With limited cabin and trunk space, sports cars like the Scion FR-S leave the owner with limited options for adding bass without compromising practicality. There are custom fitted trunk subwoofer boxes that fit in the corner of the trunk but they are very expensive and still make it difficult to put longer or wider items in the trunk. Our customer brought their FR-S in looking to add some bass to their vehicle without using up too much space. We showed him 8" and 10" subwoofer boxes but decided they would still be a bit too big so we started looking at compact powered subwoofer enclosures.
JVC CW-DRA8 Subwoofer
We opted for the JVC CW-DRA8 which is one of the highest powered compact powered subwoofers available with 150W RMS. As the subwoofer can be positioned right under the driver's seat, the 150W RMS 8" unit actually adds a significant amount of bass, perhaps comparable to a 300W RMS sub mounted in the trunk. Out of all the compact subwoofers we've installed, the JVC has proven to be one of the best in terms of bang for the buck. It's noticeably more powerful than the similarly priced Kenwood KSC-SW11 which uses a smaller 5" x 7" woofer.
We still stock and sell the smaller Kenwood as some vehicles don't have the clearance for the JVC unit which is just under 3" thick and over a foot wide. Both subwoofers actually use the same wiring kit and are installed the same way so if the larger unit fits, the JVC would be a better bet.
With these compact enclosures, the amplifier and wiring are all built into a neat package and power can be taken from the fuse box. This means there's no need to run thick gauge wire through the firewall. There's also a handy remote to adjust the crossover, gain, and phase.
Overall, we think these compact powered subwoofers are a good option for many newer vehicles. They can fit in between the two seat rails on a lot of cars so they don't take up too much rear legroom. In this FR-S, as our customer was over 6 feet tall, the back seat was unusable so he did not mind using up the rear footwell for the subwoofer.
If you're interested in adding some bass to your vehicle's audio system, contact us today