How Important Is Your Subwoofer Enclosure?
Over the years, I’ve seen countless examples of new car audio enthusiasts who when deciding to add a subwoofer to their vehicle’s sound system gave little or no thought to the sub box itself. They focus all their attention on the specific subwoofer they desire and unfortunately most of their budget without thinking about exactly what box they’ll use. While it is true some guys insist on making their own sub enclosures, for the very best possible performance it only makes good sense to buy a professionally designed, factory made sub box. Sub boxes are made of MDF, composite materials, or fiberglass in most cases, but the construction of the box will determine not only the sound quality you get from your sub but the length of time you’ll use that sub. Most professionals will agree that fiberglass boxes produce the very best sound quality. Of course, fiberglass boxes are also the most expensive in most instances and the most difficult to find in many sizes. Subwoofer boxes are available as ported, sealed and bandpass styles. Sealed boxes will normally take up the least amount of space and are known to produce the best sound quality. The sealed sub box produces a nice tight bass and is used for just about any type of music. Sealed sub boxes are generally the most popular. The ported or vented enclosure will take up more space due to the fact it requires more air volume for the exchange of air through the vent or port. This type of box is popular for lovers of “Rap” and produces a louder, boomier type of base then sealed boxes powered at the same level. Those interested in SPL or just playing LOUD bass like this type of enclosure. Finally there is the bandpass box which requires even more space. These boxes are typically the least popular only because of the limited amount of subs which can be used in this type of configuration. Again, the specifics of the subwoofer used must be met to ensure proper performance. Regardless of which type of sub box you select, the exterior size must be taken into consideration first. Obviously you must be sure you’ll fit the box into your car or truck. With vehicles getting smaller all the time, it seems the custom-fit sub boxes by companies like RT, Obcon, Atrend, Audio Enhancers, MTX Thunderforms, and Q-Customs are becoming more and more popular. While the MDF boxes are more reasonable in price, JL Audio and MTX offer special fit boxes made of composite material similar to fiberglass which not only fit in those ‘wasted spaces’ but also produce excellent sound quality. As in most areas of life, you’ll find you definitely ‘get what you pay for.’ Another point when considering limited space is to remember you’ll need to install a separate amplifier to power you sub. Another plus of MTX Thunderforms is that most models are available with a built-in Class-D amplifier. This means a fast and easy install in the least amount of space possible. For many car owners, this is the best deal.
So when you begin shopping for a subwoofer for any vehicle, be sure to allow enough in your budget for a proper sub box. Many times when someone says they are unhappy with the sound of their sub, it’s due to the speaker enclosure which wasn’t properly matched to the sub. Although it is seldom discussed by retailers, more subwoofers are damaged by the use of a cheap or improperly matched enclosure than are ever hurt by “over” or “under” powering. So take your time and get the best possible sub box for better and long performance of any subwoofer. Match a subwoofer enclosure to your best car subwoofer
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Published on Jul 15, 2012
Published on Jul 15, 2012
Another point when considering limited space is to remember you’ll need to install a separate amplifier to power you sub. Another plus of MT...