Car Subwoofers

Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers For Your Car In 2021

Mike Cross
Updated May 20, 2021

I reseached several products and found the Rockville RW10CA 10” Subwoofer to be the best shallow mount subwoofer for 2021. 

The Rockville RW10CA 10” Subwoofer is the Best Overall

Choosing a shallow mount subwoofer isn’t an easy task, but the Rockville RW10CA 10” Slim subwoofer fits any vehicle and delivers more than enough power to rock your ride. The slim design makes it easy to install without compromising on power. Expect a serious upgrade to your existing audio.

Not only does Rockville deliver stellar sound, but you also get various high-level inputs and several controls to create the perfect system to meet your needs. It’s powerful and chic enough for experienced, tech-savvy users, but easy enough for beginners to install and operate like pros.

Every Shallow Mount Subwoofer We Reviewed Makes an Impact

Of course, the Rockville RW10CA isn’t the only option we found worthy of mention. Every product on our list can boost your car’s sound system and look great doing it. 

When your existing car stereo system doesn’t have quite enough pop, but you don’t want a bulky, overbearing sub, you may want to consider a shallow mount. The lighter, slimmer designs make the most of filters and other technology to boost your bass.

Each of These Subwoofers Have Something Special to Offer

Some people may argue that shallow mount subwoofers can’t deliver the same satisfaction as their full-size counterparts. After testing these models, I have to disagree and I think you will as well.

The Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers For Car of 2021

When you want something discreet that still packs plenty of playing power, our list of best shallow mount subwoofers of 2021 should do the trick.

1. Rockville RW10CA 10" Subwoofer: Best Overall

Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Powered Car Subwoofer Sub
  • Dimensions: 12.4” x 13.4” x 2.7”
  • Weight: 14.25 pounds
  • Color: Black and blue
  • Watts: 800
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 150 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB

The Rockville RW10CA 10” Slim Subwoofer may seem small, but it packs a punch and looks chic the whole time. The black base enclosure with electric blue detailing looks stunning and easily fits under your seats. 

While 800 watts may not seem as powerful as some larger systems, Rockville argues that the RW10CA doesn’t disappoint. I can say that you get crisp sound and decent bass, making it an excellent option for people seeking to round out their system with a reasonably priced, slim-profile piece.

One particular selling point is the ease of use. Aside from fast, easy installation, this sub boasts some intuitive controls that make it possible to find your ideal sound settings in a snap. You have control over volume, bass boost features, multiple filter options, and phase control.

While this sub is by far the best shallow mount sub, it isn’t perfect. If you crave substantial bass that’s going to blow out every system around, then it may fall a little short. Also, we found some reports of the sub failing after a year or two. However, the price is right, and the sound quality should satisfy most users.

Pros:

  • Easy to install and adjust
  • Slim, attractive design
  • High-level inputs

Cons:

  • Not the top bass producer available 
  • May not last more than a year or two
Check Price On Amazon.com 

2. Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X12 R2 Shallow Sub: Best for Trucks

Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X12 R2 Shallow Prime Single 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure
  • Dimensions: 27” x 13.5” x 5.25” (bottom) x 3.25” (top)
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Watts: 250
  • Frequency Response: 29 Hz - 250 Hz 
  • Sensitivity: 85 dB

Crafted with durability and function in mind, the Rockford Fosgate R2S-1X12 R2 shallow sub fits conveniently in single-cab trucks for drivers craving a little bump. The unique wedge design features a slightly wider base and narrower top to fit most vehicles without having to adjust your seat.

There’s no doubt that with the right system you can get your truck shaking with this sub. Don’t expect to compete with this sub or max out your sound without some distortion, but it’s a viable option for most setups. 

It’s not flashy, but this shallow sub looks clean. With an MDF box covered in high-density carpet, it should withstand anything you throw at it. If you drive a truck, that level of durability probably matters more than giving up a little bass.

Like every other product, this sub may not be the ideal choice for your setup. It’s best for trucks but may need some finessing in some models. Additionally, you need to purchase a wiring kit to connect it to your system, making it more expensive and challenging for beginners.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable design
  • Perfect size and shape for most trucks
  • High-flow, low-noise ports for clearer sound

Cons:

  • May be expensive, especially with buying a separate wiring kit
  • May not be ideal for beginners
Check Price On Amazon.com 

3. Rockford Fosgate R2 Ultra Shallow 10" Subwoofer: Best for Cars

Rockford Fosgate R2 Ultra Shallow 10-Inch 4 Ohm DVC Subwoofer
  • Dimensions: 11 ⅛” x 3 ⅝”
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Watts: 200
  • Frequency Range: 43 Hz - 250 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 81 dB

What happens when you don’t have room to accommodate subs with pre-built enclosures? This Rockford Fosgate R2 Ultra Shallow subwoofer solves that problem and makes it easy for you to customize your setup. Whether you choose to replace stock subs or craft a new enclosure that works for your vehicle, this super slim sub could be a gamechanger.

Though it’s marketed as a great fit for smaller cars, this slim subwoofer works for any vehicle. You only need one to clap out serious bass, but some brave souls install a pair to round out the thump and create a beast. 

Unfortunately, the pros and cons run a fine line with this sub because you need to have some know-how or pay for professional installation to make it work. Beginners may not appreciate the extra work or price tag.

Pros:

  • Superb, ultra-slim design
  • Durable steel frame, mica-injected polypropylene cone, and poly-foam surround
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Enclosure not included and may not fit stock setups properly
  • May need experience or a professional for installation
Check Price On Amazon.com 

4. Rockville SS8P Subwoofer: Best for Beginners

Rockville SS8P 400 Watt Slim Under-Seat Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub+Amp Kit
  • Dimensions: 11.4” x 8.3” x 2.8”
  • Weight: 11.65 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Watts: 400
  • Frequency Range: 50 Hz - 150 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB

Perhaps the above models bring too much power and complexity to your setup. If you’re new to the game and just dipping your toe in the subwoofer waters, this Rockville SS8P could help you swim. It’s extremely easy to install and packs enough power to notice the difference without overwhelming you. 

This sub isn’t just small, it’s also lightweight. Don’t let the size fool you, though! The SS8P may not be quite as powerful as the RW10CA, but it’s packed with some of the same features, including some high-level inputs. 

The SS8P also features a built-in amp and several safety features, like a thermal protection circuit. Additionally, the auto-on function means you don’t have to reach around to find a manual switch or use a remote, just turn on your stereo and the SS8P does the rest.

Again, the SS8P has a lot to offer, including decent bass, but it’s not as powerful as other shallow subs. It may not be enough for some drivers seeking more substantial bass or complex setups.

Pros:

  • Compact, sleek design
  • Easy install and wiring
  • Auto-on function means it turns on whenever your stereo does

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as other options
  • May not last long
Check Price On Amazon.com 

Shallow Mount Subwoofer Buying Guide

There are thousands of options available for upgrading or building your car’s sound system, so it can be a daunting task to choose each component. If you already decided that a shallow mount subwoofer is the best option for you, then you already narrowed the field substantially. 

I offered up reviews of the four best shallow mount subwoofers available to help you on your way, but that’s not all. Read on to learn more about how to choose the right sub for your car.

Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers For Cars

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Shallow Mount Subwoofer

Let’s talk about the top criteria to consider when picking a shallow mount subwoofer. Though it’s not a comprehensive list, it should help narrow the options substantially.

Size

Shallow mount subwoofers may fit narrow spaces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find different size options. Most have depths less than four inches, but you can find circumferences ranging from eight inches up to fifteen inches. 

  • 8-inch subwoofers handle fast-paced tunes, like heavy rock and electronica. This size works best if you want light bass to complement your existing sound system.
  • 10-inch subwoofers may be the most common and offer balanced responsiveness, meaning they can handle fast-paced music and heavy-bass tunes. 
  • 12-inch subwoofers could be the most universal option because they can handle almost anything.
  • 15-inch subwoofers deliver maximum bass for those who want to make their vehicle into a dance club.

While most shallow mount subwoofers should fit in tight spots, it doesn’t mean that every size works for your car or truck. Be careful to measure your space and select a sub that fits.

Ease of Installation

Unless you have the experience and tools to handle anything, you may want to consider installation and setup. Some systems include the necessary wiring and detailed instructions, while others require some know-how or professional installation. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.

Wattage

Some subwoofer manufacturers tout the wattage as a major selling point, and it matters to a degree, but not as much as you might think. While 100-watt subwoofers may be a waste of an upgrade, you can get decent sound from a 400-watt sub paired with a solid amp. 

The important takeaway about wattage is that a 500-watt sub at louder volume may outperform a 1,000-watt subwoofer at lower volumes. Given that shallow mount subs generally have lower wattage, it’s something to keep in mind.

Woofer Surrounds

Protecting your subwoofer is critical, so choosing a durable surround means everything. It needs to withstand the stress of producing sound while adequately supporting the cone. Most companies use rubber, foam, or polypropylene to protect and support the cone. 

  • Rubber generally works best because its composition delivers high-quality sound, especially bass. However, it may not last as long as other options.
  • Foam is less expensive than rubber and lasts for several years but does not handle bass as well. It can also break down over time and distort sound quality.
  • Polypropylene is optimal for shallow mount subs because it’s more durable, repels moisture, and causes minimal sound distortion.

What are the Benefits of a Shallow Mount Subwoofer?

Shallow mount subwoofers compact designs making them easy to install and able to fit almost anywhere. They require less power and tend to look more stylish than their larger counterparts.

What are the Drawbacks of a Shallow Mount Subwoofer?

Creating a compact sub means compromising somewhere, and that usually translates to a few drawbacks. Shallow mount subs tend to be less sensitive and have limited frequency ranges compared to regular subwoofers. In many cases, the shallow mounts can be more fragile as well.

How does a Shallow Mount Subwoofer Differ From a Subwoofer?

Regular subwoofers create impressive displays in your trunk and deliver intense low-frequency audio that reverberates around you. Shallow mount subwoofers represent a compact version of the larger model and deliver portable sound in a sleek, space-saving design. 

Expect regular subwoofers to last longer and deliver better sound quality. On the other hand, shallow mount subs cost less and easily integrate with more systems. You can read my article about the best 12-inch subwoofer to take a look at the regular sub.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we found the Rockville RW10CA 10" Subwoofer to be the best shallow mount subwoofer of 2021 because it covers all the bases.

Though the RW10CA does not pack as much wattage as a full-sized sub, it delivers an impressive 800 watts that’s capable of shaking your car in the best ways. You don’t even have to dial the volume all the way up to enjoy deep bass. 

Easy installation, intuitive operation, and excellent features make the Rockville RW10CA our clear winner. The reasonable pricing and sleek look make it tough to find a better shallow mount. 

Are you ready to upgrade your sound system with the best shallow mount subwoofer available? Pick up the Rockville RW10CA 10” subwoofer here.

Mike Cross
Life is too short to drive with stock audio

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