Have you ever noticed that you get used to the way a system sounds? If you change out the tweeters or add a new woofer, your brain gets used to the sound. It’s almost as if your brain eventually forgets about the change.
Our ears and brains are interesting. It’s almost as if they have a burn-in period.
The same thing applies to switching out a mediocre factory stereo system. A factory system will get the job done, but they’re nothing special because you’re used to it.
Install a new system and you’ll immediately notice a huge difference. A subwoofer is a great way to add a little extra boom to your trunk.
Some of the most popular auto subwoofers on the market today are made by Rockford Fosgate.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Subwoofer
There are a huge range of auto subwoofers available on the market today. Finding the right one for you will depend on many factors.
- Power Rating: The RMS power is the more important number to look at. You’ll need a sub that can handle the output power of your amplifier. Don’t worry about the peak power rating. Those are often inflated.
- Enclosure Type: You’ll need to decide what type of enclosure and how much space you have in your car. A sealed box will deliver a tighter and more controlled bass. But a ported box will be louder and boomier. Not as precise.
- Number of Voice Coils: A Dual Voice Coil woofer will give you more wiring options over a single coil system. It doesn’t have a huge effect on sound between the two. A DVC allows you to lower the resistance level and bridge the output of an amp if your amp supports it.
- Impedance Rating: A 2 ohm sub will usually play louder bass than a 4 ohm sub. But it also pulls more power from your amplifier.
Rockford Fosgate’s products are widely used for a reason. They’re a highly reputable company who makes some of the most versatile auto stereo products on the market. Their Punch P1S4-12 model subwoofer has earned a great deal of acclaim, but is it right for you?
- Price: The P1S4-12 is reasonably priced, a good mid-range option. There are many cheaper and more expensive products on the market, and you generally get what you pay for. A $20 subwoofer simply isn’t going to have the kind of power and range as an $80 one. A model above the $200 range may be made for sound competition. For the amount of features it offers and the high dependability of the product the Punch P1S4-12 is priced well.
- The Punch: The P1 subwoofers were the first in Rockford Fosgate’s Punch Series. Their punch subwoofers deliver strong and powerful bass, efficiency and enviable aesthetics. These subwoofers are available for reasonable prices and offer a high level of performance. Any of the subwoofers in the Punch line would be an excellent choice for most vehicles.
- Durability: Rockford Fosgate has incorporated many innovative features to improve the durability. Their cones are reinforced with Kevlar. This adds a great deal of strength while improving their power. They also use a special venting system to keep the speaker’s voice coils cool. This helps to increase their lifespan. Their voice coils are made partially from aluminum. This also helps to eliminate excess heat build-up. Features like these will keep their subwoofer working at peak performance far longer than many of their competitors.
Features and Benefits
Here are a few of the most notable features of the Rockford Fosgate Punch P1S4-12, and how they might benefit you:
- Part of the Punch series of subwoofers, meaning they have a great look, high level of performance and strong price point.
- Kevlar-enforced cones and a special venting system improves longevity.
- Energy-efficient design doesn’t suck unnecessary power from your vehicle.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty if you encounter any factory issues.
What Are Users Saying?
For the most part, the user reviews for the Punch P1S4-12 are very positive.
Even users who say that they frequently blow speakers complement these on their performances and longevity. They say that the bass hits hard when they turn the volume up. The sound is perfect for a wide-range of genres. Many installed it themselves and said installation was quite easy.
Of course, there are a few dissenters.
Most of these users say that their speakers wore out far too quickly. Several users report that it lasted only four months. Some reported that the products they received did not work at all, or that they bought two and only one worked.
In fact, almost all the negative reviews deal with the condition their speakers arrived in. Only a couple complained of malfunctioning voice coils or clipping.
What Are the Alternatives?
There are a huge range of auto subwoofers out there. I’ll examine a more expensive option and a cheaper option. The Punch P1S4-12 is serving as a great example of a mid-range subwoofer.
One more expensive option is the Rockville RW10CA. There are pricier options out there than the RW10CA, but these speakers will routinely retail for well over $100. This is a subwoofer and amplifier combo. You don’t need a separate amp for this because it’s built in.
There are a few advantages to their product. Its slim design may make it more suitable for certain vehicle interiors.
It has a higher peak wattage, 800 watts to the P1S4-12’s 500. There is some controversy over the peak power ratings of other Rockville subs so be sure to do your research.
It’s an option to consider when you look at the price and installation.
For a budget option, consider the BOSS CXX8 subwoofer. It actually has higher peak wattage than the P1S4-12, 600 compared to its 500 watts.
But it’s missing a lot of the features of the Rockford Fosgate. Its cones are not reinforced with Kevlar. Most of the speaker is actually made of rubber. BOSS claims that their subwoofers conduct heat and electricity effectively. The reviews seem to agree.
The difference is in the usage. If you want a very strong bass sound the Punch P1S4-12 will be more your speed. Most people seem to be buying these to replace factory speakers or for casual music listening. If you’re not planning on putting your speakers through a great deal of stress then these might be a great option for you.
Is the Rockford Fosgate P1S4-12 Right for You?
As an entry level product, you can’t get much better than this. Consider the product quality, sound quality, and price. You won’t find much better.
If you’re looking for a subwoofer with strong bass and high durability, The Punch P1S4-12 may be your subwoofer.
Do you want an all-in-one design and a slimmer profile? Are you willing to spend a little more money to get it? If so, the Rockville RW10CA is a great choice.
Are you looking for a budget option that delivers strong audio quality without a ton of power or bass that will rattle your windows? If so, the BOSS CXX8 may be totally adequate for you.
All three of these speakers are excellent products with great customer reviews from trusted brands.
But I’d go with Rockford if it was my first sub.