Where To Place Subwoofer

By José Carter  |  July 17, 2021
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José Carter
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José is a veteran audiophile with an MSc in Engineering, and a passion for sharing his audio knowledge with others.
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Your subwoofer placement is just as important as picking out a quality subwoofer.

This speaker provides a more balanced sound to your music, with the addition of the bass and lower frequencies. Having a top-quality subwoofer means nothing if you have your speaker in a precarious position. A quality speaker in the correct place serves more value to the music. Not only can you hear the sound clearly, but you can feel the bass of the song more. It’s better to have a good subwoofer in the perfect position, than a great subwoofer in a perilous position.

In this article, we look at where to place a subwoofer, how far a subwoofer can be placed from your soundbar or setup, and if you can put a soundbar in a cabinet or an in-wall position. Stay tuned.

A lot of people in the audio game speak about subwoofers producing bass sounds that are nondirectional. This means that your subwoofers are easily located and work equally, in all directions in comparison to working in only one direction. Hiding your speaker promotes the idea of the nondirectional function. 

Having your subwoofers well hidden is a benefit in some cases but putting your subwoofer too far away from your speakers can lead to the user not being able to hear any sound. If the subwoofer is too far away from your listening position, you could be feeling the music but not hearing anything. If you move your subwoofer too far to the left or right, you can offset the balance and bass of the music. Sometimes it is better to keep your subwoofers visible.

Where Should I Put My Subwoofer

Keep your subwoofers facing to the front. Many speaker gurus suggest that you place your subwoofer in a corner facing forward. The position benefits the bass and gives out quality sound. This isn’t always the case, different rooms have different setups and corner-placed subwoofers can get too much bass reinforcement. You end up with a boomy bass which doesn’t allow you to differentiate between the different frequencies. Distinguishing between low and high frequencies becomes even more difficult. That issue can be solved by simply moving the subwoofer or placing it in a different room. You can always buy a new house, test the speakers in one of those rooms and move in, but that idea sounds a little too expensive.

A good method of determining where to place your subwoofer would be to swap places with it. Put yourself in the position of the subwoofer and listen to the sound from there with the subwoofer in your arms or between your legs. Walk around the room to find different angles on listening to the bass. You can use different tricks before jumping into this method. Let’s look into these tricks.

Tips On Positioning Your Subwoofer

Cables

The length of your cords ultimately decides where your subwoofer will be placed.

If your receiver or amplifier is directly connected to your subwoofer, you have to move the two as a package deal: one doesn’t move with the other. In this instance, the wires connecting the receiver and subwoofer as well as the receiver need to be placed together. 

There needs to be ample space for the system. With the wires lying across the floor, they are easily going to get stepped on and the connection will suffer damage over time. 

Wires are also considered a tripping hazard or a chew toy hazard for your pets and toddlers. Make sure to place your subwoofer with the wires out of sight.

Corners and Walls

Place your subwoofer in the corner of your room. This method was discussed above but it is worth mentioning the floor as well.

A subwoofer that is in the corner of a room produces a louder output and a stronger bass, resulting in an equal distribution between the high and low frequencies. You can experience a boom bass but this would be dependent on the type of room the subwoofers are in. 

Placing a subwoofer in the corner of the room could prove problematic if the room is massive. The corner area is out of listening range and you wouldn’t be able to hear the sound. It would be too far for you to hear anything. 

It is recommended to elevate your subwoofers as they tend to create vibrations across the floor. Subwoofers create vibrations because of the low frequency and the floor could cause them to vibrate even more. This can decrease the output quality, as well as cause acoustic problems in the future.

Mounting subwoofers is not always possible, that’s why we mention a third method below.

Tip: Do not make a subwoofer face a wall. The bass waves are bouncing off of a flat surface, coming back at the subwoofer’s cone. With the cone experiencing double the vibrations, your sound quality will be hindered. 

Before we get into the third method, note the image below. This is a subwoofer facing the home seating area, situated next to the display area (normally a television or monitor). There is an equal viewing distance of the speakers in comparison to the seating area, serving as a possible ideal setup.

Move Your Subwoofer

    1. With your subwoofer ready to move, you can plug in an RCA-RCA cord to allow the movement of the subwoofer. 
    2. Put on a song with a lot of bass.
    3. The first position of the subwoofer would have to be a complete guess as we are just starting. Place the subwoofer at a place where you think it would play the best sound. This is to your preference as we are only getting started.
    4. With your subwoofer plugged in, sit in the spot where you would normally sit. On the couch or just a chair in the living room. If you normally have guests, you can repeat this process with another subwoofer to account for where they usually sit.
    5. These steps are going to be room-specific and a little silly. It does encompass a general sense of the area which means that you can use this process for any room.

Where To Place Subwoofer In Living Room

With the above method already in play, let’s see how we can place a subwoofer in its ideal place

Note: You will need masking tape for this step

  1. Get down on the floor in a crawling position with your subwoofer playing music in its primary position
  2. Move around the room to get a sense of where the bass is stronger. At the places you feel are strong, mark down the masking tape. These are potential positions for your subwoofer.
  3. With all these tape markers on the floor, you should decide which place is the best. 
    1. If you prefer to have your subwoofers in the middle of the floor (which is an obstruction hazard) keep them there.
  4. Remove all the tape markers from your floor once you have decided on a position. The most ideal place for your subwoofers depends on your preference. 

Where To Put Subwoofer In Room

Putting a subwoofer in your bedroom can serve multiple benefits. You can put the subwoofer next to your sound system, facing the bed. The music will blast in your face but you would be able to hear everything louder.

You could consider an in-wall installation of your subwoofer, having it placed at the back of your headboard or beside your bed. A lot more modern houses are using this feature as it promotes space and efficiency. You don’t have a lot of wires and devices laying around.

Another option would be to place your subwoofer in a table or desk beside your bed. You can contact a professional for this step that specializes in that.

It serves as a convenient table and sound system. Place the table in the center of your living room, surrounded by couches to hear the bass better with friends over. The speaker system will be beautifully disguised and your bass will be felt around the entire room.

Wireless

If the subwoofer placement is solely reliant on all of the wires and cords it needs to have, consider going wireless. We live in an extremely dominant technology-driven age where every small piece of tech can be paired with Bluetooth. 

The movement of wireless speakers is easier. There is less of a hassle. You can elevate these subwoofers, keep them on the ground, place them on coffee tables, anywhere really. They provide less of a hassle and can be moved on command. The convenience of wireless speakers can also be stolen, so watch out for that.

Conclusion

As the writer, I would not know the exact spot that your subwoofer needs to be you to have the best sound. The best place for a subwoofer could be on your couch, next to your fridge, underneath your television stand, or even in your garage! The perfect location according to longitude and latitude for your subwoofer doesn’t exist. It’s a matter of preference that you, the reader, will have to take the final decision on. All the information, tips, and guides are provided for you to make an informed decision. 

We hope that your subwoofer placement problems vanish as fast lightning.

José Carter
Founder
José is a veteran audiophile with an MSc in Engineering, and a passion for sharing his audio knowledge with others.
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