Subwoofers are an irreplaceable piece of audio gear for any audiophile. If you like to hear a rich bass in your music, you need a subwoofer.
But does every car have a subwoofer in it, or will you have to purchase one separately?
Not every car has a subwoofer in it. Only a few vehicles come with subwoofers from the factory, and most stock speakers are designed to handle the bass instead. Many drivers add a subwoofer as an aftermarket upgrade to have a better audio experience.
This article will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about subwoofers in cars.
I’ll also touch on car amplifiers that you need to power a subwoofer.
Do All Cars Come With Stock Subwoofers?
Most cars don’t come with stock subwoofers. Cars use full-range speakers, located in the cabin, to handle the audible frequency range.
Subwoofers and powerful amplifiers are expensive, and not everybody wants them.
However, some cars do come with stock subwoofers, like the Fiat Abarth 500.
For the most part, people don’t buy a car solely for its audio system, and if a car manufacturer offers a subwoofer as an option, it will usually be a very expensive addition.
If the car you’re considering purchasing doesn’t have a stock subwoofer, buying an aftermarket option will give you the sound you’re looking for at a much more affordable price.
Aftermarket subwoofers may even sound better too.
That being said, having a subwoofer from the factory is pretty cool and adds some resale value.
My favorite example of a car that comes with a subwoofer has to be the Chrysler 300S with a stock Beats Audio system. It features 10 Beats speakers and a powerful subwoofer.
But what other cars come with subwoofers straight from the manufacturer?
I already mentioned the Abarth 500 (which also has a Beats subwoofer). But there are a few more.
Here are some other cars that come with a stock subwoofer:
It should also be noted that stock car speakers generally aren’t very good.
The sound quality isn’t the best, they don’t get loud enough, and there’s some distortion.
Adding a subwoofer to the car audio system can significantly improve the sound.
You’ll need an amplifier for most car subwoofers. The only problem is that stock car speakers often don’t work with aftermarket amps.
For some drivers, subwoofers are a mandatory piece of equipment, but if you’re happy with your stock audio system, there’s usually no need to replace it.
How To Tell if Your Car Already Has a Subwoofer
You can tell if your car already has a subwoofer by checking the trunk or under the seat.
Subwoofers in the trunk look like large circular speakers with a boxy enclosure, but they may be integrated into the car trunk.
Under-seat subwoofers are typically below the driver’s or passenger’s seat.
You can tell your subwoofer apart from any other car speaker. It’s much larger, and it’s never mounted to the car door or dashboard.
Under-seat subwoofers are easy to access from the backseat. And regular subwoofers are hard to miss when you open the trunk.
They’re always very large and have some type of cabinet.
Can I Add a Subwoofer to My Car?
You can add a subwoofer to your car as an aftermarket upgrade. Subwoofers usually require amplifiers to work.
You can replace all stock speakers with better speakers, an amplifier, and a subwoofer.
Alternatively, you can consider powered subwoofers, which have built-in amplifiers.
Here’s a YouTube video explaining how to add a subwoofer to your car:
Powered subwoofers differ from normal subwoofers in that they already have an amplifier built-in. These are easier to install, and you should be able to complete installation in a single afternoon.
I recommend the MB Quart Active Subwoofer System (available on Amazon.com). It has a maximum power output of 800W with a separate bass remote to adjust the subwoofer.
It is a low-profile under-seat subwoofer, so you install it in the car cabin. Put it below your seat to get a punchier and more satisfying bass.
Do I Need a Subwoofer in My Car?
You need a subwoofer in your car if you want to have better sound quality. A subwoofer can reproduce very low frequencies.
Stock car speakers have some bass in them, but they can’t replace a real subwoofer. A subwoofer will significantly improve your car audio system.
When we think of subwoofers in cars, we sometimes imagine people who crank them to max volume. Nobody wants to be that person at the gas station or parking lot.
But you don’t have to turn your subwoofer completely up. You can turn the knob halfway for a more balanced sound.
If you like hip-hop, rap, rock, metal, pop, EDM, and pretty much any genre, you’ll benefit from subwoofers.
Note that some intense, bass-boosted beats can make the subwoofer rattle a bit. It’s nothing dangerous, but it’s not pleasant.
You can prevent rattling by lowering the volume and the subwoofer bass knob.
If you find yourself turning the subwoofer knob a lot, I recommend getting the Scosche Remote Control Knob (available on Amazon.com).
It will let you control the bass without having to reach out in the back. It is also pretty easy to install.
Simply connect the knob to the amplifier and subwoofer, and it’s ready to go.
What Size Subwoofer Do I Need for My Car?
You need the largest subwoofer for your car that you can fit. In general, the larger the subwoofer, the better the sound. A 12-inch (30.48 cm) subwoofer is a good compromise between size and sound.
While a 15-inch (38.1 cm) subwoofer is the best, an 8-inch (20.32 cm) one is better than none.
Without going into too much detail, a larger subwoofer driver moves more air than a smaller one.
So, it’s always worth it to go with the large 15-inch (38.1 cm) instead of the 12-inch (30.48 cm) you may have planned.
But trunk space is a luxury in compact cars. In that case, get a smaller subwoofer because any subwoofer is better than the stock speakers.
If you’re looking for a smaller subwoofer, the Boss Audio Systems Subwoofer (available on Amazon.com) is a perfect choice.
This compact subwoofer packs a powerful punch. Additionally, it doesn’t have an enclosure, so you can make your own.
Do I Need an Amplifier To Use a Subwoofer?
You usually need an amplifier to use a subwoofer. Subwoofers are passive speakers, so they need an amplifier to power them and boost the weak sound signal.
However, there are subwoofers with built-in amplifiers available on the market as well.
If you’re serious about music in your car, you should get a powerful amplifier. A good amplifier is well worth its price.
You can hook up aftermarket speakers to it in addition to a subwoofer.
Another benefit is that amplifiers let you connect most subwoofers to them. The only limiting factors are speaker impedance and the maximum power output.
If you’re looking for a high-end amplifier and subwoofer bundle, the Skar Audio Subwoofer Bass Package from Amazon.com is for you.
It’s a 700-watt, 8-inch (20.32 cm) subwoofer that reproduces a powerful bass.
In addition to the sub and amp, you will also get a four-gauge wiring kit to connect everything to your car.
There are very few cars available on the market that come with a stock subwoofer.
If you’ve purchased a second-hand car that has a subwoofer, it’s likely an aftermarket upgrade rather than a factory option.
A subwoofer and amplifier help provide your music with punchier bass and enhance your audio experience in your car.
If you’re looking to install one in your car, the process is easy and can be done by you, without the need for professional help.