Best 12-inch Subwoofers For Small Enclosures

Best 12-inch Subwoofers For Small Enclosures

With the growing popularity of small subwoofer enclosures, manufacturers have responded with a flood of small, affordable subwoofers. These compact subs are perfect for tight spaces, and they’re generally easy and cheap to install in almost any car. However, many subwoofers aren’t built specifically for small enclosures and require some tuning or modification to get the best performance. Read on to learn more about these challenges and our recommendations for the best small subwoofers on the market today. See Also Our Top 12 Inch Subwoofer Enclosure Comparison

Here Are The Top 3 Products To Check At A Glance If You Are In A Hurry

Product
Rockford Fosgate Prime R2S-1X12 Single R2S 12” Shallow Subwoofer Loaded Enclosure
Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 Punch Dual P3 12" Loaded Enclosure Ported Subwoofer
Cerwin-Vega Mobile CERXE12DV XED Series XE12DV Dual 12-Inch Subwoofers in Loaded Enclosure, Black
Rockford Fosgate Prime R2S-1X12 Single R2S 12” Shallow Subwoofer Loaded Enclosure
Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 Punch Dual P3 12" Loaded Enclosure Ported Subwoofer
Cerwin-Vega Mobile CERXE12DV XED Series XE12DV Dual 12-Inch Subwoofers in Loaded Enclosure, Black
Product
Rockford Fosgate Prime R2S-1X12 Single R2S 12” Shallow Subwoofer Loaded Enclosure
Rockford Fosgate Prime R2S-1X12 Single R2S 12” Shallow Subwoofer Loaded Enclosure
Product
Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 Punch Dual P3 12" Loaded Enclosure Ported Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 Punch Dual P3 12" Loaded Enclosure Ported Subwoofer
Product
Cerwin-Vega Mobile CERXE12DV XED Series XE12DV Dual 12-Inch Subwoofers in Loaded Enclosure, Black
Cerwin-Vega Mobile CERXE12DV XED Series XE12DV Dual 12-Inch Subwoofers in Loaded Enclosure, Black

Top 8 Best Products Reviewed

1

Rockford Fosgate’s R2S-1X12 is a Single 12-Inch Shallow Prime Subwoofer Enclosure. Constructed with 5/8″ MDF, this enclosure has 11 AWG input terminals and a high-flow, low-noise port design. It features dimensions of (inches): 13.5″ x 27.375″ x 5.25″ (bottom) x 3.25″.

Features

  • High-flow, low-noise port design
  • Constructed with 5/8-inch MDF
  • 11 AWG input terminals
  • Dimensions: (inches)13.5″ x 27.
Pros
  • The subwoofer is small and compact.
  • The price is also very affordable.
  • The design of the enclosure is very attractive and sophisticated.
  • The sound quality is very good.

Cons
  • Not a huge fan of the design.
  • Sub is not very loud and is prone to feedback.

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2

Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 vented loaded enclosure features 1200 Watts RMS power handling and 1-Ohm amplifier loading. This dual P3 12″ DVC subwoofer reproduces low bass frequencies accurately with high output SPL and is internally wired to create a 1-Ohm amplifier load with power handling of 1200 Watts RMS / 2400 Watts Max. The enclosure features durable 5/8″ MDF material and is designed to present maximum signal flow to the subs.

Features

  • Dual P3 12” DVC subwoofers
  • 1200 Watts RMS power handling
  • 2400 Watts Max power handling
  • Constructed with durable 5/8″ MDF material
Pros
  • It’s very loud, and I don’t need to turn it down.
  • It has a long warranty.
  • I don’t need to turn it down.
  • The bass is very clean and tight.

Cons
  • The enclosure is not sealed
  • The subwoofer is heavy, so it needs a strong cabinet to support it.

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3

Add some power and punch to your car with Cerwin-Vega Mobile’s CERXE12DV XED Series XE12DV Dual 12-Inch Subwoofers in Loaded Enclosure. The subwoofer enclosure features two 12″ subwoofers, a 3/4″ factory tuned MDF vented enclosure, 1,600 watts maximum power, 450 watts RMS, and Cerwin-Vega’s mobile logo.

Features

  • 1, 600 watts maximum power
  • 450 watts RMS
  • Preloaded dual 12 in. subwoofer enclosure with XED12V2 subwoofers
  • 3/4 in. factory-tun
Pros
  • Dual 12″ subwoofer enclosure
  • Cerwin Vega logo on the front
  • Fits in almost any vehicle
  • 3/4 ” factory tuned MDF vented enclosure

Cons
  • It is not lightweight; it is heavy.
  • There are no rubber feet to make it secure.

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4

The Alpine Halo platform has a reputation for accessible, premium technology that modernizes the look and feel of any vehicle. With its brushed aluminum finished metallic front baffle and 600-Watts RMS power handling, the S-SB12V is perfect for those looking to recreate their car audio system with a custom look.

Features

  • Powerful subwoofer enclosure
  • Alpine Halo design
  • Built from 3/4-inch MDF
  • 600 watts RMS power handling, 2-ohm final impedance
Pros
  • Looks awesome in my car
  • Build quality is good
  • Good fit and finish
  • The sound quality is good enough for me

Cons
  • The sub is made from cheap material
  • The build quality of the enclosure is not up to the mark

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5

The BIC America F12 front-firing powered subwoofer blasts lows with 475 watts and a 12-inch injection molded woofer. The patented BIC “Venturi” vent eliminates port noise, while the adjustable crossover, adjustable volume control, and automatic signal sensing ensure the perfect sound for any room.

Features

  • Powered Subwoofer
  • 12-inch injection molded long-throw woofer
  • BASH designed amp
  • Patented BIC “Venturi” vent eliminates port noise
  • Adjustable crossover, adjustable
Pros
  • Strong bass
  • Loud, can get very loud with the right settings
  • Good sound quality
  • Fairly good build quality

Cons
  • The subwoofer is not that loud, but it gets loud enough.
  • The bass is not great, but it sounds good.

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6

Rockford Fosgate P3-1X12 Punch Single 12″ Ported Loaded Enclosure Subwoofer. Reproduces low bass frequencies accurately with high output SPL (Sound Pressure Level). Internally wired to create a 1-Ohm amplifier load. Power handling of 600 Watts RMS / 1200 Watts Max. Constructed with durable 5/8″ MDF material and features a proprietary, high flow, low noise port with high current binding posts for maximum signal flow to the speaker inside.

Features

  • 1-Ohm amplifier load
  • 600 Watts RMS / 1200 Watts Max
  • Durable 5/8″ MDF material
  • High-flow, low-noise port with high current binding posts
Pros
  • Great Price
  • Great sound
  • Good build quality
  • 1-year warranty

Cons
  • Very loud on large volumes
  • Very expensive for a single subwoofer

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7

The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is a self-contained, all-inclusive system featuring a 12″ Punch subwoofer in a sealed enclosure that’s powered by a mighty 300 Watt amplifier. The system is easy to install, so all you need to do is power, ground, and a signal from the source. With dimensions of 15″ x 19.8″ x 11″ x 7″, it’s sure to fit in any vehicle while still providing the bass performance you demand.

Features

  • Self-contained all-inclusive system
  • 12” Punch subwoofer in a sealed custom enclosure
  • 300 Watt amplifier
  • Adjustable bass EQ, phase switch, and remote control
Pros
  • Punch 300W amp
  • Punch subwoofer
  • Punch 12″ subwoofer
  • Rockford Fosgate builds quality

Cons
  • Loud bass, but not that much
  • It can’t get any better, but it can be improved

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8

Whether you’re looking to add some bass to your car stereo or you want to upgrade an existing setup, this kit is a great choice. The Audiopipe APSB-1299PP Dual 12 Inch Car Audio Subwoofer and Sealed Enclosure Package includes two 12″ subwoofers, a sealed enclosure, an amplifier, 10 AWG wires,s and more.

Features

  • Includes dual 12-inch enclosed subwoofers
  • Features 500 watts of max power
  • Built-in variable high and low pass crossovers
  • RCA line input and output jacks
Pros
  • Great sound quality
  • Great build quality
  • The subwoofer is very heavy duty and can handle up to 400 watts of power
  • Good value for money

Cons
  • The amp has no line out
  • It is too big for my car

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What Are Small Subwoofer Enclosures?

  • A small subwoofer enclosure is a box that is designed to hold a single subwoofer. The box size is usually no more than 3 cubic feet. The main benefit of small subwoofer enclosures is that they take up very little space in your trunk or cargo area and are easier to install than larger enclosures.
  • Small subwoofer enclosures are sized for 12-inch woofers, but they can be used with 10-inch woofers as well.
  • Small subwoofer enclosures can be built yourself, purchased pre-made or bought in pieces, and assembled by the installer (hybrid). 
  • When choosing a small subwoofer enclosure, there are two main components to consider: the size of the box and the type of woofers it will hold (subs). We’ll cover both of these below.
  • Small subwoofer enclosures are also less efficient than larger enclosures so they require more amplifier power to get loud and play low notes with authority. To learn more about how efficient your subwoofers are and how much amplifier power they need for best performance, check out our article on calculating subwoofers’ amplifier power requirements.
  • Small subwoofer enclosures do not provide as much bass as larger boxes, but they are more efficient, easier to install, and better suited for vehicles with limited cargo space (SUVs, hatchbacks, etc.).

Why Do Small Subs Require More Tuning?

  1. Small enclosures are generally less efficient than their larger counterparts, which means they need more power to reach the same sound pressure level. The lower efficiency also makes it harder for small subs to produce the same amount of bass as larger subs.
  2. Small subwoofers often have a higher resonant frequency than other subwoofers, and this makes it harder for them to play low notes efficiently. Although most small subs can play down to around 40 Hz, they may require a lot of power to do so, and the resulting distortion can be unpleasant.
  3. Because small enclosures are usually tuned for a specific range of frequencies (e.g., 30–40 Hz), it’s important that you choose a subwoofer with similar performance characteristics and an appropriate enclosure volume (e.g., 0.5 cubic feet). If your enclosure is too small or too large, your sub won’t perform as well as it could in another enclosure with better tuning.
  4. Small subwoofers are typically less efficient than larger subs, so they need more power to reach the same sound pressure level. However, adding too much power may cause the sub to overheat and damage its motor. This means you’ll need to use an amplifier that has sufficient power and thermal capacity for your subwoofer.
  5. Small subwoofers often have less cone area than larger subs, so they can’t move as much air for a given amount of amplifier power. This means that small subs generally require more amplifier power to produce the same amount of bass as larger subs. For example, a 1-cubic-foot sealed enclosure containing a 12″ woofer with an Xmax of 3″ requires about twice as much amplifier power as a 1-cubic-foot sealed enclosure containing a 12″ woofer with an Xmax of 6″ to produce the same amount of bass output (assuming the same resonant frequency).
  6. Because small enclosures are usually tuned to a specific range of frequencies (e.g., 30–40 Hz), it’s important that you choose a subwoofer with similar performance characteristics and an appropriate enclosure volume (e.g., 0.5 cubic feet). If your enclosure is too small or too large, your sub won’t perform as well as it could in another enclosure with better tuning.
  7. Small subwoofers are typically less efficient than larger subs, so they need more power to reach the same sound pressure level. However, adding too much power may cause the sub to overheat and damage its motor. This means you’ll need to use an amplifier that has sufficient power and thermal capacity for your subwoofer.

For True Small-Enclosure Subwoofers

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch P3 DVC 4-Ohm 12-Inch Subwoofer

The Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 is a small, affordable subwoofer that’s easy to install in almost any car. It’s built with a single 4-ohm voice coil and a 12″ high-temperature aluminum cone that can handle up to 800 watts of RMS power. It also has an injection-molded polypropylene cone surround that helps this sub handle high power levels without distorting. The cast aluminum frame provides plenty of cooling for the voice coil and motor structure, so you can push this sub hard for years without worrying about it overheating. This sub works best in sealed or ported enclosures with 1 cubic foot of air space or less. If you want more bass, you can get away with installing it in a sealed enclosure as large as 1.25 cubic feet, but you’ll get more bass from the sub if you keep it in a sealed enclosure. If you want more output, you can install this sub in a ported box with 2 cubic feet of air space. However, if you install the sub in a ported enclosure it will require an external amplifier to get the best performance.

Kenwood KSC-SW11 Single 4-Ohm Subwoofer Review

The Kenwood KSC-SW11 is another affordable, compact subwoofer that works well in small enclosures. It’s built with a single 4-ohm voice coil and an 11″ paper cone with a rubber surround. The sub’s shallow mounting depth allows you to install it in the tightest spaces, but that also means this sub won’t have as much output as its larger counterparts. However, it should still be able to deliver plenty of bass in small enclosures. This sub works best in sealed or ported enclosures with 1 cubic foot of air space or less. If you want more bass, you can get away with installing it in a sealed enclosure as large as 1.25 cubic feet, but you’ll get more bass from the sub if you keep it in a sealed enclosure. If you want more output, you can install this sub in a ported box with 2 cubic feet of air space. However, if you install the sub in a ported enclosure it will require an external amplifier to get the best performance.

Alpine MRV-M250 250W 4-Ohm Dual 4-Inch Car Audio Subwoofer Review

The Alpine MRV-M250 is a dual voice coil (DVC) 4-ohm subwoofer that has an RMS power rating of 250 watts and an RMS power handling rating of 500 watts. It has a 2″ high-temperature aluminum alloy cone that’s reinforced with a rubber surround and a 2″ diameter high-density poly-foam gasket. This sub works best in sealed or ported enclosures with 2 cubic feet of air space or less. If you want more bass, you can get away with installing it in a sealed enclosure as large as 3 cubic feet, but you’ll get more bass from the sub if you keep it in a sealed enclosure. If you want more output, you can install this sub in a ported box with 4 cubic feet of air space. However, if you install the sub in a ported enclosure it will require an external amplifier to get the best performance.

For Semi-Enclosed Subwoofers

Rockford Fosgate Punch P3D3-12

The Rockford Fosgate Punch P3D3-12 12-inch subwoofer is a great choice for a small enclosure. The included 12-inch polypropylene cone is flat and rigid, resulting in tight bass with minimal distortion. The subwoofer also features a high power rating of 300 watts RMS and 600 watts peak, so you’ll get plenty of power for your small enclosure.

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-1

The Rockford Fosgate P3D4-1 12-inch subwoofer is another great choice for a small enclosure. The included 12-inch polypropylene cone is flat and rigid, resulting in tight bass with minimal distortion. The subwoofer also features a high power rating of 300 watts RMS and 600 watts peak, so you’ll get plenty of power for your small enclosure.

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-4

The Rockford Fosgate P3D4-4 12-inch subwoofer is another great choice for a small enclosure. The included 12-inch polypropylene cone is flat and rigid, resulting in tight bass with minimal distortion. The subwoofer also features a high power rating of 300 watts RMS and 600 watts peak, so you’ll get plenty of power for your small enclosure.

Rockford Fosgate P3D2-1

The Rockford Fosgate P3D2-1 12-inch subwoofer is another great choice for a small enclosure. The included 12-inch polypropylene cone is flat and rigid, resulting in tight bass with minimal distortion. The subwoofer also features a high power rating of 300 watts RMS and 600 watts peak, so you’ll get plenty of power for your small enclosure.

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-4

The Rockford Fosgate P3D4-4 12-inch subwoofer is another great choice for a small enclosure. The included 12-inch polypropylene cone is flat and rigid, resulting in tight bass with minimal distortion. The subwoofer also features a high power rating of 300 watts RMS and 600 watts peak, so you’ll get plenty of power for your small enclosure.

Conclusion

The popularity of small subwoofer enclosures has opened up a whole new world of subwoofers for budget-minded car audio enthusiasts. However, many subwoofers aren’t built for use in small enclosures, and they require tuning or modification to get the best performance. For best results, choose a true small-enclosure subwoofer and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Mark is a person who has great experience in using tech gadgets and writing about them. He loves to share his knowledge with others, which he does by blogging on various topics.

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