How to choose your subwoofer? The subwoofer is an essential part of an audio installation to achieve optimum sound quality. It is important to know a few criteria when choosing a Best subwoofer suitable for your needs.
5 Tips: How to choose your subwoofer
Tips 1: The type of box
There are mainly 2 types of subwoofers, namely active subwoofers and passive subwoofers. Active subwoofers have a built-in amplifier, are easy to install and are more convenient. You just need to connect them to your audio source to enjoy quality sound.
In contrast, passive subwoofers are more intended for outdoor use. It requires an independent power amplifier to operate. They are used in concerts and can have considerable sound power.
Tips 2: Sound power
This characteristic defines the ability of the subwoofer to produce sound. This physical quantity is expressed in Watts RMS. Manufacturers can express power in Watts only. But this approach is used for marketing.
The sound power of the device is shown in Watts RMS and you should only rely on this unit. The higher this value, the more power the subwoofer develops. It is important to choose a cabinet suitable for your room and not to overdo the power. An overly powerful subwoofer installed in a small room is not recommended as the sound quality may deteriorate and you get saturated sound.
Tips 3: The size of the box
Since the subwoofer will be installed in a room and will occupy a certain space, it is important to choose its size carefully. There are more conspicuous and more or less bulky models, arranged on a foot. These models are generally placed near your television or your audio system such as the hi-fi system. We can also find models of small size, more compact, which can be placed under a table for example.
Tips 4: The diameter of the speaker
It is also necessary to take into account the diameter of the loudspeaker. To get deep bass, the speaker should have a fairly large diameter. A speaker diaphragm 16 to 30 cm in diameter is recommended for home use. However, match the size of your speaker with the other speakers for a more natural and unsaturated sound reproduction.
Tips 5: The connections and the housing options
To effectively connect your subwoofer to the sound source, it must have certain connections. The RCA input is the most common. But the more the model is equipped with several connectors, the more it is versatile and can be used on specific devices.
Most models on the market have a wired connection, but since the advent of wireless technology, we can find models that can connect by Bluetooth. For active models, the subwoofer must have various settings to refine the sound reproduction and adapt it according to the type of sound broadcast. The presence of a remote control, as well as a programmed shutdown, are also options not to be overlooked.
The different types of subwoofers
There are mainly 2 types of subwoofer on the market, depending on the mode of operation: active subwoofers and passive subwoofers.
An active subwoofer is a type of speaker dedicated to bass, consisting of a speaker developing deep bass frequencies and also an integrated audio amplifier. It is therefore ready to use and does not require any external amplifier to operate. This characteristic gives it great practicality.
Likewise, this type of subwoofer is easy to install. The user can fine-tune the sound using the built-in adjustment controls on the device. This subwoofer can be used even if your hi-fi device does not have an adequate subwoofer output.
This type of subwoofer does not have any built-in amplifier or electronic part on the housing. The subwoofer is only composed of a subwoofer as on conventional speakers. So it needs an external amplifier to work.
The passive subwoofer is intended rather for professional use because the setting is more complicated compared to an active model to benefit from optimal sound reproduction. The use of this model must be done with an amplifier having a more increased power compared to that required by the subwoofer in order not to damage your audio devices.
Active or passive subwoofer?
The active subwoofer is an audio device that is often used in domestic use and also in in-car sound systems. It is a ready-to-use product as it does not require any other amplifier to operate. Indeed, the active subwoofer is composed of a bass speaker and an electronic part made up of frequency filters and an integrated power amplifier. It is easier to install and adjustments are made from the control buttons installed on the cabinet.
This type of subwoofer requires an external amplifier to operate. Its design is the same as a conventional speaker. It consists only of a special speaker to reproduce bass sounds and deep bass. The user cannot make any adjustment on the subwoofer since it has no electronic part. To reproduce a sound and refine the settings, it is therefore imperative to connect it to a power amplifier. This kind of subwoofer is best suited for professional use in outdoor concerts.
We recommend the active models because of their convenience, ease of installation and also their 2-in-1 functionality. You can find models adapted to your needs on the market thanks to the diversity of the choices offered.
What is a subwoofer?
Several years ago, the subwoofer was left out in home audio installations, due to its bulkiness and the difficulty of adjusting it properly. So difficult that the resulting sound is unpleasant and of poor quality. Users therefore ended up not integrating it into the home audio system.
But those days are over and thanks to the advancement of technology and growing experience, manufacturers now have high-performance subwoofers or subwoofers that deliver excellent sound quality. Admittedly, this audio equipment is still large in size, but less considerable than it was several years ago. Its real advantage is the ease of adjustment. With just a few taps, you can get good, deep, quality bass.
A subwoofer or subwoofer is audio equipment that is used for the production of bass sound or low frequency sound. As a rule, sounds with a frequency below 80 Hz. In audio, this type of sound is called “bass”.
In appearance, the caisson is often a cube-shaped box and partly uses wood as its construction material. A speaker specially designed to reproduce bass sounds is housed in this structure. For deep and powerful bass, this speaker has a fairly large diameter.
Depending on the type of box, an electronic part can be fitted to the box, acting as an integrated amplifier. This type of subwoofer is called an “ active subwoofer ” . If the subwoofer does not have one and only has one speaker, it is referred to as an “ active subwoofer ” .
The role of the subwoofer is to ensure the reproduction of bass in an audio installation. To obtain a rich and pleasant sound, it is necessary to join together the three ways which form the sound namely: the highs, the mediums and the low sounds. The first two are broadcast by midrange speakers and tweeters.
Without a subwoofer, the sound will be devoid of bass and we would have a less rich and unpleasant sound. Each type of sound must therefore be well balanced to obtain optimum sound quality, with deep bass, clear mids and crystal-clear highs.
Why buy a good subwoofer?
If you are unsure or unsure why to buy a subwoofer, find some reasons below.
To get deep bass in a setup worthy of the name, having a subwoofer is essential. Indeed, this type of speaker is capable of reproducing sounds below 80 Hz. It is specially dedicated to fulfill this task.
Ease of installation
Active subwoofers, widely used on the market, are easy to install. You don’t need to be a sound professional to install it. Just connect it to the sound source and you’re done.
The subwoofer is of great importance in an audio installation. Without it, the sound produced is less rich. It greatly improves the quality of a sound environment. When used in a home theater, it will immerse you in the heart of the action and allow you a greater immersion in the action. On the music side, it will offer you quality bass that is well balanced with the treble and mids.
The subwoofer is an audio speaker capable of developing great sound power, without deterioration in audio quality. It is quite capable of covering your interior without saturation or clipping. Sound enthusiasts are power freaks and with today’s subwoofers, they’re pretty much served.
With the advent of wireless air, subwoofers are no less affected. You can find models that work with wireless technology, in addition to the classic wired connection. For the latter, the connections can be varied for more compatibility and possibility.
What is the price of a subwoofer?
The diagram below will help you get an idea of the prices usually charged for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).
However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better .
We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.
- Entry level: 20 to 100 $
- Mid-range: 100 to 500 $
High-end more: than 500 $
The best subwoofer brands
In our opinion, the best subwoofer brands in 2021 are:
Yamaha is a Japanese brand, renowned worldwide in the field of audiovisual and musical instruments. These subwoofers feature exceptional sound quality. Its products are reliable, efficient in the image of Japanese technology.
JBL is one of the must-have brands when it comes to loudspeakers and subwoofers. Its products have a chic and ergonomic design, but also great power. The brand has half a century of experience and continues to innovate in the field of high quality sound.
Auna is a Spanish brand of audio equipment. It is recognized around the world for its high-performance devices, providing extraordinary sound quality. It focuses on designing products with excellent value for money. These subwoofer models are highly reliable and built to last.
Ibiza is a brand that makes subwoofers suitable for parties. Its products are easy to use with excellent value for money, but also a listening experience worthy of a high-end product. You can find Ibiza subwoofer models with a power of up to 2000 W, proof that the brand develops ultra powerful and reliable products.
Skytec is a brand that develops power amplifiers, speakers but also subwoofers. These are of exemplary quality both aesthetically and in terms of performance. They are easy to use, very practical and can have a phenomenal sound power of 1200 W.
Keep it far enough.
Avoid placing your subwoofer a few feet away from the main listening position to avoid it being too loud compared to the rest of your system.
Align it with the front speakers.
Try to keep the subwoofer in the same plane as the front speakers.
Use 2 subwoofers.
Using two subwoofers helps create flatter bass throughout the room. The bass will be distributed between the two subwoofers. This makes it possible to equalize the distribution of the bass.
Adjust the bass level.
Adjust the volume or level until the bass level matches that of the other speakers. The best way to do this is to use music with a constant bass signal and adjust the knob until the output from the subwoofer is at a volume similar to that of your other speakers.
Boost the weak bass.
Each room boundary (wall, floor, or ceiling) that is within a foot or two of your subwoofer will increase the power of the subwoofer by four times. So if you need to boost the power of your bass, you can simply place it in a corner of your room.
What is the best subwoofer?
The best subwoofer depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide for the best products around.
Where to place the subwoofer?
The design of a subwoofer differs from model to model. It is therefore difficult to define with certainty the ideal location for a subwoofer. However, placing it in a corner of the room is a good solution. Indeed, the bass will reverberate on the wall and this action will amplify its resonance. It is particularly effective if you plan to obtain quality sound and considerable acoustic power. It also allows you to have a sound present at any location in the room. For wireless models, you must first ensure that the connection is made without problem with such a distance between the source and the speaker.
How to adjust the phase of the subwoofer properly?
Many users wonder about the correct phase setting on the subwoofer. The setting can be set to 0 or 180. The value indicates the direction of bass dispersion depending on the audio installation. If the loudspeaker and the subwoofer are arranged in an aligned manner, then the phase must be on position 0. If their locations are not aligned, then there is phase inversion and the setting should be set to 180. This setting therefore allows the material to be in phase.
How does the subwoofer connect to a hi-fi amplifier?
The subwoofer must plug into the LFE output. If the hi-fi amplifier in your installation does not have an LFE output, it does not matter. You can connect it to the pre-amplified output of your hi-fi amplifier. So, use RCA cables and connect the PRE OUT left and right output of the amplifier with the RCA inputs of the subwoofer. Recent home cinema amplifier models are equipped with 2 outputs to be able to connect with several subwoofers. If, however, your amplifier has only one output and you plan to use multiple subwoofers, you can use a Y-type RCA plug to have dual output.
How to maintain and clean the subwoofers?
To increase the life of your subwoofer and to prevent device malfunctions, it is necessary to clean and maintain these devices on a regular basis. To clean the speakers, more specifically their membranes, use a soft cloth (free of hairs or fibers that easily adhere to a surface) and gently wipe their surfaces to get rid of dust. For vents and other air ducts, you can use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a fabric brush and set to the softest possible suction mode.