Shallow mount subwoofers produce deep bass from compact low-profile structures. They are so constructed to fit narrow spaces inside a vehicle. They can be installed in the trunk, rear speaker deck, or under/behind the seats of a car. They occupy far less space than standard-depth subwoofers and are perfect for automobiles that have limited room for audio installations.
Slim-line subwoofers are suitable for trucks, pick-ups, RVs, sedans and SUVs. They are capable of free-air and enclosed applications. They have rugged cones, surrounds and voice coils for prolonged high-power use.
Shallow mount subwoofers have their pros and cons. Let us analyze them.
Best Shallow Mount Subwoofer To Boost Your Car Audio
Let us now take a look at the top shallow mount subs in the market.
Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-10 Punch 10-inch 4-ohm DVC Shallow Mount Subwoofer
The Punch P3SD4-10 by Rockford Fosgate is a top-selling shallow mount truck subwoofer. It is a 10-inch dual 4-ohm subwoofer with a peak power handling of 600 watts and RMS 300 watts. It is perfect for trucks, pick-ups and large vehicles. The Punch P3S is a CEA-2031-compliant and Klippel-verified premium auto subwoofer. It is fitted with an anodized aluminum woofer and dust cap. It has M-Roll Santoprene surround made with Vertical Attach Surround Technique which increases the cone’s radiating area by 25%. The subwoofer has a FlexFit stamp-cast basket with a slot mounted frame pattern and integrated spider venting. It has dual linear spider with embedded 16 AWG tinsel leads. It has stitched tinsel surrounds that minimize fatigue and increase the reliability of the woofer. The subwoofer has an anodized aluminum voice coil former which makes for excellent heat dissipation. It has a diamond cut cast aluminum trim ring with optional grille. The motor assembly is shallow for optimizing space. The voice coil has a diameter of 2.5 inches and the magnet weighs 47 oz. The Punch P3S is designed for sealed and vented enclosures. It needs a 0.5 ft3 sealed box and a 1.0 ft3 vented box. It has a cut-out diameter of 9.06 inches and a mounting depth of 3.5 inches. Resonant frequency of the device is 42 Hz and sensitivity is 83 dB @ 1w/ 1m. Woofer displacement is 0.074 ft3. Other specifications are:- Qms: 6.0, Qts: 0.78, Qes: 0.90, Xmas: 8.1 mm, Vas: 14.3 liter, Sd: 333 cm2, Re: 6.80 ohm, and Le: 4.3 mH. Warranty period of the product is one year.
Key Features :
- 10-inch dual 4-ohm shallow mount subwoofer.
- Max power handling 600 watts, RMS power 300 watts.
- Anodized aluminum woofer and dust cap, M-Roll Santoprene surround.
- FlexFit stamp-cast basket, slot mounted frame pattern, spider venting.
- CEA-2031-compliant, Klippel-verified, supports sealed and vented applications.
PIONEER TS-SW2502S4 10-Inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer
The Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 is another highly-rated shallow mount subwoofer. It has a 10-inch single 4-ohm woofer cone. It is designed for free-air, sealed box and ported box applications. It is best suited for sedans, trucks and pick-ups. The Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 has stunning bass output. It can handle a peak power of 1200 watts and RMS power 300 watts. It is equipped with a mica-injected resin cone for improved durability and performance. It has a dual-layer fiber reinforced elastic polymer surround, dual spider and 4-layer long voice coil. The subwoofer has a vented and projected pole yoke design for faster cooling and enhanced power handling. This design expands the magnetic field during large excursions, thereby improving the linearity of the device. The Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 has a special slim-profile structure for compact placement. It has a mounting depth of 3 1/8 inches. It needs a very small enclosure. For sealed box application, the box must have an air space of 0.35 to 0.75 cubic feet; for a ported box application, the box must have an air space of 0.5 to 0.75 cubic feet. The subwoofer can be mounted behind or under the seats of vehicles. It slips into spaces that are too narrow for other standard-depth automotive subwoofers. The TS-SW2502S4 is a 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer with an extra-large cone design. The extra surface area of the cone and the gasket ensure greater movement of air which in turn improves the bass output and volume of the speaker. The sub works equally well with free-air and enclosed mounting arrangements. It has a round shape and requires a cut-out diameter of 9 ¾ inches. If you are planning on installing the subwoofer in a shallow down-firing sealed enclosure, we recommend the Pioneer UD-SW250D. Alternately, if you want a behind-the-seat solution, we suggest you go for the Pioneer UD-SW250T. Both the boxes are custom-made for the Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 sub. They have a compact space-saving design that allows them to be placed in tight spaces in car trunks and truck cabins. Frequency response of the subwoofer is 20 Hz to 125 Hz, impedance is single 4 ohm and sensitivity is 91 dB.
Key Features :
- 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer for free-air and enclosed installation.
- Mica-injected resin cone, dual-layer fiber reinforced elastic polymer surround.
- Dual spider, 4-layer long voice coil, vented and projected pole yoke design.
- Frequency response 20 Hz to 125 Hz, impedance single 4 ohm.
- Max power 1200 watts, RMS power 300 watts, 3 1/8 inches mounting depth.
BOSS Audio Phantom P100F Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
Another high-output 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer is the Boss Audio Phantom P100F. It is a flat subwoofer with a single 4-ohm voice coil. It has a maximum power handling of 1200 watts and RMS power handling of 600 watts. The Boss Audio P100F is ideal for cars, trucks and vans. It has a shallow design for compact installation. It works best with a 0.35 to 0.65 cubic feet sealed subwoofer enclosure. Sealed boxes offer tight bass. They are normally smaller than ported boxes and occupy less space inside a vehicle. You can build a box from scratch or buy a readymade one. If you are building your own box, we suggest you use 0.75 inch MDF. Recommended external dimensions of the sealed enclosure are:- width: 16 inches, depth: 8 inches and height: 12 inches. Mounting depth of the cone is 3.375 inches and mounting diameter is 9.125 inches. Since the woofer has a pole vent, a minimum distance of 0.75 inches has to be maintained from the rear wall of the enclosure. The Phantom P100F shallow mount subwoofer features a 10-inch poly injection cone with a butyl rubber surround. It can pump out 600 watts of continuous bass output. It has a 2-inch high-temperature single 4-ohm copper voice coil. The coil ensures the device works flawlessly through extended periods of use when the temperature shoots up. Also, single voice coil subs are very versatile. They can be powered by a matching amplifier or be clubbed with other single voice coil subs to achieve a variety of impedances that match your amplifier power. Please note that the Phantom P100F is best suited for low to medium-power sound systems. Resonant frequency of the sub is 48 Hz and sensitivity is 85 dB (1w/ 1m). Other specifications are:- FS: 48 Hz, QES: 1.116, QMS: 5.179, QTS: 0.918, VAS: 0.772 ft3 and XMAS (one-way): 5 mm. Warranty period of the product is one year. It can be extended by two more years.
Key Features :
- 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer suitable for sealed installation.
- Single 4-ohm 2-inch copper voice coil, poly injection cone, butyl rubber surround.
- Peak power output 1200 watts, RMS power 600 watts.
- Requires 0.35 to 0.65 ft3 sealed subwoofer enclosure.
- Mounting depth 3.375 inches, cut-out diameter 9.125 inches, resonant frequency 48 Hz.
Rockford Fosgate Prime R2SD4-10 Ultra Shallow 10-Inch Subwoofer
For rocking deep loud bass from a compact installation, we recommend the Rockford Fosgate R2 Ultra-Shallow subwoofer. It is a 10-inch dual 4-ohm subwoofer with a flat structure. It is best suited for vehicles that have limited space. It easily slides under and behind the seats of a truck or SUV for discrete mounting. The Prime R2SD4-10 can handle a peak power of 400 watts and RMS power 200 watts. It has a 10-inch mica injected polypropylene cone for clean and crisp bass reproduction. It has a dual 4-ohm high-temperature 2-inch voice coil for improved power handling. It also has an anodized aluminum voice coil former for faster cooling. The device has a stamp-cast basket with spider venting built into it. Spider venting is generally found in depth-mounted subwoofers for rapid heat dissipation and the R2SD4-10 has incorporated the same technique. The gadget has a shallow motor assembly and an integrated PVC trim ring. It has stitched 16 AWG tinsel leads for lowering fatigue and preventing shorting. It has 12 AWG compression terminals and a linear spider with embedded 16 AWG tinsel leads. The Prime R2SD4-10 is designed for sealed enclosures, but you can also use a ported box. If you opt for a sealed box, make sure it has a volume of 0.70 cubic feet; if you choose a vented box, it must have a volume of 1.4 cubic feet. Mounting depth of the woofer is 3.417 inches and cut-out diameter is 9.125 inches. Woofer displacement is 0.037 cubic feet. Other specifications are:- QTS: 0.73, QES: 0.81, QMS: 7.0, VAS: 21.7 liter, XMAS: 8 mm, Re: 6.60 ohm, Le: 4.2 mH, Sd: 333 cm2. Resonant frequency of the sub is 39.3 Hz and sensitivity is 82.5 dB (1w/ 1m). Magnet structure is 45 oz. The Prime R2SD4-10 is a CEA-2031-compliant and Klippel-verified audio device. It has a warranty of one year.
Key Features :
- 10-inch dual 4-ohm subwoofer with shallow motor assembly.
- Mica injected polypropylene cone, 2-inch voice coil, anodized aluminum voice coil former.
- Stamp-cast basket with spider venting, PVC trim ring, stitched 16 AWG tinsel leads.
- Max power 400 watts, RMS 200 watts, resonant frequency 39.3 Hz.
- Works with sealed and vented enclosures, CEA-2031-compliant, Klippel-verified.
JL Audio 10TW3-D4 Shallow-mount Car Subwoofer
The 10TW3-D4 shallow-mount subwoofer by JL Audio has outstanding bass. It has a 10-inch woofer and dual 4-ohm voice coils. It has a continuous (RMS) power handling capacity of 400 watts and a recommended amp RMS power of 200-400 watts. The 10TW3-D4 is built with JL Audio’s patented thin-line woofer technology which optimizes the woofer for smaller enclosures. The technology compresses the woofer cone using a molded concentric tube structure built into the cone. This structure spans over the edge of the motor, supporting the voice coil on the inside and a full annular spider on the outside. This architecture allows for a more forward placement of the motor structure than conventional depth-mount subwoofers. It ensures higher mechanical excursion and heavier bass output from a shallow mount speaker. The JL Audio 10TW3-D4 has a tab-ear frame design. This design reduces the outer dimensions of the woofer to help it fit narrow spaces. The subwoofer also has a DMA (Dynamic Motor Analysis) optimized motor. DMA-optimized motors are better able to counteract distortion and generate neat articulate bass. Another special feature of the subwoofer is its engineered lead wire design and attachments. This system allows for controlled lead wire behavior in long-excursion woofers like the 10TW3-D4. The device has a mounting depth of 3.25 to 3.50 inches and a mounting hole diameter of 9.625 inches. It does not have pole vent which means it can be mounted very close to the rear wall of the enclosure. If you are using a sealed enclosure, it must have a net volume of 0.50 cubic feet. It you are going for a ported enclosure, it must have a net volume of 0.60 cubic feet. The 10TW3-D4 shallow mount subwoofer has a 10-inch mica-filled injection molded polypropylene cone and rubber surround. It has a cast alloy frame, and an aluminum alloy dust cap and rear cap. It also has a patented ‘floating cone attach method’ technology. Resonance of the speaker is 32.30 Hz and sensitivity is 82.10 dB @ 1w/ 1m.
Key Features :
- Shallow mount 10-inch dual 4-ohm subwoofer, RMS power 400 watts.
- Patented thin-line woofer technology, tab-ear frame design.
- DMA-optimized motor, engineered lead wire design, patented ‘floating cone attach method’ technology.
- Mica-filled injection molded polypropylene cone, rubber surround, cast alloy frame.
- Aluminum alloy dust cap and rear cap, suitable for sealed and ported enclosures.
MB Quart DS1-254 10-inch Shallow Subwoofer
The MB Quart DS1-254 is a top-rated 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer for trucks. It has a flat structure with a depth of less than 3 inches for ultra-compact installations. It is best suited for cars and trucks with space constraints. The DS1-254 has a thermal formed poly cone and dust cap. It has a butyl rubber surround and dual 4-ohm 2-inch high-temperature voice coils. It has a stamp-cast deep drawn steel basket and vented aluminum voice coil former. The subwoofer has a peak power handling of 400 watts and RMS power handling of 200 watts. It has an impedance of dual 4-ohm and sensitivity of 82 dB @ 1w/ 1m. It works best in a sealed environment. Vented enclosures are not recommended for this subwoofer. We suggest you go for an MDF box with a wall thickness of ¾ inches. You may use silicone caulking on the inside joints and wood screws to secure the frame. If you are using a rectangular sealed box, it must have a volume of 0.65 cubic feet. It must be 13 inches wide, 13 inches high and 10 inches deep. If you are building an angled sealed box, it must have a volume of 0.65 cubic feet. It must be 18.5 inches wide and 13.5 inches high. It must have a top depth of 6 inches and a bottom depth of 8 inches. The MB Quart DS1-254 subwoofer has a mounting depth of 2.95 inches and a cut-out diameter of 9.13 inches. It has a long-lasting heavy textured powder coat. The manufacturer suggests using an electronic subsonic filter (15 to 35 Hz) for eliminating ultra-low frequencies which might damage the woofer. Using a low-pass filter (35 to 250 Hz) is also advisable. It further tunes the signal entering the speaker, thus ensuring accurate bass. The subwoofer has quick-disconnect terminals. You can use crimp terminals or solder the wire directly to the terminals. Other specifications of the gadget are as follows:- NomZ: 2 x 4, Sd: 0.34, Revc: 7.18, BL: 15.21, Vas: 34.92, Cms: 212.96, Mms: 128.14, Fs: 31.03, Qms: 6.681, Qes: 0.732, Qts: 0.662, no: 0.108, and Xmas: 8.7.
Key Features :
- 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer for sealed enclosure.
- Thermal formed poly cone, butyl rubber surround, dual 4-ohm 2-inch voice coils.
- Stamp-cast deep drawn steel basket, vented aluminum voice coil former.
- Max power output 400 watts, RMS 200 watts, mounting depth 2.95 inches.
- Requires 0.65 ft3 sealed box, not compatible with vented enclosures.
Alpine SWR-T10 10-Inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer
The next product on our list of top shallow mount subwoofers is the Alpine SWR-T10. It offers intense low-bass output from a thin package designed especially for ultra-compact enclosures. It has a peak power handling of 1800 watts and RMS power handling of 600 watts. CEA-2031 power rating of the sub is 600 watts and power range is 300-600 watts. The gadget has an aluminum diaphragm (cone). It is a Type-R 10-inch single 4-ohm slim-profile subwoofer. It has an injection molded santoprene surround with a high-amplitude multi-roll (HAMR) design. This structure of the surround ensures better control and less distortion at extreme excursions. The sub has a thermoplastic elastomer spider and integrated cold-molded tinsel leads with a woven spider design. It has a 1.5 lb neodymium magnet that has five times the strength of ordinary ferrite magnets. When combined with the large 4-inch voice coil, the power handling gets a big boost. The frame of the subwoofer is made from cast aluminum. It has a direct-couple shorting heat-sink and frame architecture. The terminals are gold-plated. The voice coils are made from 220C edge-wound copper ribbon wire with a diameter of 4 inches. The Alpine SWR-T10 subwoofer has a radial vented VC heat-sink. It has a shorting sleeve airflow management system to keep temperatures cool. The mechanism reduces power compression and ensures long periods of smooth trouble-free use. The device has an FEA-optimized dual-sided machine CRC motor structure. This motor design creates a symmetrical magnetic field with evenly distribute flux density to lower distortion and increase power output. The subwoofer requires a 0.35 ft3 enclosure. It has a mounting depth of 3.25 inches and a mounting cut-out diameter of 9.1 inches. It has a woofer displacement of 0.07 ft3. Frequency response of the system is 28 Hz to 200 Hz.
Key Features :
- 10-inch single 4-ohm shallow mount subwoofer.
- Aluminum cone, injection molded santoprene surround with HAMR design.
- 4-inch voice coil, thermoplastic elastomer spider, tinsel leads with woven spider.
- Max power 1800 watts, RMS power 600 watts, frequency response 28 Hz to 200 Hz.
- Works with 0.35 ft3 subwoofer box.
Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1000F 10-Inch Shallow Mount Car Subwoofer
The Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1000F is a high-performance compact shallow mount subwoofer. It is crafted for vehicles that have limited space for audio installations. It has a depth of less than 3 ½ inches and easily fits under and behind the seats of vehicles. The Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1000F has a carbon-glass fiber cone with a honeycomb pattern that resists flexing. It has a butyl rubber surround that counters distortion and keeps the cone under control. It has silver-plated push terminals. They are easy to use and facilitate loss-less signal transfers. The device has a superior heat transfer system to prevent overheating. It has an aluminum die-cast basket with ample venting for rapid heat dissipation. The sub has a super linear spider and a detachable rubber concealing ring that hides the mounting screws of the sub. The Excelon KFC-XW1000F can handle a peak power of 1000 watts and RMS power of 50-250 watts. For best performance, we suggest powering the sub with a monoblock amp with a rated RMS power of 200-375 watts @ 4 ohm. Frequency response of the gadget is 35 Hz to 800 Hz and sensitivity is 90 dB. The loudspeaker is optimized for sealed and vented enclosures. You can build a new box or use a readymade subwoofer enclosure. For both sealed and vented enclosures, the required volume is 0.6 ft3. Diameter of the port must be 3 inches and length of the port 11 inches. Cut-out diameter of the woofer is 9 1/8 inches. Please note that the sub is not designed for free-air applications. Warranty period of the product is two years.
Key Features :
- 10-inch single 4-ohm shallow mount subwoofer.
- Carbon-glass fiber cone with honeycomb pattern, aluminum die-cast basket.
- Butyl rubber surround, silver-plated push terminals, heat transfer system.
- Peak power 1000 watts, RMS power 50-250 watts, frequency response 35 Hz to 800 Hz.
- Optimized for sealed and ported enclosures, not suited for free-air installation.
Infinity REF1000S 10-Inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer
The REF1000S belongs to the Reference Series of shallow mount component subwoofers by Infinity. It is a 10-inch low-profile subwoofer for compact cars and truck cabs. It delivers massive bass from a small package, handling a continuous power of 200 watts at any given point. The REF1000S is equipped with a polypropylene cone and a butyl rubber surround. It has a frequency response of 35 Hz to 175 Hz and sensitivity of 89 dB. Impedance is selectable between 2 ohm and 4 ohm. There is a switch that allows you to choose the impedance so you can use every single bit of power from the amp. The selectable impedance also ensures thermal safety and stability of the woofer. The Infinity REF1000S is optimized for sealed and vented box installations. If you want to use a sealed enclosure, make sure it has a volume of 0.5 cubic feet. If you want to go for a vented enclosure, it must have a volume of 1.5 cubic feet. Mounting depth of the subwoofer is 3 ¼ inches. It does not come with a grill, so if you need one, you will have to buy it separately. The best thing about the REF1000S is that it is tested for reliability under extreme conditions. It is baked, freezed, shaken, treated with UV radiation and played at full power for long periods to ensure it has the strength to withstand tough working conditions. Peak power handling of the subwoofer is 800 watts. It has a warranty period of one year.
Key Features :
- 10-inch shallow mount subwoofer.
- Peak power output 800 watts, RMS power 200 watts.
- Polypropylene cone, butyl rubber surround, tested for reliability.
- Frequency response 35 Hz to 175 Hz, selectable impedance (2 ohm or 4 ohm).
- Works with sealed and vented box, mounting depth 3 ¼ inches.
Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 8-inch Shallow Mount Subwoofer
The Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 is a trendsetter among shallow mount subwoofers. It has a peak power handling of 600 watts and RMS 150 watts. It is designed for free-air and enclosed applications. The TS-SW2002D2 is fitted with an 8-inch mica injection molded resin cone. It is a rigid and durable cone that delivers high-output bass in all kinds of spaces. The cone has an oversized structure which ensures greater cone and gasket surface without altering the dimensions of the cone. This extra surface area moves more air to produce deeper and louder bass. The subwoofer has a compact shallow design for installation in small spaces like behind the back seat of pick-up trucks. Its space-optimized housing allows it fit spaces that other subwoofers would not. If you are looking for a subwoofer that has heart-thumping bass but won’t hog all the room inside your SUV or truck, the Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 is an excellent option. It has flexible mounting and can be installed in the trunk of a car or a truck cab with equal ease. You can go for a free-air or boxed set-up. If you want to pop it in a box, we suggest you go for the Pioneer UD-SW200D down-firing shallow subwoofer enclosure. As per the brand’s website, it is the ‘perfect companion for the TS-SW2002D2’. The enclosure is cleverly crafted to slide into tight spaces in a variety of auto trunks. The TS-SW2002D2 has a mounting depth of 2 5/8 inches which is almost half that of a regular sub in its size category. It has a cut-out diameter of 7.05 inches. If you are building an enclosure from scratch, make sure it has a volume between 0.15 to 0.50 cubic feet. Frequency response of the sub is 20 Hz to 200 Hz, impedance is dual 2 ohm and sensitivity is 86 dB.
Key Features :
- 8-inch dual 2-ohm shallow mount subwoofer.
- Suitable for free-air and sealed installations.
- Mica injection molded resin cone, oversized cone structure.
- 2 5/8 inches mounting depth, 7.05 inches cut-out diameter.
- Frequency response 20 Hz to 200 Hz, max power handling 600 watts, RMS power 150 watts Hz.
Advantages of shallow mount subwoofer :
A shallow mount sub has a very small footprint. It has a low mounting depth which allows it to comfortably fit under a car seat. The sub enclosure is small in size. It can be tucked away in a corner of the trunk for a neat and clean installation. A shallow sub is lightweight and portable. It can easily be removed from the vehicle if a replacement is required. The device has a compact shape, and is easy to carry and transport.
Disadvantages of shallow mount subwoofer :
The disadvantage of a shallow sub is its output. It is often not as deep and voluminous as a regular full-depth subwoofer. The low-end frequencies might not be as well reproduced. They may lack power and slam, and the final output might seem a little weak. The other drawback of a low-profile subwoofer is its shorter lifespan. Due to its slim construction, it is at a higher risk of getting dislocated or suffering other damage over a period of time.