Adding the low frequencies that most systems can’t reproduce is the best way to improve the sound in your vehicle. The secret to reproducing these frequencies is to move a lot of air. There is a reason that a tuba is much larger than a flute: a lot of air needs to be moved to produce those low notes. Similarly, a lot of air needs to be moved to reproduce them in your vehicle, which is the job of the subwoofer. But what size subwoofer do you need? The answer depends on what kind of music you are trying to reproduce.
A single 8″ subwoofer may do a very good job if you are listening to acoustic jazz, but would quickly bottom out with the synthesized bass found in most rap music. And likewise the snappy drums found in rock music can become muddy and undefined with a heavy 15″ cone that can’t respond as quickly to those notes.
8’s, 10’s, 12’s and 15’s:
What Size Subwoofer is Best For Me?
The easy answer is that the best subwoofer is the one that you have the proper airspace for. No subwoofer can do its best if crammed into a box that is too small or if left to float in a box that is too big to provide support. When the proper airspace is there, the right size subwoofer can make a huge difference in the quality of the sound and maximize the ability of the subwoofer to handle the job.
As mentioned, an 8″ sub will do an excellent job with more acoustic music like jazz or classical. The smaller more agile cone will give you a quick and detailed response to the frequencies that this type of music contains. If you prefer rock or country, then the 10″ will keep a good quick response to the heavy drums that you find in a lot of rock and country music today. It is capable of moving the additional air that is required for music that is typically louder when heard live – and isn’t reproducing that concert in your car the ultimate goal?
The most demanding bass notes come from the heavily synthesized bass found in rap music. If this is your preference, then a subwoofer is an absolute must. The 15″ sub is the best for moving the large volume of air required to reproduce this type of music. A factory speaker, or even the best aftermarket 6 x9, is no match for these demanding notes. If you have the required airspace, then the 15″ is the perfect match.
Last but not least we come to the 12″ sub. This is probably the most versatile if you find yourself listening to a wide variety of music. It will handle the snappy drums of rock much better than the large 15″ cone will, but it still has the ability to move the volume of air for rap that the 10″ just can’t keep up with.
In the end everything will need to be balanced with the proper sized amp, and midrange and highs that will keep up, but choosing the right subwoofer for the job will go a long way towards giving you the quality sound that you want in your vehicle.
So what size subwoofer is right for you? We hope that you have a more clear answer to this question by now. Stop in at Driven Sound and Security and audition subwoofers of all sizes. We are Northern Michigan’s authority on bass reproduction in your vehicle.