Where to Place a Subwoofer

Where to Place a Subwoofer

Nowadays entertaining your family at home has become more desirable, and investing in a subwoofer is a great way to do that. Dedicating one room to entertainment allows you to listen to music, watch sports and videos, or play video games without interruption. However, purchasing the best high end home theater speakers isn't enough to give you the best audio quality and music experience. If you are looking to get the best experience from your home theater, placing the subwoofer in the corners might not be viable if it’s too far from your favorite listening spot. 

It’s vital to consider various subwoofer placement options before you settle on one. Where you place the subwoofer will determine its output. 

Related content: What is a passive subwoofer?

1. Along the Front Wall

When listening to music, you hear the output from the speakers and the vibrations from the walls. If you only have one subwoofer, find the midpoint in the front wall. Placing the speaker on either corner will lead to muted bass sounds. However, don’t place the main woofer flat against the wall as you will experience destructive interference when opposite sound waves cancel each other out.

Alternatively, experiment with the following positions:

  • Under the seat
  • Behind the couch
  • Place free-standing speakers on the carpet
  • Choose the spot that receives optimal bass
  • Place them at an angle facing the listening spot

If you prefer to place it right next to the wall, purchase a cabinet that leaves enough space between the speaker and the wall. You can also tuck the subwoofer behind the television. Create a sweet spot that combines the viewing and listening position.

2. In a Subwoofer Cabinet

A subwoofer cabinet provides an extra layer of protection to safeguard the delicate component of your speaker. However, you need a spacious cabinet to avoid resonance as it might hamper the sound quality. The subwoofer will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Protect your subwoofer from dust
  • Helps to hide the cables
  • Protect the drive magnet
  • Prevent water damage

Ensure that the cabinet provides sufficient space between the two speakers, so they don’t overlap each other. As you experiment with various locations, try positioning the subwoofer in a corner. If you listen keenly, you’ll notice the disturbing audio interference as a result of the vibrations.

3. On the Table

A table provides the ideal surface to place your subwoofer as it raises it above the floor. However, finding the sweet spot to place your table is vital to the sound quality. The last thing you want is a cluttered room as sound can bounce off the furniture. 

You need to position the subwoofer table at the center of the room to surround yourself with speakers. This strategy allows you to enhance your experience as quality sound will come from every corner of the room.

While placing the subwoofer on the table, consider the following tips:

  • Create enough holes for cables
  • You need a heavy table to restrict movement
  • Avoid movement due to vibrations
  • Offset the table from the corners

When choosing the ideal spot, forget the aesthetics and put your speakers where they belong. Offsetting the speakers from the walls and elevating them from the floor will improve the bass quality. 

Once you determine your main listening spot, find a way to set up the subwoofers behind you. Raise the speakers to the ear level as it provides the smooth and deep bass compared to other positions. 

4. Avoid the Floor

Paying top dollar for the subwoofer doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best sound output if you don’t pay attention to placement. Placing the speaker on the floor exposes it to water damage in case your house floods. That’s why some speakers come with stands to prevent this problem. When vibrations from your speaker hit the floor, they bounce back, creating an unpleasant sound.

Besides the subwoofers, setting up every component of your home theater properly is vital. The bass sound creates strong vibrations, so you need to elevate the speakers from the floors and move them away from the walls.

Also, you need a sturdy subwoofer stand. The next step is to place rubber mats under the audio components to mute the vibrations significantly. Many people overlook the importance of vibration mitigation, yet it’s critical for the surround-sound and stereo system's performance.

5. Dual Placement

Finding your right spot is well and good but it’s difficult to cater to everyone’s needs as some will experience muted sounds or low bass frequencies. Even the modern equalizer systems cannot guarantee the best quality unless your subwoofer is significantly large. 

Unless you opt for dual speakers, you’ll notice that your subwoofer’s bass response is a notch below your expectations.

Related Content: Best 2.1 speakers

If you want the best surround sound across the entire room, two speakers are better than one. After placing them in strategic locations, they will cancel each other’s peaks and dips. Read more on some of the best surround sound systems you can go for.

If you already have one subwoofer, you need a Y-connector to split the output into two cables. Instead of having a defined entertainment room, create a smart home where you can listen to music from every room.

Place each subwoofer at least one meter from the walls. If you have a large entertainment room, you need dual speakers for the bass to reach your multiple seating positions. Avoid creating a mess of cables and use velcro strips to tuck them away from view. 

Prevent electric shocks by concealing your cables to ensure as little interference as possible. Alternatively, create a smart home experience and set up a series of wireless subwoofers and Bluetooth devices.

Strike the Balance

Stereo speakers don’t provide surround-sound, so if you don’t have a subwoofer, you don’t know what you’re missing. Adding subwoofers on the sides creates a sensation of sound from both horizontal directions. Finding the best locations for your subwoofers will enrich the depth of sound from multiple audio channels.

Since the base frequencies are the most sensitive to the room layout, you need to choose the right spot before placement. The tendency to bounce off the parallel surfaces, such as walls, can create disturbing echoes where the second wave of sound arrives after a delay. When it comes to setting up the home theater, the subwoofer’s position can have a great impact on sound quality.

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