What can you do if you fancy upgrading the bass levels in your car audio but you’re struggling for space?
In today’s shallow mount subwoofer reviews and buying guide, you can find the perfect solution to your car audio needs even if you have a sports car, a truck or any other vehicle with limited space inside.
5 Best Shallow Mount Subwoofer Reviews
We’ll delve into those reviews right away then highlight what you should look out for when you’re hunting for the best shallow mount subs.
First up in our shallow mount subwoofer reviews is a dinky 8-inch sub from the ever-reliable Pioneer. While this sub is not going to carry off an car audio trophies, Pioneer spotted the market for compact yet capable subs and the TS series does not disappoint.
If you’re not looking for window-shattering bass levels and you’ve got a sports car or any kind of vehicle where space is at a premium, this Pioneer sub is well worth road testing.
150 watts of RMS power and a maximum power rating of 600 watts means performance is limited but fit for purpose.
This modest power is backed up by a decent frequency range of 20Hz to 200Hz so it’s a very flexible sub. The sensitivity rating of 86 dB is also impressive.
Installation is a breeze so you’ll be up and running in no time.
If you want to uprate your bass slightly without sacrificing too much room inside a smaller car, these Pioneer shallow mount subs are a pocket-friendly treat from a super-dependable brand.
Next up in our shallow mount subwoofer reviews is a stealthy 10-inch unit from the hard-hitting Rockford Fosgate.
With an incredible 3-inch mounting depth, this 10-incher gets our overall vote for the best shallow mount subwoofer. As with the Pioneer, you do need to keep your expectations reasonable.
One of the snags with sealed enclosures is the amount of heat that can be generated. Heat sink fins and an aluminum frame mean you shouldn’t experience any overheating even if you work your system pretty hard.
500 watts of RMS power is exceptional when you consider the scaled-down size of this sub and that 3-inch mounting depth.
For anyone who wants volume and depth of bass in a compact chassis from a class-leading brand, this 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer from Rockford Fosgate redefines the category.
As we continue these shallow mount subwoofer reviews, we’ve got a comp-grade unit from the industry giant Kicker.
If you want a deep and rich bass not distorted by any muddiness for a smaller vehicle, this 10-inch shallow mount might be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Bass is surprisingly heavy yet crisp. 400 watts of RMS power topping out at 800 watts is an impressive output from a sub of such small stature.
Frequency spans 25Hz to 350Hz making this sub an agile performer.
Build quality is first rate with the components built from material that optimizes sound quality from the innovative SoloKon to the santoprene surround.
This sub works best in a sealed box. Some sound leakage occurs with vented enclosures.
As we edge to a close with our shallow mount subwoofer reviews, in storm Alpine with a much beefier 12-inch.
Although it’s a larger model, the SWR-T12 still slips in under the shallow mount umbrella.
Performance figures are outstanding with 600 watts of RMS power giving you the volume and depth of bass you need while maximum power is an exceptional 1800 watts.
You won’t be disappointed with the frequency or sensitivity either. The Alpine is a complete package that punches above its weight.
Build quality is as you’d expect from this brand and you should get plenty of years of service from your sub meaning you should think of it as an investment rather than an expense.
If you’re looking for a subwoofer that can push some serious power and give you enough bass to really feel that air, this Alpine 12-inch shallow mount deserves a place on any shortlist.
To round out our shallow mount subwoofer reviews, we’ve got a 13.5-inch model from JL Audio.
If you’re thinking a sub that big can’t possibly qualify as a shallow mount, you’d be mistaken. All you’ll need is the smallest of sealed enclosures and you’ll get a vibrant bassline surprising at this price point.
RMS power is rated at 600 watts while max power comes in at 1200 watts. Bass is loud and full-bodied and the overall soundscape balanced. Frequency response at the low end could be improved but that’s about our only gripe with this sub.
The mounting depth is 2.5 inches which demands little more space than most regular 8-inch subwoofers call out for.
If you’re looking for a rich and accurate sound in a unit designed for compact vehicles, this JL Audio 13.5-inch is a strong candidate for the best shallow mount subwoofer on the market.
Now you’ve checked out 5 of the best shallow mount subs on the market, it’s time for some specific advice on getting this type of sub.
Subwoofer Buying Guide
While car audio can seem bewildering to the uninitiated, if you think about a few core factors, getting the best sub is pretty straightforward.
Check out our recent article on the best subwoofers for some general guidance on subwoofers and we’ll look at some shallow mount specifics after clearing up what a sub actually does…
What Is a Subwoofer?
Put simply, a subwoofer is a speaker dedicated to reproducing low-end frequencies.
If you’re heard a car coming toward you and it sounds like the windows are about to fall out, chances are there’s a subwoofer in the trunk.
Generally, the larger the driver, the bigger the bass.
What’s the deal with shallow mount subs, then?
All About Shallow Mount Subwoofers
First up, we’ll give you a brief snapshot of these compact subwoofers.
- Extremely lightweight and compact so ideal for any vehicle with limited interior space
- Very portable so you’ll get the utmost in flexibility
- Simple to install even if you’re a car audio beginner
- Get the raw power of a subwoofer without losing all that passenger or trunk space
- Depth of bass leaves something to be desired
- Some sound quality issues for purists
- Tend to dislodge pretty easily so pay close attention to installation
Where To Put Your Shallow Mount Subwoofer
Placement couldn’t be much simpler with shallow mounts.
- Pop It In The Trunk: Trunk placement lets you really feel the music. You’ll get the best sound quality from subs in the trunk
- Use The Rear Speaker Rack: Placing your sub on the speaker deck will give you a balanced but immersive sound
Shallow Mount Subwoofer Sizes
Size definitely matters with shallow mount subs but you shouldn’t obsess about it.
- 8-Inch: If you’re content with a soft and light bass, 8-inch subs take up remarkably little space so are still worth considering
- 10-Inch: If you enjoy listening to fast-paced sounds and you also want a little more depth, step things up to 10-inch subs
- 12-Inch: If you want a capable subwoofer that deals with a wide spread of frequencies, a 12-incher is the obvious solution. Faster sounds don’t come across as well but if you’re a hip-hop fiend, you’ll revel in the thumping basslines generated
- 15-Inch: Starting to stretch the definition of shallow mount subs, 15-inch models are generally rolled out for car audio competitions. Unless you really want to make a statement, the firepower of 15-inch subs is unnecessary for most reasonable needs.
A Final Word
By now you should have a clear idea of which shallow mount subwoofer would work best in your car and we hope you’ve also found some useful snippets to make your buying decision even easier.
Come back soon for more car and garage related ideas!