Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Inexpensive Compact Subwoofer and Amp for 2 Door Jeep Wrangler

I was looking for a way to add some inexpensive bass to a 2 door jeep wrangler JK without sacrificing the already tiny jeep trunk space.    I looked at several under-seat compact subwoofers including the Kicker Hideaway 8" subwoofer that bestbuy sells.   Unfortunately, I quickly realized that while the Kicker hideway has good ratings, it doesn't exactly fit under the front seats.   First, you have to remove the seat to install it.  Second, you have to move some wires (if you have an airbag)  Third, in the 2 door JK Jeep, when you slide the seat forward (to let kids/dogs in the back), the speaker is slightly exposed and makes it a target for stepping on or being kicked.

So ultimately, I figured out that the only place that I could install an all-in-one (sub and amp in one) compact sub was to do it on the rear tailgate.   I was a bit concerned with the overall dimensions of the Kicker unit, and having just dropped a small fortune installing the NEX 4200 and idatalink Maestro into the 2011 JK  into the Jeep, I thought it best to see if my good friend Amazon presented any cheaper alternatives.

So, searching Amazon produced a (low cost) cheap alternative to the Kicker hideway sub and amp combo.  I stumbled across a company I'd not heard of called Rockville, who had the perfect subwoofer product for a 2 door Jeep JK.   So, I wound up ordering the 10" all-in-one amplifier and custom low profile subwoofer for my Jeep Wrangler 2 Door JK.   
See Rockville Sub


After receiving the product, here were my impressions.
  1. Price is outstanding, it hoovers between $110 and $125 and ships free with Prime
  2. Build quality, on the surface, is amazing.  It feels solid, made of metal.  Doesn't feel cheap in any of the materials
  3. It has a nice paint color (bonus, it compliments the 2011 Cosmos Blue Jeep very well)
  4. It includes everything you would want with the exception of the power wiring for the amplifier.
  5. It includes a remote wire and knob. This remote subwoofer knob cost $40 alone in my Alpine/JL setup in my other ride; and adds $25 to the kicker option mentioned above.

So, next was installing the cheap integrated low profile subwoofer onto the rear tailgate of the 2 Door Wrangler JK.   I'm not going to walk you through all the basics of installing a sub/amplifier here, if you don't know how to do it, you should follow a guide online, or pay the $125 or so to have BestBuy install it for you (buy your parts/wires ahead of time; don't buy them at BestBuy!).   However, I will provide the pictures below of what it looks like.    I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND at least a single piece of Dynamat for sound-dampening behind the Rockville subwoofer, or your Jeep will sound like one big rattle can (whatever that is).   I bought a GTMAT ONYX sound dampening kit, and only used a single sheet.  A bonus is that it was self adhesive and I didn't even need to cut anything, it was the perfect size!

The verdict: I'm happy.   Now, let's be real... This thing is not going to shake the neighborhood.  In fact, with this sub, you'll barely feel the thump in the jeep at most normal volumes.   But, turn up the stereo loud and you'll get a bit of that bump going.  The sub does a really good job of filling in what the 6.5" and tweeters in the JK are missing.  Keep in mind, I have aftermarket speakers/head unit/and an Alpine power bar; so I'm not just working from stock.  I find the dynamics of the Jeep, especially with a soft top and half doors not to support good sound.  This compact sub helps fill in what's missing at a low price point, without sacrificing your valuable trunk space.  It's not for an audiophile, and not great for heavy beats, but to feel in rock music, it does the job.  For $150 total cost installed for the do-it-yourselfer or under $275 total to have it done for you at your local BestBuy.

Parts list for a compact sub and amplifier install of a Jeep Wrangler 2-Door JK:
1.) Rockville 10" 800 Watt Slim Profile Sub:  ~$115
2.) Boss Audio Amplifier Wiring Kit, 8 Gauge:  $11.00
3.) Dynamat Alternative: GTMAT:  $24.99










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WGman said...
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