Polk Audio DB 1042 DVC Review




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Are you looking for a new car subwoofer that will bring you a truly immersive listening experience?

If so, then Polk Audio’s DB 1042 DVC is an option worth considering. Capable of delivering powerful sound with exceptional clarity, this subwoofer not only enhances your driving experience but also provides consistent acoustics regardless of the conditions outside. 

The Polk Audio DB 1042 DVC is a 10″ subwoofer that is part of the company’s DB+ Series, which is known for its high-tech materials and advanced design that delivers smooth and powerful bass.

The subwoofer boasts a rigid polypropylene cone and durable Santoprene™ surround that is built to handle significant power over the long run.

In addition, its low-profile design means that it takes up less space, making it an excellent choice for those with limited space in their car, off-roader, or on a boat.

Tip: This Polk sub makes strong bass, but to make it work right, you have it mounted to the suitable 10″ box, and to be honest, the larger, the better. 

If you are trying to find the perfect enclosure to match your car, there are many different sizes and shapes of subwoofer boxes available on Amazon.

Let’s go through more details below:


Polk Audio DB 1042 DVC (link to Amazon) has a sleek and modern design that is suitable for any car or boat. Its slim profile makes it easy to install, even in tight spaces.

Like other Polk Audio products, it is marine-certified, which means it can withstand the harsh conditions of being used on a boat or in the rain.

Polk DB1042 Marine Certified Subwoofer - 10"

The subwoofer’s cone is made of polypropylene, which is known for its durability and resistance to moisture.

Surround is made of Santoprene™, which is a rubber material that is resistant to extreme temperatures and UV rays, so unlike in other subs, here you will not have a problem if it is exposed to the sunlight for a long time.


The DB 1042 DVC is a dual 4-ohm voice coil subwoofer, which means that it can be wired to draw maximum power from a mono amp or to safely hook up multiple subs.

With 350 watts RMS (175 watts per coil) and a peak power of 1050 watts, it can make really loud bass. The frequency response also starts low at 28-200 Hz, and this is better than many full-size subs you can find.

The sensitivity is 85 dB which is not the greatest for a subwoofer designed for open spaces, so if you want to make it really loud, you need to have a strong amplifier, ideally stereo, with at least 150W RMS per channel.

The top-mount depth is 4-3/8″. The recommended sealed box volume is 1.0-2.4 cubic feet, and for the ported box volume, it is 1.25-1.75 cubic feet.


  • It handles up to 350 watts RMS (175 watts per coil), with a peak of 1050 watts.
  • Frequency response: 28-200 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 85 dB
  • Top-mount depth: 4-3/8″
  • Dual 4-ohm voice coils
  • Polypropylene cone with Santoprene rubber surround
  • Marine-certified for use in boats and convertibles

Ease of Use

The DB 1042 DVC is straightforward to install and set up. It comes with detailed instructions that guide you through the installation process. It works well with 14AWG speaker wires, and it has spade connectors.

The subwoofer is also compatible with various enclosures, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Polk DB1042 Marine Certified Subwoofer - 10"

The dual 4-ohm voice coils make it easy to wire your system, and depending on the amp, you can make either parallel or series connection.


  • Great value for the price
  • Low-profile design makes it easy to install in tight spaces.
  • Dual 4-ohm voice coils allow for flexibility in wiring.
  • Polypropylene cone and Santoprene™ surround are durable and resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures.
  • Marine-certified, making it suitable for use on boats
  • Impressive bass punch that is rarely found in this price range


  • The grill designed for this subwoofer is no longer available.
  • Although it is a shallow design, it needs a larger enclosure for the deepest tones.

Personal Experience

As someone who has personally used the Polk Audio DB 1042 DVC, I can confidently say it is an excellent subwoofer. The bass it produces is powerful and well-defined, making it easy to blend with the rest of your speaker system.

The low-profile design is a significant plus, as it allows for easy installation in tight spaces, but to make it play the strong deep tones, I had to use a larger box.

You can use a smaller box with less than one cubic foot, but you may not be able to achieve tones below 35Hz, especially in the sealed one.

Polk DB1042 Marine Certified Subwoofer - 10"

The dual 4-ohm voice coils and compatibility with various enclosures make it a versatile option for any setup. I was also impressed with the subwoofer’s durability and resistance to moisture and high temperatures.

If you have a boat, you can take this subwoofer out on the water without worrying about getting damaged.

The sound quality is also top-notch, I was impressed with how full and precise the bass was, but it needs to have proper power from the amp.

I would say that this subwoofer is an excellent value for the price, and I would highly recommend it to anyone not only on the budget side but looking for a high-performing, durable and versatile subwoofer that doesn’t break the bank.


In conclusion, the Polk Audio DB 1042 DVC is a great subwoofer that offers impressive performance at an affordable price.

Its low-profile design and marine certification suit those with limited space in their car or boat.


Why is My subwoofer not working?

If you have an issue with the sub that does not show any life, first of all, make sure that all of your connections are secure and that the subwoofer is properly wired, including the remote wire between the radio and the amplifier.

Also, double check your amplifier with its filters and other settings to ensure it’s working properly. If everything looks good, try adjusting the settings on your amplifier to see if that fixes the problem.

If all works fine and the sub is still silent, it may indicate that your subwoofer is damaged and needs to be checked by a professional.

What to do if the bass sounds distorted?

A few different things can cause distorted bass.

#1. First, make sure that your subwoofer is not being overdriven by an amplifier that is too powerful.

#2. It’s also a good idea to check the settings on your subwoofer and amplifier to ensure they are properly adjusted. If the problem persists, it may be a sign that your subwoofer is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Why is my subwoofer making a rattling noise?

A rattling noise could happen when your subwoofer is not securely mounted or when something is touching the cone.

It’s also possible that the problem is caused by a loose or damaged component inside the subwoofer or the air leaking from the box whenever the bass kicks.

In any case, it’s best to get the subwoofer checked out by a professional to determine the cause of the problem.