A subwoofer is generally added to an audio system to enhance the sound and listening experience. It is designed to reproduce low-pitched audio frequencies known as bass and sub-bass, lower than those generated by a woofer. Finding the right subwoofer location is the key to enhancing your listening experience.
A subwoofer can be placed on or under a table, behind the television, and on the floor in a corner, depending on the floor space and listening area. However, it is not advisable to place a subwoofer under a bed as it can hinder the subwoofer’s output.
A subwoofer is often placed in the corner of a room to increase its output, but this is not always the best option. Let’s look at the factors that affect the soundwaves of a subwoofer and figure out the ideal location for a subwoofer in your room!
Also read: Is it OK to Put a Subwoofer on its Side?
How Does a Subwoofer Work?
A subwoofer increases the sound system’s overall quality by increasing the depth and width of your system’s soundstage. However, it is important to remember that your room affects the audio system as well. And by room, I mean your room’s walls, windows, and furniture, all of which affect the sound output. Since bass frequencies are extra sensitive to room factors, your subwoofer placement becomes a critical part of producing great audio.
Bass waves are omnidirectional, which means they tend to bounce all over the room. When they bounce off parallel surfaces (like walls), they will bounce into each other and create “standing waves” or “bass nulls.” This will result in a monotonal effect and ruin the quality of the overall sound. Similarly, hiding your subwoofer away can cause poorly defined bass.
A proper location and subwoofer setup can work wonders in improving the sound system and giving you your money’s worth. Location and placement play vital roles in either making or breaking your subwoofer’s sound waves. Let’s look at the various ideal locations and placements for a subwoofer below.
Ideal Spots to Place a Subwoofer
A subwoofer and your room need to work together to produce the quality of sound you would like to hear. This means that simply placing your subwoofer in a good place won’t suffice if it has too many objects or is too far away from where you are sitting. The trick is to combine the subwoofer and furniture placement to maximize the quality of the sound produced.
Every room is different, so it’s impossible to have instructions and tips written in stone. Instead, you can follow the logic used in these guidelines, and with a little experimenting, you might be able to find the perfect spot in your room! Now let’s dive in.
Recommended Read: Which Way Should A Subwoofer Face In Home Theater?
Focus on the Front
Subwoofers can often be found placed in the front of the room. This isn’t just coincidence, as placing it in front usually results in the best blending of the main speakers while minimizing localization effects. In simpler terms, a subwoofer must not give away its location and make you feel like the bass is coming from all around you. Placing it in front usually gives you good results.
Subwoofers also tend to work better when placed in the front half of your listening space and closer to your front-channel loudspeaker. This helps reduce timing delays and phase cancellation.
Experts generally recommend placing your subwoofer in the corner. This is ideal for some reasons, as corner placement will increase the subwoofer’s output, making it louder. This is because the two walls in the corner, along with floor reflections, increase the bass output.
People often try to combine the corner and front placement and place the subwoofer in the front of the room beside the corner to get the best results.
However, you also need to consider how big your room is because a corner may not be ideal if it is too far away from your listening area!
Against the Wall
If placing it in the corner simply isn’t a working option, you can consider placing it against it. This is because the bass is smoother and better integrated with the speakers next to a wall. It also helps increase the bass output.
Remember that it isn’t a great idea to place your subwoofer too close to the wall as it can result in rumbling or unpleasant sounds.
Behind the Television
Just like under a table, this may not be the best spot, but it is moderately okay. The subwoofer will still be in the front of the room, and within the listening area, so it might still produce good bass waves. However, if you own a CRT television, this will not work. This is because subwoofers usually contain strong magnets, which will cause color distortion in the television.
Can Subwoofers Be Put Under aTable?
Sometimes you need to make certain sacrifices if you have limited space or simply want to preserve the room’s aesthetic appeal. In such cases, placing your subwoofer under a table is not a terrible idea, as it does not drastically change the output in any way.
However, make sure the subwoofer isn’t cramped underneath the table as that may produce vibrations caused by the table. If the space underneath the table is comparatively spacious, there shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Worst Spots to Place a Subwoofer
Just like there are ideal spots to place your subwoofer to get great sound, there are also certain places you should avoid as they can completely ruin the sound produced by your subwoofer. Here’s a list of spots you may want to avoid below:
- The middle of the room – This is where you’ll find the biggest standing waves or nulls in the room.
- Inside a cabinet or cupboard – This defeats the purpose of having a sub, as all the frequencies will just be crammed inside a box here.
Can Subwoofers Be Put Under a Bed?
Just like how it is with a cabinet, a bed will prevent the frequencies from traveling across the room. So, placing a subwoofer under a bed is not a good idea.
Finding the Sweet Spot
The best way to find the correct location for your subwoofer is by experimenting with different locations. To do this, turn on some bass-centric music and play it at a normal volume. Then settle down in the spot where you usually sit while watching tv or listening to music.
Once you’ve done this, move the subwoofer with the help of another person until the bass produced by the subwoofer sounds ideal.
This method helps you evaluate the bass sound in different locations until you find what works best. Like I mentioned earlier, every room is different, and it is almost impossible to have one perfect spot for a subwoofer. Once you’ve found the best spot, you can permanently place your sub over there!
A subwoofer can be placed in many ideal locations, and under a table or behind a television can be one of them. But placing the subwoofer under a bed or inside a cabinet is definitely not going to give you great results.
If you choose to place it under a table, you need to make sure that it is not going to interfere with the bass waves. Additionally, if you’re going to place the subwoofer on top of a table, make sure the table is heavy enough to resist vibrations.
Additionally, if you’re dealing with a large room and simply can’t find the ideal spot that gives the best sound, you can always invest in a second subwoofer to even out the sound.