A subwoofer is a loudspeaker designed to reproduce low-pitched audio frequencies known as bass and sub-bass, which can be generated by a woofer. It is made up of more than one woofers mounted in a loudspeaker enclosure often made with wood which is perfect for withstanding air pressure while resisting deformation.
When I was first getting interested in all things audio, I picked up a few things about subwoofers. A good subwoofer needs to have a very linear driver which is expensive but very accurate, a powerful amplifier, and a well- designed and built cabinet, I have listened to and used a lot of different subwoofers, and the best bass management is normally performed in the surround sound controller or monitoring controller.
FEATURES OF A GOOD SUBWOOFER
A subwoofer is a speaker designed specifically to deliver bass for all the other speakers in a home theater or stereo system. Bass is important for many reasons. It adds layers of massive sonic impact as well as subtle, even delicate sound that draws us in and makes all of our music, movies, and TV shows more thrilling and immersive. Bass allows you to literally feel a musical note or sound effect in a movie — it sets the mood in a soundtrack, and it provides pacing for the rhythm and melody in music. Bass creates the foundation of the rhythms that make you tap your toe or nod your head when a favorite song comes on.
Unlike choosing speakers, which is a subjective decision based on many factors (appearance, voicing, form factor), choosing a subwoofer is a more objective one. Why? Because when it comes to subwoofers, we can more easily judge them by their ability to do 5 basic things. The best home subwoofers all share these five performance qualities, which are easy to catch if you know what to listen for.
- Incredibly low frequency extension.
Many subwoofers don’t have the ability to reproduce the deepest bass notes or tones. In more technical terms, this means they’re unable to reach notes at or below 20Hz (the threshold of human hearing). So, they attempt to make up for it by exaggerating the mid-bass performance to hide the missing notes. This results in boomy, single-note bass, creating a less believable experience that robs you of feeling what the artist or director really intended to present in the lowest frequencies. The best subwoofers deliver the deepest bass with clarity and grace, sometimes creating frequencies so deep they can’t even be heard — only felt!
If you’re looking at a spec sheet, it’s important to know that these are written based on test results in an anechoic chamber (a room designed to completely absorb sound). This is unfair for subwoofers, as they rely on sound reflections in your room to create clear, powerful notes. As such, a subwoofer may only be specified as going down to 30Hz, when in reality, it dives much, much deeper
2. Low frequency output at the highest sound pressure levels (SPLs).
That’s a mouthful, but the concept is quite simple. A world-class subwoofer plays effortlessly loud and distortion-free, no matter how deep or demanding the source material. Unlike passive speakers, subwoofers usually have their own internal amplifiers and DSP engines so they can make their own on-the-fly volume adjustments when a home theater or stereo system is cranked up. Lesser subwoofers use amplifier limiting, which artificially reduces the volume of the biggest slams of bass bursts to protect the amplifier from being overworked. The result: the bass “disappears” at the very moment you want it to kick in the most, like an action movie explosion or an EDM bass drop. This is an important feature, meant to save the subwoofer from damaging its driver or amp, but it creates a deflating experience. A world-class subwoofer generates enough energy to perform effortlessly with massive SPLs well beyond reference volume, without bottoming out or simply quitting at those critical moments
- Accuracy in frequency response.
The best subwoofers produce the exact amount of bass you’re supposed to hear at the exact right pitch with complete faithfulness to the movie, music, or other source content. This is perhaps the biggest factor in creating a believable home theater experience because it reflects what the artist or director intended for you to hear and feel — without any extra frills or distortion added by the subwoofer failing to perfectly recreate the sound.
- Pinpoint speed in transients.
This is frequently described as the subwoofer’s ability to “stop and start on a dime.” A great subwoofer has extremely fast impulse, or change in momentum (accelerating and decelerating). When these changes don’t happen at lightning speed, extra notes get produced during those impulse times, and the sub is unable to keep pace with your speakers in an audibly pleasing way. For this reason, lesser subwoofers have difficulty keeping up with full range speakers when complex bass lines, aggressive action scenes, and other full range content is presented. The result? A loss of detail. With lesser subwoofers, the bass can take over the sound field in an unnatural and distracting way. World-class subwoofers stop playing bass at the precise moment they’re supposed to and kick back in at the perfect moment so the sound is indistinguishable from the speaker output and everything plays in perfect unison.
- Blend seamlessly with full range speakers.
No one wants to only hear bass in their home theater or audio system. Proper home theater audio is about creating a total experience where the subwoofer lays the sonic foundation, but never draws attention to the bass alone or its location in the room. Bass is omnidirectional and a subwoofer should energize or pressurize a room without overwhelming the soundstage or revealing its placement and presence in a distracting way. A world-class subwoofer adds a powerful and tactile sonic element that can’t be ignored, but always remains complementary to the system as a whole…
Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer – Power Port Technology | Up to 100 Watts | Big Bass in Compact Design | Easy Setup with Home Theater Systems
Add deep bass excitement and extended dynamic thrills to your music or movie sound system with the easy-to-connect and easy-to-use PSW 10. Its 10″ Dynamic Balance composite cone driver and non-resonant enclosure produce a deep, smooth response with superior detail and accuracy while limiting distortion. The sub is powered by a high-current amplifier producing 50 Watts RMS/100 Watts dynamic power. Rotary volume control adjusts the volume of the subwoofer relative to the other speakers in the system and the unit offers a continuously variable low-pass filter, adjustable from 80-160 Hz. Easily accessible, professional-grade line- and speaker-level inputs, and speaker level outputs, allow easy connection to any system
- POWERED SUBWOOFER FOR EXTRA BASS & PUNCH
- LOUDER CLEARER SOUND EVEN AT HIGH VOLUME.
- BLENDS EASILY WITH ANY SPEAKER
- EASY TO INTEGRATE WITH EXISTING SYSTEMS
This item has 4,7 stars out of 5 and a global rating of about 10,590 and you can get it at an incredible price with this link.
The built-in, all-digital amplifier of the Reference Series subwoofer delivers ample power with high efficiency and true-to-source accuracy reproduction – thus providing maximum output, detail, and power that fills your home.
- 10″ front-firing spun-copper IMG woofer
- All-digital amplifier with 300 watts peak power
- Volume low pass crossover and phase control
- Line level/LFE RCA inputs for maximum receiver compatibility
- Dimensions 14 5″ x 12 5″ x 16 4″
- Frequency response: 32Hz – 120Hz +/- 3dB
- Amplifier power (Cont/Peak): 150W/300W
This product is available at an amazing price with this link
Nothing brings realism to recorded sound like deep, authoritative bass. Yet, most affordable systems are compromised in this critical region. For the sub1010, the rich, powerful bottom octaves are fundamental—literally—to the life of music and movie soundtracks when it comes to reproducing the full spectrum of instruments and sound effects.
- Enclosure Type: bass reflex
- Amplifier Type: Class AB
- Amplifier power: 120 watts peak/ 60 watts RMS
- Frequency response: 38hz-200hz; crossover frequency: 40hz-200hz
- Driver: 10″ Low Throw dynamic woofer with these inputs: L/R/LFE/speaker level
This is one of our best sellers and can be gotten at a reasonable value with this link
Acoustic Audio’s Audiophile Series powered subs immerse you in the action of your fast-paced movies and sports. Add impact to your favorite movies and full-bodied bass to your favorite tunes with a sub that’s barely a cubic foot. Its stylish design and superior sound make it a smart addition to any home theater. Its elegant black ash finish is refined and complements most flat-panel displays. It features a high-current, 500-watt amp which effortlessly drives its down-firing 12″ woofer for dynamic low-frequency effects. The high and low inputs let you use any receiver or processor. The 12″ woofer utilizes a long excursion cone for deep, accurate response. The MDF bass-reflex enclosure features internal bracing, and a 24Hz to 250Hz frequency response delivers thumping bass from all your action movies and CD albums.
- HOME THEATER POWERED SUBWOOFER
- 500 WATTS PEAK POWER
- 12 INCH DOWN FIRING WOOFER
This product is available through this link
The Rock Shaker 8 is an all in one powered 8” subwoofer perfect for any home theater system or studio application.
This product uses high grade components from the ground up and delivers a clean sound with tight and thumpy bass you can really feel.
The enclosure is made of high quality MDF which delivers superb sound. We use a highly efficient class “D” amplifier that is engineered to be perfectly matched with the woofer and enclosure. We tested the rear firing port and determined it delivers the best bass response where you get an optimal reflection that will disburse the sound throughout the room.
The woofer is top quality with foam surrounds and features a Y30 grade magnet and a 4-layer voice coil
- Rockville Rock Shaker 8″ Classic Wood 400w Powered Home Theater Subwoofer Sub
- 400 Watts Peak / 200 Watts RMS
- Built-in Class D Amplifier
- The enclosure is made of top quality MDF wood. (MDF wood sounds better and lasts longer than particle board)
- High-grade vinyl enclosure covering with a beautiful finish
- The enclosure is built with the perfect air space to maximize sound quality and punch
- The rear firing port is engineered for optimal sound
- Class “D” Amplifier Circuitry with Auto-Switching Power Supply
- High-grade woofer with foam surround and paper cone
- The woofer has a Y30 grade magnet and 1.5” 4-layer voice coil
- Distortion-Free Playback Even at Max Volume Listening! Very Clean Sound!
- The enclosure is filled with fire-resistant poly cotton
- Detachable foam grill
The irony of having a good subwoofer is that the difference it makes should be discreet, not glaringly obvious. Anyone who’s suffered harsh, booming sounds that come from a bad subwoofer will understand!
Technical specifications alone won’t help you pick out an excellent subwoofer. When it comes to choosing a subwoofer for yourself make sure you do your homework, read some reviews and of course, try some out for yourself