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What Determines the Best Car Subwoofers? A Comparison

Rockford Fosgate utilizes unique technology elements to help ensure our subwoofers are the best car subs on the market.

More Cone Area in a Subwoofer with VAST Technology

VAST (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) is a proprietary Rockford Fosgate technology that allows up to a 25% increase in overall radiating cone area compared to standard drivers. The way we do this is instead of the traditional flat surround attached technique around the perimeter of the woofer, we actually are mounting it in a vertical channel. This allows us to move the outer edge of the cone outward, toward the outer perimeter of the woofer, thus moving the inner surround out and gaining cone area.

More cone area means more of the speaker is being used to produce bass, meaning you’ll get more bass from Rockford Fosgate subwoofers.

Make a Subwoofer System Look Great with FlexFit Technology

FlexFit technology on our subwoofer baskets is a series of slotted mounting holes. The slotted holes allow you to use a couple of screws to mount the woofer to an enclosure and make fine alignment adjustments. For example, if you’re mounting a series of woofers in an array and you want to make sure that the logos of all woofers are all aligned with one another, you can mount the woofer, slightly tweak it left and right until it’s lined up, then finish inserting the rest of the screws.

FlexFit helps make sure you have the best-looking subwoofer car audio system. Great for fanatics who want great sounding music plus a great looking car stereo system.

Easily Change Subwoofer Wiring Configuration with SWIFT Terminals

SWIFT terminals are found on our Power Series T1 and T0 subwoofers. The SWIFT terminals allow the installer to quickly change the wiring configuration of the dual voice coils into either a series or parallel configuration. The SWIFT terminals also feature built-in fusing for high current protection.

SWIFT Terminals make installing and wiring your subwoofer much easier.

Increased Subwoofer Performance and Subwoofer Lifespan Through IDHS or Inductive Damping Heat Sink

The IDHS (Inductive Damping Heat Sink) technology is found on our Power Series T1 and T2 woofers. The Inductive Damping Heat Sink does two things; first, it’s mounted on the top of the magnet assembly surrounding the voice coil and reduces or eliminates EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) interference or inductive interference generated by the movement of the voice coil through the magnetic gap. Second, it also acts as a heat sink assembly, helping to pull heat away from the voice coil itself. Being able to pull the heat away from the voice coil, this increases the sound quality and performance of the woofer and increases the lifespan.

IDHS increases your subwoofer lifespan and improves sound quality.

How To Test a Car Subwoofer

CTA Rating

Let’s talk about testing. We’ve spoken about amplifier testing under CTA-2006. With subwoofers, we also follow a standard CTA rating and that is CTA-2031. This, again, is a test set forth in a voluntary fashion for manufacturers to follow and dictates how a subwoofer is tested to calculate the RMS power rating of the woofer.

Car Audio companies like Rockford Fosgate that use voluntary subwoofer testing procedures like CTA, are more honest about power handling ratings.

Klippel Testing a Subwoofer

Along with the CEA-2031 testing standard that we follow, we also utilize a system known as Klippel. Klippel is a computerized testing program designed to measure all parameters of a speaker based on the components and capabilities. The Klippel testing system is designed to accurately measure the subwoofer and the capabilities of that subwoofer.

Every speaker and subwoofer in the Rockford Fosgate family is Klippel tested, not only at our design facility but also in the manufacturing facility itself. This allows us to maintain a high level of quality control. So, before it goes into final packaging, we actually know the subwoofer is performing to our strict standards.

Our extensive subwoofer testing gives you confidence that you are getting the best quality subwoofer possible.

The Basic Components of a Subwoofer

Now let’s talk about some of the basic components of the subwoofer.

The Subwoofer Cone

When you look across the subwoofer lines, you’re going to see different varieties of materials used in the construction of the woofers.

Power Series: Top-of-the-Line Composites

The Power T3 and T2 series subwoofers use a glass-fiber / honeycomb designed cone for maximum strength and rigidity. The T1 subwoofers utilize a Kevlar® fiber-reinforced cones for high strength reinforcement. For compact areas, the T1 “slim” subwoofers use a carbon/glass fiber cone with aluminum dust-cap for excellent strength and heat-sink abilities.

Punch Series: Kevlar and Aluminum Cones

When we go to the Punch P1 and Punch P2 woofers, we are now using a Kevlar® fiber reinforced paper. The Kevlar adds strength and durability, the paper adds rigidity so it’s a nice stiff cone, and it doesn’t add a lot of mass so it’s light enough to move quickly. The Punch P3 series utilizes an aluminum cone for added strength and heat dissipation abilities.

Prime Series: Polypropylene

With the Prime Series subwoofers, we utilize a polypropylene injection molded cone that is lightweight and very stiff.

Whether you choose our top-end Power Series, mid-level Punch series, or entry-level Prime series, you’ll have a subwoofer cone that will deliver great bass.

Subwoofer Spider and Suspension Components

Why Subwoofer Spiders are Important

Now, why is this important? Because the spiders are what’s controlling the movement of the speaker and the linearity of its movement. The more Power handling a speaker has, the more it wants to travel, the more control we need over it.

Power Series Spider

When it comes to the spider and suspension components, in the Power series, we use a dual mirror spider. This provides the extra rigidity needed for demanding situations and keep the subwoofer components properly aligned. The power series subwoofer spiders are separated for linear control of the cone and voice coil assembly, eliminating any side wobble or rocking.

Punch Series Spider

In the Punch family, with P2 and P3 subwoofers, we also utilize a dual mirror spider. The P1 subwoofer uses a single spider assembly.

Prime Series Spider

The entire Prime family of subwoofers utilizes a single spider assembly.

Stitched Tinsel Leads: Preventing Breakage or Shorting Out

When you look at the tinsel leads on the woofer, a lot of manufacturers will use a simple loop technique from the terminals through the spider, connecting to the voice coil assembly. All Rockford Fosgate Punch and Power speakers utilize stitched tinsel leads, giving them a wide range of flexibility while carrying high levels of voltage to the voice coil. They are periodically stitched to the spider to prevent “tinsel lead slap” at high excursions. The advantage is maintained control, it helps with flexibility, and helps prevent any issues with breakage or shorting out.

With state-of-the-art sub spiders and stitched tensile leads, your subwoofer is built to last while delivering earth-shaking bass.

Power Ranges of Rockford Fosgate Subwoofers

The woofers that Rockford Fosgate offers have different power ranges. We start with the Power family of woofers, which have power handling capabilities between 500 watts and 3,000 watts RMS. The Punch family ranges from 250 watts to 600 watts, and the Prime family ranges from 200 watts to 250 watts RMS.

Qualify your car audio goals and budget when designing your new subwoofer system.

Prime Series of Subwoofer: Great Entry Level Speakers that are Budget Friendly

The Prime series is a great entry-level or starter line of subwoofer. They handle a good amount of power and deliver solid bass. It is a great first step upgrade to your factory system. Take note these are not going to be ground-pounding SPL subwoofers, but they are designed for Sound Quality.

Punch Series: Great Speakers for Mid-level Systems

The Punch family has a better sound quality, better power handling, better control, and is very versatile when it comes to enclosure size and types. Punch subwoofers are well rounded, great performing, and work well in many different system configurations.

Power Series: The Best Subwoofers on the Market

The Power family, of course, is the high-power, high SPL family. This is the choice when you to want to produce a lot of bass output, and be able to rattle windows, set off alarms, and generally let everyone know you have the best car stereo on the planet. These are the subs for those of you looking for the highest output with no worry about how much trunk space you take up.

When You Want the Best Car Subwoofer, Go with Rockford Fosgate

Hopefully, this gives you a little insight into the difference between each Rockford Fosgate subwoofer and gives you a better understanding of the technology. Ultimately, we hope you agree that Rockford Fosgate is the leader in subwoofer technologies and offers the best subwoofers on the market for car audio.

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