Subwoofer placement – How to get the best sounding bass

If you are looking for a comprehensive article that can explain subwoofer placement, its importance and help you find the best spot to keep your subwoofer, you are on the right page. 

In this article, we will discuss in detail how you can find the right place in your living room or cinema room to place your subwoofer and increase its performance. But before we get down to the real business let us first see why it is important to place the subwoofer at the right spot.

Placing the subwoofer at the right spot – Why is it important?

Subwoofers are undoubtedly the most important loudspeakers in any two-channel or home theater system. We could say this because of five reasons:

1: Subwoofers can reproduce the sounds and feelings that normal speakers could not.

2: You can play it as loud as you want without distortion.

3: The subwoofers can accurately give you the low-frequency spectrum.

4: It easily gets blended with full-range speakers. 

5: The fifth and final reason why everyone considers subwoofer to be the most important speaker in any setup is that if the subwoofer is right then everything seems and tends to blend better.

However, if it is wrong, suddenly all the performance appears seems to be off. 

In other words, when a subwoofer is dialed in, the audience can feel that the speaker is solid and is working but when it is off they will quickly realize that something is off. 

And when that happens the mid-range, metal high frequency and vocal of the sonic spectrum also drowns out. 

So, if you want to enjoy the audio quality from the subwoofers you can simply do it by putting it in the right place. Here below is the importance of subwoofer placement for better understanding.

How your room affects the bass

When you play audio in your speakers, the sound you hear is coming from the effect that your room has on the speaker or audio system. This means all your stuff present in the room be it walls, furniture, books, tables, etc. adds effect and color to the sound you are hearing. 

However, the bass frequencies from the speaker are very sensitive to room factors. The walls in your room are the biggest enemies that could greatly affect your overall base performance. 

This is because the bass waves which are omnidirectional hits the walls and bounce back to another wall. This gives rise to two scenarios, one base null or standing waves. This is the reason why you need the right placement of your subwoofer. 

Once you have learned the importance of subwoofer placement you are all set to move further and learn more about the placement. 

subwoofer placement - where to put it?
image from crutchfield.com

Things to consider before placing your subwoofer

There may be many considerations for subwoofer placement but three of them happen to be universal and that is why we have mentioned those here. 

1: The cords

It is an important consideration you must take. If you have a cord connection rather than a wireless connection, you must keep the cords concealed while being connected with the receiver. 

Cords lying around the room could be easily stepped on and over time it could damage the cords. 

2: Walls and corners

The second thing you must consider is the corners and walls. Placing the sub very close to the walls can create a very unpleasant sound. 

The corners of the rooms are the primary target of many sub owners. Though placing the sub in the corner can make the subwoofer sound louder, this choice is practical and will depend on the available floor space. 

3: Choosing the right method for subwoofer placement

Sure you can place the subwoofer according to your personal preference but whats the point if it is not optimal. In order to maximize the performance of your sub can do it by following one method which we have discussed in this article below. 

These were some key points to consider before putting your subwoofer in your room. Now, let us jump into our main deal and learn which is the best place in your room to place your subwoofer. 

Loudest bass is not the best bass

Many people believe that placing the subwoofer close to the walls or in the corner will give more bass. Yes, it will, but it is not the best place meaning it will give more bass but not the best bass. 

Now, you may find many users keep their subwoofer beside sofa or hidden under the coffee table, in the corner and if that is the best place for them in the room thats great! But it may not be perfect for everyone. 

Following others and placing your subwoofer in the corners is pretty common because we are visually used to seeing this in tutorials, pictures, and real life. 

The method we are about to discuss in the next section in terms of how to place the subwoofer in any room for maximum performance is widely known as doing a subwoofer crawl.

Maybe you may have heard of this method and used it yourself but stay connected because maybe you could learn something new that you didn’t know. 

But if you are someone who is ready to put your subwoofer in the corner, next to your left & right speaker or next to your TV then this is bound to be new information. 

What is subwoofer crawl?

It is the method of placing your subwoofer in the place from where it could give a maximum bass performance while sounding natural.

So, how to perform a subwoofer crawl? It is quite simple but you may require you to do a couple of things. These includes:

1: Shifting furniture

You may have to shift or move your furniture in/from your room. No, worries just ask a friend.

2: Extension cord

If you don’t have any outlet plug nearby to plug your subwoofer into, you probably may need an extension cord. 

3: Signal cable

 You may need a long signal cable to accommodate this method. 

Once these three things are checked you can move to the next part which is the main part of the subwoofer crawl. You guessed it right, we are talking about placement. 

Finding the placement using the subwoofer crawl method

1: Find the listening position

So, the first thing to do in a subwoofer crawl is to identify where you sit and listen to the audio most of your time. You can call it a primary listening position. Once you have got that figured out, place your subwoofer right in that position. 

NOTE: Do not place it in the chair or table; place it beneath a chair if there is one or on the ground. 

2: Connect your subwoofer with the system

Use the signal cable to connect the subwoofer with the system and turn it ON. 

3: Setting the level and volume

The next thing you need to do is set the volume of the subwoofer to the neutral/balance. The volume may be much lower in the subwoofer now because it is blended with other speakers and that is fine. 

Because in this step we don’t need to check how the subwoofer is blending with other speakers. We just want to make sure that we can hear the sub. And on the flip side, if the subwoofer is loud, thats fine too.

4: Using the source material

The source material we need to play on the subwoofer has to be bass-rich. You can choose music which has a steady base in this step.

5: Begin the experiment

Once you have got the subwoofer on the mark and played the bass-rich music, it is time for you to WALK around the room. Start from one corner and slowly walk from one end to the next. 

From this little experiment, you will notice that in which area the bass is low or zero and where the bass is hitting you in your chest (High). 

It does not end here, you need to mark the areas where you experience a very high bass frequency. You may have a dozen of markings on the floor when you are done. 

Now, these are the places where you need to place your subwoofer for maximum performance. By placing your subwoofer in one of these places will not only maximize the bass performance but you are also maximizing the relationship of the subs performance in your room. 

Try it out, put yourself in one of these places/spots and pick the one that suits your lifestyle. 

Now, that is the best way of subwoofer placement without the use of any complicated tools, or experts. If you have seen a dramatic change in the performance but wish to take it to the next level, all you got to do is experiment with new places and find the best spots. 

In order to help you find the best spots, we have compiled a list of some common spots which people use for subwoofer placement. 

Where to put the Subwoofer in your room?

Here are some options you can see try in order to place the subwoofer in your room and get loud and rich audio and bass experience. 

  • Anywhere in the front
  • Inside a wall
  • In the corner
  • Under a table or a couch
  • Inside a cabinet

Summary

These were some places where you can easily place your subwoofer and get a good audio experience. In order to find the best spot, you can follow the subwoofer crawl method which we have discussed above.

Also, you must consider some things before placing your subwoofer like cords, walls and corners and methods. This is it, it is time to wrap up the article, hope you find the information helpful. Good Luck! 

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