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Adding a car subwoofer is one of the best ways to improve your vehicle’s audio experience. Due to the numerous options available in the market, it can be quite challenging to choose the best subwoofer for your car. In this Infinity vs. Klipsch article review, we aim to provide you with detailed information on which brand produces the best quality car subwoofers.

Despite owning several car models since I started driving, I have never found a vehicle with the ideal audio system. While stock car audio systems are adequate, they are by far excellent at dispensing varied frequencies at different volumes. As such, many audio enthusiasts, like me, would instead replace factory-installed sound systems with better sound components that deliver premium sound quality.

Over the years, I have found it a lot cheaper to replace and add sound components in my car’s sound system, over removing and replacing an audio system as a whole. One of the essential components in upgrading the sound system of your automobile is the subwoofer. Not only do these devices give your sound a huge and deep bass output, but it also comes in different sizes that are easy to install in most vehicle models. Some of the famous car subwoofers that I have come across are the Infinity and Klipsch subwoofers. Let us find out which brand produces better quality car subwoofers between Infinity and Klipsch.

What are the differences between Infinity and Klipsch subwoofers?

Infinity Reference SUB R12 Klipsch Reference R-12SW
Woofer composition Fiber composite Copper IMG
Frequency response 29-150 Hz 29-120 Hz
Power handling 300 watts RMS and 600 watts Peak Power 200 watts RMS and 400 watts Peak Power
Crossover frequency 50-150 Hz 40-120 Hz
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Infinity vs. Klipsch – How do they compare to one another?

Woofer composition

A woofer’s structure is responsible for delivering lower frequencies or bass output, and sometimes, midrange frequencies ranging between 40 Hz-2000 Hz. The composite material of a woofer significantly contributes to the quality of the sound produced. Not only should the material be rigid enough to convey the appropriate tone, but it should also have the ability to stop as soon as the sound stops to avoid sound distortion.

Infinity Reference SUB R12 consists of a stiff but lightweight fiber-composite woofer cone in a brilliant motor structure that delivers accurate and deep bass output. Its solid 0.75″ cabinet construction has 12″ ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragms (CMMD) woofers, which is a sandwich of an aluminum drive between ceramic layers that ensures high sound quality. It contains an ultra-rigidity design that cancels any additional sonic coloration as its lightweight cones pick up on the subtle details in your favorite tunes.

The Klipsch Reference R-12SW does not compromise on its design. The subwoofer comes with a brushed black polymer veneer cabinet that looks elegant and refined. Its plinth is satin-painted, adding to the sophisticated look of the subwoofer. Its cabinets consist of medium-density Fiberwood material, which gives it its durable aesthetic appearance. The woofers have 12″ Spun Copper IMG (Injected Molded Graphite) that is exceptionally lightweight and firm to ensure the production of high-quality sound waves. Consequently, the front-firing woofer provides greater flexibility for its placement as well as a deep and attractive bass output, guaranteeing quality low-frequency response with minimal distortion.

Frequency response

Whether you are looking to purchase headphones or car speakers, it is essential to consider how well the device can reproduce all the tones in your music, otherwise referred to as frequency response/range. A good quality audio device should reproduce all the audible frequencies in your music without changing the signal on the way.

Subwoofers from Infinity are some of the best low-end audio components available in the market. They come with a Hemispherical Soundfield Technology configuration, which provides an even frequency response coverage for over a 180-degree listening area. As such, the Infinity Reference SUB R12 has flexible placement options that have minimal effects on the speaker’s acoustic performance. The subwoofer has a frequency range of 29 Hz-150 Hz and an impedance of 6-ohms for high digital surround sound and music quality.

Alternatively, the Klipsch Reference has a frequency response of 29 Hz-120 Hz, which is not badly off for a low-end audio component. However, many audio enthusiasts would like to purchase something with a broader range that delivers their preferred sound quality. More so, these subwoofers have a low response ceiling, meaning that they are likely to respond more to high and midrange frequencies only.

Power handling

Finding and buying the best car subwoofer for your vehicle is only one of the struggles of installing the perfect audio system. The second half is finding an ideal power amp to supply wattage to your subwoofer. Low frequencies contain long wavelengths, meaning car subwoofers have to move a lot of air to convey the appropriate sound quality. If you hook up your sub to your car stereo, the same way you would to your car speakers, it would not have enough wattage to move the speakers in the subwoofers. As such, it is crucial to have the right power amp and know the specifications of the power handling of your preferred subwoofer.

The Reference SUB R12 from Infinity features power handling abilities of 400 watts RMS of continuous power and 600 watts Peak power in short and dynamic power bursts. Whether it is earthquakes, explosions, an upright acoustic bass, or drums, this subwoofer will allow you to feel and hear the rumble and the thrill in your bass.

Alternatively, the Reference R-12SW from Klipsch handles 200 watts of continuous power and 400 watts Peak Power. As a result, it delivers a tight, clear, and concise bass across diverse listening levels. It produces massive sound with minimal distortion, giving you an unforgettable listening experience, whether in your home or your vehicle.

Crossover frequency

Another essential consideration to make when buying subwoofers is the crossover frequency. It refers to the rate at which sound moves from one speaker to the other. The crossover frequency is set in the AV receiver, whose processor filters low frequencies away from speaker channels and redirects them o the subwoofer channels. Commonly known as digital bass management, the crossover frequency allows a sonic combination between the subwoofers and the speaker channels.

Generally, the crossover frequency is usually set between 10-15 Hz higher than the set low-frequency extension for each speaker. Infinity subwoofers have a diverse network of crossover networks that fully optimize their performance. They feature a continuously low-pass variable crossover of 50-150 Hz that allows the listener to set the frequency when crossovers occur for efficient and smooth reproduction of the entire musical spectrum with minimal sound distortion. The subwoofer also comes with a low-frequency trim control that offers up to 4dB of boost at 35Hz for additional impact.

The Klipsch Reference R-12SW subwoofer has quite a low response ceiling of 29Hz, meaning that you will want to set your crossover frequency high enough to allow the main speakers to really focus on the high and midrange frequencies. As such, the subwoofer has a 120 Hz response ceiling, which will enable you to blend the lower frequency tones of the subwoofer to establish the perfect level of bass output.

Infinity vs. Klipsch – A comparison review

Infinity Reference SUB R12 Overview and Key features

Add exceptional bass impact to your music and movies with the black Infinity Reference SUB R12 subwoofer. Powered by a built-in digital amplifier that delivers 300 watts RMS and 600 watts Peak Power, the subwoofer comes with a 12” fiber-composite woofer with high output and internal edge-to-edge windowpane bracing that completely removes cabinet vibration while offering a firm foundation to the driver. As a result, the subwoofer provides a deep and powerful bass response that makes your music and movies come alive.

The SUB R12 comes with a variety of controls that allow you to fine-tune its performance into your already existing system. It contains an adjustable level, crossover frequency, phase controls, as well as a selectable LF trim control that offers a maximum of 4dB of boost at 35Hz for addition sound impact.

What we like

  • Easily integrates into any stereo system due to its line-level and low-frequency effects(LFE)
  • Efficiently sensitivity rating of 96dB
  • 12” fiber-composite high output woofer
  • Built-in Class D amplifier and a wide frequency response of 29 Hz- 150 Hz
  • Black woodgrain finish, giving it its elegant and beautiful appearance

What we do not like

  • Limited power handling with only 300 watts RMS of continuous power and 600 watts Peak Power


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Klipsch Reference R-12SW Overview and Key features

Since 1946, Klipsch is an American-based audio manufacturer that has gained an excellent reputation over the years for creating impressive enclosures, speakers, and drivers that are of high quality and innovative. Whether you are looking for audio equipment for home or car use with stereos, home entertainment systems, or computers, Klipsch definitely has something to offer you.

The R-12SW from Klipsch Audio delivers high-quality sound and also has an eye-catching appearance that blends easily with any interior. The subwoofer has a brushed black polymer veneer cabinet and a satin-painted plinth that gives it its refined and stylish look. Its cabinets contain Medium Density Fiberwood, which is both durable and visually appealing.

Its speakers come with a strong and flexible removable grille, adding to the elegance of your home or vehicle. It also features a 12″ spun copper injected molded graphite (IMG), which is not only exceptionally firm, but it is also incredibly lightweight. With its front-firing woofer, the speaker conveys a deep bass output and provides excellent flexibility for its audio placement with minimal distortion at the low-frequency response.

These speakers work best with 200 watts RMS and 400 watts Peak Power. It also has three controls, including a level control that manages the volume, a phase control that matches the subwoofer with your other audio equipment, and an adjustable low pass crossover that varies from 40Hz to 120 Hz. You will also find that this subwoofer is enclosed in an MDF cabinet and comes with a front-installed LED power signal that alerts you when the system is on or off.

What we like

  • Easy to use controls
  • Excellent precision and design, and comes with a five-year warranty
  • It comes with a high headroom digital 400w amplifier
  • LED power signal
  • Compatible with most receivers

What we do not like

  • Available in only one finish
  • Somewhat expensive


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Upon an in-depth review of both subwoofers, I finally settled for the Infinity Reference SUB R12 subwoofer because of its more superior bass output and pocket-friendly price. This subwoofer is capable of handling a wide variety of listening material as it comes with a frequency response of 29 Hz to 150 Hz and is powered by a digital amplifier that conveys up to 300 watts of continuous power and 600 watts Peak Power.

Alternatively, the Klipsch Reference R-12SW also comes with its own set of perks. It is an exceptional device that delivers powerful sound. It features an ergonomic design, suitable to blend in with any interior and is also easy to use and install. This powered subwoofer is also a worthy buy and guaranteed to last you a long while.