We’ve all heard the car driving by at 2am with its subwoofers pounding so hard that the china in your cupboards begins to rattle. Aside from being highly inconsiderate, it probably sounds awful inside the vehicle, not to mention the driver’s hearing is most likely impaired. For the record, we advocate safe and responsible “subwoofering”, to coin a new word…


Some people really like their bass, while others prefer a more balanced and accurate performance. So what size should your subwoofer (or subwoofers) be?


The first determining factor will be the space available in your vehicle to dedicate to the low frequency aspect of your stereo. Once that determination has been made, you must define what type of output you desire. If you’re looking for maximum slam, then obviously you would want the largest subwoofers that space will accommodate. We’ve seen all manner of customization, from removal of the back seats to fit bigger subs to enclosures that occupy the entire trunk or cargo area of the vehicle. If space is limited or you are unwilling to make the kids ride on the roof, even a conservatively-sized subwoofer can deliver very satisfying output. At the end of the day, the bass you hear is a sum total of all the parts of your system – head unit, amplifier(s), subwoofer(s) and enclosure(s).


Our first layer of acoustical calculation is relatively simple. The larger the speaker cone, the more air it can move. In terms of subs, this translates to more bass. The next layers, including different types of enclosures, equalization and so forth, are topics for another discussion. Although smaller drivers will generate less bass, they are often more accurate due to the fact that there is less ‘flexing’ of the speaker cone. You can also increase output by multiplying the number of drivers, even if they are small.


The basic conclusion is that the available space in your vehicle (excluding turning your ride into a mobile subwoofer enclosure), should dictate the size of your sub or subs. Our experts at Communications Center can guide you in selecting the proper equipment to accomplish exactly what you want. Properly tuned enclosures, a good match between amplifiers and speakers, and digital equalization can turn even the most modest system into a great sounding one. Understanding the dynamics of sound is critical to designing a solution you will be satisfied with, and we excel at doing just that.

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