What Kind of Subwoofer Should I Get?

If you’re looking a new “bass box,” then you’re probably asking yourself what kind of subwoofer should I get? Whether you are looking for the best subwoofer out there or just something basic to boost your sound system, you’re going to need to understand the different types that are available.

Subwoofers vary on the types of boxes, which means they are different sizes and shapes. They also become unique from one another by providing different sound quality and options for positioning and configuration. Your setup is going to somewhat determine what type of box you should get, so it will be helpful for you to use this guide in understanding what’s on the market today.


Types of Subwoofer Boxes


If you’re asking, “What type of subwoofer do I need?” then you probably need an overview of the boxes you have to choose from. The most common one is the sealed box, which you may already be familiar with. These are the easiest woofers to build, and they give the best overall sound quality (especially true for lower frequencies).

Free air boxes are the opposite from sealed in that they do not have very accurate bass levels at lower frequencies. More amplifier power is required to supply these. You can mount free air subwoofers behind a rear seat or under the rear deck, making it difficult to install in hatchbacks. The trunk is sealed off from the cabin so the woofer can take up the entire trunk.

Other types of boxes include ported, isobaric, band pass, and aperiodic. These are configured in different ways that make them unique and less common.


What to Ask Yourself


You should determine a few things before buying a subwoofer, and that includes the frequency response and driver size you need. If you’re setting up a sound system in the house or car, then you want something suited to your specific environment and preferences. These factors of woofer construction make that choice an educated one.

How low do you want the bass to go? You should start off with a basic level of down to 35hz for woofer capability. What does that mean exactly? Since the human ears can process sounds down to 20hz, you want something as close to that as possible. That means your woofer is delivering more accurate bass sounds to you.

The driver size is the next thing to consider when choosing what kind of subwoofer to buy. The larger the driver, the lower the sound of the bass output. If it’s smaller, it will respond quicker. These are two ends of the spectrum that should be balanced. In specific numbers, that means a 10” or 12” subwoofer is a good choice for most people. Someone who wants to save on money can go with an 8” if they aren’t very concerned about the sound quality. Anyone who is trying to blast their eardrums out would probably go with a 15” or higher. It helps to listen to these in action before purchasing, so you can see the real effect of driver size.