Want your speakers to pump out some serious bass, enough to make your car shake? The world’s most powerful car subwoofers have got you covered.

Prepare to Marvel!

I went to school with a bloke who was an artist for Marvel Comics – he drew his Mighty Apocalypse character on my rough book cover. Hornsby sparked a love of ‘comix’ in me that eventually led to my writing “BoomZilla” for Car Stereo & Security magazine. A two-page Christmas strip was also run in Fast Car some time later.

A blatant Hulk/Spiderman knock off, inspired by something that happened to me at the Las Vegas CES one January. The MMats (sic) car audio company had a bloke called David Thompson stood in a white coat by “The Room Of Doom”. I was like a moth to a flame. Inside, were two boxes of three 15in subwoofers, each with a tiny but insanely strong MMats amplifier driving it. A central SPL display unit was flickering and showed a magic number. It was 150dB!

A Rude Awakening

As I stepped into this little shack of thick blocky panels, complete with a roof, David pressed a button. It made a tone generator send a ludicrous signal to the amplifiers. At that point I had experienced 150dB SPL of bass, but was not expecting it. It blasted me to my very intestines and the acoustic shock was biblical. For a moment, I was enraged, then almost as fast thought it was hilarious. As I stood there, wobbling in the 150dB throb, I had this idea:

Jim Gentry, mild-mannered acoustician works late into the night at the lab. His neighbor is a scientist experimenting with Bio-Mutagenic particles. Jim gets infected and now, whenever he gets suddenly subjected to loud sounds, he turns into BoomZilla! A monster comprised of speakers and amplifiers, his right arm finished in a massive stupid-huge cartoon subwoofer. It was supposed to be way beyond reality, as you can probably tell, and was inked by Julian Sewell.

BoomZilla’s Fist!

In the years since, manufacturers have produced subwoofer drivers that have made Boomzy’s fist look somewhat sad. The sort that makes normal people say “THAT’S FOR A CAR?”

I am talking about power handing in the thousands of watts. Bass down to frequencies you can call elephants and whales with, at sound levels that can hurt you. The Sound Pressure Level (SPL) World Record is 188.8dB. You will get injured with blood vessel damage and heart attack risk at 165dB to 170dB. Like a finger in a flame, nobody can withstand that much sound! Judges measure these record ‘cars’ as sealed pressure chambers.

It’s all about that coil of wire on the back and how hard it can shove the cone on the front forwards. They need to be robust and springy and made to cool well. They start from as small as 10in, where the magnet on the back is often as big as the cone. And they go up to 18in and beyond. Precision Devices’ legendary 24in pro-audio woofer is used in some mega-installs, but the other woofers here, are made for cars.

Steve Meade, US car bass legend, has just installed two of the B2 33in woofers in his home theatre.

These then, are the most powerful subwoofers in the world…

Precision Devices subwoofer

Precision Devices PD.24603BR 24in

Price: $1,448.00 / £1,134.00. Buy it here.

Do you recall the advert with the speakers rising out of a car trunk for Miller beer? A very long time back but it was inspired by a famous car on the big bass demo circuit that had six huge 24 inch Precision Devices woofers inside. Turbosound pro P.A. enclosures rose out the back on hydraulic rams. These are really for music rather than making over 160dB as they are huge pistons with ‘relatively sane’ specifications!

Lovely classic honest paper pulp cones and linen rather than all that fat rubber for the top surround. That means that a PD system will play forever without the woofers breaking. It’s what they do. Oh, and it’s six times more efficient than the monster-power brands. So the bass your system makes with the power you have, will be playable all day. It will run long after lesser systems have sucked their power supplies inside out.


  • Cone Diameter/Voice Coil Size: 24in / 6in
  • Power Handling RMS: 1,800 Watts
  • Power Rating Max: 3,600 Watts
  • Resonance Frequency (FS): 34Hz
  • SPL 1W/1M (Efficiency): 98dB
  • Coil/Terminals Configuration: 8 Ohms
  • Mass 50.7lbs/23Kg
Gately Audio Relentless subwoofer

Gately Audio Relentless 18

Price: $1,589.00. Buy it here.

Another totally absurd driver, in a serious 18in diameter. The ‘tinsel’ leads to the triple-layer voice coil in its guts are sewn to the bottom suspension spider. This is different to normal woofers and is done so that they don’t fling around and break under huge power.

Common in high power woofers, it also features thick 8Ga wires ready-connected to join to the amplifier’s speaker wire. This avoids spring terminals getting hot as the sheer wattage flowing can be so high. Despite the huge size, Gately state that this gorgeous massive carbon fiber-coned driver will deliver ultra low bass with great linearity and tonal accuracy. That means it plays evenly across all the bass frequencies, despite getting down very low into them.


  • Cone Diameter/Voice Coil Size: 18in / 4in
  • Power Handling RMS: 4,000 Watts
  • Power Rating PEAK: 8,000 Watts
  • Resonance Frequency (FS): Not Quoted
  • SPL 1W/1M (Efficiency): Not Quoted
  • Coil/Terminals Configuration: Dual 1 Ohm on direct 8 Gauge wires
  • Mass 70lbs/31.75Kg
Sundown Audio ZV6-18

Sundown Audio Z-V6 18in D1

Price: $1,149.00 / £1,393.00. Buy it here.

Sundown are one of the amp and woofer makers completely dedicated to the car SPL community. They do not ponce about with fancy SQ. They just want to hurt you. The sorts of Sound Pressure Levels their users achieve are in the 160dB-plus range. They make pro-audio kit designed to go into cars including mega power 100W tweeters and speakers, with horns in their centers. Upon unprotected ears close by, you can cause permanent hearing damage with bullet tweeters. Normally used for rock concerts, played within inches of ears, is not what they are for!

Sundown are about loud and they are very good at it. Check out their absurd amplifiers in the ‘World’s Most Powerful Amps’ article. This ultra-long excursion woofer driver has quadruple stacked magnets and the voice coil has eight layers to get as much metal to grip and fling around as possible. This is utterly brutal and may be the driver BoomZilla would literally give his left arm for…


  • Cone Diameter/Voice Coil Size: 18in / 3in, 8-layer
  • Power Handling RMS: 2,500 Watts
  • Power Rating PEAK: 10,000 Watts
  • Resonance Frequency (FS): 24Hz
  • SPL 1W/1M (Efficiency): 87.5dB
  • Coil/Terminals Configuration: Dual 1 or 2 Ohms
  • Mass: 50lBs/22.7Kg
DD Audio 9921

DD Audio 9921

Price: $1,709.00 (£1,343 / €1,1570.00). Buy it here.

Digital Designs, or just DD, were the brand I learned about first when it came to stupefying power handling woofers. Theirs were the first I saw with that sewn-in tinsel lead thing. This is their gigantic 21incher. They are so hardcore, saying they serve the, “demanding bassaholic with a profound interest in physics”. This means DD are about supplying the craze for ultra-low bass music. The four inch voice-coil is aluminum wire and is flat wound. This is again about getting more metal into the voice coil gap in the magnet. Imagine a stack of round pencils between two sheets of paper. There are gaps. If they were carpenters’ pencils, there would be no gaps. Hence ‘edge wound’.

DD even earned a nickname for this product in earlier iterations. They called it ‘The Beast’. The real key here is the FS. This is the frequency that the springy assembly of cone and suspension ‘wants’ to wobble at. It’s a description of a mechanical quality. The lower the FS, the lower bass the subwoofer will be good at making. This one is deep, at 26Hz. Some makers prefer not to admit their FS specification, as their drivers make deep bass by sheer brute force rather than sweet resonance.


  • Cone Diameter/Voice Coil Size: 21in / 4in flat ally wire
  • Power Handling RMS: 2,500 Watts
  • Power Rating PEAK: 10,000 Watts
  • Resonance Frequency (FS): 26.24Hz
  • SPL 1W/1M (Efficiency): 89.42dB
  • Coil/Terminals Configuration: Dual 1 or 2 Ohms
  • Mass: 92lbs/42Kg
Steve Meade's B2 Audio 33in sub

B2 Audio X2SIX 33in D1

Price: £4,299.00. Buy it here.

Steve Meade is an internet car audio bass superstar. His Escalade install has been featured in many media, and was once photographed especially for a Fast Car print feature. We had a look around his equally mad Chevy Tahoe too. But Steve keeps on growing and doing and making stuff, and he has just put two of these totally Kaiju-grade subwoofers in his home theatre system. As one would not be enough and of course, like the very brand name says, you cannot B2 loud! They produce huge amplifiers and lots of stupendous-power speakers that are not quite as crazy as this one. But when it comes to a quick read about extreme woofers, it finishing here with a 33 inch example, is kind of cool.

This has the totally most intense specifications. It has an FS of just 18Hz. This means it wants to play infrasonic. Its F3 and F9 or the frequencies at which the level has dropped by 6/9dB will be single figures! The above-99dB efficiency means it will make 11dB more audio per watt than the Sundown. The coils are each just 0.8 Ohm each. The whole concept is like it was invented by a cartoonist…

And finally, yes, it was made for vehicle installation, big ones.


  • Cone Diameter/Voice Coil Size: 33in / 4½in
  • Power Handling RMS: 6,000 Watts
  • Power Rating PEAK: 24,000 Watts
  • Resonance Frequency (FS): 18Hz
  • Sensitivity 2.83V / 1W/1M (Efficiency): 99.2dB SPL
  • Coil/Terminals Configuration: Dual 0.8 Ohm
  • Mass: 110lbs/50Kg