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Best 12 Inch Subwoofers 2023
Buying Guide With Reviews
You’ve realized you can go bigger than an 8 inch subwoofer. You’ve realized you can go bigger than the 10 inch offerings. You’re going to go with the 12 inch subwoofers. 12 inch subwoofers are not the smallest available, so you’re not going to be able to pack one of these in a small hatchback, but if you’re driving something a little bit bigger, these should be perfect.
12 inch subwoofers are really where you start to the louder models pop-up. You’re dealing with wattage in excess of 1000 watts usually here. This means that you’re going to need a more expensive amplifier and a bigger enclosure. Make sure that you don’t just spend all your money on the speaker itself, enclosures and amplifiers are important too (and head units).
With that in mind, here is a rundown of the best 12 inch subs available today. This list is impartial and does not represent all the options available on the market. However, if you are looking for the best 12 inch subs, these are probably a good springboard and are certainly representative of the more famous brands out there.
Best 12 Inch Subwoofers Of 2023
1. Infinity Reference 1262w - Winner of the Best 12 inch Subwoofer of 2023
Just like with their 8 inch offering, Infinity Reference has made a cheap option for the 12 inch market. Compared to the other options on this list, at a lower price, the 1262w is much more inexpensive. It comes with a reasonably high decibel sensitivity rating of 93 and a very high maximum power handling rating of 1,200 watts. This is a good option if you are a real budget buyer and want the most out of the money you have to spare.
Rockford is not the most well-known brand out there, but they do have some presence. I haven’t looked at a Rockford speaker in the past, but the Fosgate Punch P3 P3SD212 has managed to impress me. The speaker cone is particularly impressive as it is reinforced with Kevlar (you know, the stuff they use for body armor). This means that the speaker cone is unlikely to be broken or damaged (which would mean really terrible sound quality). The power handling rating on this model isn’t as high as on other models, but it more than makes up for it by producing rich and dense sounds.
For the price, the Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F is a brilliant option. These speakers manage to reach a power handling rating of 1,400 watts. This is one of the highest power handling ratings for speakers in this class (See also the Kicker 11S12L72). But it’s not only the power handling rating which makes this such a good choice. It’s also the fact that the Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F manages to produce quality sound at the same time. A decibel sensitivity of 91 dB means that this is going to sound good regardless of whether you go into higher volumes. Overall, this is one of the best 12 inch subwoofers if you’re looking for value for money.
The JL Audio 12W3v3-2 manages to maintain a pretty basic design whilst hiding a range of impressive specs underneath. The peak power handling rating of 1000 watts is not the highest, but it’s impressive regardless. This, combined with the materials used to design the upper speaker cone (a Mineral-filled polypropylene), mean that the sound quality coming from this unit is going to be some of the best you will get in this speaker class. I would have classed this as one of the best 12 inch subwoofers available. However, there is still a competitor which manages to do better. It comes from a brand which, surprisingly, has exchanged their usual cheaper (but still good quality) market for a more expensive one. This contender is the…
Whilst Kicker are normally known for making reliable, yet cheap, subwoofers. This is a little different. Not only this because the Kicker 11S12L72 is decidedly more upmarket and expensive that some of the alternatives, but its design also sets it apart. Instead of making use of a circular speaker cone, the Kicker 11S12L72 uses a square disk design instead. Kicker claim that this makes it louder. Whilst this may or may not be true (I am unsure), it certainly does reduce distortion.
The Kicker 11S12L72 is a surprising winner in regards to being the best 12 inch sub available. Not only because of its brand, but also because it manages to balance a very high power handling rating (1,500 watts) with a good decibel sensitivity (88.6 dB) and a unique and innovative design. This is definitely my vote for being the best 12 inch sub available.
Best 12 Inch Subwoofers Of 2023 Conclusion
If you really want to upgrade your cars audio system with 12 inch subwoofer, I highly recommend the Kicker 11S12L72. Why? Because time and time again, Kicker have proved themselves as capable of producing a high-quality speaker at a low price. Just imagine what they are capable of when they have a bit more money to play around with.
Whilst the Kicker 11S12L72 might be my top choice, a close contender, especially for the budget buyer, is the Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F. Go with this option if you want the same power handling, but are constrained by the amount of money you have to spend.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com