Getting a subwoofer to enhance your surround sound system will most likely change everything. It will take your experience to a new level. Every detail can be heard, not to mention special effects, which will outweigh the video experience. But then, where to place subwoofer with the soundbar?
Finding the perfect place is critical. Unfortunately, things are not always clear. If you have seen others’ home cinema systems before, you can probably tell that most people place subwoofers close to their TVs, facing the viewers from the front. Is that the right location? Is there a better way to add even more effect to your experience?
Why is it so essential to place the subwoofer in the right place?
Placement is critical because what you hear is not the audio system, but its actual effects over everything in the room. Walls will influence the sound, as well as furniture and windows. Every element has a role in the music, but bass frequencies are the pickiest.
Parallel surfaces represent a nightmare for every audio lover. Walls will seriously affect the subwoofer. For instance, bass waves tend to go in one direction, meaning they will bounce around you. On parallel surfaces, they often bounce into each other, causing two effects – bass nulls and standing waves.
Bass nulls practically hit each other, canceling each other’s effects. You end up with a dead bass then. On the other hand, standing waves represent excessive energy from the bass. Elements improve frequencies in your room, so you end up with a boomy effect that lacks depth.
There are two ways to fix this issue – work with the room by placing the subwoofer in the right place or work against it by adding equalizers and room correction software. The former solution is more efficient and less time-consuming.
If your room allows it, you might be able to place your subwoofer anywhere. Most people cannot do it, but if you can, you should consider yourself to be lucky. How do you choose the right place, then? There are a few steps.
- Move the chair or couch to another place, away from the regular location.
- Place the subwoofer where your chair or couch was.
- Put on a video with significant bass effects.
- Move, walk, crawl, and lay down around the room.
- You have to find the most defined sound of the bass. You need to hear notes, texture, and effects, not just a deep kick.
- Put some tape on the floor where you have the best effects.
- You need to find two or three such places before making a final decision.
In the front
If the front is the ideal place, you need to follow a simple rule for subwoofers.
- Measure your room from a wall to another.
- Split the distance in three.
- Place the subwoofer after the first third.
Why is this rule so important? You will be sitting in the other two thirds so that you will get a good bass position. You can also reduce the effects of nulls and standing waves, which is practically your primary goal.
In a corner
If your subwoofer goes in a turn, you need a bit of trial and error to find the right place. There are, of course, a bunch of problems associated with this location, as the subwoofer needs some space around it. So, what options do you have?
- Stuff the rear port of your subwoofer with anything – socks, balls, or clothes. Some modern subwoofers come with plugs. As they are ported on the rear of a cabinet, these plugs allow you to experiment with the audio effects.
- Move the subwoofer around eight inches away from the corner – the same distance on both walls, on a 45-degree axis. You might need a friend’s help here. They must move the subwoofer an inch in each direction, while you sit in the watching area trying to identify the perfect position.
Wrong Places To Put a Subwoofer
According to this article on The Klipsch Joint, there are specific techniques to find the right location, as well as a few bad positions that you should never use.
- Under a table – this position is quite bad (not the worst though) and will seriously affect the audio experience. The sound will feel deaf, especially if your satellite speakers are not too big, and they count on the subwoofer for high frequencies. The same rule applies if you place it under a couch.
- Inside a cabinet – this is probably the worst position for a subwoofer. The low frequencies coming from a subwoofer must breathe, so they require space around the subwoofer. If you place it in a cabinet, you will practically ruin the entire purpose of your subwoofer. You might as well chuck it away.
- Inside a wall – this solution can be useful if done by the book. If you do it yourself, you can forget about it. There are some top-quality subwoofers created for this location. However, such a subwoofer involves damaging walls, redecorating, and driving neighbors crazy if you live in a flat. Such subwoofers are more expensive because they are needy – external amplifiers, annoying installation procedures, and crossovers.
The bottom line, the experts at Techno FAQ agree that finding the perfect place requires some time and attention to small details. So, where to place subwoofer with the soundbar? It is up to you. There are more considerations to take in the process, from the walls and corners to furniture, cords, and plugs.
At the same time, regardless of the design, you will need to take your time and analyze the perfect spot. Move it a few inches forward, an inch to the left, turn it a few degrees, and so on. It is an ongoing game that may take days to finalize, but the final result will be worth it – quality audio and great effects.
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