The enclosures are equally as important as the woofer.
Subwoofer enclosures should be designed for use with the particular woofer you have chosen for your vehicle.
What kind of subwoofer enclosure should you get?
I want to pick and choose components to build a truly personalized system.
You should start by looking at component subwoofers. A component subwoofer is just the speaker itself — it’ll need to be mounted in a subwoofer box to operate properly. In addition, you’ll need to power the sub with an external amplifier. Component subwoofers usually range in size from 8″ to 15″. There are models designed to operate on low or high power, and in a variety of different types of boxes. They are several different impedance and voice coil setups, so you can pick and choose among models to match up to your system design. If you’re starting from the ground up in designing your custom system, choosing the subwoofer is a great place to start.
I want an easy “off-the-shelf” subwoofer enclosure combo.
Check out enclosed subwoofers. Enclosed subs are pre-mounted into a box designed to accommodate the subwoofer. This eliminates the need to choose an enclosure for the subwoofer, so you won’t have to do as much work designing and building your system. On the down side, you’ll be limited on the number of speaker and box-type choices you have. You’ll still need an external amp to power the sub.
I want a simple, space-saving bass system.
A powered subwoofer is a great way to go. A powered subwoofer combines an amplifier and woofer in an enclosure. Since the amplifier is built-in, there’s only one piece of equipment to find a place for and install. Many powered subwoofers are compact and won’t take up a lot of room in your vehicle. While powered subwoofers can be very effective bass producers, their smaller drivers and amplifiers may not provide all the sound power you want if you’re looking for really big bass. On the other hand, their relatively simple installation and small size make them a great add-on to factory stereo systems.
I want a subwoofer enclosure that will blend in with my car’s interior.
You’re a prime candidate for a vehicle-specific subwoofer, either powered or unpowered. These subs are designed to fit in out-of-the-way locations in many cars, trucks, and SUVs, and are often color-matched to the vehicle’s interior. Like the powered subs we just talked about, they may not be the best choice if you’re looking for really big bass, but they’ll more than suffice for most listening needs without taking up a lot of interior space.
I want a great bass system, but don’t want to sweat the details.
Check out our bass packages. Our experts have put these together to make selecting all the right components easier — some packages include everything you need, right down to speaker wire.
Also be sure to check out our Subwoofers page!