Pros / The performance is as good as it gets.
Cons / It's very big.
Verdict / The Rockford Fosgate P300's performance is exceptionally tight and big. If you want the best powered car subwoofer, the P300 delivers.
Rockford Fosgate is among the most popular brand of car audio manufacturers, and the P300 is no exception as the most reviewed and highest rated car subwoofer on Amazon. This 300-watt subwoofer features a 12-inch woofer and a sealed enclosure designed to produce a punchy, yet tight performance. In my tests, it was the best performing car subwoofer. For this reason, it earned my pick for the best subwoofer overall.
The Rockford Fosgate P300 has an MSRP price of $299, but the current market price is about $199. While this makes it one of the more expensive powered subwoofers I reviewed, it's still considerably more affordable than purchasing all the components separately. It's not easy to build a good $200 subwoofer when you have to buy the woofer, amplifier and enclosure separately. Plus, you'd have to deal with matching power specs and wiring.
By comparison though, the Pioneer TS-WX1210A, a similar powered sub, but it costs about $130. The performance isn't as pristine as the P300, but it's close. Both feature sealed enclosure with powerful amplifiers. The big question is whether you feel the better performance of the P300 is worth the $70 difference.
To test the subwoofers, I evaluated the bass within the context of a mix by listening to it perform with car speakers. Then I disconnected the speakers and evaluated the isolated bass performance, listening to distortions, clipping and other quirks. After tuning the bass and finding the sweet spot, I evaluated the size of the bass.
The P300 was the best performing subwoofer in these tests. The only comparable subwoofer is the JBL GT-BassPro12. Both subs earned A+ grades for overall performance and size. However, their performance couldn't be more different. The P300 is a very tight subwoofer. The bass has great shape and fits well in the mix because it's designed for accuracy. The GT-BassPro12 is designed to be aggressive and boomy with a massive, front-facing port. It's not nearly as accurate, but then it's not meant to be accurate. In other words, both subwoofers received A+ grades for performance because they are the best at the type of bass they were designed to perform.
The most impressive part of the P300's performance was the size of the bass. The sweet spot was very close to the maximum output and it was shaking the entire building where I tested. This sub certainly has the size to announce your arrival wherever you go.
The frequency response bottoms out at 35 Hz, a somewhat disappointing specification. The basement of human hearing is 20 Hz. For reference, the lowest note on a piano is 27Hz. So, it seems out of character for a 12-inch subwoofer to bottom out at 35 Hz.
Power & Control
The built-in amplifier has a continuous power output of 300-watts, making it the second most powerful subwoofer I tested. This extra power is necessary because of the large woofer and the sealed enclosure, but the size of the bass in my tests proved its power is plenty big enough to rattle your teeth in your head like maracas.
The controls received a B grade. It has only five controls, but these include a 50 to 200 Hz crossover and a 12-dB bass boost. This provides enough control to tune the subwoofer to your car's acoustic challenges and your preferences. It also comes with a wired remote to adjust the volume from the driver's seat. However, the biggest reason for the B grade is the flat knobs. They aren't easy to grip and turn. Some may need to use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the settings.
Like other 12-inch subwoofers, size is a consideration. The P300 comes in a sealed enclosure slightly smaller than the Pioneer subwoofer, but it's still big enough to consider the space it takes up in a trunk or storage area of a vehicle.
If a tight bass performance is your priority, the Rockford Fosgate P300 is the best option. The bass is very accurate and very big. It was the best performing car subwoofer in my tests. The 300-watt, 12-inch subwoofer are capable of rattling the windows of cars you drive past. The only concerns worth considering are size and price.