Tag: sub box

Subwoofer Enclosure Buying Guide

Belva BBLE212 Dual 12" Loaded Enclosure

 

Buying a Subwoofer Enclosure

Find the Perfect Enclosure for Your Subwoofer

Building your perfect car audio setup requires more than just the components; you also are going to need the right mounting hardware to have your system meet its potential. Your subwoofer is no exception when it comes to a subwoofer enclosure. A subwoofer without an enclosure isn’t capable of functioning to it’s full potential. If you want to really make your subwoofer bump, this means finding the right enclosure not only to meet the requirements of your sub, but also the space limitations for your car. You can also build an enclosure yourself to meet your subwoofers requirements, however it is not recommended unless you are an experienced craftsman and have a complete understanding of the various specifications.


 

 

What Size Subwoofer Do You Have?

Your first step in purchasing a subwoofer box should be obvious, what size is your subwoofer? You can’t buy a box designed for an 8” subwoofer and use it with a 12” sub, it simply won’t fit. The cut out dimensions need to match your subwoofer exactly for the box to function properly. It is also imperative for you to know the mounting depth of your subwoofer, if you purchase a box that is too shallow for your woofer, you’re also going to be in trouble. You also need to know how many subs you plan on installing. If you’re only going to be putting one subwoofer in your car, you’ll need to get a single sub enclosure. However, if you plan on installing 2 subwoofers, dual sub boxes are also available (however they can take up a significant amount of space).

 

 

What are Your Subwoofers Airspace Requirements?

Once you have determined what size enclosure you need for your subwoofer, it’s time to get into some of the finer details to get your bass to really hit hard. Matching your subwoofer to the proper enclosure is no simple task as you need to know the precise Thiele/Small (T/S) Electromechanical Parameters as well as the air space requirements of your specific sub. The T/S parameters as well as the air space requirements of your subwoofer should be provided by the manufacturer.

 

 

What Kind of Box Do You Need?

There are 3 types of subwoofer enclosures: sealed boxes, ported boxes and bandpass boxes. Subwoofer enclosures are most commonly (but not exclusively) constructed from medium density fiberboard (MDF). Each box type has its own merits and features, but not every subwoofer is designed to work with any box type.

Sealed Enclosures are More Compact than Other Types of Enclosures

Sealed Boxes are airtight enclosures to house your subwoofer. A sealed box provides deep, precise bass and is ideal for any music that demands tight and accurate bass. Sealed enclosures are not overly boomy, provide outstanding power handling as well as incredibly deep bass extension. Sealed enclosures also typically more compact and can fit in more places in your car easier. As a general rule, sealed enclosures require more power than a ported box and use of an amplifier is usually recommended.

 

Ported enclosures (or vented enclosures) feature an additional port for air flow in and out of the box. The added air flow of ported boxesallows the box to play louder with less power required. Ported boxes are best used for rock, heavy metal or any other genre of bass heavy music.

Bandpass enclosures are more specialized enclosures which place the sub between a sealed and ported box. These enclosures are designed to provide the hardest hitting bass performance. They produce much more bass than their sealed and ported counterparts, however it is over a much more narrow frequency range. These enclosures are ideal for rap, R&B, hard rock, metal and other bass heavy music. Bandpass boxes are often the largest enclosure type.

 

 

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Among other considerations you need to make when purchasing a subwoofer enclosure is the amount of space you have in your car. Subwoofer enclosures can take up a large amount of space and depending on what kind of car you have, any type of enclosure may not work. Not all vehicles have the room of an SUV, van or even a hatchback to accommodate the larger sub enclosures and you’ll need to know how much open space you have (and are willing to sacrifice) to add an enclosure.

Install Your Enclosure Under the Seat to Save Space

Trucks are often the most difficult vehicle to install a sub enclosure in simply because there is very little free space in the cab. Enclosures in pickup trucks can generally only be installed behind the driver and passenger seats. These types of enclosures feature an angled design to fit snuggly up against the seatback. Another potential location for the installation of your subwoofer enclosure is under the seats in your car. These enclosures are perfect if you’re trying to keep your sound system inconspicuous as they will be hidden from view. The most common type of enclosure is the trunk mount enclosure. These ‘big box’ enclosures fit in the trunks of sedans and in the cargo area of hatchbacks, vans and SUVs. Trunk mount enclosures can vary quite a bit in size and take up a significant chunk of your storage space.

Many Vehicle Specific Enclosures Install in Out of the Way Places

Vehicle specific enclosures are also available for select vehicles. These enclosures are designed to fit precisely into specific vehicles and will often fit in out of the way places. These types of enclosures can be constructed out of MDF like most common enclosures as well as fiberglass. Fiberglass is an ideal material for vehicle specific enclosures because it can be molded to fit in virtually any space.

Preloaded enclosures are also available to purchase; these enclosures eliminate the guesswork of selecting a box to match your subwoofer as they come with the subwoofer built-in. A preloaded enclosure can also include an amplifier, making your installation process even simpler.

Once you have your enclosure installed in your vehicle and subwoofer mounted in it, you’re ready to enjoy your new sound. At Sonic Electronix, we have everything you need to get your bass up to par.

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Car Specific Subwoofer Enclosures

Vehicle Specific Enclosures Provide a Perfect OEM Fit in Your Vehicle

How do you maximize space without sacrificing sound? For many car owners, the answer is a vehicle specific subwoofer enclosure. Car specific subwoofer enclosures are custom built to match your car’s interior design and dimensions. A sub box custom built for your car allows you to build bass packages that can fit perfectly behind seats or in the contours of your trunk.

Depending on your vehicle, a custom box may be available. Dodge owners can add a custom Dodge subwoofer enclosure. These sub boxes are exclusively designed for Dodge trucks or cars. Slender dual truck boxes are available and will fit behind seats in both quad cab and standard Dodge Ram trucks. These subwoofer enclosures are not only brand specific, but also year specific to match your personal vehicle.

Ford owners, you can also add a custom built sub box designed specifically for your Ford vehicle. That includes angled truck boxes for regular cab trucks like the Ford Ranger, and specially designed dual and single boxes for extended cab Ford trucks. These boxes enable you to bring bass to your Ford vehicle without wasting all of the cargo space.

Vehicle Specific Enclosures
Dodge Sub Enclosures Ford Sub Enclosures GM / Chevrolet Sub Enclosures Honda Sub Enclosures
Jeep Sub Enclosures Nissan Sub Enclosures Toyota Sub Enclosures Volkswagen Sub Enclosures

We also carry various types of car specific subwoofer boxes that include built-in subwoofers. JL Audio Stealthboxes are custom enclosures loaded with subs that match your vehicle’s interior colors. These preloaded custom sub boxes give your aftermarket system a smooth, factory integrated appearance. Subwoofer boxes can be clunky blocks that take up much needed cargo room. Stealthboxes enable you to conserve space with style. JL Audio hired engineers to test specific vehicles for the optimal size and placement of subwoofer enclosures. As a result, JL Audio Stealthboxes give you optimal sound and fit in spots where the placement will create the least amount of obstruction.

MTX ThunderForm enclosures are another extremely popular brand for sub enclosures. These custom built subwoofer boxes are designed to match your vehicle’s dimensions and interior. MTX Audio designed ThunderForm sub boxes to fill in the wasted space in your vehicle. ThunderForm boxes use high density polyethylene resin, a very durable material that can withstand bass pounding from loud subwoofers. Some ThunderForm enclosures are even amplified, meaning they are loaded with an amplifier. These are great all-in-one combo options that seamlessly match your vehicle.

Though it probably goes without saying, make sure you know the exact year, make and model of your vehicle before you order a vehicle specific subwoofer enclosure. The last thing you want is to receive a box that would be a perfect fit…only you don’t actually own the vehicle it is designed to fit in. As long as you order the right box for your vehicle, you are sure to be satisified.

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Subwoofer Box Types

Sealed Enclosure

Subwoofer enclosures do more than just give you somewhere to mount your subs; they also play a huge role in the bass produced by your subwoofers. Choosing the right enclosure can be tricky, but we are here to help relieve some of that confusion and get your foot planted firmly through that car door. There are three main subwoofer enclosures types to consider: Sealed, Ported/Vented, and Bandpass enclosures. Each has advantages and disadvantages in efficiency, size, distortion, cost, and power handling. The different enclosure types produce a unique sound and choosing an enclosure should be based upon the music style you listen to. Here is the rundown on the various enclosure types:

Sealed Subwoofer Box
Sealed Sub Box

Sealed Enclosure:
The sealed subwoofer enclosure is characterized by excellent transient response(less boom, more punch), superb low frequency power handling, and a smaller box size. When a speaker is mounted in a closed box, the air in the box acts to some extent as a spring. However, sealed enclosure systems tend to suffer from higher cutoff points and lower sensitivity than the other low frequency systems. They are usually the subwoofer system of choice for audiophiles because of their excellent transient response. The box internal volume should be as close as possible to what is recommended by the manufacturer. If a box is smaller than what it is recommended, the sound will be tighter, but more amplifier power will be required to push it.
If the sub box is too big, then the sound will be filthy and distorted.
Overall it produces a crisp and clean sound for any type of music. If you did not understand what any of that meant, here is a basic run down:
– Less Boom, More Punch
– Top Choice for Audiophiles
– Smaller Box Size Required
– More Amplifier Power Required

Ported/Vented Enclosure:
A ported enclosure system consists of a driver mounted on one side of a box that has an open tunnel or port which allows the passage of air in and out of the box. The function of the port is to “tune” the enclosure so that the rear wave of the speaker enhances the front wave of the speaker. This typically results in a woofer system with a higher efficiency (it plays louder with less power). At low frequencies, the vent contributes substantially to the output of the system. The box design acts as a filter, cutting off lower frequencies.

Ported/Vented Sub Box
Vented Sub Box

The ported enclosure system is characterized by lower distortion and higher power handling in the system’s operating range, and lower cutoff frequency than a sealed enclosure system using the same driver.
Distortion rapidly increases below the cutoff frequency as the sub loses load. The transient response of a ported enclosure system is usually inferior to that of a sealed enclosure system using the same sub. Let’s rehash the main points of a ported/vented enclosure:
– Equal Boom, Equal Punch
– Strengthens Bass
– Amplifies Sound
– Bigger Box Size Required

Bandpass Enclosure:
Enclosures consist of a woofer between a sealed and ported box. Bandpass boxes will yield more bass than sealed and ported boxes (especially at lower frequencies), but over a narrower frequency range.
Since the box acts as a filter, mechanically blocking lower and upper frequencies, a crossover is not needed in most cases.  These enclosures are usually big and very unforgiving when precise volumes and port sizes are not followed.  Bandpass boxes also tend to mask distortion which could lead to damaged subs. Bandpass enclosures are extremely efficient in the band of frequencies that they are tuned to or “pass” (hence the term bandpass). Disadvantages of this design are a limited frequency range, huge enclosure size and limited power handling. We don’t recommend any more than 500 watts RMS power to a bandpass enclosure.
Let us take another look at the main points:
– Lower Bass Frequencies
– Should Be Tuned
– Low Power Handling
– Biggest Box Size Required

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How to Install Car Subwoofers

Required Tools:

    • Wire Cutters
    • Wire Stripper
    • Electrical Tape
    • Speaker Wire
    • Panel Remover

You may also need one or more of the following:  Screwdrivers (Flat, Phillips) and Screws, Right angle Phillips, Drill, Wrench, Pliers, Saw, Glue gun, Caulk, Wire ties, Soldering Iron, Knife, Flashlight

Subwoofers are vital to a car audio system because they reproduce low audio frequencies that give an overall depth to the sound of your music. Installing and wiring subwoofers requires numerous tools. You will need electrical tape, speaker wire, and a wire cutter and crimping tool. Depending on the extent of the install, you may also need a power drill, screwdrivers (Phillips and flat head), right angle phillips, wrench, panel remover, saw, pliers, glue gun, caulk, soldering iron, knife, wire ties and a flashlight.

First cut about 1′ in length of positive speaker wire and negative speaker wire. Depending on how you wire your sub, you may need more than one piece of each type of wiring. You need to strip 1/8″ to 1/4″ of insulation at the ends of the wire using your crimping tool. At this point you will run the wire through the subwoofer terminals. Turn the subwoofer on its face in order to access the wiring terminals. After you wire the voice coils, cut one additional piece each of positive and negative wire. Determine the amount of length you will need based on where you plan on mounting the amplifier. This wiring will connect to the first negative and positive terminals on the subwoofer and run through the box terminal to connect to the amplifier.

To mount the subwoofer, line up the subwoofer’s screw holes along the diameter of the enclosure’s hole. After you align the subwoofer to your liking, mark the screw holes with the drill. Remove the subwoofer and drill the holes into the enclosure. Now place the subwoofer back into the enclosure’s hole and use the drill to screw in the subwoofer. Note: before screwing in the subwoofer, you can add Poly-Fill to the inside of the enclosure using spray adhesive. This further enhances the sound since adding Poly-Fill it simulates a larger box.

Decide how to wire the subwoofer based on the subwoofer’s type and number of voice coils. Also consider the impedance and power ratings of the subwoofer and amplifier. To wire in parallel, simply connect the positive leads of both subs to the amp’s positive terminal and the negative leads to the amp’s negative terminal. Wiring in parallel will lower your impedance, and a lower impedance value will enhance your amp’s power capability. To wire in series, simply connect the positive leads of the subwoofers to the amp’s positive terminal, but then connect the negative terminal of one subwoofer to the positive terminal of the second sub. Then connect the latter sub’s negative terminal to the amp’s negative terminal.

If you do not want to bother with wiring and mounting a subwoofer, you can order preloaded enclosure packages. All you need to do is fasten the loaded enclosure and connect it to the amplifier using speaker wires. Powered subs are an even simpler option because they include both an amplifier and woofer inside an enclosure.

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Enclosures Pre-loaded with Subwoofers

Loaded Enclosures Ensure You End Up with a Perfectly Matched Sub and Box

Setting up the ideal audio system can be difficult. Perhaps you’re searching for a car subwoofer, an amplifier, or even an enclosure. You have to know how much power you need from your amplifier, what type of subwoofer enclosure to use, and what type of accessories you need for your installation. The simple solution is to order a pre-loaded subwoofer box.

In the past, these combo packages were designed for car audio beginners who wanted to test the water without much headaches. However, times have changed, and there are now many packages designed specifically for audiophiles.

What are some advantages to these types of enclosures? First of all, the manufacturer uses their insight to select the size and volume of the enclosure that will enable the subwoofer to operate at the optimal level. With this in mind, they do the technical work behind the scenes to make sure you get the best sounding system. The end result is precise calculation, calibration, and perfect tuning.

You don’t have to worry about measuring the port size or trying to figure out the internal wiring. All you have to do is place it where you want it, hook up the wires from the amplifier, and you’re good to go! They have various sizes, ranging from 8” to as big as 15” loaded subwoofer enclosures. In addition, various companies have both dual or single voice coil designs as well as single or dual subwoofer mounts. Save time and order a pre-loaded subwoofer box, you will be free of headaches and you will not be disappointed!

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How to Build a Subwoofer Box

Build Your Own Enclosure

Required Tools:

  • 3/4″ Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
  • Power drill
  • Screws
  • Table saw (or circular saw or hand saw)
  • Jigsaw
  • Putty Knives
  • Wood glue
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Razor
  • Caulking gun
  • Goggles
  • Air compressor (optional)

We recommend using Medium Density Fiberboard because the density of the board will keep vibrations at a minimum. Plan ahead to ensure the box will fit in your vehicle. Once you establish how much space is available in your vehicle, calculate the box volume required for playing your subwoofer at its maximum performance level. The box volume depends on the subwoofer size. Check the table below for recommended box volumes or contact the subwoofer manufacturer for more specific recommendations.

Sub Size (inches) Box Volume (ft3)
6″ 0.36 – 0.48
8″ 0.72 – 0.96
10″ 1.2 – 1.8
12″ 2.4 – 3.6
15″ 6.0 – 10.8

 

Constructing the Subwoofer Box

After measuring your desired box dimensions, use your pencil to draw cutout guide lines. You should use your compass to draw the exact speaker hole and the measuring tape to determine the panel size. To make the box frame, cut the Medium Density Fiberboard with a table saw. Next cut out the speaker hole with a jigsaw. Clean up any roughness from the cuts and blow out the edges with an air compressor. Now that the main panels are cut, make sure the panels match up together by temporarily assembling the box frame.

Apply glue to the joint lines to set up the frame. It takes at least an hour for the glue to dry. After it dries you can start adding screws. Take a power drill to pre-drill your screw holes, and drill in screws to connect the panels. You should have one screw for every 6 inches along the joint line.

Scrape off the dried wood glue with the putty knives. Use glue to seal up the inside of the box to ensure an airtight enclosure. Attach the baffle board last. The baffle board is the panel that is fashioned with the speaker hole. While the box is still open, you can use a caulking gun loaded with silicone sealant to make a seal along each joint line. Once you finish caulking the joints, you can now attach the baffle board. It is imperative that you seal off the enclosure so that it is airtight. If it is not completely airtight, it will result in less power handling for your subwoofer as well as speaker distortion.

Now that your box frame is constructed, take the putty knife and apply putty along along the seams and the screw holes. Let the putty dry, and use a palm sander to first sand over the screw holes and then the flat spots. A sanding block with some sand paper will also do the trick, just use sandpaper with a 120-220 grip.

You can line your box with carpet and felt in order to match your vehicle’s interior. Spray an adhesive to attach the carpet to the box and use a razor to cut away edges and the speaker hole. Use an adhesive to add some poly-fil inside the box to maximize subwoofer performance. Now place the subwoofer in the box and mount the subwoofer box and you’re ready to rock.

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