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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Subwoofer speaker are used in many places. Most of the time, you get to see subwoofers used in:
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
A wider frequency range (from 25-100 Hz) means that the driver will produce a wider range of bass notes.
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!
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!
This tells you what kind of wiring and amplifier power it requires to work properly; most woofers are 4-6 ohm.
This is listed in inches or sometimes by diameter (like 10″, 12″, etc.).
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!
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:
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.
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.
This part of the subwoofer gets hit by the voice coil, causing it to vibrate along with the air around it; this creates sound!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.