The Importance of Having a Good Subwoofer

Discover the difference a quality subwoofer can make

You might think that you're not losing anything by saving a few bucks on an average or economy subwoofer, but the truth is that powered subwoofers make a major difference in the overall performance of your sound system. A subwoofer is a specialized piece of audio equipment which has the task of reproducing low-frequency tones. In other words, subwoofers are responsible for the quality of the bass tones your system generates. You can have the very best speaker system in the world, but if the bass tones are being filtered through an inferior subwoofer, your bass tones will lack depth, richness and power.

Types of Subwoofers

There are two main types of subwoofer speaker systems:

  • Home audio subwoofers. These subwoofers are specifically designed for use with audio systems primarily intended for music playback.
  • Home theater subwoofers. Surround sound systems also use specialized subwoofers to deliver deep, powerful bass tones to enhance your TV and movie viewing experience.

Understanding Subwoofer Speaker Systems

When looking at powered subwoofers, it's important that you understand how to read the technical specifications. Here's a rundown of the most important specs, and what you should look for:

  • Frequency range/frequency response. This is the single most important tech spec when it comes to powered subwoofers. A typical frequency response range is 20 Hertz to 200 Hertz, but best subwoofers excel at reproducing tones at the lower end of the frequency range. For example, professional concert subwoofers are calibrated to delineate bass tones below 100 Hertz, while a system must be calibrated to produce nuanced sound in tones below the 80 Hertz threshold.
  • Active vs. passive amplification. In the home theater industry, active subwoofers are the norm. Passive subwoofers do not have built-in amplifiers, so the amp must be added to the setup. However, most professionals use passive systems with high-end amplifiers, so if you have some technical knowledge of sound and you want to add a high-end amplifier to the system, don't shy away from passive subwoofers.
  • Equalization. The equalization feature can be used to alter the subwoofer's responsiveness. In essence, they allow you to add a low-pass filter to prevent stress on your speakers generated by deep bass tones played at high volumes.

The subwoofer is a crucial component of any home audio or home theater system. Make sure it's up to the task by investing in a product with superior specs and proven performance.

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