Sick of the bland, one-dimensional sound of the radio? Do you want to oomph up your experience when you are driving to work or trip?
Shallow mount subwoofers are small enough to fit in your car and deep enough to enrich your musical experience. So you can have them right under your seat, next to or behind it!
But how do you know which one is the right fit for you? What type of genre are you into? Do you want more sensitivity, more power, a long warranty, premium or average product?
Do not worry! I have prepared this short list of the best shallow mount 12-inch subwoofers for all of your music enthusiasts and bass lovers. It is for those exhausting work weeks, uninhibited weekends, and trips. An addition of this portable bass machine in your car is going to change everything!
In this article, I have reviewed all the best subwoofers of our time and shared my honest input on their merits and demerits. Enjoy!
A Quick Summary of our Top Picks of Best Shallow Mount 12-Inch Subwoofer
What is the best 12-inch shallow mount subwoofer? Here is a quick list of what you can expect.
Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F [Most Powerful Shallow Mount Subwoofer] The famous brand Kenwood has come up with a petite, lightweight shallow mount subwoofer of 4 ohms that you can place anywhere in your car. It has high sensitivity, open to creative configuration, an effective Heat Transfer System, amazing power of 1400 watts bass, strong construction, and a single voice coil.
Skar Audio VD-12 D4 [Best Sensitivity Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
Providing a generous 2-years warranty to the shallow mount subwoofer, Skar Audio introduced this baby in 3 sizes and 2 impedances. Although a bit on the heavy side, this subwoofer can produce beautiful, clean bass to your favorite tune while you enjoy your car ride practically anywhere!
Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2-12 [Best Subwoofer for All Vehicle Types]
Rockford Fosgate, a name all audio lovers have heard before. This subwoofer was designed for all vehicle types, and the satisfaction of customers was kept in mind while adjusting the frequency range of this bass machine. It is small enough to be placed anywhere in your sedan, SUV, truck, or jeep.
JBL Club WS1200 [Best Design and Clean Bass Subwoofer] Designed with the perfect bass, sensitivity, and frequency, you can’t go wrong with JBL’s shallow mount subwoofer. Trust me, you will be able to hear the low frequencies of the song in the background with this device. On top of that, it is well built, durable, can handle high peak power, and go easy on your wallet.
Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-12 [Best High-End Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
Yes, I have included another Rockford Fosgate shallow mount subwoofer in my list because they are just that good! This one’s on the pricier end, but it is worth the money. If you are looking for a subwoofer that gives you an oomph, this is the one. Besides, RMS is great, the bass has a good punch, and the manual comes in 4 languages.
BOSS Audio Systems P120F [Most Affordable Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
The manufacturers of BOSS Audio did their market research before coming up with this amazing product. They understood the need of consumers to want excellent quality subwoofers at an affordable cost, and this is their creation. This baby has an extreme peak power of 1400 watts, an RMS of 700 watts, and a whopping 3-years warranty!
Pioneer TS-A2500LS4 [Most Petite and Convenient Car Subwoofer]
I guarantee that this is the smallest shallow mount 12-inch subwoofer you will ever see in your life! It is only 8 pounds! But don’t underestimate its ability to produce clean, crispy bass. You can even attach this device to your TV, home theatre, and other sound systems. The most interesting part is that the manual comes in 7 languages!
Pioneer TS-A3000LS4 [Most Safe and Powerful Car Subwoofer]
Have you seen a powerful subwoofer that is safe from blowing up? You are looking at it! Despite a peak power of 1500 watts, this subwoofer ensures safety. Pioneer has been manufacturing electronics since our grandparents’ age, and they surely know what they are doing. The size of the subwoofer is also perfect to fit under or behind your car seat.
8 Best Shallow Mount 12-Inch Subwoofers Reviews
There is no need for you to browse hundreds of shallow mount subwoofers on the internet. I have made it easier for you! Just go through this small list of the best shallow mount 12-inch subwoofers and you will know when you meet the one!
1. Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F [Most Powerful Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||13.4 x 13 x 5.2 inches|
|Warranty:||2 years limited|
The small height is suitable for tight spaces in the car or truck. Even with this in the back, you can have plenty of space to keep other stuff.
You also have the freedom to install it however you want and make the most of your creativity. The package includes 8 mounting screws, a cardboard template, a self-adhesive foam strip, and a warranty card.
This flat subwoofer uses spring terminals that can accept speaker wire of 10 AWG. If you hear a cracking sound from the subs, it is because of a wiring problem. Sometimes the vibrations from the device can interrupt the circuit. Re-check and re-connect the detached wires to get them back on track.
Furthermore, to avoid overheating, it has an advanced Heat Transfer System installed since the peak power is a whopping 1400 watts! I don’t understand why you would want 2 or 3 of these when one does the trick! But the RMS is only at 350 watts.
- This subwoofer is shorter than other subwoofers
- It is quite compact and space-saving
- The design is durable and efficient
- The high peak power is 1400 watts
- There is plenty of room for creativity during configuration
- RMS is as low as 350 watts
- You may have wiring issues after a while
- The frequency is too high for bass
- It is wired with dual voice coil
2. Skar Audio VD-12 D4 [Best Sensitivity Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||14 x 14 x 8 inches|
|Warranty:||2 years limited|
Skar Audio was founded in 2012 to engineer premium products that are comparatively affordable for normal customers.
Despite being on the heavy side, with a peak power of 800 watts, this device is pretty strong. In a small space, like your car, it will really pound.
The bass is smooth and clean with no tensile lead noise. For such an impressive performance, the price of the machine is insanely affordable!
I can’t say whether you should be worried when the mirrors shake. It also gets hot easily, so be careful with how long you are using it. Take breaks to make it last.
If you are thinking about having 2 of these at 1 ohm, don’t! Get the subwoofer at 2 ohms with an RMS of around 500 watts, and you can get the feels pretty easily.
In addition, if you have two of these subs, make sure your amps are around 1000 watts. But not more than that.
- The subwoofer is available in 3 sizes and 2 impedance
- It has a long warranty of 2 years
- Luckily there is no tensile lead noise
- The bass is solid, deep, and clean
- It is not waterproof
- Peak power is of average rate
- Poor sensitivity can impact sound quality
- The built is on the heavy side
3. Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2-12 [Best Subwoofer for All Vehicle Types]
|Dimension:||7.5 x 13.3 x 15.5 inches|
The founder of Rockford Fosgate, Jim Fosgate is known as the founder of car audio amplifiers. The brand is still leading the market of the audio revolution for all types of vehicles- car, truck, boat, and motorbike.
I must say that if you are used to regular subwoofers, you may find the sound of this one a little hollow. Sound quality can be improved if you pair it up with an amplifier. But know that it will burn up at a load of 1ohm.
On a side note, wire the device to either 2 or 4 ohms if you have a very powerful amp. Otherwise, the subwoofer won’t last too long.
You may notice that the magnet is rather big, and P3SD2-12 is bigger and deeper than shallowest mounts. Keep in mind that not all vehicles can accommodate a deep subwoofer. So make sure your car has space for this device.
Overall, the sub is well-built, has solid RMS power handling, and meets the CEA 2031 standards. However, its sensitivity can be quite low and without a proper amplifier, the sound may disappoint.
- The sub sounds great in a rear-firing box
- Bass is superb, clean, and crisp
- It is a good value for money
- The sub is perfect for small space
- It sounds bad in down-firing shallow sub box
- The sub may struggle with deep base
- It may burn up quickly from overuse
- The bass is not so smooth
4. JBL Club WS1200 [Best Design and Clean Bass Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||14.96 x 14.96 x 5.71 inches|
|Weight:|| 12.8 pounds|
|Frequency:||Frequency: 27-175 Hz|
Dimension: 14.96 x 14.96 x 5.71 inches
Weight: 12.8 pounds
Frequency: 27-175 Hz
Sensitivity: 92 dB
Warranty: 1 year
I would like to start with the best attributes of this device. It will fit into any vehicle enclosure and you can configure it according to your wish. The design is sleek, slender, and attractive.
Be careful not to adjust the amplifier at 2 ohms and 500 watts, because that will blow up the subwoofer. A sub-damaged subwoofer can be fixed. But if you burn the coil, the only option is to buy a new one.
According to my opinion, country and rock music sound divine on WS1200. But I was not impressed by trap or dubstep. Indisputably, you can hear all the low-end frequencies in the background clearly and it has a nice feel to it.
The peak power can reach up to 1000 watts, making it a very powerful subwoofer. You may experience rattling when some components are loose. It may be over or underpowered.
Coils may blow up, not for this machine, but also for others if you have been running the subwoofer for a long time above the RMS. If you hear no sound or disturbing noise, that indicates that the coil has exploded.
- The subwoofer has a deep and smooth bass
- It has a concrete built and design
- Installation is easy
- You can buy it at an affordable price
- Peak power is quite high
- It may overpower other sounds in the music
- Rattling may ensue after a while
- Overusing may lead to coil explosion
- I’m not recommending it to amateurs
5. Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-12 [Best High-End Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||7.5 x 13.3 x 15.5 inches|
|Frequency:||34 – 250 Hz|
|Warranty:||1 year limited|
This device is on the pricier end, the most expensive one on my list. For a subwoofer, the bass frequency range is ideal. It can produce smooth, clean, and divine oomph in the background.
However, for a high-end sub to only have a peak power of 800 watts is a bit disappointing. Since it has dual voice coils, 200 watts RMS is distributed between the two coils. The voice coils can be wired up with other subs to enhance the performance level of your amplifier.
Rest assured, the construction can handle any loud volume despite its compact size. The bass plays quickly and won’t linger. Although the instruction manual came in 4 different languages, it lacked mounting screws and manual.
If you hear any distortions, you just have to correct the equalization. I won’t be surprised if some people find the volume to be too low. It works for some.
Installation was a breeze, and spring-loaded connectors were easy to work with. But it doesn’t come with a protective grill, which you have to purchase separately.
- The sub is available in 2 impedance
- RMS is quite good
- The manual is available in 4 languages
- Bass has a good punch
- A cracking sound may ensue after several uses
- Low sensitivity may produce bad sound
- There are no mounting screws or instructions
- No protective grills either
6. BOSS Audio Systems P120F [Most Affordable Shallow Mount Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||13.4 x 13 x 4.5 inches|
|Warranty:||3 years limited|
Here is a subwoofer that comes with high peak power of 1400 watts and RMS of 700 watts, which makes it a mighty machine. However, the sensitivity touches the bare minimum so that the bass may disappoint some people. The low frequency makes up for that shortcoming, though.
You can build your enclosure or buy a pre-fabricated enclosure. Since the subwoofer uses a single voice call, it is ideal for low to medium-powered applications. I will recommend a ported setup over a sealed enclosure to improve sound quality.
For the low price and high power performance, the manufacturers offer a 3-years warranty for this wonderful machine! Rest assured, it won’t blow up the mirrors.
They were also nice enough to instruct the customers on how to ‘break-in’ the sub for 3 to 4 hours of low to medium-volume playback. This is supposed to prevent overheating and collapse of the equipment. Don’t blast them on loud volume right out of the box!
Sadly, if you don’t like this device, you can’t return it. It is listed as a hazardous material.
Again, some people get too creative and end up blowing up the sub within a few hours. Check out this video to install a subwoofer to your vehicle the right way.
- It is available in 2 sizes and 2 power modes
- Peak power is impressive
- The sound and bass are clear and smooth
- It is perfect for beginners
- It has low sensitivity
- Lifespan is short
- Blows up without proper ‘break-in.’
- It may rattle after few uses
7. Pioneer TS-A2500LS4 [Most Petite and Convenient Car Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||1 x 1 x 1 inches|
|Frequency:||20 – 900 Hz|
|Warranty:||1 years limited|
Pioneer A2500LS4 and A3000LS4 are quite similar, yet I have noticed a few differences here and there. A2500LS4 has a lower peak power of 1200 watts and also a lower RMS of 300 watts. Power-wise, A3000LS4 is the champion.
Frequency-wise, they go head-to-head. They both have 8 AWG push terminals, 4 ohms single voice coil, and a cone-shaped design. A2500LS4 is way smaller than the other in dimension and weight!
Installation of this device is beginner-friendly. By beginner-friendly, I hope you know something about wires. The instruction manual is available in 7 languages- English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Russian.
The overall listening experience is pleasant. This subwoofer can also be used at home by connecting it with an amplifier or home theatre. For home use, you can mount it on the wall or ceiling near your sound system, like your TV.
Because the electrical resistance of this device is as high as 4 ohms, it may not be as loud as the ones with 2 ohms. Nevertheless, 4 ohms produce better quality sound than 2 ohms electrical resistance.
Besides, even though it has a high peak wattage, the RMS can only handle 100 to 300 watts. Higher RMS generates more powerful sound.
- Peak power is high
- Bass is clean, clear, and lovely
- The 7-language manual is helpful
- It can be attached to the TV, home theatre, and home sound system
- Low RMS is disappointing
- The frequency is too high
- Construction is average
- The size may be too small
8. Pioneer TS-A3000LS4 [Most Safe and Powerful Car Subwoofer]
|Dimension:||14 x 14 x 5.5 inches|
|Frequency:||20 – 1000 Hz|
|Warranty:||1 year limited|
Pioneer has started manufacturing electronics in 1938. It shows how experienced and involved they are in the world of car subwoofers. It falls in the category of one of the most well-known subwoofer brands of today’s world.
To begin, this sub has extreme peak power. Even so, it can only handle continuous power (RMS) of 400 watts. The sensitivity is also of average level, which makes me question its overall sound quality.
Despite the attractive appearance of the device, the performance is not so great. It needs some fine-tuning to improve the bass. However, installation is quite easy, even for beginners.
The good news is this sub has a very low chance of blowing up. If your car is lacking in space, TS-A3000LS4 will fit right behind or under your seat!
- The sub has an extreme peak power of 1500 watts
- There is no chance of blowing up
- It is perfect for small spaces
- It produces good high bass
- Not waterproof though
- Sensitivity is low
- You may find the sound shallow
- Low bass sounds average
Buying Guide: Best Shallow Mount 12-Inch Subwoofers
Yes, I have a great list of products for you to choose from. But do you think you know much about subwoofers?
There are certain factors to consider to understand the difference between a good and a bad subwoofer. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
You can measure the peak performance of a shallow mount subwoofer with its power rating. Usually, when a device operates at high power for an extended time, it is natural to blow up.
Root Mean Square (RMS) dictates the average power a woofer can handle continuously without distorting the sound quality. Low RMS is responsible for low sound pressure level (SPL) and volume.
Shallow mount subwoofers with high power are Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F, Pioneer TS-A3000LS4, and Pioneer TS-A2500LS4.
The sensitivity along with power rating determines the competence of the subwoofer. Higher the sensitivity, louder it plays.
Typically, the best shallow mount 12-inch subwoofer will have a sensitivity of more than 92 dB. Anything less than 84 dB is considered poor quality.
Woofers with higher sensitivity can produce beautiful sounds without using up a lot of power. It ensures that you don’t blow up the system with excess power.
Subwoofers with high sensitivity levels are JBL Club WS1200, and Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F.
For a subwoofer, you are looking for deep bass in the background that can give you chills. That being said, the lower the frequency, the deeper the sound from the device.
An average subwoofer will have a frequency range between 20 to 200 Hz. Know that your sub is a companion to your speakers who would take care of the high-pitched music. So bass below 80 Hz can be considered to create the best feel!
Subwoofers with low-frequency range are BOSS Audio Systems P120F, Skar Audio VD-12 D4, JBL Club WS1200, and Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2-12.
Voice calls are of two types- single and dual. A single-coil has one winding coil, whereas the dual coil has two.
A single-coil is less expensive than a dual one. But they both enhance the performance of the subwoofer. Regardless, single-coil influences the device’s ability to handle thermal power and the magnetic field.
If you have a dual 4-ohm sub, you can’t use the single coil. Moreover, a dual coil subwoofer has flexible wiring potentials without a speaker-to-speaker series connection.
Shallow mount 12-inch subwoofers with single voice coils are Pioneer TS-A2500LS4, Pioneer TS-A3000LS4, BOSS Audio Systems P120F, and Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F.
Subwoofers with dual voice coils are Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-12, JBL Club WS1200, Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2-12, and Skar Audio VD-12 D4.
Normally, a subwoofer can vary in size from 8 to 15 inches. However, for this article, I am only reviewing the 12-inch subs.
It is wrong to assume that bigger subs have louder bass. But the size can definitely impact the peak power and RMS.
With the bigger machines, you won’t be able to mount them in your car. On that note, shallow mount subwoofers are the best size for vehicles, even the smaller ones.
The most lightweight shallow mount subwoofers here are Pioneer TS-A2500LS4, BOSS Audio Systems P120F, and JBL Club WS1200.
The pricing of a shallow mount subwoofer can range from $50 to above $150. As you can guess, the low-priced devices may not be able to compare to the pricier ones. But they are quite good on their own. You can find 8-inch subwoofers at around $50.
Subwoofers of the highest quality fall in the price margin above $150. Not only are they equipped with better technology and durable construction, but they are also packed with high sensitivity, high power, high RMS, and lower frequency.
To browse through the best shallow mount 12-inch subwoofers of supreme quality, check my product review list.
The affordable options on my list are BOSS Audio Systems P120F, Pioneer TS-A3000LS4, and Pioneer TS-A2500LS4.
Typically, a shallow mount 12-inch subwoofer will have a manufacturer’s warranty from 1 to 3 years. Within this timeframe, if the product breaks down due to the manufacturer’s negligence, you can get a replacement.
Subwoofers with the longest warranty are BOSS Audio Systems P120F, Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F, and Skar Audio VD-12 D4.
SLD-12″ Shallow Mount Subwoofer Sundown Audio
To Sum Up
Did you find this article helpful? Did you find what you were looking for in my small list?
I do feel bad that I had to be so honest. Nobody and nothing is perfect. Everything comes with pros and cons. Besides, some cons are solvable!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading my review of the best shallow mount 12-inch subwoofers. Take care!