Nothing complements your sound system like a subwoofer. With a dedicated power supply, subs reduce the load on your loudspeakers, allowing them to produce exclusively mid- and high-range frequencies, improving your sound’s overall depth and width. Take a moment to learn how to integrate your subs for the absolute highest fidelity properly. Consider the following general guidelines when determining where to place a subwoofer in your sound system.
A Few Available Subwoofer Locations
Start Up Front
Many find the front perfectly adequate, which keeps the subwoofer near the other sound sources, blending the bass and treble perfectly. While this often entails placement near a wall, direct placement against a wall is not usually optimal. Parallel walls easily reflect bass frequencies, which span outward in equal directions (they are “omnidirectional”). The frequencies reflected off the wall interfere with the source, potentially causing two issues:
- Standing waves are when certain frequencies are amplified by similar frequencies being reflected in the same space – resulting in “boomy” and indistinct bass notes.
- Bass nulls when the reflections combine with the original sound such that they cancel out – causing “dead spots” in the room
Also, subwoofers with ports should be placed about 6–12 inches from the wall to allow proper airflow. If you hear excessive, unpleasant rumbling, move your speaker away from the wall. To minimize unwanted frequency interference from room reflections, you can also test out the “rule of thirds” by placing the subwoofer a third of the way into your room and away from the wall. This optimal placement ensures even coverage of sound and minimal “room color.”
Try A Corner
Corners work with the room to amplify bass frequencies. They are less useful for Subwoofers with large drivers because they are designed to produce the right amount of bass unaided and should be placed at least 8–12 inches from walls. Typically, smaller subwoofers respond best to corner placement – but use your ear and experiment to taste. Listen for the level of distinction in the bass notes, and reduce proximity to a corner if the bass becomes too boomy or creates indiscriminate rumbling.
Consider how far away the corners are from the main speakers. Since subwoofers can be placed farther away from the other speakers, there is a limit to this advantage. If you can tell where the bass is coming from, you are hearing timing delays between the lows and the mids/highs, meaning the subwoofer is too far away.
The ‘Subwoofer Crawl’
Of course, nothing replaces trial and error except a professional installation by Kazoo Audio. Our expert technicians are prepared to install your subwoofers and speakers, saving you the trial-and-error headache. We aim to provide you with flawless surround sound installation options.
However, should you wish to try installing your subwoofers independently, there are several instances to consider, such as placement. Play something with deep, satisfying bass, and move the subwoofer around (or ask a friend to help), testing the sound quality from various listening locations. Our professional subwoofer installers have the experience and knowledge to deliver optimal surround sound that has been perfectly positioned.
Get the Perfect Setup for Your Home or Business – Choose Professional Install
Kazoo Audio’s expert technicians are passionate about your passion for music, and we can help you with any custom sound system installation. While your imagination may limit you, we have the experience and equipment necessary to help you find where to place your subwoofer for maximum fidelity, either by working with your room’s natural acoustics or through advanced sound-processing or “room-tuning” techniques.
We’ve worked with some of southwestern Michigan’s premier architects and interior designers to bring audio fidelity to an entirely new level – but above all, we believe hearing is believing. If you’d like more exact guidance on where to place your subwoofer for maximum effect, don’t hesitate to book a custom installation or contact us with any high-fidelity sound-related questions.
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