How to choose a subwoofer for your car.

A subwoofer is a car speaker system that reproduces low frequencies in the range of 5-200 Hz. It is needed to deliver powerful bass that conveys the special effects of modern music. There are several problems in how to choose a subwoofer for a car. First, the driver's location is offset from the center of the car, so the sound of different frequencies is reproduced differently. Secondly, the design features of the car (metal, plastic) significantly degrade the quality of the music and should not resonate with the song being played. However, the correct choice and location of the device allows you to cope with these difficulties.

Contents of article

    Types of subwoofers:

    1. Active

    This device has its own sound amplifier, which allows you to set its power to the required level. In fact, such a subwoofer solves the problem of a weak speaker system installed by the manufacturer. But this is true only for those cars whose radio tape recorder leaves much to be desired.

    Pros. Deep, loud and high-quality sound, the ability to fine-tune it, quick and easy installation.

    Cons. Relatively high cost, large volume, the need to find an optimal location.

    2. Passive

    This subwoofer does not come without a sound amplifier and therefore has significantly less capabilities. However, many music lovers like this option, since you can purchase another amplifier for it, and if necessary, replace it, place it as it is convenient.

    Pluses. Affordable cost, easy installation.

    Cons. The need for revision on its own.

    The main types of subwoofers:

    1. Open

    The device is a speaker without a wooden box, which is installed in the panel of the car (for example, on the back). This is the most affordable option, but the quality of the music in his performance leaves much to be desired. Vibration is not damped, so the speaker itself creates vibration and the finishing materials resonate.

    Pluses. Low price, simple installation, takes up a minimum of space.

    Cons. No bass below 100 Hz, high vibration, self resonance.

    2. Box (closed)

    These devices are supplied in a box, which significantly improves the sound quality. The optimal position of the speaker in relation to all the edges of the cabinet avoids the appearance of "sound backwave". Thus, the box will not vibrate, adding "extra" accents to the musical composition.

    Pluses. Good, high-quality sound, powerful deep bass, musical effects.

    Cons. Expensive, takes up a lot of space, requires the choice of a certain location.

    3. Compact subwoofer

    This device is installed under the driver's seat and takes up a minimum of space (solutions are available from manufacturers such as Hertz, Vibe, Focal, Mystery). Despite its compact size, it can be both passive and active, delivering crisp and powerful bass. It is not necessary to put it under the seat: it can be installed in the trunk, under the sofa in the back of the car, or in another accessible place.

    Pluses. Compactness, low frequency projection on the driver, complete preservation of the car interior.

    Cons. High cost, low power, susceptibility to negative influences in certain installation options (water can get under the seat or into the trunk).

    Types of cabinet subwoofers:

    1. Sealed box

    The simplest and most convenient cabinet design is the most common. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the speaker is located in a sealed space, which protects it from external influences. Thus, the most important thing is to calculate the optimal volume of the box for a specific speaker. In practice, the potential case is often measured first (based on the amount of free space), and then a suitable option is selected for it from among the proposed solutions.

    Pluses. Low price, deep clean bass, low load on the speaker, which allows you to extend its service life, a wide range of models of the required volume.

    Cons. Large volume (it is difficult to find a place in the trunk for it), the appearance of a booming bass when the volume is incorrectly calculated.


    2. Bass reflex enclosure

    The subwoofer box resembles a closed version, but has a ventilation duct (bass reflex) that enhances the reproduction of the lowest audible frequencies in the range. The level of distortion is significantly reduced, which will be appreciated by drivers with perfect musical ear. However, the complexity of such a system makes it difficult to implement, so the products must be manufactured under special conditions.

    Pluses. Clean, deep bass, wide sound range, high efficiency of the subwoofer.

    Cons. A complex system, errors in the design of which will lead to the appearance of negative sound effects (bass "mumbles"), incorrect reproduction of sound frequencies, below the calculated range, large volume of the box.

    3. Isobaric cabinet

    This model has a special design: two speakers are installed inside the cabinet, one of which is on the front surface, and the other is inside. Constant pressure improves efficiency and blends their sound, thereby saving space.

    Pluses. Small volume (about half that of a sealed box), clean bass with proper tuning and no design errors.

    Cons. The speaker output is at least 3 decibels lower than that of other types of enclosures, while the cost of the model is higher.

    4. Bandpass

    This type of subwoofer is the most complex, since it is a body divided into two chambers, between which there is a speaker. The rear platform is hermetically sealed, and the bass reflex is located on the front. The device creates the lowest bass, dense and powerful sound, which is very much appreciated by car enthusiasts. The subwoofer is a fairly large device, so not every car will easily fit it. If there is little free space, flat solutions are needed. Crossover and SUV owners don't have much of a problem with box placement, so they can choose from a wide range of alternatives.

  • Select the appropriate device for the body type. Based on the wishes for the sound quality and the available space, you can stop at the bandpass, isobaric enclosure, bass reflex or a sealed box. They differ among themselves both in frequency range and in size.
  • Consider the required power. There are car enthusiasts who love the deep, booming bass that can be heard outside the car. However, this is very distracting from the ride and complicates the movement. Plus, powerful subwoofers cannot be cheap and compact. For most drivers, a device of medium power is suitable, quite sufficient for listening to your favorite music.
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