The world of car sound system competitions has grown in popularity over the recent years. Organizations like IASCA (International Auto Sound Challenge Association) and MECA (Mobile Electronics Competition Association, Inc) hosting competitions anywhere and everywhere that audio enthusiasts want to compete in.
These competitions can vary in how they work and what their rules are, but two of the most common types involve testing the sound quality (SQ) of speakers over time with sustained music and testing the max sound pressure level (SPL) in a quick burst of bass.
If you love the sound of thumping bass as much as we do, and you think you want to test yourself against other audio enthusiasts in one of these competitions, then you are going to need the best competition subwoofers.
And even if you don’t possess the competitive spirit, if you want premium bass in your aftermarket sound system then you have to consider a premium competition subwoofer.
The demands of a car audio competition require special considerations. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and compiled a list of the top competition subwoofers available on the market today.
The following custom subwoofers offer performance that a standard sound system can only dream about. These subs are designed beyond the capabilities of non-competitive subwoofers to offer colossal power handling capacities, more comprehensive frequency ranges, and low resistances.
Plus, many of the subwoofers listed can be a great option if you’re trying to build a system and avoid breaking the bank simultaneously. These competition subwoofers also have competitive prices!
So let’s go for gold and find the best competition subwoofers on the market.
The Best Competition Subwoofers For Car Soundsystems in 2022
Let’s take a look at some competition subwoofers that will help give you an edge at your next audio contest.
1. Rockville Destroyer 12D2 Subwoofer – Best Sub for High Power
The Rockville Destroyer 12D2 is a high-power, competition-grade subwoofer that could be perfect for your next championship build.
As the name suggests, the Destroyer 12D2 is a 12-inch competition subwoofer. It sports dual 2-ohm voice coils for more volume and the added benefit of wiring flexibility.
The cast aluminum body and black, sanded finish give this subwoofer a stylish look while reducing weight and improving performance.
The 3-inch, 4-layer black aluminum voice coils are made in the United States of America and are rated to withstand high temperatures of 350° celsius (662° Fahrenheit). And while the USA-made materials do cost more than lower quality parts from overseas, the difference in performance is evident once you start the music.
The Destroyer is CEA (Certified Audio Engineer) rated for 2000 watts RMS power handling and an astounding 8000 watts of peak power.
That much power in a 12-inch subwoofer is unbelievable and tops this list of subs by a large margin. Power handling isn’t everything, but this sub can be a good choice for those loud tone bursts (nicknamed “bass burps”) you want at your next competition.
With triple-stacked 300oz Y35 magnets, this competition subwoofer will be able to outperform many subwoofers with less sensitive, single 400oz magnets.
Finally, the Destroyer features an extra-stiff cone for superior strength and a thicker foam surround for fantastic sound quality.
2. AudioPipe TXX-BDC4-12D Car Audio Subwoofer Speaker – Best 12-Inch Sub for Easier Installation
This 12-inch dual voice coil subwoofer from the experts at Audiopipe is ready to help you take it up a notch at your next competition.
- Shallow 7.88-inch depth can work well in tight spaces
- Custom spider ring helps make customizing your wiring setup easier
- Wide frequency response that bottoms out at 20Hz for excellent bass quality
- Enthusiasts may want a more powerful or larger subwoofer
- Single 220oz magnet might not be ideal for the most potent competition builds
If space is one of your significant limitations, this may be the subwoofer for you. It offers a modest, 7.88-inch depth to make installation that much more straightforward in tight spaces. Speaking of simplifying installation, the TXX-BDC4-12D is made with a custom spider ring that makes series or parallel wiring much more manageable.
With 1400 watts RMS and 2800 watts of peak power, you will be able to build significant sound pressure levels (SPLs). This powerful competition subwoofer can be an excellent choice for your daily commute while still ready to show up on game day to give a competition-ready performance.
If you want a clean, clear sound no matter the volume, then the Strontium 220 oz magnet in this subwoofer will help provide a unique audio experience. And the frequency response of 20-900Hz offers a great range for getting the most out of your bass.
With all that great hardware, it only makes sense to be concerned about keeping it all safe and performing at its best for a long time. Thankfully the people at Audiopipe have you covered with the powdered aluminum basket that can handle deep bass burps or sustained SPL sessions with ease.
3. American Bass VFL-8D4 8″ Competition Woofer – Best for Small Cars or Tight Spaces
If you think the mounting depth of Audiopipe’s subwoofer is still going to be a stretch for you, then the American Bass VFL 8-inch competition woofer could be your solution.
- Slim mounting depth perfect for smaller cars
- Small diameter leaves room for other audio components
- Sub is a good budget option for the price tag
- Performance may fall short compared to other competition grade subwoofers (but it’s a good start)
- Smaller size might affect the depth and volume of your music
It also offers a fantastic bang for your buck as one of the least expensive options on our list. The balance that American Bass has struck between performance parts and budget components makes it a superb choice for enthusiasts who have just started their journey into competitive car audio.
This 800-watt max power sub has dual 4-ohm voice coils in an impressively shallow mounting depth of only 5 inches. The push speaker terminals also help make wiring this competition woofer a little easier if you’re working in a tight space.
The slimmer profile also means smaller components. But that is all a part of what makes this subwoofer a smart option. Because this American Bass woofer is on the smaller side at 8 inches in diameter and designed with a 100oz magnet, it is a great budget option if you are looking to start competing without sacrificing your entire wallet.
Another cool aspect of this woofer is the red double stitching on the cone that provides durability and a nice look. And speaking of appearance, the attractive American Bass VFL logo on the dust cap gives this woofer a finished look that is certainly good for some extra style points, if nothing else.
4. American Bass Elite Series 12 Woofer – Best 12-inch Sub for a Budget Build
If you are a fan of the American Bass brand but think you want to go up a step in size and power, then look no further than the American Bass Elite Series 12. It features a wider diameter and bigger voice coils that translate to more volume and lower bass for you.
- Power handling and double-stacked magnets offer terrific performance
- High-quality materials increase the sub’s durability and reliability
- Good middle-of-the-road option between budget-friendly and more expensive options
- Not as powerful as top-of-the-line subwoofers
- Non-pressed paper cones have more quality issues than pressed paper cones
The Elite Series E1244 is a 12-inch subwoofer offering an impressive 2400 watts peak power with dual 4-ohm 3-inch voice coils.
The double-stacked 150oz magnets give you rich, clear bass. Pulse, high-density, high roll foam surround provides durability, so you don’t need to start sweating when it’s time to turn the music up.
And since we are on the subject of the materials used to build the Elite Series subwoofers, we should mention a few more highlights.
The E1244 has a stamped steel basket with a powder-coated finish that gives it a sleek look. It also has double-thick tinsel stitched on the spider for enhanced strength and appeal. Finally, the E12 is built with a fiber-added non-pressed paper cone for extra durability and style.
5. Skar Audio VXF-15 Competition Car Subwoofer – Best Sub for Low-End Frequency Response
Some people say bigger is better and who are we to argue? If you want a subwoofer with a large diameter and lots of power, the Skar Audio VXF-15 is worth a look.
When the engineers at Skar Audio began to put this design together, they knew they wanted to meet some high standards with a subwoofer that offers the low-end response while still delivering top quality across all kinds of music.
This 15-Inch dual 4-ohm subwoofer is designed to impress with its sound quality (SQ) and sound pressure levels (SPL).
An RMS power rating of 1500 watts and a peak rating of 3000 watts ensures you will be heard when the music starts to play.
The huge 300oz magnet and 3-inch, high-temperature copper voice coil work to provide an extensive frequency range of 20 Hz – 250 Hz and a sensitivity of 87.7 dB.
This subwoofer was designed to win competitions with its advanced airflow cooling system, and competition-grade pressed paper cone. And with the high roll foam surround, it’s ready and willing to play those incredible, resonant bass tones all day long.
6. KICKER 12″ Full Package Subwoofer Kit – Best for Easily Assembling a Complete Competition Build
As the only complete kit on this list, Kicker’s 12-inch full package takes a lot of the guesswork out of customizing your car’s audio system.
If you want to upgrade from the stock sound system in your car and you want to do it on a limited budget and a tight schedule, then choosing a kit like the one is the way to go.
The kit comes with two Kicker Comp C 12-inch subwoofers that feature a 4-ohm voice coil, injection-molded polypropylene cone, and ribbed polyurethane surround.
You also get:
- Dual 12” CompC Enclosure
- Boss Audio Systems R1100M Riot Series with a 550-watt max @ 4 Ohms
- Bullz Audio 2.2 Farad 2200 Watt Capacitor with digital voltage display
- Qpower 4-gauge complete amplifier installation kit
While the kit will initially cost you more than a single subwoofer, you are getting a ton of equipment for your money. After purchasing all this equipment piece by piece, the cost might be considerably more expensive.
The enclosure is high-quality MDF material and features Kicker’s stylish yellow logo. The amp, wiring kit, and capacitor are all matched to the subwoofers so there’s no danger of overpowering your sub, and each one is a quality piece of audio equipment in its own right. It works great in a trunk or SUV.
If you are just starting to compete or building your very first custom car sound system, consider this Kicker kit that you can install quickly and replace piece by piece if you decide that’s the direction you want to go.
7. Power Acoustik Car Subwoofer Sub MOFO152X – Best Sub for Appearance
Power Acoustik strives to combine form and function in all its products, and the MOFO-152X is no exception.
This 15-inch subwoofer features a blue, cast aluminum basket with diamond-cut accents. To give even the back a sleek look, Power Acoutstik made the backplate chrome. Finally, the color-matched blue inserts tie together the look. That’s attention to detail!
It’s undoubtedly cool looking, but the MOFO-X series doesn’t limit the focus to style over substance. This sub is built with a high-quality cloth-paper composite cone, dual CONEX spiders, and aluminum reinforcement fins attached to an aluminum dust cap.
The 2.5-inch, 4-layer dual voice coil helps you up the volume while the 12mm T-Yoke and top plate bestow improved low-frequency dynamics. That means you’re not only getting louder bass for your next competition, but the quality is much more fluid.
With all the amazing components in this subwoofer, it’s no wonder that the specs are equally impressive. The magnet is a single, 373oz beast that will provide staggering performance in the form of precise sound and significant volume. It offers 3000 watts of peak power and 1400 watts RMS.
And as a final note, the good people at Power Acoustik have designed the MOFO-152X with a patent-pending heatsink design that ensures you will be able to pull heart-thumping bass from this sub all day long – without any risk of overheating your competition subwoofer whatsoever.
8. Skar Audio DDX-15 – Best Sub for High Decibel Performance
Just like with the brand’s other subwoofer on this list, it’s clear to see that the people at Skar Audio love their work and know what they are doing. Designed for competitors and non-competitors alike, the DDX-15 offers a balance for both SPL (sound pressure level) and SQ (sound quality) performance.
- Sensitivity is phenomenal for a subwoofer in the price range
- Advanced air cooling system prevents premature overheating
- Excellent budget option for a competition-specific build
- Only offers 1500 watts max and 1000 watts RMS power
- Materials may wear out faster than on the more expensive subs on this list
Designed for competitors and non-competitors alike, the DDX-15 offers a balance for both SPL and SQ performance.
This 15-inch sub is equipped to handle 1500 watts of max power and has an RMS rating of 1000 watts. And with dual 2.5-inch copper voice coils and a 202oz magnet, you can rest assured that you can get the most out of this powerful woofer.
The 90.6 dB sensitivity and a frequency response of 20-250Hz are right in the range of what a serious competitor needs. At the same time, the advanced airflow cooling system keeps its performance stable and its temperature low.
With a competition-grade, pressed paper cone and a stitched, high roll foam surround, this subwoofer will be able to handle the rigors of competition. It should also provide durability and handle loud volumes even with daily use.
What to Consider When Choosing a Competition Subwoofer
We’ve looked at the best competition subwoofers on the market and highlighted what each one is best suited to do for you. With this information, you might feel like you’re ready to get out there and compete.
But just because a subwoofer might offer more power, a more comprehensive frequency response range, or come with all the additional components of a competitive sound system doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for you.
Allow us to break down some of the critical factors that affect how a subwoofer performs and why it matters when you want to use them for audio competition.
In general, the rule of thumb for aftermarket subwoofers is the bigger a subwoofer is, the bigger the bass will be. The size will also factor into how low you go for that desirable, deep bass.
A larger sub typically offers less responsiveness than its smaller siblings. If you are competing in a sound quality test, you might favor the SQ performance of a smaller subwoofer.
Another size aspect to consider is the space you have available. If you want to get the most out of your competition build, you need to maximize your use of space. Measure your trunk or another area of the car you are using to house your sound system and get the most significant sub you can.
Power in a subwoofer consists of two measurements: root mean square (RMS) and peak power. Peak power is the maximum amount of power a sub will take before blowing out, but for competition subwoofers – and audio equipment in general – RMS power is a more significant measure because this is the sustained output your sub can handle.
1500 – 2000 watts is good for a competition subwoofer, but if space and budget are of concern then there are solid offerings in the 1000 watts range like the Skar Audio car subwoofers.
Both RMS and peak power can factor into how well a subwoofer will do in competition, but it is not the only thing to consider when looking at the power rating.
The efficiency of the sub’s other components is going to play a huge role in how well all that power translates to the sound quality and SPL (sound pressure levels).
The frequency response refers to the range of sound that that subwoofer can reproduce. To create deep bass in competitions, you want to find a sub with an excellent low-end frequency.
Humans can hear as low as approximately 20Hz, and that is when you get that chest-shaking, vibrating bass that you feel more than hear.
Don’t forget to analyze your enclosure when you’re considering frequency response. An enclosure will modulate the music and will change between the frequency that the sub is putting out and what you hear.
Another term for SPL is sensitivity, and it refers to the subwoofer’s ability to utilize power to create a particular volume.
The higher a subwoofer’s SPL, the less power it requires to reach a given volume. Another way of saying this is that the more sensitive a subwoofer is, the louder it can be with less power.
Sensitivity is measured in decibels or dB. Look for a sub with an SPL rating in the mid-80 dB range for good performance, with anything 90 dB or higher being very competitive.
A more sensitive subwoofer will also require a less powerful amp which can be a consideration if you are concerned with the costs of the rest of the audio equipments for your build.
The impedance, or Ohm’s law, is the measure of the sub’s electrical resistance. It’s vital to match your sub’s impedance and the impedance of your amp for the best performance.
A low impedance means that a subwoofer is more conductive and will more accurately produce sound than a sub with a higher resistance rating.
Other factors influence the impact of impedance, including the number of voice coils, the voice coil materials, wire gauge, and the way you wire your sound system. Try to find a sub with low impedance and build your system to maximize efficiency.
Subwoofers need to be mounted in boxes called enclosures with the right volume of air inside to produce the best sound and there are a number of ways you can do this.
Sealed enclosures require less space and produce a tighter sound – but they require more power, whilst vented (or ported) enclosures demand more space and hit lower frequencies.
Most subs can be mounted in either sealed or vented enclosures – but make sure you’ve got the space to do it right if you want to be onto a winner
Car audio competitions are a ton of fun, and the subwoofer is a key component in achieving success in the hobby. Remember to check the guidelines of your competitive organization for any rules about the kind of audio equipment you are allowed to use.
Remember that different competitions test different aspects of sound. What you want from a subwoofer will depend on if you are at a competition testing SPL, SQ, or another metric. You may want to try to find a subwoofer with decent performance across the board, or maybe you want one that focuses on one aspect and really shines.
Read through our guide on how to choose the best competition subwoofer for you. Use it as a roadmap that can narrow down your search for a sub that hits all the performance metrics you want for your system.
The competition subwoofers on this list are a great place to start looking. Each one is geared towards providing an impressive competition performance.
And no matter which one you choose, always remember to turn on the music, crank up the volume, and that bass bumping.