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Best bass systems for your small car or hatchback

Crutchfield Advisors love helping customers find the right subwoofers


e field lots of calls from customers who want to improve the bass in their car audio systems. We asked two of our experts for recom­mendations about adding bass. JC and Dee, who are Advisors at our Norton, Virginia call center, are huge bass-heads and were happy to share their insights. 

"What subwoofer will work best in my hatchback?"

Below are their recommendations for putting a subwoofer in a small car or hatchback-style vehicle, for different tastes and budgets. First we'll list their suggestions for people who want loud, car-shaking bass. 

Then they'll share their favorite products for people who just want to fill in that missing low-frequency sound. The goal is to complete the musical experience without rattling the windows. 

Loud bass for under $200

Want big bass but you're a little short on cash? This subwoofer package offers a great way to add bottom-end punch to your vehicle without putting a strain on your wallet. It includes two 10-inch subs in a ported enclosure along with a matching power amplifier. 

image of MTX Magnum

MTX Magnum Audio 250-watt bass package

Loud bass for around $500

If you have a little money and want the biggest bang for your bucks, this sub-amp combo will probably fit the bill. The 12" sub, ported enclosure, and 500-watt amplifier have been matched together for maximum performance.

Rockford Fosgate P3-1X12 ported box and 12" sub and Rockford Fosgate Prime R2-500X1 amplifier

Rockford Fosgate Prime R2-500X1 amplifier

Rockford Fosgate P3-1X12 ported box and 12" subwoofer

Loud bass for a high budget

When money's no object and you crave loud bass, go with the best. And what's better than pairing an award-winning subwoofer — cited for power-handling and sound quality — with 1,000 watts of crystal-clear amplification? The amp also features onboard distortion detection, which alerts you when the volume's gotten out of hand.

Morel Ultimio Titanium sub and Rockford Fosgate Punch amp

Morel Ultimo Titanium 104 10" subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X2 amplifier — 1,000 watts RMS

Adding bass to make your music sound better

Some people don't want shake their car apart and impress (annoy) other drivers. Some people just want to turn their car into a great place for listening to music. Here are the top picks from Dee and JC for filling your vehicle with good-sounding bass. 

Bass fill for under $200

The simplest way to add bass fill to your system is with a compact powered subwoofer. Whether mounted under a car seat or in an out-of-the-way location in the cab of your truck, this little workhorse will surprise you with its impressive bass and its ability to mesh perfectly with the rest of your system.

Sound Ordinance sub

Sound Ordnance B-8PTD powered subwoofer

Bass fill for around $500

You don't need to rattle windows and set off car alarms, but you do want a subwoofer large enough to fill your truck, sedan, or SUV with bass you can feel. Here's a modestly-priced system that'll fit in a lot of different places in almost any kind of vehicle. 

JL Audio powerd subwoofer

JL Audio MicroSub+™ 250-watt 8" powered subwoofer 

Bass fill for a high budget

You want the bass in your car to sound like it does in your home theater, with lots of low-frequency impact that blends in well with your high-fidelity music. This package puts together top-of-the-line components that'll produce some of the cleanest and most accurate bass tones you'll ever hear. 

Focal K2 Power E sub and Morel MPS amp

Focal K2 Power E 25 KX 10" subwoofer

Morel MPS 1.550 subwoofer amplifier — 550 watts RMS

crutchfield advisors love bass

Wiring and some boxes not included

Don't forget that you'll always need to add a wiring kit, speaker wire, and often a subwoofer box to house the sub. This will add to the cost of the gear listed above, so plan accordingly. You can find appropriate recommendations listed in each subwoofer's and amplifier's accessories, or just talk to our advisors and they'll fix you up. 

Get yours today

If adding a subwoofer to your system sounds like something you want to do, head on over to Car Subwoofers and then Subwoofer Amplifiers to shop for your new gear. Or better yet, call us, so a knowledgeable Advisor will make sure you get the right bass for your music and vehicle. And if you want, you can contact Dee or JC directly! 

  • Jared Palen from Missoula MT

    Posted on 8/15/2019

    First off, thanks for all the great tools you offer to help. My any of the low profile powered subs have RCA OUTPUTS? Have a friend that wants to add 2 in an F350. Thanks in advance.

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/16/2019

    Jared, I don't think any of the compact powered subwoofers Crutchfield offers feature RCA outputs. Your friend will have to use Y-cord connectors to get two inputs for two subs.
  • MrAli

    Posted on 7/31/2018

    I always crutchfeld articles. please make available RSS feed feature for this section for more reader convenience and quick awareness of new articles. thank you.

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 7/31/2018

    MrAli, Crutchfield doesn't have an RSS feed, but you can receive newsletters and notifications about new articles after creating an account with us. Start by clicking the "Your Account" icon at the top of the web page.