Today we’re going to talk about subwoofer placement and pressurization because a subwoofer is really a pressurization device and you’ll remember from my past videos that I always talk about how pressure and reflections in rooms as the two main areas you have to be concerned about. We have learned a lot since this blog was written and updated on 11/27/19 to reflect this new knowledge.

So we know that a subwoofer is a low frequency energy producing device and I think for sake of discussion we’re going to focus on everything less than 100 cycles. Now we know that when we interject a lot of low frequency energy into our small rooms we get mode pressure issues and these can mask and blur and smear all kinds of sound and create that nasty low frequency energy that we try to avoid, that bass boom if you will.

So from our past videos and discussions, room model issues are really broken down into two categories.

1. 30 to 50 Hz.
2. 30 to 300 Hz.

This is the impetus behind our ACDA 10 and ACDA 12 products because we looked at these two ranges and developed technology to provide sound absorption for those particular areas.

ACDA- 10 -12 : https://acousticfields.com/product-category/sound-absorption/acda-series/

Subwoofer Placement

So how do we take this low frequency producing device and put it inside our room and make it work for us? Make it create the 30 to 50 cycle, the less than 100 cycle energy that we use for our low frequency/bass energy within the room?

Our goal is to distribute the energy evenly throughout the room. How do we do that? We do it through localization of the low frequency producing device in the room. Forget that its a speaker, just concentrate on the fact that its a low frequency producing energy device and how are we going to deal with that particular energy in the room?

Let’s just look at the room and the energy in the room so we can figure out how to do this. So what do we have in the room? We have a ceiling, a wall, and a floor. So we’re going to take an energy-producing device and we’re going to put it inside that room. So we have a distance from the device to the ceiling, the device to the walls, the device to the floor, that we have to take into consideration. Then we have all the area of the room that also has to be taken into consideration.

Where Should Subwoofers Be Located in Your Room?

So depending on your room dimensions and room volume, the low frequency producing device/subwoofer placement has to be located at special positions within the room. Where are those positions? Unknown as it depends on your particular room size and volume. Every room size and volume is different so further down the page I’ve included some graphics which offer suggestions on average room sizes and the proper location for subwoofer placement, depending on how many you have.

Elevate Your Subs!

A lot of the time subwoofers are off the floor. Some people put them on the floor but we don’t recommend that because then you’ve got floor issues to deal with. So elevating the low frequency producing device off the floor in the room, there is going to be a spot that works the best and that takes a bit of trial and error and room tuning. With multiple subwoofers, you need to be very cognizant of the place in the room that they need to be depending on room ratios and volume.

Our subwoofers are pressure producing devices, forget that they are speakers, just think about it as a pressure producing device. Now, where are you going to place it in a small room? It doesn’t want to be in there because the energy it produces is never going to fit in there anyway. So we have to figure out how we minimize the damage it’s going to cause and how to distribute the pressure evenly throughout the room.

So in the below graphic, you see a good starting position for 2 subwoofers.

subwoofer placement for 2 sub

In the below graphic you see a good starting position for 3 subwoofers. Now I realize one of the subwoofers is in the middle of the room but that’s still the best place to equalize the pressure throughout the room cause remember its a pressure producing device.
subwoofer placement for 3 subs

In the below graphic you see a good starting position for 4 subwoofers within a room. That’s really important. The more energy producing devices can work for you or against you depending on room volume.
subwoofer placement for 4 subs

So let’s think of our subwoofers as low-frequency energy-producing devices, producing all this pressure in a room that’s not going to fit. So we want to make sure we put the device within the room size and volume to equalize the pressure throughout the room. In order to equalize this pressure throughout the room, we need to position multiple position drivers at the correct distance between the width and length but also we must raise the subwoofer off the floor. You can accomplish three things with a subwoofer platform. You can elevate, isolate, and attenuate.

subwoofer absorber platform

Subwoofer Absorber Platform

Sub Woofer:  https://acousticfields.com/product/subwoofer-platform-absorber/

Elevate, Isolate, Attenuate 

We can elevate your platform up to 24″ and higher if qualified. You place our activated carbon platform under your subwoofer. We can elevate your platform up to 24″ and higher if qualified. A higher position in the room will produce a smoother room frequency response. Isolation is obtained by placing the subwoofer on the platform and separating the subwoofer from the floor. This minimizes vibration transfer from the subwoofer cabinet to the floor. Attenuation is achieved by our ACDA-12 technology built into the platform.

In Summary

So I hope that helps you. If you have any questions at any time I am always on hand to help answer them. Leave them in the comments section or email me at info@acousticfields.com. If you would like to learn more about room acoustics please sign up for my free videos and ebook by joining the mailing list here. I send room tuning tips and things for you to test in your room every Wednesday. They are easy to follow and really help you enjoy more of your music. And if you would like your room acoustic issues analysed for free by me then please fill in the form here and I will be happy to take a look for you.

Thanks and speak soon
Dennis

Dennis Foley

Author Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

More posts by Dennis Foley

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • aragates says:

    What a great article share. A great contribution especially for someone looking forward to buying a car subwoofer, amplifier and enclosure. If anybody wants to install new one, this is the most effective share, that will be very helpful for best choice. Thanks a lot for the post.

  • clairedivas says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing your incredible ideas. It is an appreciated and pretty tip for all those music lovers. What a Fatal post for those who want to upgrade exist subwoofer with new one.

  • Maria Lena says:

    What a great article. A great contribution especially for someone looking forward to buy a car subwoofer. I have bought speakers in the past and i had many bad experiences as a result of buying the wrong speakers only to perform worse than i expected. Reviews like this one go a long way to solve these type of problems.

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