Let’s face it: stock speakers and subwoofers in most modern day cars and trucks are known for being significant underperformers. As a result, aftermarket subs tend to be very popular with people that love to hear every nuance of their music. A good pair of 10-inch subs are going to fit comfortably in most enclosures, and you’ll be impressed by their volume output and clarity. In this guide, we’re going to present you with seven of the best 10-inch subwoofer products currently on the market.
The Voice Coil Orientation
When you’re working with a sub, you’re usually going to find that there are two varieties to consider: single coil, which is typically referred to as SVC, or double coil, which most people call DVC systems. These produce excellent sound, and in most cases, the difference might not be noticeable by people that don’t understand speaker construction. That being said, a subwoofer with a dual coil system tends to be a bit more versatile since it can be wired at two different junctions thanks to the fact that there are multiple coils.
With a DVC, the second coil is wrapped around the former component of the sub. The former is designed to manage the current that originates at the amplifier. As a result, these subs can be wired to multiple ohm levels. For example, on a sub that has four ohms, a dual coil setup can be wired at two and eight ohms in most configurations.
The basket is the basket-shaped component in the subwoofer that houses the diaphragm, the coils, and the rest of the speaker components. This hard support structure provides the stiff casing that these components need to move against in order to produce the thrumming bass that many audiophiles prefer.
For the most part, you’ll encounter stamped or cast baskets, and each has its own advantages. For example, cast baskets are literally cast into shape, and as a result, these are the hardest types of basket orientations on the market. On the other hand, a basket with a stamped design is made to have a bit of give, and the manufacturer doesn’t cast the metal. Instead, it’s stamped into that shape with a punching mechanism.
Cast baskets, which are usually the more expensive of the two, are known for their precision. As a result, in most cases, the speaker components can have a higher level of design quality, especially considering the magnets in these are often very strong. The magnets on these are sometimes even bolted into place for a more reliably level of performance. These also can deal with most of the excess heat that’s generated inside the subwoofer cabinet.
Stamped baskets, on the other side of the coin, have their magnets glued to their frames, so there are a bit less audio precision and a slightly weaker magnetic field. Still, these are often very inexpensive, but you’ll have to be careful because a sudden impact can dislodge the magnet from the basket.
Some of the Materials that Can be Used for a Cone (or Diaphragm)
When a magnetic field is generated, and the subwoofer is generating sound, it’s primarily a result of the cone being moved by the coils inside the sub. The cone can be made of a variety of materials, and each has an impact. Here are a few cone materials to consider:
• Kevlar: This isn’t just for bulletproof vests; Kevlar cones are known for being very strong and at the same time very moveable. These are also reasonably heat-resistant.
• Polypropylene: One of the best features of this material is how long it’ll last; you can have a poly cone for upwards of a decade. Also, polypropylene is designed to be very rigid, and some audiophiles love the punchy bass tones that this type of cone can generate.
• Paper: Paper is probably the most traditional cone material, but in modern times, most manufacturers opt to treat their paper cones. This adds durability to the material without sacrificing the lightweight design.
• Carbon Fiber: Like Kevlar, carbon fiber cones are designed to be very durable. These also tend to be reasonably lightweight, but they are also able to experience an issue that can cause them to hiss.
• Aluminum: Not only is this a material that’s used in stamped baskets, but some manufacturers produce the cone out of aluminum. Aluminum, for a metal, is very lightweight and durable. If your sub is generating a lot of heat, this and Kevlar will continue to work without break-up.
Since the cone moves, it needs a component that will keep it nice and centered so that you don’t experience poor sound quality. This is where the spider comes in. This component sits right at the center of the cone on the underside, and this it is usually treated to withstand the sometimes extreme conditions that can be present within the body of a sub or speaker. Spiders are usually made of lightweight material, and they are corrugated in a manner that might remind you of cardboard. Some popular materials for the spider are cotton, nomex, paper, conex, or even a blend of cotton and another material. Ideally, your spider should have steady creases so that the sound is very stable – too many, and you’ll experience distortion and sag.
10-Inch Subwoofer Reviews
1) Boss Audio Elite BE10D 10-inch Car Subwoofer
The first product in our guide comes to us from Boss. The Elite BE10D is designed with a cone that’s constructed of polypropylene, so it’ll last throughout the years. Also, since polypropylene has a relatively decent heat tolerance, you won’t run into problems, even when you turn the bass up a notch.
This is also a product with a dual voice coil design, which allows you to connect to amplifiers at two different points of contact. Typically, this is done at two and eight ohms of impedance. Sometimes, it’s very advantageous to have a durable car subwoofer since things like bumps can affect the performance, especially when working with glued-on components. Fortunately, this sub has a lot of inherent shock absorption thanks to the presence of the poly cone and an all-rubber surround.
This is a product with a stamped basket, and overall, the subwoofer has a very lightweight form factor and a very attractive design.
• This sub has a maximum power rating of 800 watts.
• It only weighs about six pounds.
• The butyl rubber surround has a shock absorbing design and can withstand high temperatures.
• The stamped basket isn’t as strong as it could be.
2) Kicker 43C104 Comp 10″ 300 Watt SVC 4-Ohm Car Audio Subwoofer Woofer
Kicker stands out because the company is known for producing very budget-friendly speaker systems for vehicles, and this 43C104 is no exception. Despite the low cost, this Kicker product has a dual-coil design, a sensitivity of 86.2 dB, and a passive amp system. This is reasonably impressive at this price point, and for those looking for a stalwart replacement for OEM subs, this a great starter unit to consider.
If you’re new to the world of the aftermarket sub, then these are also great entry-level speakers, and they are also very straightforward to install, even for a newbie. These pack in some good middle-of-the-road components and there are few products on the market that are as durable. Additionally, when it comes to performance, these have a 150-watt RMS (root means square), which means that at continuous power settings, these subs can handle a good amount of constant power.
• They have a very stylish design.
• They are incredibly durable for the price point.
• The cone is made of rigid and durable polypropylene.
• Its peak power is a bit on the low side.
• The ribbed foam surround isn’t as heat-resistant as some other materials.
3) PIONEER TS-SW2502S4 10-Inch, 1.200 Watts Shallow-Mount Subwoofer
When it comes to car audio, Pioneer is one of the industry’s leaders. This subwoofer stands out thanks to a great material construction as well as a svelte visual design that most audiophiles will love. One of the first things that you might notice is that this is a shallow-mount sub; this means that it’s designed to be installed either in an enclosure or in a vehicle door. Not every vehicle will have the space, but with a product like this, your vehicle cab can seem less cramped.
When it comes to audio performance, this Pioneer speaker stands out thanks to an extensive frequency range that can generate tones between 25 and 125 Hz, which means that you should hear all of the thrumming sounds of your music. It even has a peak performance of 1200 watts, so when you want to pump up the volume, this sub won’t falter. Also, despite the mounting depth, this is a reasonably performant sub that even audio pros might want to consider.
• It has a 1200-watt peak power.
• This is a very inexpensive subwoofer.
• It’s designed with a shallow mount form factor.
• It’s RMS isn’t the highest.
• This won’t accommodate every vehicle door.
4) Boss Audio CXX10 800 Watt, 10 Inch, Single 4 Ohm Voice Coil Car Subwoofer
The fourth product in this guide is also the second Boss product and is a single subwoofer that you can purchase in a set. The speaker has a great aesthetic design that will look great in an enclosure, and it utilizes lightweight materials like aluminum and polypropylene to ensure a resonant level of performance.
Like the first product, this is a sub that utilizes a butyl rubber surround as well as a poly cone that is lightweight and damage resistant. Also like that product, the Boss CXX10 has a robust stamped aluminum basket that produces the right amount of sound. This is a single coil sub, so it won’t quite be as versatile as some subwoofers, but when it comes to overall performance, this product is a good option for most entry-level sub owners.
• The entire subwoofer is very lightweight.
• Boss opted to use some reasonably premium materials in the construction of this sub.
• These can manage 800-watts of peak power.
• For the price, these can produce a lot of sound.
• This is only a single subwoofer.
• The components can fail over time.
5) Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer
Unlike the other products in the guide, this Polk Audio sub isn’t necessarily for car use; in fact, this subwoofer is designed to be easily integrated into the home. It has a good level of performance, but for some, it may lose points because it only has 100 watts of power at max. Still, this is a powered unit, so the amplifier is already onboard and ready to go when you install it.
Since this product comes installed in its own enclosure, you can expect a high level of performance. Polk designed the enclosure to withstand a lot of heat and pressure without dislodging the cone or the other speaker components. As a result, this is a subwoofer that’s very durable and has a surprising amount of clarity. You’ll also have the ability to detach the front grill if you prefer the design of the subwoofer without it.
• For the size and power output, this is a reasonably clear sub.
• Its aesthetic design is awe-inspiring.
• It’s straightforward to configure.
• This might be underpowered for a car setup.
• It has a powered configuration.
6) Rockford Fosgate R2D4-10 Prime 4-Ohm DVC 10” Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate is another speaker brand that’s become something of an industry icon. This product, which is the R2D4, has a four-ohm impedance as well as a dual-coil design, so it’s very versatile. When it comes to performance, this product also stands out because it has a 250-watt RMS, which is a relatively stable and performance-oriented level of output. At maximum, this is a sub that can handle 500 watts, which is pretty good for the cost.
This is also a product with a suitable material construction; the cone is made of mica-injected polypropylene, and the surround is made of poly-foam. When it comes to the physical design, this is also a 10-inch subwoofer that looks somewhat understated and elegant. While they aren’t shallow-mount subs, these have a reasonably small form factor that might actually fit in some door enclosures. In total, these have a 4.319-inch depth, so you should be able to install a set in most standard enclosures as well.
The basket on this subwoofer is stamped, and Rockford Fosgate opted to utilize a spider with relatively low corrugations to ensure that these don’t experience sag over time.
• The polypropylene cone is very tough.
• These have an elegant and understated design.
• They have a relatively shallow mounting depth.
• The trim ring isn’t universal to every enclosure.
• These don’t have a massive level of peak power.
7) Skar Audio DDX-10 D4 10″ 1500 Watt Max Power Dual 4 Ohm Car Subwoofer
The final product in our guide also happens to be the one with the highest level of maximum power. At max, these can produce about 1500 watts of output, and they also have a power handling that can accommodate amps producing more than 1,000 watts of continuous power output. The internal magnet in these subs is also very powerful, so you’ll get a high level of activity during use at the cone and coil level.
These also have a very unique design that makes them appear somewhat squat compared to other car subwoofer systems. These incorporate a copper voice coil, and the majority of the internal components can tolerate high levels of heat and pressure. The cone itself is made of treated paper, which is often considered one of the best cone materials on the market for audio quality.
• The roll surround system provides a high level of shock absorption and support for the sub.
• This product has a great aesthetic design.
• Skar Audio designed these to handle 1,500 watts at peak power and 1,000 watts RMS.
• The frequency range only goes from 40Hz to 500Hz.
• The sub is a bit on the heavy side.
Finding the right aftermarket speaker system can take a lot of due diligence, but we hope that this guide provides you with a few answers so that you can make an informed decision. Each of the products featured here has a great design, is made with excellent materials, and sounds nice when you’re playing bass tones. If you’re not sure which is the best for you, check our reviews one more time and consult the buyer’s guide for help.