5 of the Best Shallow Mount Subwoofer for (Almost) Every Subwoofer Size 2017

Ever since I heard “Household Goods,” the remix by Zeds Dead, I knew I my car speakers aren’t enough for me to enjoy the song fully. I needed a sub, so I can feel my chest thump along with the song.

The problem is, I was driving a Kia Picanto. So, yes, space was an issue.

Good thing a friend showed me the holy grail of subwoofer for small cars like mine—the shallow mount.

Shallow mount subwoofer is designed for compact cars, race cars, small trucks, or any vehicle that isn’t blessed to have a lot of space to spare.​

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Shallow Mount vs. Regular Subwoofer

Aside from the relatively small space it occupies, a shallow mount subwoofer is your best bet if you’re after portability.

Shallow mount subwoofers are usually lightweight, so you won’t find it difficult to move it when the need arises.

The downside of having a compact sub, however, is its sound quality. Yes, it gives you that chest thumping bass, but it won’t be as clear and loud as the regular subwoofers. This is all because shallow mount subs seemed to be condensed, so its cone movements are also limited.

So when looking for one, consider the materials used. These should be picked carefully so as not to compromise much of the sound quality.

Another thing that may tick you off is the shallow mount’s durability. Maybe it is because compared to a regular subwoofer, a shallow mount has more of its parts exposed. And these exposed areas are prone to faster environment-caused wear and tear.

Always check for a sub’s build quality.​

Where to Place a Shallow Mount Subwoofer

While you can place them almost anywhere because they don’t take up much space anyway, there are two optimal spots for these condensed bass players.

  • Trunk. The trunk is my go-to spot if I want my neighbors to know I am in the hood. Also, if my friends and I decide to have an instant party. Putting the subwoofer in the trunk gives you a louder outside sound.
  • Rear deck. If you prefer to keep the lows to yourself, the speaker deck behind the back seats are your sweet spot. The car interior acts as your second enclosure, giving you that semi-tight, clean bass.

The Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers

1./ Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8

Sale
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 8' Dual 2-Ohm Punch Series Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
82 Reviews
Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 8" Dual 2-Ohm Punch Series Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
  • 8" Dual 2-Ohm Punch Series Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
  • Power Handling: Peak: 300 watts / RMS: 150 watts
  • Impedance: Dual 2 ohms
  • Top-mount depth: 2-11/16"
  • Frequency response: 38-250 Hz

Last update on 2017-08-17 PST - Details

Specifications

  • Size: 8”
  • Impedance: 2 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 82 dB
  • Power handling RMS: 150 W
  • Power handling Max: 300 W
  • Mounting depth: 2-11/16”

In almost every subwoofer article I wrote, there is an entry from Rockford Fosgate. Not because they are paying me to do it nor I’m a fanatic, but it’s just that this brand delivers quality subs.

I would like to start off by the surround it uses for P3SD2-8. Other subwoofers use either foam or rubber. This sub asked help from Santropene™. While Santropene™ is still another type of rubber, it stands out among all the rubber types because of its extreme temperature resistance.

In the world of subwoofers, the higher the material’s resistance to heat is, the better. This is especially necessary if you plan to use your sub for a prolonged period.

Santropene is also known to have a good fatigue resistance. It is also designed to withstand several elements in the atmosphere that are known to make rubbers stiff such as weather and ozone. In other words, this material is reliable if you are looking for durability.

Another factor that makes P3SD2-8 a quality sub is the tinsel leads. Tinsel is commonly used when high mechanical flexibility is necessary. This is because tinsel leads are relatively more resistant to metal fatigue failure compared to other wires.

The next factor is the anodized aluminum voice coil. Aluminum is known to be lighter than copper; hence, it is ideal for speakers that need big movements such as the subs. Anodizing, on the other hand, is a process where metal is converted so that it becomes durable and corrosion-resistant.

Lastly, I like the FlexFit basket design, especially that this is a shallow mount subwoofer. Given the limited space we have in the car, we don’t have the liberty to adjust and readjust our subs.

The FlexFit design helps us install the sub much faster because we can twist and turn it any way we like until we find the perfect fit. It gets rid of the remove and realigns process we normally do with other subs.​

Pros

  • Uses Santropene™ surround
  • Uses tinsel leads
  • Has optional grille
  • Has FlexFit Basket
  • Voice coil is anodized aluminum

Cons

  • Low power handling
  • Low sensitivity

You can also refer the video below for additional review:

Conclusion

Regarding durability and quality, the P3SD2-8 is no doubt a winner. However, because of its low sensitivity and low power handling, you may not go as loud as you want.

In other words, this shallow mount subwoofer is not created for sharing music. It’s meant to be enjoyed alone.


2./ Kicker 40CWRT672 CompRT

Kicker 40CWRT672 CompRT 6-3/4' Car Subwoofer - Each (Black)
48 Reviews
Kicker 40CWRT672 CompRT 6-3/4" Car Subwoofer - Each (Black)
  • Kicker 40CWRT672 6.75" CompRT-Series Car Subwoofer
  • Power Rating: 300 Watts Peak / 150 Watts RMS
  • True shallow-mount subwoofer great for compact cars or even motorcycle saddlebags Suitable for the trickiest installations
  • Suitable for the trickiest installations
  • Inverted-bumped back plate and bumped top plate for full voice-coil clearance and excursion

Last update on 2017-08-17 PST - Details

Specifications

  • Size: 6.75”
  • Impedance: 2 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 84.6 dB
  • Power handling RMS: 150 W
  • Power handling Max: 300 W
  • Mounting depth: 2.75”

I have reviewed Kicker subs before, and I can say that it is also designed for durability and quality sound.

First off, it is also made with Santoprene™ surrounds. As mentioned earlier, this type of rubber is more reliable than its neoprene counterpart, especially in terms of heat-, fatigue-, and stiffness-resistance. For this material and other durable elements, this subwoofer is weatherproof, making it ideal for outdoor use.

Another contributor to its durability is the 40CWRT672’s double venting system. This system allows for better cooling; thus, keeping the internal coils, wires, and what not from getting damaged due to heat.

This shallow mount subwoofer also features bumped back and top plates. This translates to preserved linearity that results in accurate bass playing.

But the biggest factor that may ultimately make you want to consider this sub is its true shallow mounting depth and small cone size. At less than 3 inches for the depth (a few millimeters longer than a pebble’s diameter), you can surely fit it in vehicles not blessed to have ample space-even motorcycles.

Pros

  • Thin mounting depth
  • Weatherproof
  • Injection-molded polypropylene cone
  • Bumped back and top plate
  • Has double venting

Cons

  • Low power handling
  • Low sensitivity

You can also refer the video below for additional review

Conclusion

Kicker’s 40CWRT672 is a sure winner if you are after saving a lot of space. However, note that this subwoofer is small and has low power handling, which means it can’t go as loud as you want. This means it may not be very useful for your outdoor parties.


3./ Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F

Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F 12 1400 Watt Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
59 Reviews
Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F 12 1400 Watt Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
  • 12" 4-ohm shallow-mount subwoofer
  • Carbon-glass fiber composite cone with butyl rubber surround
  • Cast aluminum basket
  • Power range: 50-350 watts RMS

Last update on 2017-08-17 PST - Details

Specifications

  • Size: 12”
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • Power handling RMS: 350 W
  • Power handling Max: 1400 W
  • Mounting depth: 3-15/16”

Because it is imperative for shallow mount subwoofers to be more durable than the traditional subs as they are more exposed, Kenwood made sure to integrate hardwearing elements into Excelon KFC-XW1200F.

One of which is the basket made of die cast aluminum. While we already know that aluminum is lightweight and excellent for high operating temperatures with outstanding corrosion resistance, die casting it adds more benefit.

Some of these are making it more lightweight, versatile, and stable. All of these are needed in a subwoofer to ensure long-lastingness.

But probably what will capture your attention, as it captured mine, is the material used in the cone. Instead of the usual paper or plastic ones, this subwoofer is made of fiberglass.

Fiberglass may be next to kevlar speakers in terms of power handling and lightness. This is probably why it is used in many entry-level audiophiles and other expensive speakers. It is stiff enough to handle high power yet lightweight for a quality sound.​

Pros

  • High sensitivity
  • High power handling
  • Glass fiber cone
  • Has heat transfer system
  • Uses die-cast aluminum basket

Cons

  • Single voice coil
  • Not the shallowest mount

You can also refer the video below for additional review

Conclusion

If high power is what you are looking for, this subwoofer may be the one for you. Its high RMS paired with high sensitivity will surely give you that boom you want, making it perfect to announce your presence outdoors.

However, note that it’s a single voice coil so your amp should be extra powerful if you wish to hook up more than one subwoofer. Also, its mounting depth is almost 4 inches, which may compromise relatively more space.


4./ Pioneer TSSWX2502

Sale
Pioneer TSSWX2502 10-Inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure Sub Woofer
402 Reviews
Pioneer TSSWX2502 10-Inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure Sub Woofer
  • Music Power (Nominal): 1,200 W (300 W)
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 125 Hz
  • Sensitivity (1 W/1 m): 93 dB, Impedance: Single 4 Ohm
  • Tight bass from a shallow compact design, Reinforced MICA injection-molded resin preloaded subwoofer cone structure
  • Carpeted, non-slip and scratch resistant enclosure surface

Last update on 2017-08-17 PST - Details

Specifications

  • Size: 10”
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 93 dB
  • Power handling RMS: 300 W
  • Power handling Max: 1200 W
  • Mounting depth: n/a

Pioneer’s TSSWX2502 has probably the rookie in the sub-game in mind. Those who do not know yet how to install subwoofers anywhere in their car. Which is why they created this with the pre-made enclosure.

Another thing I like in the enclosure that comes with it is its carpet coating, making it scratch-free. If your car’s trunk is just like mine—anything goes in—chances are any of this “anything” can hit and bump into your subwoofer.

Having the TSSWX2502’s enclosure frees you from worrying whether your sub is OK after all the rattling and hitting that happens in the trunk of your car.

Another factor that makes this sub durable is its reinforced cone using MICA injection-molded resin. MICA is known to have high resistance to various elements such as heat, solvents, and alkalies. It is also moisture-proof and elastic. In other words, this component has several benefits that when used in a subwoofer, extra durability is achieved.

The last thing that might impress you is that the push terminals on the enclosure are angled, making it easier for us to hook it up to external paraphernalia such as the amp and the like.​

Pros

  • Has preloaded enclosure
  • Has oversized cone surface
  • Has angled push terminal
  • Enclosure is scratch resistant
  • MICA reinforced cone

Cons

  • You can’t design your own enclosure

You can also refer the video below for additional review

Conclusion

If you are one of the individuals who were asleep when the gods showered us with creativity, buying a subwoofer with a preloaded enclosure may work best for you. And Pioneer’s TSSWX2502 is your best bet.

But keep in mind that you are pretty much limited where you can put it (most likely just in your trunk). Also, if you want a more creative enclosure, you may find this quite a dull.


5./ Jl Audio 10tw3-d4

Jl Audio 10tw3-d4 Shallow-mount 10
35 Reviews
Jl Audio 10tw3-d4 Shallow-mount 10
  • 10TW3-D4 - JL Audio 10" Dual 4-Ohm W3 Thin-Line Series Subwoofer
  • Power Handling: RMS: 100-400 watts
  • Injection molded, mica-filled polypropylene cone
  • High-roll rubber surround
  • Top-mount depth: 3-1/4"

Last update on 2017-08-17 PST - Details

Specifications

  • Size: 10”
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 82.1 dB
  • Power handling RMS: 400 W
  • Power handling Max: N/A
  • Mounting depth: 3.25”

JL Audio’s 10tw3-d4 has the highest power handling among all my entries here. This means that if you are into loudness either to let the other drivers at the stoplight know what music you’re listening to or just to let them know you exist, this shallow mount subwoofer is for you.

One thing I like about this is that despite its cone size and power handling, its mounting depth remains to be really shallow at just quarter inch past 3 inches. This translates to easy installation in almost any space that can accommodate a 10-inch sub.

Also, I like that despite its shallow mounting depth, the sound quality is not compromised thanks to the concentric tube suspension system. This system ensures that the excursion needed to play the low frequencies is not restricted.

Plus, because this subwoofer has no pole vents, we can mount it close to the rear wall of the enclosure. This, together with the small sealed volume enclosure requirements, saves us some more space.

Pros

  • High power handling
  • Shallow mounting depth
  • No pole vents
  • Small sealed enclosure volume requirements
  • Has concentric tube architecture

Cons

  • Low sensitivity

You can also refer the video below for additional review

Conclusion

A mix of a big driver, high power, and shallow mounting depth makes this subwoofer a perfect choice for those who want loudness without giving up a lot of car space.

However, take note that this has low sensitivity. But it should not matter much as it high power handling got it covered.​


Wrapping It All Up

While some people assume that shallow mount subwoofer can never be on a par with the regular subs, there are those that prove them wrong. Just like the ones listed above.

So if you’re having space issue but want bass, nonetheless, get any of these subwoofers listed above and feel your chest thump every single time.

Erin Taylor
 

Chief editor of YouthTune, a music adventurer. I love learning about music and audio devices, which I eventually share with others so that they too can go on exploring the melodious world of music.

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