Say you’ve been working on your truck for months. It’s tuned, tinted, you’ve got a 6” lift kit that’s complimented by a set of aggressive all-terrain tires and the new exhaust sounds mean – it’s surely the ultimate truck.
So, you get in your truck, turn the ignition on and suddenly your eardrums are met by a disturbing lack of bass; that’s where you realize – you forgot the subwoofer. But you can’t fit a subwoofer in a truck, can you?
Well, it turns out you can, if it’s a shallow mount subwoofer.
Do shallow mount subwoofers sacrifice performance for space and are they worth the investment? Stick around and you’ll find out in this article but first, let’s review the five best shallow mount subwoofers for trucks on the market right now.
The 5 Best Shallow Mount Subwoofers for Trucks
1. JL Audio 12TW3-D4 12″ – Top Pick
So the number one product in our list is the JL Audio 12TW3-D4 shallow mount subwoofer. This one is best in its design as well as performance. It is super-thin, which gives it a very lucrative design, and the engineering and technology used in this product is outstanding. This is the most modern subwoofer and equipped with almost all the features that you may need for your truck. If you were looking for a subwoofer that would not only beat the road but will also stand the test of time, then this is the one for you.
All the products in this series use complex technology to provide you the best experience. The 12TW3-D4 uses a durable polypropylene cone and is surrounded by rubber to provide long-lasting movement. It is capable of delivering greater excursion than most of the products in the market. It will not be an exaggeration if we say it is the market leader in this segment.
JL Audio has proven that powerful, accurate, and deep bass is now possible even with a 3.5″ deep subwoofer. JL Audio used innovative ‘concentric tube’ design to get as much power as possible out of a slim subwoofer. If the 12TW3-D4 is in your price range, you’ll be very happy with your purchase.
2. Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12 – Runner Up
The second product in this list is from Rockford Fosgate. They have been in the market for a long time and have been able to win people’s trust. They produce some of the most innovative products in the industry, and P3D2 is one of them. However, their products are a bit expensive.
This shallow mount sub is beautifully engineered and there aren’t many other products in the market that could produce bigger bass than this one, hence the rather steep price. The 12″ model needs only 3″ of mounting depth, and yet it is still capable of handling RMS of 500 watts.
If you are mounting your subwoofer in a closed enclosure, then you need to be careful of the heat; however, Rockford has been able to counter this problem with its innovative engineering. The Punch P3 is equipped with Rockford’s unique spider venting system which gives the required cooling to keep the sub running for hours.
This low impedance subwoofer features dual voice coils, which makes it an excellent choice for future upgrades and overall sound variety. To add to that, the cones of this subwoofer are made from anodized aluminum – this makes the sub very durable and long-lasting.
This is a product that justifies its price well. The excellent construction, terrific performance, and low-profile are more than enough to woo anyone.
3. Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F – Best Value
Kenwood has been in the market for quite some time now and they’ve shown that they can produce great quality products for a fraction of the price.
When we say affordable, we do not mean that the products are “cheap”. Kenwood never produces “cheap” products. Despite being super affordable, you will get all the features that you may need in your subwoofer. It has superb bass, sleek performance, and low profile which is very important for trucks.
Its carbon-glass fiber honeycomb pattern cone is very durable and can easily resist high vibrations without flexing. The rubber surrounding the cast aluminum basket further enhances the durability of the shallow mount subwoofer.
This high impedance 4-ohm sub has a great range considering its size and price. To add to that, silver-plated push terminals provide excellent signal transfer.
This unit can effectively handle the power of 1400 watts which is means you’ll be impressed with how powerful this subwoofer is. Apart from surprising power and good quality bass, the Excelon has that sleek black design that just goes with any truck interior.
4. Infinity Reference REF1200S 12″
Infinity has been in the market for over three decades and they have established a good reputation for themselves by producing budget-oriented but still powerful audio products.
It’s the era of technology, and you should only trust those manufacturers which invest wisely in improving their technology. Infinity is one such name. Their innovative design and unmatchable technology provide you with loud bass and many advantages over other competitors at the price range.
The Reference comes with a impedance selector switch. It’s a single voice coil design, which doesn’t allow for change between resistances, however, that didn’t stop Infinity. The impedance selector allow to switch between 4-ohm and 2-ohm impedance – this allows to squeeze as much power from the shallow mount subwoofer as possible without compromising safety and reliability.
Now, as you might have noticed, the Reference is not very powerful at just 300 watts, however, the subwoofer makes up for power with an extremely high sensitivity of 96 dB. This allows the sub to maximize the output without sacrificing sound quality and its outstanding frequency range of 23Hz to 400Hz.
The REF1200S is able to hit hard because it was tested rigorously. These shallow mount subwoofers were baked in high temps, subjected to UV and blasted on full power for hours. This alone makes Reference REF1200S the best shallow mount subwoofer for truck.
5. PIONEER TS-SW3002S4 12″
Pioneer is one of those prominent names in the market that has built a great reputation for itself. Almost all music lovers would know this product. TS-SW3002S4 is an example of technical know-how of Pioneer and their sheer commitment to continuously outdo themselves. Almost all the products in this range are extremely long-lasting and feature superior built quality.
This 12-inch shallow mount subwoofer that loaded with technology. For one, this subwoofer comes with Pioneer’s Air Suspension Control System technology. While most subs use a spider design to keep the coil aligned, the TS-SW3002S4 seals air into a pocket between the main cone and the internal drive cone. This pocket creates an “air suspension system” that lets the subwoofer perform at its optimal level with much less amount of enclosure volume.
The rear of this shallow mount subwoofer has a stamped metal fin-shaped basket that directs the airflow sideways, therefore eliminating the “loading effect” when a sub is installed to close to a wall. This is the reason behind its unmatchable sound quality and unlike the above product, it can handle up to 1500 watts.
The cone structure of this sub is reinforced with MICA injected molded resin and apart from increased durability, it allows for accurate bass.
To sum up, this shallow mount subwoofer packs a seriously hard punch without taking up lots of space. Definitely one of the best shallow mount subwoofers for a truck.
What to Look for When Buying a Shallow Mount Subwoofer for Trucks
Shallow mount subwoofers are great when it comes to maintaining outstanding audio quality while taking up as little space as possible. They also are pretty expensive, therefore it’s important to spend a few extra minutes to familiarize yourself with their specifications and arm yourself with the knowledge to make the best purchase possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about shallow mount subwoofers for trucks:
The cone is the only moving part of the shallow mount subwoofer and is one of the most important parts of the subwoofer. Cones are made from various materials, therefore not every material is of equal quality.
There are five different cone material types:
This is the most popular material for shallow mount subwoofer cones because it’s easy to manufacture, very lightweight and more durable than paper. Polypropylene is good at preventing mold and mildew growth, which would damage the cone.
2. Treated Paper
It’s not surprising that paper is one of the most popular materials for shallow mount subwoofer cones. Paper is lightweight, which is why it has the fastest response time, and inexpensive. However, treated paper cones are coated with carbon, CSX, fiber, Kevlar, and polyglass to be more durable.
3. Magnesium and Aluminum
While these materials are commonly used in various audio parts, they are best utilized in subwoofers. Aluminum and Magnesium tend to produce a high-pitched resonance, but once these materials are used in shallow mount subwoofers as cones, the high pitch resonance is drowned out by the low-frequency sound waves.
Kevlar is used in bullet-proof vests and textile motorcycle gear, so it’s an extremely durable material. Apart from its crazy durability, Kevlar is also a lightweight material, which makes it a great material for subwoofer cones. Kevlar doesn’t stretch; therefore, it keeps its shape under pressure and allows for a better sound displacement.
5. Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is the ultimate shallow mount subwoofer cone material. It combines all the positive features of the above materials. It allows for maximum durability and high output levels thanks to its extreme toughness and flexibility.
Size is one of the most important factors that influence the sound quality of the shallow mount subwoofer.
An 8” shallow mount subwoofer will provide a responsive light and soft bass to your trucks sound system, while a 10” unit will bring bigger and more noticeable bass.
12” is the most popular size for shallow mount subwoofers for trucks, as it has the perfect balance of small size and big bass. They handle a lot of frequencies and are the perfect choice for truck owners that appreciate quality bass.
15” shallow mount subwoofers give the deepest bass possible. One downside to such big shallow mount subwoofers is that they are less responsive to fast music.
You want to be blasting your shallow mount subwoofer for years to come, so make sure the cone of your shallow mount subwoofer of choice is made of good quality materials. In addition to durable cones, stitched tinsel leads are the way to go.
Also, remember the old saying “cheap man pays twice”? It especially applies to shallow mount subwoofers.
Shallow Mount Subwoofer Specifications Explained
Electrical specifications can get really confusing at times, but they are the best way to determine the quality of a shallow mount subwoofer.
This is a good indicator of how powerful the shallow mount subwoofer is. Make sure your trucks amplifier can handle your subwoofer.
Impedance shows how much resistance to electrical current the subwoofer has and determines how easily the subwoofer can turn electrical signals into sound waves. Automotive subwoofers only come in a 2omh and 4ohm impedance.
A shallow mount subwoofer with lower impedance (resistance) is able to produce a louder sound when compared to higher 4ohm impedance subs. However, 2ohm impedance subwoofers tend to produce poorer quality sound due to their power consumption.
A higher ohm impedance subwoofer uses less energy and lasts longer than 2ohm impedance subwoofers. When it comes to sound quality, most people tend to agree that even though 4ohm subwoofers aren’t as loud, they produce a better quality sound.
Now, these differences in sound quality are very small, and, in most cases, you should go for the same impedance as your truck’s amp.
Sensitivity is a measure of how loud a subwoofer is. This is determined by measuring the amount of electrical power that is required to produce sound at a certain volume level.
If you’re using a low power amp, a higher sensitivity shallow mount sub would compensate for the low power amp and provide higher volume sound.
If your truck has a powerful amp, a low sensitivity sub is definitely the way to go.
Number of Voice Coils
Subwoofers come with either single or dual voice coils. Dual voice coils can be wired in series, parallel, or independently – each configuration has its benefits. For most cases, a single voice coil shallow mount subwoofer is more than enough, however, if you’re an advanced audio enthusiast you might want more flexibility from your subwoofer, in such case, dual voice coils are the way to go.