When searching for a good car subwoofer, you will find hundreds of different models, sizes, and brands. One brand which you probably come across often is Kicker.
Since Kicker is so popular and you can find their subwoofers nearly everywhere, you may be wondering if Kicker car subs are good? Well, let’s find out.
Kicker car subwoofers are some of the best in the car audio industry. They offer a wide variety of subwoofer families with both single and dual voice coils that produce hard to beat strong bass. If you have a smaller car, then the 8 or 10-inch subwoofer would be the best option for you. However, if you have a larger car or SUV, the 12 or 15-inch subwoofer would be better, providing a more powerful bass.
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Tip: It’s hard picking only one specific sub, but when looking at the value for money, I recommend the Kicker 44CWCS124 (link to Amazon)
It’s a 12″ sub that delivers surround, deep bass with grace and clarity. It creates frequencies so low and deep that you can’t hear them, but you can feel them well.
In the article below, I will guide you on which Kicker subwoofers are best for specific car types and the key differences between different types. I will also summarize Kicker subwoofer families and provide my few top picks so that you can choose the best product for your needs.
How to Tell a Kicker Subwoofer Is of the Best Quality?
There are many subwoofer brands out there, each of different quality, which means that what might sound good to one person may sound entirely different for someone else.
But that’s not the case with Kicker subwoofers.
There’s a consensus about its quality, and many online reviewers give Kicker subwoofers top ratings, which means they agree on how good the bass from the subwoofer makes them feel.
Unlike picking a speaker, when choosing a subwoofer, the decision is objective.
While finding the right speaker is subjective (it depends on appearance, form factor, voicing, etc.), a high-quality subwoofer is more about the specs.
However, to have what works best for you, you must pick a subwoofer based on:
- What type of music do you listen to?
- What’s the size of the enclosure?
- Is it wired or wireless?
- What’s the car’s size in which you’ll be installing the subwoofer?
- Is the enclosure ported or sealed?
Now, does this mean you should test every Kicker subwoofer out there to get what’s right? Nope, you don’t need to. Also, it would be expensive.
Luckily for you, I’ve personally tested a slew of subwoofer brands (Kicker included) and came up with this simple guide on what’s best.
What guide or criterion did I use?
Even though I majored in the subwoofers’ specs (RMS rating, frequency rating, etc.), I was more interested in how each subwoofer sounded against the other. And precisely which version performed best when mounted in my car.
Why Choose Kicker Car Subwoofers?
If you already have an audio system and want to upgrade it, installing a Kicker subwoofer would be an excellent idea, and here are some reasons why:
- Most Kicker subwoofers are pocket-friendly. The company makes subs ideal for various budgets.
- Kicker subs are great for adding bass to any vehicle’s audio system.
- The subwoofers produce great sounds. They get built to perform.
- It’s great to use by anyone trying to create their first top-notch sub kit with any base.
- The subs don’t become hot.
Before I reveal some of their best-selling subwoofers, let’s look into various types you are likely to find on the market.
Kicker Subwoofer Types
Are you purchasing a speaker for your vehicle’s sound system?
It won’t be complete without a subwoofer, especially if you love listening to good music. The sub enhances the speakers to produce high-quality sound.
But you can’t go into the market and buy any subwoofer. So choosing the right subwoofer for your vehicle would be best for optimal results.
The best sub is the one that meets your needs, preference, and budget. To help you make the right choice, here are the different subwoofer types you can buy.
#1. Passive Subwoofers
These subwoofers are known as ‘passive’ because they require an external amplifier to power them. Therefore, for them to reproduce lower frequencies, they need some power.
Though they require more power, the amount used is small. It means you pay less for your power intake, saving you money.
A passive sub comes in a large size. That’s why it’s the best subwoofer to install in your big car or large room because of the ample space available.
Though they are the best subwoofers for a large setup, they don’t come with an amplifier. You will have to buy one separately. You will also need to use more cables.
#2. Active Subwoofers
You can also call them powered subwoofers. They come self-contained with amplifiers and speakers. So you don’t have to search for an AC power source as it comes with one.
Active subwoofers would be the best to use if carrying out a live performance. Though some of these subs can be costly, you can get great ones for $300 and below.
The subwoofer requires less wiring and can get used even in the smallest cars. Also, you don’t have to worry about your speaker’s power requirement, as this sub’s amplifier matches perfectly.
#3. Ported Subwoofers
The origin of their name is the ports they have. You may find the sub with one or more and wonder why the presence of the port or ports.
The ports allow the air to come out of the box. As a result, you enjoy a loud sound, making it ideal for people who love ‘boomy’ bass.
Ported subwoofers are perfect for installing in your ride or space if on a budget. Despite being efficient, they consume less power for the same loudness when compared to the subs in closed boxes.
To accommodate the port/s, they come in a large size. Also, the sound may be boomer and louder, but unfortunately, not so accurate.
Also, with climate changes like humidity and temperature, ported subwoofers become sensitive, affecting the sound quality.
#4. Bandpass Subwoofers
You cannot compare this subwoofer with the conventional ones. Their bass output is natural and clear.
Besides, you can set it to play various basses with incredible precision at multiple intervals. Isn’t it great? You can choose to play either four, six, or eight bandpasses, which come included in the sub.
It is one of the subwoofers with high-quality sound. Their sizeable size enables them to produce smooth and deep frequency responses.
A bandpass woofer is not a unit for small space. So you will have to sacrifice most if not all of your trunk space. You’ll also have to go through the manual because some may not work correctly in bandpass enclosures.
Now that you’re aware of the brand’s subwoofer-making goals, why you should own one, and the available types, I must inform you of some of the best subwoofer series of Kicker brands.
What Are the Kicker Car Subwoofer Series?
The square structure is the distinctive feature of this Kicker series. Kicker’s researchers found that square speakers have 20% more surface area than round-shaped cones.
L7 are also the brand’s most potent and innovatively made subwoofers.
Their extensive magnets contribute to the powerful bass, and you can choose between sizes 8 – inches, 10 – inches, 12 – inches, or 15 – inches.
Their magnet and the cone resemble that of an L7 series subwoofer.
Though they come more traditional, the brand designs them to produce a bass without distortion. The COMPQ series sizes range from 10 – inches to 15 – inches.
If looking for a sub that will produce a rumbling thunder sound, the COMPQ series is the best.
#3. SOLO-BARIC L7S
With this series, the brand increases the square subwoofer’s surface area. It also tries to make it affordable by designing them using less high-end materials.
Despite the material used in their making, the SOLO-BARIC L7S series produce undistorted high bass and are very clear.
Like most Kicker subwoofer series, the size range lies between 8 – inches to 15 – inches.
This kicker series will never run hot and produces the cleanest sound.
They can handle up to 2,000 watts while operating at their peak.
Through this series, Kicker offers subwoofers with the most exceptional bass performance.
Usually, they come as SOLO-BARIC L7S series’ traditional cone version. The price range is average and comes in sizes between 10 – inches to 15 – inches.
This Kicker’s series will not disappoint you if searching for a workhorse subwoofer. But you will have to dig deeper into your pockets to own one because they:
- Perform excellently
- Sound fantastic
- Don’t run hot
Top Quality Kicker Subwoofers Based on Personal Experience
If you want to buy one, I listed my best picks in the current Kicker subwoofers categories that will not disappoint you (all links below are to Amazon).
Let’s look at the best Kicker subwoofers for guaranteed high-quality sound.
Kicker 43DCWR102 CompR 10″
If you’re looking to pimp up your car’s sound system and don’t want to fret about the installation process, this is the Kicker subwoofer you need.
I was impressed by its booming quality. The subwoofer elevates a ready-made bass to a new level. Thanks to its 400 watts RMS, with a peak handling power of 800 watts.
Even better is its impressive sensitivity, which allows the Kicker subwoofer to clock a 96.5 dB efficiency.
Okay, that’s a mouthful; what does it mean?
This impressive sensitivity means the subwoofer’s bass is crispy clean and hits hard, starting at 30 Hz.
Overall, the Kicker 43DCWR102 is a powerful subwoofer and definitely worth a purchase.
Kicker 43CWR84 CompR 8″
It’s an 8″ subwoofer, but the bass it produces might fool you to think you’ve installed a 10″ or a 12″ sub.
I love that it doesn’t produce those single-note loud basses. But instead, the Kicker 43CWR84 has distortion-free bass irrespective of the type of music you’re playing.
For even better sound quality, you can chip in a decent amp. That’s because the sub is rated 300 watts RMS. So the amp will help you get the best out of the subwoofer.
Also, due to the RMS rating, the sub delivers deep bass. It produces perfect lows that make you “feel” the music.
Kicker CVR124 CompVR
A 12-inch shallow mounted subwoofer creates a perfect and accurate bass response. It is the best solution if you do not have enough room in the car to mount subs with standard depth and large magnets.
One unique and notable feature of the Kicker CVR124 is a collection of specs that complement its appealing construction.
Of course, sub enthusiasts know the efficiency over the appeal. But it’s good to find a subwoofer that combines both. Unfortunately, it’s rare, but the CVR124 is an exception.
The subwoofer runs on a 400-watt RMS, with a peak of 800 watts. So yes, it’s power-hungry, and it needs a strong amplifier. But the kick is worth every power it’s going to demand.
With a peak frequency of 500 Hz, the subwoofer focuses on the lower end, and it can go as low as 25 Hz.
The engineering used to design the Kicker CVR124 enables it to bring out the lowest frequencies. And it does so in a hard-hitting manner whilst boosting the mid and high notes.
This adds a perfect balance to whichever type of music you listen to.
Kicker 44DCWC102 CompC 10″
If you prefer slightly softer mid and low frequencies, the Kicker 44DCWC102 is your best option.
It’s an enclosed subwoofer, so you’re getting two subs rated at 600 watts (each at 300 watts RMS).
Because of this, the bass hits hard. And it’s ideal for medium-sized and larger cars.
Even though it did produce an equally high-quality bass in my sedan, I realized its bass was better when installed in an SUV.
So, yes, it’s better with mid-sized cars, and it delivers a powerful effect at chassis-shaking levels.
Kicker 11HS8 Subwoofer
For a car that does not offer a large amount of space, you’ll find the active Kicker 11HS8 very effective.
I noticed how well-balanced the sub is to the rest of the audio system. For example, with EDM music, the bass dropped in sync with its pitch at the same rate as the volume.
This means the sub’s output level is high quality, thus delivering enough bass for your needs. In other words, the sub offers a decent bass kick without hurting your ears.
At the same time, the Kicker 11HS8 sub offers evenly balanced frequencies, making its bass tight and clean.
The other impressive feature is the design. You can stand the sub vertically or horizontally, and the performance will be the same.
You can slide this subwoofer under the car seat and get a complete high-quality response.
Kicker 44CWCS124 CompC 12″
Now, if there’s a subwoofer that offers equal output between the sub and its speakers, the 44CWCS124 is perfect.
The subwoofer allows you to feel every subsonic sound and vibration. In addition, it’s been designed to deliver a shared bass level with the speakers.
This makes the sub an ideal option for a home surround system. And perfect if you’re into rock and hip-hop music.
I like how the 44CWCS124 sub creates the foundation of the music’s rhythm that prompts you to nod your head and tap your fingers.
Such a unique performance is attributed to its cabinet design and amp technology, proving that the Kicker sound engineers know what they’re doing.
If you love listening to music as you ride, you will enjoy the Kicker 44CWCS124 sub.
The bass is punchy and shakes the mirrors and the trunk alike. Oh yes, your heart is going to shake too.
Things to Look for When Picking a High-Quality Kicker Subwoofer
I have to be straight with you guys. I’m not a sound engineer or anything. But I am passionate when it comes to speakers and subwoofers.
This means I test the subwoofers and give an honest opinion. I may not be technical about the subwoofers’ specs, but I understand the technicalities that make these subwoofers.
Anyways, here’s my comprehensive guide when picking a subwoofer.
- How’s the sound?
- Is it clean, powerful, and clear?
- Or is the sound unclear and seems to produce flattened notes?
- Is the bass warped?
- And does it produce a thudding sound?
At the same time, I listen to how synchronized the bass coming from the subwoofer is to the speakers. The bass shouldn’t be stealing the show, but rather the sound quality should feel like it’s a part of the speakers.
As you can see from the list of top Kicker subwoofers, the brand is worth your money.
You don’t have to worry about a boomy and single-tone bass. Instead, you get to hear every musical element you’re supposed to, as it was intended.
After testing various sub-brands, I have to admit that Kicker came top. And even though other competing subwoofer brands are equally outstanding, many fail to produce a punchy bass or be too expensive.
The sub’s bass adds a massive layer of sonic impact to the music you’re listening to. And that’s irrespective of the genre.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a car sub worth your money, look no further than Kicker.
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Kicker subwoofers.
Are Kicker Subs Good?
Kicker subs are some of the best subwoofers in the market. They produce high-quality bass that kicks hard.
While other subs rob you of the sound quality a music producer intended you to hear, Kicker subwoofers present the lowest frequencies that can’t be heard but felt.
The bass is clean, and the clarity is incomparable. And it doesn’t have the single-note, boomy bass so common with most low-quality subwoofer brands.
They’ve been in the business of enhancing car subs; thereby, you can trust their quality to be no less than stellar quality.
Although they specialize in car subs, Kicker also offers subwoofers for your home setup and live bands.
Any Common Misconception About Kicker Subwoofers?
There’s a common misconception that Kicker subs don’t produce a strong bass kick.
Well, that’s a mistake because Kicker subwoofers come in different versions, each intended for a specific setup.
You need to understand that various aspects determine the best quality of a sub: room size, frequency rating, sound pressure levels, the type of music you’re listening to, etc.
Therefore, it’s advisable to pick what’s suitable for your specific needs.
Do Kickers Have Good Bass?
Kicker subs produce high-quality bass that is clean. And doesn’t have any extra frills or distortions due to failed sound recreation.
Kicker subwoofers offer the same amount of bass as the music producer wanted you to hear. So it doesn’t matter the kind of music you’re listening to; Kicker’s bass is of the correct pitch.