How to Choose a Subwoofer?

How to Choose a Subwoofer

If you don’t know how to choose a subwoofer for your car, you will first have to spend some time to understand the structure of the device. Regardless of the cost, the construction includes:

  • basket;
  • magnetic system;
  • the moving part – consists of the suspension, diffuser, hubcap, washers and coil.

The number of washers depends on the version of the device and its purpose. They center the voice coil in the gap, preventing it from rubbing. The suspension, diaphragm and bellcup, as they move, create sound pressure or, in simple terms, bass.

You can read our subwoofer rating to simplify your task, but first we recommend to consider the main parameters of the equipment, and what you should pay attention to when buying. We will also pay due attention to reviews and recommendations from professionals.


Subwoofer sizes

For everyday use in cars, subwoofers from 8 to 18 inches are used. To more rare instances can be attributed models with a basket size of 6.5, 21, 23 inches. When choosing a subwoofer for a car, it is important to pay attention to the ratio of the size of the moving part to the magnet system. The smaller the first element – the higher the coli of the moving part. Accordingly, there will be no delay in the bass kick. Therefore, smaller models are more oriented toward fast, moving music. If the moving part is larger than 15″, it is harder for the magnetic system to push it, and delays in bass kicks will be more significant. At the same time, the larger the cone, the louder the subwoofer, as it creates more sound pressure.

Consequently, the size should be chosen with the kind of music material you will be playing. A compromise caliber in this case is 12 inches – for music lovers. You also need to take into account how much space is available in the trunk. If you buy a 20-inch model, but there is only enough space to fit a 15-inch enclosure, you simply will not be able to unlock the full potential of the speaker – the efficiency will match the performance of a 15-inch speaker.

Key Features

  1. Performance – each model has a maximum and a power rating. The first indicates the potential that the subwoofer can realize without breaking, but it is not used all the time, so it is not worth considering. Nominal power is the real efficiency of reproducing clear sound without distortion. When choosing a subwoofer for your car, pay attention to this very characteristic. The optimal figure is from 150 to 300 watts, depending on the cost.
  2. Sensitivity – sound pressure, measured in dB. The more sensitivity the speaker has, the better;
  3. Resonance frequency – the optimal value is 25 to 35 Hz. A great frequency for a car subwoofer;
  4. Equivalent air volume – the value depends on the stiffness of the suspension and the diameter of the cone.

Active or passive subwoofer?

Nowadays, there are active and passive subwoofers, the cost of which is significantly different. This is due to the peculiarities of design:

  • Active subwoofer – in addition to the speaker has a built-in amplifier. To install such a device, you only need to run a cable under the trim. The rated power of such a device can range from 80 W. The advantage is simple installation, ready to assemble. You do not have to buy and connect an amplifier separately. The minus is that such products are standard. And to create a good speaker system, you need to consider the features – the size of the trunk, what kind of music you prefer to listen to;
  • Passive subwoofer – is not equipped with an amplifier. You will have to buy an item for its connection, taking into account your interests and free space in the car. The power of the amplifier is selected taking into account the subwoofer’s performance. When choosing a passive subwoofer, as a rule, amplifiers from 300 to 400 watts are used

Tips for choosing a subwoofer for your car

It’s not common to find 4-coil models. Mostly, have 1 or 2 coils. The way the amplifier is installed and connected depends on their number. The more coils, the more mounting options for the subwoofer, respectively.

Another important parameter is the diameter of the voice coil. The main ones are 2.5, 3 and 4 inches. The higher the value, the better. You should also pay attention to the wire material – copper or aluminum. The first option is better because it dissipates heat more efficiently. Why do you need to know this? The clarity of the bass depends on the weight of this component. However, the smaller the voice coil, the lower the power. Therefore, it is better to choose a subwoofer with a 3-inch copper voice coil.

You should also know that the best solutions today are sold without design, that is, you get the speaker itself. Why do that? Because you can unleash the potential if you take into account certain conditions: amplifier, music material, space in the trunk.


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