The 10 Best 12-Inch Subwoofers (2024)

If you’ve never had a good subwoofer, you’re missing out on an essential component of audio entertainment. Not only will a great sub provide the slam to bring movie sounds and music to life, but it will also give the sound foundation and scale, creating a much more immersive listening experience.

In order to properly reproduce bass down to 20Hz, you should consider going for a 12-inch subwoofer. Luckily, there are many considerable options on the market.

My top recommended 12-inch subwoofer is the SVS SB-1000 Pro, which is compact and offers tight, powerful bass. Unlike other products at this price point, it also features DSP EQ adjustment.

My second recommended 12-inch subwoofer is Klipsch R-12SW. Despite its low price, it offers seismic low frequencies and sturdy build quality.

The Best 12-Inch Subwoofers (2024) – At A Glance

And now onto the full list:

1. SVS SB-1000 Pro

Top Pick
Compact subwoofer with great bass quality and DSP control.
View Price at Amazon

The SVS SB-1000 Pro is a great subwoofer that combines deep, powerful bass with various features. It achieves superb performance thanks to its 12-inch front-facing, high-excursion driver which can deliver thunderous bass sounds down to 20Hz.


  • High-impact bass from a compact sub
  • Smartphone control
  • Advanced DSP to ensure a flat response


  • May not be sufficient for large rooms
  • A bit pricey

Driving it is an amplifier that combines Class D efficiency with the high-current output of discrete MOSFETs. Able to deliver 325 watts of RMS along with over 820 watts of peak power, this amplifier enables the SVS to produce subterranean room-shaking low frequencies.

Enabling the SVS to deliver a smooth, flat frequency response in-room is the 50MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP which allows users to tune the response to deal with room acoustics. All you have to do is to download the unique SVS Subwoofer DSP app onto your smartphone to control the subwoofer and use advanced equalization to get the response you want. 

Power Output (RMS/Peak)325W / 825W
Bonus FeatureSmartphone app, digital EQ

Despite the thundering performance on offer, the SVS has a very compact 13-inch enclosure and will fit into a variety of domestic environments. The cabinet is acoustically inert, with an extra-thick front baffle and extensive internal bracing. This means that you won’t hear any resonances, so the SVS will sound clean and natural, even at high volume.

2. Klipsch R-12SW

Budget Pick
Affordable subwoofer with powerful low frequencies.
View Price at Amazon

Klipsch is one of the most well-known names in hifi, so it’s no surprise that they have produced a quality subwoofer that offers great value for money.  It’s not easy finding good 12-inch subwoofers at low prices, which makes the R-12SW all the more welcome. 

Unlike most subwoofers at this price point, the Klipsch is capable of delivering articulate, low frequencies without sounding wooly or boomy. What you’ll get instead is a stomach-clenching bass.


  • Great value for money
  • Powerful, deep, tight bass
  • Sturdy build


  • No EQ or digital controls
  • No wireless connectivity

The R-12SW’s full frequency range is due to the proprietary 12-inch copper-spun IMG driver that delivers plenty of power and plumbs the depth with considerable finesse. This is allied to a 400-watt digital amplifier that delivers power with high efficiency.

The attractive cabinet is sturdily built and internally braced to ensure that the sound doesn’t get too muddy at high volumes. The brushed black polymer veneer cabinet and satin-finished plinth blend discreetly into most interiors.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)200W / 400W
Inputs/Outputs2/1 (set)
Bonus FeaturePhase control

The Klipsch doesn’t have fancy digital controls, but low pass crossover and phase control are included, allowing you to blend the subwoofer with the main speakers. In home theater systems, you can simply connect to the subwoofer’s line/LFE inputs and let the receiver handle equalization and other functions.

3. Definitive Technology Descend DN12

Pro Pick
Pro-grade, high-powered subwoofer with massive performance.
View Price at Amazon

The Definitive Technology Descend DN12 is a great option for those who want maximum performance from a 12-inch subwoofer. The DN12 also features dual 12-inch passive radiators in a proprietary 3XR configuration. This enables it to deliver the bass performance of a 15-inch subwoofer, perfect for those who want slamming low frequencies from a compact sub. 


  • Matches the performance of a larger sub
  • High power output
  • Remote control


  • Not the most compact 12-inch sub
  • Pricey

Power is provided by an ultra-efficient Class H digital amp that is capable of delivering peaks of 1500W, making this one of the most powerful subwoofers on the market. Consequently, this subwoofer has no problems delivering room-shaking bass that is clean and detailed. Advanced 56-bit DSP is used to maximize performance and protect the drive units from damage. 

This advanced subwoofer has a plethora of features. This includes 360-degree Intelligent Phase Control, custom EQ settings, volume, and low pass filter, so you can perfectly match the output of the subwoofer to your main speakers or home cinema system. 

Power Output (RMS/Peak)1500W (peak)
ConnectivityRCA, USB
Bonus FeatureRemote control

Uniquely, remote control is supplied so you can set the subwoofer controls from the comfort of your listening chair. Both IR pass-through and IR input are included, making it easy to slot the DN12 into a variety of custom installations.

4. Polk Audio PSW505

Value For Money
High-quality subwoofer with great value for money.
View Price at Amazon

The Polk Audio PSW505 is a great value-for-money subwoofer that is more than just about thunderous bass. While it can deliver plenty of that, it is also designed to convey the nuances and details of percussion instruments.


  • Great value for money
  • Advanced woofer
  • Magnetically shielded


  • Can get wooly at a very high volume

The advanced 12-inch woofer has been optimized using a Klippel Distortion Analyzer, improving the drive unit’s motor structure, single voice coil, and suspension. As a result, it is capable of longer excursions and increased linearity. Slot load venting is used to further ensure that bass is reproduced cleanly and accurately even at high volumes.

A high-current amplifier that is capable of producing 300W continuous, with peaks of 460W, provides the necessary juice for the PSW505. The enclosure is sturdily built of rock-solid MDF, with a front baffle that is 1-inch thick, to ensure that resonances don’t cloud the sound.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)300W / 460W
Bonus FeatureMagnetically shielded

The LFE input is also magnetically shielded so that you get a clean signal even when the sub is near the TV. Other connections also include speaker-level inputs and output, so the PSW505 can be conveniently hooked up to a stereo system.

5. MTX Audio TNE212DV

Affordable subwoofer with serious bass and sturdy enclosure.
View Price at Amazon

MTX Audio has put its 40 years of experience building quality subs for cars to good use with the TNE212DV. This dual 12-inch subwoofer is designed to deliver plenty of low-end. Affordably priced, this MTX is a great option for bass heads who want to enjoy quality sound in their car without spending a great deal of money. 


  • Affordable
  • Dual 12-inch woofers generate serious power
  • Attractive, non-resonant enclosure


  • Takes up quite a bit of space

The MTX has an RMS power handling of 1000W RMS and can accept peaks of 2000W, so you can really unleash the power with this sub. The woofer uses polypropylene cone dust caps that are light enough to generate serious slam with less power while being sturdily built.

To successfully reproduce high-volume bass, the 12-inch woofers incorporate Spider Plateau Venting, a mechanical process that dissipates the heat around the voice coil by continually refreshing the air around it. As a result, this subwoofer can safely play loudly for extended periods.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)1000W / 2000W
Bonus FeatureNone

The MTX comes in an extra-strong vented MDF enclosure to contain prodigious bass frequencies. The black aircraft-grade carpet that is wrapped around the enclosure gives it an attractive appearance.

6. REL Acoustics HT/1205

Sturdy and attractive subwoofer with excellent bass.
View Price at Amazon

REL is a highly respected name in high-end audio, dedicated to producing the best subwoofers. The top-notch HT/1205 reflects this pedigree, delivering some of the best bass you can get at home. The low frequencies are extended and powerful, while also being clean and accurate.

Unlike other REL subwoofers, the HT/1205 has been designed for home theaters, with specialized input filters to deliver flat bass along with exciting dynamics. However, due to the high quality of the sound, it can just as easily fit into a good stereo system. 


  • Superb bass
  • High-quality build and attractive appearance
  • Easy to set up


  • Pricey
  • No remote control

Helping to deliver great quality bass is the proprietary 12-inch long throw Carbonglass woofer which is light and stiff enough to deliver the impact and speed of modern soundtracks. This front-firing woofer is driven by a 500W Class D amplifier which efficiently delivers the power this sub needs to reproduce dynamics in a thrilling fashion.

The sealed enclosure is built to the highest standards, while the top surface boasts a high gloss lacquer finish. This ensures that the REL produces high output cleanly while fitting into well-furnished living rooms.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)500W (RMS)
Bonus FeatureCan be daisy-chained

Low-level inputs provide a convenient connection to your home theater system and the subwoofer can be daisy-chained to another sub, in the unlikely event that its output is insufficient.

7. Rockville DK512 package

Powerful, Budget-friendly
Good value subwoofer with a complete package.
View Price at Amazon

The Rockville DK512 package includes the K5 dual 12-inch car subwoofer and DB12 amplifier. If you have been thinking of upgrading your car stereo by not devastating your bank, this is a great option that includes everything you need for installation.


  • Low price and great sound
  • Package includes amplifier
  • Easy to install


  • Takes up quite a bit of space

Despite its affordability, this package features advanced drive units made from ultra-stiff fiber-reinforced paper cones, resulting in an efficient woofer that doesn’t require a lot of power to get going.

The Rockville DB12 delivers 500W with astounding peaks of 2000W, so you are assured of plenty of slam and volume. Extensive controls are provided to help you integrate the sub-system into your car stereo, including low pass and subsonic filters, phase control, and a fully adjustable bass equalizer. Remote control is also included, making setting adjustments a breeze.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)500W / 2000W
Bonus FeatureRemote control

The MDF enclosure is bonded, stapled, and braced. The vents are computer-designed to minimize port noise while the cabinet, which is covered in an aviation-grade tweed carpet, has been angled 15 degrees for superior bass alignment. 

8. Rockford Fosgate P300

Easy To Install
An all-inclusive package that is easy to install.
View Price at Amazon

The Rockford Fosgate P300 is an all-inclusive system that includes an amplifier, subwoofer, good mounting depth, aluminum coil, and enclosure. All you have to do is connect it to your car stereo using RCA or speaker-level inputs.


  • All-inclusive package
  • Easy to install
  • Remote control


  • Bass volume may not be enough for some

The proprietary, high-output 12-inch woofer and 300W amplifier combine to deliver thrilling bass.  The powerful amplifier is a high-efficiency, current design that is capable of producing high volume for extended periods. It includes thermal and overvoltage protection, along with an intelligent auto turn on/off function for safe operation.

A variety of controls are provided to enable you to get the best bass from this system, including a low pass crossover, phase switch, and detachable power/ground connector. The bass level can be remotely adjusted, enabling you to conveniently set the correct volume. If you are a bass head who wants the ultimate in slam, you can also use the adjustable bass boost EQ.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)300W (RMS)
Bonus FeatureRemote control

The enclosure, which is covered with industrial heat-activated vinyl, is sturdily constructed of MDF and compact enough to conveniently fit into most trunks. Separate low-level and speaker-level inputs are provided.

9. Skar Audio SDR-2X12D4

Durable, Aesthetic
Great power handling subwoofer with a good enclosure.
View Price at Amazon

The Skar Audio SDR-2X12D4 has two 12-inch woofers loaded into a vented subwoofer enclosure. Designed for those who want to enjoy serious bass power, this subwoofer is pre-wired, so all you have to do is hook it up to your car stereo.

With the ability to accept 1200W RMS and 2400W of peak power, this is a subwoofer that can accept some serious power.


  • Excellent power handling
  • Dedicated enclosure
  • Accepts plenty of power


  • Bulky design

The drive units have high-roll surround for long excursions along with a 2.5-inch high-temperature CCAW voice coil and powerful ferrite motor. Consequently, it can produce low frequencies at high volumes over a sustained period without being affected by the heat generated.

Naturally, you need a good enclosure to contain all that power. The custom vented enclosure is made of high-strength MDF with a 1.2-inch double front baffle, so you won’t find the cabinet resonating with the drive units.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)1200W / 2400W
Bonus FeatureNone

It is attractively finished in premium black carpeting, with a countersunk subwoofer design for an attractive, flush appearance. The ported enclosure is tuned for clean, accurate bass.

The Pioneer TS-WX1210A is a great active subwoofer with good specs. Besides delivering superior bass quality, the Pioneer has a host of features that enable it to be installed virtually anywhere in the car while providing accurate, powerful low frequencies.


  • Variable bass boost
  • Compact, flexible enclosure
  • Remote control


The woofer has Cellulose fiber cones and a urethane surround, enabling it to go down to 20Hz. It is specially optimized for compact enclosures and is also very sensitive, allowing it to go louder with less power. However, there is no shortage of grunts as the built-in Class D amplifier has 350 watts RMS and a peak power of 1300W. 

Extensive user-adjustable controls are provided, allowing users to set low-level crossover, phase, and volume. A unique feature is the variable bass boost can be dialed in between 40Hz and 100Hz for optimum bass reproduction. For enhanced control a wired remote bass control knob is provided to adjust input gain, allowing you to tune the sound just the way you like it.

Power Output (RMS/Peak)300W / 1300W
ConnectivityBluetooth, wired
Bonus FeatureRemote control

The sealed enclosure has an innovative trapezoid design, which provides great rigidity and reduces standing waves for cleaner bass. You have considerable flexibility in installment as the subwoofer can be placed anywhere in the cabin, including under the seat, and with a woofer firing front, rear, or upwards. 

Is the Power Rating important on a Subwoofer?

Subwoofers typically have two ratings – the RMS rating which shows the amount of power that the amplifier produces under normal circumstances, and peak power rating, which indicates the maximum power the amplifier is capable of producing.

The sensitivity rating is important as they show how loudly the subwoofer can reproduce bass dynamics. However, it is only one of the factors that influence the maximum volume a subwoofer can produce, so you shouldn’t consider power ratings alone.

Does a Subwoofer make a difference in Sound Quality?

Most moderately sized speakers are unable to reproduce the lowest octave. Consequently, many people miss out on hearing the full impact of a kick drum or the power of an orchestral crescendo. Subwoofers make a huge difference as they provide the bottom end to bring movie effects to life and allow you to appreciate the weight and slam of percussion instruments.

What is the difference between an Active and Passive Subwoofer?

Active subwoofers have a built-in amplifier to drive the woofer while passive subwoofers lack internal amplification. Most subwoofers are active as they offer superior sound quality from more compact enclosures.

What to look for in a Subwoofer when buying?

Subwoofers must be able to reproduce bass frequencies convincingly. To do this, they should have a good bass extension, ideally down to 20Hz, and move enough air for you to feel the bass.

They should also be able to deliver the bass cleanly, without the enclosure rattling or the woofer bottoming out. You should also check that the subwoofer can reproduce the low frequencies with sufficient speed and detail to match your main speakers. This is especially important if you are going to use the subwoofer for music.

Also, ensure that the subwoofer is powerful enough to fill your listening room with bass. The bigger the room, the more bass volume the subwoofer will have to produce. 

You should also check that the subwoofer has the features that you are looking for. More advanced subwoofers have DSP EQ adjustment, so you can get a flat response even in acoustically problematic rooms. If you don’t want a lot of wires in your living room, you may want to opt for a wireless sub so that you can keep some distance from your setup. 

Fortunately, good subwoofers are not expensive, so you can get a good quality subwoofer for your home theater setup at a relatively affordable price. However, you will have to pay more if you want a powerful subwoofer for a large room or if you want a higher-quality sub to integrate with an expensive system.


A subwoofer is an essential component if you want to get maximum enjoyment of your favorite movie soundtracks and music. While most people go for a subwoofer that offers the deepest and most powerful bass, it is also important that the low frequencies are reproduced cleanly and without distortion. 

My top pick is the SVS SB1000Pro. Besides offering powerful, accurate bass, it has DSP EQ, allowing you to get a flat response in any room.

My budget pick is the Klipsch R-12SW. Not only does it produce impactful, deep bass, but it does so cleanly and at high volume.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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