Kicker Comp VR CVR8 1-Way 8" x 12" Car Subwoofer Reviews

Kicker Comp VR CVR8 1-Way 8" x 12" Car Subwoofer

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The 8" Mini Monster, low cost power!

Nov 6, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Sound Quality:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:

Pros:Excellent performing subwoofer, durable, low cost

Cons:none really

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a low cost solution to your bass needs, without taking up a lot of space, then this Kicker Comp sub is your solution!

There is no greater thrill in the world to me than getting into a vehicle and hearing one deep throaty bass hit after another. I love to hear the treble rolls, the bass vibration, and this doesn't mean I need to have super loud music, it just means that I love the quality and crispness that a top of the line audio system can truly provide.

My Qualifications in car audio
Far too often I see individuals writing about products and giving them high ratings when in reality, they are horrible by comparison. A five star subwoofer to someone that has only experienced one subwoofer, didn't install it themselves really doesn't say much to me besides that this subwoofer is better than the factory system they had before.

To really grasp the quality of a subwoofer, you have to be able to compare it to other ones, because head to head comparisons can truly tell you which subs are going to give you the best performance for your dollar. And the only people that can truly help you with that, are the people that are involved in the industry on a daily basis.

As a second job to my full time job as a jet mechanic, I am a custom fabrication specialist for a car audio shop in town. This means that I put together custom applications for car audio setups. I plan out custom molded boxes that are created for the perfect form within a vehicle, taking into consideration air flow, heat, accessability, style/design, and of course peformance and quality sound production. I have installed thousands of speakers over the last few years, tried countless amplifier/speaker/wire/capacitor combinations, and have truly tested the limits of every setup that I install. Whenever I do an install, I do a 'cap test' which is when I run the system past it's limits to ensure that the setup I have created can handle the peak power and regular performance over a period of time. This helps to show where a system will breakdown and how well it's going to hold up.

Being in this industry, I have seen countless speakers brought back from cone failures, melting cones, blown cones, you name it, I've seen it. I know what holds up for the long term and what people bring back most often.

With that in mind... I would hope that you can read through my car audio reviews with the peace of mind that you are getting top notch knowledge from a competition tuned professional.

Kicker COMP VR 05CVR82 8" Subwoofer
In the current state of car audio, bigger is always better, but with this 8" subwoofer that isn't necessarily the case. Sometimes you just don't need all of the thumping power of a 1200 watt peak power subwoofer and you just want something upgraded, without going insane. This is generally true with older consumers that realistically just need a replacement for their 6x9 rear deck speakers, but figure that they might as well upgrade a bit in the process. They aren't going to want to give up a huge space in their trunk to a massive speaker, especially if they aren't going to be using the power it provides.

Custom Setups
For an 8" subwoofer, I would recommend just doing a swapout of your current 6 x 9 speakers. If you are going to go small, you are probably getting a smaller sub, because you want some extra sound without taking up much space. So, to accomplish this, your best scenario would be to use what you already have in place, the holes for your factory bass, which is most likely in the rear deck, behind your rear seats or in the rear door panel or trunk lid.

I would take your vehicle into a shop to have this work done, unless you have the experience. The best sound is going to come by creating a small box, form fitted to the vehicle along the trunk lid. But to make this work, the box will have to be assembled within the car during the final process, especially if any special applications are going to have to be applied, such as fiberglassing.

Create a box to the manufacturer's specifications or just bring it across the entirety of the vehicle for a more streamlined look, adding dividers as to not give the speaker too much air flow. That would ultimately have the same effect as having no box at all, which would result in a flat quality sound.

Then port out a 3/4" port on each side of the box. This is going to allow more of the bass to reach your ears while giving a little more chance for heat removal, so that your speaker doesn't overheat in such a small enclosed environment.

Then rubber coat the box, ensure you have dynamat installed all around it to minimize distortion, and you have yourself a setup that no one can see and will assume that it is all part of the factory design. This is assuming of course that you covered the particle board box with fiberglass, carpeting, or something similar.

Sound Quality
These subs are crystal clear. They max out at 400 watts of peak power so they really don't have so much overwhelming power, that they are going to create a great deal of distortion, especially in a well made box. This doesn't mean that you can forego dynamat or rubber coating your box, but it does mean that you are going to get a very high quality sound with minimal effort.

The bass is going to be substantial in comparison to your factory vehicle sound, but it's not going to be overwhelming either. You will be able to turn it up all the way while in the vehicle, but it's still going to be too loud to do it for a long period of time.

The best thing about the sound is that you shouldn't have any issues with sub response, and should get a great sound with perfect crispness no matter how long you have your system running.

Just like any other Kicker subwoofer, you just can't stop these subwoofers. They are made out of quality materials and hold up to whatever you can throw at them. With such a small subwoofer, you really don't have to worry about the extreme issues of some of the much larger subs, making this an excellent speaker for the longer haul. These speakers will most definitely outlast your vehicle, possibly multiple vehicles.

Side by Side comparison
I think the most important aspect of speakers is the side by side comparison to other equal products. Unlike many other products there can be a fairly substantial different from one product to the next that can hugely effect the overall performance within your vehicle.

If you are buying this speaker, you are doing more than fine in comparison to other subwoofers in it's class. Probably the only speaker that would be a better choice would be the Alpine Type S SWS-0840, which is an 8" with 450 watts of peak power handling. It has a very obvious difference in quality, but it is also quite a bit more expensive at $200 per speaker, whereas in comparison the Kicker Comp costs around $100. Generally I would say to purchase two Kicker Comps and save your money, but since space is most likely the reason for purchasing this sub, that isn't a realistic option, so I would say just go for a single Alpine or bump up your power a notch and go for a Kicker 06S8L7-4, which will provide you with 900 watts of peak power handling for about the same $200 price tag, plus will give you the unique square design of the Kicker L series of subs.

Realistically, that gives you options. Personally I would go with the 900 watt if you would rather have similar quality with more power, but the Alpine if you are more concerned with detailed crispness in sound quality. Regardless the Kicker CVR8-2 is still a great subwoofer, especially at it's price point.

Product Details
8" subwoofer with dual 2-ohm voice coils
suitable for marine use
injection-molded polymineral cone
double-stitched, foam-ribbed Santoprene rubber surround
powder-coated, stamped steel basket
frequency response: 30-500 Hz
power handling: 50-200 watts RMS
peak power: 400 watts
sensitivity: 83.1 dB
top-mount depth: 4-1/4"
sealed box volume: 0.35-1.8 cu. ft.
ported box volume: 0.8-1.2 cu. ft.
Recommended Q-Logic Box Type: 1
warranty: 1 year

Where to purchase
While a great deal of shops carry the Kicker product line, many only carry so many different varieties of speaker in their shops at a time. It's far cheaper for them to buy 100 of a particular speaker style than it is to try and carry 4 speakers of 25 different styles. So a lot of times you will find yourself trying to order speakers through the shop itself, paying a premium in the process. Generally your local shops are going to be substantially more expensive anyway.

The best method of purchasing subwoofers is to go online and purchase them through a company such as if you are inexperienced and are going to attempt to install them yourself. They will give you all of the product information that you need to adequately install the products that you purchase with relative ease. The experts that they have are also extremely knowledgeable and can guide you through any issues that you might have with trying to put together 'your' perfect system. Plus rather than trying to force you into something bigger and better, they will generally get you exactly what you are looking for by listening to your needs.

If you are more experienced with car audio, then I suggest going through the MUCH MUCH cheaper, which features car audio equipment at half the prices of crutchfield. Just keep in mind that the large majority of what they sell is lower end power. So make sure that you read reviews on products that you don't know much about or you could end up with a low quality cone, that could end up costing you more in the long run after you have to replace it.

Final Thoughts
Personally I wouldn't recommend an 8" subwoofer unless you are using it for competition sound. The reason being, you can get so much more performance out of a slightly bigger sub that you just can't get out of an 8" one. The nice thing about 8" subs is that they are small enough that you can easily mount them into your doors for a better surround sound quality. They also work great mounted into glove compartments, seat backs, under seats, etc. There's just a lot more versatility with an 8" subwoofer than you can get with the other sizes. Unfortunately, they aren't the best all by themselves. You are going to give up a lot of power, and a lot of frequency response because of it. However in considering your own personal application, and personal needs, consider what you are tying to accomplish. If you just want enhanced sound but really don't have the added space to sacrifice, then an 8" might be your best bet. You will get the extra added bass, but it's definitely not going to be mind blowing.

As far as 8" subwoofers, the Kicker is one of the best on the market, providing excellent sound clarity, with a little bit of 'boom boom'. At least you know that with this product you are going to have a speaker that is going to hold up to the daily rigors of your life, and still perform just as good day in and day out, providing you with an excellent quality sound to drive to. If this works for your application, then by all means, it's an excellent product, so rock out with it!

Car Audio/Video Reviews by Richard Ramsey
Kicker Solo Baric L7 12" Subwoofer
Kicker Solo Baric L5 12" Subwoofer
Kicker Solo Baric L5 15" Subwoofer
Kicker CVR12 Subwoofer
Kicker Comp VR 05CVR84 Subwoofer
Kicker Solo Baric L5 with enclosure
Alpine Type R SWR-1042D Subwoofer
Alpine Type R SWR-1242D Subwoofer
Alpine Type X SWX-1242D Subwoofer
Alpine Type E SWE-1242 Subwoofer
Alpine Type S SWS-1242D Subwoofer
Infinity BASSLINK Subwoofer
Infinity KAPPA PERFECT 10.1 Subwoofer
Infinity KAPPA PERFECT 12.1 Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate Punch Stage 3 Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate Punch Stage 2 10" Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate Punch Stage 2 12" Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate Power Stage 1 Subwoofer
Sony Xplod XS-L123P5 Subwoofer
Audiobahn AW1200 Subwoofer

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 100

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