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How To Choose a Subwoofer Box

Make Sure You Get the Right Enclosure for Your Subwoofer!

In order to get the most out of your subwoofer, you need to pick the proper subwoofer enclosure. We carry a nice selection of professionally constructed sub boxes. There are different pluses and minuses to consider when choosing between a sealed, ported or bandpass box. You should base your decision on your subwoofer specifications and available vehicle space.

In comparison to ported boxes and bandpass enclosures, sealed enclosures are usually the smallest in size. Sealed boxes prevent air from escaping the box, making it harder for the sub to move in and out. This increases the transient response, meaning tighter bass and greater sound accuracy. Sealed enclosures also have excellent power handling, as it is harder for the sub to “bottom out” (excursion beyond peak excursion). However, since the airwaves cannot escape from the box, the sub is less efficient, meaning less sound reproduction. The firmly sealed design also doesn’t allow the speaker temperature to cool down as quickly as it does in other boxes or free air setups.

Ported boxes, also known as vented boxes, are enclosures that are designed with a port tuned to a specific frequency. In comparison to sealed and bandpass enclosures, ported boxes are the most efficient boxes. Their design produces more sound output than sealed enclosures, because the vent allows the back waves to reach your ears along with the front waves. Ports will generate deeper bass up to the tuned frequency, but power handling below the tuned frequency is poor, which makes the woofer susceptible to damage. Sealed boxes provide better transient response and speaker damping than ported boxes, because ported boxes fail to provide internal pressure against the sub.

A bandpass enclosure is a hybrid between a sealed and ported enclosure. With one sealed and one ported chamber, bandpass boxes give you the best of both worlds. They have off the charts power handling and excellent low frequency response. A bandpass box should be specifically designed for your subwoofer(s) to ensure optimal performance. Since the ports in bandpass boxes are not tuned to speaker requirements, most speakers will have a better all around sound in ported or sealed enclosures.

We also carry vehicle specific subwoofer enclosures. Stealthboxes are custom-made upon your order, specially designed for your vehicle. They are made to match your vehicle’s physical shape and interior design. Bassforms are custom-made fiberglass enclosures that are built to last. In comparison to other materials, fiberglass boxes weigh less and are smaller in volume. Bassforms enclosures are both the lightest and the strongest boxes on the market, backed by a lifetime guarantee. Bassforms boxes are also built according to your vehicle’s specifications to maximize your available space while keeping your vehicle’s factory look intact.

Besides investing in an enclosure, another small investment for better subwoofer performance is our polyester fiber fill. Adding poly-fil to your sub box slows down back waves inside of the box, making the subwoofer perform as though it were in a bigger enclosure. We recommend that you use approximately 1 pound of fill per cubic foot of box volume. In enclosures where the fiber fill may blow out of a port, a light multipurpose adhesive should be used to secure the fill to the wall linings.

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Staff writers at Sonic Electronix are experts in their field. In addition to a complete in-house training program, these experts typically have many years of hands-on experience in their specialty. Some come from car audio installer backgrounds, while others come with extensive retail experience.
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