Soundbars with subwoofers? We’re used to both subwoofers and soundbars working independently in our home entertainment systems but rarely buy them both at the same time. If you’re wondering how a subwoofer and soundbar would sound when brought together, here’s your answer.
Soundbars are better with a subwoofer. Technically, soundbars on their own are capable of reproducing crystal clear, crispy sounds better than your TV speakers. But adding a subwoofer to the mix brings out an even better quality bass that a soundbar wouldn’t be able to reproduce on its own.
A lot of mystery and expert opinions surround soundbars and subwoofers working together. In this post, we debunk some of these mysteries and answer various questions on whether soundbars and subs can actually add something to your entertainment or not.
Also read, Can You Connect 2 Subwoofers to a Soundbar?
As mentioned earlier, soundbars are capable of performing well on their own. An average soundbar has a set of internal speakers ranging from two to five or more. With this many speakers, you’d expect a soundbar to work independently from a subwoofer, but there’s more to that.
A soundbar doesn’t need a subwoofer to play decent quality sound. The internal speakers are capable of playing a wide spectrum of frequencies in great detail. However, if you want to capture the bass and add life to your entertainment, you need a soundbar with a subwoofer.
Something special goes on in the background. You may have noticed that the speakers on your TV are of low quality, and the results are rather disappointing. A soundbar amplifies the audio track from your system, giving off a better sound signature than your TV speakers ever could.
Ever since their invention in the late 90s, soundbars have made it to the front shelves on entertainment stores for a good reason. With a soundbar, you may not need an extra speaker system after all. So, how good are soundbars with bass?
Soundbars are good with bass, although it depends on the type you have. Some have additional base modules for the extra bass, while others have built-in subwoofers or external speakers for the bass frequencies. But, you can’t match a soundbar to a dedicated home theater system for bass.
Home theater systems, surround sound, subwoofers, and bass speakers will always be better than a soundbar when it comes to bass.
If you’re thinking about adding a soundbar to the mix with no subwoofer, get one with a soundbar. Here are our two favorite picks available on Amazon.com:
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a soundbar. The Vizio V21-H8 is a pocket-friendly soundbar with a portable 5 inch (12.7 cm) wireless subwoofer you can place wherever you want your room.
At a 96dB sound pressure level and 50Hz – 20kHz frequency range, this soundbar should produce decent-quality, accurate sound.
- Excellent bass
- Flexible subwoofer
- Fair price
- Easy to set up
- Can get too noisy
- Poor treble
The JBL Bar 9.1 is a top-quality soundbar with a subwoofer for those who really love their entertainment and don’t mind spending the big bucks. The JBL bar is a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar producing an impressive 820W output. The 10 inch (25.4 cm) 300W subwoofer is wireless, meaning you can place it wherever you want.
- Superb bass
- Classy finish
- Great for multipurpose use
- Dolby Atmos enables an excellent cinematic experience
- High price tag
- Lacks meaningful EQ control
Integrating a subwoofer with a soundbar works magic. In this setup, the soundbar would act as the “receiver” for your subwoofer. All you need to do is pin down the right wire connections or use Bluetooth to connect your subwoofer and you’re good to go.
The purpose of a subwoofer with a soundbar is to create a fully immersive experience by covering as many frequencies of the audio spectrum as possible. A subwoofer plays the lows on its massive driver, while the soundbar covers the higher frequencies. This creates a balanced sound.
Subwoofers and soundbars have differences in both character and functionality. First of all, subs are capable of handling all the frequencies (high, medium, and low).
Soundbars, on the other hand, are good with mids and highs. These differences complement each other, implying that a soundbar with a subwoofer is more likely to perform better than a soundbar without a subwoofer.
Good-quality soundbars are easy to come by. But, they’re not cheap. If you had a subwoofer on board, you’d probably eliminate the need for a separate soundbar. Of course, this would mean a lower price to pay for a more-than-average entertainment system. So, why do people insist on having a soundbar and a subwoofer on the same setup?
Soundbars don’t need a subwoofer, but it’s better to have a subwoofer with a soundbar. While the subwoofer adds some punch to your bass, the soundbar handles the highly-pitched frequencies and does all the mixing. Adding a sub to your soundbar is no problem with good equipment.
It’s easy to tell the amicable difference brought by the subwoofer with a soundbar. The power to amplify very low frequencies, clearer sound, and the full surround sound effect are all properties of a high-quality subwoofer. When perfectly matched with an equally good soundbar, they produce a smooth, enhanced, sound with no distortion.
Once you’ve decided to have a soundbar with a subwoofer, it’s time to find the perfect spot for each of them. Soundbars are slim. They eat up little space compared to your subwoofer.
Place your subwoofer in the front right or left corner of the room. Place your soundbar a few inches below your TV to eliminate interference. You can also place the subwoofer behind your seat while watching. Since bass is omnidirectional, keeping the sub out of view won’t affect its performance.
The TV should stay at the center of your viewing space. It should also be a couple of inches away from the front wall to avoid distorting the audio signal. Keeping the TV at the center of focus not only makes it a good view but also provides multiple options for your sub and soundbar.
Placement is just as important as the speakers themselves. No matter how good your soundbar and woofer sound together, placing them where they’re not supposed to be may only lead to bad quality sound.
Soundbars work fine in smaller spaces. Subwoofers can fill in larger rooms. Try putting your soundbar and subwoofers in different places to find out what works best.
Other things to consider when finding the ideal spot for your soundbar and sub include the connectivity features, room acoustics, and the quality of the speakers. Wireless subwoofers allow for a wider placement as compared to wired subwoofers. Wireless can go as far as 30 feet (9.14 m), while wired depends on the length of the wire.
Note: Once again, we urge you not to put your sub in a closed cabinet. They block the sound and may overheat, which in turn, leads to costly damages on expensive parts of the speaker.
Subwoofers and soundbars make a great couple. However, if you’re on a budget, always remember that you don’t have to buy both to make your system sound as good as it looks. If you love your entertainment, feel free to buy a soundbar with a subwoofer and give it a try.