The Best 15 Inch Subwoofers

Two 15 Inch Subs in an Enclosure

Bass is the backbone of music, and if a sound system is lacking in it, then no matter how good the rest of the components sound, the overall system will feel underwhelming. When choosing the right size of subwoofer for your vehicle there are a few aspects to consider: How much space do you have to dedicate to your subwoofer? What kind of music do you listen to? How much power are you planning on supplying the subwoofer?

This article is about 15” subwoofers, and these questions are even more important when considering this size. The size of enclosure needed to house a subwoofer grows exponentially with every inch of the subwoofer’s diameter, so even though it is only 3” wider than a 12” subwoofer, the enclosure for it will be much larger.

Subwoofers of this size work best when paired to bass heavy music types like house or EDM, though they work well with other genres as well. As for power, because they are so large they are often less efficient than other sizes, so usually they require more power.

If you decide on a 15” subwoofer you gain deep bass that is more “environmental” than other sizes and the bass can be more impactful. These subwoofers are a big commitment but the sound rewards you get are unmatched.

Below are some of our favorite 15” subwoofers available.

Best Value
Kicker Comp 43C154

The Best Value 15 inch sub

Kicker has been making fantastic subwoofers since the early seventies, and their Comp line is an affordable option that packs a lot of value and power into a well-designed subwoofer.

The stiff injection-molded polypropylene cone is double stitched to the ribbed UV-treated surround, providing excellent strength. The high-quality stamped steel basket is built to handle extreme stress, while shedding weight where possible. Perimeter venting along the basket allows for extra air flow to the voice coil to help keep temperatures manageable during operation.

A “bumped” back plate is used to allow for extra space for voice coil movement. This extra space helps the 43C154 achieve its Xmax of 13.5mm. Having enough power to handle a good amount of volume, this subwoofer has an RMS power rating of 250w and peak rating of 500w. With a mounting depth of 7.437” the 43C154 can be mounted in both sealed or vented enclosures, but they both will take up a fair amount of space.

In terms of value, the 43C154 has everything you could want in a subwoofer at a reasonable price, and is backed by the Kicker name.

This Speaker is For:

Someone who wants a well-balanced subwoofer without breaking the bank.

This Speaker is Not For:

Someone looking for a subwoofer that can handle extreme volumes.

Best Overall
Skar Audio EVL-15 D2

The best overall 15 inch sub

If you want a powerhouse of a subwoofer without concern of causing damage to the speaker, while still sounding great, then Skar Audio’s EVL-15 is worth considering. 

With an impressive RMS power rating of 1250w and peak rating of 2500w there is not only enough power to push the volume loud, but also enough headroom to handle the dynamic loads. This is thanks to Skar’s dedication to designing their speakers with loud volumes in mind and ensuring each component is up to the task.

The competition grade paper cone is stitched to a high roll foam surround allowing for an impressive Xmax of 23.5mm (one-way). This ability to safely handle a large amount of speaker excursion protects the 3” dual voice coil from “bottoming out” and tearing the surround.

Keeping all that extreme movement steady and well balanced is Skar’s premium suspension featuring the EVL series signature Red Two Layer Spider. This robust subwoofer takes up a fair amount of space, with a mounting depth of 8.65”.

The EVL-15 provides outstanding bang for the buck while delivering accurate and powerful bass.

This Speaker is For:

Someone looking to push their system to the lowest lows.

This Speaker is Not For:

Anyone with space constrictions.

Best Under $100
Pyle PLPW15D

15" Sub Under $100

If you are looking to upgrade your system on a budget, then Pyle’s PLPW15D is a great entry-level subwoofer that will get you excellent results for under a hundred dollars. 

To achieve this low price-point, some sacrifices were made in the materials used and its overall strength, but the PLPW15D still delivers strong clear bass. The cone is made using non-press paper and is attached to the steel basket with the specially treated foam surround.

Pyle rates the RMS power rating at 1000w while the peak is rated for 2000w. Many users found that these numbers should be closer to a little less than half of what they are listed at, in order to protect the subwoofer and avoid damage. While those more “realistic” ratings may disappoint some, others who are using the subwoofer as reinforcement to round out the low end in their system should still be happy with the results.

Besides price, another advantage the PLPW15D has over others on this list is its mounting depth of 6.3”, making it a fairly slim for a 15” subwoofer, providing space saving options.

For the price, Pyle’s PLPW15D is a solid choice for anyone looking to try out a 15” subwoofer.

This Speaker is For:

Someone looking for a low-cost entry-level subwoofer.

This Speaker is Not For:

Someone who will push their subwoofer.

Best Around $200
American Bass E1544

Best 15" Subwoofer Around $200

While not as recognizable of a name as others on this list, American Bass builds some outstanding subwoofers, including the E1544, which comes in at under two hundred dollars.

The E1544 is part of American Bass’s Elite series that shares many aspects to their high-end XFL series. The major difference is the Elite series uses a stamped basket instead of the cast basket used in the XFL subwoofers. This basket is still heavy duty though, built for durability and looks sleek with a black powder finish.

The fiber added non-press cone is just as durable and is paired with a hi-roll high-density foam surround, materials that can hold up to both environmental conditions and the stresses of bass reproduction. The double black poly-cotton spider is attached to the dual 3” hi-temp voice coil.

The E1544 can handle a lot of power with an RMS rating of 1200w and a peak rating of 2400w. Like most 15” subwoofers, the E1544 takes up a fair amount of space, including the 7.71” needed for its mounting depth.

This hard-hitting subwoofer would be a great addition to any sound system.

This Speaker is For:

Someone with a moderate budget who likes to push the bass.

This Speaker is Not For:

Someone who wants a premium subwoofer.

Best Sound
Rockford Fosgate P3D4-15

The Best Sounding 15" Sub

Rockford Fosgate’s P3D4-15 is a member of their P3 series which are their best performing subwoofers. This performance translates directly to phenomenal bass that is clean, accurate, and impactful.

The anodized aluminum cone and dust cap are attached to the basket using Rockford’s “VAST” (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) system. By using their VAST system, the overall surface that can radiate sound is increased up to 25% more than similar brands, while the anodized aluminum components provide superior strength and accuracy. The high temperature dual 4” voice coil has an anodized aluminum former that acts as a heat sink to help dissipate heat that builds up during high volumes. A new hybrid stamp-cast basket provides increased strength while minimizing weight and resonance. The design also features integrated spider venting to further aid in voice coil cooling by providing increased air movement.

Rated for 600w RMS and a 1200w peak, the P3D4-15 has plenty of headroom to listen to music at high volumes while also sounding powerful at lower volumes. Having a mounting depth of 7.58” the P3D4-15 isn’t overly deep, but consideration should still be taken to ensure there is enough space to mount this subwoofer.

If you want more out of a subwoofer than window-rattling power, then this subwoofer is your best bet for delivering stunningly accurate bass with a big impact.

This Speaker is For:

Someone who prizes clean, accurate bass.

This Speaker is Not For:

Someone looking for an easy and inexpensive solution to add more bass.

Honorable Mention
Kicker L715

A Square 15" Subwoofer?

First, let us deal with the elephant in the room. Why is this subwoofer square? The answer is that a 15” wide square subwoofer has 25% more surface area than a traditional 15” circular subwoofer. That is a massive increase in area and all that extra surface translates into the ability to push more air every time the subwoofer moves, making the most out of each beat.

The next thing one might notice after the square frame is the large oversized magnet that provides strong rigidity and the ability to handle the extreme stresses a subwoofer is under. The L715 can handle a serious amount of power with an RMS rating of 1200w, so not only does this speaker push more physical air than circular subwoofers, but it can also handle a lot of power. With all this power, a lot of heat will build up within the subwoofer. Kicker takes care of this with such designs as finned aluminum heat sinks around the voice coil, and a back plate that combines seamlessly with the pole piece to pull heat outwards.

A subwoofer this rugged takes up a lot of space, including its mounting depth of 9.375”, so a substantial amount of space will need to be scarified for this subwoofer to perform correctly. Another drawback is the price tag, being the highest on this list by a fair amount.

If you want outstanding power and have the room for it, then the L715 will deliver an unforgettable experience.

This Speaker is For:

Someone who can invest the space and money to get extreme bass.

This Speaker is Not For:

Anyone with space limitations, or those only looking to “round out” their system.

About The Author

Jack Nemo is a professional sound engineer based in Alberta, Canada. He’s managed to make a career out of his love for music while working with artists from around the world. When not behind a soundboard he can be found taking things apart to see how they work and attempting to put them back together again.