Just like an automobile comes in many different types and sizes, subwoofers vary in the same respect.  A large percentage of all car owners still remain in the dark about which size is best for their car audio needs. Furthermore there are so many misconceptions out there regarding sub sizes, the buying process becomes confusing and frustrating.

We believe that each and every shopper deserves to get the most suitable match by understanding exactly how size affects performance. Here are some differences in subwoofer sizes and how to get the ideal fit for your vehicle.

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Differences Between Subwoofer Sizes

Indeed, size is a crucial factor to consider when looking for a subwoofer. The most suitable size for your vehicle depends on the dimensions available and your budget. Next you should evaluate the technical ability of the sub by assessing available watts/peak/rms, OHMs, sensitivity, and materials used. Certain sizes are also better for specific types of music while others have bass that will drown out all sound aside from low frequencies. That is why it is so important for individuals to chose the right size sub for their car. Here’s all you need to know about the different sizes in chronological order:

8-Inch Car Subwoofers

This is the smallest most compact, standard size subwoofer available and it is found in most stock sound systems. While small, the 8-inch subwoofers are a favorite for replacements thanks to their size. They are easiest to install because they will typically fit in your car’s factory location. Also with this size sub the speakers in the car will not need to be replaced. This size is typically reserved for those new to the market. This size is less expensive and often two 8″ subs are paired together to enhance sound depth.

10-Inch Car Subwoofers

This size is a common aftermarket purchase. Typically, 10-inch subwoofers offer greater bass response and more clarity than 8 inch woofers. While producing a fair amount of extra bass, this size is common for a reason. Not to mention a single enclosure for a 10″ sub enables the user to save a ton of space over a dual enclosure for two 8″ subs. This size is fairly easy to install since they can be placed in factory locations with minor to no modifications. If you are a fan of metal, country or rock music, a 10-inch subwoofer will fulfill your sound requirements without denting your wallet.

12-Inch Car Subwoofers

Easily the most popular aftermarket size, the 12-inch sub is becoming a fan favorite simply due to its distinct bass response and clarity. Very few vehicles are equipped with a stock 12-inch sub. There are however exceptions that include much larger vehicles with mobile entertainment systems as factory units. This size of subwoofer is known for its bass ability. Thanks to their bulky size, they are slightly more difficult to install than 10 inch subs. Depending on where they are installed they can intrude on passenger or cargo space, meaning that driver has to compromise space for better bass.

15-Inch Car Subwoofers

While no truck, car, or sports utility vehicle is equipped with one single 15-inch car subwoofer from the factory, the large size is becoming increasingly popular. This is because 15-inch subs offer immense bass production, but tend to drown sound quality. Due to their enormous size, 15-inch subs are not only difficult to install, but also hard to pair with as well. There is no chance the stock speakers will be able to match the aggressive bass of a 15″ sub. They occupy a substantial amount of passenger and cargo space and are also more expensive. All sorts of music sound great when coming out of this bad boy. This is by far the best size for bassheads, but I have to remind you that your stock speakers will be useless so you will have to get those upgraded as well. An everyday Joe is better suited to the 8″ and 10″ sizes.


All prospective buyers need to understand exactly what their needs and wants are in order to determine what options are available. A sub listed at 12″ is not always better than a sub listed at 10″. First thing to do when deciding what sub you want is to determine how much space you have available and how much space are you willing to sacrifice. Next determine your budget and how the sub will be installed. Lastly ensure that your speakers will not be overpowered by the bass upgrade. These three characteristics will determine how satisfied you are with your audio system.