When thinking about upgrading our car audio system, it is worth considering installing an additional subwoofer. What are the benefits and costs of such an investment?
Why does a subwoofer make such a difference?
When you first get into a car that has a subwoofer installed, you’re impressed by how well the music comes out of the speakers. Why is that? Standard car speakers are designed to reproduce low frequencies, those below 100 hertz. Bass and low sounds sound better when played from a subwoofer because it is designed to reproduce such tones.
Subwoofers installed in cars can be divided into several categories:
- passive car subwoofer with enclosure – this is a speaker that is designed to reproduce the lowest octaves of the frequency response. It is located in a special, well-damped enclosure of appropriate size. To work properly, it must be connected to an external amplifier;
- passive car subwoofer without enclosure – this is also a speaker designed to reproduce the lowest sounds, but it does not require an enclosure. Passive subwoofer without enclosure – this speaker is also designed to reproduce the lowest sounds, but it does not require an enclosure, so it can be installed in the car in a pre-prepared place, for example on the door, in the trunk or on the rear shelf. It also requires an external power supply;
- active car subwoofer – in this case the speaker has a built-in amplifier, so it can be treated as a separate device. It is operated with a remote control. They are very popular and, therefore, increasingly smaller and do not require a large area in the car.
What to pay attention to when buying?
The most important parameter we should pay attention to is the frequency response range. It should be as wide as possible. Ideally, it should start from low values, for example 20 hertz, and end on high values, for example 300 hertz. Despite the fact that active subwoofers are getting smaller, it is worth giving them some space in the car. This will improve the quality of our sound.
If you decide to buy and install such a speaker yourself, you should remember a few rules. It is important to choose the liter of the enclosure, which should be adapted to the specific subwoofer. This is in the case of passive subwoofers, when the enclosure is made to it separately. When connecting it yourself, use the official documentation provided from the manufacturer.
It is worth taking care of proper soundproofing of the enclosure to which we want to install our subwoofer. The diaphragm, which is responsible for reproducing low frequencies, works in both directions, so it will be necessary to soundproof the sound that occurs when vibrations go towards the enclosure.
When you decide on a model that requires an external power supply, make sure that its parameters agree with what we have in the car.
Subwoofer at home?
If we have already invested quite a lot of money in our audio equipment, we would like to be able to use it for as long as possible, for example at home. This is not a very good idea. Such speakers are built for small spaces. Connecting them to a home amplifier can be difficult and take a lot of time due to voltage differences. Of course, you can bring home the battery from your car, but this is probably too big a sacrifice. At home, it’s a good idea to rely on proven speakers or home theaters.
Main photo: Nazar Sharafutdinov/unsplash.com