Home Theater Subwoofers

Do you get captivated by the sound in a movie theater? Always think which speakers are responsible for the deep sound and audio effects? A subwoofer with good bass is the backbone of any movie theater system. So a subwoofer is one of the essential components to enjoy a great movie or audio in a home theater.

 Powered Subwoofer

 Subwoofer is a specialized speaker which is designed in a way to reproduce low audible frequencies that can be as low as 20 Hz. A complete audio excellence for the modern home theater system is provided by the powered subwoofer. Home movie theater is somewhat incomplete without the good bass as it makes the experience and ambiance real with the heart pounding sounds. 

Why a home theater is incomplete without the subwoofer?

 Other speakers in the home theater would not able to reproduce low frequency sounds at sufficient power level. Low frequency sound waves requires large drivers and a lot of power. This job is well suitable to the subwoofers, as front end and center channel speakers can produce the low frequencies but face trouble reproducing sound at the lowest frequencies. If you need a high volume with an oomph factor in your home movie theater, then go for this dedicated unit known as subwoofer.

When the car crashes, bikes speeds up, the battles scene plays up on the TV screen in you personal movie theater, the addition of sub will make it more exhilarating with its deep audio sound effects. If you are a huge audio freak, enjoys listening to music in your home theater, then either you can go with the large floor-standing speakers that delivers a good bass response or with powered subwoofer for an extra dose of deep bass. But do not opt for bookshelf speakers to produce a good deep bass as they provide less bass response and have more difficult time to reproduce the lower frequencies. To get a rich, layered sound with amazing texture and clarity, buy a perfect subwoofer with your bookshelf speakers.

Things to know before buying a subwoofer

Market is full of new devices, so when you choose a powered subwoofer for your home surround system, look for best values in terms of features and sound quality. Consider the below:

Driver size:

First analyze how much power you need for a subwoofer. The size of the driver is directly proportional to the deepness of the bass, so if you go ahead with the larger driver then the bass will be deeper. Whereas if you choose the smaller driver then it will offer you a quicker response time.

Neither buy too big driver size nor too small, just purchase the most practical choice i.e. 10 or 12 inch sub woofer cone. This sub is reliable to reproduce the lowest sounds and keeps up with any track. If the home theater is placed in large room, then you should consider to buy a sub with a more powerful built-in amplifier.

Are you looking to shake it up a little more, want to see the world jumping in your room? In this case a 15 or 18 inch subwoofer can do the work.

Down-firing or front-firing:

The majority of the subwoofers have single woofer cone that creates low-frequency sound waves by moving back and forth. The woofer cone can be mounted in a way that the sound radiates the bass downwards, towards the floor known as down firing subwoofer. This is well suited for a house with small childrens and pets. In front-firing, the sound radiates from the sides or front of the woofer, use this if you are living in a flat and don’t want to bother your downstairs neighbours.


Subwoofers are the easiest one to place unlike the other speakers. They are flexible and produce sound waves in all direction, not directional- specified. According to the space in your home movie theater, pick a place and fix it. Subwoofer placement in the front of the room usually results in the best blending with the main speakers and center channel and minimizes localization effects.

A good subwoofer is the one that reproduces the low frequency with the powerful performance and easy to use. Subwoofers comes in various sizes and options:

  • Compact or ultra-compact subwoofers are modest and delivers great bass. Now a days, subs are designed in a way to be a perfect fit for your living area and even furniture comes with a cabinet to fit your subwoofers.

  • In-wall subwoofers reduces the overhead of space management but needs extra care for the installation process. The space behind your wall or ceiling is used as a giant cabinet and results in producing the powerful and deep bass.

In-wall subwoofers and compact subwoofers are great options for a small sized home movie theater.

Enclosure/Cabinet Type:

The performance and output of a subwoofer get directly affected by the design of the enclosure as if the sub resides in the cabinet. The common types of enclosures are:

  • Bass Reflex: Power efficient in addition to the tuned port to increase the bass response. Here the port is referred to the hole in the cabinet that is used to release the energy generated by the inward movement of the woofer cone. They offer you much needed punch by offering less accuracy than the acoustic suspension.

  • Acoustic suspension: No hole in the cabinet, these subwoofers uses a sealed box to produce bass response. They need more power for reproducing tight and more accurate bass.

Preset modes:

According to the properties of your home movie theater, look for some built in equalization features in the sub. Subs with preset modes modifies the subwoofer response depending upon what you are listening to, reduces the overhead and plays well with movies, rock music, jazz music, etc. There are different subs in the market, some helps you to find the best placement whereas some use sample sounds to find the best suitable sound for your room. The expensive subs have built-in microphones that take a sound sample and adjust the settings in accordance to suit your home theater system. Some subs allow you to indicate the placement of your sub – for example, in the corner, mid-wall, in cabinet, and so on.

Wireless Remote Control:

Management of sub controls are giving you pain, have to get up each time to adjust the knobs of your sub. Use a wireless remote control to manage all subwoofer features. This will help you to adjust everything from one place, no need to get up every time and adjust the knob, just sit and relax on your comfortable couch and use the wireless remote control.

Wireless connection: Neat and clean look

Wires all over the room, no matter how expensive your speakers and TV screen, the home theater turns out to be a mess. You are thinking to place your subwoofer in one corner of your room, exactly on the opposite corner of the receiver, then just get rid of the wire in between the two to give it a clean look. There are some subwoofers in the market that provides the ability to connect wirelessly to your system. Some woofers comes with the optional plugin wireless adapter that is used to receive audio signals from a separate transmitter plugged into your home receiver’s subwoofers output. Wires are real pain when you step up on it in the middle of the movie and turns the good moment into the unpleasant one, these situation can be avoided by the wireless adapter kits. Wireless adapter kits transforms any sub virtually into the wireless subwoofer.

Balance and Impact:

To add more stability and impact to your home movie theater, addition of a second subwoofer is a great choice. If you use a single subwoofer then sometimes low frequency sound waves can overlap the sound waves because of the reflection of these waves opposite to the walls in the theater room. They can result to very weak bass at a times, if you facing something like this in your room then add a second subwoofer and get a plenty of tight and deep bass. Buy a home theater receiver with dual subwoofer outputs as some old receiver doesn’t work well with two subwoofers in your home movie theater.

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