Where to Place a Subwoofer

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Updated October 17, 2022

If you are new to the universe of home audio, you may wonder where to place a subwoofer. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers require a precise placement process to get the most out of them. So why spend time correctly placing the best subwoofers, and what are some helpful tips? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Placing a subwoofer correctly is an important step when maximizing the audio quality of your sound waves and bass frequencies.
  • Start by checking to see if you have a ported subwoofer. If so, keep it away from the wall and look for other sweet spots.
  • The best way to find the best spot for your subwoofer is by trial and error. Move it around to different listening positions and listen for sound quality and any crossover frequencies.

Why Worry About Subwoofer Placement?

If you are wondering why your subwoofer is bottoming out, incorrect placement could be to blame. The same could also be said when wondering why a subwoofer cuts in and out at random intervals. In other words, subwoofer placement is important and should be considered a crucial part of understanding how wireless subwoofers work and how wired subwoofers work.

Insider Tip

Some subwoofers get louder when placed on or near a corner due to inherent vibrations, so keep this in mind.

Learning correct placement can help you avoid maintenance issues down the line, so you won’t have to learn about subwoofer voice coil repair. Basically, you want a nice stereo field when listening to the subwoofer and the rest of your setup. This requires correct speaker placement and learning what gauge speaker wire to use for a subwoofer.

How Should a Subwoofer Be Positioned?

Every setup is different, but it is important to remember that a subwoofer is a mono device, so it should not be placed too close to either ear. Here are some other tips worth considering.

Look for Ported Designs

Many subwoofers feature ported designs, meaning there is an opening on the back to allow for proper airflow. This makes the subwoofers last longer and helps prevent the speakers from bottoming out or sounding weak. However, the port on the back needs a fair amount of space for airflow, meaning you should not place this speaker directly against the wall. Leave at least a few inches of room. Measure the size of the port, double that, and that is how far from the wall you should be. Typically this is around six inches.

STAT: If your subwoofer requires a direct wire hookup to the receiver, you’ll want to make sure you’ll be able to hide the wires wherever you place the subwoofer. (source)

Test and Experiment

The best way to find the best spot for a subwoofer is to conduct simple tests by ear. Hook up the subwoofer to your system and turn on some content with plenty of bass. This could be an action movie or some music. As the content plays, move the subwoofer around the room and sit in the usual spot where you listen to music or watch TV. Keep moving the subwoofer around until it sounds right to you.

Subwoofer Placement FAQs

What are the best speakers for home theater?

This depends entirely on personal preference and what kind of setup you are going for. When shopping for home theater speakers, look at the maximum settings of volume, the bass output, and more.

Where should I place a subwoofer with a soundbar?

The ideas here are the same as with any speaker. If using a compact subwoofer, place it under the soundbar or go for corner placement. Pay attention to crossover settings, phase controls, dead spots, and more to ensure an ideal listening experience.

How far can a subwoofer be from a soundbar?

This depends on personal preference and whether you are using a wireless subwoofer or a wired subwoofer. Still, keep it near the other speakers to avoid bass traps and to ensure a decent frequency response. Corner placement is preferred in some instances.
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