Subwoofer Buyer’s Guide
Looking for the perfect subwoofer is like choosing your
partner Why? Because choosing the a good quality subwallkon’t hurt your ears (just like choosing your partner).
For those who are obsessed with their cars (and treat them
like babies), a subwoofer is an important body part that you must take time to choose.
Others, who wanted good music (ends little bit practical or
have a tight budget), don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured the internet for the best subwoofer for your every need.
What is a Subwoofer?
subwoofer, according Merriam, is a
loudspeaker, responsive only to the lowest acoustic frequencies.
What is its purpose?
you don’t want to hurt your eardrums by screeching music (just like your girlfriends voice when you’re arguing, or that of your annoying sibling), subwoofer is a necessary tool for you. Whether you want to listen to loud music, or soft music, having a subwoofer makes you feel like your in a cool dry place (pun not intended).
sound comes out solidly yet mellow. The beat is very pronounced (and seemed to resound in your body). The vibrato or more commonly known as vibrations can be felt through your blood). Having a subwoofer feels like having your own
personal nightclub (like hearing the sound of your voice when you’re in the shower).
Definition of Terms and Things to Consider
we proceed to choosing a subwoofer, we need to identify and define the terms necessary in choosing one.
Having an excellent subwoofer doesn’t depend on the woofer
alone. Enclosure type also plays a major role as its shape and size define the function of the subwoofer.
There are four types of enclosure; Sealed, Ported, Band pass and Free Air Subwoofers.
subwoofers produce deep and precise bass ton. To function well, it needs an amplifier as it requires a lot of power to function.
This type of
subwoofer exudes a more forceful bass They use a vent-like part, known as port in order to have a low bass resonance and response. This is suitable for rock or heavy metal sound. The larger the size of the Ported subwoofer, the deeper the bass sound it makes. Compared to the Sealed subwoofer, the output is great. It is a bit harder to tune though, so you need to use a subsonic filter to have cleaner output.
This type of
subwoofer has his woofers mounted inside a dual-chamber box. The other side of
the box is sealed, while the other is ported (with vent). This box is designed
to have maximum slam (or bass volume), suited for a large playing area (such as
open field or auditoriums). The boom is definitely felt, as they use a narrow frequency
rang. The most suited type of music for this type of subwoofer is reggae, rap
or hard rock.
- Free Air Subwoofers
This is the
perfect type of car-rear subwoofers as the woofers are mounted on the board attached to the rear deck. They have low power levels and designed for free-air use They have a bit of a flat sound compared to its box relatives. This is the easiest type of subwoofer to install.
RMS power is one of the basis for a good subwoofer. As long
as your power output matches with the same spec amplifier, you are ensured to have an awesome subwoofer.
The frequency range of a subwoofer has a great influence on
its sound and power output. However, the frequency range of a subwoofer is also reliant on the type of enclosure design.
4. Size of the Subwoofer
Does size really matter? On a subwoofer, the measure of size
may be relevant depending on the kind of Enclosure type and available power. Some enclosure types (such as Ported subwoofer) has a much greater quality when it is bigger For smaller types (like the Sealed Subwoofer), sometimes, power
output together with amplifier may surpass those who have bigger size.
This is used to assist the subwoofer by amplifying the power output.
& Crossover Units and Wiring
In order for you to make sure that you only get low
frequency bass sounds (not high pitch one like your wife), you need to install that your wirings are on point as incorrect wiring installation will leave your subwoofer (and possibly your car) into a metallic toast.
Usually measured in Decibels. If you have a subwoofer with
high sensitivity, it will require less power to operate versus having the low sensitivity type (So choose the sensitive one because they are low maintenance).
a subwoofer to your vehicle depends upon three things:
1. Your Budget
2. The Size of of your car
3. Personal Preference
we have classified various brands of subwoofers based on (1) their price (2) the size of car and (3) personal preference.
Subwoofer Reviews and Rankings According to Price
are the list of the Best Valued Subwoofers:
This is a 12 inch subwoofer that can be fitted in your
wheel. It can be easily installed and described to have a powerful and dynamic sound. Another feature of this subwoofer (aside from not taking up your foot space) is that it is an amplified type (despite its size), stronger and durable (because of its aluminum frame) and its less distorted sound.
- Alpine Type-R Series Subwoofer
This Series of subwoofer have built a notoriety in the
market. With kevlar coating, extreme bass pouring out from its speakers as well as reasonable price, the Alpine R-Series set a benchmark for accessibility and durability.
With various lengths ranging from 8 inches to a maximum of 15 inches, this series is popular for
space-restricted cars, hybrids and mods.
Below on the other hand are the
Subwoofers ranked According to reviews and Popularity:
Rockford Fosgate (12 inch)
One of the most trusted subwoofers in the market (the jack
of all trades actually), this type of subwoofer boasts its adjustable fix, stylish design, surround sound and Nomex reinforced collar that deters the
overheating of the system. It has a peak power rating of 800 watts and an RMS of 400 watts.
This type of subwoofer needs a lot of space compared to
other subwoofers on the market. A mark up from other models in this series is its heat inhibitor, which lessens the risk of blow up (where most subwoofers are very susceptible) and short circuit (when turning up the volume).
JL Audio W7AE-3 Series
This type of subwoofer is a bit of a collectibles (because
an original version is sold and a limited edition 10 year anniversary unit is sold). It is ranked as the best overall subwoofer in various review sites such as crutchfield, caraudionow, gear4wheels and amazon. In fact, this series has the most mention (together with the Rockford Fosgate and Pioneer Series).
It doesn’t have a large power draw but it has become a standard on some of the high’ endsubwoofer market.
It has a total of four models, the 8-inch 8W7AE-3, 10-inch 8W7AE-3, 12-inch 8W7AE-3 and the 5-inch
With its consistency in delivering the least amount of sound
distortion (in subwoofer universe of
course), continuous best performance award (not in the car-bed department, please get your heads out of the gutter), longest
lasting (ehemm) high quality evaluation, this subwoofer series is considered one of the best in the market.
- Hertz HI Energy Series Subwoofer
This cone shaped subwoofer, is the darkhorse (of the
competition, if there is one). Despite being a bit pricey (we all know that the best things are those who are hard to get), this series boasts its design flexibility (again with the
word), which makes for easier set-up of the equipment and space maximization.
It has low resonance and low frequency output and control that will make you come to the store with joy.
- Pioneer TS-WX1210A
Another hurrah to the Pioneer series as it is hailed as one
of the to subwoofers (in the subwoofer universe). This series gives truth to the saying, small but terrible (or not so terrible in the sound department). This is the best subwoofer to have if you want your car to have an apoplexy (due to its earthquaking bass sounds).
Fun Fact Regarding Subwoofers:
Size Does Matter! The size of your subwoofer has a
corresponding compatibility (like a dating site) with the music genre that you should play on it
For 8-inch subwoofers, Punk, Country, Alternative, Classic
Rock and Drum and Bass are the most compatible (wink) genres to play. Next, we have the 10-inch subwoofer, which is
perfect for Metal, Pop (bring your Ariana and Taylor Swift mixtapes and play it here), Jazz and Blues.
Then, we have your 12-inch subwoofers, playing Rhythm and
Blues, Rap, House, Dance and (get your)Funk.Lastly, we have the 15 inch subwhooper (frankly, you need a component and amplifier to listen properly to this one), that plays Hip Hop,
Rap, Dubstep and EDM.
In food, we
have picky eaters, in life, we have control freaks, in cars, we have subwoofer snubs. Only the best and customized subwoofers are fit for their babies. There are several personalities of subwoofer installers:
The I don’t care I just want to have
a bass job (great bass sounding car system). This type of buyer doesn’t care about the specs of the subwoofer that they’re buying. They go to the shop, issue and order to get them the (bestest) bass sounding car radio system (even though the design doesn’t fit seamlessly into their car design). As long as they have the best in everything, they are a happy and satisfied customer (money is not an issue of course).
The OCD meets the Interior Designer
buyer (I want the design to fit seamlessly into my type of car). This customer is a bit tolerable (except when they become carzilla). They will study and examine every aspect
of subwoofer installation procedure and
(will most probably) micromanage the installation a little bit. The
measurements (of the wire), positioning of the subwoofer and even the woofer assembly itself will be managed (if allowed). The result should be seamless (if you do not want an angry customer on a warpath).
The I want my subwoofer to be a
unicorn in subwoofer universe (I want a really truly personalized subwoofer system).
This customer has a teeny tiny bit of obsessive disorder with subwoofers. He or she will personally pick out the component subs, subwoofer box, amplifiers and other essentials and turn their cars into bass-hybrids.
The I don’t have time to shop so I
picked the closest subwoofer (an off the shelf buyer). Also known as I forgot I
have a hot date tomorrow with the guys so I have to impress them with sounds. This is for the lazy type of buyer
or the procrastinator. It is a ready made subwoofer waiting for you to mount them in the appropriate platform. You won’t have a lot of work to do (which I know you prefer). This type of buyer has the most risk of embarrassing himself as he will (most likely) pick up the wrong speakers or have (the audacity) not to test them, so instead of bass speakers, a high pitched grating sound can be heard instead.
The I am normal so !want normal no
fuss (boring) subwoofer installation. This type of buyer knows what he or she likes in a subwoofer so they are not a hassle to serve. The will give you direct to the
point instructions (without appearing as arrogant or demanding). Mostly they will buy a power-sub (since they don’t have enough time to fuss over an
amplifier) because it has a built in amplifier The installation process is
also simple (issued and carried out in a military, brisk tone). At the end of
the day, the will be the type of customers who will be less remembered (as the day will be spent watching over grown up toddlers).
Whatever type of customer you may
be, whatever car you may have or how much cash would you consider blowing (over a subwoofer of course), please bear in mind that knowledge is power Do not
just rely on articles such as these, just joking), to lead you to the way of your perfect subwoofer partner.
Do not be afraid to research (as
knowledge is power), ask questions (to professional installers) as well as thinking your decisions over (and over again). Remember, (despite how rich you are) car subwoofer installation is no joke. So be forewarned and forearmed before choosing your car subwoofer.