Best Competition Subwoofers [UPDATED]

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Competition subwoofers are right at the top of the car audio echelon. Unlike conventional subs, these beasts are categorically designed to put you in the limelight by delivering ground shaking bass that announces your presence miles away before arrival.

Indeed, competition subs are simply the ideal accessories for finicky bass heads seeking to upgrade their ride’s audio quality and win.

However, it is worth noting that these subs come in varying designs, features, and specs, and hence, making it extremely challenging – more so for first-timers – to pick the best of the best.

If all you want is to gain an edge over fellow competitors in your neighborhood or city, it would be in your best interest to read on – also read our full guide on buying the best car subwoofers.

The Competition Subs We Recommend

ImageCompetition subwoofersPowerSPL Sensitivity
Our Pick

Massive Audio HIPPOXL124 –...
$419.99 Check Price

RMS: 2000 W
MAX: 4000 W

RMS: 3000 W
MAX: 6000 W

RMS: 700 W
MAX: 400 W

RMS: 300 W
MAX: 600 W
86.9 dB

96.5 dB

83.3 dB

82.9 dB

Skar Audio VXF-12 D4 12' 3000...
Price not available Check Price

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W

RMS: 1500 W
MAX: 3000 W
87.1 dB

89.7 dB
Most Power

DS18 HOOL12.4D Hooligan 12'...
Price not available Check Price

RMS: 4000 W
MAX: 6000 W
Top Notch

Sundown Audio Z-10 V.5 D2 10'...
Price not available Check Price

RMS: 2000 W

RMS: 2000 W

RMS: 2000 W

RMS: 2000 W
83.1 dB

83.4 dB

83.0 dB

88.1 dB
Our Pick

Massive Audio HIPPO XL Series

Available sizes: 6-inch, 8-inch, 12-inch, 15-inch

After a thorough review of the Massive Audio HippoXL series, we were not only blown away, we were completely sold. This is hands down one of the few series subs that bring you all you need in one, although heavy, compact package. The HippoXL series offers variety and constant faculty with bodacious ease. Bass heads love these subs, and you know what they say, the majority always rules.

Massive Audio is an industrial ruler, and we all know it did not get there by chance. As seen with the HippoXL, they create solid performers which stand strong even through the consistent heavy bustle. The HippoXL features 6″ (600 Watts max), 8″ (700 Watts max), 12″ (4000 Watts max) and 15″ (4000 watts max).

Regardless of the size, all these subs deliver their own level of competence without fail. A heavy-duty industrial cast aluminum basket is the signature HippoXL feature. The rugged construct sees to it that these subs offer their owners decades of passable service.

The basket houses a Kevlar fiber reinforced non-pressed paper cone which resonates beautifully to produce crispy detailed notes.

Dual impedance black anodized voice coils allow for non-stop performance. High power application with these subs is hassle-free thanks to the fiberglass woven dust caps.

Their large double stacked high-energy strontium magnet structures only add to their stupendous list of features. That feature may also be the very reason why the HippoXL subs stew the big bottom type of bass. They hit hard, serve long and output nothing but uncluttered reverberations.


Skar Audio VXF Series

Available sizes: 12-inch, 15-inch

Now if you know your speakers well, then you know Skar Audio hardly disappoints. Most audiophiles boldly vouch for their products; why? Skar Audio is a master of the game. Adeptness? Affordability? Longevity? They have your back. Just look at their VXF Series; it brings us some of the market’s top performers on a silver platter. And you don’t have to break your bank account to own one. Delightful, right? I totally agree.

The VXF series brings us only two speaker sizes; the 12″ and the 15″ subs. Each of these comes with a staggering power handling capacity that makes them the industry legends they are.

With 1500 Watts RMS, these bad boys can be pushed to work at an incredible 3000 Watts. That sort of power is definitely no joke; which is why they also feature a 3″ high temp copper voice coil. No matter how hard you drive these subs, you can rest easy well assured they’re up to the task.

Anyone who’s owned a VXF woofer can attest to just how bassy they get. Furnished with high quality, next-level paper cone center, we would expect nothing less.

The cone sits in a stitched high roll foam surround that all too diligently echos its proficiency. To further cement an undisturbed performance, Skar Audio included an advanced airflow cooling system.

While it’s all big ups for this series, we must warn you that these subs are a bit heavy. Otherwise, any of the VXF series sub-woofers are, quintessentially, game-changers.

Most Power

DS18 Hooligan X Series

Available sizes: 15-inch

There’s only one word to truly describe the DS18 Hooligan X speakers; deafening. Made for the most grave of bass-heads, the Hooligan X series stands head up in the clouds for its veritableness. Now we always give credit where it’s due. And in this case, we must acknowledge bass has never sounded so good.

Unfortunately, the Hooligan X series only offers 15″ sub-woofers. These subs come in three versions; 1 Ohm, 2 Ohm, and 4 Ohm speakers. With a 4000 RMS rating, you can already tell these subs are no toys. At their highest, they hit a clean 6000 Watts which only results in an incredible blast.

That much power can easily kill a component. However, the Hooligan X subs are, for lack of a better word, beasts. They suck all that power through their dual voice coils which are sturdy and incredibly flexible. 4 ferrite magnets allow for tremendous power intake and a wider reproduction range.

These subs pound easy. Why? Their Kevlar-enforced paper cones are tough and offer tremendous pliancy. The DSI8 X-clusive basket design is brawny and ready to take any amount of bashing.

A carbon fiber dust cap allows for stable performance even through insane power applications. I only have one thing to say about this series; do not crank the speakers all the way up lest you find yourself deaf.

Still skeptical? Just take one more look at its power handling capabilities. See, I told you so.

Top Notch

Sundown Audio ZV5 Series

Available sizes: 10-inch, 12-inch, 15-inch, 18-inch

Although Sundown already has a multitude of fans, it still proves its worth every now and then with resounding agility. If you’re looking to turn heads with your sound system, the ZV5 subs are worthy contenders. Being Sundown products, they look as good as they sound. And they are also extremely affordable. In a sea of many others, they are a smart choice if you ask me.

Available in the sizes 10″, 12″, 15″, and 18″, the ZV5 has a variety of options up for grabs. Now what sets this series aside is its stunning engineering.

Right from the voice coils to the very outer shells, the ZV5 subs are made for insane performance. A 3″ 4 layer flat wire aluminum coils set the basis on which each of the ZV5 can make their mileage runs.

The nature of the voice coil secures a higher excursion of notes without the constant fear of failure. Juggling up to a maximum of 4000 Watts, these can surely blow with astounding might.

Their high-strength patented aluminum frames are designed for maximal heat dissipation while simultaneously allowing for total cone reverberation.

In other words, the subs are well protected against perils faced when working at a full-crank level. The result? They can be pushed to unbelievable levels without flinching. One thing remains true, these are everything but mediocre.

What should you know about competition-grade subwoofers?

It goes without saying that in order to battle it out with contenders for the best audio system, having state-of-the-art competition subs is a mandatory requirement.

With this in mind, you will have to consider a number of factors such as the type of amplifier to incorporate in your system, the best enclosure box to complement the prospective competition sub, and placement of the overall audio setup in your ride.

In short, it is the perfect combination of these factors that will eventually determine whether or not you emerge tops.

If you need to check more competition-grade subs, see our review of the best SPL subs.

Unlike our other reviews dominated by iconic brands such as Pioneer, the best competition subs as you will notice, are from less popular corporations like Orion for instance.

This just goes to show you how huge the difference is between conventional subs and competition subwoofers. In short, the high power output produced, and bass delivery is the sole aspects that distinguish competition-grade subs from the rest.

But as mentioned earlier, you will have to invest in the right box enclosure and companion amplifier as well, in order to achieve the best results.

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Last update on 2023-04-11 / Affiliate links / *Image Disclaimer: We use images/data from Amazon Product Advertising API solely on products that link to Amazon. On products with the "Price at Crutchfield" button, we use images/data from as per the partnership deal.

Hey, there mobile audio lovers! My name is Vincent Talbot, founder and chief editor at Ask any mobile audio fanatic, installer, or company rep what makes a good car speaker, sub, or amp, or, better yet, why he or she prefers a certain brand over another, and be prepared to endure a litany of opinions, viewpoints, and passion-fueled perspectives. To be honest, mobile audio shopping can be a daunting task without a guide, so I’ve assembled what I feel are the best products to consider to make things easier for you. More.

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