Is it Bad To Put a Receiver on Top of a Subwoofer?

It may seem tempting but scary at the same time. I have tried it, but I didn’t know if what I was doing was safe. So, is it actually okay to put a receiver on top of a subwoofer?

It is always advised not to put a receiver on top of a subwoofer. Because of the extreme vibrations the subwoofer produces, it may cause vibration fatigue, damaging any objects on top of the subwoofer, especially one like a receiver.

Also read: Is It Bad to Leave AV Receivers and Amps on All the Time?

Put a Receiver on Top of a Subwoofer

All things have their perfect storage places, and that also applies to your subwoofer and your receiver. Below, we’ll discuss what a subwoofer and a receiver are and why it is a bad idea to stack these two together.

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Reasons Why It Is Bad To Put A Receiver On Top Of A Subwoofer

Yes, I get the appeal you get using the subwoofer as a table-like contraption. Subwoofers are generally larger than other speakers like the tweeters, for example, which are relatively dwarfed compared to the subwoofers.

Most subwoofers are giants because they need to be one to produce bass. Higher frequencies have short wavelengths, while lower frequencies, which is the bass, have longer wavelengths.

Since subwoofers specialize in the bass, which has lower frequencies and has longer wavelengths, they need to work a lot harder to produce an audible bass sound, thus the size.

This size, mainly when used on a home theater setup, seems perfect for being the perfect table. Since it’s just there, occupies a lot of horizontal and vertical space, and has a flat top, we should use it as a table. Wrong.

Below is a list of reasons why your subwoofer is NOT a table and why your receiver should not go there.

  1. Putting expensive electrical components, especially a receiver (or an amplifier), can damage the internals of the electrical component.

Yes, as shocking as it may seem (is it really?), putting your electrical components, especially your receiver, can damage the internals. Speakers, not only subwoofers, generate a lot of movement.

Since speakers need to move a lot to create vibrations that emulate the sound, anything above the speaker components may be left damaged.

Vibration fatigue, a type of mechanical fatigue, is damage to a component caused by vibrations from an external source, which in this case, is the subwoofer.

Putting your receiver or amplifier above your subwoofer will strain it physically, having loose bolts and loose adhesives, which will cause permanent damage over time.

Unless the subwoofer is not in use, putting electrical components above your subwoofer is a bad idea.

Still not convinced and want to know more about if it’s bad to put a receiver on top of a subwoofer?

  1. The subwoofer is not a good table because it may cause things to fall off (it shakes).

Earlier, we discussed how the subwoofer moves a lot to produce sound. Not only does this vibration cause a lot of vibration fatigue, but it can also cause your things (including plants on top of the subwoofer and, yes, a receiver) to fall off.

To aid this, some people put anti-slip mats on top of their subwoofers, especially if they put potted plants on top of the subwoofer. However, even anti-slip mats are not enough.

  1. The subwoofer is not a good coaster.

Yes, some people put beverages on top of a subwoofer *face slaps brain*. Since subwoofers move a lot, any liquid component is FORBIDDEN to be placed on top of the subwoofer.

Not only may this cause a spillage, but it may also damage the subwoofer itself and may cause a short circuit.

Another reason why liquids are terrible news for subwoofers, any spilled liquid may cause discoloration. Additionally, on instances where your subwoofer is encased by wood, it may cause the wood casing to rot.

Can I Move My Subwoofer To Another Place To Save Space?

There are no hard and fast rules to put your subwoofer on ground level. You can store your subwoofer in a place where it is still audible and does not cost you a lot of floor space, and that is by mounting it on your walls.

By mounting your subwoofer on walls, the never-ending temptation to put things on top of it will finally be gone, and you have finally saved yourself a lot of floor space in the process.

To have an optimal bass listening experience from your subwoofer, you can put it in the front of your room.

One thing you may need to learn about bass is that it is non-directional, unlike treble. It means that you cannot hear where the bass is coming from, so hiding your subwoofers is fine as long as you don’t overdo it. 

Some proponents of decluttering also advise putting the speaker in corners as they function pretty well there.

However, do note that you should not put your subwoofers too far away as this may cause a sound imbalance in which you’ll hear your treble more prominently instead of more flat sound output.

Additionally, by decluttering, you can now finally put an actual table to put your receiver in!

Three Booming Frequently Asked Questions About Subwoofers And Their Placements.

Can you put speakers over each other?

It may be tempting to save space this way; putting two speakers over each other, especially when it comes to subwoofers and tweeters, is not advisable at all.

Are receivers and amplifiers the same?

An amplifier is part of a receiver. While an amplifier may take an audio signal and transform it to be used by speakers as audio, a receiver has an amplifier built-in and a tuner, radio, preamp, radio, input selection, volume controls, and a lot more.

Subwoofers versus woofers, what is the difference?

Woofers produce low-frequency sounds, but subwoofers are in charge of even lower ones.

Sources

  1. https://edevicetechnologies.com/can-you-put-things-on-top-of-a-subwoofer/
  2. https://support.interdyn.com.au/support/solutions/articles/4000134963–subwoofer-matching-and-why-bigger-isn-t-always-best
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibration_fatigue
  4. https://www.dummies.com/consumer-electronics/home-theater/how-to-position-the-subwoofer-for-optimal-bass/