Where do you place a subwoofer?

Subwoofers are great for upgrading your sound system. But the tricky part of using this effectively is where you place them in the room. In this article, you will understand why it’s important, where to place them, and some extra suggestions to get the most of a subwoofer.

Why is placing it correctly is important?

Not many people are aware of this, but your room has a direct effect on the audio system’s quality you hear. The room’s windows, furniture, and walls all give colour to the sounds. The bass frequencies are especially sensitive to these factors, and that is why correctly placing them is important.

The biggest surfaces that you need to avoid for subwoofers are parallel surfaces. They include the walls in the room. The nature of bass waves is omnidirectional, meaning they will bounce all over the room. But if they get placed near the walls, the reflected waves from the walls will collide with one another. This leads to either bass nulls or standing waves.

Some people think that the corner of the room is the ideal option that rarely works.

The scenario of standing waves depends on the size of your room and the sound wave’s length. They are nothing but the excess of bass energy. The sound lack tautness or definition. In bass nulls, dead spots occur due to reflecting waves cancelling out each other.

To get the best effects from your subwoofer, you have 2 options – either work with the room or go against it. To work with the room means you have to do placements correctly. Meanwhile working against it involves room correction software and fancy EQs. The former method is much recommended than the latter one.

The right place for a subwoofer

By now, you know that placing a subwoofer close to the wall or in a corner will give you a lot of bass effect. This doesn’t mean it will be good. Home theatre systems and soundbars come with small, low-powered subwoofers that have some boundary reinforcement. They use small drivers with low-powered amps which sounds nice, but at the end, you will get the worst bass ever.

To keep in the right place, it all boils down to your flexibility. For starters, you try to keep it in the front. Here, try to follow the ‘rule of thirds’. Measuring from the wall, place the subwoofer in a third of the room to cut the nulls and standing waves. This increases the chances of the sitting area to be a sweet spot. Or try keeping the subwoofers under a table or couch. This may work but not for satellite speakers that depend on the subwoofers for over 120 Hz. If you choose the option of placing the subwoofers inside the wall, remember that it needs professional installation and involves a huge sum of money.

Final words

To find the right place according to your room may involve a lot of moving. But the joy you get from hearing the subwoofers’ right bass will be immeasurable.