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What Are the Best Tips for Subwoofer Placement?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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The best tips for subwoofer placement can depend on whether it is a car audio or home theater installation, and also on the specifics of the situation. In general, a home theater subwoofer should not be placed in the center of a room, as bass response is usually better when these loudspeakers are placed close to a wall. The best bass response is typically provided from subwoofers that have been placed in corners, though each room can have its own unique sound profile. In car audio installations, proper subwoofer placement can be even more difficult. It is typically a good idea to point a subwoofer speaker towards the back of a car, and placing a subwoofer box in the trunk with the grill facing upwards usually results in more rattling than anything else.

Subwoofers are loudspeakers that are responsible for sounds that fall into the lower range of human hearing. Home theater and car audio installations do not necessarily need these speakers, but without them the audio can seem hollow or tinny. Correct subwoofer placement is important in home theater installations in order to avoid uneven bass and dead spots around a room, and it can be even more important in car audio situations.

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Each home theater room can have its own sound profile, depending on the configuration of the walls, furniture, and other obstructions. There is no one correct subwoofer placement, but there are a few general tips that can help locate a good spot within any room. These speakers should not be placed in the center of a room, but moving the main recliner or couch aside and temporarily replacing it with the subwoofer can help locate the best position. The idea is to get down on the floor near one of the corners of the room and move back and forth, listening to the bass from the subwoofer. Once the position with the best sounding bass has been found, the subwoofer should be placed there to get optimum results.

Correct subwoofer placement in car audio installations can be trickier due to the wide range of different vehicle configurations. One general tip is that the best bass response comes from speakers that are located as far forward in the vehicle as possible, and aimed towards the back. This type of installation is not always possible, but good bass can also be obtained from speakers placed in trunks. If the speaker box has to be in a trunk, it should pushed as far forward as possible, and the speaker grill should be aimed towards the back of the vehicle. Aiming a subwoofer upwards will typically result in acceptable sound if the vehicle is a hatchback, and in some cases aiming these speakers downwards in trucks will also work.

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