Where to Place a Subwoofer?

Some subwoofers (like the best under seat subwoofer, for example) are designed to be placed in a specific location and don’t leave you guessing. However, where to place a subwoofer when it’s a part of your home audio system?

The sound produced by a subwoofer is directly proportional to its location. You can listen to only hi-res audio and buy a high-end enclosure, but if your sub is placed incorrectly in relation to the rest of your audio system, you won’t get the best sound.

The subwoofer, unlike the other components of an acoustic system, does not have strict placement guidelines. With a few exceptions, it can be placed almost anywhere. Nevertheless, it will still perform better in one spot than in the others.

Of course, most people rely on room correction software (like Audyssey, for example) and don’t think much about proper placement. However, in fact, your system will work much better if you do everything possible to improve the sound before applying the EQ.

Useful Tips on Where to Place a Subwoofer

The subwoofer performs differently in each room. The tricky part is figuring out where it sounds best. One of the best ways to choose the correct placement is called the “subwoofer crawl” which relies on acoustic physics. It’s a universal method that will work for both large and small subs in any room. For this, you will need a long signal and power cables.

  1. First, connect your subwoofer via an LFE output on your receiver and set it to the highest available settings.
  2. Locate the subwoofer on the couch, table, chair, or tall stand. Check to see if any ports or drivers have been blocked. If necessary, turn it backward or upside down.
  3. Play some content that has a lot of basses. This will allow you to critically evaluate all the details of your subwoofer’s sound. You will have to find out if the bass is powerful and detailed enough, or weak and muddy, and if the bass response is even. Crank the volume up.
  4. Begin crawling on the room’s floor keeping your head a few inches above it. Look for a location where your sub has the finest sound.
  5. When you find such a place, mark it and then place your subwoofer there.

If you don’t want to waste time figuring out where to put a subwoofer, here are some simple tips:

  1. Don’t put it too far away from the rest of your audio system’s audio components or your listening location. You will be able to hear exactly where the bass is coming from if you do so.
  2. In the user’s manuals, most manufacturers recommend placing the sub in the corner. In many cases, it helps reinforce the bass (but it actually depends on the room).
  3. Don’t place your sub on the floor without any isolation; it’s also not recommended to place it too close to the wall (leave at least 3 inches of gap).