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Connecting Wired Subwoofer to Soundbar

Connecting Wired Subwoofer to Soundbar

Subwoofers are a great way to enhance your sound experience at home by making you feel the low-frequency sounds in music, movies, or games. These are excellent additions to your home and are easily part of mid-range and high-end setups.

Different kinds of subwoofers and speakers possibly connecting and wired to soundbars
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If you already have a soundbar, you might be interested in connecting a wired subwoofer (or two) for a better listening experience. Know that a jack and cable setup is necessary to connect a wired subwoofer to your soundbar, as most wired subs do not come with wireless connectivity options. So if your soundbar doesn’t have the input and output jacks, you may want to invest in a wireless sub instead.

But before anything, your soundbar should be properly placed so you are getting the most out of it.

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How to Properly Position your Soundbar

Before you go out and connect a sub to your sound bar, make sure it is properly placed. If it is slanted and you are sitting anywhere but directly in front of it, your listening experience will surely be compromised. 

In pretty much any home theatre set up, you will notice they are almost always lined up with the TV. Soundbars can have pretty large dimensions, and some people will find that their TV stand does not have the space for the soundbar’s best placement. You will risk placing it at an awkward angle or position and this defeats the purpose of upgrading your audio quality. 

How to Properly Position your Soundbar
Image by Bru-nO from Pixabay

Seating is also important when it comes to soundbars. Their long and straight nature ensures an even sound experience for listeners or an audience seated in front of it, not off the side. 

If you are working with limited space, a good option is to hang the speaker on a wall directly above the TV. Brackets are easily found online or in-store for this purpose. Just make sure you don’t place the speaker too far above the TV to avoid audio delays.

Once you have a properly placed soundbar, it’s time to look into adding a subwoofer for the ultimate home theatre experience. 

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Five Tips When Choosing The Best Subwoofer For Your Soundbar

Before purchasing the best subwoofer for your soundbar, there are a few key things to consider.

#1. Soundbar Connections

Some soundbars have proprietary outputs that make connecting a wired subwoofer impossible. It is essential to look for a soundbar that accepts a cable (like the SVS SoundPath RCA Audio Interconnect Cable) or something comparable. Cables like this should work with almost any subwoofer, including all SVS models.

Unfortunately, using a jack and cables is necessary if you want to connect a wired subwoofer to a soundbar. Otherwise, you might need to get a sub that offers wireless connections.

#2. Cabinet Size

One of the biggest factors for choosing a soundbar for your home is the visual impact. If you want it to have a minimal visual impact in a room, you will likely want a compact subwoofer that can be concealed or discreetly integrated into the interior of your space. Most people opt for a sealed cabinet sub because they have smaller cabinet dimensions and footprints than their ported sub counterparts.

#3. Your Listening Preferences

Of course, your personal preferences for audio quality are a key factor in choosing a soundbar. Soundbars by nature can’t match the output of a 5.1 home theater surround sound speaker system or Dolby Atmos. With this, you don’t need a massive subwoofer to significantly improve bass response and impact. But if you want a more immersive experience – especially for listening to intense music, watching action movies, or intense games – then a larger and more powerful subwoofer will be right for you.

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#4. Room Size

Similar to cabinet size, the room size where you intend to place your sub is important. If you have an open concept living room or maybe a massive home theater in your basement, the bass from a small subwoofer will probably lack the ability to energize the entire space with seat-rumbling bass. A bigger space needs a larger subwoofer, or even two small subs, to get even bass response throughout the listening area. Meanwhile if you are placing your sub in a small bedroom or game room only, there is no need for purchasing the largest one in the market. Smaller subs are also more convenient to set up, move around, and customize.

#5. Subwoofer Accessories

Lastly, one way to reduce visual impact and open up speaker placement options in a room is to install a wireless subwoofer kit. This will be useful if the sub is on the opposite side of the room from the soundbar because it removes the need for a subwoofer interconnect cable as we mentioned earlier. Although rare and possibly more expensive, it is possible to run dual subwoofers out of a single sub output on a soundbar by installing an RCA Y-adapter.

It may seem like added work and expenses, but there are many benefits to having a sub at home.

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Why Should You Add a Subwoofer to Your Soundbar

Adding an external sub will undoubtedly give your listening experience an upgrade. Only a sub will provide the rumbling bass that completes battle scenes or EDM songs!

Why Should You Add a Subwoofer to Your Soundbar
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Here are three reasons why you should connect a subwoofer to your sound bar:

Depth of Sound

Imagine watching an action movie at the theater and wishing your sound system at home could reproduce the heart-thumping rumble you felt. Well, once you add a sub, you can recreate that experience. The sub can recreate the low bass signals that your sound bar can’t. 

Subwoofers have their limitations too and they are not quite as powerful as monster speakers or those with Dolby Atmos, they can still recreate the cinematic feeling you get in the movie theater because of the new technologies.

Proper Size

We all know the struggle with adding furniture in a small room. But because low frequency sounds are largely omnidirectional (meaning you can’t exactly tell where they’re coming from), there are always lots of options when it comes to the placement of your subwoofer. To maximize the audio quality experience and take up minimal space, people opt to place their sub on the floor – usually next to the entertainment center, where the sound bar is underneath the TV, wall-mounted or placed on a cabinet. 

Look and Feel

Subwoofers are designed to blend in well with virtually any home environment. Typically, they appear as a simple black box below your line of sight, and they don’t need to be at the heart of your space. You can tuck it away in a corner or beside another piece of furniture, like a bookshelf, where it gets less attention. There are plenty of options to choose from and you are free to pick the sub that will be a perfect fit for your home theater as most subs can be mounted horizontally or vertically. 

If you are ready to get your hands on an external sub for your sound bar, you will first want to make sure that it is compatible with the sound bar you’ve already got at home. You can easily do this by checking the back of your sound bar for a subwoofer output jack. If it has one, it will work perfectly with any powered subwoofer in the market. 

Making the Connection

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to gain the benefit of the additional bass information that a subwoofer provides as long as your sound bar offers a subwoofer output on one end.

The process of connecting a wired subwoofer to a sound bar is simple. All you need is a mono or monaural audio cable with the appropriate connectors on the other end. As long as you have the input and output jacks, your wired subfoower and sound bar should work properly. But if not, then you may want to opt for a wireless subwoofer that is likewise compatible with your sound bar.

As we mentioned, this jack and cable setup is necessary to connect a wired subwoofer. Most wired subs do not come with wireless connectivity like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or voice automated channels (like Google Alexa). The most common sound bars with sub-out jacks are those from Yamaha, SVS, and Denon.

Now follow the three easy steps.

#1. On your sound bar, locate the subwoofer out jack. It is usually located on the rear of the unit.
#2. Locate the input port on your subwoofer. Similar to step 1, it is usually on the rear of the unit.
#3. Plug one end of the mono cable into the soundbar’s subwoofer out jack and the other end into the subwoofer’s input jack.

Easy as that!

Once connected, your sub and sound bar will work seamlessly with each other. The sound bar will reproduce most of the audio frequencies while the sub will handle the lowest bass and rumble frequencies. However, you will need to manually adjust the volume for each. There is no way to control the sound bar and subwoofer volume in the same control.

Conclusion

Since many soundbars do not include the ability to hook up a subwoofer, it is most important to check if your speaker has this functionality. If not, you may want to look into other soundbars that either come with a built-in subwoofer or officially support them through wireless connections so you can truly enjoy high quality audio at home.

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Woofer vs. Subwoofer – Learn the Difference

Woofer vs. Subwoofer - Learn the Difference

If you are interested to build your home theater system or simply want to improve the sound quality in your room, investing in a woofer or subwoofer is a great first step. The quality of a sound system hinges on its ability to replicate all the low and high notes. Some types of music will benefit from a subwoofer more than others, but adding quality bass to a stereo system will surely bring the music to life.

Woofer vs. Subwoofer - Learn the Difference

This article will mostly discuss the two loudspeakers – woofer vs. subwoofer – and how they differ. Figuring out how they vary and what they are best suited for will help you decide between getting a woofer or subwoofer for your needs. Since woofers and subwoofers are speakers, they work by converting electrical signals into sounds, using the concept that variations of an electric signal facilitate the speaker’s movement with it and create sound waves through the air (or water). So whenever there are audible differences and distortions noticeable in the sounds, that’s all because of your woofers.

While they have similar features, there are distinct ways to use a woofer vs. a subwoofer. We’ll help you narrow down on which one you’re better off buying between the two by describing each type, differentiating them, and listing down the factors to consider depending on the sonic experience you are looking for.

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What is a Woofer?

First off, woofers are loudspeakers. What makes a woofer unique is because it specializes in the lower end of the audible spectrum of sound. Funnily enough, the term ‘woof’ from woofer refers to the low sound of a dog’s bark.

In a typical home audio setup, the woofer is part of the main speaker system. These are usually the floor-standing speakers you see in home theatres or living rooms. It helps the tweeter with mid-range frequencies since they typically have a range of about 20 to 2 kHz (kilohertz), which enables it to play low to mid-range frequencies. Since they have a wider range of sounds, woofers are perfect for use in home theatres!

What is a Subwoofer?

A woofer is a specialized speaker, while a subwoofer is a specialized woofer that covers a more narrow frequency range. Subwoofers are used to emphasize the deeper bass notes.

There are many subwoofer variants in the market. You can differentiate among these products by looking at efficiency, cost, size, and even their distortion and power handling capabilities.

Normally the structure of a subwoofer is a plastic or wooden enclosure that has one or more woofers fitted into it. However, the focus on the lower frequency ranges causes the subwoofer to be often designed as a larger speaker than woofers are. This larger size allows the driver to move a lot of air while maintaining the required low frequency. Remember that it matters how you place your subwoofer because it can make room for the emergence of multiple subwoofer variants in that area.

Subwoofers are made up of one or more woofers mounted on a wooden loudspeaker enclosure. This enclosure is built to withstand air pressure and resist deformation as these variables affect the sound quality produced. The common subwoofer designs are bass reflex, horn-loaded, bandpass, and infinite battle.

The frequency range of your subwoofer is determined by how you use it. For a subwoofer at home, the frequency range will usually be between 20 to 200 Hertz (Hz) and around 100 Hz for subwoofers used in enclosed professional settings, like a church or a hall.

Since subwoofers concentrate on a narrower spectrum of frequencies, you should carefully place them to have a fuller sound. This “fuller” sound effect cannot be achieved on a regular woofer. However, this can get tricky because your sound system is now more complex. You may need to invest and add other speakers to cover the higher range of frequencies and make the most out of your subwoofer setup.

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Can a Woofer Be Used as a Subwoofer?

Since a subwoofer is a specialized type of woofer, you might be wondering if a woofer can function as a subwoofer. The simple answer is yes – a woofer can be used as a subwoofer, but the resulting sound is still that of a woofer.

You can use a woofer as a subwoofer by installing the same driver in its box with its amplifier. This way, it functions with an LFE or low-frequency effect.

Drivers classified as subwoofers are often designed for lower frequencies than the range that typical woofers cover. So while a woofer can be used as a subwoofer, you still cannot expect the lower frequencies to be as crisp on your woofer vs. subwoofer.

The Differences Between Woofer Vs. Subwoofer

The Differences Between Woofer Vs. Subwoofer
Photo by Sandy Kawadkar on Unsplash

The key difference between woofer vs. subwoofer is the frequency range. Subwoofers are used to produce a wide range of low sounds and are great for loud bass sounds, unlike woofers. Woofers cover high frequencies as well as the mid and treble range.

With woofers, while their covered range of frequency is pretty adequate for most of your applications, you might want to get a subwoofer if you want the best sound quality.

It all depends on what you want the sound system effect to be. If you plan on a sound system that has more than two speakers, then opt for woofers. But if you want better sound quality from your sound system – now is the time to ask if you should get a subwoofer or a woofer.

Subwoofers from reputable brands will have high accuracy in producing low frequencies. Since the human ear can hear sounds ranging from 20 kHz to as low as 20 Hz, artists and producers feature special low-frequency effects of LFEs in their content to make it more entertaining. This goes for movies, films, music, and every creative thing in between. Directors want their audiences to make the most out of their viewing experience, so they utilize this range and work with more LFEs.

Let’s say that in your home, you are using floor-standing woofers to handle low-frequency waves. Your woofers will generally reproduce sub-bass sounds ranging from 40 Hz to 2500 Hz. Unfortunately, this means that much of the LFEs falling in the narrow range of below 35 Hz will generally be lost. You, unfortunately, will not be able to hear or enjoy them in the way that artists, directors, or producers had hoped or designed.

But if you have a subwoofer, they can reproduce even the extremely low frequencies ranging from 20 to 200 Hz! This way, they can handle the narrow frequency ranges that create earth trembling effects. Imagine your favorite movie and all its bass sounds! You can replicate this experience right at home by getting the right subwoofer set up.

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Types of Subwoofers

Types of Subwoofers

Another important thing to note is there are two types of subwoofers you can choose from.

This will help you determine if you want the specialized features that subwoofers offer or if these are unnecessary and you are already satisfied with a woofer.

Active Subwoofer

Active subwoofers are also known as powered subwoofers. This type is self-contained. It has line-level inputs and outputs, a built-in amplifier, and a volume control panel. It doesn’t require an external amplifier to compensate for the power. Instead, it relies on its built-in amplifier, which does a pretty decent job of providing the required power to amp up the large speaker driver.

However, you will need an independent power source. This means that your active or powered subwoofer should be plugged in a power outlet for it to work.

It has its volume control panel, too. In addition, the powered subwoofer comes with its independent gain and volume controls separate from those in the receiver. These controls will allow you to tune it to meet your required specifications or sound preferences.

Passive Subwoofer

Meanwhile, a passive subwoofer works with an external amplifier (similar to a typical loudspeaker). The subwoofers use more power to decrease low-frequency sounds. Passive subwoofers have a subwoofer driver, enclosure and are powered by an external amplifier. This type relies on the external amplifier to achieve the best sound; otherwise, this is sacrificed. If this is what you have (or want), you will need to first connect the amp to the preamp output of the receiver. This way, the preamp will send clean audio signals to the amplifier for amplification. You will certainly make the most out of having a passive subwoofer.

When dealing with a passive subwoofer, the amplifier or receiver should have enough power to handle the bass that your subwoofer will produce. Otherwise, the energy supply will be drained from your amplifier. They require a lot of power, so setting it up properly and accurately is a necessary step. Failure to add an external amplifier means that your subwoofer won’t have enough power to reproduce the deep floor trembling bass. You basically won’t get to make the most out of your subwoofer and your listening experience.

If you are looking to buy a subwoofer, here are the factors to consider because they will impact your listening experience:

#1. Power

Like previously mentioned, active subwoofers have built-in amplifiers. These are more powerful because it gives you more control over how the power is used.

It would be best if you also looked into the driver. The larger the driver, the deeper the bass. This is ideal if you have a lot of space to work with and prefer loud bass sounds.

On average, individuals lean towards subwoofers that have 10 to 12-inch cones.

#2. Cone Mount

There are two ways to mount a single cone subwoofer – down-firing or front-firing. Since the subwoofer’s cone moves back and forth to produce sound waves, the way these are mounted makes a huge difference in the quality of sound you can expect.

Keep in mind that down-firing cones are mounted on the bottom of the subwoofer cabinet. Front-firing cones will be on the side of the cabinet. Cone mounting is a matter of personal preference, so take note of the space you are working with and the overall look and sounds you want to achieve.

#3. Casing

Casing plays a big role in the quality of sound from your subwoofer. The way its encased makes a huge difference, and even the build of the case affects the way it functions and produces sound.

Acoustic suspension is where the woofers are inside of a box, producing a base response sound. The sound produced by an acoustic suspension enclosure is precise and clear.

Meanwhile, base reflex casings have a port. This makes the foundation of your subwoofer bigger and more extended. Having a port allows some of the power produced by the woofer to come out. The enclosures are better on power but less accurate.

#4. Sealed Box

A sealed box produces a smooth bass line, resulting in an even flow of music. In addition, sealed box woofers tend to have better low-frequency ability compared to other types of boxes. It will also produce a transition from one note to the next, which is quick and clear.

However, a sealed box also has its cons. These types of boxes require more power because they lack efficiency. In addition, they do not produce at the volume levels that other boxes can.

Because of that, you can easily damage your subwoofer as it’s more reliant on power. More power means more heat, but a sealed box – hence the name – does not let the heat escape. You will also notice distortion in the signal because it will be heard in the upper base note resulting from your subwoofer.

#5. Ported Box

A ported box comes with a port. The result with this box is better because the port adds more boom the quality of bass sound from the subwoofer.

The port will mimic a speaker, which gives you a rounder and fuller sound. Plus, this ported box has a better low frequency compared to a sealed box. There is also better circulation and airflow since it is not sealed. This allows frequencies to produce a better boom, and you can play the speaker for longer periods without worrying about overheating or draining the power source.

But ported boxes can be tricky to adjust with certain speakers. The design can distort within the speaker. Unfortunately, heat does not have a chance to spread out evenly when the speaker is played long and hard. Think of it as your typical wear and tear as with any gadget or appliance.

The ported box also does not provide a cushion for the speaker, which can cause issues in both functionality and sound.

Lastly, these types of boxes are larger. Therefore, you will have to consider the space you are working with before purchasing a ported box.

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Conclusion – Which One Should You Buy Between a Woofer Vs. Subwoofer?

Conclusion - Which One Should You Buy Between a Woofer Vs. Subwoofer?

Subwoofers are perfect for home theatre systems and clubs because they give a more realistic and engrossing sound. Just imagine the thumping bass from your favorite club. That sound is thanks to the bass speaker abilities of a subwoofer that woofers cannot offer. If you are more particular about personal settings for your listening experience, you’re better off with a subwoofer because it allows for more control.

Meanwhile, woofers are more appropriate for compact and portable systems such as your car. They are usually smaller, so it is more convenient to set them up and transport them. In addition, woofers consist of just one speaker driver inside an enclosure. Since there is not much technical wiggle room here, opt for a world-class brand to get the high-quality sound.

There is no general rule of thumb if a woofer or subwoofer is better. It depends on your needs, preferences, and budget!

Invest in a quality woofer or subwoofer for an amazing sound experience, but keep in mind that not all speakers are created equally. Always go with a trusted brand with many good reviews that can provide you with the amazing sound experience you deserve.

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