What Are The Best 15 Inch Subwoofers? – 2020 Edition
Investing in a car audio system is not something to be taken lightly or left to a decision you make on a whim.
If you’ve decided you want some really serious bass, consider stepping things up to some 15” subs.
While they might eat up a little more real estate inside your trunk, in return you’ll get a volume and depth generally not possible with smaller subs.
Compare our picks for the Best 15 Subwoofer
- Top 10 Best 15 Inch Subwoofers of 2020
- 1. Rockford Fosgate 15” Subwoofer (T1D415)
- 2. BOSS Audio P156DVC 15” Subwoofer
- 3. Skar Audio EVL-15 15” Subwoofer
- 4. Skar Audio DNR-15 Competition Car 15” Subwoofer
- 5. Rockford Fosgate P3D4 15” Subwoofer
- 6. Power Acoustic MOFO 15″ Pro Subwoofer (154X MOFO)
- 7. Orion DVC 15” Subwoofer (HCCA 152)
- 8. DS18 SPL Competition Subwoofer (Hooligan-X)
- 9. Kicker Comp 43C154 15” Subwoofer and Enclosure
- 10. Planet Audio AC15D 15” Subwoofer
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How Much Power?
- What Are the Two Types of Enclosures?
- What Is Impedance?
- What About Voice Coils?
- What’s the Difference Between Active vs. Passive Subwoofers?
- How About Frequency Range?
- What About Driver Size?
- Should I Worry About Price?
Top 10 Best 15 Inch Subwoofers of 2020
1. Rockford Fosgate 15” Subwoofer (T1D415)
The Rockford Fosgate T1 is a pricey, upscale sub that combines performance, durability and innovative technology resulting in an outstanding 15” sub to grace any vehicle. Pair with a JL amp for a formidable, bass-heavy beast.
- Outstanding engineering
- SWIFT technology renders wiring a breeze
- Hit the deepest lows without bottoming out
- Not within everyone’s budget
- Need to break sub in gently for a few hours
While the Rockford Fosgate T1 is not cheap, the best things in life seldom are. We’d argue that, although expensive, this 15” sub still represents superb overall value.
1000 watts RMS and an SPL output of 88dB come together to give you all the volume you could reasonably expect in a reasonably compact unit.
Build quality is first-class with an aluminum frame permitting generous cone excursion and Kevlar reinforcing on the cone to increase lifespan.
For a user-friendly and efficient sub that can deal with peaks up to 2000 watts, it’s hard to beat the Rockford Fosgate T1.
2. BOSS Audio P156DVC 15” Subwoofer
Stunning design married to a hard, vibrating bass, this 15” subwoofer packs enough power to rattle your rear vision mirror. Be wary not to overcook these subs as many users report blowing them under heavy fire. To amplify bass and percussion while turning heads with the mean aesthetics, the BOSS Phantom 15” subs are affordable excellence.
- Top-tier power handling
- Thumping but crisp low-end sounds
- Broad frequency range
- Power rating overstated
- Prone to blowing
With 1500 watts RMS power, you’ll get more than enough oomph from this 15” sub even if the 2500 watts peak power is perhaps an ambitious estimate.
The frequency range is exceptional spanning 25Hz right up to 1000Hz. This gives you a great deal of flexibility not just neat power. Even low sounds will come out with extreme clarity.
You won’t get the convenience of an all-in-one powered bundle or the audiophile edge offered by boutique subs, but for an affordable, mainstream 15-incher, the BOSS Phantom punches above its weight.
3. Skar Audio EVL-15 15” Subwoofer
Skar Audio produce budget subwoofers with surprisingly strong build quality and performance. With a welter of sizes from a dinky 6.5” inches through to an 18” behemoth, we opted for the 15” dual 4-ohm model which pushes some heavy air while the bass really thunders from your car.
- Efficient air flow cooling
- Superb RMS power
- Competition-grade cone and surround
- Questions raised about durability
Subwoofers at this price point will always involve some degree of sacrifice and it’s unfair to compare them with range-topping units at ten times the cost. Bearing in mind the extremely competitive price tag, you’ll get a 15” sub that’s more than fit for purpose.
You’ll capture high and low bass notes thanks to the 4-ohm impedance and the 1500 watts of RMS delivers sufficient grunt for most requirements.
As long as you understand you won’t be getting a woofer ready to blow away the competition at the next car audio showdown, you might just be pleasantly surprised at the power kicked out by the Skar.
4. Skar Audio DNR-15 Competition Car 15” Subwoofer
If you have deep pockets and a penchant for blitzing the competition at audio shows, invest in Skar Audio’s DNR-15. This is among the most ear-shattering subs in its class without sound quality taking a hit in the pursuit of volume. It’s certainly not cheap but you get a great deal of bang for your buck.
- Built to endure sustained punishment
- Stupendous levels of RMS and peak power
- Huge triple-stack motor
- Expensive for a 15” sub
The DNR-15 is not a run of the mill sub but a competition-grade beast rated at 5000 watts RMS and a staggering 10,000 watts peak power. The frequency and sensitivity come together to offer superb clarity rather than a wall of thudding noise.
The 4” aluminum voice coil has 8 layers and will cope with being played hard and loud for prolonged periods without any danger of overheating or distortion.
The only real downside to this sub is the price tag. In all other respects, it delivers fully and will not disappoint. This is not a subwoofer for everyone but if you insist on the best and want an uncompromising delivery system for your bass, check out the DNR-15 at your earliest convenience.
5. Rockford Fosgate P3D4 15” Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate specializes in highly effective car audio without charging like a wounded bull. Their Punch series of subwoofers remains a favorite the world over for combining heavy bass with rich sound quality in an attractive and minimalist package.
- Straightforward installation
- Space-saving 15” sub
- Nice frequency range
- Less than ideal RMS rating
- Need some tweaking for clean and round bottom end
Bridging the gap nicely between extortionate boutique subs and deficient cheaper models that deliver nothing but a fuzzy thump, Rockford Fosgate is a name you can trust.
600 watts of RMS power from this dual 4-ohm sub gives you sufficient poke with the ability to handle power under continuous demand. Robust and built to stay the distance, these are not the cheapest 15” subs but they’re certainly up there among the best.
This sub hooks up nicely to the JL Audio Monoblock amp.
Pressure levels are acceptable if underwhelming and the copper-clad voice calls don’t perform with the same vigor as black aluminum. Overall, though, the Rockford Fosgate does all you’d expect a 15” amp to do and won’t plunder your bank account too much in the process.
6. Power Acoustic MOFO 15″ Pro Subwoofer (154X MOFO)
If you’re looking for a highly sophisticated sub at a very keen price point, Power Acoustic’s MOFO is the obvious choice. The MOFO serves up near-competition standard performance at a very affordable price. Pure volume wins out over clarity so think about what you prize most in your car audio. The only other gripe leveled at this sub is that, if anything, this woofer is overpowered.
- Striking blue and black aesthetics
- Ideal for multiple sub set-up
- Impressive build quality considering price
- Doesn’t work well in a closed box
- If anything, this sub is overpowered
While it’s not in the same league as the much pricier DNR-15 and it comes with a number of downsides, the MOFO still merits a place on any list of the best 15” subs.
With 1700 watts of RMS power, this speaker can take peaks of up to 3000 watts, so it’s a more than serviceable woofer at a keen price.
Cone flex is kept to a minimum thanks to the composite composition while still enabling high excursion.
As long as you don’t stifle it in an enclosed box, the MOFO will do you proud.
7. Orion DVC 15” Subwoofer (HCCA 152)
For a competition sub that will churn out some hardcore bass, you can get that perfect mix of power and sound quality that might make you some enemies in the neighborhood. While you’ll need to tinker with the electrics in your ride and invest in another battery, the reward is apparent when you crank up the volume.
- Massive sound output
- Enhanced voice coils with upgrade heat dissipation
- Cone replacement kits supplied by manufacturer
- You’ll need to boost your electrical system
- Extremely heavy at 82 pounds
The RMS power of 2000 watts peaking at 5000 watts provides you with a window-thumping bassline that’s still amazingly sharp.
This modified version has an uprated voice coil that amplifies the volume while further fine-tuning already excellent sound quality. That said, range is somewhat limited between the highs and lows.
While this is by no means the cheapest sub and you’ll also need to invest in a suitable box and capable amp, you’ll be unlikely to regret your decision if you roll with the Orion DVC.
8. DS18 SPL Competition Subwoofer (Hooligan-X)
As the name suggests, this comp-grade subwoofer gives off an uproarious sound. When you step up to SPL competition subs, raw power is not enough. The Hooligan is built to stay the distance and looks mean in black and red. If you’ve got the cash to spare, this is one of the best 15” subs on the market.
- Kicks out an incredibly loud sound
- Superb power handling
- Outstanding build quality
- Very expensive
- Needs to be patiently broken in
DS18 combines power and sensitivity in one very appealing package. At 92dB SPL, the Hooligan outflanks the competition in this class by some distance.
6000 watts RMS power and 4000 watts peak means people will hear you coming from afar when you ratchet up that volume. 4-inch black aluminum coils packed with 4 layers make sure that this excess of power won’t lead to overheating.
Choose from 1-ohm, 2-ohm, or 4-ohm impedance. Frequency ranges from 44Hz to 1300Hz but you might find response slightly lacking at the upper end.
For a top-tier sub that will have your car rattling, the Hooligan kicks like a mule.
9. Kicker Comp 43C154 15” Subwoofer and Enclosure
If you’re looking for a done-for-you subwoofer with a neat enclosure thrown in, you can always rely on Kicker. The vented MDF enclosure brings out the best in the 15” sub and it comes in a very competitive price point. All you’ll need is a suitable amp and you can bang on your tunes and hit the road.
- Ported enclosure complements sub perfectly
- Surround designed for high excursion without blowing
- Nice combination of power, sensitivity and frequency
- No wiring included
- Eats up a lot of space
If you have the room to accommodate a larger unit and you’re looking for a sub and enclosure capable of generating some heavy-duty volume, this 15-incher from Kicker is among your best bets.
300 watts RMS power with 600 watts max is enough to get that bassline pulsing at high volume. The ribbed surround is specially designed to prevent blowout even when the dial’s all the way up.
The vented design of the box comes with plenty of airspace. The surround is durable enough to stand up to being banged around a bit.
It’s not really a case of needing a subwoofer this powerful but of wanting one. If you place sheer unadulterated volume and bass at a premium, you can’t go wrong with this Kicker 15” sub and enclosure.
10. Planet Audio AC15D 15” Subwoofer
Rounding out these 15” subwoofer reviews, here’s a budget-conscious speaker from Planet Audio that won’t let you down in terms of quality or performance. Working admirably in either a ported or sealed enclosure, you’ll only get the driver so you’ll need to invest in a separate box and amp.
- Keen price point
- Clean and powerful bass
- Decent frequency range
- Durability is less than impressive
With 1050 watts RMS power and maxing out at 2100 watts, these nimble little subs give you more than sufficient volume. You’ll get a worthwhile frequency range as well so you won’t be sacrificing sound quality in the quest for pure noise.
The PP cone, aluminum voice coil and foam surround are all as you would expect. The only real gripe is that overall build quality means the subs are prone to blow or rattle under heavy use. Think about the price tag before judging these subs too harshly.
If you’re looking for a simple entry point into the world of car subwoofers, these Planet Audio are well worth popping on your shortlist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
For general advice on buying the best subwoofers for your car, check out our detailed guide here.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to 15-inch subwoofers such as power, enclosures, impedance, voice coils, and more.
How Much Power?
When deciding which 15-inch subwoofer to buy, power is one of the most important things to consider. RMS power tells you the average power of any subwoofer. But for 15-inch subwoofers, you’ll want one with at least 750 RMS watts.
What Are the Two Types of Enclosures?
Before you purchase a 15-inch subwoofer, you should also figure out what type of enclosure works best with it. There are two types to choose from: sealed (or acoustic suspension) and bass reflex (ported or vented). Which one you choose will affect how your subwoofers perform.
With the acoustic suspension, there is a sealed enclosure that produces a clear bass response by reducing bass distortion. They accomplish this by absorbing the shock produced by low frequencies. However, acoustic suspension enclosures also have a high level of power consumption.
With bass reflex enclosures, you can get a higher efficiency system at low frequencies because they generate sound from the rear side of the diaphragm. You may sacrifice the accuracy of sound in exchange for a more power-efficient subwoofer. Plus, vented enclosures are the type of subwoofer that makes your car vibrate, so keep that in mind.
What Is Impedance?
Basically, impedance is the subwoofer’s ability to offer resistance, which in turn affects the sound and bass output. You’ll find that the most common impedance is 4 ohms, but when it comes to 15-inch subwoofers, you should look for 2 ohms or 8 ohms with dual voice coils.
What About Voice Coils?
Subwoofers will either have one voice coil (SVC) or two voice coils (DVC). While a DVC sub can be more expensive, it does provide several impedance connection points. This may give the amplifier more power. However, a DVC doesn’t necessarily outperform an SVC in terms of frequency response or power rating.
Voice coils are incredibly fragile, so you will want to ensure the metal cover is durable enough to protect them from impact. It should be noted that different companies use different types of metal for protection, so do your research.
What’s the Difference Between Active vs. Passive Subwoofers?
Whether you have an active or passive subwoofer depends on the source of power they have. You’ll find that active subwoofers come with their own power source as well as an amplifier and other types of accessories.
If you have a passive subwoofer, you’ll have to hook them up to an external power source or amp to run it.
Most people choose active subwoofers because there’s less hassle involved with installing them. But if you choose a passive subwoofer, be sure to review your car’s manual and see if there are any issues with power drain on your car’s system.
How About Frequency Range?
In short, frequency is defined as the range of sound vibrations, from low to high frequencies, measured in hertz (Hz). The human ear can only hear in the 20 to 20,000 Hz range.
So when it comes to subwoofers, they generally output frequencies in the 20 to 200 Hz range given they are meant for the low end of the spectrum. Anything lower than 4 to 16 Hz is going to be felt rather than heard unless you have exceptional hearing.
In terms of the ideal frequency of a subwoofer, most would say that 35 hertz is a good measurement. But, if you want your subwoofer to catch the higher end of the bass spectrum, notes better, then look for a high-frequency one.
What About Driver Size?
If you want a deep bass sound, then be on the lookout for subwoofers with larger drivers. You should know that larger drivers have a slower response time, so you need to decide if your music preferences demand more bass. If your music preferences don’t require more bass, then a smaller driver will be fine.
We should note that music with a lot of rhythm, or a high number of beats per second, bigger drivers are not going to be able to handle it. Your sound will be less clear as a result.
Should I Worry About Price?
In this guide, we tried to offer a wide range of subwoofers for every budget, because we know not everyone can afford to buy the highest-end subwoofer on the market.
All of the ones we reviewed are a good buy for the money, even the more affordable ones. So rest assured that you will get what you pay for, no matter what your budget is.
We hope this look at some powerful 15” subwoofers has fired you up for action.
If you’re looking for huge bass and you don’t mind spending a little for the privilege, this size of woofer is ideal if you have the trunk space to accommodate.
While we have reviewed some cheaper models so there’s something for everyone, it might be worth considering a smaller sub instead of these lower-end models. If you have exacting audio standards, you just won’t get an inexpensive 15” sub that will last the distance.
Come back soon for more car audio mayhem!