Subwoofer Placement and Subwoofer basics 7 Ways to Better Bass

Finding the best subwoofer placement.

1. Where to place the sub woofer

Your room has a huge effect on the type of bass you will be able to achieve.

By placing the sub close to a wall you will receive a 3 db increase in volume level. By placing in a corner you receive another 3 db of output. This might seem great, but more bass is not always better. Sometimes, boundaries can make the bass seem ‘boomy’.

When combined with the floor boundary this is a total of 9 db of increased output for a corner subwoofer placement.

 

So then, is corner sub placement best?

The corner is often not the best subwoofer placement because room modes are likely to be brought up more than some other floor placements. The corners tend to amplify room modes to a higher level than when placed out into the room.

Technically speaking the center of the room placed on a table exactly between the floor and ceiling would be the most level position in terms of frequency response.

However, no one in their right mind would ever place a sub here. Even in the middle of the room -modes would still be an issue because room modes are established by the boundaries of the room. The length, width and height of each room will establish which frequencies are going to play louder than others.

Each room is different, but usually about 1/3 the room width from a side wall and 1/3 room length distance from the front wall can often make your room response more even and flat.

Rooms with horribly bad modes will have a booming bass sound that makes the bass sound like it is always playing the same note. In these rooms careful subwoofer placement is critical.

2. Subwoofer Connection Interconnect cables and Subwoofer Speaker Cable:

If you are running a powered sub you will not need any subwoofer speaker cable. These cables are inside the subwoofer running between the amp and the speaker drivers. Powered subs can make subwoofer placement easier in certain situations as no other space is needed for the amplifier.

3. Will you need Subwoofer speaker cable?

Active subwoofers have the amplifier built into the speaker cabinet. You should not need speaker cable for these types of subwoofers. These types of subwoofer often incorporate what is known as a subwoofer plate amp.

Passive subwoofers on the other hand will need some type of speaker cable to connect with your separate amplifier. I would choose a large wire size of 8 to 12 gauge speaker wire for the subwoofer. Because of the large amounts of current that a subwoofer demands the larger wire size will keep your resistance and insertion loss to a minimum.

The more powerful the amps and the longer the speaker wire run the larger the cable will need to be. But I cannot imagine any subwoofer needing a wire gauge larger than 8 guage speaker wire.

The subwoofer connections inside the amp should all be solder connections. Because of the extremely high level of vibrations screws can be vibrated loose rendering them useless. Use solder for your internal wiring subwoofer connections.

4. Wireless Subwoofers; are they a good option?

wireless mtx subwoofer, subwoofer placement

Only one wire is eliminated for a wireless subwoofer. You still will need to plug the thing into the wall outlet. It needs a power source after all. ~Keeping your home theater equipment installation looking clean.

But the source wire from your receiver or processor can be eliminated by using a wireless transmitter and receiver.

Nearly any subwoofer can be converted into a wireless subwoofer version. See wireless subwoofers here… Unmatched sale prices on all your A/V needs

5. Get a sub with a well braced cabinet

The best way to find out about the sub box is to do the knuckle rap test. Rap your knuckles on different parts of the cabinet walls. Is the sound like a cheap box made out of particle board? The best cabinets will make no sound at all. You will only hear your knuckles cracking on the surface of a well braced sub box.

Sub woofer enclosure design is very important to the quality of bass your audio system will achieve.

6. Sub woofer Amplifiers, how much power?

Deciding on how much power you need is difficult.

In general, ported cabinets need less power than a sealed cabinet. Also, driver efficiency plays a large role to determine how much juice it will take to get that cone moving. How deep you want the bass to play, how loud, and how much accuracy all makes the goal more difficult. Learn more about the best home theatre speakers.

It also depends on your other speakers. Basically, the more power you have the better off you likely will be, but…

There are no easy answers.

7. Take some measurements

of your room and speaker output using test tones.

Use the Room EQ wizard software to measure your system.

Last thoughts on Subwoofer basics

Subwoofers can be a bit finicky if you desire the best placement. Not all subwoofer positions are going to sound very good. Large peaks in the response will tend to make the bass ‘muddy’ and thick. Take a bit of time to get your sub woofer setup proper for long term enjoyment.

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