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Understanding the Different Subwoofer Enclosures and their Diverse Sound Effects

Subwoofers can completely transform your car’s stereo system by giving it the low-end frequencies that are typically missed by stock speakers.  However, finding the right subwoofer alone won’t help in creating the desired sound effect. It is equally important to match the subwoofer with the right enclosure to compliment the woofer in perfect harmony.  You can get custom subwoofer enclosures designed precisely to your needs so that the sound quality matches your taste perfectly. In order to understand how the enclosures function and defining your customized enclosure, read on to get some insights about the different subwoofer enclosures and their features.

Sealed Enclosures – These are airtight and ideal for tight and accurate bass response. Their clean and precise sound makes them the best choice for those who like deep bass extension. They generally require more power, so it is best to fit them with an amplifier of higher wattage for optimum performance.  The best thing about sealed enclosures is that they are very forgiving.  When sizing an enclosure for a specific woofer, the rule of thumb is that as long the enclosure is within 20% of what the manufacturer recommends for the sub, then it is considered good.  This is very helpful when purchasing an enclosure, especially vehicle specific where the internal volume of the enclosure may not permit it to be perfectly on spec.

Ported Boxes – Ported boxes are enclosures with round tubes or slots built in that enhance the output of the subwoofer.  They can be much louder than a similar sealed setup and are meant to give a subwoofer extra output at or near the tuning frequency and are a great choice for certain types of music such as rap and hip-hop. They can typically achieve higher output with less power than a sealed box so they have greater efficiency.  There are some drawbacks to ported boxes.  First, they always need to be sized much larger in volume than their sealed counterparts.  Ported enclosures often need to be 50 to 100 percent larger in air space in order to meet the parameters of the subwoofer utilized.  That can sometimes be difficult when the space allotted for fitting an enclosure is at a premium.  Another drawback is that ported enclosures excel in boosting frequencies at or near the tuning frequency, but output often suffers or starts to deteriorate on frequencies higher than the tuning frequency.  This leads to the last drawback, which is that ported boxes are not as forgiving as sealed boxes.  If the enclosure is not built perfectly, either the resulting sound output my differ from your expectations or in some cases it damage to the woofer can occur.

Bandpass – These are popular for providing the maximum amount of slam in subwoofers. They are uniquely designed with dual chambers, wherein one is sealed and the other is ported. Sound waves emerge from the ported box and it creates an extra loud sound with a narrow frequency range. They can produce extremely loud sounds at certain tuned frequencies, making this aggressive sound perfect for hard rock, reggae and rap. Remember that not all subwoofers work well in a bandpass boxes. The specifications must be properly matched for best results.

Enclosed for Better Sound Effects
The bass sound in your stereo can make or break your music experience in the car. When you invest in a subwoofer with a proper enclosure, your audio will showcase more depth and realism.  Factory installed subwoofers are typically too small to handle low frequency sounds well. Often times, the stereos will attenuate bass function or reduce bass levels as volume is increased in order to protect the equipment.  The result of this is lower bass at higher volumes, which is the opposite of what the user is after.  Remember, you will need to choose an enclosure and an amplifier separately to complete the system you desire. Some of the enclosures mentioned above work with all subwoofers, but sometimes you might need custom subwoofer enclosures for your car.

If you want to build a highly customized stereo system in your car, opt for component subwoofers with customized enclosures for the perfect sound quality and driving experience!