Guide to the Best 12-Inch Subwoofer

Editor’s Choice

  • The HEDD BASS 12 has a Lineariser tool
  • The subwoofer has ported or closed port plugs
  • The subwoofer has a 12” honeycomb diaphragm for even audio distribution

Best Overall

  • Rugged construction with birch cabinet
  • Powerful 12″ driver
  • Onboard amplification with 1,200W RMS Class-D power

Budget-Friendly

Best 12-Inch Subwoofer

  • Comes with a 4-pack of powerful internally wired subwoofers
  • Dual tear and fatigue resistant poly-cotton spiders
  • High temp voice coil

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best 12-inch subwoofer, then I’d recommend the Yorkville ES12P 12″ Powered Subwoofer as the best one.

A great subwoofer is an integral part of an audio system or home theater setup. The deep bass they produce can change one’s entire listening experience. It allows audiophiles to enjoy the music with more than just their ears, regardless of whether they are using it with a home theater system or with the speakers they use to listen to music.

When it comes to sound, more is better. Many people opt for a 12-inch subwoofer because of the sound and clear bass tones it can relay in music. The best 12-inch subwoofer will give you the bass-laden low-end you need. Not only that but expect volume differences and cleaner audio output once you have them installed. 

Here are the Best 12 Inch Subwoofers we will be reviewing:

What is the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer?

What is a 12 Inch Subwoofer?

12-inch subwoofers are one of the most sought among all product lines offered in the market. They handle more power, play at a louder volume, and are boomier, which generally sounds better than the rest. However, they are also more expensive and require more space for mounting and overall enclosure volume. 

How much power does a 12-inch subwoofer need and handle?

The amount of energy a 12-inch subwoofer generates depends on the quality of sound it delivers. There are two factors to consider regarding power and sound: (1) RMS power handling and (2) sensitivity rating.

RMS power pertains to the amount of energy a subwoofer can handle during constant use. In contrast, the sensitivity rating determines the subwoofer’s ability to convert fuel into sound output. A 12-inch subwoofer, to produce a high-quality sound, needs a high sensitivity rating with a low RMS power handling. As 12-inch subwoofers play music louder and boomier, they typically have a sensitivity rating of 90dB with an RMS power of 200W.

What amplifier is compatible with a 12-inch subwoofer?

The best way to determine the compatibility is to check the amp’s RMS power output at different impedance levels. The amp’s RMS power output is then divided into the number of 12-inch subwoofers you intend to use. The result can be the basis for which amplifier you choose to buy. 

12 Inch vs 10 Inch vs 8 Inch

The main difference between the three subwoofers is their size. An 8-inch subwoofer has the smallest size, making it the easiest to install. They are considered the standard size subwoofer and are found in most stock sound systems. An 8-inch subwoofer will perfectly deliver a tight and clean bass in a small space. 

On the other hand, a 10-inch subwoofer offers a more excellent bass response and has more clarity than 8-inch subs. They handle more power and play at a higher volume than the previous subwoofer type. They are also easy to install and cheaper than buying two 8-inch subwoofers.

But if you’re looking for more power, better sound quality, and have the budget for it, opt for a 12-inch subwoofer instead. A 12-inch subwoofer can do everything a 10-inch does, just better. 

Purpose of Using the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

Improves the sound system

A 12-inch subwoofer not only gives a superior sound quality but also reduces strain on the audio system. Lower frequencies take up more power and pressure resulting in an underperforming system. Because 12-inch subwoofers can pick up low frequencies, they can produce boosted bass at a loud volume without strain.

Smooth sound

Although 12-inch subwoofers have a reputation for delivering deep and rich bass, that’s not all they can do. The best 12-inch subwoofer also lessens the strain from loudspeakers, thus producing a smoother and more accurate sound. 

Speed and transient response

Some music genres are too fast for ordinary sound systems. They have difficulty translating the frequency quickly, leading to skipped beats or smeared music. But you will not have this problem with a 12-inch subwoofer. Since they have a speed and transient response, they can receive and deliver fast beats without skipping or restraining.

Benefits of Using the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

Bass output and effects

A 12-inch subwoofer will deliver more bass than the other subwoofer types on the market. Because 12-inch subwoofers are more extensive, there is more room for air to move inside the device. Thus accurately producing sound at lower frequencies. 

Performance and loudness

A 12-inch and a 10-inch subwoofer are the same in terms of performance. The difference, however, is that a 12-inch subwoofer is louder. This trait is also a result of the air traveling through a larger surface area. Because air can move freely, a 12-inch subwoofer creates a more audible sound output.

Tonality

12-inch subwoofers will play at lower frequencies compared to the other types. So if your setup is dedicated to mid to low-end, 12-inch subwoofers will give you the best audio results. Usually, the range that sounds best on 12-inch subwoofers is 60-250 Hz.

The resonant frequency and frequency response

A 12-inch subwoofer will respond to lower frequencies better because they have more significant drivers. In terms of bass frequency response, a 12-inch subwoofer is the better choice out of the others. As for resonant frequency, a 12-inch subwoofer is less likely to distort sound as it plays lower frequencies. 

Size, weight, and power demands

If you have the space to accommodate a 12-inch subwoofer, we suggest that you do get one. They can do everything a 10-inch subwoofer can and more. A 12-inch subwoofer is louder, has a higher power level, and produces a better bass output. 

Things to Look for When Choosing the Best 12 Inch Subwoofer

Powered vs Passive

Powered or active 12-inch subwoofers are an all-in-one unit sound system. They come complete with all the components – an amplifier and a speaker. Powered subwoofers are easier to install and are beginner-friendly. The only downside is that it has an underpowered sub.

Although passive 12-inch subwoofers do not have a built-in amp, they perform better than powered subs. Passive subwoofers are more flexible because they offer more customization options. However, the downside to passive subs is it’s not beginner-friendly. You need enough knowledge to match your 12-inch subwoofer with the right amp effectively.

Speaker sensitivity

The speaker sensitivity pertains to a subwoofer’s ability to convert power into sound output. This spec corresponds to how loud the subwoofer will be. The average speaker sensitivity of a 12-inch subwoofer is 88 dB. If you want to push it further, 92 dB or higher sensitivity gives you the best sound quality.

Frequency range

12-inch subwoofers deliver the best sound quality at lower frequencies. So, you’d want a subwoofer with frequency ranges between 20 to 30 Hz. The lower the frequency range, the better your 12-inch subwoofer will sound.

The type of enclosure

There are two main types of subwoofer enclosure; a sealed one and a ported one. A sealed enclosure has a tight package where the most profound sound reproduction is created. In contrast, a ported pen is of lower quality than a sealed chamber. However, they can produce a much louder sound than the first type.

The number of voice coils

Although they do not significantly affect the sound quality, it still helps to know the number of voice coils present on your 12-inch subwoofer. For example, subwoofers with dual coils are more flexible in your setup because they have more connectivity options. Single-coil subwoofers have limited configuration options.

Dimensions of the woofer

As discussed earlier, 12-inch subwoofers have better and stronger bass reproduction because of their size. However, their size could also be a cause as to why others prefer the more minor variants. Let’s be fair; a 12-inch subwoofer will be prominent and bulky. So before you buy one, make sure that you have enough space to accommodate a 12-inch subwoofer.

Impedance

Impedance pertains to the subwoofer’s resistance level that will react to the speakers and other equipment. Choosing the best between 2-Ohm and 4-Ohm depends on your preference. An impedance of 2-Ohm will produce a louder sound, but you’d have to sacrifice the sound quality. While a 4-Ohm will give you a better sound quality but at a lower volume.

Yorkville ES12P 12″ Powered Subwoofer

The Yorkville ES12P 12″ Powered Subwoofer is a compact and high-input loaded subwoofer. Designed to deliver a powerful bass to any setup, the ES12P has a built-in amplifier that peaks 2400W. Work with multiple subwoofers freely with the XLR mono composite output and the standard XLR and ¼” inputs and outputs. Controls for high-frequency roll-off and active settings are easier to access for this subwoofer. Plus, it can be accessed wirelessly via Bluetooth as well!

Besides the excellent sound output, the Yorkville ES12P comes in a sleek design that perfectly fits any setting. It is made with an 11-ply enclosure, is coated with heavy-duty black paint, and finished with a perforated black metal grille. There are also two handles on the side for more accessible transport.

Pros:

  • Rugged construction with birch cabinet
  • Powerful 12″ driver
  • Onboard amplification with 1,200W RMS Class-D power
  • Small footprint with a huge output
  • Low-frequency response down to 45Hz

Cons:

  • The Yorkville ES12P is quite extensive and can be bulky for transport

HEDD BASS12 12″ Powered Studio Subwoofer

Want powerful and precise low-frequency reproduction? HEDD BASS 12 has got you covered! This compact studio subwoofer is compatible with any previous model studio monitor. Low-frequency extension control is easier to access through the ported selection knob on the rear panel. The BASS 12 has an onboard Lineariser for audibly improved spatial reproduction. You can also switch the monitor from a bass-reflex design to a sealed infinite baffle using the Lineariser. Potential listeners will appreciate the stable and effortless audio output of the HEDD BASS 12.

The HEDD BASS 12 is made with a sturdy unibody casing featuring a lacquer finish. This highly durable and aesthetically excellent subwoofer offers 700W compatibility and can be powered anywhere you take it. 

Pros:

  • The HEDD BASS 12 has a Lineariser tool
  • The subwoofer has ported or closed port plugs
  • The subwoofer has a 12” honeycomb diaphragm for even audio distribution
  • Utilizes a lacquered finish for high durability and great aesthetics
  • Removable plugs for the bass reflex tubes
  • Introduces a completely phase-linear Sat-Sub system

Cons:

  • Potential sound problems may arise if the positioning of the subwoofer and monitor is incorrect

Rockford Fosgate P2-2X12 12-inch 4-Pack Dual Loaded Subwoofer

Best 12-Inch Subwoofer

If you want a high-quality subwoofer and are willing to splurge a little more for it, then try out the Rockford Fosgate P2-2X12. This insane twin 12-inch subwoofer can handle up to 800W (400W each subwoofer). The P2-2X12 comes in a dual enclosure constructed with a ⅝” medium-density fireboard allowing air to move freely inside. Pair that with a 1-Ohm total impedance; expect a very loud and bassy subwoofer. 

Overall, the P2-2X12 doesn’t only sound good; it looks just as good too. The enclosure is well-made and is double-secured with screws and an aluminum trim piece around each subwoofer. The whole box is covered with a high-density black carpet which goes well with any interior design and is safe for travel.

Pros:

  • Comes with a 4-pack of powerful internally wired subwoofers
  • Dual tear and fatigue resistant poly-cotton spiders
  • High temp voice coil
  • Flexible lead wire design
  • Clean bass output

Cons:

  • It is quite extensive and can be bulky for transport

QSC KS212C K Cardioid Dual 12″ Powered Subwoofer

What sets the QSC KS212C is the unique single-box cardioid array. This impressive array aims to keep the bass in its place, directing all audio output towards the subwoofer’s front. Although it’s a compact package, this subwoofer can expect solid and tight bass. Using one of these subwoofers was enough to cover two without sacrificing sound quality. Overall, the KS212C has an excellent sound output across all music programs and at all levels. 

But if you do need to add additional units to build up your sound system, the KS212C works well with other departments. Its cardioid design opens up a more comprehensive range of placement options. You can place this subwoofer anywhere, and it’ll give you the same audio output every time. The subwoofer is also very compact, and very easy to carry and move around.

Pros:

  • The innovative design achieves cardioid sound coverage
  • Powerful Class D amplification with 3,600W peak output
  • Dual 12 in. long-excursion drivers
  • Dual 6th order band-pass design
  • 15dB SPL attenuation front-to-rear

Cons:

  • The casters slightly rattle and cause noise during heavy operations

Skar Audio Dual 12″ SDR Series Complete Subwoofer Bass Package 

Best 12-Inch Subwoofer

For an all-in-one package that gives you a powerful, deep, and tight bass, check out this Skar Audio Dual 12” Subwoofer Package. Included in the package are two 12-inch subwoofers from the SDR series. Each subwoofer has an impedance level of 4-Ohm. They are also pre-packaged and wired up inside the custom dual 12 ported enclosure. Together with the amplifier included, they deliver a hard-hitting, low-spectrum sound.

This whole package not only sounds great, but it also looks great as well. The subwoofer’s enclosure has a unique split chamber design for high-quality bass output. It is also finished with a premium-grade black carpet that perfectly fits any stage setup.

Pros:

  • Great for Amplifiers up to 1,500 Watts
  • Includes 4 Gauge Complete Oxygen-Free Copper Amplifier Installation Kit
  • Includes two SDR-12 D4 subwoofers pre-installed and pre-wired
  • Includes In-Line ANL Fuse Holder
  • Includes 120 Amp ANL Fuse

Cons:

  • The subwoofer has to be installed in a well-ventilated area to prevent overheating
  • The bass is not as deep as other subwoofers in the market

Conclusion

There’s no denying that a 12-inch subwoofer plays louder, has a higher power level, and produces the best bass quality on the market. Its size is not just for show but also directly correlates to the power it brings. So it’s only fitting that the best 12-inch subwoofer is the Yorkville ES12P 12″ Powered Subwoofer.

The Yorkville ES12P is designed to deliver a powerful bass to any setup, whether for live stages, theater, or DJ setups. Bring on more power and freely work with multiple subwoofers for more prominent live sets. The built-in amplifier also contributes to the fantastic sound output. Besides sound, the ES12P also has a sleek design that fits every stage you perform. Plus, you can access all the controls wirelessly through an app on your phone.

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.