A woofer and a subwoofer might look like the same thing, but they do different things and work in different ways. A woofer pushes air and generates sound, while a subwoofer is used to bring a lower frequency into a higher frequency. To learn more about the differences between the two devices, keep reading Hooke Audio‘s post: Woofer vs Subwoofer.
- 1 Woofer vs Subwoofer – Overview
- 2 Woofer vs Subwoofer – Comparison
- 3 Subwoofer Types
- 4 Woofer vs Subwoofer, Which Is Better?
Woofer vs Subwoofer – Overview
What Is A Woofer?
A woofer can also be described as a loudspeaker, which focuses on the bass end of the audible spectrum. It is designed to reproduce low-frequency sound. A woofer reproduces sound ranging from 40 Hz to 2500 Hz. The ‘Woof’ from woofer refers to the low sound of the bark of a dog.
It is a specialized speaker also known as a bass speaker.
A woofer’s function is to convert electric signals into sounds. It works by using the idea that variations in an electric signal facilitate the device’s movement and create sound waves through water, air, or both.
What Is A Subwoofer?
Subwoofers are actually loudspeakers or woofers that reproduce low-pitched audio frequencies.
There are many subwoofer options on the market. These products can be distinguished by their efficiency, cost, size, distortion, and power handling abilities.
A subwoofer’s structure is usually a plastic or wooden enclosure with one or more woofers. The subwoofer is often larger than the woofers because it is designed to focus on lower frequencies. The driver can move more air, while still maintaining the low-frequency sound. It is important to place your subwoofer in a way that allows for multiple subwoofer variants.
Subwoofers consist of one or more subwoofers that are mounted on wooden enclosures. The enclosure is designed to withstand pressure and deformation. There are four main subwoofer types: infinite battle, horn-loaded, and bass reflex.
Unlike woofers, Subwoofers are more focused on a narrower frequency range, so you need to place them carefully in order to achieve a fuller sound. A regular woofer cannot achieve this “fuller sound effect”. This can be tricky as your sound system has become more complicated. To cover the higher frequencies, you may have to add speakers or upgrade your subwoofer system.
Woofer vs Subwoofer – Comparison
1. Frequency Range
Woofers produce sound frequencies that range from 50 Hz to 1000 Hz. Some woofers can even produce frequencies in the 40 Hz-2,500 Hz range.
Subwoofers are limited in their ability to produce low frequencies from 20Hz to 120Hz. Some subwoofers may be capable of producing frequencies as high as 200Hz, but only a few can. Subwoofers generally produce frequencies no lower than 20Hz. These frequencies can only be produced by rotary and propeller subwoofers.
Subwoofers can handle the lowest frequencies in the human hearing range. Also, remember that humans can only hear 20 Hz at normal Sound Pressure Levels (SPL). Subwoofers can handle the lowest two or three octaves (20 to 80 or 120Hz). Only rotary subwoofers are able to produce low-frequency sound below 20Hz.
Subs can be used for those who require a lower frequency range. While woofers will suit people who have a wider frequency range, subs are more suitable for those who have a narrower range. These woofers are used primarily in portable systems, such as car sound systems.
Most users find that the frequency range that woofers cover is sufficient for their needs.
If you’re a passionate music lover and want more bass sounds, a subwoofer is the best option.
The subwoofer’s frequency range is unique and makes it ideal for PA systems and home theater systems.
Subwoofers can also be larger than woofers. Designers should pay attention to the subwoofer’s lower frequency range when creating them.
Subwoofers require more space to achieve these lower frequencies of 20 Hz to 60 Hz.
Sub-designers make sure that the enclosure is large enough to allow the driver to move more air, while still maintaining a low-frequency range.
Although you can find huge woofers, their quality is not as important as the size. Subs can still reach the lowest frequencies, but they are not as effective.
3. Number Of Drivers
While most woofers have multiple drivers, a subwoofer may only have one.
A 2-way woofer setup includes a tweeter, midrange driver, and woofer. A 3-way setup, on the other hand, includes a tweeter and mid-range driver as well as a woofer. A few other people can also have a super-tweeter.
Multiple drivers allow for more dynamic frequencies in your home-theater system. You can create low, middle, and high frequencies using them.
A subwoofer, as we said, is unique because it usually only has one driver. However, multiple subwoofers can be found in one enclosure. Each sub can still be a driver system.
We can therefore say that an enclosure can hold several subwoofers. However, a speaker ‘basket’ often houses multiple drivers that form a single woofer system. The sub provides a consistent range when subwoofers or woofers are combined in a home theatre system.
Many people believe that adding more subs is better. Additional subs can help reduce the room resonance and improve the overall experience.
It is important to remember that this means more bass distribution throughout the room than adding more bass. Despite this, there are many ways to get more bass from your subwoofer.
4. Active And Passive Bass Drivers
Subs and woofers are powered by different methods because they serve different purposes. Passive bass drivers are Woofers. You will need an external amplifier or audio/video (A/V), receiver to power them.
You can power your woofers as long as you have a reliable amplifier-output link.
Subs can be used to power ordinary speakers, but not woofers. This means that you can use the same method to power woofers for these subs.
Active Subwoofers are different because they have inbuilt amps. To connect the head unit, you don’t need an amp that has a dedicated subwoofer output. You will also need to connect your sub to the power source. You can ensure that the amp inside the subwoofer is able to deliver the required power.
5. Crossover and Clean Bass
Inbuilt crossover circuitry is available for active subwoofers. This feature is not available on all woofers.
To get cleaner bass, adjust the sub’s phase or the crossover setting. You can also adjust the gain.
Turn the gain knob until the gain is sufficient to control the gain. Satellite speakers Without causing distortion.
The crossover should be adjusted downwards until the high and mid-range frequencies are gone. The crossover’s low-pass filter removes frequencies that you don’t want your subwoofer reproducing. Active subs are capable of producing cleaner bass.
This is true even if the woofer system includes low, middle, and high drivers.
- You can adjust the crossover and sub gain to achieve the best sound quality.
- You can get a larger subwoofer box
- Increase the heat sink
For better vibrational effects, position the subwoofer in the right place.
- Tuning the sub correctly
- Adjusting the bass boost
- Eliminating distortion
- Use an amplifier that is efficient
6. Consumption of Power
Because of their frequency ranges, subwoofers and woofers use different amounts of electric energy.
Subs are made to reach the lowest frequencies. This causes amplifiers to require more power.
Subs require a lot of power because they move lots of air. Low-frequency sounds can be extremely large soundwaves and require a large driver to produce them. These drivers can range in size from 8-12 inches. Subwoofers consume more energy.
Woofers don’t need to reach the lowest frequencies. They aren’t designed to move large amounts of air. However, high-frequency sound waves are small enough that small drivers can produce them. Therefore, woofers require less power.
If you have an unstable power supply, the difference in power requirements may make it difficult to use a subwoofer.
You can add a capacitor in your sound system to store electric charge and provide instant power to the sub. This feature is already present in most subs.
Important to remember is that there are two types of subwoofers available.
This will allow you to decide if subwoofers are worth the extra features or if they are necessary if you are happy with your woofer.
Often referred to as powered subwoofers, the active subwoofer can also be called powered subwoofers. This type is self-contained. It features line-level inputs/outputs, an amplifier, and volume control panels. To compensate for its power, it doesn’t need an external amplifier. It relies instead on the built-in amplifier to provide the power required to amplify just the subwoofer driver.
You will however need an independent power source. For your subwoofer to function, it must be connected to a power outlet.
You will also find its volume control panel. The powered subwoofer also has its own gain and volume controls, which are separate from the receiver. You can tune the subwoofer to your sound preferences or specifications using these controls.
A passive subwoofer is used in conjunction with an external amplifier. This is similar to a normal loudspeaker. Subwoofers have a higher power consumption to reduce low-frequency noise. Passive subwoofers are equipped with a subwoofer driver and enclosure, as well as an external amp.
To achieve the best sound, this type depends on an external amplifier. This is the case if you have it or want it. To do this, connect the amp to the output of the receiver’s preamp. The preamp will then send clear audio signals to the amplifier for amplifying. A passive subwoofer will make your life easier.
An amplifier or receiver must have sufficient power to handle passive subwoofers. Your amplifier will lose its energy supply if it does not. These require large amounts of power so it is important to set them up correctly and accurately. If you don’t add an external amplifier, your subwoofer will not have enough power to reproduce deep floor trembling basses. Your subwoofer will not be able to reproduce the deep floor trembling bass you desire, which will affect your listening experience.
These are some factors to consider when buying a subwoofer. They will affect your listening experience.
Active subwoofers come with built-in amplifiers, as mentioned previously. These subwoofers are more powerful as you have more control over the power being used.
You should also look at the driver. The deeper the bass, the larger the driver. If you have lots of space and like loud bass sounds, this is the ideal option.
Subwoofers with 10- to 12-inch cones are preferred by most people.
2. Cone Mount
Mounting a single cone subwoofer can be done in one of two ways: down-firing, or front-firing. The way the subwoofer is mounted can make a big difference in how good the sound quality you get.
Remember that the down-firing cones will be mounted on the cabinet’s bottom. The cabinet will have the front-firing cones. Cone mounting is a personal preference. Take into consideration the space available and the look and sound you desire.
Your subwoofer’s sound quality will depend on how well it is encased. How it is encased can make a big difference in how it produces sound and functions.
Acoustic suspension refers to the location of the woofers inside a box. This produces a base response sound. An acoustic suspension enclosure produces a precise sound that is clear and crisp.
Base reflex casings also have a port. This allows your subwoofer’s foundation to be larger and more extensive. A port lets some of the power from the woofer out. These enclosures have a higher power consumption but are less precise.
4. Sealed Box
A sealed box produces a smooth, even bass line that results in smooth music. Sealed box woofers have a better low-frequency capability than other types. You will notice a smooth transition from one note or another, which is very noticeable.
A sealed box has its pros and cons. These boxes use more power due to their low efficiency. They also produce less volume than other boxes.
You can easily cause damage to your subwoofer because it is more dependent on power. A subwoofer that uses more power will produce more heat. However, a sealed box, hence its name, does not allow heat to escape. The distortion you hear in the signal will also be evident in the subwoofer’s upper base note.
5. Ported Box
Ports come with a ported box. This box produces a better result because the port increases the bass sound quality from the subwoofer.
This port mimics a speaker and will give you a richer, fuller sound. Ported boxes have a higher low frequency than sealed ones. It is open to airflow and circulation, which is why it isn’t sealed. You can enjoy the speaker for longer periods of time without worrying about overheating the power source or draining it.
Ported boxes may not be compatible with some speakers. You may notice distortions in the speaker’s design. The speaker’s heat doesn’t have the chance to spread evenly when it is used long and hard. It is just normal wear and tear that happens to any gadget or appliance.
Also, the ported box does not provide a cushion to protect the speaker from damage. This can lead to issues with both sound and functionality.
These boxes are also larger. Before purchasing a port box, consider how much space you have.
Woofer vs Subwoofer, Which Is Better?
Both speaker systems can reproduce low-frequency sound notes. The main difference between the two is that subwoofers reproduce frequencies lower than 30Hz while woofers reproduce sounds in the frequency range 20 to 5000hZ.