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Analyzing the Components of a Good Subwoofer System

written by: Nanya•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/24/2010

In a highly mechanized world, entertainment is the highly sought after word and what makes a good woofer depends on preferences of every individual. Here's an insight to important components that make up a good subwoofer system.

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    In many cases, movies turn out to be one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and watching movies without a good subwoofer is as bad as not being able to watch it completely. Consequently, movie viewing experience in the theatres attracts people, not just for the large screens, but also for the unmatched sound quality that they render, especially the bass and the low notes.

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    Analyzing the Components of a Good Woofer System

    Many different components all together make up a good subwoofer. The main sound track is rendered by one speaker, when the dialogue is the main area of concern for the other. The sound effects are contributed by another component and altogether the subwoofer mainly concentrates at rendering prominent bass.

    Types of Subwoofers

    Any home theatre subwoofer would fall within these two broad criteria:

    1. Passive Subwoofer: A passive subwoofer is the one that has an amplifier or an external receiver.

    2. Self-Powered Subwoofer: The other one is the self contained powered subwoofer, and just as the name itself suggests, the power is being produced from inside itself.

    Comparing Passive & Self-Powered Subwoofers

    The passive subwoofer does not produce enough power to render the deeper bass. This is where the second type wins over the first as it has already been built with the required power.

    Therefore, the selection of a passive or a self-powered subwoofer will depend upon your intended purpose of usage, and several other factors such as room size.

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    Features to Look For in a Good Subwoofer

    There are many different features that need to be considered before deciding upon the kind of subwoofer to be bought for your home. A few of them include:

    1. The ability to produce sound from various geographies. For instance, from downwards or the sides or from the front of the subwoofer, which in many cases may be wall mounted.
      1. One more feature that can be considered would be an extra port that would help to push out more air than a covered or a sealed case. This would guarantee increase in the bass response.
      2. Another important thing to be noted while making a decision is to be clear that crossover with a frequency cut-off of around 100 Hz is available so that all the frequencies that fall below the operating frequency ranges are also caught in.

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          Testing Your Subwoofer

          Before the final purchase is made, always test the subwoofer in a DVD or CD that you have heard plenty of times and also that which has a lot of bass portions. Always go with recognized dealers who have an acceptable return policy. Though the user manual would give ideas of where to place the speakers, it is always advisable to do some experimentation on your own, with regard to placement, and to play around with them, so as to get the best possible music experience.

          Interactions within a small room always interfere in the quality of the sound that a subwoofer produces; so it is always advisable to have a demo inside your room provided you are not the one to purchase the subwoofer first in the city or you are fortunate to have friends who are ready to lend their system if you are impressed with their performance.

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          Don’t Fall for the Brand Name!

          When purchasing consumer electronics, especially something like a subwoofer, it would be in your interest to make an independent decision, based strictly on your needs and budget.

          Having seen what makes a subwoofer, it is up to you to pick the best one to suit your needs.

          Don’t ever decide on the subwoofer based on the branding; always consider the options and features it provides.

          You may want to take a look at the top 5 subwoofer units here and subwoofer troubleshooting steps here for more information.