Subwoofer Placement Questions Answered

Linda asks…

Subwoofer Placement?

Is It Better To Place the Face Of The Subwoofer[s] towards the back of the car or towards the front/backseat ?
Which Placement lets you feel most of the bass ?

Ryan answers:


Lisa asks…

subwoofer placement?

ive got a moveable subwoofer (not embeded in a wall or anything) in a office set-up with an office chair / desk and computer. theres room for it under the desk but any ideas for a place to put it for the most BASS?

Ryan answers:

It is well established that direction of bass is not detected by the ear. If directionality were the only issue, it wouldn't matter where you placed a subwoofer. That leads some to believe that subwoofer placement is not important; in fact, subwoofer placement in a room is very critical, even more important than the other speakers. This is because the sound wavelengths emitted by the sub are closer to the room dimensions, and "nodes" of reinforcement and cancellation will occur, and it is almost impossible to find a single subwoofer placement that will give uniform response for several seating postions. You can adjust the placement for one "sweet spot", but other places will suffer.

There is no simple answer, the general rule is to avoid symmetric locations (center points of walls). Corner placement will give the loudest sound, but may be the most non-uniform. The only way to find out is trial and error.

Susan asks…

Subwoofer placement?

I'm setting up a surround sound system with my TV and such. Inside the TV stand are an xbox 360 and a wii. Is it a bad idea to put the subwoofer inside the TV stand as well? Will it rattle and/or disrupt the disc playing capabilities of the two systems? Would placing it next to the stand be a better option?

Ryan answers:

None of the above. You don't want your sub anywhere near your hardware due to vibration. The sub belongs directly on the floor and most likely along one of the side walls of the room, or possibly along the back wall but not in a corner. The simplest way to determine placement is to put the sub in your favorite listening position and crawl around on the floor and see where it sounds the best. You are looking for the smoothest sound and flatest frequency response, not the loudest bass. That will most likely be 1l5th to 1/3rd along one of the walls of the room.

Joseph asks…

where is the best placement for subwoofer?

i have a dolby 5.1 theater system , where is the best placement of the subwoofer. can the sub be placed behind listening area ?

Ryan answers:

Hi.Actually the correct placement is right in the middle of the room,although most people would find it too obtrusive.The low frequency notes of a sub are omni -directional meaning the sound waves spread out in all directions because they are much larger than the speaker enclosure itself which means they all arrive at the room boundaries together or if your room is rectangular their arrival will almost be the same maybe a couple of mini seconds later

.If you put a sub against a wall the sound will be reinforced from behind with the front sound emphasizing the bass because the sound waves can't develop from behind upsetting the balance. The worst place to put one is in a corner because the reinforced sound overwhelms the natural balance of sub and normal speaker particularly if your sub is allowed to reproduce upper bass frequencies to say 80 HZ..I know others will say i'm wrong and that is their privilege My answer is based on 40 plus years of listening to speakers.If you had a full range speaker that went down to 30 HZ (and some of the best ones do)You would not put it in a corner the bass would be overemphasized and the overall sound would be oppressive.

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