Amplified Subwoofer

- Words and photos by Perry Mack


notoriousl­y little space, especially for large subwoofer boxes. I didn’t take the factory subwoofer option for my 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited, partly because of the price and mostly because I didn’t want to give up the space in the rear of the Jeep where I use every available square centimeter for trail and overland gear.

Enter the Boss low profile amplified subwoofers, which come in 8” and 10” sizes. The small size and lowprofile design means you can fit them under a front seat in a JKU or under the back seat of most sport trucks. The fact that they have the amplifier built-in makes installati­on relatively straight forward. However, if you are completely unfamiliar with audio installati­on you may want to have it profession­ally installed or entice a knowledgea­ble friend with the promise of some cold bevies.

I chose the 10” sub which does fit under the driver’s seat with the removal of a small bracket holding the seat belt wiring. In retrospect the 8” would have done the job and saved $20 USD in initial cost, plus lower wiring costs as you can use lower gauge power wire and fuses.

In the box you get the low-profile amplified sub, remote subwoofer control and wire (which I did not install as my aftermarke­t Insane Audio JK2001 head unit has a built-in equalizer with a subwoofer control), harness for speaker (high level) inputs, spare fuse, some small screws, and a rather vague user’s manual. It is vague as this is not a model specific kit. You can, for instance, buy a 20112017 JKU Alpine unit with under seat mount brackets and harnesses for the factory head unit that would be easier to install. However, I don’t have the factory head unit and the 10” Boss is $139 USD vs the 8” Alpine kit at $495 USD.

You will need to buy some 8-gauge wire, a 50-amp inline fuse/holder, wire for the remote turn-on and RCA cords for a low output install or quality speaker wire for a highlevel connection. This will take some advance planning by you to get the right lengths. I chose the easy way out and bought an amp wiring kit from Canadian Tire, the e2 E1000F. The component quality is good with the exception of the ANL fuse holder which is not water proof, and 80 amps, not the 50 amps on Canadian Tire’s sales tag. I’ll replace with a proper 50-amp waterproof fuse holder.

The JK2001 head unit in my Jeep has a preferred low-level output to connect to the amp. It has a single sub out RCA jack, so I purchased an RCA y-adapter cable to provide signal to both left and right channels on the sub-woofer. The other two components you’ll need is some Velcro tape to attach the amp to the carpet under the seat and a T-tap connector to tie into the ignition remote power for the sub. The easiest method in a JK is to tie into the 12V accessory outlet in the dash.

According to Boss Audio, “Both powered subs include a pulse width modulated design, which controls the output voltage and current precisely by not only removing the output current sensing loss, but also eliminatin­g all secondary feedback circuitry. It increases efficiency while being lighter, smaller, and more reliable.”

The improvemen­t in sound quality in my Jeep was instantane­ous. All the low bass notes that were missing now filled in to create a complete audio experience. If you enjoy music for your road, trail and overland adventures, this is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and a thump in your butt. Watch for the full install video coming soon to our YouTube channel. BAB10 - $139 USD – 343x270x77 mm 1200 W Peak, 600W RMS BAB8 - $119 USD – 300x232x75 mm, 800W peak, 400W RMS

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