The Difference Between Subwoofers

Last Edited: October 29, 2017 | Published: October 29, 2017 by

The Difference Between Subwoofers

There is no denying that a good, thumping bass can really add to the overall quality of the sound from your speaker system. They enhance not only music, but television and movies. After all, a high quality action movie featuring surround sound is really only made perfect when it includes those booming low notes that truly improve the audio of your movie.

When shopping for subwoofers, you need to keep in mind the room size where the subwoofer will reside. The larger the room, the more powerful the sub you will need. Of course, there is more to it than that. You must also consider the type of system you have, ensuring you have enough power to truly make use of a powerful subwoofer.

Types of Subwoofers

When you start shopping for subwoofers, you will notice that there are hundreds of choices. Let’s try to simplify it a bit for you. There are two basic types of sub woofers:

  • Passive Subwoofers
  • Active Subwoofers

When you are shopping, you must first choose one of these types according to your power requirements and the size of the space that you will be filling with sound.

Passive Subwoofers

Passive subwoofers are called “passive” because they don’t pull power from an outlet on their own. Instead, they pull their power from an external amplifier. Because of this, your amp will need to be able to handle the added power requirements of your sub along with your existing speakers. Often these types of subs are good for small rooms or for people that prefer to purchase a high end, powerful amplifier to run all of the speakers on their system.

Active Subwoofers

Active subwoofers, also known as powered subwoofers, contain their own amplifier and have the ability to pull power from your wall outlets on their own, without the need of other equipment. These are much more common than the passive subwoofers because they are so easy to connect to almost any system. At the same time, they do often cost a little bit more than the passive options and even though they have their own amp, they still may require a more powerful amp in order to truly take advantage of the power they have.

Hybrid Speakers

One variation of the powered subwoofer are hybrid speakers. These speakers combine the powered subwoofer with that of a traditional, passive array of midrange and high frequency drivers. This allows users to enjoy the booming benefits of a subwoofer without having to make room for a bulky subwoofer. They are often larger than other speakers, but you still save space thanks to having one less speaker in your setup. These are often the most expensive option since they include both a sub and a regular speaker setup all in one.

Parting Thoughts

Personally I would never live without a subwoofer in my speaker setup. In my experience, they can really enhance your overall audio quality simply by rounding out your sound with a strong low end. If you want to produce accurate sound that is great to listen to, you need a good subwoofer. By learning more about them, you should be able to make the right decision the next time you are shopping for a sub for your home audio system.

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