A sub woofer (or “sub”) is dedicated to the reproduction of low-pitched audio frequencies known as bass. Sub woofers are intended to augment the low frequency range that normal loudspeaker frequency can not reproduce. Typically without a subwoofer you lose 30% of the music that the artist intended, for this there are a large range of sub woofers for all different types of applications.
Sub woofers are made up of one or more woofers mounted in a loudspeaker enclosure—often made of wood—capable of withstanding air pressure while resisting deformation. Passive subwoofers have a sub woofer driver and enclosure and they are powered by an external amplifier. Active subwoofers include a built-in amplifier
Please note that all systems can be installed to both factory fitted and aftermarket systems!
A conventional sub woofer would be powered by an external amplifier and would be mounted in a wooden box or fibreglass enclosure in the rear of the vehicle. These range from 6inch to the largest production sub woofer, the MTX Audio ‘Jackhammer’ at 22inch. If big bass is what your looking for then the most common size is 12inch or a 15inch however is its just to add some depth to your system then an 8inch or 10inch would vastly improve your audio system.
A slimline sub woofer is very similar to a conventional sub woofer but as you can see in the photo below, the depth is a lot less. These are ideal for vehicle with little space where big bass is needed. They come in sizes 8inch, 10inch and 12inch.
If space is defiantly sparse or you do not want to lose any space in your vehicle then there are under seat sub woofer that are so compact that they can literally fit under your seat. These are an active system so the amplifier is all contained with the unit, which makes installation simple and making it cost effective. They very in sizes and power and although they are not designed to hot the big notes they defiantly fill in the gap that your vehicle speakers can not.
When it comes to selecting an enclosure type to get the best sound from your woofer and matching it to your taste in music, it can be a little confusing. The purpose of an enclosure is to improve bass response and prevent woofer damage from over-excursion. There are a few things you will need to consider before making your final selection that will ultimately affect your choice in subwoofer enclosure style. Here are some of the key points you will need to consider:
1/ How much room is available in your vehicle and how much are you willing to sacrifice.
2/ What type of speaker will you be using? Some speakers are designed for specific enclosure types. (refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations)
3/ How much power does the amplifier produce and what type of crossovers and controls does it have?
4/ What type of music do you listen to? Different enclosure styles will sound slightly different.
Once you have determined the above conditions, you will then be able to make a choice that will get the best bass response. The next sections will outline the most popular types of enclosures to help you make a selection that is right for your listening tastes.