Do Subwoofers Improve Sound?


The popularity of subwoofers has exploded in the last decade. More and more people are buying subwoofers for their home theater, hi-fi setup, and even their cars. There are even portable subwoofers if you want your TV to produce more oomph. 

Almost everyone who has a subwoofer will tell you how beneficial it was getting one and that you should get one too. You’ll probably hear things like that speakers aren’t enough - even for casual music listening, and that a subwoofer will take the sound experience to the next level. 

On the contrary, some just can’t grasp the difference in sound with and without a subwoofer. Those people will likely tell you that a good pair of speakers is more than enough. 

The discussion about subwoofers and their impact on the sound experience has lasted more than 20 years. 

So, do subwoofers improve the sound? Let’s find out! 

In this article, we’ll talk about how subwoofers improve sound, the benefits of adding a subwoofer to your audio system, and whether speakers can do the job without a subwoofer.

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Subwoofers are a special kind of speaker that can deliver frequencies in a range of around 20-200Hz. Subwoofers are substantial for any professional audio setup, such as audio setups in studios, clubs, concerts, theaters, and cinemas.

A subwoofer can deliver frequencies under 50Hz without sound distortion. Meaning you’ll get a clear sound that you can literally feel.

Is A Subwoofer Necessary If You Have High-End Speakers?

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This is a popular and still open discussion. Let’s learn the main differences between a subwoofer and a speaker without beating around the bush.

Difference Between Speakers And Subwoofers

The primary purpose of both speakers and subs is the same - to produce audio. However, there are differences in the frequency ranges of these two speaker types. 

Speakers like those on televisions, cars, and computers deliver mid and high-range frequencies. However, plain speakers fail to deliver the bass. When it comes to low-range frequencies under 50Hz, you need a subwoofer. 

A subwoofer is an extension for the speakers designed to reproduce low sound frequencies. They let you really feel the sound while watching a movie and listening to music. 

Are Subwoofers That Important?

The answer is both yes and no. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and how much of an audiophile you are.

If you think your speakers are lacking some bass and aren’t delivering the sound as clearly as you want them to, think about getting a sub. Even a budget subwoofer will give your speakers that depth only low frequencies can deliver. 

Having said that, those not looking for the next-level sound experience may not need a subwoofer.

How Do Subwoofers Improve Sound?

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Do you know the thrill you get while sitting in the cinema and watching an exciting action scene? The intense background music intensifies and gives you chills as the plot unfolds. The excitement you get like you’re there when the protagonist gets caught up in a wild car chase.

Without the subwoofers in the cinema, there would be no such excitement. Or at least it wouldn’t be so intense. 

Subwoofers improve the sound so you can feel the bass hitting your body. With a subwoofer, you’ll get those goosebumps every time the bass hits. Moreover, turning up the music high enough can literally make your organs vibrate. 

Speakers Will Sound Better

Whether you have high-end speakers or just average ones, a subwoofer will take the sound experience to the next level. Because speakers deliver high and mid-range frequencies, a sub will complete the sound by reproducing the low frequencies. 

However, you should be aware that the sound will be terrible if your room acoustics are bad, no matter how good your speakers and sub are.

More Bass

While modern LCD TVs take up very little space, that design feature came with a tradeoff. There's almost no room for the sound to reverberate, which results in it sounding pretty flat. But if you add a little bass, the sound improves drastically. 

You can improve your TV experience significantly by getting a budget soundbar with an integrated subwoofer. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to use cables. Now days even budget soundbars come with Bluetooth.

Bass will also improve your gaming experience. There’s nothing like feeling the ground shake while in the middle of an intense Warzone or Apex Legends match. Luckily, you can find a computer speaker/subwoofer combo for pretty cheap. 

No Sound Distortion

While hybrid and dynamic speaker drivers can deliver pretty low frequencies, they’re not as good as a dedicated sub. What’s more, hybrid/dynamic speakers can sometimes distort low-frequency sounds. 

If you want perfect sound output, you need to get a set of speakers with a dedicated tweeter, midrange, and subwoofer. This way, there won’t be any distortions because each speaker handles a specific portion of the sound.

Unfortunately, this will cost you a bit more than a set of standard speakers, but the investment is worth it.

If you already have a set of a decent set of speakers, but they lack a subwoofer, you can always get one. Thankfully, dedicated subs are pretty affordable these days. If you’re getting a passive subwoofer, ensure your amp can handle it before committing to the purchase.


Conclusion

While not necessary, subwoofers will give much-needed depth to any soundscape. Whether it’s for home theater, hi-fi setup, or gaming, having a sub will significantly improve sound quality.


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


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