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Which Kicker subwoofer is best?

Subwoofers are speakers that boost the lowest frequencies of audio playback. They help with hearing the low-frequency parts of music or sound effects, making them a solid addition to a home theater or car stereo.

If you are looking for the best Kicker subwoofer, the Kicker TRTP 12-Inch Thin Down Firing Subwoofer is the top choice. With a thin profile, it can create the hard-hitting bass you want in a vehicle or small room without taking up much space.

What to know before you buy a Kicker subwoofer

What Kicker is

Kicker began in 1973 as a two-man operation in a one-car garage in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The company developed the first full-frequency speaker box meant for cars and trucks, and since has branched out into a wide range of audio devices for both vehicles and homes. Kicker remains in Stillwater, but now occupies a 280,000-square-foot building and employs nearly 200.

Whether you like bass

A good subwoofer can bring accurate bass sounds to take an audiophile’s music listening experience far beyond what your average speaker can provide. Some people use a subwoofer just to get louder bass, but if the quality of your audio matters to you, that’s not the best choice. For heightening your overall sound quality and improving the experience, a Kicker subwoofer might be the right solution.

Whether you have an amplifier

If you do not have an amp and you are trying to set up a subwoofer, it could prove challenging. It is not impossible to hook up your subwoofer on its own, but depending on the device it could become more involved than you want. And a passive subwoofer cannot function without an amp.

Where you’ll put it in your car

If you are picking up a subwoofer for your car, your first priority is making sure it will function safely and not take up an absurd amount of space. You probably don’t want a subwoofer that occupies half of your trunk space, for example. If you are picking one out for a vehicle, carefully measure the space where you can stow it before you buy anything.

What to look for in a quality Kicker subwoofer

Power handling

The best subwoofers can effectively handle your amp. If you’re using a 1,000-watt amplifier, for example, you do not want to completely fry your subwoofer. Check the specs of your amp and subwoofer before connecting everything. If you already have some equipment, that will help narrow down the models that will best top off your sound system.

Space requirements

Subwoofers have varying mounting depths. Fancier subwoofers with larger magnets need more mounting depth to function properly. If you have limited space to work with, on the other hand, the best Kicker subwoofer for you is a compact model. Smaller models can be less expensive, too. Though you cannot compare a small subwoofer for a vehicle to a large speaker for your home theater, Kicker does not sacrifice build quality, so measure your space and make that one of your main considerations.

Easy setup

Setup is easier if you prepare the space ahead of time so the subwoofer will fit easily. After that, it’s a matter of connecting the cables to the amp and other devices, if any. Sound-analyzer apps for smartphones can check the sound, though they’re less accurate than professional-grade measurement gear. It’s just about impossible to achieve a perfect setup because numerous variables affect the sound, but it’s not hard to get a quality Kicker speaker to sound good. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Kicker subwoofer

Depending on size, the price can range widely, from $150-$400. All Kicker subwoofers are solid quality, but there is a limit to the audio a smaller one can produce — hence the lower price.

Kicker subwoofer FAQ

Is Kicker the best brand?

A. It depends on the model and your goals for audio. A Kicker is generally better than something like a Skar in terms of raw performance and power. The main drawback is that it’s often more expensive than other brands. If the price tag doesn’t scare you, it is some of the best subwoofer equipment you will find. 

Is it safe to put a subwoofer in your car?

A. Subwoofers do not cause serious structural or mechanical damage to a vehicle. However, the sound waves can loosen some parts, such as the rearview mirror, nuts and some panels. If you are concerned about how your vehicle would hold up, consult a professional source before adding a subwoofer or other audio equipment.

What are the best Kicker subwoofers to buy?

Top Kicker subwoofer

Kicker TRTP 12-Inch Thin Down Firing Subwoofer

Kicker TRTP 12-Inch Thin Down Firing Subwoofer

What you need to know: This powerful, sizable subwoofer has a thin frame that cuts down drastically on mounting depth, making it easy to slide between furniture or tuck into a car.

What you’ll love: It is designed to be optimized for automotive audio systems. It intensifies bass output and does not sacrifice the sound’s punch despite its compact scale and shallow mount. It has built-in air cooling.

What you should consider: Some users have had issues with durability and quick blowout, so be careful of the amplifier you attach to it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Kicker subwoofer for money

Kicker 10-Inch 600 Watt 4 Ohm Vented Thin Profile Subwoofer Enclosure

Kicker 10-Inch 600 Watt 4 Ohm Vented Thin Profile Subwoofer Enclosure

What you need to know: This relatively affordable and thin subwoofer sits at a slight angle to adapt to different setups.

What you’ll love: The slim, angled shape can fit easily behind a seat or tuck up against a wall, out of the way. It can function at 300 watts, but maximum power is achieved at 600 watts. It stands on its own on a floor or flat surface.

What you should consider: Some users reported receiving damaged units or experiencing speaker blowouts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kicker 11HS8 8-Inch 150-Watt Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer

Kicker 11HS8 8-Inch 150-Watt Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer

What you need to know: This small subwoofer is built for people who want a quality bass sound in a small vehicle that lacks the space for a bigger model.

What you’ll love: Its diameter is 8 inches for an ultra-compact design that fits in tight spots. It is 150 watts maximum and specifically made for use in a car. It can easily tuck between or behind car seats.

What you should consider: It is on the expensive side. Customers have found that they blow out fast and the volume may not always go as high as desired.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Elliott Rivette writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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