeny packages. The speakers are 10″, 12″, 15″ and 18″ in size. They feature a thoughtful T-yoke design that’s very efficient in sieving out heat. On that same note, they feature high-velocity pole vents backed by air gap vents for further heat management. Notably, the woofer bodies consist of double stacked Y35 grade ferrite magnet systems which reinforce their strength and performance. Their 1500 Watts worth of power is both mind-blowing and satisfying. Anyone looking for a hard hitter will love any of the U series bad boys.

In place of a regular cone, the U series components use a fully custom tooled aluminum diaphragm for reproduction. That paired with a double stitched surround gives these speakers incredible production abilities. They also feature a high strength cast aluminum frame and an aluminum surround bolt-on ring. Ultimately, there very few other speakers with the kind of specs that the U series speakers all so proudly hold. These are worthy purchases; they just might forever change the musical realm for you.

Also Great

Earthquake Sound SubZero Series

Available sizes: 10-inch, 12-inch

From first glance, you can tell that the Subzero series speakers are mean performers. The SubZero series is in every way one of a kind. Engineered for resounding proficiency, this Series speakers will blow you right off your boots when cranked all the way up. Their bodies are made with an industrious whiff that enables them to work tirelessly for hours on end. The series prides itself on unsullied proficiency and durability. We couldn’t agree more.

The SubZero series features 3 speakers; subzero10″ (1500Watta max), 12″ (1200 Watts max) and 15″ (2500 Watts max). I know I know, the power handling figure list is unbelievable. But here’s the gist, it’s all true. Their aluminum voice coils stand strong while the speakers run. Heat is not much of a problem thanks to the Turbine Cooled Transducer (TCT) coil and the additional pole cooling technology. Switching between stereo and mono impedance is done by simply flipping the fuses. This is thanks to its ingenious Parallel Series Parallel terminal block.

Its paper pressed composite woofer cone works in a foam woofer surround to create mad reverberations. With a dual Nomax/Romax spider construct, the SunZero speakers pound unforgivably when given the chance. The retain clean sound through all volume levels. Indeed a worthy purchase.

Also Great

CT Sounds Meso Series

CT Sounds Meso 10 Inch Car Subwoofer 1500w RMS Dual 1 Ohm
Available sizes: 10-inch, 15-inch, 18-inch

CT Sounds brings us the Meso series, a compilation of 6 remarkable subs that have quite literally turned the market tables. The Meso series speakers subtle in appearance but quite the jaw-dropping punch. They drop heavy bass regardless of the circumstances surrounding their rendition. This series is a sure promise of value for your money; go on ahead and take the leap.

A series with such a wide range of subs is a rarity. The six speakers are sized as follows; 6.5″ (400 Watts max) 8″ (1600 Watts max), 10″ (3000 Watts max), 12″ (3000 Watts max), 15″ (3000 Watts max) and 18″ (3000 Watts max). Each is fitted with high-quality temperature voice coils that faithfully keeps the party going. A Y35 graded triple stacked ferrite magnet decorates its base and solidifies its reproduction powers.

A double stitched treated paper cone with composite foam surround pounds hard for clean delivery. A strong arm styled basket frame holds the speaker components militarily at all times. These speakers are an understated bunch that truly deserves a lot more credit. They all deliver diligently with a prowess rarely seen.

SQ vs SPL. What’s the difference?

Subwoofers are the loudspeakers that are responsible for reproducing the lower bass frequencies. There are two main categories of subwoofers: SQ and SPL subwoofers.

SQ stands for ‘sound quality’, and SQ subwoofers are designed to reproduce frequencies with special attention paid to spectral balance and tonal accuracy, sound imaging ( the relative position of different musical instruments on a soundstage), linearity (the relation between the input signal and output signal, in which the perfect linearity occurs when these two signals are the same), and greater noise reduction.

If you really don’t want any distortion muddying your music, then an SQ subwoofer may be the way to go. However, if you’re after powerful bass that you can feel in your gut, then you need an SPL subwoofer.

Need more options? Check our competition subs list.

If you habitually play music that has a lot of thumping bass in your ride than you are going to want to outfit your car or truck with SPL Subwoofers, The SPL refers to ‘sound pressure level’, which is the force exerted by a sound wave on a surface perpendicular to the direction the sound is traveling in.

As their name quite rightly suggests, these subwoofers are designed to maximize the sound pressure level; if you want deep, bumping bass that you can really feel in your body than you need these speakers as part of your car audio set up. There are even SPL subwoofer competitions all across the USA in which car audio enthusiasts compete in order to see whose car audio system has the best bass response.

Unlike sound quality which is largely subjective, the sound pressure level can be objectively measured with a specialized meter. What we have here are the best SPL subwoofers in three different sizes (15, 12, and 10 inches).

You may not win any competitions, but if you’re looking for the most bass for your buck than these are all good options.

Vincent Talbot
Our Pick: Skar Audio ZVXv2 Series
4.8Overall Score

Last update on 2019-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

*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.