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Bring the Theater Home

Imagine you're at the movie theater, popcorn bucket and massive soda in hand. There's an amazing new blockbuster, but the visual screen and projector aren't the most sensory part of seeing the film, are they? In truth, it's the sound system. When you imagine the hum of the surround sound speakers and the sheer volume of a cinema theater, it can feel impossible to bring that effect to your own home. Come one step closer to immersive entertainment with a home subwoofer. These devices let you feel each beat land, whether you're watching an action film (complete with explosions) or listening to a gentle playlist. Discover how versatile the subwoofer can truly be below.

What Are They, And How Do They Work?

While classic speakers are meant to cover a broad spectrum of sound frequency, subwoofers have a much narrower range. These devices are designed to produce between 20 and 30 Hz tones that are felt, not heard. To an extent, this frequency can be adjusted to better blend in with your current audio system, whether you have a soundbar or a full theater setup. These days, small speakers can send out high-quality audio at amazing volumes. However, size matters when it comes to subwoofers. These devices tend to be larger than other speakers thanks to a cone that moves back and forth to create sound waves. 10 and 12-inch subs are popular sizes and great for mid-size homes, but an 18-inch subwoofer can elevate your sound system with even deeper bass drops and noise you can feel throughout the room.

Powered vs Unpowered, Placement Is Everything

Some terms you'll hear when talking about subwoofers include "powered" (or active) and "unpowered" (or passive). A "powered" subwoofer has its own power source and amplifier, allowing it to play low-frequency sound all on its own. Meanwhile, the unpowered subwoofer relies on an external amplifier (amp). Powered versions tend to be simple to assemble thanks to their two-in-one design, while unpowered versions can be more adjustable. Subwoofers aren't quite like a wireless speaker, with the "set it anywhere" mentality. Because of their low, strong sound waves, where you position your sub is crucial. The consensus? Keeping it near (but not against) a wall is a good place to start, or move it close to your couch and seating area. Unfortunately, you may need to spend some time crawling around on the floor and testing it out. Try moving the subwoofer from one spot to the next until the frequency sounds (and feels) just right from your seating area. Looking for more tips? Check out our article in the learning center for how to set up a subwoofer.

An Expert Opinion

Now that you know more about subwoofers, how do you choose one? Shop our selection online, and learn more from our article on how to pick out the subwoofer that's best for your home. Alternatively, give us a call at 800-860-3577 or head into the store, and we'll help you pick out a device that's best for your lifestyle. You'll be feeling an entirely new sensation of sound in no time. For special requests or help installing audio and video equipment, send us an email to [email protected] for more info. We'll discuss the services we offer and find the best way we can help you.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
    Courteous and helpful explanations. I bought my first color tv from Abt when I was in high school over 50 years ago, and all of my appliances since.
    Ed R. - Lake Zurich, IL
    November 21, 2021