A 15 inch subwoofer is a great way to get that extra “thump” you hear coming out of many cars. Stock audio systems have always left something to be desired. This is especially true when talking about bass. Although auto manufacturers are improving their sound systems with every passing year, it can always be better.
The good news is that newer models offer upgraded sound systems but at a substantially higher price. Often enough, the bass is not that much better even with a premium sound system. An aftermarket subwoofer will make all the difference when it comes to music’s low notes. Feeling that bass in your bones is something that can’t be easily duplicated.
We have tested four of the most popular 15” subwoofers on the market and have a lot to say about every single one. But, like most things, only one can be victorious. In our case, the Skar Audio EVL-15 has reigned supreme.
But what makes one subwoofer better than the next? Our expert team had the opportunity to test out each unit based on several factors. This comprehensive testing procedure ensures that no part of the subwoofer was left out.
Just like you, we have been on the quest for better car audio for years. Installing countless audio systems gave us the right knowledge and trained our ears to spot even the most subtle differences between subs.
That is why, after much deliberation, we have chosen the EVL-15 as the best out of our lineup. Several factors come into play when choosing a winner. In the case of car audio, looks won’t always get you to the winner’s podium. You must be able to “feel” the difference, and the folks over at Skar Audio did just that.
Luckily the EVL-15 looks fantastic and performs even better. We have created an in-depth review of each subwoofer to help you choose correctly when it's time to improve your car’s audio.
Take a look at my list for best 15 inch car subwoofer
Now we go in deeper for 4 best 15" subwoofers on the market
We have chosen the EVL-15 as best overall due to several benefits this subwoofer offers over the competition on this list.
Its budget price will trump subwoofers two to three times the price. Gone are the days when cheap meant poorly built. Skar audio has proved that you can have amazing bass at bargain prices. However, don’t let the cost make you think that it will not perform like most premium brands.
Its performance has been a huge been deciding factor when choosing the best overall pick for this list. The peak power numbers easily beat out the competition. Standing at 1,250 watts and 2,500 watts peak power, it easily provides enough power to shake you down to your core when paired with the right amp.
The paper cone is made from competition-rated materials to withstand any abuse the sub may encounter. Couple that with the high roll foam surround and you get a unit that will look great and stand the test of time.
It comes with a dual 2-ohm voice coil that measures a total of 3” in diameter. The coil is made from quality high-temperature materials that will not deteriorate over time. Customers that have had them for a substantial period note that the sound quality remained the same.
Skar produced this subwoofer so that it can be used all day to put out chest-thumping bass and not overheat, regardless of conditions. That alone is enough to make us choose the EVL-15 over its other competition.
For its price point, the PLPW15D offers unmatched value for money. Pyle has built a reputation over the years for offering budget car audio components to help clients get the most bang for their buck. This 15” sub promises to give you great bass while letting you keep the most cash than any other product on this list.
Indeed, it may not be the most powerful subwoofer on this list. It is also true that Pyle offers some of the cleanest and most powerful sound of any subs currently on the market.
The voice coil is made up of four durable layers that have an overall diameter measuring 2.5”. Couple that with a 95 oz magnet and you got yourself a max SPL of 92 DB. These specs mean that the sub will produce up to 2000 wats max, making it one of the best budget subs out there.
Pyle has been around for years making affordably priced consumer electronics ranging from simple headphones to state-of-the-art tv projectors. Years of experience mean that they can produce quality products such as the PLPW15D subwoofer at a fraction of their competition would charge.
They are so sure their products are made to last that a 1-year warranty is offered at no extra charge. Sure, there are some downsides to a budget subwoofer, but for the price, it can’t be beaten. Although easy on the wallet, Pyle offers premium features such as spring-loaded, push-down speaker terminals to ensure a proper connection.
There is no doubt that you have heard the name Rockford Fosgate in the past. Anyone even remotely similar car audio knowledge will have no doubt come across these two iconic words. Nowadays, auto manufacturers are even offering Rockford Fosgate speakers as a factory upgrade to stock speakers on certain models.
Starting in 1980, founder Jim Fosgate unknowingly became the first in many areas of the car audio industry. He has also been dubbed as the inventor of the car audio amplifier. This is not a title to be taken lightly as the car audio system has become a huge market over the past 40 years.
The anodized aluminum cone and dust caps are far superior to any of the competitor's paper cones and will not deteriorate over time due to humidity or other factors that may affect commonly plague subwoofers. A unique stamp cast basket design features integrated spider venting for optimal cooling.
Being a leader in the car audio market means that you have a reputation to constantly uphold. Additionally, there are always companies looking to steal your crown, so being at the top of your came is an absolute must.
Lots of subtle touches that are not necessary, but do help immensely can be seen throughout the construction of the P3D2-15. One good example is the PVC textured magnet cover which is added for increased safety. This is by no means required, and most manufacturers wouldn’t even think of integrating this feature as it would increase production costs, but it’s the kind of quality you get when buying a Rockford Fosgate sub.
Planet Audio is so sure in their subwoofer’s quality that they offer a three-year warranty. The superb build quality can be throughout their entire line, but especially on the AC15D.
Features such as durable voice coils are what make this subwoofer so reliable. The coils are engineered to withstand severe fatigue and high temperatures. These elements ensure that you will get bone-shaking bass for years to come. Moreover, the surrounding foam is made to be extremely flexible and enhance the sub’s efficiency.
An affordable price is another great selling feature of the AC15D. You get premium build quality at a fraction of the price that brand name subwoofer companies would charge.
Everything is securely held together by a stamped frame. Not only is the basket designed for durability, but it is also engineered to provide optimal sound output. This means that the sub has a resonant frequency of 25 HZ and an 89 DB sensitivity SPL.
Overall, the Planet Audio AC15D performs as good as its high-end competitors, but at a fraction of the price, plus it comes with a 3-year warranty. If you are looking for a product that is guaranteed to last and perform for the life of your vehicle, then the AC15D is one to keep your eye on.
Knowing what to look for when buying a new subwoofer is crucial if you want to get the best quality in your price range. Just like buying a new car, a sub should be tested beforehand. IF that isn’t an option, the next best thing is reading owner reviews about that specific unit.
This section is dedicated to listing the most important features of a sub are, and some of the common things to keep an eye out for that may indicate poor build quality.
In the world of subwoofers, bigger is always better. A 15” subwoofer comes with its own set of unique benefits. While some people choose 12” or even 10” subs for their car, having a bigger diameter subwoofer will outperform them in most situations.
Choosing a bigger sub, such as a 15”, will help move a greater amount of air. What does that mean? Simply put, it means that your sound system will be able to hit those lower frequency notes and let you “feel” the sound that much more.
If you want that mirror-shaking, hair raising, hard-hitting bass, a 15” subwoofer is the weapon of choice. Although smaller subwoofers, may help in achieving those low notes, nothing compares to a bigger diameter driver that can substantially move more air.
In the case of subwoofers, size is particularly important. Too small and it will not produce enough bass. Alternately, an overly large sub can distort the quality of the sound if installed incorrectly. Do your research on what size is right for your application instead of finding out the hard way.
The power rating can be the deciding factor for most people. Although power doesn’t mean quality, it can help potential clients in deciding which unit to go for. It is important to note the operating wattage, which is usually half the max rating found on the box.
It goes without saying that products built to a higher standard will outlive cheaply made products. In most cases, this will mean a higher price, but there are some exceptions out there, like the ones listed on this list.
If you are new to the world of subwoofers, all this information can become daunting, and in some cases, frustrating. Frequency response refers to how well a particular subwoofer can reproduce the range of sounds. A good quality unit will have a frequency range of below 20 Hz to above 100 Hz.
Knowledge is key, and the more you know about the product, the easier it will be to choose one that is right for you. Keep in mind that this article is based on the four products mentioned. There is a lot more to learn about subwoofers and how they operate.
Adding a subwoofer to your audio system will drastically increase the sound quality of your vehicle. This article is intended to provide you with information that will help you choose the right one.
The list is made up of products for everyone's budget. Don’t be swayed in thinking that a lower-priced subwoofer automatically means lower quality. Those days are far gone. Competitors can keep prices low thanks to advances in production and lower material costs.
If you have any further questions regarding this subject or similar topics, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. The four mentioned subwoofers can be purchased via the links below!