SensibleMotive is reader-supported. If you buy something, we may earn some commissions at no extra cost to you. How it works

6 Best KICKER Subwoofers in 2023 – Enhancing Your Car’s Sound System

An aftermarket KICKER subwoofer is necessary for improved low frequency sound. Factory stereos can’t provide the same level of bass.

KICKER offers a variety of high-quality subwoofers that have gained popularity among car audio enthusiasts. They offer premium options for competition-level sound and affordable options for those looking for an easy upgrade.

An aftermarket KICKER subwoofer can enhance the sound of your car’s original manufacturer speakers. It can also serve as the starting point for a more extensive car audio system.

Regardless of your goals, KICKER offers affordable, durable, and easy-to-install subwoofers. Here are the best options currently available on the market.

KICKER offers a range of subwoofers, from powerful 12-inch dual subwoofers to compact 8-inch subs that can fit in a sedan. Upgrade your car’s audio system with the best KICKER subwoofers.

Top KICKER Subwoofers in 2023

1. KICKER Dual 43DCWR122 – Best All-rounder For Sound, Range And Volume

The KICKER Dual 43DCWR122 is a powerful and high-performing subwoofer. It features two 12-inch speakers in a vented enclosure that provides excellent sensitivity and output.

Kicker Dual 43DCWR122
  • Good value for a big, powerful subwoofer
  • Whopping wattage of 1000 RMS
  • Impressive frequency range
  • Massively eats up your trunk space
  • Will require a hefty amplifier

With 1000 watts of peak power and 500 watts of RMS per sub, the KICKER Dual 43DCWR122 provides a total RMS power of 1000 watts, making it ideal for producing loud and powerful bass in your vehicle.

The subwoofer’s sensitivity of 98 dB ensures efficient power usage, resulting in high-quality bass sounds. Additionally, its wide frequency range from 25 Hz to 500 Hz makes it suitable for various types of music and ensures a balanced output of lows and higher notes.

The KICKER Dual 43DCWR122 features competition-grade injection-molded polypropylene cones and a custom-built, vented enclosure for loud and deep bass. The subwoofer is finished with a charcoal carpet and KICKER’s signature logo.

Installation of the enclosed KICKER Dual 43DCWR122 is easy, simply wire it into your amp and start playing. However, keep in mind that it takes up considerable trunk space, so be sure to check your dimensions before purchasing.

Bottom Line The KICKER Dual 43DCWR122 is a powerful system that offers exceptional sound quality without sacrificing volume. View Latest Price on Amazon →

2. KICKER 11HS8 8″ – Best KICKER Sub for Small Spaces

KICKER 11HS8 is a neat little powered 8-inch sub is perfect for people who want bass without drawing too much attention to themselves.

  • Exceptionally affordable
  • Fits under or behind your seats
  • You won’t raise any eyebrows waiting at red lights!
  • Everything needed for installation
  • Limited power
  • Compact enclosure means sound quality isn’t the best

The KICKER 11HS8 is a compact, 8-inch subwoofer that offers great bass upgrade without drawing too much attention. With 150 watts of RMS power, it’s perfect for those who want to enhance their car’s sound system without disturbing others.

Fully enclosed and powered with a 150-watt amplifier, the KICKER 11HS8 delivers tight and accurate bass. Its compact size of 3 ⅞” x 9 ⅜” x 3 ⅛” makes it easy to fit into any vehicle, under seats or in vacant storage space.

Installation is made easy with low and high-level inputs that ensure compatibility with both factory and aftermarket speaker setups. The quick-connect power plug simplifies wiring, allowing you to plug in and play. The wired remote control also allows for fine-tuning of lows with bass boost and adjustable low pass crossover. Additionally, the smart auto turn-on feature senses the signal and eliminates the need for manual adjustments.

Bottom Line The KICKER 11HS8 is a great choice for those looking to upgrade their car’s bass without the hassle. Its compact size and moderate power make it easy to install and handle. View Latest Price on Amazon →

3. KICKER 43CWR124 – Best Competition KICKER Subwoofer

The KICKER 43CWR124 is a powerful 12-inch subwoofer. Its competition grade specifications make it ideal for competitions. However, it may not be suitable for those looking for a subwoofer that is less disruptive to the peace.

  • Incredibly powerful
  • Crystal clear sound at all volumes
  • All premium materials
  • Distortion reduction in the technology
  • Astronomically expensive
  • Requires a premium custom enclosure to do it justice

The KICKER 43CWR124 subwoofer offers a powerful 500 watts of RMS and 1000 watts of peak power, allowing it to handle even the most demanding audio. Its 4-ohm dual voice coil setup offers a high impedance, resulting in a clear sound at all volumes.

Built with competition-grade materials, the KICKER 43CWR124 features an all-polypropylene cone that reduces distortion and is highly durable. The ribbed Santoprene surround and stamped steel basket protect the cone while the SoloKon technology, a self-cooling and distortion-reducing vented back brace, keeps the subwoofer running smoothly.

Keep in mind, the KICKER 43CWR124 is a high-end subwoofer and comes with a steep price tag. Additionally, an amplifier and custom enclosure are necessary to fully utilize its capabilities. It’s optimized for both sealed and ported enclosures, allowing for customized sound preferences.

Bottom Line The KICKER 43CWR124 is the largest subwoofer on the list, known for its powerful, competition-level sound. However, it comes with a steep price tag. View Latest Price on Amazon →

4. KICKER 10C124 – Best For Free-Air Installation

KICKER 10C124 is a respectable duo of 12-inch subwoofers, with modest power and respectable specs, but what stands out is the rare free-air install compatibility.

Kicker 10C124
  • Compatible with free-air designs if you choose
  • Decent amount of power
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Stylish design
  • High price tag
  • Requires an amplifier too

The KICKER 10C124 subwoofer offers compatibility with a free-air setup and any enclosure. Its 300 watts RMS may not be impressive for a 12-inch subwoofer, but a free-air build requires less power for the same sound quality.

The injection-molded cone and 360-degree back bracing provide stiffness and allow for enclosure-free installation options, such as in car door recesses. Additionally, the KICKER 10C124 subwoofer boasts an 88.3 dB sensitivity and a single 4-ohm impedance for distortion-free sound.

Though free-air installation may not be as popular as it once was, the KICKER 10C124 subwoofer is built to overcome its traditional disadvantages and provide premium sound quality.

Bottom Line If you’re looking for free-air subwoofers, consider the KICKER 10C124. These subs are super-stiff and exceptionally designed. View Latest Price on Amazon →

5. KICKER 44DCWC102 – Best Enclosed KICKER subwoofer

The KICKER 44DCWC102 is a pair of 10-inch subwoofers with a stylish custom enclosure that optimizes loudness and sound quality. It’s a great value buy for anyone looking for bass in their trunk.

Kicker 44DCWC102
  • Exceptional sensitivity for loud and low-distortion bass
  • Custom vented enclosure
  • Great value
  • Despite being compact, it still only fits in your trunk
  • Requires an aftermarket amplifier too

The KICKER 44DCWC102 subwoofer has a peak power of 600 watts and RMS power of 300 watts, providing a total of 600 watts RMS and 1200 peak power. This amount of power makes these 10-inch subs loud, due in part to the custom vented enclosure.

The KICKER 44DCWC102 is constructed with a heavy MDF and finished with a black carpet. The enclosure is designed for powerful and deep bass and comes factory-tuned for your convenience.

The spring-loaded speaker terminal of the KICKER 44DCWC102 protects the subs from road vibrations, while the custom ports provide efficient power use and an accurate sound.

The KICKER 44DCWC102 boasts a 98.4 dB sensitivity, ensuring that these subs get loud. Its exceptional design proves to be a perfect combination of size and sound.

Bottom Line The KICKER 44DCWC102 is a compact subwoofer enclosure with smaller subs that provides a huge sound and great quality bass. It’s also affordably priced. View Latest Price on Amazon →

6. KICKER 43CVR102 – Best KICKER Subwoofer On A Budget

The KICKER 43CVR102 is an affordable 10-inch subwoofer that boasts the latest technology and premium materials. It delivers exceptional sound quality and is impressively durable. Additionally, it doesn’t break the bank.

  • Works well with compact custom sealed enclosures
  • Particularly affordable
  • Wide frequency range
  • Requires the investment of a quality subwoofer enclosure
  • Limited power

The KICKER 43CVR102 subwoofer packs 700 watts max power and 350 watts of RMS power into a compact package. Its 2-ohm impedance ensures you feel every watt of power. With a frequency range of 30 Hz to 500 Hz, it’s not the lowest subwoofer on the market, but it’s close enough to the threshold of human hearing that you’ll feel the bass in your chest as well as hear it. Additionally, the 500 Hz top-end makes this subwoofer a great all-around choice.

Built to last, the KICKER 43CVR102 features a highly temperature-resistant voice coil, a solid steel basket, and an innovative vented perimeter to keep the subwoofer cool while it’s working hard. Keep in mind that this subwoofer requires a decent amplifier and a custom enclosure for optimal performance, though a sealed enclosure of 0.8 cubic feet will work well.

Bottom Line The KICKER 43CVR102 is an affordable subwoofer that has impressive power for its size. It also has compact custom enclosure options. View Latest Price on Amazon →

KICKER Subwoofers 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Buying the Right Subwoofer

KICKER produces a variety of high-quality subwoofers, ranging from fully loaded powered options to solo subs. They all have the capability to enhance your bass. The question is, which one do you choose?


KICKER is a well-known car audio brand that has grown from humble beginnings of hand-building speakers in a garage. They are known for concert-level sound and powerful subwoofers built with the latest technology for optimal sound quality and durability. They also offer affordable subwoofers with amplifiers and enclosures, making them a great choice for both audiophiles and those new to car audio.

Subwoofer Sizes

Size is important when choosing a subwoofer. Smaller subs are more affordable and take up less space, making them easy to install. However, larger subs pack more punch. KICKER offers a range of subwoofers from 8-inch to 15-inch sizes.

  • 8” Subwoofers – Smaller 8-inch subwoofers like the KICKER 11HS8 can easily fit in a vehicle and offer an instant upgrade to the OEM sound system. They produce tight and accurate bass, but with limited power.
  • 10” Subwoofers – Top-quality 10-inch subwoofers are popular among audiophiles as they are great all-rounders. KICKER offers three 10-inch subs that offer tightness similar to smaller subwoofers while allowing for louder bass.
  • 12” Subwoofers – Elite 12-inch subs are a popular choice for car audio upgrades due to their high power ratings and ability to play at loud volumes. However, they do take up more space in the trunk.
  • 15” Subwoofers – The best 15-inch subwoofers offer enough power to blow your mind and the back window. However, they are less common in car audio setups as they take up a lot of space and are expensive.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing KICKER Subwoofer

When considering a subwoofer for your vehicle, there are several factors to take into account. If you have decided on KICKER, here are the key considerations to keep in mind.

Power Handling

Power is an important indicator of a subwoofer’s capabilities and plays a significant role in determining the volume it can produce without distortion. Power is measured in two ways: peak power and RMS power (root mean squared).

Peak power is the maximum power a subwoofer can handle in short bursts, while RMS power is the continuous power it can handle. KICKER offers powerful subs, with up to 600 watts of RMS power.

Active Or Passive KICKER Subwoofers?

Active subwoofers, also known as powered subs, have built-in amplifiers, making installation simpler and saving space. They also have amplifiers tailored to complement the subwoofer. Passive subs, on the other hand, do not come with amplifiers.

Weakly-powered passive subs can run off the OEM amp, but most will require an additional aftermarket amp suited to the sub’s specifications. This allows for customization of the system and the best sound quality for personal taste.

Subwoofer Enclosures

Subwoofers need to be enclosed to produce premium low frequency sounds. An effective subwoofer enclosure prevents sound from the rear of the cone from canceling out that of the front and stabilizes the cone to prevent distortion.

The style of enclosure can greatly affect the volume and quality of bass. Enclosures can be sealed, ported, or hybrid bandpass.

Sealed enclosures take up less space but require more power to produce a similar volume. They are great for tight and accurate bass but have limited loudness.

Ported, also known as vented, enclosures, like the Kicker Dual 43DCWR122, have vents to let air escape from the rear of the box. They are more efficient with power and produce a louder sound.

Bandpass boxes have a dual chamber that is half sealed and half vented. They produce great sounding bass and make the most of every watt of power, but are difficult to build and expensive. They are not found in KICKER’s loaded sub selection.


Impedance refers to the resistance in a subwoofer to the current provided by the amp, measured in ohms. Typically, it can be found at 2-ohm, 4-ohm, or occasionally 8-ohm on some speakers. A lower impedance means less resistance and more power going into the subwoofer. If you prefer loud bass, aim for a 2-ohm sub. However, keep in mind that lower impedance can also mean a compromise on bass quality due to fewer windings in the voice coil.


A subwoofer’s sensitivity, measured in decibels (dB), indicates its loudness with a given power. Sensitivity ranges from the low 80s to 90 dB. A higher sensitivity allows the subwoofer to get louder with less power, resulting in less distortion.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a subwoofer indicates the range of frequencies it can reproduce. The most important aspect is the lower end of this range, typically between 20 Hz and 35 Hz, for deep bass.

A wider frequency response also allows for better reproduction of higher frequencies. If a subwoofer is the only aftermarket addition to your system, a wide frequency response may offer more value.


Installation of an aftermarket subwoofer can be daunting, but it’s a doable DIY task for car enthusiasts. For ease, a powered subwoofer with its own enclosure is a good option. An 8-inch subwoofer could also be a good fit for under seat installation. Otherwise, plan to use trunk space and have wire cutters on hand.

What Are The Other Best Car Subwoofer Brands?

There are a lot of impressive car audio brands out there – so how do you know who to trust? While a brand name alone never persuades us of quality, there are a few subwoofer companies that consistently impress.

  • Skar Audio – Skar Audio is a newer brand in the car audio industry but has established a reputation for producing high-quality, affordable subwoofers since 2012.
  • KICKER – KICKER is a well-established brand that has been manufacturing car audio equipment for decades. They are known for producing powerful sound systems that can fit in the trunk of a car.
  • Rockford Fosgate – Rockford Fosgate is a leading player in the car audio industry. Their subwoofers are known for their quality and typically come with a higher price tag.
  • Rockville – Rockville is known for producing high-quality, affordable subwoofers. They are a great choice for those new to upgrading their car audio system, as their smaller powered subs are easy to install and come with detailed wiring guides.
  • MTX Audio – MTX Audio is known for focusing on sound quality, which results in their subwoofers being some of the loudest available. They are a great choice for those looking for clear and accurate bass.


KICKER is a popular brand among audiophiles for car subwoofers, but they aren’t limited to only elite music fans. The KICKER 43CWR124 offers excess power and impressive specs for those who want to make a statement with their bass.

However, KICKER also offers powered, enclosed subwoofers that are an affordable and easy-to-install option for anyone looking to enhance their car’s bass without spending a lot of money.

The KICKER 11HS8 8″ 150W Hideaway subwoofer is a compact option that packs decent power. With KICKER, there is a subwoofer option for everyone.

Upgrade your car’s bass with a KICKER subwoofer.

Robert Muñoz

I’m Robert, a US-based auto electrician, auto mechanic, trained engineer and fanatic about all things motor vehicle. After studying engineering in college I returned to my original passion - car mechanics - and I ran a garage for a number of years serving my local community. Through my garage, I got involved in numerous road safety campaigns in my local area until eventually, I decided to share what I've learned with the world. Know more about me... You can follow me on LinkedIn.

Leave a Comment