Cars come in all different shapes, sizes, flavors and variants. So do subwoofers, speakers and amplifiers. It is this fact alone that allows everyone to get exactly what they want, but what good does it do if you don’t know what you want because you have no idea what it all means? This kind of confusion is common place in the world and turns even the most knowledgeable of humans into babbling messes. I am particularly eager to inform you about the different subwoofer sizes as this seems to be a common confusion among many. The four most common subwoofer sizes are 8, 10, 12, and 15 inches. Size is important ladies and gentlemen, so let’s get to it!
8 Inch Subwoofers: These subwoofers are the standard small woofer and can normally be found in stock sound systems in cars. They have been deemed the smallest woofer that will still get you nice bass. 8″ subwoofers add a bit of rumble, or flavor, to your cars music without sacrificing space. Because of the small cone area and weight, it is easy for the magnet to move the assembly resulting in punchy, accurate bass reproduction.
10 Inch Subwoofers: These subwoofers are common in smaller cars and are noted for their responsiveness and compact size. They cannot hit the lower frequencies as well as a 12″ woofer but they are much quicker to the punch. 10″ woofers are usually selected for those who listen to a lot of rock, country and metal. It is not uncommon to see two 10″ woofers to get punchy yet loud and crystal clear bass.
12 Inch Subwoofers: By far the most common subwoofer is the 12 inch subwoofer; it’s a great mix of accuracy and loudness. They hit the lower notes without using all that much power. A 12″ woofer can be both punchy and boomy, this is where your box comes in to tune your woofer exactly how you want it. If you are torn between punch and boom, go with a 12″ woofer, it is a safe bet.
15 Inch Subwoofers: These monstrous subwoofers produce lower frequencies better then the latter woofers due to their large cone area. 15″ subwoofers easily tackle long resonant bass notes and are a top choice for bass heads. However, because of the cone size and weight, it is difficult for the magnet to slow the cone down, so sound quality lacks but boomy bass shines through. These woofers are ideal for rap, r&b, and techno.
Note: These are generalizations based on average subwoofer sizes if all of the mentioned woofers are equal in material and craftsmanship. An 8″ speaker can be designed to play low notes and a 15” can play higher notes. Cone size is no longer a completely accurate way to determine what a subwoofer can do. Mid range frequencies are best produced using light weight cones, and low frequencies are best produced with heavier cones. Enclosures play a huge part in the performance of a subwoofer as well. This is a general guideline to get you on the right track!