How Do Subwoofers Work and Why Do We Love Them?

Years ago, when Woodstock and large speakers were the norms in the music scene, the use of subwoofers were only ever on a small scale. Although the concept of subs does exist from as early as the 1900s, it was not until the early 70s until subwoofers really started to gain in popularity thanks the rise of disco clubs. Since then, subwoofers have been improved more and more with each decade.

Subwoofers are used in a lot of digital media in both music and video production. These devices are known for providing explosive bass and better sound quality.  What is a subwoofer, and how does it work? Continue reading to find out more.

How Does A Subwoofer Work?

how do subwoofers workPut, a subwoofer is just like a regular speaker when it comes to design and functionality. The critical difference is in the range of frequencies that a sub can produce. Unlike ordinary speakers, which can deliver mid to high-frequency sounds, the subwoofer can only produce low-frequency sounds. Regular speakers cannot adequately reproduce a lower frequency sound, which results in a poor bass sound or a high-pitched treble. To create a balanced sound, regular speakers should be used with subwoofers.

For consumer products, the typical frequency range for bass is from 20-200Hz; this includes a subwoofer output from home theater systems.  Meanwhile, sound frequencies used in live shows allow up to 100Hz below. THX, which is the system used in cinemas, usually has a frequency of 80Hz and below.  When low-frequency sounds are adequately mixed with mid and high-frequency sounds, a better listening experience can be achieved.


Where Can You Find Subwoofers?

1. Home Theaters

A home theater system is not complete without a subwoofer. The bass, along with other frequencies, gives more immersion while you’re watching a movie or listening to the song. Sure, you can still use your system without a subwoofer, but the experience will not be as pleasant. The sound will be dull and lifeless, even when your speakers are at full power.

2. Cars

Just like a home theater, a car sound system will not be complete without a subwoofer. In this case, you’ll feel the difference more distinctively. Since the vibration of the bass is felt all over the car, the listener will often have another layer of dimension in hearing experience. If you remove the bass in the car sound system, you will also likely not find the sound pleasant, especially in a moving vehicle.

3. Cinemas

There’s a reason why watching a movie inside a cinema is more enjoyable than sitting watching it on your laptop. It’s possible to create a three-dimensional experience with the help of professional-grade subwoofers that are positioned in the cinema room. This, in addition to sound enhancement in the movie file itself, is one of the reasons why watching in a cinema is a very different experience.

4. Live Shows

Have you ever been to a concert before? If so, then you must know how energetic and loud it can be. Bass is the loudest frequency in most of the concerts. If you turn off the bass in a concert, the sound will not be as energetic and lively as before.

Can You Use A Subwoofer As A Speaker? Benefits Of Installing A Subwoofer In Your System

1. Cancels Out Room Resonances

The more subwoofers you have in a system, the better it would be, mainly if these subs are located in strategic locations. More subs can cancel the room resonance, which is located in one area where the bass is the loudest and more uncomfortable. This is because of the bass waves peaks in these areas. By using more subwoofers, the peaks and the nulls of bass in a room can smoothen out or canceled entirely.


2. Portable And Compatibility

The thing about subwoofers is that most models can be used in both home theater systems and cars. You need to make little tweaks in the connection to make this work. Therefore, if you need your sub in a different location, you can hook it up with your car amp, and you’re ready to rock again.

3. Get The Best Out Of Modern Media

Modern movies and TV shows use the 5.1-channel surround sound system to add more awesomeness in the sound. You can still enhance this by adding a subwoofer in your system. This trick can make intense scenes more intense. If the setup is right, an explosion would almost feel like it’s something that happened right in front of you.


4. Makes Your Speaker Sound Better

Subwoofers will not only cancel out room resonance, but it will also make your main speakers sound better. Get a soundbar and install a subwoofer on it. Although soundbars tend to produce a great sound alone, its sound output can be significantly improved by the low frequencies from a subwoofer in car. This is because speakers cannot provide all the frequencies that are being fed to their drivers by the source. Subwoofers are used to complete the gap.

Where Is The Right Placement For A Subwoofer?

Mid and high-frequency sounds will usually travel in directions. This is the reason why speaker placement is critical. If the music is not beamed toward the listeners, the sound might appear quieter and more muddled. This is not the case for low-frequency sounds, which is not directional. You can put the subwoofer car anywhere, and its location will not have a significant effect on the quality of the music. Feel free to experiment to find the optimal or most convenient placement for your subwoofer.


Whether you’re listening to music or watching a video, a great bass can enrich your experience. A rich bass can be added by adding a subwoofer to your system. If you enjoy digital content, adding a subwoofer in the system will give you a whole new experience.

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