Rockford Fosgate P3 vs P3S Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate P3 Subwoofers
The Rockford Fosgate P3 subwoofers hammer. The Punch P3 subs feature a rigid anodized aluminum cone that holds its shape through heavy play while staying light and responsive. Rockford Fosgate uses a new technique to attach the oversized rubber surround to the cone that increases the available cone area up to 25%, so this sub can push more air for even bigger bass. The aluminum cone acts as a giant heat sink, directing heat away from the copper-clad aluminum voice coils. Special venting keeps the voice coils cool, so you get incredibly consistent bass performance over time. These P3 subs feature an extended pole piece and bumped backplate that leaves more room for a heavy excursion, so it'll hit deeper lows without "bottoming out." The dual 4-ohm voice coils allow you to wire the sub for 2-ohm impedance to get maximum power output, or for 8-ohm impedance if you're using multiple subs. The P3 series subs work equally well in a sealed or ported enclosure, so you can choose the kind of bass you want for your system.
Rockford Fosgate P3 Shallow Subwoofers
The Rockford Fosgate P3 Shallow subwoofers come from a long line of high-performance subs. The P3 Shallow subwoofers were designed for installations where the mounting depth is limited. Think in areas like under the rear seat of a crew cab truck. These subwoofers are also popular for those that want to still have trunk space while at the same time having the low output of a subwoofer. This product carries the P3 name, but it is really more like a P1 shallow. This subwoofer handles more power than the Prime, R2 Shallow, but the output and the cost don't really justify themselves.
For the Rockford Fosgate P3 series subs, the diameters come in 10", 12" and 15" sizes. With the P3S subs, Rockford Fosgate has offered available sizing at 8", 10", and 12" models. This allows you to easily compare comparable sub sizing across the two series of subwoofers while also having a smaller 8" model in the P3S line and a larger 15" model in the P3 line.
In the P3 and P3S series subs, Rockford Fosgate has used a dual-coil construction. With this dual coil, it has also included a 2-ohm and 4-ohm configuration at each size. This will easily allow you to compare RMS power handling in the next section at comparable sizing.
For power handling in the P3 series, Rockford Fosgate has a range from 500 watts RMS at the 10" range, all the way up to 600 watts at the 15" range. In the P3S series, Rockford Fosgate has included RMS power handling at 150 watts in the 8" models up to 400 watts at the 12" models. If you're looking for more RMS power handling out of your subs, you'll want to consider the P3 lineup at comparable sizing.
With the P3S being a shallow-mount installation-specific model, all of the P3S models will have a much shallower mounting depth compared to the entire P3 lineup. If your installation plan has any space restrictions, you'll want to make sure you're looking to the P3S lineup of subs first.
Recommended Enclosure Size
Being a shallow mounted subwoofer line, the P3S sealed box recommended volume is smaller for the ported enclosure manufacturer-recommended volume compared to the P3 lineup at comparable sizes. However, the sealed enclosure recommended volume remains relatively the same between both the P3 and P3S lineups. This should not be considered as a deciding factor between the two different lineups.
The recommended amplifier for your subwoofers will vary greatly depending on the size and quantity of subwoofers you select for your installation. The following lists are comparisons between amplifiers for subwoofers in the same dimensions between the different models. The list begins with a factory recommendation for amps that provide enough power handling for the subwoofer(s), and then move on to our professional recommendations that may vary slightly from the factory recommendations. These Classic Car Stereo recommendations may be an amp with a higher price point that will service the subs better, or an amp that provides RMS power handling over the recommended amount which will allow you to not have to maximize the output on your amp to provide full power to your subs.
For a thin-line subwoofer, the P3S lineup comes at a better price than the P3 lineup and offers incredible value for a thin-line installation. However, if you are looking for more RMS power handling from your subs, the P3 lineup is a great way to go if you have the space for your planned installation.
These two subwoofers are substantially different. The P3 is a powerhouse and slams and the P3S is a shallow subwoofer that sounds shallow. If you have the space for the P3, go with the P3 and give them the power that they want. If you can't fit the P3 and you want something that is going to still hit hard, pay up for the T1S, go down to the R2 Shallow if you want to keep it all Rockford. Otherwise, you can go with the Kicker CompRT, JL Audio TW1, or JL Audio TW3. We wouldn't put the P3 Shallow in any of our own vehicles. It isn't worth it.
The Rockford Fosgate P3 on the other hand might be the single best value for any car audio subwoofer. The power handling, output, and price point are simply unmatched. The P3s hammer, just give them the power they want.