This review aims to give you some options for best 8-inch car subwoofers in 2023.
In case you’re in a hurry and want to know the best pick right away, it’s the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8.
If you enjoy clean, smooth, and deep bass when listening to your favorite music, you certainly don’t pick your subwoofers randomly.
You should carefully inspect all the important factors, such as power, frequency range, sound quality, voice coils, sensitivity, impedance, enclosure, and size.
Finding the right mix can make a whole world of difference in the bass and sound your subwoofer puts out.
Best 8-Inch Car Subwoofer 2023 Guide
I’ve personally reviewed lots of subwoofers before buying a perfect pair for my ride, so I present to you the very best 8-inch subwoofers currently available.
Their compact size makes them ideal for cars, and their quality is bound to leave every audiophile speechless.
1. Planet Audio AC8D: Best Budget 8-Inch Car Subwoofer
The Planet Audio AC8D 8-inch subwoofer is a beastly loudspeaker that pumps out incredibly loud bass and a high-quality sound.
When you look at its size and hear what it puts out, you simply can’t believe your ears. I bought a pair several months ago, and I can’t get enough of them.
This fantastic subwoofer comes with 1200W of power with 600W RMS power handling and 2-inch dual-voice coils with a 4-ohm impedance rating.
That’s impressive for an 8-inch subwoofer, which is why it stands out from all the rest in the category and why it’s my number one choice.
It also comes with a resonance frequency of 39 Hz and a sensitivity of 87 dB.
All these aspects, especially the low-frequency range, make it give out very deep and strong bass. If you’re looking for chest-thumping bass when going for a ride, you can’t go wrong with these subwoofers.
I tested them in both a ported and sealed enclosure, and I prefer the former. It barely affects the sound, but the bass is more teeth-rattling. I also got an amplifier with a subsonic filter, which made for even better performance.
The bass is tighter in a sealed enclosure, but the sound isn’t as clean, although the difference is barely noticeable. As I said, it’s a matter of preference. It mainly depends on how loud you play music in your car.
The Planet Audio AC8D’s cone is made from polypropylene, while the surround is made of foam. That means the build is very durable.
Be careful with the connector plates, though. I almost broke them during installation, as they’re not very sturdy. If you don’t want to risk it, find an expert friend to help you out.
I love that you can customize the trim rings and that the subs are compatible with any speaker. I also love the price tag. It’s quite affordable, which is surprising for this kind of a wild beast.
- Deep, loud, strong bass;
- High durability;
- Excellent bass performance in both ported and sealed enclosures;
- Lower sound quality in a sealed enclosure.
- May call for expert installation.
2. Alphasonik HSW208
The Alphasonik HSW208 8-inch subwoofer may be two times weaker than the Planet Audio AC8D in terms of power, but it’s still a powerful choice for a car.
It has 600W of power with 200W RMS power handling. Its 38-oz high-grade magnet helps it handle more power seamlessly.
It features 1.5-inch single-voice coils with a 4-ohm impedance rating. Since the coils are single-voice, you don’t have much flexibility when it comes to the wiring. There’s only one positive and one negative input terminal. That means you have fewer options to make the most of an amplifier.
The input terminals are nickel-plated and support 8-gauge wires, which means they’re very sturdy and durable.
The Alphasonik HSW208 Hyper 200 Series 8-inch sub works with an 86-dB sensitivity and a whopping 35-500 Hz frequency range. That’s quite a broad spectrum, especially for the sub’s compact size.
And it’s precisely that frequency range that makes it deliver a loud and clear sound. However, it doesn’t give out particularly deep bass. If that’s not a deal-breaker for you, then you won’t be disappointed by this product. It really performs well.
It has laminated, non-pressed paper cones for a cleaner sound, but that material isn’t as durable as polypropylene. It’s rigid and lightweight, but it can absorb moisture and doesn’t have as low distortion as polypropylene.
The surround is made of EPDM rubber, which makes the subwoofer more resistant to heat and light. However, rubber is not as flexible as foam.
Although this sub doesn’t pump out the strongest bass, and some of its components may not be highly-durable, I think it’s a decent unit to consider.
It’s also one of the cheapest 8-inch subwoofers out there. You can’t get the best of the best for that price, but you can still barely complain about this product.
The only deal-breakers for me were fewer wiring connection options and the lack of rattling bass.
- Broad frequency range;
- Great sound quality;
- Durable surround;
- Doesn’t pump out deep, rattling bass.
- Low wiring flexibility.
3. American Bass 8” Competition Woofer
The American Bass 8” Competition Woofer is a subwoofer, so don’t let its name confuse you. Its official name is American Bass VFL8D4, but everyone calls it Competition Woofer, and now I understand why.
It’s undeniably worthy of the moniker, as it produces a mighty sound, not to mention heavy bass that can be very deep and loud.
With its peak power of 800W and 400W RMS power handling, this subwoofer hits hard! It has less power than the subs I’m currently using, but it’s still my second-favorite subwoofer at the moment.
There are several other reasons why it’s one of the best 8-inch subwoofers.
First of all, it doesn’t sound like an 8-inch subwoofer, mainly thanks to its double-stacked 100-oz magnet. It raises the bar with its tremendous sound quality that’s consistent at almost all frequencies. The sound is slightly less booming, only below 30 Hz.
To avoid canceling out lower frequencies, I recommend using a sealed enclosure, as it might yield better performance.
This subwoofer has a resonance frequency of 42 Hz, a sensitivity of 88.27 dB, and 2.5-inch dual-voice 4-ohm coils with long windings for an even better sound.
The perfect complement to the coils is Conex spiders that further enhance the quality of sound.
Yet another feature that improves this sub’s sound performance is the material.
The American Bass 8” Competition Woofer has a double-stitched non-pressed paper cone with a tinsel lead wire woven with carbon Kevlar. The surround is made of high-density foam that helps reduce vibrations.
Everything is tucked perfectly in a cast-aluminum basket for additionally protecting the already-durable components.
The subwoofer has sturdy push input terminals made of chrome, which make for a more polished look.
The entire construction is impeccable, and the result is a crisper sound with intense bass that leaves you at a loss for words.
But that heavy-duty construction is also rather heavy – more than 15 pounds.
Overall, it’s an excellent pick, especially if you’re looking for ground-shaking bass.
- Powerful sound.
- Loud and intense bass.
- Robust and highly-durable.
- Poorer performance at lower frequencies.
- A rather heavy unit.
4. Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8: Best 8-Inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer
The Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 is a shallow mount sub that weighs only 10 pounds and is ideal if you struggle with space. It’s also one of the best choices if you’re looking for excellent bass performance.
It packs a big punch in terms of bass. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it in my car.
It gave out tight, deep, rich bass that’s entirely free of distortion and consistent at all the frequencies. I felt the bass through my whole body – not the rattling bass that shakes the windows, but a vibrant and clean one that feels magical.
If you like maxing out the volume, you may not hear and feel the bass’s full quality. It’s not particularly loud, but it’s accurate and reliable, and the sound quality is fantastic.
All of this is thanks to the peak power of 300W, the RMS power handling rating of 150W, a frequency range of 38-250 Hz, a sensitivity of 82 dB, and a 37.5-oz magnet that handles the power well.
The subwoofer packs 2-inch dual-voice coils with a 2-ohm impedance. This impedance gives you greater wiring flexibility, as you can connect multiple subwoofers. I recommend matching the sub with a low-impedance amplifier for optimal bass and sound performance.
Don’t let the Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 sub’s stylish design trick you into thinking the build is of subpar quality. Every component is as sturdy as it gets.
The rigid anodized-aluminum cone makes it resistant to wear and tear. The same goes for its dust cap and the stamp-cast basket.
It has stitched tinsel leads that minimize vibrations and boost the overall performance. I particularly like its dual spider venting that dissipates heat. You can max it out all day long without worrying about overheating.
I also like its diamond-cut cast-aluminum ring and the M-Roll Santoprene (a high-performance thermoplastic material) surround.
If you go with this subwoofer, you might want to use an enclosure. It performs well with both sealed and ported ones.
- Brilliant sound with reliable, distortion-free bass;
- High wiring flexibility;
- No risk of overheating;
- Not particularly loud bass.
- Might yield better performance in an enclosure.
- The screw holes don’t line up in every factory scrub.
5. KICKER 11HS8
The KICKER 11HS8 is a hideaway 8-inch subwoofer that you can easily tuck under your car seat or behind the back seat. It’s ultra-compact and slim – perfect for tight spaces.
It comes in a low-profile aluminum enclosure with a classic design and solid build. Since it’s already enclosed, it’s effortless to install. It also includes all the connectors, wiring harness, and other pieces for installing it and nylon straps with Velcro fasteners for mounting it seamlessly.
Now for the fun part.
This subwoofer features a built-in 150W amplifier and has a frequency response range of 25-120 Hz. The 150W RMS power rating may not sound like much, but the bass is rumbling even at lower frequencies.
Now, it’s not exactly earth-shaking bass, but it has depth.
So, this might not be a sub for rocking the ride with crazy-high volumes, but rather for balancing out the performance at the lower end. It makes the sound fuller and more rounded, without any distortion.
When speaking of sound, this sub is surprisingly loud for its small size and 8-inch drive. It’s not mind-blowing but still entirely satisfactory for a slim hideaway subwoofer.
One of the best parts about the KICKER 11HS8 sub is the wired remote control for adjusting the bass and sound to your liking.
There’s a variable bass boost that allows you to kick up the bass by up to 6 dB at 40 Hz. Then there’s a variable gain control for calibrating the bass output.
You can also control the low-pass crossover frequencies at a range of 50-120 Hz, as well as set the phase to 0° or 180°.
The subwoofer also features an auto turn-on switch, an automatic Hi/Lo converter, high-level and low-level inputs for connecting any speaker, and a quick-connect power plug.
This sub lacks in the power department but still delivers quality. If you have tight space in your car and you’re not crazy about high volumes and rocking bass, this subwoofer might be the right fit for you.
- Clean and pounding bass, even at lower frequencies;
- Quality, full, rounded, distortion-free sound;
- Remote control for fine-tuning the sound and bass output;
- No heart-stopping bass;
- A bit more expensive;
- Might blow quickly;
6. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8: Best High-End 8-Inch Subwoofer
The Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 8-inch subwoofer is yet another strikingly well-performing loudspeaker for its size. It’s also sealed in an enclosure, and you can install it in various small spaces in your car.
But just like the KICKER sub above, this one is not so high-powered. It has a peak power of 240W and a 120W RMS power rating, thanks to its built-in Class D amplifier.
However, it reproduces a superb, crisp sound.
The bass it pumps out isn’t thunderous, but I still find it quite pleasant. The sub-bass is thrilling, which isn’t the case with many similar subwoofers.
Unless you max out the volume, you’ll enjoy accurate, distortion-free bass, even at lower frequencies. A subsonic filter ensures the power stays low at lower frequencies and doesn’t pump up the bass.
The Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 has a frequency response range of 25-152 Hz and a sensitivity of 84.8 dB. This might be a bit low for its power, but it doesn’t prevent it from delivering a reliable sound.
The sub has an inline fuse for protecting the amplifier. It automatically shuts off the subwoofer to prevent overheating or electrical shorts.
Just like the previous one, this enclosed sub also has remote control features.
You get variable gain control, variable phase control (0-180°), a variable low-pass crossover of 50-150 Hz, and remote bass control that lets you boost the bass by up to 20 dB.
Under the rugged cast-aluminum enclosure for ultimate durability, this subwoofer has a polypropylene cone and a butyl rubber surround. It also has an aluminum dust cap and a trim ring that you can remove easily if you ever need to replace the cone.
As you can see, the KICKER 11HS8 and the Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 are quite similar. I could barely notice any difference in the sound and bass they put out when I took them for a test drive.
The only clear difference is the material quality. The Alpine Electronics sub has an enclosure that might last longer than the one of its KICKER counterpart.
- High-quality audio with big bass;
- Remote bass control;
- No risk of an electrical short or overheating;
- Not particularly deep bass;
- May require an expert for installation;
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose a single voice coil or a dual voice coil 8-inch sub?
A single voice coil sub is easier to install, but it doesn’t offer much wiring flexibility. It features only two connection options.
A dual voice coil sub features two sets of wiring connection options, so you can match it with an amplifier and connect it with multiple speakers. That way, you can make the bass more profound
2-ohm vs. 4-ohm sub: Which one is better?
Ohms indicate a subwoofer’s impedance, that is, coil resistance. The lower the impedance, the more power is consumed, so the sound is louder. However, that can negatively affect the quality of sound.
Subs with 2-ohm coils reproduce a louder sound than 4-ohm subs, but the latter gives a cleaner, softer sound. With a high-quality amplifier that matches your sub’s RMS power handling, the sound difference might be minimal. For more info, check our 2-ohm vs 4-ohm subs comparison post.