How Does A Subwoofer Work And Its 5 Epic Uses

Our love for speakers and soundbars with subwoofers never ends, but unfortunately, many of us just don’t know how a subwoofer works. No problem, let’s find out together!

What Is A Subwoofer?

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A subwoofer is the part of your speaker system that is responsible for producing low frequencies, usually below 80 Hz. A great example of a bass response transducer (subwoofer) is a 12-inch speaker, which can produce frequencies as low as 25 Hz and sometimes even lower.

Low-frequency sounds cannot be reproduced properly by regular speakers and surround sound systems. As a result, movies and music often sound flat. Subwoofers (or “subs”) produce the low frequencies within music, commonly referred to as bass and sub-bass. In addition to hearing the bass, a subwoofer allows a listener to feel the sound.

Why Do You Need A Subwoofer?

If you have a speaker system, you may hear that the bass isn’t as powerful as you would like. That’s because your speakers can only reproduce sound at their frequency range which is usually around 60Hz. If you want to add more punch to your listening experience, you’ll need a subwoofer.

Read: How To Measure A Subwoofer Quickly and Easily


How Does A Subwoofer Work?

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Working on a subwoofer is really simple. The subwoofer is connected to an amplifier through a speaker cable. The power from the amplifier will go into a voice coil which is then moved by the magnetic field generated due to the current flowing on it and results in producing sound.

The subwoofer creates a very high AC voltage with a very small amount of current to create low frequency range. This high voltage is then fed to the voice coil, which will produce a magnetic field.

The magnetic field that comes out of the subwoofer will push and pull against the permanent magnet attached to it, thus creating vibrations in the air, which can be heard as sound.

A low frequency sound waves is generated by this vibration and is transmitted through the air. This is different from higher frequencies in that low-frequency signals are non-directional. So, unlike the left and right speakers, the subwoofer can be placed almost anywhere, unlike the left and right speakers.

Subwoofers are usually built using cheap materials like paper, plastic, or even foam! The main reason behind this is that they need to be light enough otherwise;, it would be too difficult to move the speaker cone inside the enclosure.

The subwoofer creates deep bass through a phenomenon called ‘pressurization’. The woofer is pushed to move back and forth, which eventually creates cone movement. This pressure tends to make air molecules around it vibrate, resulting in sound waves!

The subwoofer’s power requirements are handled by an amplifier which can be purchased separately from the speaker. Usually, a subwoofer has a hole in the back called ‘line out’, which is used for this purpose.

What Are The Types Of Subwoofers?

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There are two main kinds of woofers, passive and active. Active subwoofer need to be connected to an amplifier to work, while passive subwoofer ones don’t require an external amplifier to produce sound.

Also, you can find subwoofers that have different shapes. The most common types of woofers are:


This one is probably the most popular out there, which comes with a long pole-like structure connected to a cone in the middle. It’s commonly used in home theaters.


The cone is attached to a horn structure that has a smaller diameter than the woofer itself. This design is meant for home theater use as it helps in producing better quality bass.


It’s a little over 1 foot wide and has a roundish shape. Dome subwoofers are best used in musical performances as the big, round surface helps in the radiating of sound quality.


It’s similar to box woofers except that it has a long pole linked to a cone which is then attached to another at a 90-degree angle, and it can be moved back and forth.

What Are Some Great Uses For Subwoofers?

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Subwoofer speaker are used in many places. Most of the time, you get to see subwoofers used in:

Car audio

A great example here is a car stereo system. The subwoofer is used alongside the main speaker(s) to produce high-quality bass.

Also, most of the time, you will see small subwoofers being used in cars. It’s because they’re small and can easily fit into any part of the car without looking awkward.


These are devices that produce really loud bass frequencies to provide a great effect for parties or outdoor activities like lawn mowing or barbecuing!

So, next time you’re thinking of purchasing a subwoofer for your car’s audio system, make sure you know how it works!

Also, the uses mentioned above are just some of the many ways in which subwoofers are used. You can use them at any place where you want to add more power and bass to your surround sound systems!

These Are The Main Parts That Work Together To Produce Bass

  1. A voice coil made up of carbon-loaded (CPC) or another similar material that is attached to a permanent magnet. The voice coil spins within a hole in an aluminium can called a former, creating a magnetic field. The field that comes out of the magnet pushes and pulls against the magnet that is attached to the cone, thus creating vibrations in the air, which can be heard as sound.
  2. The speaker basket, or frame, holds all of this together: it also gives a rigid structure so that nothing vibrates too much and cancels out some frequencies – more on this later. The baskets commonly have ‘surrounds’ inside them: sheets of rubber or foam create a better seal, thus making it more efficient.
  3. A spider is underneath the cone; it maintains the spacing between the voice coil and the permanent magnet (this is especially important in linear magnetic systems). It also holds wires that connect to the voice coil.
  4. An outer cone is a big, thin plastic surface (usually made of polypropylene or polyester) that vibrates around the mechanical center point: it is what we actually see and hear when a song plays, thus creating sound!
  5. The speaker wires carry the electrical signal from your audio equipment, which controls the voice coil.
  6. The basket and frame are often kept in place by ‘spikes,’ or feet that stick out from the basket: these ensure stability and protect the outer cone from touching a surface (like your tabletop) that might damage it.

What Are Some Of The Parts To Look For When Buying A Subwoofer?

  • When buying a subwoofer, you should look for the following:

1. The size of the speaker driver

This indicates how much air it can move. A large driver means more bass! So look for bigger sizes to get the most bass out of your music or movie!

2. Sensitivity rating

This is measured in decibels (dB) and indicates how efficient the woofer is. Like the kinds you see on car subwoofers, a high rating means that it’s louder with less electricity!

3. Power handling/ Peak power

This should be measured in watts or RMS – we will get to this later; a lot of woofers will have this posted on their boxes.

4. Nomenclature

This is where the wattage and impedance are listed, with a + or – next to each other; it helps to match up similar products in terms of capacity.

5. Frequency response

 A wider frequency range (from 25-100 Hz) means that the driver will produce a wider range of bass notes.

6. Sensitivity, again

You should look for this as it is basically a measurement of how efficient a subwoofer is in terms of converting electrical energy into acoustic output. The higher the number on your sensitivity rating (say 85 dB), the better!

7. Mounting depth

this indicates how far your subwoofer is from the front of your vehicle. Also, if you are looking for a subwoofer that fits in the back seat as well, look for one with a short mounting depth!

8. Impedance rating

This tells you what kind of wiring and amplifier power it requires to work properly; most woofers are 4-6 ohm.

9. Size

This is listed in inches or sometimes by diameter (like 10″, 12″, etc.).

10. Other features

Look for RCA inputs, phase switches, volume controls and other special features that might make it easier to use or more efficient! These all change how your subwoofer performs, so look closely!

What Are The Parts Of A Subwoofer? Why Is That Important To Know?

When you’re looking for woofers, it’s good to know about their parts. A lot of what makes two different models or series sound different is based on construction and quality. Subwoofers are complex devices, and knowing what you’re getting into can help you make a better decision on your subwoofer purchase. Here’s a list of the main parts:

1. The spider (mentioned above)

This is actually an assembly that includes the cone, suspension components, spacer and voice coil former. It ensures that the voice coil is in the correct position to move along the cone’s surface.

2. The basket and frame

This holds all of the individual parts in place, doubles as a protective material for the outer cone, may include ‘spikes’ to keep your subwoofer stable during play (especially if you are putting it on a hard surface), and protects the speaker wiring.

3. The cone

This part of the subwoofer gets hit by the voice coil, causing it to vibrate along with the air around it; this creates sound!

4. The voice coils

 These create electricity in a magnetic field using an electromagnetic winding that wraps around the speaker. It consists of a coil that moves in and out of a gap; an iron core surrounds the coil to keep it stable as it moves back and forth across the surface of the cone.

Why Do Some Woofers Make A Buzzing Sound?

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If the subwoofer you have is making a constant buzzing sound, it means that your amplifier is probably clipping (going into overdrive) which can potentially damage the speaker. To fix this problem, turn down your volume or adjust the bass knob on your subwoofer to reduce distortion.

How Do I Connect My Subwoofer?

To connect your subwoofer, simply attach an RCA or a speaker cable on the “L” and the “R” connection at the back of your subwoofer.

Now that you’ve connected your subwoofer, you should have gotten a cable that connects to these RCA inputs. This is where you’re connecting your audio source into it!

If the subwoofer does not have speaker cables coming out of it but instead has banana plugs (the thing with three prongs), then make sure to connect those to the “L” and “R” ports.

Now you should be ready to play your music and enjoy the awesome subwoofer performance!

If you’re a true audiophile, I’m sure that you love listening to high-quality audio and want to use your speakers with great potential. If so, I would highly recommend getting a dedicated amplifier because the one built into your receiver may not be powerful enough to handle the subwoofer output.

If you’re having trouble connecting your subwoofer, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you in no time!

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How Do You Connect Subwoofers?

A subwoofer should be connected to the audio output of your preamp or receiver. If you have a home theater system, your subwoofer should be connected to the rear speakers of your left and right front speaker channels.

How Do I Place My Subwoofers?

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When placing your subwoofers, remember that they need to be placed in accordance with their location in relation to the listeners. For example, for optimal bass performance, if your listening area is in the middle of a room and you will be using two subwoofers, place one on either side of the listeners. If possible, extend them out an extra foot where they are placed away from walls, affecting sound projection.

The distance between you and the speaker depends on the size of the subwoofer itself. For example, if you have a 15’x15′ listening area with bookshelves on two back walls and one row of seating, use dual 8″ subwoofers. In this case, you would mount one on each side at or near ear level with a slight upward angle. When mounted, your ears should be about 2′ from the speaker.