A home theater subwoofer is part of the theater’s surround sound system. It can be the difference between simply hearing and watching the cool special effects in your favorite movie and actually feeling them. A subwoofer puts forth the lower frequencies that other speakers are not able to reach. The sound from a subwoofer should have depth and clarity, as this will provide the most realistic home theater sound experience. The bass sound from a subwoofer doesn’t have to be overbearing, but only needs to act as an exciting enhancement to almost any movie or programming.
Passive Versus Powered Home Theater Subwoofers
There are basically two types of home cinema subwoofers – passive and powered. Passive subwoofers rely on the main power supply of your home theater sound system. Powered subwoofers use a power supply that is separate from the rest of your sound system. In addition, powered subwoofers don’t require any additional amplifiers or speakers to function properly. When making a choice between the two, you will need to consider many factors, including:
- How large your home theater room is
- How much bass sound you want to experience
- How close other rooms in the home are
For smaller home theater rooms, a passive subwoofer may be the right choice, as a powered subwoofer may be too powerful. If you want to have really booming bass, though, and your home theater room is large enough to fill with sound, then a powered subwoofer is a good choice.
Front-firing Versus Down-firing
These terms refer to how the woofer cone is placed and directed inside the subwoofer. Front-firing subwoofers have the woofer cone placed and directed on the side, and down-firing subwoofers have it placed on the bottom. Front-firing subwoofers are more popular, but down-firing subwoofers generally have exceptional bass resonance. In addition, down-firing subwoofers are better suited for larger home theater rooms. Front-firing and down-firing subwoofers may require different set-ups with your home theater sound system.
Choosing a Subwoofer Enclosure
Some home theater subwoofer cases feature an exhaust port that is designed to force air out. This generally produces a higher quality of bass resonance. Other enclosures have a radiator to keep the subwoofer from overheating. If you plan on using your home theater frequently, you may want to consider the radiator enclosure.
Where to Place Your Subwoofer
For most home theaters, where you place your subwoofer is not very important. It is hard to detect what direction the low frequencies or bass sounds emitted from a subwoofer come from, so you can normally place a subwoofer anywhere in the room without noticing too much of a difference.
Subwoofers Deliver a True Cinema Experience
When it comes to feeling the true movie experience, the right home theater subwoofer makes all the difference. Bass-shakers or “butt kickers” use the low bass sounds from the subwoofer to make home theater seating vibrate with every heart-pounding action scene. This integral part of your theater sound system will enhance your viewing experience and make movies, music and games come alive.