Learning About Home Theater Subwoofers
Home theater subwoofers can significantly improve the sound quality of your home entertainment speakers and system. They produce the real audio power that makes your music or movies more immersive. Home audio subwoofers come in a range of designs, to suit a variety of home theater designs and preferences.
Passive vs. Active Home Theater Subwoofers
External amplifiers power passive subwoofers, just like other speakers in your audio system. You can easily connect these subwoofers to your receiver and use them with rear speakers.
Active subwoofers are self-powered devices, meaning they have built-in amplifiers optimally matched to the speakers. These powered subwoofers have their own settings and controls that you can adjust separately from that of the home theater system.
Sealed vs. Ported Home Theater Subwoofers
When choosing between ported and sealed subwoofers, it's important to consider the type of bass you want for your system, the amp power, and the available room to install the subwoofers.
Sealed subwoofers have a small sealed box design, which allows the subwoofer to exhibit lower sound wave group delay, making the bass tighter and more accurate for more critical audio listening. However, these compact subwoofers need more amp power for a louder bass. Ported subwoofers have a larger box size. This bigger surface area generates low-frequency sound waves for a louder, booming bass, and eliminates the need of having additional EQ boost. Even better, it doesn't require a lot of amp power, making it more efficient.
Wattage Rating and Other Specifications
The wattage rating can tell you how loud a subwoofer can get. This means that a subwoofer with a wattage rating of 400 watts is louder than that with 250 watts. Thus, choose one according to your decibel needs.
You also should consider the Root Mean Square (RMS) and peak power of the subwoofer. The RMS is simply the power a subwoofer can handle continuously, while the peak power is the total amount of power that it can achieve in a limited period. Thus, the RMS is lower than the peak power and the RMS is more relevant to look at when considering the straight performance of a subwoofer. For applications such as home cinemas or gaming that have short, loud, and abrupt sounds, you want one with the highest peak power.
Check out B&H Photo and Video's wide selection of subwoofers and speaker systems to find what you need for your home theater system.