Hence, what is a subwoofer? A subwoofer is a type of speaker, responsible for reproducing lower frequencies (20–200Hz) that the usual acoustic systems aren’t capable of reproducing on their own. For example, the best subwoofer under $300 will be able to deliver a much better bass than costly speakers.

Subwoofers, like all speakers, can be active (with a built-in amplifier) or passive (without one), down-firing or front-firing, and so on. Almost all of them are active since the subwoofers require a lot of power to operate because they move a lot of air. There’s no drastic difference in the sound reproduction between down-firing and front-firing subwoofers, but the driver’s location has the biggest impact on the sub’s placement (depending on what space you want to fill).

A subwoofer can elevate your audio experience by delivering a more pronounced bass. It’s impossible to build a home theater system without it. And it doesn’t matter what type of content you prefer: movies/TV shows, music, or games.

It’s a proven fact that integrated woofers don’t even come close to matching the performance of separate woofers. Subwoofers allow you to feel the bass, while speakers only allow you to hear it.

What does a Subwoofer Do?

As you know the answer to the question “what is a subwoofer?”, you should also know what it does. It’s a well-known fact that the biggest amount of low frequencies can be heard from such musical instruments as drums, bass guitar, etc. There’s also a lot of bass in the movie sound effects. However, a subwoofer isn’t just about the bass. Apart from reproducing low frequencies, it also reduces the load on your speakers, resulting in better sound. The overall soundstage expands, and the sound becomes more dynamic and precise.

So, even if you’re not watching a video with a lot of basses, you’ll still need a subwoofer in your home theater setup. It will improve the sound quality of your surround or stereo acoustic system by making it more vibrant and full-fledged.

A good subwoofer is capable of reproducing a full range of low frequencies, even those that are called sub-bass (up to 60Hz). So, before purchasing one, it’s very important to check the frequency range of each model.

However, how does a subwoofer work? Firstly, in order to start working, it should be connected to the receiver or preamp. It will direct low-frequency signals to the subwoofer. The subwoofer will convert them into sound with the help of a magnetic coil that is responsible for creating vibrations on the woofer’s cone. Thanks to these vibrations and the air, low-frequency sound waves become audible.