Choosing the right place to leave your subwoofer is important. You want to make sure you get the perfect sound out of it, while not dealing with anything that is muffled or vibrating too much around you. This brings many to the question of whether it is best to leave the subwoofer on the carpet or a hard surface in their homes.
Subwoofers are better on carpet than on a hard surface. These subwoofers were made with the idea that the carpet could help take in the vibrations without echoing the device’s echoing sound. Hard surfaces will not catch the vibrations and may distort the sound.
Check out my article “Are Subwoofers Supposed To Be Placed On The Floor?”
In this article, we will look at the difference between having your subwoofer on the carpet versus on a hard surface and see which one is the best choice. We can then explore the benefits of both locations and look at some tips to get the best sound out of your subwoofer in no time.
Having Your Subwoofer on Carpet
Many people worry about putting their subwoofer on the carpet. They assume that the sound quality will be lower because the carpet will muffle the sound. They may even debate purchasing a stand or another hard surface to help bring the device off the ground.
The good news, though, if you do have to put your subwoofer on the carpet, is that the manufacturer of the device basically expects that this is the main location where the device will be used.
Because many people have to leave their system in a carpeted room, these devices are designed so the carpet compliments, rather than takes away from, the sound out of the subwoofer.
For example, most subwoofers will vibrate quite a bit when you turn them on. The louder the sound, the more vibration you will hear.
When you leave it on a hard surface, you will more likely hear these vibrations and shaking, which may ruin the sound out of the device. On the other hand, when the subwoofer is able to vibrate into the carpet, many of these are absorbed, so the sound is better.
Having Your Subwoofer on a Hard Surface
Now that we just talked about the benefits of having your subwoofer on the carpet, we need to look at what happens when we have our subwoofer on a hard surface.
Having hardwood floors or another hard surface on the ground is not necessarily a bad thing. You can always experiment with the sound on these surfaces to see whether you like it or add a rug or another carpet if you don’t.
If you are looking to get some of the deeper tones out of your subwoofer, this hard surface will be a good option. However, since there is nothing to absorb the vibrations, you may not like the sound as much.
For lower sounds, this won’t be as noticeable as other options. However, if you do plan to make deep and loud sounds, it could cause some issues along the way.
For those who only have hardwood floors or another hard surface, there are a few options to help limit the sound. A simple carpet that you can lift up and down work well. Or a simple isolation platform, like the RightChoice XL-Pro (Amazon), can help reduce the vibrations on any flooring you have.
Which One is Better?
Often you will not have much of choice on where to put the subwoofer in terms of flooring type. You are stuck with the flooring that is in whichever room you would like to use the system inside. If you are debating between two rooms: which is the best for your system, choose the one with a carpet.
The carpeting will help you muffle some of the subwoofer’s vibrations, giving a crisp sound. Since this is the way the subwoofer was designed to be used, you will actually notice an improvement in sound instead of any muffling.
If you are stuck with using the subwoofer in a room with just hard surfaces, it will still work fine. There may be more vibrations in this room, especially at the higher volume levels, but it isn’t too noticeable at lower levels. You can always work with some of the carpeting or other options to lower the sound a bit.
Is Another Location Better?
With the confusion about which type of flooring will be the best for your subwoofer and to get all the sound you would like, you may wonder if it is better to completely take the subwoofer off the floor and leave it somewhere else.
The decision on this one is up to you. Many choose to leave the subwoofer on the wall or in another location, but the sound quality will be similar. It’s more important to have the device in the right position in the room, instead of focusing on whether you leave the device on the floor or not.
The best place to have your subwoofers is up in front of the room. This makes it easier to wire them, and the sound seems to come better. However, the subwoofer will provide some high-quality sound no matter where you place it.
If you find that another location works better for your setup and can still wire this device correctly, then it is fine to use it.
The Best Subwoofers for Any Surface
Some of the best subwoofers that you can use, no matter the surface, include:
1. Polk Audio PSW505
Polk has spent years building up a fantastic reputation for entertainment products you are sure to love. And this subwoofer will give all the bass and dynamic performance that sounds loud and clear, no matter what surface you use it on. The volume control is perfect, and distortion, noise, and turbulence. It is also easy to control, even on hard surfaces.
2. BIC Acoustech PL-200
This is often rated as one of the best subwoofers to use in a home theater setting. It has a deep sound that has a balanced bass, one that won’t vibrate as much as some of the other options. It is also budget-friendly, so it will work well in any system you want to use it with.
3. Definitive Technology ProSub
For those who have thick carpet, or who really want to get the most out of their money in terms of sound and fun, then this subwoofer from Definitive Technology is a good option. This one comes with 300 watts of an amplifier to provide some good bass range, giving the most for your experience. It may prove to be too much for hard surfaces, though, so be prepared with something softer to put it on if necessary.
4. Sonos SUB
If you want to cut out the wires while getting some of the best in sound, this is the perfect option. This one comes with Bluetooth speakers that will play much better than you would think for the sound. They can be placed anywhere in the room, and with a one-button setup, you won’t have to spend hours trying to get it set up to see results.
Your subwoofer will work best on the carpet. This is contrary to what many believe, but the carpet is actually really great at hiding the vibrations from the device and giving you a clearer sound to enjoy while you listen. Hard surfaces can work too at lower volumes, but there can be issues with the vibrations and echoing when the device gets too loud.
Check out my recommended subwoofers for home theater.