For many of us, music is a way of life and what more than to enjoy with deep, palpable bass. For the millions who spend an hour or more on long car journeys, having those engaging tracks on can be a sure fire way to pass the time.
However, with the average sound system in cars being a disappointing experience – this can present a limit to your overall enjoyment. Fret not though, as there are ways to overcome this and upgrade your car journeys to bring about that deep, primal, earth-shattering bass. Enter – the 15-inch subwoofer – a component that can help to relive the car audio experience and revive your favorite tracks.
This list comprises the best 15-inch subwoofers the market offers today to deliver that voluminous and excellent quality bass that you may have yearned for long. No longer will car journeys feel a drag but indeed an experience to remember.
Best 15-Inch Subwoofers Summary
|Model name||Power output||Frequency Range||Sensitivity||Impedance|
|Pyle PLPW15D||RMS-1000W Peak-2000W||40-1500Hz||92 dB||Dual 4ohm|
|Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15||RMS-600W Peak-1200W||22-250Hz||86 dB||4 ohms|
|Sundown Audio EV3 15-D4||RMS-500W Peak-1000W||20-250Hz||88.6 dB||Dual 4 ohms|
|Orion HCCA152||RMS-2000W Peak-5000W||21-100Hz||87.2 dB||4 ohms|
|Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72||RMS-1000W Peak-2000W||18-100 Hz||89 dB||2 ohms|
|Power Acoustik MOFO-152X||RMS-1400W Peak-3000W||20Hz-600Hz||85 dB||2 ohms|
|DS18 EXL-X15.2D||RMS-1250W Peak-2500W||25 Hz-1.5KHz||92 dB||Dual 2 ohms|
Why Buy a 15-Inch Subwoofer
Modern speakers are better than ever, but they can’t deliver the bass like subwoofers. They can’t dig deep into the lowest frequencies to provide accurate bass and clear sounds. And while subwoofers can do that, the true rulers of low frequencies are the 15-inch subwoofers.
The 15-inch subwoofers have the size and power to move lots of air, all at once, to give you the deepest bass. Get to experience sound clarity, play as loud music as you like without distortion, and get surround sound seamlessly blended with full-range speakers.
This 2000W peak power sub delivers quality bass efficiently and for a fair price. It has a sturdy frame for durability, and promises a heavy and deep bass sound that you haven’t experienced before.
If you love sleek designs, then Pyle PLPW15D is all you need. The combination of a black steel basket and a non-pressed paper cone is not only a beauty but promises durability. This 15-inch sub features a corrosion-resistant dual voice coil, which endures high temperatures without overheating.
The unit features a 95-ounce magnet, a non-fatiguing rubber suspension, and a specially treated foam surround that promises years of quality service. In addition, the bumped and well-vented motor construction allows for adequate air-cooling. The sub requires 6.3″ of mounting depth and goes well with various types of enclosures.
The Pyle PLPW15D packs a powerful punch. The 2000W Max power and 1000W of continuous power handling deliver clean and deep bass with minimal distortion. It has high temp dual voice coils with an impedance of 4 ohms and a sensitivity of 92 dB to sustain an action for long.
Aside from that, the powerful magnet helps deliver powerful and clear audio. If your audio system needs a powerful surround bass, then this bad boy from Pyle won’t disappoint. This affordable sub performs best when paired with decent mid-range speakers.
- The sub is waterproof
- Incredible price for the high-quality sound
- Unmatched versatility
- Easy to install and the instructions are very straightforward
- Sound can max out undesirably
- Produces some vibrations while playing music
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 has got the looks and performance to top its class of subwoofers. It features durable quality materials and will pass the reliability test any day. You may think the 600W RMS power is low, but this 15-inch sub packs a punchy bass and works well even with a limited power supply.
Every subwoofer heats when in action. But you have no worry of excess heat-up with the Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 as the anodized aluminum voice coil coupled with dust caps dissipates most of it. In addition, the spider vents further boost the cooling to ensure the motor structure remains cool for a long.
The flex fit basket design is unique, with slots rather than the standard single screw-sized holes. These slots allow for extreme installations and adjustability whenever you need it. Also, the basket design offers both strength and minimal resonance while keeping the footprint small.
Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 can handle 600 watts of power continuously and peaks at 1200 watts. In addition, this sub features a stitched lead wire tech that allows for strain spreading over the vast area of low-mass wires. The result is a dedicated subwoofer in heavy duty and high current use and sustains high performance for a long time. And the icing on the performance cake of this 15-inch sub is the VAST (Vertical Attach Surround technique) technology. The tech increases the available cone radiating area by 25%- to push more air without compromising the mounting profile. Finally, for superb performance, pair Rockford Fosgate P3D2-15 with the correct amplifier and an enclosure that fits your audio needs.
- Powerful and detailed bass
- Big sound despite the small footprint
- The soft rubber allows for better grips
- It comes with a PVC cover for the magnet
- Not so powerful
- Relatively expensive for its performance
Sundown Audio EV3 15-D4 Subwoofer
Sundown E series subwoofers have been around since 2012. They have remained reliable in delivering great bass to date.
Sundown EV3 15-D4 subwoofer features a steel frame with a sturdy competition-grade paper cone. It looks and feels rigid, with every finer detail showing Sundown’s commitment to durability. In addition, it comes with rugged oversized surround protection and Mini-XL stitched tinsel leads that prevent easy burnouts.
The sub has a linear Xmax of 14mm one way, thanks to the long voice coil within a dual-stacked magnetic structure. The copper voice coil wires can withstand high temperatures for sustained action. Further, Sundown has included a vented black aluminum voice coil former and vent gap for efficient thermal dissipation. This subwoofer requires 7.25 inches of mounting space.
When you want some punchy bass but not to the ground-shaking level, then get a Sundown EV3 15-D4 subwoofer. It has an RMS power rating of 500W and a max power of 1000W. This sub is quite sensitive at 88.6 dB, and can works well with low-powered audio systems.
This sub digs deep into its 20Hz-250Hz frequency response range when powered by a matching amplifier to deliver the best low-frequency sound. This sub is affordable, durable, and a performer. And the good thing is anyone can use this sub, and installation is a no-brainer. In addition, it comes with a one-year warranty.
- The copper voice coil can withstand high temperatures for long
- The anti-fatigue stitched tinsel leads protect against failure
- It can sustain an action for long thanks to air cooling and good heat distribution
- Not as powerful as high-end subwoofers
If you are after a 15-inch subwoofer for casual listening, then we highly recommend you avoid the Orion HCCA152. The HCCA in the name stands for High Current Competitive Class and has been around since the ’80s. And true to its name, this monster is a heavy-hitter with an unmatched SPL. It’s power-hungry and expensive, but once it kicks in, you feel where every dollar went.
Let’s be clear here. You need space and a more than a decent setup to handle this bad boy from Orion, as it got the looks and the power! First, this hardcore subwoofer weighs a whopping 83.6 pounds and is big enough to almost fill your trunk. Second, it features a dual 2-ohm (or 4-ohm) copper voice coil on an aluminum high-temperature polyester amide resin-coated former (PAARC).
The dual flat Conex spider’s voice coil with loop-stitched tinsel leads allows for up to 4 inches of movement for thunderous and powerful bass. It has a large polypropylene cone to push enormous amounts of air. The enhanced voice coil cooling systems, high temperatures enduring voice coil, field-replaceable cone, and the spider assembly takes care of the apparent heating problem of this world bass leader.
So, are you after a badass SPL subwoofer? Well, look no further. This 5000 watts peak power at 2000 watts RMS power 15-inch sub will blow your mind, hands down. With the massive 4″ voice coil and immense motor, this ass-kicking subwoofer can reach 4 inches of travel. And you know well that the more they travel, the more the BASS!
The Orion HCCA152 is frighteningly loud. If your system can handle its hunger for power, then be ready to win competitions as they come, and unleash mayhem as you wish. This sub is not for heavy-bass fence sitters, and it isn’t cheap either. However, it comes with a one-year warranty.
- It’s insanely loud, with excellent power handling and performance
- The sturdy build supports performance and durability
- Great heat control
- The large propylene cone allows for an insane excursion
- Requires an enormous power supply and a decent amplifier
- Very heavy
Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72
The Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72 15-inch subwoofer has a noticeable square aesthetic. You may wonder about the face-shape design, but the answer is evident once you fire it up. The shape offers more cone-space to deliver the perfect performance for discerning bass heads.
A glance at the Kicker Stillwater Designs 11S15L72 Subwoofer gives the accurate impression of a durable and high-quality build. The speaker is super-rigid, with injection-molded polypropylene cone reinforced with brace backing. In addition, it has UV-treated surround protection. The heavy-duty design helps resist mechanical and elements damage
This sub is loud, with a rich and full bass that gets the best of the bottom end of your soundscape. The speaker has a max power output of 2000 watts and can handle 1000 watts of continuous power. It has a frequency range of about 18 to 100 hertz. Also, it has a high sensitivity of 89 decibels, meaning that it can get loud even with low-powered systems.
You can grab two of them for a combined effort, but even one of them paired with a matching amplifier and powerful mid-range speakers will deliver a jaw-dropping violent bass. Of course, you’ll need to install and tune the enclosure for this Kicker subwoofer properly, but in the end, you’ll undoubtedly shake the block.
- Sturdily built for durability and abuse
- Excellent power handling
- It packs a punchy and fantastic sound for its price
- Good built quality
- Great value for money
- Not everyone loves the square design
- It doesn’t fit well in pre-built enclosures
- RMS power isn’t enough
Power Acoustik MOFO-154X
Power Acoustic Electronics is a big name in the audio and video world. This American-based company rarely compromises on quality, and they deliver on their word. And their Power Acoustik MOFO-154X 15-inch subwoofer is proof enough. It’s loud and powerful and won’t hurt so severely pocket-wise.
You may wonder why this sub has such a fair price despite the power it promises. Well, Power Acoustic made some compromises here. They have made a sub with impressive power output, but the design is neither excellent nor the sound of more expensive subwoofers. Even so, it features durable materials in a blue-cast aluminum basket with diamond-cut accents and aluminum reinforcing fins.
It has a non-resonant, non-magnetic cast aluminum frame for thermal dissipation and rigidity.
Further, the non-transfer spruce pulp cone protects the subwoofer from damage by ultraviolet rays and chemicals, while the dual poly-cotton suspension prevents burnouts.
And you can easily wire-connect the amp and the 3-inch four-layer voice coil directly. The vented T-yoke air-cools the voice coil and improves this sub’s power handling. And the thermal tolerant glue used prevents delamination and keeps the parts strongly bonded together. Mounting depth should be up to 6.5 inches.
We have set the record straight; this sub has some sacrifices in sound quality. It will easily blow smaller and less powerful subwoofers from the water but won’t hold up to any high-end 15-inch subwoofer. But, you shouldn’t give up on it yet as it has some great surprises in store.
Power Acoustic has balanced the specs and power well for the price, and you’ll certainly turn heads with it. Its frequency range of 20Hz-600Hz and sensitivity of 83 decibels ensure you’re getting the best of low frequencies even with a low-powered setup. Besides, there is a one-year warranty for every Power Acoustik MOFO-152X subwoofer out there. So if you want to get away with a low budget but still impress some souls, get this subwoofer. It comes with a 90-days warranty.
- This sub has a superb low-frequency response
- Offers excellent value for money
- Powerful and loud
- The build quality could be better
The DS18 EXL-X15.2D subwoofer promises one thing- a powerful performance that changes the way you experience your music forever. It’s beautiful to the eye, rugged to touch, with everything you want in a 15-inch subwoofer.
DS18 EXL-X15.2D subwoofer weighs only 35 pounds. The design is sleek and shows unmatched engineering and craftsmanship. Simply put, the EXL-X15.2D subwoofer features a red aluminum frame, dual voice coils, black aluminum voice coil cover, a paper with a glass fiber cone, and a treated foam edge. In addition, it has two 105 ounces of Ferrite magnets that can handle tremendous power and hit those low notes at high volumes.
When it comes to 15-inch subwoofers, there are so many performances and quality differences between competition-grade and budget subwoofers. The power ratings and frequency responses differ significantly, and it’s always good to manage your expectations. With that settled, let’s get back to this DS18 subwoofer. The sub promises a max power of 2500W and gets down to 25Hz on the frequency chart. And that’s precisely what it does both in loud volumes and is a whisper-quiet.
The 1250W RMS power output at dual 2 ohms delivers an unforgettable big, deep, and rich bass.
This monster is like a tank. It can survive sustained heavy use without lowering the sound quality. In addition, the dual voice coils allow you to connect this sub independently, in series or parallel formations.
The DS18 EXL-X15.2D subwoofer would serve as a perfect alternative for the lovers of the Kicker 11S15L72 performance but didn’t like the unusual square shape. The DS18 EXL-X15.2D subwoofer will serve you the music you’ve never experienced before when paired with a powerful amplifier and decent accompanying speakers.
- It’s big and powerful
- It’s a well-around performer that can easily replace a pair of small subwoofers
- Sturdily built for durability
- Great value for money
- Requires a powerful matching amplifier
Factors to Consider When Purchasing 15-Inch Subwoofers
Every 15-inch subwoofer should have the following key features:
More subwoofer power equals deeper and more prominent the booms. Power rating is in two ways; RMS and peak power outputs. The RMS power shows the power the subwoofer can handle continuously, otherwise the speaker output, while peak power shows the highest wattage the sub can run in short outbursts. Therefore, the RMS rating is more realistic and takes preference over peak power. Also, ensure the subwoofer power matches your amplifier’s power output.
Deep and clear bass happen at low frequencies. Thus, a subwoofer that can achieve very low frequencies is the best for you if you like heavy bass.
Sensitivity, measured in decibels, shows the efficiency of a subwoofer to produce sound with a given power range. For the best results, high-sensitivity subwoofers should go into low-powered audio systems and vice versa.
Most 15-inch subwoofers have 2ohms and 8ohms impedance, but they’re also some with 4-ohm ratings. So when deciding on the best subwoofer to buy, go for the one with matching impedance and power rating to your amplifier.
Number of Voice Coils
Subwoofers feature either a single or dual voice coil (DVC). Most high-end 15-inch subwoofers have DVCs, as they allow for better wiring flexibility. DVC subwoofers are relatively pricey, but most users love them for their power.
The type of enclosure determines how loud and how deep and accurate your subwoofer can go. Sealed boxes produce the most profound and more precise sound. However, bandpass and ported enclosures are the loudest.
Types of Subwoofers
Below are the subwoofer types you’ll encounter while shopping:
Powered subwoofers contain a woofer and a built-in amplifier as a single unit. They are compact and won’t occupy a lot of space. Powered amplifiers output very impressive sound. However, their small amplifiers and drivers won’t provide a big bass as some audiophiles would like.
A component subwoofer is a speaker itself. It needs mounting in a subwoofer box and an external amplifier to produce quality sound. They come in varying designs and sizes to fit various box types, and some are specifically for use in high or low power settings.
An enclosed subwoofer comes pre-mounted into a box specifically designed to accommodate the subwoofer. Of course, you won’t go through choosing an ideal enclosure, but you’re also stuck with the shape and box type the subwoofer comes with. You’ll also need an external amplifier for enclosed subwoofers.
These subwoofer types have specific designs to fit in various locations in vehicles. They come color-matched with the vehicle’s interiors and may work in areas other subwoofer types can’t fit without modification. However, just like powered subwoofers, vehicle-specific subwoofers won’t give that big and deep bass.
Tips and Tricks in Dealing with 15-inch Subwoofers
Below are tips to help you get the best experience with your 15-inch subwoofer:
- Install your subwoofer in a dust-free area as dust negatively affects the sub’s performance and may shorten its lifespan significantly. When tidying up, rid the subwoofer of all dust using either a blower or vacuum cleaner.
- Install the subwoofers away from magnetic metal parts. Use wood or non-magnetic materials instead to avoid the negative effect magnetic metals have on the subwoofer’s electromagnet.
- Read and understand the user manual before installing your subwoofer. It’s good to hire a professional if you’re a beginner, especially if you’re using the subwoofer in your car. So you don’t misconnect the wires and end up blowing up the entire audio system.
- Install the subwoofer in a well-ventilated space. Good ventilation lengthens your subwoofer’s durability.
15-inch Subwoofers FAQs
What box type is the best for my 15-inch subwoofer?
There is no direct answer as each box type, otherwise known as an enclosure, has its strengths. There are three box types-sealed, bandpass, and ported boxes.
Sealed boxes have only one opening for the subwoofer’s head and have no other outlets for allowing air in and out. As a result, they give precise and clean sound, and their compact sizes make them ideal for use in vehicles. However, subwoofers mounted on sealed boxes require more power to produce higher volumes.
Ported boxes have single or multiple air spaces. Subwoofers mounted on ported boxes produce bigger and louder bass than those on sealed containers. The airflow also acts as a coolant for your subwoofer. Ported boxes are ideal for heavy and continuous use subwoofers.
Bandpass boxes are similar to ported boxes but designed for louder sound. They feature two chambers- a vented one and the other enclosed. They are excellent for subwoofers meant to play aggressive music often.
What is the difference between a 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofer?
Impedance is a measure of the electrical resistance of the voice coil(s). It directly affects the sound volume of the subwoofer. At the same power input level, a 2-ohm subwoofer will be louder, but a 4-ohm subwoofer will produce a better and more compact sound.
How much power do I need to power my 15-inch subwoofers?
The amount of power you need is dependent on the RMS rating of the subwoofer you are looking to buy. Unless you want to buy another amplifier, ensure your amp and subwoofer match the RMS rating and the impedance.
Will putting my subwoofer in the trunk affect the bass?
It depends on the power of your subwoofer. Clear and loud bass sounds travel through most materials with ease. So, as long as the subwoofer is of good quality, having it in the trunk doesn’t affect the bass.
Can I install my 15-inch subwoofer myself?
Yes. Installing subwoofers is easy as long you follow the instructions correctly. Even so, the process is specific to the subwoofer type and brand. If you’re a novice, getting an expert will yield better results.
Do I need an amplifier to power my 15-inch subwoofer?
Yes. Audio systems alone lack enough power to get the best sound out of a subwoofer. So you’ll need an external amp to provide the subwoofer with the required energy. But the subwoofer is the powered type; you won’t need to buy an external amplifier.
How do I match the impedance of my subwoofer with that of the amplifier?
Matching a subwoofer with the right amp is straightforward. Connect a 2-ohm sub with the 2-ohm amplifier’s speaker output-the same with the 4-ohm and 8-ohm subwoofers. A mismatch in the impedance damages the amp’s circuits, resulting in distortion and loss of sound quality.
15-inch subwoofers are bass kings. While most produce quality voluminous bass, not all can win in a precision and power balancing challenge. And our top pick for the best 15-inch subwoofer among those we reviewed is the Pyle PLPW15D. This has not been an easy top pick and of course your mileage may vary. However, the heavy-duty magnet and a high-temperature resistant dual voice coil deliver a cutting-edge well-balanced bass. If you like it loud, the 2000W max power makes this subwoofer equal to the task. Pyle has taken their time to give this sub-premium-built and performance at a favorable price.
Consider pairing these 15-inch subwoofers with our best double-din units for an excellent on-board experience.