Subwoofer Buying Guide: Top Factors to Consider

Upgrading your home theater experience requires the best subwoofer, but which type of subwoofer should you purchase?

Subwoofers can improve the audio system’s performance; it can expand your home theater’s sound spectrum. And even if your home theater features more than 6 speakers, it still requires a subwoofer to provide that impressive low-end sound or quality-rattling rumble sound when watching movies. But which subwoofer is best for your home theater?

If you are planning to purchase a subwoofer and it is your first time to do so, here the top factors to consider when buying a subwoofer:

#1: The Subwoofer Size

Subwoofers come in different sizes, and the first thing you need to do when buying a subwoofer is finding the right size that can fit the home theater’s area – the larger the surface area, the bigger subwoofer it requires to energize all the air space. For instance, if you are equipping a home theater at an average-size room (150-230 square feet), it makes sense to choose a subwoofer with a 12-inch driver. However, note that two 6-inch drivers will not make a 12-inch, but will perform a single 6-inch driver.

Meanwhile, for a small-sized room (below 150 square feet) it may require an 8-inch subwoofer, and below, as well as if your driver and cabinet size is small, it makes sense to purchase an 8-inch subwoofer. If you are worried about how an 8-inch subwoofer will perform, try to read a well-researched review about the best 8-inch subwoofers in the market today.

#2: The Wattage, the RMS, and the Peak

Do look for a subwoofer that can improve the sound quality of your bass because all subwoofers are designed to boost the low-end sound that your bass produces, instead, check the sub’s power output before purchasing any brand.

Generally speaking, a high-powered sub can produce a more powerful and better impact on low-end sound than a low-powered subwoofer. However, not all low-powered subwoofers are unable to produce quality bass similar to a high-powered one. For instance, a 1000-watt subwoofer does not have to play better than a 100-watt subwoofer. In fact, there are 100-watt subwoofers that play better than 1000-watt subwoofers; likewise, a 1000-watt subwoofer can play better at a ‘regular’ room volume than a 100-watt subwoofer.

Instead, pay attention to the subwoofer’s continuous wattage or RMS rating (Root Mean Square). It is the measurement of how much power a subwoofer has when driven into a reasonable volume for too long. For instance, a subwoofer with 150 RMS watts is considered a powerful subwoofer.

Additionally, always keep in mind that the overall wattage of the subwoofer is not equal to the volume of the low-end sound.

#3: The Equalizer (EQ)

Choose a subwoofer with EQ processing; this will help you minimize the peaks and frequency response. Although setting the equalizer does not fill in the gap, it will allow you to boost frequencies that are hard to hear.

#4: Budget

How much are you willing to pay for a subwoofer?

If you are ready to pay more for a quality sound, there are quality-made subwoofers, equipped with quality features that are worth purchasing. However, try reading reliable and unbiased product reviews first and see if it is the right subwoofer that you need.

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