Previously, we have looked extensively at what a subwoofer is exactly and why you need one in a stereo or surround setup. In this second part of our background on subwoofers, we give you some tips for the purchase and placement of this loudspeaker that provides the low tones.
Tips for choosing, buying and placing a subwoofer
Which brand for the subwoofer?
The first step is to choose a subwoofer that suits your setup. Sometimes it is not that difficult. If you build a surround setup based on speakers from a reputed manufacturer that also focuses on home cinema, chances are a suitable subwoofer is available. In theory, it should fit perfectly with the speakers you choose.
But with a manufacturer that is more focused on the stereo, you will often have to find a subwoofer elsewhere. That is not a problem in itself. You can easily combine a subwoofer from one brand with speakers from another. With the other surround speakers, you stay best within the brand and even within the loudspeaker family, because you then have good timbre-matching (read: the speakers are similarly tuned). Make a visit to https://musiety.com/fender-frontman-10g-amplifier-review-specs-sound-quality-and-price/ to know more about it.
Really good subwoofers are difficult to make, which also explains why some loudspeaker manufacturers would rather not venture. That is why there are also certain specialized brands that have a huge reputation in terms of subwoofers. Often these are less well-known North American brands because there you have a greater tradition of home-cinema installations. There are still. Mainstream brands that have developed good reputations in terms of subs are there.
Whichever brand you choose, choose a model where you can adequately adjust. What you need is an auto power state, a crossover frequency control (which determines the upper limit in terms of frequencies that the sub plays), volume control and a phase button. If you want to add a subwoofer to a stereo setup, then a music mode is convenient and a cinch or XLR input. You will have to use a pre-out output with a stereo amplifier without a dedicated sub-output.
In practice, you will have to choose a sub with dimensions that (may) fit in your living room. But the size should not be the determining factor. Our rule of thumb: the bigger, the better. And also: the more solid, the better. A dancing sub is funny – but not good. Be warned: a subwoofer is often a heavy thing for this reason.
How much power?
Do not stare blindly at wattages. That 1,000-watt you might never really use and the numbers you read are a bit like the official consumption figures of cars. At the same time, a sub must have some power ( see our background on subwoofers ), especially if your space is larger.
Deeper is better
The frequency range that a manufacturer specifies is only an indication. Unless it is indicated at which frequencies the response falls below -3 dB, for example. That is more concrete. The rule of thumb here is that a larger woofer will often produce deeper bass – although smaller subwoofers can play lower again thanks to bass reflexes.