What size subwoofer do I need for my car?

What size subwoofer do I need for my car?

Dominic Riley |

Choosing the right subwoofer size for your car depends on various factors including your personal taste in music, the amount of space available in your car/vehicle, and how much bass you desire. There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but here's a general guide to help you decide:

  • 8-inch Subwoofer: Best for enhancing factory-installed systems with a little more bass. They take up less space and can fit in more confined areas. Ideal for listening to lighter bass genres like pop, classical, jazz, or country music.
  • 10-inch Subwoofer: They offer a good balance between sound quality and bass. If you enjoy a wide variety of music but don't need super powerful bass, this might be the subwoofer for you. They're a popular choice for a broad range of music genres.
  • 12-inch Subwoofer: These are the most versatile subwoofers, providing powerful bass without taking up too much space. Suitable for those who enjoy listening to rock, heavy metal, hip-hop, and electronic/dance music.
  • 15-inch or Larger Subwoofer: Designed for those who want the most bass possible and are willing to sacrifice a lot of space in their vehicle for their sound system. Recommended for those who prioritise heavy-hitting rap or drum and bass music.

Think about the type of music you enjoy, whether you're looking for sound quality or raw bass power, and how much space you're prepared to give up for the subwoofer. You should also consider the power handling (an amplifier), sensitivity ratings, and the type of enclosure the subwoofer will be mounted in, as these will also affect performance.

Get in touch with us and we can help pick out the most optimal setup for you!

Does the size of my car make a difference?

The size of your car can influence the best size for a subwoofer, mostly due to your car interior's volume and the available space for installing a subwoofer. Here are some considerations you need to take into account:

  • Hatchbacks & Smaller Cars: In smaller cars, such as hatchbacks, space is at a premium, so more compact subwoofers like underseat subwoofers, 8-inch or 10-inch units are popular. They can typically provide a solid bass response without overwhelming your interior.
  • Estates and Coupes: A 10-inch subwoofer usually works well in estates and coupes, providing a good balance between bass response and the ability to fit within the vehicle.
  • SUVs, Shooting Brakes, Saloons, MPVs and Larger Estates: In larger vehicles like SUVs and larger estates, there's more cabin volume, so you can opt for 12-inch subwoofers to fill the space with a richer bass sound. There's also typically more room for installation, so larger units can be accommodated.
  • Vans, Trucks, and Large SUVs: These vehicles often have ample space for subwoofers, and you might want to consider even larger sizes like 15-inch subwoofers if you're looking for maximum bass and if the space allows for them.

Another point to consider is how the bass sound travels in the car's interior. Smaller cars can reach the listening level you might enjoy with less power and a smaller subwoofer. Larger vehicles may require a more powerful subwoofer with a larger, more powerful amplifiers to achieve the same effect.

When choosing a subwoofer size, you also need to consider the available space for the subwoofer and the type of enclosure it will require, as well as how much space you are willing to dedicate to the system. We advise you to listen to different subwoofer sizes in your specific type of car body shape, if possible, so you can determine which size subwoofer provides the sound experience you prefer.