The 10 Best Powered Under Seat Car Subwoofers 2021 (Review & Buyer’s Guide)

Best Powered Under Seat Car Subwoofers

Which powered under seat car subwoofer is best?

As they say, good things come in small packages and these are some of the smallest and best powered under seat car subwoofers on the market.

They’re compact enough to fit under your seat, they produce great-sounding bass, and they all have a built-in amplifier, making it easier to install, and you’re not having to figure out where to put your amp.

Most manufacturers have a long list of specs. But what specs really matter? It’s not just your max power, think about the max power in relation to RMS and frequency response.

I’ve done the research and pulled together the nitty-gritty to make it easy for you to decide which powered under-seat subwoofer will fit best in your car and give you the sound you’re looking for.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you).

Our top choice for the Overall Best Car Under Seat Powered Subwoofer is manufactured by Nakamichi.

In fact, they have two models, the Nakamichi NBF609A and the Nakamichi NBF08A, that are very similar in size and specifications with the Nakamichi NBF609A having a slightly smaller width and depth. Compare their specifications.

IN THIS GUIDE


At A Glance: The Best Powered Under Seat Car Subwoofers – 2021 (Review & Guide)

Under Seat Car SubwooferSpecifications
Best Overall Pick
Nakamichi NBF609A and Nakamichi NBF08ANBF609A Peak Power:1000 W
RMS:
120 W
Frequency Response:
34-400 Hz
Dimensions (L x W X H):  
11″ x 7.6″ x 2.95″

NBF08A Peak Power: 1000 W
RMS:
150 W
Frequency Response:
20-150 Hz
Dimensions (L x W X H):  
11.4″ x 8-1/4″ x 2.83″

Runner-UpRockville RW8CA and Rockville RW10CARW8CA – Peak Power: 150 Watt
RMS: 75 Watt
Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
Dimensions: (L x W x H): 12.4″x 11″ x 2.7″
RW10CA – Peak Power: 800 Watt
RMS: 200 Watt
Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
Dimensions: (L x W x H): 12.4″x 13.4″ x 2.7″
Best Pick:
Slimmest Under Seat Subwoofer
Pioneer TS-WX130DAPeak Power: 160 W
RMS:
50 W
Frequency Response:
20-200 Hz
Dimensions (L x W X H):
11″ x 7-7/8″ x 2-3/4″
Runner-Up:
Slimmest Under Seat Subwoofer
Kenwood KSC-PSW8Peak Power: 150 Watt
RMS: 75 Watt
Frequency Response: 35-125 Hz
Dimensions: (L x W x H): 13-3/4″x 9-7/16″ x 2-15/16″

Best Powered Under Seat Car Subwoofers

Best Overall Pick

Nakamichi NBF609A And Nakamichi NBF08A Underseat Subwoofer

KEY FEATURES

  • NBF609A
  • Peak Power: 1000 W
  • RMS: 120 W
  • Frequency Response: 34-400 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H):  11″ x 7.6″ x 2.95″

  • NBF08A
  • Peak Power: 1000 W
  • RMS: 150 W
  • Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H):  11″ x 8-1/4″ x 2.83″

Nakamichi NBF609A

Summary: At just under 3″ high, the Nakamichi NBF609A is a great option for those who want to tuck a speaker under their seat and forget that it’s there unless it’s blasting some of your favorite tunes. It won’t shatter your windows but will enhance your audio sound with a subtle base.

Consumers report that it adds “fullness” and a bit of a thump with clear and loud sounds without distortion. And for the size, it doesn’t get much better.

As with most compact subs, you’ll need to buy a wiring kit. This BOSS wiring kit, available in 10 gauge or 8 gauge, has over 21,000 ratings with an impressive rating.

PROS

  • At just under 3″ high, the Nakamichi NBF609A slim profile will fit under the majority of seats
  • Controls are all located on one side of the subwoofer making it easier to adjust
  • Includes remote control with a 5-meter range making it easy to adjust whenever you feel the need
  • Great clarity and sound that you wouldn’t expect in a subwoofer this small
  • Aluminum sealed enclosure that helps with cooling and preventing overheating

Nakamichi NBF08A

Summary: Great for placement under seats, the Nakamichi NBF08A is a one-of-a-kind 3-way subwoofer with sound from both sides through its passive bass ports as well as on top giving fantastic sound for an under-seat speaker.

Featuring RMS power of 80 watts powering an 8-inch subwoofer driver, easily adds bass to any setup with both high and low-level inputs, allowing you to work with both original factory source units and aftermarket units.

PROS

  • The Nakamichi NBF08A 3-way speaker is the most significant selling feature and differentiates from other under seat speakers
  • Central controls on one side of the subwoofer making it simpler to make adjustments
  • Remote control for ease of use
  • Full die-cast aluminum for durability and heat dispersion that helps prevent overheating

Runner-Up

Rockville RW8CA Underseat Subwoofer and Rockville RW10CA Underseat Subwoofer

  • Peak Power: 800 Watt
  • RMS: 200 Watt
  • Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H): 12.4 x 13.4 x 2.7 

KEY FEATURES:

  • 2.7” thick making it easy to fit under seats
  • 400 watts of power, 150 watts RMS
  • CEO-2006 compliant
  • Subsonic filter to filter out the really low frequencies that the human ear can not hear giving more clarity in sound
  • Low pass crossover filter, phase control, and bass boost
  • Low-Level RCA Input
  • High-Level Inputs with Auto Turn-On Technology
  • Subwoofer level remote control

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Adds great bass to factory systems without major vibration or disturbing other vehicle drivers
  • Thermal Protection Circuit, Short Protection Circuit
  • Overload Protection Circuit
  • 8” or 10”

CONS

Some distortion on higher volumes

Summary: The Rockville RW8CA is only 2.7” thick by 8” wide making it simple to fit under most car or truck seats. The small size combined with the 400 watts max power output and the 150 Watts RMS power output makes this our top choice

The amplifier is built-in, making installation easy and the inputs and outputs are neatly lined-up on one side which will simplify the wiring and installation. 

Top Pick – More $$

Kenwood KSC-SW11

  • Peak Power: 150 Watt
  • RMS: 75 Watt
  • Frequency Response: 35-125 Hz
  • Dimensions:

Summary: At 2.75” high and only 7.5” deep, the Kenwood KSC-SW11 is extremely compact and consumers love the sound. The consensus is that it won’t blow your windows out but it will fill in the lower ranges while sounding natural.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Extremely compact subwoofer at 11″W x 2-3/4″H x 7-1/2″ D which means it will fit under most seats
  • Wired remote to control volume and frequency
  • Aluminum enclosure with 8-1/4″ x 5-1/8″ sub
  • Dedicated surround and spider
  • 75 Watt RMS, 150 Watt output maximum

PROS:

  • Easy installation – even inexperienced installers found simple
  • Great sound
  • Wired remote has a long cable making it easy to put anywhere

CONS:

Some consumers complain about little to no base with the Kenwood KSC-SW11, but given there are well over one thousand positive reviews on the Kenwood site, I suspect that the base is fine, and either there are some installation issues or some misaligned expectations on what is being bought.

Top Pick: Best Bang for Your $$

Rockford Fosgate P300 Punch

  • Peak Power: 300 Watt
  • RMS: 300 Watt
  • Frequency Response: 30 Hz to 200 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H): 11.4″ x 17.6″ x 5.6″ 

Rockford Fosgate P300 Punch

KEY FEATURES:

  • High-Efficiency, Low Current Amplifier Design
  • 300 Watt Class-D Amplifier with Optimized “Closed Loop” Design
  • Adjustable 12db/Octave low pass crossover
  • On-Board Phase Switch
  • Intelligent auto turn on/off function
  • Robust Power/Ground connections
  • Remote bass level control included
  • Thermal and over/under voltage protection
  • Slim Design For Truck Applications

PROS:

  • Small profile speaker that could tuck somewhere discreet in your car, like behind the back seats or in your trunk, and not take up a lot of space
  • Good value and sound

CONS:

Small-ish profile that won’t likely fit underneath the standard car seat but will tuck comfortably under a seat in your truck

Consumers call the Rockford Fosgate P300 8″ great bang for your buck. 

It’s an all in one amplifier and subwoofer built into the enclosure, making installation and wiring simple.

It features an 8″ high output woofer with a 300-watt internal amplifier in a slim design enclosure that will work in trucks and small cars, with quick-release input and power connectors that make it easy to remove when extra space is required.

Overall, consumers agree that this is a fantastic, all-around speaker with bass that’s hard to complain about.

Best Pick: Slimmest Under Seat Subwoofer

Pioneer TS-WX130DA Underseat Subwoofer

  • Peak Power: 160 W
  • RMS: 50 W
  • Frequency Response: 20-200 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H): 11″ x 7-7/8″ x 2-3/4″

KEY FEATURES

The Pioneer TS-WS130DA is the smallest subwoofer on our list at 2 ¾” high. And with a width of 7 ⅞” and a length of only 11”, it is truly one of the most compact all in one subwoofer – amps on the market.

If you like to have your sound just ‘right’, you’ll be happy to know that the digital bass control allows you to manage the bass mode with 2 settings, either deep or dynamic and the wired remote control helps you control gain, LPF, phase, and bass mode.

Top reviews from consumers make this a great option that doesn’t break the bank.

PROS

  • Very compact unit at 11″ x 7-7/8″ x 2-3/4″ making it easy to slide and install under a seat
  • Many consumers comment about how this unit sounds as good if not better than other major stereo brands with some giving it ratings of 8+/10.
  • Deep bass and works well with most factory speakers

CONS

On the pricier side of subs.

cerwin vega VPAS10 Underseat Subwoofer

  • Peak Power: 450 W
  • RMS: 200 W
  • Frequency Response: 30 Hz – 150 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H): 13.6” X 9.65” X 2.8” 

KEY FEATURES

  • Amazing sound especially on the low end
  • Looks great
  • Remote included

PROS

Great sounding deep lows

CONS

Misses the punchy bass from a bass drum set

The cerwin-vega VPAS10 is small but packs a powerful sound. And the fully integrated amplifier is encased in a cast aluminum heatsink along with the subwoofer, making it simple to operate. 

 Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Underseat Subwoofer

  • Peak Power: 240 W
  • RMS: 120 W
  • Frequency Response: 32 – 150 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H):  13.5”  x 9”  x 3”

KEY FEATURES:

  • Cast aluminum enclosure
  • RCA and Auto-sensing Speaker Level Inputs are located on the side panel, along with controls for Phase, Gain, LP Crossover and Remote Sub Level
  • Remote control included
  • Overall, consumers are extremely pleased with the performance

CONS

  • On the pricier end of under-seat subwoofers
  • Some mention of poor quality
  • Need to buy an installation kit

Kenwood KSC-PSW8

  • Peak Power: 250 W
  • RMS: 150 W
  • Frequency Response: 35-150 Hz
  • Dimensions (L x W X H):  13-3/4″ x 9-7/16″ x 2-15/16″

FEATURES

Bass lovers appreciate the low-mid bass of the Kenwood KSD-PSW8 and it comes with a remote that makes it simple to control the frequency, gain, and phase. 

Pros

  • Small size and will fit under most seats
  • Great sound that produces bass response that’s equal to that of a larger subwoofer
  • Wired remote that makes it easy to control volume level, variable low-pass crossover, and selectable phase control

KICKER 11HS8 Hideaway Compact Powered Underseat Subwoofer

  • Peak Power: 150 Watt
  • RMS: 150 Watt
  • Frequency Response: 25-120 Hz
  • Dimensions(L x W X H):13 7/8 x 9 3/8 x 3 1/8

The Hideaway uses 150 watt amplifier in an 8-inch subwoofer to give you deep bass and since it comes with high and low-level inputs, it can be used with your car’s factory or after-market radio + speakers. Just over 3” high means it will fit under most car seats.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Slightly over 3” high making it easy to tuck under most seats or in other compact areas such as the cargo space
  • Almost 14 inches long with a 150-watt amplifier and an 8-inch subwoofer
  • Quick-connect power plug 
  • Velcro®-fastened nylon straps for secure installation and simple but fast removal
  • 150 watts RMS amplifier (14.4V)
  • Wired remote control speaker-level inputs
  • Auto turn-on switch
  • 1-year warranty

PROS

  • Remote control makes it easy to control bass from anywhere in the car
  • 150-watt built-in amplifier for impressive sound
  • Works with most factory and after-market stereo and speaker system

CONS

  • Smaller cone than other subwoofers
  • Some complaints of low quality and poor support
  • Need to buy RCA cables or adaptors to connect to factory or after-market stereo

Best Powered Under Seat Powered Car Subwoofers – 2020 (Buyer’s Guide)

What To Look For When Buying A Powered Underseat Subwoofer

When you’re looking to buy an under-seat powered subwoofer for your car, SUV, or truck, here are some key things to look for:

Passive or Powered

If you’re looking for a simple installation, go with a powered subwoofer so you don’t need an external amplifier and the installation of the powered will be simpler because there’s simply just less to wire. All subs on our list are powered.

Size

They say big things come in small packages and that can be said in the case of an underseat powered subwoofer because you can get great sound from one of these small subwoofers with the smallest being only 8”. 

There are some really great sounding underseat subwoofers on the market today but ensure you determine the depth available under the driver or passenger seat (assuming that’s where you’re installing it) and then take a look at the subwoofers on our list to find one that will fit best and has the specs you want. 

Be sure to measure the depth and length as well. In most situations it’s the height that causes difficulty when trying to find a unit to fit but sometimes the width can be a problem as well.

The  Pioneer TS-WX130DA is the slimmest of the subwoofers that we’ve reviewed. 

Power Rating – RMS and Peak Watts

When trying to determine which subwoofer to buy, look at both the RMS watts (also referred to as continuous power handling) and peak watts (or peak power handling). RMS rating is extremely important because it’s the rating of how much continuous power the subwoofer can take without the risking of blowing.

RMS Watts

RMS Stands for the root mean square wattage of the subwoofer and is telling you how much power the subwoofer can handle on a continuous basis without getting damaged/blowing up.

Peak Watts

Peak Watts is the maximum amount of power the subwoofer can handle for a brief period of time before being damaged.


Types of Under Seat Subwoofers

Powered

The majority of under-seat subwoofers are powered. In fact, all the subwoofers on our list are powered.

A powered subwoofer has a built-in amplifier that provides power, which means there’s less wiring and it’s easier to install.

The quality of these subs is great and you’ll see from the reviews that we’ve included on our list, their sound is great. 

Consumers who are true bass and sound lovers will tell you that you won’t get the sound you might from a larger subwoofer but they’re loving the sound they’re getting and appreciate the simplicity of an all in one subwoofer. 

Passive

Passive under-seat subwoofers will need an external amplifier to provide power because they don’t have a built-in amplifier. 


With a passive under-seat subwoofer, you’ll need external power and that means more wiring and a more complicated installation that will likely require you to hire a professional (assuming you don’t have the experience yourself to do the installation). 

The benefit of installing a passive under-seat subwoofer with an external amplifier for power is that you’ll get terrific sound but keep in mind that you’ll lose some of that precious real estate to accommodate the amplifier. 


FAQs

What is an under seat subwoofer and why do you need one?

An under-seat subwoofer is a sub that has a low profile and compact dimensions that allow it to easily be installed under a seat in your car, SUV, or truck so that it isn’t taking up a lot of precious space inside your vehicle. Because some factory car stereos don’t have great bass, you can improve the bass by installing an under-seat subwoofer.

Not only that, but the speaker is also out of sight from those potential car thefts (out of sight, out of mind).

How much power do I need for my powered subwoofer?

How much power you need, depends upon which subwoofer you choose.

You’ll find a recommended power range (in continuous or RMS watts) listed in the specifications. The lower number is, the absolute bare minimum amount of wattage you need to get acceptable results. Typically,  more power is better because bass consumes a good deal of power. 

To really get results from your subwoofer, choose an amp rated in the upper third of your subwoofer’s maximum RMS power range. This is something to consider when you’re looking at the all-in-one under-seat subwoofer since they include the amp.

Your amp’s RMS output can even exceed the woofer’s maximum RMS rating, but you’ll need to keep an ear on the sound quality because if the bass starts to distort, you’ll know that you’ve reached the top end of your amplifier to the subwoofer performance capability.

Turn the volume down a bit until you notice the distortion clears and you have a clearer sound.

If you crank it too high, you can damage your subwoofer and speaker.

Are under seat subs any good?

Under-seat subs provide good bass sound at a reasonable price, especially if you install an all-in-one sub that includes the amplifier. It’s unlikely that you’ll get the same sound as you would out of a full-scale sub but most consumers are very happy with the quality of sound they’re getting from a small, under-seat sub and are happy to forgo big bass with a big sub for the convenience of having a sub tucked under a seat.

Can you put subs under seats?

Yes, you can put subs under seats. Under seat car subs are specifically designed with a low profile and small dimensions so that they can easily be installed under a seat. There are some good quality options on the market for subs that will slide under a seat, meaning that you don’t have to buy a large sub and take up wanted space in your vehicle.


Summary – Best Powered Under Seat Subwoofers

This list of the best powered under seat subwoofers includes a list of the top subwoofers that will be compact enough to slide under most seats, whether you’re driving a car, an SUV or a truck.

The subs that we’ve included all have a good bass that will be more than adequate for most bass lovers, at a price point that makes it reasonable to install one in your vehicle.

Our top overall recommendation is the Nakamichi NBF609A or Nakamichi NBF08A due to their very positive consumer feedback, attractive RMS rating, peak power, and frequency response.

In addition, it has a very low profile which makes it a great option for most if not all vehicles.

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API