MTX Audio has a well-earned reputation for some of the most impressive high-end car subwoofers and car audio equipment on the market. The JackHammer, for example, costs $10,000 and is so big and powerful, they recommend you consider making vehicle modifications to handle it. Thankfully, the MTX Audio RTP8A doesn't require reinforcing the frame. This powered subwoofer is far more affordable at $149 and features an 8-inch woofer installed to a ported enclosure. Don't be fooled by the small woofer and small enclosure though, it's certainly capable of bringing the boom.
At around $150, the RTP8A is among the most affordable powered subwoofers available. Only the Pioneer TS-WX1210A and Kenwood KSC-SW11 are more affordable. However, it's the most affordable ported subwoofer.
The overall performance of the MTX Audio RTP8A received a B grade. Since this subwoofer has a ported enclosure, the performance isn't designed to be as tight and accurate as most of the subwoofers I tested. With this in mind, I compared its performance to the JBL GT-BassPro12 – the other ported subwoofers I tested. The RTP8A isn't nearly as punchy and there was some notable distortion when I isolated the bass. The JBL is the better performing subwoofer, but the MTX is still a good option, especially considering the lower price.
The size of the bass was surprising. Despite having an 8-inch subwoofer and a 120-watt amplifier, the sweet spot of the subwoofer's performance was massive. While it didn't reach the same volume as the JBL subwoofer, I could feel the bass from the same distance. The size of the bass really doesn't match the size of the enclosure and the woofer. It's like a featherweight boxer punching way above its weight.
At 13 inches high, 13 inches wide and 13.75 inches deep, the enclosure is much bigger than the under-seat subwoofers, but much smaller than the other enclosures. This means it doesn't take up as much space in your trunk, but it's far too big to fit in most other locations.
A significant concern is the lack of controls. It has just two controls – a high-pass filter you can adjust between 50 Hz and 200 Hz and a gain. While the high-pass filter control is critical for tuning the subwoofer's performance, most subwoofers had at least five or six controls to further fine-tune the performance.
The MTX Audio RTP8A packs a lot of punch into a small enclosure. Even with just an 8-inch woofer and a 120-watt amplifier, the bass is big and aggressive. If you're looking for a ported enclosure at an affordable price, this subwoofer is a good option with plenty of punch.