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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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Polk Audio TSi300 3-Way Tower Speaker with Two 5-1/4″ Drivers – Best for House Parties

Polk Audio TSi300 3-Way Tower Speaker with Two 5-14 Drivers ? Best for House Parties

Polka-Audio-TSi300-Speaker-ReviewI cannot call my house party the best unless I have the most reliable floor-standing speaker. These speakers are also called “tower speakers” because of their height. There is no doubt that these speakers are the heart-pumping anchor in throwing a big house party. Additionally, these products are also narrow enough to fit into tight spaces.

I took my time to search for the best floor-standing speaker for house parties. I came across the Polk Audio TSi300 3-Way Tower Speaker with Two 5-1/4″ Drivers. This floor-standing dude has dozens of positive reviews from its previous buyers. They said that it’s an absolute best for house parties.

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Polk Audio TSi300 Sound Quality

What I love about this product is its 1-inch silk and polymer composite Dynamic Balance dome tweeter and two 5.25-inch diameter bi-laminate organic fiber cone woofers. These features exceeded my expectations when it comes to bass. It does not have any rattling sound, and I can still hear the low notes. Its size is also narrow enough to fit tight spaces while still producing excellent music.

If you have a small room, this product is perfect for you. It only has a dimension of 11.8 x 8.2 x 36.3 inches.

With these value price speakers, we can also enjoy acoustic music and spectacular theater experience at home with our friends.

Moreover, these bad boys also aim to solve our problems in playing music and videos at house parties. It promises to make our music come to life!

Polk Audio TSi300 Price

You can have Polk Audio TSi300 3-Way Tower Speaker with Two 5-1/4″ Drivers for $298 only! This price is perfect if you’re on the hunt for ‘budget’ speakers. Additionally, this product comes in pair (two units). So, you don’t have to purchase another one to have two units.

Polk Audio TSi300 Reviews

For this product’s audio goodness and affordability, there is no denying that many people will consider this product. Its Dynamic Balance drivers are absolutely booming. These products are also easy to set up. I would not hesitate to repurchase this as a gift.

According to the previous buyers, this speaker solved their problems with movie dialogues. It gives the receiver fully-powered audio which really brings music to life.

As for my opinion, I was blown away with their sound quality. It has super clear mids and super-crisp highs at its highest volume. It does not have too much bass that can get me in trouble with my neighbours.

Pros

These products may be cheap, but they definitely can get loud for house parties. This is my new favorite party speaker. I can finally enjoy my favorite music with my friends without resorting to headphones.

What I like about this product is its compelling and punchy sound quality. This is also perfect for my readers who don’t want to smash their piggy banks.

Cons

This product is a little bit heavier compared to other floor-standing speakers in the market. It weighs 26 pounds each which is too massive for my liking. But then, this product is still perfect if the weight is not a requirement for you.

Verdict

The Polk Audio TSi300 3-Way Tower Speaker with Two 5-1/4″ Drivers is suitable for people who love to throw house parties. It comes with a meager price, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to impress your friends with awesome music. Its design is also versatile enough to complement with other colors and furniture. I rate this speaker with a 95% score.

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Yamaha NS-F210BL Review: Slim yet Impressive by Performance

Yamaha-NS-F210BL

Yamaha-NS-F210BL

Floor speakers are still one of the most bought speakers, especially by audiophiles. Even though it’s not as convenient as portable Bluetooth speakers, more buyers prefer this speaker-type because it makes an excellent addition to a home’s interior.

After switching to floor standing ones, the performance and quality was not a disappointment at all. I enjoy listening to music and watching movies because the sound is more detailed as compared to other types. Out of the numerous brands I tried, the Yamaha NS-F210BL was a standout among others because it’s inexpensive and impressive.

Yamaha NS-F210BL Pros & Cons

Pros

Review Pros
  • Easy to Use
  • Slim Style
  • Lightweight
  • Detailed sound quality
  • Cheap

Cons

Review Cons
  • The subwoofer lacks a bit of oomph
  • Has limited mounting options

How the Yamaha NS-F210BL Looks: From Construction to Styling

A lot of buyers nowadays, including me, prefer modern designed-speakers. The minimalist look makes a room more attractive, and it’s one of the best points of the Yamaha NS-F210BL. It measures 9.4 inches by 9.4 inches by 41.4 inches, which makes it space-saving. I admire how the shiny finish complements its white or black color because it keeps the dust invisible. Furthermore, this pair makes it hassle-free whenever I move it from the living room to my room since it only weighs 16.09 pounds.

The Yamaha NS-F210BL comes with a front-ported-subwoofer, a 160-millimeter side-firing-woofer, and a 100-watt on-board amplification. Another thing I appreciate most about its structure is the easy-to-navigate volume knob and power switch. Moving over to the speakers, it has a 22-millimeter balanced dome-tweeter and 80-millimeter cone mid-drivers.

Performance at its Finest: Why the Yamaha NS-F210BL is a Top Pick

The Yamaha NS-F210BL produces exceptional and detailed sound, thanks to its drivers. It provides midrange quality which projects female and male vocals well. Moreover, this speaker-type is versatile enough that it’s suitable for any music genre.

Despite its small structure, the Yamaha NS-F210BL also features a 210 system for a weighty sound that can reach at the end of a room. It’s one reason why I enjoy using it every time my friends and I set a movie night. Furthermore, the five speakers have an excellent tonal collaboration.

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Summing Up the Yamaha NS-F210BL Review: The Final Verdict

Cheap yet impressive is the final verdict for the Yamaha NS-F210BL review.

The Yamaha NS-F210BL will undoubtedly fit an audiophile’s budget, especially if the fund is below $500. Despite its affordability, this speaker doesn’t compromise its sound quality. It’s very remarkable because its surround speakers provide ample weight around the area.

The Yamaha NS-F210BL is also competitive when it comes to convenience. It’s lightweight, and it doesn’t consume too much space in the area, no matter where I put it. Aside from the typical black color, it’s also available in white, which is ideal for minimalists and, it’s easy to use.

With the specs and features of the Yamaha NS-F210BL, I’ll give this speaker a score of 94/100.

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Polk TSi500 Review (Floor Standing Speakers)

Polk Audio tsi500 Floorstanding Speakers

Slim Style yet Prevailing Sound

Floor standing speakers can be an expensive investment, yet this speaker-type can satisfy its buyers’ ears. From performance to durability, these speakers earn their spot as the most purchased type for home use.

Furthermore, a lot of people are switching from portable speakers to this type, and I’m one of them. Despite the convenience of other types of loudspeaker, there’s something about the Polk TSi500 loudspeakers that just caught my eyes and my ears.

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Polk Audio TSi500 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Black)
  • Single versatile high performance floorstanding loudspeaker
  • Equipped with 1 Inch silk/polymer composite Dynamic Balance dome...

Selecting which floor-standing speaker to purchase can be a burden, especially for audiophiles. If the buyer doesn’t know what specs and features to consider before buying, it will undoubtedly be challenging to tell which is which.

On the other hand, if the buyer is picky, same as me, it’s also hard to decide whether to buy it or not. I tried several speaker brands, and the best one among those is the Polk TSi500. If you wish to know more about why I consider this one of the best from the TSI series, read on for my Polk Audio TSI500 review.

Polk Audio TSi500 Review Floor Standing Speaker: Pros and Cons

Pros

Review Pros
  • Can work without a pair
  • Available in two colors
  • Movie-like Sound
  • Bass Reflex Design
  • Reasonable Price

Cons

Review Cons
  • No crossover

Polk TSi500 Specifications

Speaker typeFloorstanding Speaker
ColorBlack
Mounting TypeFloorstanding Speaker
Sensitivity([email protected]) 91 dB
Impedance8 ohms
Frequency Range28 Hz to 25 kHz
Dimensions8.3 x 44.4 x 14.8″
Weight45.0 lb

The Polk TSi500 Sound: An Exceptional Music Experience

Polk Audio tsi500 Floorstanding Speakers

There is no doubt that Polk Audio is one of the best in the business. When you want quality audio equipment with the best prices and design, you can find one

The Polk tsi500 lets me enjoy listening to a different genre of music, thanks to its equipped four cone woofers that measure 6.5 inches each. It produces a powerful sound that can jangle the walls of my neighbors. It’s indeed ideal for house parties.

Aside from playing music, the Polk tsi500 is also perfect for watching movies in the comfort of my house. I love how it produces a surround sound as if I’m part of the scene. This

Another factor that makes the Polk tsi500 when it comes to sound quality is how it provides distortion-free and clear audio. Moreover, it features a compelling bass-reflex design, the frequency response is from 28 Hz to 25 kHz, and it has an impedance of 8 ohms.

The Polk TSi500 Look: Simplicity with Elegance

How the Polk tsi500 caught my attention at first was its modest style. It’s available in black and cherry color, and it uses sturdy wood grain materials. It compliments any item in the room, regardless if I put it on the sides of the television or the bed.

The Polk tsi500 measures 15.75 inches by 11.03 inches by 38.58 inches, which is the ideal size to pair with televisions or cabinets. It’s also easy to arrange anywhere in the house because it only weighs 45 pounds, and it comes in a slim style.

Alternatives to the Polk Audio TSi500

For listeners who are not yet able to buy their own Polk TSI500, here are some pretty good choices that can still give a quality performance for your home audio needs.

1. Yamaha Audio NS-F150 Floor Standing Speakers

Yamaha Audio NS-F150

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This is perfect for those who want something that is less than the price of the audio tsi500. This floor-standing speaker boasts a 2-way bass-reflex with a piano black mirror finish. It has a soft dome tweeter that measures 1″ while the dual cone woofers have a diameter set at 6-1/2″. Take note that for the price stated. you are only getting one speaker.


2. Klipsch Reference R-0610F Floor Standing Speakers

Klipsch Reference R-0610F

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Another product that costs less than the TSI500, but you can be assured of the quality of these products because the manufacturer is none other than Klipsch. The rich sound comes from the exclusive Tractrix Horn Technology. To lessen distortion and have a more accurate sound, they have the Linear Travel Suspension, the tweeter responsible for this feat.

As for the design, the dimensions of the speakers are 40 x 17.5 x 12 inches and it weighs around 90 pounds. It has a black finish, making it perfect for any space.


3. Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floor-Standing Speaker

Sony SSCS3

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Last but not the least for our alternative products is the Sony SS-CS3. Sony has introduces a series that focuses on real audio experience. With the CS3, you can have your soundstage bigger through the use of tweeters made of polyester fiber. The new woofers will also give you better lower end frequencies, perfect for those who are big fans of a deep, stable base sound.

Verdict for the Polk Audio TSi500: Why It Made The List

The Polk audio tsi500 is a standout because of its versatility, which I love most. You can buy these speakers separately without having a compromised sound quality. I bought one initially, and it works fine.

However, I still wanted a pair for a complete music experience, so I bought the second one afterward.

Another thing that makes it a standout is the balanced sound it provides, regardless if I’m using one or both. The woofers and the tweeter offer exceptional music that soothes the ears. These high performance speakers are truly a good investment to have.

As part of my Polk tsi500 review, I’m going to score this speaker 96%.

Sale
Polk Audio TSi500 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Black)
  • Single versatile high performance floorstanding loudspeaker
  • Equipped with 1 Inch silk/polymer composite Dynamic Balance dome...