9 Best Low-Profile Subwoofers In 2020

Many people want their car audio systems to produce more oomph but they give up on adding a subwoofer after they realize how big they are. Or how expensive they are. Or how difficult it is to install them. We have good news for you – you can easily overcome all these problems by adding a low-profile subwoofer (aka shallow-mount subwoofer) instead of a regular sub.

Low-profile subs are not as pricey and they are much slimmer which makes them easier to install. So, if you have certain space limitations and want some serious bass, don’t give up. Buy a shallow-mount subwoofer instead of a regular one and you won’t regret it. Our article on 9 best low-profile subwoofers in 2020 is here to help you with your search.

Best Low-Profile Subwoofers – Comparison Table

Low-Profile SubwoofersRatingPriceReview
JBL Club WS12003.8Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
Rockford Fosgate R24.5Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
JL Audio 10tw3-d44.6Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
Alpine S-W10D44.0Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1000F4.0Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
PIONEER TS-SW2502S44.4Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
Kicker 43CWRT824.4Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
JL Audio 12TW3-D85.0Check Amazon
Check Walmart
Read Review
Pioneer TS-SW2002D24.5Check WalmartRead Review

We’ve tested numerous popular and highly-rated low-profile subwoofers and finally narrowed the selection down to 9 great models. Our list includes models made by various reputable manufacturers. You can find here both cheap and pricey subwoofers.

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Also, you can find small and large ones. Regardless of your budget, space limitations, and sound preferences, you should be able to find at least one subwoofer that meets all of your requirements. This is our list of 9 best low-profile subwoofers in 2020.

9 Best Low-Profile Subwoofers in 2020


1. Best 12in Low-Profile Subwoofer under $100 – JBL Club WS1200

JBL Club WS1200

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Looking for a good rumble at an affordable price? JBL Club WS1200 is a great option. The advertised power ratings are a bit optimistic but the subwoofer still delivers a very good performance. 

Things we like

WS1200 is a slim and powerful subwoofer. It can handle 250Ω continuously (1000W peak). The sensitivity is 92dB. The sub can go down to 27Hz. 

One of the most special things about WS1200 is Harman Kardon’s SSITM. This feature allows you to change the impedance of the subwoofer and get a better match for your amp. You can choose between 2Ω and 4Ω impedance. You just have to flip the switch on the back.

The installation is fairly simple although it requires a bit more space than other slim subwoofers. The cutout diameter should be 11.125in and the mounting depth is 3.31in. The subwoofer is compatible with both – sealed and ported enclosures. Which enclosure you’re going to use depends mostly on your sound preferences. 

The subwoofer has a very good bass response. It’s deep, punchy, and powerful. It gets just a little bit distorted at high volumes.

Things we don’t like

WS1200 can hardly handle the advertised power ratings (1000W peak, 250W RMS) so you should probably use an amp with slightly lower power output. 

Comparison Table


2. Best Budget 10in Low-Profile Subwoofer – Rockford Fosgate R2

Rockford Fosgate R2

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Looking for something really affordable? Rockford Fosgate speakers and subwoofers are, arguably, the most popular budget option. 

Things we like

R2 is advertised as an ultra-shallow subwoofer. It’s a 10in sub. The mounting depth is 3.4 inches. The cutout diameter is 9.125in. The sub is optimized for closed/sealed boxes. 

The subwoofer features Mica injected PP cone woofer. It has a PVC trim ring and StampCast basket with spider venting. 

When it comes to specs, the subwoofer’s impedance is 4Ω, and it can handle 400W max (200W RMS). 

The installation is not too difficult. The subwoofer will hardly fit the door, but it can be easily mounted in the rear speaker deck or under the driver’s seat. The sub has dual voice coil so you have multiple options when it comes to wiring and you can better match the subwoofer and amp. 

R2 delivers satisfying performance. It adds a nice amount of punch to the sound but it won’t shake your car. It produces nicely layered and tight bass. 

Things we don’t like

The grille is not included in the package. 

R2 can’t produce those really low sub-bass frequencies (which is perfectly understandable, considering the size).  

Comparison Table


3. Best 10in Low-Profile Subwoofer – JL Audio 10tw3-d4 Shallow-mount

JL Audio 10tw3-d4 Shallow-mount

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Looking for a high-quality shallow-mount subwoofer? JL Audio is one of our favorite brands when it comes to high-end car audio equipment. 

Things we like

10TW3-D4 is a 10in, high-excursion shallow-mount subwoofer. The subwoofer has a cast alloy frame with rubber surround. It can be used with both sealed and ported enclosures – you can find the recommended box dimensions on the manufacturer’s website. 

The sub has injection-molded Mica-filled PP cone and aluminum alloy caps. 

The sub’s impedance is 4Ω and the RMS power handling is 125W (400W peak). It has a long linear excursion (.60in in one direction).

The installation is pretty straightforward. The mounting hole size is 9.625in and the mounting depth is 3.25in. The subwoofer features dual voice coil which gives you more options when it comes to wiring. 

10TW3-D4 is a powerful and loud subwoofer. It won’t deliver the same kind of rumble you would get from a 15in regular sub but it’s quite punchy and it adds some serious depth to your music. 

Things we don’t like

Even though it’s quite expensive, the subwoofer doesn’t come with a grille or any mounting equipment. You have to buy the grille, wires, and everything else separately. 

Comparison Table


4. Best-Sounding 10in Low-Profile Sub Under $150 – Alpine S-W10D4

Alpine S-W10D4

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Alpine is another well-known car audio equipment manufacturer. Alpine’s S-series subs are not as shallow as other subwoofers on our list, but they are still shallower than regular subs. 

Things we like

S-W10D4 is a very good-quality 10in sub. The build quality is quite impressive – the frame is made of steel and the subwoofer is made of Pulp/Kevlar with PP dust caps. The sub features a very good airflow management system with a perimeter venting. 

When it comes to specs, S-W10D4 handles 600W continuously, the impedance is 4Ω. The sub has a dual voice coil windings and high excursion (up to .6in). 

The setup is rather simple but requires a bit more space than other low-profile subwoofers. The cutout diameter is 10.6in and the mounting depth is 4.7in.  The most appropriate place for installation is your trunk or your rear speaker deck. The recommended wire is 8AWG. 

The subwoofer delivers a very good performance. The bass is thick, well-defined, and quite loud. It adds a nice rumble to your music but it can hardly be compared to a large 12in or 15in regular sub. 

Things we don’t like

S-W10D4 is not as shallow as some other shallow-mount subs. If you really have some serious space limitations, you should probably try something slimmer.

Comparison Table


5. Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1000F

Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1000F

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Kenwood is, just like Pioneer and Alpine, a very well-known name in the car audio industry. They make all kinds of car multimedia devices, car radios, and car speakers and subwoofers. Excelon is Kenwood’s low-profile subwoofer series. Today, we are reviewing their KFC-XW1000F 10in sub. 

Things we like

KFC-XW1000F has a carbon glass-fiber cone with butyl rubber surround and aluminum basket. It looks and feels very high-quality, very durable. 

The subwoofer can handle 250W continuously (1000W peak). The impedance is 4Ω and the advertised frequency response is 35Hz-800Hz. The sensitivity is rated at 90dB.

The installation is, as always, fairly simple. The mounting depth is 3.94in and the cutout diameter is 9.125in. The sub won’t fit your door, but it can easily be installed in the rear speaker deck. In some cases, it can be installed under the driver’s seat. 

Excelon KFC-XW1000F delivers a very strong but also nicely controlled bass. It can’t reach those really deep sub-bass notes, but it still makes the overall listening experience much better. 

Things we don’t like

XW-1000F is not the slimmest subwoofer on the market but it’s still fairly compact and low-profile. 

The subwoofer doesn’t come with a grille – you have to buy it separately. 

Comparison Table


6. Best 10in Low-Profile Sub Under $100 – PIONEER TS-SW2502S4

PIONEER TS-SW2502S4

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Pioneer makes so many speakers and subwoofers. Most of them are fairly affordable and offer very good sound reproduction. So, it’s not a surprise to see two Pioneer’s subs on our list of 9 best low-profile subwoofers in 2020.

Things we like

Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 is a powerful 10in shallow-mount subwoofer. Like the previous Pioneer subwoofer on this list, SW2502S4 has a mica-injected resin cone and rubber surround.

The subwoofer handles 300W continuously (1,200W – peak power input). The impedance is 4Ω and the sensitivity is 91dB. The frequency response is 20Hz-125Hz. 

TS-SW2502S4 is relatively easy to install. The cutout diameter is 9.75in and the mounting depth is 3.125in. Due to its oversized cone structure, the subwoofer is not good for OEM installation. Instead, you can install it under your seat, in your rear speaker deck, or in your trunk. The sub is perfect for small enclosures (0.35-0.75ft3). It works with both ported and sealed enclosures.

TS-SW2502S delivers a very good performance. The bass is punchy, tight, and nicely layered. 

Things we don’t like

You can’t expect from a subwoofer of this size and at this price point to blow you away. TS-SW2502S4 does add a great amount of punch to every track but it’s not a mind-blowing bass. 

Comparison Table


7. Kicker 43CWRT82

Kicker 43CWRT82

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Kicker is also a fairly popular brand. The brand is known for its car speakers, subwoofers, and car amps. Kicker 43CWRT82 is a very small 8in sub. It’s a perfect choice if you are dealing with very limited space or if you want to replace your OEM subwoofers. 

Things we like

43CWRT82 has an injection-molded PP cone with rubber surround. It also has a dual voice coil. 

The subwoofer handles 600W max (300W RMS). The impedance is 2Ω and the sensitivity is rated at 82dB. The sub can go down to 30Hz and up to 500Hz. The subwoofer doesn’t have a very long excursion (up to .3in) so don’t expect it to rumble. 

Thanks to its small diameter and thinness, 43CWRT82 is fairly easy to install. The cutout diameter is 7in and the mounting depth is 2.69in. You can install it pretty much wherever you want – you can even replace your OEM sub with this one. The recommended volume for the ported enclosure is 0.8-1.2 ft3. If you are going to use a sealed enclosure, the recommended box volume is 0.2-1ft3. 

The subwoofer delivers surprisingly loud sound, but don’t expect it to reach crazy deep lows (after all, this is just an 8in sub). Having all the size-related limitations in mind, 43CWRT82 does bring a nice punch to your tunes and it makes them more enjoyable. 

Things we don’t like

8in shallow-mount subwoofer is not going to blow your mind. Kicker 43CWRT82 will add a nice punch to your music but if you want a real rumble, you have to use something bigger. 

Comparison Table


8. Best 12in Low-Profile Subwoofer – JL Audio 12TW3-D8

JL Audio 12TW3-D8

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If you have more space at your disposal and want some serious rumble, buying a 12in sub is the best option. Our top choice when it comes to large shallow-mount subwoofers is JL Audio 12TW3-D8. 

Things we like

JL Audio 12TW3-D8 comes from the same series as previously mentioned 10TW3-D4. They both feature the same build and features but, due to the size difference, 12TW3-D8 requires more space, it can handle more power, and it delivers better performance and deeper bass. 

Just like the previous one, 12TW3-D8 has a mica-filled PP cone with rubber surround. The basket is made of cast alloy. 

The sub handles 400W continuously (800W peak). The impedance is 8Ω and the sensitivity is rated at 82dB. 12TW3-D8 can go down to 22Hz. 

The installation is fairly simple but requires a bit more space. You can use both sealed and ported enclosures. The cutout diameter is 11.625in and the mounting depth is 3.5in. The recommended volume for a sealed enclosure is 1ft3. It’s 1.3ft3 for ported enclosures. The subwoofer has a dual voice coil which gives you more options when it comes to wiring. 

Of all the subwoofers on our list, JL Audio 12TW3-D8 delivers the most powerful bass. It’s not as bassy as some 15in regular subs but it’s still very good. The bass response is extended and nicely layered. Overall, 12TW3-D8 is a great shallow-mount subwoofer and it’s one of the best on the market.

Things we don’t like

JL Audio subwoofers, in general, are pricier than the same-sized subwoofers made by other manufacturers. This specific sub is priced over $350.

Even though it’s pricey, the subwoofer doesn’t come with a grille – you have to buy all the accessories separately. 

Comparison Table


9. Best 8in Low-Profile Sub Under $150 – Pioneer TS-SW2002D2

Pioneer TS-SW2002D2

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Pioneer, as the name implies, is one of the pioneers of the car audio industry so there’s no better brand to start with than this one. TS-SW2002D2 is an 8in shallow-mount subwoofer. It’s easy to install, it supports the free-air application, and it adds a nice punch to every car audio system.  

Things we like

This 8in sub has a durable injection-molded resin cone which is supposed to enable the production of accurate and punchy bass. The subwoofer’s frequency response is 20-200Hz and the impedance is 2Ω. 

The mounting depth of this subwoofer is 2.63in which is much slimmer than a regular 8in subwoofer. You can easily install it under your seat or in the rear speaker deck, behind the backseat. 

Mounting the subwoofer inside your car’s door may require some modifications and it’s not recommended if you’re not really a techy person. 

The subwoofer’s peak power input is 600W (150W RMS). The bass reproduction is quite punchy. It’s tight and accurate, but don’t expect some serious depth. 20Hz is, maybe, a bit too optimistic. 

Things we don’t like

TS-SW2002D2 is not very loud – don’t expect someone sitting in the car next door to hear it. This subwoofer is more about sound quality than loudness. It’s precise but lacks some serious sub-bass. Don’t expect it to shake your windows.

Comparison Table


This was our selection of 9 best low-profile subwoofers in 2020. Hopefully, it helped you find the subwoofer you like. If you want to find out more, we recommend you to go through our FAQ section. If you have additional questions or want to share your opinion on low-profile and shallow-mount subwoofers, feel free to leave a comment.


FAQs

Q: What is the best low-profile subwoofer?

A: No one can give you a single answer to that question. The choice depends on many factors – your budget, available space, sound preferences. Ideally, you should try to match the subwoofer to the existing car audio system. So, if you already have JL aftermarket speakers, you should try finding a JL low-profile subwoofer (preferably, a subwoofer from the same speaker series). You can find a bunch of great models in our article on 9 best low-profile subwoofers in 2020. 

Q: Do shallow-mount subs sound as good as regular subwoofers?

A: Performance-wise, you can hardly find a shallow-mount subwoofer that sounds just as good as the same-priced and same-sized regular subwoofer. The manufacturers of car audio equipment simply have different priorities when making shallow-mount and regular subs. Top priorities when it comes to shallow-mount (low-profile) subwoofers are portability and space saving. Regular subwoofers are all about the sound. 

However, that doesn’t mean that low-profile subwoofers sound bad. They will not reach the same sub-bass frequencies and you won’t get the same bass quantity but, unless you want the kind of bass that could break your windows, you will be more than happy with a nice low-profile subwoofer. The improvement in sound quality will definitely be noticeable. 

Q: Who makes the best low-profile subwoofers?

A: There are numerous trusted manufacturers of car audio equipment. Our top choice would probably be JL Audio, but they are also slightly pricier than other brands. If you need something cheaper, there are so many great and well-known brands like Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine, Skar Audio, Rockford Fosgate, Kicker, etc. 

Q: Do low-profile subwoofers hit as hard as regular subs?

A: As discussed in the second question, low-profile subs can’t really reach those sub-bass frequencies that regular subwoofers can. They simply don’t have the same kind of construction that would allow them to produce extremely low-pitched tones. So, they can add some serious punch and rumble and improve the overall performance of your car audio system, but they won’t break your windows, won’t shake your car, and won’t leave you deaf. 

Q: Will a ported sub hit harder?

A: Ported subs do hit harder and lower than the sealed subs. They are usually perceiver as more powerful or bassier, Sealed subs, on the other hand, usually produce tighter and more precise bass.

Q: Are regular subwoofers better than low-profile subwoofers?

A: Low-profile subwoofers have numerous advantages but they also have some disadvantages. The most obvious advantage of low-profile subwoofers and shallow-mount subwoofers is their size. As you already know, they are slim, light, and don’t require as much space as regular subwoofers. The largest low-profile subs have 12in-13in diameter, while the regular subs can be significantly larger (15in or even larger). 

Furthermore, since they are smaller, they don’t require as much power as regular subs. This is a very important thing when it comes to car audio. More power-hungry subs may require more powerful amps, and more powerful amps can damage your car battery. 

Another advantage, closely related to the size of low-profile subwoofers, is the easier setup. Regular subs require much more space and, in some cases, they also require some serious interior modifications, which is not something you can do on your own. Low-profile subs are much easier for installation and, if you have a basic understanding of car audio, you can install it by yourself. 

The biggest advantage of regular subs is, as mentioned earlier, their performance. They are bigger and, consequently, they can hit harder and deeper. 

Also, the market has a lot more to offer when it comes to regular subs. The cheapest regular subs are, for example, significantly cheaper than the cheapest low-profile subs. 

Whether you should buy a low-profile or a regular subwoofer depends on your priorities and requirements. If you have certain space limitations or don’t want to sacrifice your trunk space, a shallow-mount subwoofer is the most convenient option. Our list of 9 best low-profile subwoofers in 2020 can help you find the perfect subwoofer for your needs so be sure to check it out. 

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