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Can a Sealed Subwoofer Deliver Deep Bass?

If you enjoy feeling music’s low-end, you may be interested in investing in a sealed subwoofer.

Over recent years these machines have become increasingly popular amongst drivers, but does it have enough power to deliver a deep and powerful bass? Let’s find out.

Sealed subwoofers can deliver deep bass. Sealed subwoofers, also called “acoustic suspension” subwoofers, use a sealed enclosure to control the movement of the woofer cone. This design allows them to produce deep, controlled bass with good transient response and a relatively flat frequency response. Although they may not have the same output as other types, sealed subwoofers can deliver deep bass and are often preferred for their smooth, balanced sound.

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In the article below, I will explain details about sealed subwoofers and how they compare to other types.

What Is a Sealed Subwoofer?

A sealed subwoofer is a type of speaker designed to reproduce bass frequencies. Sealed subs are sometimes called “closed box” or “acoustic suspension.”

A sealed subwoofer consists of a speaker driver (also known as a woofer) mounted in a small, airtight enclosure. The sealed enclosure aims to help the woofer produce bass frequencies in a controlled and precise manner.

How Do Sealed Subwoofers Produce Deep Bass?

The sealed enclosure of a subwoofer plays a crucial role in its ability to produce deep bass.

The woofer moves back and forth to produce sound waves and creates air pressure inside the enclosure.

In a sealed enclosure, this air pressure is contained within the box and helps to create a tight, controlled bass response. This makes sealed subwoofers well-suited for reproducing deep bass notes, as they can produce precise and accurate low frequencies.

Pros and Cons of Sealed Car Subwoofers:

Like all other car audio elements, subwoofers have pros and cons.

The main advantage of a sealed subwoofer is that it can deliver deep bass notes with precision and accuracy. This makes it an ideal choice for those who enjoy feeling the low end of their favorite music.

On the other hand, sealed subwoofers are not as loud as different sub types, and they may not be suitable for people who wish to shake their entire car with bass.

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of sealed subwoofers:

Pros:

#1. Tight, controlled bass response

Sealed subwoofers are known for producing a precise and accurate bass sound, making them well-suited for reproducing deep bass notes.

#2. Good transient response

Sealed subwoofers have an excellent transient response, which means they can quickly respond to changes in the audio signal.

Such speed makes them well-suited for reproducing bass sounds that require fast response times, such as kick drums and cymbals.

#3. Flat frequency response

Sealed subwoofers also have a relatively flat frequency response, which means that they can produce a balanced sound across all frequencies.

#4. Compact size

Sealed subwoofers generally require a smaller enclosure than other types, making them a good option for those with limited space in their car.

#5. Easy to install

Sealed subwoofers are relatively simple to install, and as the ported subs, they do not need any free space between the walls and the trunk. There is no port.

Cons:

#1. They may not produce high-volume levels

Sealed subwoofers may not be as efficient at producing high volume levels as other types of subwoofers, such as ported or bandpass, because the bass is softer.

#2. May not reproduce the lowest frequencies well

Sealed subwoofers may not be as efficient at reproducing extremely low frequencies as other subwoofers.

Which Are the Best Sealed Car Subwoofers?

It is not easy to find a good product, so to make it easier for you, here are some examples of top-rated sealed subwoofers on the market:

Rockford Fosgate P300-12

If you need extra bass in your car audio system and have room in the trunk for a standard single enclosure but not much more for an additional amplifier, the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 active sealed subwoofer might be the perfect solution (link to Amazon).

This all-inclusive system includes a Punch 12″ subwoofer housed in a custom-sealed enclosure and a 300 Watt amplifier to power it.

You do not need to fuss with separate amplifiers and subwoofers. Instead, run power, ground, and a signal from your source, and you’re ready to rock.

Rockford Fosgate Punch P300-12 Single 12" 300-Watt Amplified Subwoofer in Enclosure - Black

One of the standout features of the P300-12 is its “closed-loop” design, which ensures that the performance of the woofer, amplifier, and enclosure are perfectly matched for optimal sound.

It also has a built-in 0°/180° phase switch, allowing you to fine-tune the subwoofer’s sound to your preferences. In addition, there are separate low-level and speaker level inputs, so you can easily integrate the P300-12 into any system.

If you want to adjust the bass to your preference, the P300-12 has a built-in adjustable bass boost EQ and a variable low pass crossover that you can set between 50 Hz and 200 Hz with a 12dB/Octave Butterworth slope.

And if you want to control the bass remotely, the P300-12 comes with a detachable power/ground connector and a remote bass level control.

The P300-12 is built to last, with a durable exterior that can withstand scrapes and bumps while in the trunk or cargo area.

It also has thermal and over/under voltage protection to keep it running smoothly. And when it’s time to turn the subwoofer off, the intelligent auto turn on/off function ensures that it won’t drain your car’s battery.

In terms of construction, I have found it a solid design. The P300-12 features a proprietary high output woofer made from 5/8″ MDF (medium density fiberboard).

It also has large AWG input terminals and is covered with industrial heat activated vinyl for added durability. And if anything goes wrong, which in my opinion, is unlikely with any Rockford Fosgate product, the P300-12 comes with a 1-year warranty.

It’s also CEA-2006 and CEA-2031 compliant, meaning it meets industry standards for performance and power handling.

Overall, the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 sealed subwoofer is a convenient and powerful option for adding bass to your car audio system.

Its all-inclusive design and range of adjustable features make it easy to customize the sound to your liking, and its durable construction ensures that it will hold up to regular use.

Rockford Fosgate Prime R2-2X12

Rockford Fosgate Prime Dual R2-2×12 sealed car subwoofer (link to Amazon) is an all-in-one solution for those seeking epic bass performance in their vehicle, but it needs a large space.

The pre-built, pre-wired enclosure is loaded with two 12″ subwoofers and is ready for installation as soon as you add an amplifier.

Rockford Fosgate Prime R2-2X12 Dual 12" Subwoofers in Sealed Loaded Enclosure 500-Watts RMS / 1000-Watts Peak

The dual design of all R2 subwoofers allows for a powerful 500 watts of thumping bass performance, ensuring you get the high-quality sound you desire.

One of the standout features of the Prime Dual R2-2×12 is its high-quality construction. The enclosure is made with 5/8″ MDF, which is known for its durability and ability to withstand heavy use.

The enclosure is also covered with high-density carpet, giving it a sleek and professional appearance. In addition, the subwoofer features high current binding posts, which allow for a secure connection and ensure optimal performance.

Another benefit of the Prime Dual R2-2×12 is its easy drop-in installation. 

The enclosure is internally wired to a 2-ohm load, so all you have to do is add an amplifier, and you’re ready to go, but do not make the mistake I did, and get a strong 2 Ohm amp that will be able to support demanding 500W RMS.

In terms of dimensions, the Prime Dual R2-2×12 measures 14.37″ x 34.06″ x 12.51″, making it a compact and space-efficient option for those with limited room in their vehicle.

Overall, the Rockford Fosgate Prime Dual R2-2×12 sealed car subwoofer is a top-quality option for those looking to add powerful bass performance to their vehicle with a passive design.

JBL Stage 1200S

The JBL Stage 1200S passive sealed car subwoofer (link to Amazon) is another excellent choice for those looking to add serious bass to their car audio setup.

With a power handling of 250 watts RMS and a frequency response of 34-200 Hz, this subwoofer can produce deep, powerful bass that will enhance the overall listening experience in your vehicle.

One of the standout features of the Stage 1200S is its compact size, making it easy to install in various vehicles.

JBL Single 12" Car Audio Subwoofer Sealed Enclosure

The enclosure is made from 5/8″ MDF and covered with black carpet, ensuring it can withstand the wear and tear of life in a car.

Additionally, the subwoofer features a polypropylene cone with a thin rubber surround, which helps deliver smooth and distortion-free bass.

One thing to note about the Stage 1200S is its 2-ohm impedance, which may not be a good match for all sub amplifiers.

However, for those with compatible amplifiers, the 2-ohm impedance can boost power, resulting in even more impressive bass performance.

In terms of sound quality, the Stage 1200S performs admirably, with a sensitivity rating of 91 dB and a large voice coil that helps to deliver an accurate and sustained bass response.

The 12″ woofer cone also plays a role in the subwoofer’s impressive performance, allowing it to deliver realistic, note-perfect bass.

While it may not be the best match for all amplifiers due to its 2-ohm impedance, those with compatible amplifiers will be able to take full advantage of its impressive bass performance.

Pros:

  • Compact size makes it easy to install in a variety of different vehicles.
  • Power handling of 250 watts RMS and frequency response of 34-200 Hz for deep, powerful bass
  • Polypropylene cone with rubber surround for smooth, distortion-free bass
  • Sensitivity rating of 91 dB and large voice coil for accurate and sustained bass response
  • 12″ woofer cone for realistic, note-perfect bass

Cons:

  • 2-ohm impedance may not be a good match for all amplifiers

JBL BassHub Passive Spare Tire Subwoofer

If you do not have room in the trunk but want to utilize the space in the spare wheel, the JBL BassHub (link to Amazon) is your choice.

With its compact size and innovative design, the BassHub can fit over the hub of your spare tire, maximizing both bass and space-saving capabilities.

One of the standout features of the BassHub is its 11″ subwoofer, which features a fiberglass cone with a lightweight surround capable of handling 600 watts RMS, which is a lot for a sub in such a small package.

JBL 11" Passive Spare tire subwoofer System

The dual 4-ohm voice coils also provide some flexibility in terms of impedance, allowing you to choose between 2- or 4-ohm, meaning that many amplifiers can power it.

The subwoofer sits in a rugged cast-aluminum enclosure, which helps to protect it from your cargo and ensures it can withstand the wear and tear of life in a car.

Installation of the BassHub is straightforward, thanks to the included plug-in harness that makes it easy to remove the subwoofer when you need to access your spare tire.

Since the BassHub is designed to be mounted inside the spare tire rim, you’ll need to turn your spare tire upside down to install it.

It’s also important to note that the BassHub is only compatible with spare tires mounted inside the vehicle, featuring a removable spare tire post, and is not compatible with welded spare tire posts.

Because of that, I could not install and test it inside my car and had to ask a friend for help.

In terms of performance, the BassHub delivers impressive bass quality, with a frequency range of 20-150 Hz and a sensitivity rating of 90 dB.

As a result, it can deliver deep, punchy bass that will enhance the overall listening experience in your vehicle.

Overall, its compact size and innovative design make it easy to install, and its 11″ subwoofer delivers impressive bass. Unfortunately, it’s only compatible with certain spare wheels and may not be the best fit for all vehicles.

Pros

  • The compact size and innovative design make it easy to install and save space.
  • 11″ subwoofer with fiberglass cone and rubber surround can handle up to 600 watts RMS
  • Dual 4-ohm voice coils provide flexibility in terms of impedance.
  • Rugged cast-aluminum enclosure protects the subwoofer from cargo and wear and tear.
  • The Plug-in harness makes it easy to remove the subwoofer when needed.
  • The frequency range of 20-150 Hz and a sensitivity rating of 90 dB for impressive bass quality

Cons

  • Only compatible with certain types of spare tires
  • It may not be the best fit for all vehicles.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using a Sealed Subwoofer?

As I mentioned earlier, one potential drawback of sealed subwoofers is that they may not be as efficient at producing high volume levels or low frequency sounds as other types of subwoofers.

As a result, sealed subwoofers may not be the best choice for those looking to achieve extremely high volume levels or reproduce extremely low frequencies.

Conclusion

Sealed subwoofers can deliver deep bass and are popular for those looking for a tight, controlled bass response.

They use a sealed enclosure to create a precise and accurate bass sound, making them well-suited for reproducing deep bass notes.

While sealed subwoofers may not be the most efficient at producing high volume levels or extremely low frequencies, they can still provide a powerful and impactful bass experience.

FAQ

Why Are Sealed Subwoofers Less Efficient Than Other Types?

One reason sealed subwoofers may be less efficient than other types is that they rely on the air pressure inside the enclosure to produce bass.

This air pressure can become difficult to control at very high volume levels or extremely low frequencies, which can impact the subwoofer’s efficiency.

As a result, sealed subwoofers may not be the most efficient at producing high volume levels or extremely low frequencies.

What Are Other Types of Subwoofers?

In addition to sealed subwoofers, there are several other types of subwoofers that may be more efficient at producing high volume levels or low frequencies:

#1. Ported subwoofers

Also known as “vented” or “bass reflex” subwoofers, these use a port (or hole) in the enclosure to help produce bass frequencies.

The port allows some of the air pressure inside the enclosure to escape, which can help the woofer move more freely and produce bass more efficiently.

#2. Bandpass subwoofers

These subwoofers use a special enclosure that allows only a certain range of frequencies (the “bandpass”) to pass through.

This can help the woofer produce bass more efficiently, as it only reproduces a specific range of frequencies.

#3. Passive radiator subwoofers:

These subwoofers use a passive radiator (a specially designed speaker driver with no magnet or voice coil) instead of a port to help produce bass.

The passive radiator moves in response to the air pressure inside the enclosure, which can help the woofer produce bass more efficiently.