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Woofer vs. Subwoofer: Which Is Right for You?

Not all speakers are created equal. And different speakers are going to have different capabilities when it comes to handling different notes and sounds.

This is why singers, DJs, and other musicians use more than just one type of speaker. These professionals will use woofers, mid-ranges, tweeters, and subwoofers in an effort to achieve a quality sound system. 

But if you’re just starting to build your own sound system, you might end up having to build it one speaker at a time. And this will likely bring up the question – what’s better when it comes to woofer vs subwoofer?

Luckily for you, we’ve got the information you need to make the right choice. So keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything you’ll want to know about woofers and subwoofers. 

What Is a Subwoofer?

A subwoofer, also known as a sub, is actually a loudspeaker or a woofer that’s been built to reproduce low-pitched sound frequencies, commonly referred to as bass. Because subwoofers focus on the lower frequencies, they are able to provide a constant bass for most media. They also make it possible for the volume of the bass line in songs to be increased significantly. 

There are two kinds of subwoofers. There are passive subwoofers and active subwoofers. 

An active subwoofer is usually going to come with a built-in amplifier. A passive sub is going to need an external amp. It’s also just made of the subwoofer driver and enclosure.

You can differentiate subwoofer variants by their size, cost, and efficiency. You can also differentiate them by their power handling and distortion capabilities.

What Is a Woofer? 

A woofer is pretty much a loudspeaker. The term speaker is used to refer to an electro-acoustic transducer.

A woofer is going to focus on the lower end of the sound spectrum. It’s called a “woofer” because it refers to the low sound that a dog makes when it barks. 

To put it simply, a woofer is a specialized speaker. And a subwoofer is a special kind of woofer that deals with a more specific frequency range.

Differences Between Woofers and Subwoofers

A subwoofer’s structure is mostly a wooden or plastic enclosure. It will have one or several woofers fitted into it.

The focus on the lower sound frequencies will lead the subwoofers to be designed larger than regular woofers.  

The bigger size is going to let the driver move a lot of air while also maintaining the necessary low frequency at the same time. 

Bandpass, horn-loaded, bass-reflex, and infinite baffle subwoofers are some of the most popular designs that you’ll come across when browsing for subwoofers. 

The frequency range of the subwoofer that you get is going to be determined by how you use it. With that said, the frequency range for a subwoofer that’s used at home will usually be between twenty and 200Hz. It will be around 100Hz for speakers that are used in more professional environments.  

Because subwoofers concentrate on a small spectrum, they’re better placed to produce a fuller sound that can’t be achieved with a standard woofer. 

The downside to all of this is that it makes the sound system a lot more complex. This is due to the fact that you’ll need to add other speakers to cover the other frequency ranges because of how narrow subwoofer frequencies are.   

How Do They Work?

A woofer works by converting electrical signals into sounds. It utilizes the concept that the changes of an electrical signal facilitate the device’s movement with and produces sound waves. 

The audible distortion and differences that you hear are all thanks to the speakers. For a home sound system, the woofer is going to be part of the main setup. It will help the tweeter with mid-range frequencies.

Woofers are ideal for use in home theaters because they have a wider range of sounds. The key difference between woofers and subwoofers is the difference in the frequency range.

Subwoofers are used to produce a wide range of low sounds and they’re great if you’ve got a lot of bass sounds. This isn’t the case when it comes to woofers. Woofers produce high frequencies just as well as they do treble and mid-range. 

While the frequency range of woofers is applicable for a variety of uses, you’ll need a subwoofer to truly achieve the best possible sound. If you intend on having a sound system that has multiple speakers, then you should definitely have woofers.

If you want to bring your sound quality to the next level, then you’re going to want to add subwoofers to your system. 

Subwoofers are great for clubs as well as home theater systems because they provide a more engrossing and realistic sound. Woofers are going to be better for portable systems such as car sound systems.

Of course, if you do get subwoofers, you want to make sure that they’re the right size. A size 12 subwoofer is a good size for most systems. 

The Importance of Knowing the Differences of Woofer vs. Subwoofer

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now know the differences when it comes to woofer vs subwoofer. As we can see, you’ll likely want to get a woofer if you’re just starting to build your sound system. However, a subwoofer is what’s really going to elevate your sound to new heights.

Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles today!

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