Sub Woofer Installation; Find the Best Subwoofer Location In The Listening Room

What you will need to optimize your sub woofer installation:

A computer with Mic in Jack and out jackRadio Shack SPL meter or other measurement microphoneRoom EQ Wizard software from Home Theater Shack

1. Place the microphone on a stand or supported at the exact listening location

2. Run a test sweep with Room EQ wizard

3. Examine the plot that was generated

4. Re-situate the sub woofer installation moving its location by 12 inches one direction

5. Run another test

6. Check the Plot results and compare to the first sub woofer placement

Depending on where your subwoofer is placed in the room will interact with the room differently. Find subs at Parts Express Subwoofer Headquarters – Subwoofers for every application and how to guides focusing on Home Audio, Car Audio and Pro Audio.

Here’s why:

Bass notes have a long wave length. Example; the wavelength of 55Hz is 20.5 feet, 27.5Hz is 41.1 feet. Each frequency has its own corresponding wavelength. This means that because of the dimensions of your room you will have resonant frequencies at certain wavelengths or Hz.

There is little you can do about this, but the one thing you can do is limit the amount that those frequencies are amplified or “supported” by the room itself. This is where moving the placement or sub woofer installation is helpful.

Note: you will have to be sure that the room is absolutely silent.

Outside traffic, trucks, and other noises can be captured and create peaks and nulls in the response that can make you think you have a spike when none may exist. Take several measurements at each location to minimize this issue. Once you are satisfied that you are getting consistent results, move onto the next location. Be sure you are not accidentally moving the microphone as even small movements can have an effect on the recorded response.

Continue to move the subwoofer about the room until you find the location that has the least high peaks and least deep valleys. You want the flattest response possible overall.

When you have this found location (this can sometimes take hours of measuring), start moving the subwoofer by smaller increments of say 6 inches or less until you have found the absolute smoothest location.

Now do some listening;

Listen to some music first and see how the bass level is. It is likely that the overall bass level is lower than you were experiencing before. Adjust the gain up until you are pleased with the level, then settle into your seat and do some serious listening. Don’t try to do this all at once. Come back to it the next day, and the next and make notes about what you hear. Continue to adjust the bass level while you do these listening sessions.

What are your overall impressions? Is the bass better? Is there more articulation of individual bass sounds? Do instruments sound more real and lifelike? If this position is not getting it done for you start the whole process over, but usually this will land you on a very good spot for the sub woofer installation within our listening room.

Final Thoughts:

Make sure to mark the position on the floor with some tape, make some measurements from the corners of the room and make a note of those measurements somewhere you won’t lose them, just in case the position is forgotten. Find subs at Parts Express Subwoofer Headquarters – Subwoofers for every application and how to guides focusing on Home Audio, Car Audio and Pro Audio.
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