A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Kicker Specifications and Terminology

When it comes to car audio systems, one component that plays a crucial role in delivering powerful and accurate bass is the subwoofer. And when it comes to subwoofers, one of the most renowned brands in the industry is Kicker. Known for their exceptional performance and durability, Kicker subwoofers have become a popular choice among car enthusiasts. However, understanding the specifications and terminology associated with Kickers can be quite overwhelming for beginners. In this guide, we will break down some of the key kicker specifications and terminology to help you make an informed decision when choosing your next subwoofer.

Power Handling

Power handling is an important specification that determines how much power a subwoofer can handle without getting damaged or distorted. When looking at kicker specifications, you will often come across two power handling ratings – RMS (Root Mean Square) and Peak power.

RMS power rating refers to the continuous power that a subwoofer can handle over an extended period of time without overheating or distorting the sound. It is generally recommended to match your amplifier’s RMS output with your subwoofer’s RMS rating for optimal performance.

Peak power rating, on the other hand, refers to the maximum amount of power a subwoofer can handle in short bursts. While peak power rating may seem impressive, it is not a reliable indicator of real-world performance as it does not reflect sustained usage.


Sensitivity is another important specification that measures how efficiently a subwoofer converts electrical energy into sound output. It is typically measured in decibels (dB) and indicates how loud your subwoofer will be at a given input level.

A higher sensitivity rating means that the subwoofer will produce more sound with less power input. For example, if two subs have different sensitivity ratings (let’s say 85 dB and 90 dB), the sub with a sensitivity of 90 dB will be louder than the one with 85 dB when both are given the same amount of power.

Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the range of frequencies that a subwoofer can reproduce. It is usually measured in Hertz (Hz) and indicated by two numbers, such as 20 Hz – 200 Hz. The first number represents the lowest frequency that the subwoofer can produce, while the second number represents the highest frequency it can reproduce.

When choosing a kicker subwoofer, it is important to consider your musical preferences and the type of music you listen to. If you enjoy deep bass-heavy music genres like hip-hop or electronic music, you may want to opt for a subwoofer with a lower frequency response.

Enclosure Type

The enclosure type plays a significant role in determining how your kicker subwoofer will sound in your car. There are generally two types of enclosures – sealed and ported.

Sealed enclosures provide tight and accurate bass reproduction but require more power compared to ported enclosures. They are ideal for those who prefer precise bass response with minimal distortion.

Ported enclosures, on the other hand, enhance low-end frequencies by utilizing a port or vent that allows air to escape from inside the enclosure. This results in louder bass output but may sacrifice some accuracy and tightness.

In conclusion, understanding kicker specifications and terminology is essential when choosing a subwoofer for your car audio system. By considering factors such as power handling, sensitivity, frequency response, and enclosure type, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your listening preferences and budget. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing audio system or starting from scratch, Kicker offers a wide range of options that cater to different needs and budgets. Happy bass hunting.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.