Subwoofers come in several sizes and the larger the subwoofer, the more low-end bass tone you’ll be able to produce. The best 8-inch subwoofers are small and fit better in your car while also offering enviable sound quality. However, not all speakers are equal so it’s important to do the research before buying any old subwoofer for your car stereo system.

5 Best 8-Inch Subwoofers

Technician installing the car speaker to the car door.

  1. Editor’s Pick: Sundown Audio SA-8 V.3 D4
  2. Best Bass Output: JL Audio 8W3V3-4
  3. Easiest Installation: Sony XS-AW8
  4. Budget Pick: American Bass VFL
  5. Also Consider: Alpine SWR-8D4

The right eight-inch subwoofers can output excellent sound quality. However, keep in mind that the size of the speaker does limit its ability to produce lower tones. If you aren’t able to get the bass you want from an eight-incher, you may want to look into 10-inch subwoofers and 12.0-inch alternatives.

#1 Editor’s Pick: Sundown Audio SA-8 V.3 D4

This dual 4.0-ohm subwoofer runs a little pricey at over $200, but it packs quite the punch. Offering 500.0 watts peak power, there are many people who expressed surprise that an 8.0-inch subwoofer can perform as well as the SA-8 does. This small speaker is a hefty 27.0 pounds and it is not recommended that you put it in a sealed box (ported enclosure recommended).

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Key Features

  • Approximate cost: $230
  • Resistance: 4.0-ohm DVC
  • Maximum capacity: 500.0 watts RMS
  • Sealed box volume: Not recommended
  • Ported box volume: 0.5 to 0.75 cubic feet

What Customers Are Saying

With around 100 ratings on Amazon, the Sundown SA-8 has an average score of 4.6 out of 5. A total of 88 percent of reviews give this subwoofer 4 or more stars.

Positive reviewers say this subwoofer is stellar for its size. Though only eight inches, this is a heavy sub capable of an impressive low end. While expensive, there are many who say it sounds like a 10-inch or 12-inch subwoofer.

There are only two negative Amazon reviews for this subwoofer. One person complained about the Sundown customer service and another said their SA-8 sounded great for two months until some of the internal wiring malfunctioned and it stopped working properly.

#2 Best Bass Output: JL Audio 8W3V3-4

JL audio equipment has a stellar reputation among audiophiles and the 8W3V3 is a high fidelity subwoofer. The superb build quality means a higher price tag but also better audio. No 8.0-inch subwoofer can compete with the best 10.0- and 12.0-inch options when it comes to a powerful low-end, but the 8W3V3 makes an admirable attempt.

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Key Features

  • Approximate cost: $300
  • Resistance: 4.0-ohm SVC
  • Maximum capacity: 250.0 watts RMS
  • Sealed box volume: 0.30 cubic feet
  • Ported box volume: 0.35 cubic feet

What Customers Are Saying

Online ratings see the 8W3V3 subwoofer as a great subwoofer option for cars because of its high audio accuracy and small size. Despite being an 8.0-inch sub, the 8W3V3 does a clean job hitting low frequency sounds. Though expensive, there are several comments about the excellent value provided by this subwoofer.

There are very few negative reviews. One person says that this sub doesn’t produce deep bass. Another person says they received a defective product from JL.

#3 Easiest Installation: Sony XS-AW8

If you’re not interested in building your own box for your new subwoofer, the Sony XS-AW8 is a good option. It comes in a pre-built box with a wired remote attached and easy-to-access line outputs. This great-sounding subwoofer is designed to be easily integrated into your existing car sound system with the least amount of work on your part. The dual 2.0-ohm voice coils offer more options for wiring.

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Key Features

  • Approximate cost: $300
  • Resistance: 2.0-ohm DVC
  • Maximum capacity: 75.0 watts RMS
  • Sealed box volume: N/A (already boxed)
  • Ported box volume: N/A (already boxed)

What Customers Are Saying

There are few ratings for the XS-AW8 on Amazon, but most of them are positive. This subwoofer has an average rating of 4 stars overall.

Most are surprised by the rich bass tones given this is an 8.0-inch subwoofer. Users appreciate the included remote and the compact size of this subwoofer, which easily fits on the floorboards.

One negative Amazon review complains about sound quality and bass reproduction.

#4 Budget Pick: American Bass VFL

American Bass VFL 8-inch is a relatively inexpensive sub that can produce considerable volume. This DVC subwoofer is a popular option for those who build cabinets with multiple subwoofers. While loud, these aren’t the best speakers for hitting frequencies below 30.0 Hz. While most 8.0-inch subs will struggle with the lows, even for a subwoofer of this size this option lacks compared to others.

Our Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Key Features

  • Approximate cost: $120
  • Resistance: 4.0-ohm DVC
  • Maximum capacity: 300.0 watts RMS
  • Sealed box volume: Not recommended
  • Ported box volume: 0.65 cubic feet

What Customers Are Saying

With over 80 ratings, this subwoofer has an average 4.4-star rating. A total of 84 percent of reviewers rate it 4 or more stars.

Several reviewers built systems in their cars using two or more of these speakers and were satisfied by the volume and pressure they were able to achieve. These small speakers offer good sound for the cost and can rattle your ride.

These speakers do not hit the deepest lows and some complain about this. A few reviewers say they were shipped defective or broken products.

#5 Also Consider: Alpine SWR-8D4

Another low-cost 8.0-inch sub for your car audio system, the Alpine SWR-8D4 has kick. Most consumers are impressed by this small package, which can fit easily into an auto speaker build. Made with Kevlar®-treated pulp, a poly-mica dust cap, and HAMR Santoprene, the SWR-8D4 is a durable subwoofer. It has a decent frequency response range of 30.0 to 200.0 Hz and features a high temperature, 4.0-ohm dual voice coil.

Our Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Key Features

  • Approximate cost: $170
  • Resistance: 4.0-ohm DVC
  • Maximum capacity: 350.0 watts RMS
  • Sealed box volume: 0.3 cubic feet
  • Ported box volume: 0.7 cubic feet

What Customers Are Saying

With just over 45 ratings, the Alpine SWR-8D4 has an average Amazon rating of 4.2 stars.

Despite being a small speaker, the SWR-8D4 has a loud output and wide audio range. Several customers say they were able to shake their entire rides with this tiny sub. The small size allows it to fit in small enclosures, which is ideal for automotive audio.

A few report that this subwoofer stopped working after a couple of weeks.

Buyers Guide: Best 8-Inch Subwoofers

The most common subwoofer sizes for vehicles are 8.0, 10.0, and 12.0 inches. As a general rule, the bigger the subwoofer, the better it can achieve low-frequency sounds (bass). But bigger subwoofers take up more space. A well-designed 8.0-inch subwoofer can beat out a cheaply-made 12.0-inch subwoofer in sound quality and sound pressure level, so a bigger speaker won’t necessarily sound better.

Eight-inch subwoofers are a popular choice for cars or audio setups with limited space. Though smaller, a low-profile 8.0-inch car subwoofer can still provide high-quality audio and a lower cost than larger alternatives. Just don’t expect to vibrate the block or rattle your trunk with an 8-inch subwoofer. Even the best 8-inch subwoofers aren’t typically rated for frequencies below 30.0 hertz.

The best-sounding subwoofer is a matter of opinion depending on your personal preferences. However, most people prefer audio that is crisp and unmuddied. The subwoofer you choose should be based on your personal setup and you may need to test a couple of options before finding the subwoofer that works best for your car.

Match Your Amp

One thing you’ll need to consider when buying a subwoofer is getting something that will work with your amplifier without getting damaged or overheating. You can buy an amplifier based on the subwoofer you choose or you can choose a subwoofer based on the amp that you already have. In either case, the power output of your amplifier needs to meet the combined power demand of your subwoofers.

Every subwoofer has a resistance rating (measured in ohms) and a maximum power handling capacity measured in watts RMS (root mean square). For example, the Sundown Audio SA-8 V.3 D4 is a 4.0-ohm subwoofer that handles up to 500.0 watts RMS. You’ll want an amp that does not put out more than 500.0 watts RMS power at an impedance load of 4.0 ohms. You can use an amp that produces fewer than 500.0 watts RMS, but then you won’t be taking full advantage of the SA-8’s capabilities.

Figuring out the appropriate setup can be tricky, especially if you have multiple subwoofers. The max power capacity is easily found by adding all of the subwoofers together, but the ohm impedance load can vary depending on the wiring. Soundstream has a handy page to help you find the right amp specifications and wiring for your subwoofers and vice-versa.

SVC and DVC

A subwoofer may have a single voice coil (SVC) or a dual voice coil (DVC). Without diving too deep into the weeds, the difference can be explained simply: There is no intrinsic sound quality difference between SVC and DVC setups, but a DVC subwoofer offers more wiring options (because of the extra coil) when connecting your subwoofer and amplifier.

Enclosure

There are a variety of ways to box a car audio subwoofer. Each subwoofer enclosure method has various advantages and drawbacks. Two popular methods are sealed or ported boxes. As their names suggest, sealed boxes are entirely sealed and ported boxes have vents or “ports.”

Some subwoofers are more suited to sealed-box setups and others to ported box setups, so which you prefer may impact your decision regarding the best subwoofer.

Sealed EnclosurePorted Enclosure
Provides tight, crisp-sounding bassBoomy, rattling bass
Requires more powerRequires less power
Not as loudLouder
Box can be smallerBox must be larger

Our Review Standards

To select the five 8-inch amplifiers in this review, our team searched Amazon for top products, looking at factors like customer ratings, prices, superlatives, and Prime shipping eligibility. We also scoured enthusiast message boards to learn the most popular and unpopular options. In choosing the products for this review, we selected subwoofers from a range of price points that have a positive reputation among customers and experts alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Data accurate at time of publication.