As you continue to develop your home theater system, you might run into a scenario where you question what to do with replacing one or both of your subwoofers. But there is the issue of compatibility between dual subwoofers in the new set up to consider.
Dual subwoofers need to match each other and the other speakers in your system to prevent chances of sound distortion. You can mix and match dual subwoofers, but it can yield negative results.
Of course, when you prowl for DIY solutions on various internet forums, you may find solutions that can work. However, these are not optimal solutions to produce the best sound quality.
If you plan on investing time and resources into your speaker system, it is best to use quality equipment that matches to improve the sound experience.
Also read: Pros and Cons of 2 or More Subwoofers in Home Theaters
Do Dual Subwoofers Need to Match Each Other?
While it is not recommended to use different speakers in your system, the subwoofer is the one speaker that does not have to match tenor, so it can be adjusted to mesh more easily. However, keep in mind that using two different brands of subwoofers can lead to a negative sound experience.
Thus, using two different brand subwoofers is not recommended. While you can make this work by ensuring that the two brands have the same impedance and other measurements, it is not going to be as easy of a solution- nor promise the same quality of sound- as using two subwoofers from the same brand.
This might come as a disappointment for someone who has one subwoofer that needs to be replaced and not the other.
It is understandable that you would not want to waste the money on new equipment if you could figure out a way to make what you have work. And, this is not to say that it is not possible to make that happen.
Just know that if you rig together two different brand subwoofers, your sound quality could be impaired, and you could damage your equipment.
When you use two different brands (and models) of subwoofers, you are likely looking at different specs. What this means for you and your audio is that you could combine two different subwoofers that would not pair well with each other or with the other speakers in your system.
In this case, not only will the audio sound distorted, but you could damage your entire sound system by using a mismatched pair of subwoofers.
Different specs on your subwoofers can include the size of the driver(s) as well as the amp power supplied. If you are using one subwoofer that has a lower amount of power allowance, and another that has a higher amount, then the mismatch could create a distortion when the sound comes through.
You might not notice this at a low volume, but during an epic scene in your favorite movie, you will likely notice the hodgepodge scenario of your mismatched subwoofers as the bass struggles to come through on one of them.
Why Should You Use the Same Brand of Subwoofers?
While it is not necessarily required to use the same brand of subwoofers (as mentioned above), doing so will create a far more likely chance of receiving the sound experience you were hoping for.
As many people find that they have spent a great amount of time, energy, and resources to set up their in-home sound systems, they find that pairing the same brand can have many advantages.
Using the same brand of subwoofers ensures that the specifications like the drivers, amps, impedance, sensitivity, etc. are all the same. The same brands are also modeled to work with one another and the other speakers within the same sound system.
As the system was designed to work together, it is best to use dual subwoofers of the same brand when possible.
Though, it is understandable that this might not always be possible for a variety of reasons. Often, people associate having to replace just one subwoofer instead of two (or the entire system) with cost issues. If you are unable to afford to replace two, why not just replace one, right? Unfortunately, this could end up costing you more in the long-run.
If you short out and only buy one subwoofer when you really need two, then you might end up having to replace the other one sooner to gain the sound quality you were hoping for.
Subwoofers, and speakers, of the same sound system were created to work well with one another. This means that the sound frequencies are geared to come through designated speakers, thus ensuring a high-quality solution to your surround sound needs.
When you choose to use the same brand of subwoofers, you are making sure that your speakers are paired with ease so that you do not have to deal with mismatched speakers (and potentially having to replace the other one anyway).
All in all, your cost-effectiveness with purchasing two matching subwoofers will be greater as you will ensure that one purchase alone will provide you with the sound quality that you were hoping for.
Why Should You Use Dual Subwoofers?
If for some reason, you are concerned about using two subwoofers of the same brand instead of just mixing and matching, then you might be considering dropping one altogether. Surely this cannot be too bad for your sound system, right? Wrong.
Using dual subwoofers enhances your home theater sound system, particularly in the ability to sit anywhere in the room and receive the same sound experience. As the subwoofer provides the richest bass tones, you will find that only using one subwoofer can cause you to notice where the sound is coming from- an unfortunate scenario.
Instead of experiencing high volumes of bass when sitting next to the subwoofer and low volumes of bass when sitting away from the subwoofer, you can use dual subwoofers to more effectively displace and balance the sound. This helps tremendously with the audio streaming experience.
You will be able to watch a movie in your home theater without being able to tell (or paying attention to) where the sound is coming from.
In turn, you will be able to focus on the movie and the sound quality rather than the faulty equipment that is producing it. For someone who is inexperienced with sound quality, it might not seem like a lot to just have one lower bass on the left side.
But after a while, even the most inexperienced person can recognize the difference in hearing the bass from a pointed direction and it blending seamlessly with the other sounds throughout the room with a surround sound system setup.
How to Match Subwoofers with a Different Brand Sound System?
Though it is not recommended to pair one subwoofer with another mismatched subwoofer, it can be possible to match a pair of dual subwoofers (of the same brand) with another brand’s sound system. This needs to be done cautiously, though, to protect the equipment and provide a quality sound system experience.
To match the subwoofers with a different brand sound system, be sure to check the specifications of each. You will need to look for the amps, impedance, and sensitivity specifications in each. In order to safely match the two components up, their specifications need to match appropriately.
This can be a bit challenging if you are using different brands, but it does not have to be impossible. There are even tools available to help you to match your current subwoofers with the speaker system of your choice. Using this option can help you to safely and effectively find a good match for your system.
In choosing a quality match for your subwoofers and speakers, you will effectively take care of your equipment. Instead of risking damage to your equipment, your preliminary research can help to avoid any mishaps. Additionally, an effective pairing will help to smooth out any sound issues you might have.
As there are a variety of reasons that you might need to match subwoofers with a different brand sound system, it is important that you look at the specs beforehand to ensure a proper match. Then, you can sit back and enjoy the surround sound features of your home theater system.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.