Rockford Fosgate P300-12 & P300-10 Full Review: A Powered Car Subwoofer Done Right

Powered subwoofer enclosures are a great option for too many reasons to list here. I’ve installed many over the years, too. However, it’s critical to buy one that actually delivers the bass you’re looking for.

The P300-12 (and its sibling the P300-10) is a subwoofer enclosure that stands out from others in many ways. But how does it rate? How does it sound? And most importantly, will you be happy with it?

In my review, I’ll cover everything you need to know in detail before buying.

First impressions and evaluating the quality

Rockford Fosgate P300-12 first image

The P300-12 is solid and well-made and definitely comes across as such. The black material covering it is an industrial heat-activated vinyl. It’s scratch and ding resistant. Nice!

Note: as it’s the sibling to the P300-10 which features a 10″ subwoofer, many features and performance points are the same. I’ll try to point out differences where they exist.

First impressions

When I got my hands on it and pulled it out of the box I thought to myself right away Man, this one’s solid!” and I’m sure you will too. It even has that “new speaker box smell” too, the one always gets you excited when you first get your hands on some awesome new car stereo subwoofer stuff.

The whole thing is very solid, being made from 5/8″ medium density fiberboard (MDF), a material popular for speaker enclosures as it’s cost-effective but also has high density. This is a necessity for high-powered subwoofers as a dense material is needed to resist flexing during air & cone motion, and to trap sound for producing the bass you love.

The Rockford Fosgate design uses a sealed enclosure rather than a vented one as many car powered subwoofers do, so it’s helpful to bear that in mind when buying.

At just under 30 lbs (13.4 kgs) it’s kind of heavy – this thing is not flimsy! This is a “real” speaker enclosure and not a watered-down pipsqueak of a speaker enclosure like some others I’ve seen.

Parts & assembly line up well and it looks well done. No sloppy construction or “cheap-looking” production methods appear to be used. I’m really curious about the connection & wire terminal section, one of the biggest advantages the P300-10 & -12 subwoofers have over others sold today.

It measures about 15″ (h) x 19.8″ (w) x 11″ (d, at the bottom) so you’ll need to measure and make sure you’ve got room in your vehicle. The 10″ version measures nearly the same, at 13.3″ x 17.9″ x 8.8″ in size. Ideally, you’ll be able to fit but I know from experience that sometimes even an inch can make all the difference!

Power connections and audio inputs

ockford Fosgate P300-12 connection block

The connection & input plate brings everything to one place and makes installation (and removable) pretty simple. It’s much more well-thought-out than other products I’ve seen and used. Here you can make all connections for the power & and audio input signals, as well as adjusting bass using the bass boost feature (Punch EQ), low-pass crossover, and 0/180 degree phase control.

Rockford Fosgate has apparently put some good engineering design though into the connection “plate”, a square assembly on the left-hand side of the enclosure (it’s on the left-hand side when you’re facing the front of the speaker).

What really sets it apart (from the cool features that provide some big advantages I’ll get into below) is that the power connector allows for quick connections and disconnection of the positive, negative, and remote-on wiring.  After that, you can simply unplug the audio input connector and bass remote plug and you’re done!

That’s a huge advantage as with most similar products you have to disconnect each wire individually every time you remove it.

That’s fantastic for those individual instances in which you’re running out of cargo space and need to remove it temporarily. Or maybe you’ll be out of town for a few days and don’t want to leave it inside for thieves to steal it while your vehicle is at airport parking. I can think of many more examples of why this is a great feature to have, especially for leased vehicle owners who know they’ll have to take it out one day.

Connecting audio sources

The P300-12 can connect to both speaker level or aftermarket stereo system using the supplied harness which provides RCA jacks to connect. However, for speaker-level inputs, you’ll need to cut the harness and attach the wiring with crimp connectors or some similar method.

That’s one thing I don’t like – I would have preferred a slightly simpler option like having the speaker-level inputs wired next to the RCA jacks to allow the buyer to connect to them.

That would avoid the need for cutting the wire and reattaching it later if you needed the RCA connections when your system changes.

Turning on the built-in amp – extra features you’ll like

Fortunately, there are 3 ways, not just one (unlike other products) to turn the amp on & off:

  1. Auto-on using audio sensing
  2. DC OFFSET – this features needs only 6V to switch it on
  3. +12V remote on wire (standard way)

The first 2 are great because normally an amplifier remote-on wire uses a +12V signal to control it for on or off purposes. This keeps an amp from draining the vehicle battery when not in use. However, some vehicles today are harder to work with and an accessory-switched +12V wire can be hard to find.

The P300-12 provides 2 great ways to work around that! And I personally really can appreciate that. However, note that the DC offset feature only works for high-level inputs. Audio sensing works for both.

Amp wiring connectivity

The removable connector which firmly slides in or out of the connector plate accepts 4 gauge wire with set-screws to keep the wire secure and from loosening. I like it.

Audio controls

Gain, in case you’re not already familiar with it, adjusts the amplification factor of the system based on how strong of an input signal is available. Ideally gain is set low, when possible.

The low-pass only crossover is easy to use and is adjustable from 50 to 200Hz, with a 12dB/octave Butterworth filter cutoff. You can’t bypass it as the system is designed only for low bass response.

As bass sound waves are very large in size and the subwoofer is most likely located in the rear, in many installations bass sound slightly out of tune with the front speakers. In that case, changing the phase switch to 180 degrees, which inverts the speaker movement, may improve it.

Power/Protect LED

A bi-color LED is used to indicate power-on a green power-on condition or show red when a short circuit or overload condition is detected. In that case, the amp will shut down automatically. It’s a good feature I like. Simple, but effective.

Of course, you’ll have to remove the subwoofer to begin troubleshooting if a problem puts the amp in that state.

Remote Punch feature

ockford Fosgate P300-12 remote Punch control

The remote Punch control is an easy to use add-on (included) with a long cable and 3.5mm headphone-style plug which plugs easily into the connector panel on the subwoofer assembly. With it you can adjust the bass level from the front of your vehicle.

It’s a nice touch, and the control is easy to use. I don’t particularly like the “ovalish” shape of the assembly for the remote, but that’s a minor complaint. It has a good “feel” and is a nice touch.

The owner’s manual

The owner’s manual is great and one of the best I’ve ever seen! It’s relatively brief but has measurements, thorough installation details, and clear, detailed information. I really like it, and I’m confident it will be helpful to people who aren’t very experienced with car audio installations.

(click to enlarge)

ockford Fosgate P300-12 manual example

The instruction manual is clear, detailed, and explains the amp features and connections very well. I think it’s a great example of an owner’s manual done right. So, don’t sweat the instructions! That’s one more great thing about the P300-12 and -10.

10″ vs 12″ version comparison

To summarize everything, the P300-12 and P300-10 are very similar. Check out this comparison:

P300-10 Specifications
  • Woofer size: 10″
  • RMS power: 300W
  • Crossover slope: 12dB/octave
  • Cross. freq.: 50-200Hz
  • Punch Bass: Var. 0-+12dB @ 45Hz
  • Freq. response: 35Hz – 200Hz
  • Input sens.: 100mV – 3V
  • Fuse: 30A
  • Size: 13.3” x 18.0” x 8.9”/5.9”
    (33.7cm x 45.7cm x 22.6/15cm)
P300-12 Specifications
  • Woofer size: 12″
  • RMS power: 300W
  • Crossover slope: 12dB/octave
  • Cross. freq.: 50-200Hz
  • Punch Bass: Var. 0-+12dB @ 45Hz
  • Freq. response: 35Hz – 200Hz
  • Input sens.: 100mV – 3V
  • Fuse: 30A
  • Size: 15.0” x 19.8” x 11.0”/7.0”
    (38.1cm x 50.3cm x 28/17.8cm)

Ultimately it won’t make a huge difference which one you pick, but like I always recommend, if you can fit the 12″ in your vehicle, buy that one. The reason why is that there’s no substitute for cone size. A bigger subwoofer can move more air and hence produce a bit more bass sound and volume, sometimes with more impact.

Interestingly enough, there doesn’t seem to be much difference, if any, in costs between the 2 models depending on where you shop. However, as I’m reviewing (mainly) the P300-12 I’ll refer to that here. Expect to pay close to $200 if you shop smart. Otherwise you could end up spending an extra $50 dollars elsewhere.

One note about Rockford Fosgate and the specifications

Rockford Fosgate provides industry-standard Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ratings for the performance of their amplifiers and speakers. What this means to you is that they’re not inflated (or made up!) numbers like you’ll find with many other brands – they’re reliable and accurate.

Rockford Fosgate Klippel image logCEA logo

Klippel is a speaker certification program Rockford Fosgate uses to deliver some of the best subwoofers on the market. The CEA-2006 standard was established to assist consumers with the misleading power ratings that have plagued the industry for decades and mislead consumers. A handful of industry-leading car audio companies support these reliable means of rating their products.

Fitting the subwoofer enclosure in your vehicle

You probably already have a few great ideas about where you’d locate the powered subwoofer, but since it’s so convenient it can work really well in so many applications:

  • In car trunks
  • In the rear of Jeep Wranglers and other sport vehicles
  • In cars with limited space like sports cars or 2-seat coupes (behind the seats)
  • Underneath rear fold-up seats in truck cabs or in the rear floorboard
  • In SUV cargo spaces

ockford Fosgate P300-12 truck

ockford Fosgate P300-12 in car trunk

ockford Fosgate P300-12 in SUV cargo space

The RF P300-12 looks great and fits in a wide variety of spaces in vehicles. I like the modular design and it looks professional and not at all cheap in just about any installation.

Honestly, you’re really only limited by your imagination if you have (small) room to fit it.

The one “real” (well, ok, it’s still pretty minor) issue is that you really do need to strap down or mount the subwoofer box to keep the whole thing from sliding around or falling if it’s standing upwards. At close to 30 lbs weight, I’m sure you can understand why I saw that.

ockford Fosgate P300-12 manual example

You’ll probably need to plan for how you’re going to keep it in place and figure out something. A great idea would be some inexpensive elastic bungee cords, for example. Or perhaps a factory cargo strap like in the back of this SUV.

Plan on having to pick up a few as there aren’t any type of straps included with it as I would have preferred to have seen. That’s another minor complaint I have. The subwoofer doesn’t include any kind of straps of any sort to help with installation.

Evaluating the speaker grill

The speaker grill is made of a nice mesh metal and is well-secured to the box. It looks great and doesn’t obstruct sound at all. I can’t understand why some competing products have no grill or have one that can allow objects to touch and potentially damage the speaker cone. That’s not a concern here, and it’s a nice touch.

How good does it sound?

The sound? Ah yeah! Bass is smooth, punchy, and sounds very nice. I really like it.

Music tests

Fergie Glamorous subwoofer track image

Playing some familiar test tracks with bass that helps to notice any flaws in performance, the P300-12 responded well and really sounded satisfying. How can you do the same? 1) Buy it, 2) install, and 3) enjoy!

Pop music like Fergie’s 2007 Glamorous or Outcast’s So Fresh, So Clean, great tracks with a hearty bass beat, produced responsive, beefy bass that really juiced up the low end.

The P300-12 puts out that great bass sound that makes music so much livelier and fun than a system without it. I really like how it made my music change from just sound to, well…music!

Adjusting the Punch Boost (centered at 45Hz, by the way) adds just the right level of extra emphasis on low-end bass that “hits” and sounds great!

While at high volumes the P300 didn’t produce the same bass as two equally-rated 12″ woofers in a larger or vented box, but honestly, that’s to be expected. I didn’t mind as it does it’s job and does it well – without the extra hassle or having to give up valuable cargo space like a huge speaker box normally would.

Bass is clear and filtered very well – no noticeable vocals or upper-end noise with the low-pass filter set to around 80Hz.

Ultimately, the P300 produces excellent low-end sound with great volume – it doesn’t sound “thin” or shallow like a tiny car powered subwoofer that has to compromise a lot.

Final thoughts and review score

What do I think? I like it, and it’s a good choice. The bass is satisfying and is “real” bass, not some weak version you’ll get from cheaper and poorly-designed models.

You’re not going wake the whole neighborhood up and rattle all the windows, but you’ll definitely get great sound and a lot of high-quality bass with good volume that you’ll enjoy.

Head over and have a look at the fantastic P300-12 powered subwoofer at Amazon.

  • Quality - 9.7/10
  • Sound quality - 8.8/10
  • Installation ease - 9.3/10
  • Features - 8.7/10

A high-quality powered subwoofer that really delivers - but in less space. Great sound you'll enjoy!

The P300-12 (and slightly smaller P300-10) is an all-in-one powered subwoofer that performs well for its size. Features and quality are excellent. I’m impressed by both the appearance and performance for the price. Sound quality is great: detailed, clear bass with good volume and punch.

Excellent owner’s manual. Good engineering went into the quality power connector which makes removal easy. You won’t beat more costly (and larger) subwoofer systems in a sound off, but for what you pay it’s very satisfying. Cheaper alternatives exist but most can’t match the performance and quality. A great choice for factory or aftermarket stereos.


  • Set-screw power terminals accept 4 gauge wire
  • 3 on/off remote switching methods provided
  • Accepts RCA and speaker-level inputs
  • Easy connect/disconnect and removal
  • Good size for the sound
  • Quality material, very solid (5/8″ MDF)
  • Recessed connector plate doesn’t stick out
  • Industrial vinyl material protects the enclosure, looks nice
  • Great speaker grill
  • Controls are simple to adjust and well-documented
  • Provides thermal overload and short-circuit protection
  • Vertical wedge shape allows the system to fit many vehicles
  • 300W amp provides plenty of power
  • Subwoofer itself is good quality, not high-end but performs well
  • Punch bass remote is included & works well
  • Rockford specs are CEA-2006 compliant/reliable
  • Owner’s manual is well-done, clear, and helpful


  • No straps included which are helpful for many installations
  • No installation brackets for permanent mounting
  • May tip over when moving if not secured
  • Audio signal harness must be cut if speaker inputs used – odd design
  • Heavy – almost 30lbs
  • Sealed enclosure can’t quite match the volume of vented box
  • No daisy chain option for connecting two P300-12s easily

Your comments are welcome!

    • Hi there, Phil! Thanks and I appreciate you dropping by!

      Yes, you should be able to use the SMD DD-1 the same as any other amp, using the 40Hz measurement setting.

      • Great detailed review. I bought the 10 inch version for my Forester. Do you recommend self install even though I’m a novice with car stereo? Was thinking about seeing how much best buy would install it for…

        • Hi Matt. Glad you liked the review!

          I would say if you are comfortable with doing things like running amp wire to the battery and connecting wiring, then yes you could do it yourself. You’ll want a good amp wiring kit (doesn’t have to be super-expensive!) and try to get factory wiring colors if using the factory head unit.

          It’s essentially the same as installing any other amplifier. I will add, however, it would be a good idea to have a way to strap it down too so it doesn’t fall when driving (or lie it on its back).


      • Very Nice description. Im really interested in buy one of these subwoofers. What do you recomend for a medium sedan suzuki kizashi ’13 with a oem sound. 10 or 12? Thanks

        • Hi Ivan. Honestly, it depends on the kind of sound you like (how much bass). Normally, though, I recommend getting the larger size option if it’s in your budget.

          If you like have more bass on tap (even if you don’t always need it) I’d definitely recommend the 12″.

          Honestly I think you’ll be happy with the 10″ if you’re just intending to add bass that’s missing from the factory system. :)


    • Hi there Bob. No, that shouldn’t really be the case (setting it up wrong).

      If you have access to a test meter, it would be a good idea to check continuity across the remote cable’s conductors just to verify there’s no problem with the cable. Also, as simple as it sounds, re-verify the cable is nice and snug on both ends.

      It is possible the remote or cable have an issue but hopefully not.

      I assume you do have bass and the enclosure is working as expected otherwise – is that correct?

  1. i am sure you have done testing on others similar to this..can you share your link if so..this is the one i want but maybe others are better…i am not sure…

    • Hello Tim. No, I’m not saying you can’t connect more than one. In fact you can connect several if you like.

      However there’s no master/slave or daisy chaining feature like some amps offer. Since it might not have been clear I’ll change that note.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Where or what type of wiring of the p300-12 take or where could I get it from?I brought it 2nd hand and the wires never came with it,

      • Hi Douglas. The P300-12 has a power connector that you attach the power wiring to. This then plugs into the side of it. There’s also an audio input connector that does the same.

        If you’re missing those you’ll need to see if Rockford has some available for you to buy. You can find the information in the owner’s manual.

  2. How much difference in sound/bass is there between the P300-12 and the P300-12T (truck box) versions? I have an extended cab ranger (2 door) and technically have room for either. Is there a noticeable difference that justifies the larger box?

    • Hi Glenn. There’s a little bit of difference. Really it comes down to 1) your space requirements and 2) how much bass you’re after.

      I normally recommend people get the bigger size when it comes to subwoofers, if possible. However if you’re only after a bit of bass and don’t need the extra, the more compact 10″ would be fine for you.


  3. Hey Marty,

    I’m looking at this rockford fosgate p300-12 and also see the p500-12p. Do you know if there is a significant difference in sound output etc.? I have a 2008 BMW e60 5 Series Sedan. The trunk could fit two of the P300’s or One of the P500s. Thanks!

    • Hi Sam. Yes, there’s a difference between the two. Ported boxes have better low-end bass & volume output than sealed enclosures like with the P300-12 (but not quite as “tight” sounding, so there are pros and cons to each type).

      However, if you’re wanting harder-hitting bass, the P500-12P is what you want if it’s in your budget. Personally I think you’ll be happy with one P500-12P.

  4. I have a p500 12p in a 2019 chevy camaro. I feel like some songs sound good others sound like there is no bass. I wonder if I should turn up the gain or adjust a setting. When installed gain was set to low but I need more bass. Doesn’t seem like the bass boost knob set up in the car does much very little difference.

    • Hello, the bass level typically depends a lot on the signal from your head unit, which ever kind that may be. I would try setting the gain to a mid-level point and then turn up the bass setting on the head unit and go from there.

      If there’s no luck with that, you can take it by the dealer where you bought it and they may offer to set it up for you.

  5. Hello Sir, by far the most useful and in depth review ive read so far. Would you help clarify something for me. When connecting the audio input, would it be better to tap off the two rear speaker wires and run them several feet to the unit? Install a line converter at the head unit then run RCA the distance? Ive also seen an instance where the two positive wires were connected and the two negative wires as well and they in turn were tapped in to a single speaker wire. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Hi Dan & thanks! Generally speaking, it’s fine (and saves money) to use the rear speaker wires and just tap off of those for using speaker level inputs. If the rear speakers are hard to access, however, I very often used to just do it at the head unit & use a line level converter (or run speaker wiring to the amp, depending on the budget).

      One reason is that people often replaced the factory head unit later with an aftermarket one and the amp wiring (RCA cable) will already be done & ready for that. Honestly it comes down to what you prefer most of the time except for when dealing with factory amplified systems which are more difficult to deal with.

      Regarding the situation where two positive and negative wires are connected together that’s very unusual and not something I would do.

      Generally they should be routed to the amp/subwoofer as the internal electronics can sum them to a mono signal which is not something a head unit is designed to do.

    • Hi Jeff. They don’t have a daisy-chaining feature built in, but you can run two if you like. It should be relatively easy to jumper the power & remote wiring from one to a 2nd enclosure. Then similar for the RCA or speaker level inputs (may need Y adapters if using RCA cables).

      If you’re using large gauge wire you might find it a lot easier to use some distribution blocks to join the wire. You can get some for under $8 each if you shop around (don’t pay the outrageous price stores charge for them sometimes). Here’s an example of one that’s priced right.

  6. Hey there loved your review, I installed this into my 2005 corolla and I am just not getting the performance I want on lower volume levels, is this normal with this unit? What should I change in my settings to achieve this?

    • Hi Ben. It definitely makes a big difference what kind of head unit you have. If you have a poor signal going to the subwoofer it can’t perform as it should. Basically, it depends on what kind of audio controls you have, but I’d use the RCA connections if possible and the optional bass remote would be an item to pick up.

      If your head unit has bass controls you’ll want to adjust it the best you can. I can’t suggest more without better details of what you have.

      • Hello there, thank you for responding I greatly appreciate it, my unit happened to come with the remote
        bass knob so that is turned up most of the way, before doing this install I replaced my radio with a Sony XAV that has Apple CarPlay and all that, so I did wire this via rca cables, the radio has plenty of subwoofer settings in the eq I turned it up to +10 but im afraid of turning on the the extra bass settings as it might blow out the rockford. I just want to be able to feel a little bit of that drum hit while also having the volume at a comfortable talking level.

        • Hi Ben. You may need to take it to a good car stereo shop for troubleshooting. I can’t think of any reason why you’re having that issue. You could also try connecting your smartphone directly to the subwoofer with a 3.5mm to RCA cable to test it as well as making sure the sub’s gain is turned up.

        • I’d recommend turning the bass level on your head unit down. I had to do this in my car. This sub has ample bass & still hits hard if you reduce the bass level at your radio. Doing this will ensure crisp clean heavy bass without overwhelming the subwoofer when you crank the volume.

  7. I bought the p-300 12″ version. Installed it in my 2016 Buick verano sport touring sedan myself. Took about 40 minutes. It was my 1st ever amp or subwoofer install & it was painless. Very straight forward. Just had to find a speaker wire chart to find the + – wires. Sounds great. Using my factory head unit and this thing thumps!!!!!

    • Nice, Charles! Thanks for leaving a comment & letting me & everyone else know how it turned out. I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying your bass. :)

    • I believe that should be possible, but porting has to be done correctly else it’ll sound bad. There’s information out there about matching the correct port to an enclosure (I’ve used box modeling software for this).


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