Subwoofer Speakers

Subwoofer speakers have a peculiar arrangement and unique features. User set these subwoofers in separate compartments that cover about a three-octave range. The large wave-range within the subwoofer range might diffract around close objects, typically other subwoofer speakers. While full-range speakers are usually not faced directly toward each other, subwoofers find that assembly practical and beneficial for the produced sound.

Subwoofer Speakers: Categories

Subwoofers can fall under two categories: omnidirectional and cardioid. Firstly, bear in mind that the omnidirectional version is not truly omnidirectional, though. Secondly, the cardioid version involves front and backfiring drivers that use face offset to create a coupling area at the front and a cancelling area at the back. Although cardioid ones have many advantages, they also produce a rear rejection over a wide frequency range.

Subwoofers can also be classified as active subwoofers and passive subwoofers. Active subwoofers involve a build-in amp whereas passive subwoofers consist of an external amplifier.

A Little Bit of History

The first subwoofer speakers emerged to add bass response to home stereo systems. The first version launched around 1960 and became quite popular around 1970 with the introduction of Sensurround in movies. These produced loud low-frequency sounds through large subwoofers. With the 1980s came the cassette and the compact disc, making the reproduction of deep and loud bass quite simple, so producers could add more low-frequency content to recordings.

Afterwards, in the 1990s, the surround sound process came into being and people really took advantage of it. This process involved a low-frequency effects channel, aka LFE channel, which people could hear with a subwoofer integrated into home theatre systems. Around the year 2000, subwoofers became extremely popular within nightclubs and live concerts. 

Subwoofer Speakers: the Set Up

You can usually find subwoofers inside a wood or plastic loudspeaker box. There are several varieties of subwoofers, including bass reflex, horn-loaded, bandpass and infinite baffle subwoofers. The difference between them relies on their efficiency, size, cost, power handling, and distortion. 

Singers, DJs, and bands need the right setup to achieve a high-quality sound system. This setup includes subwoofers, woofers, tweeters, and mid-ranges that handle a wide range of notes and sounds. The frequency range of a subwoofer depends entirely on its use. For example, the frequency of a subwoofer for home-use is set between 20Hz and 200Hz. As another example, you set subwoofer designed for professional use sound below 100Hz.


In conclusion, subwoofers are common and practical. Also, they serve specific purposes. If these are not what you’re after, please consult other options. Maybe rotary woofers, the closest related speakers to the ones offered in this entry, are for you. Other entries that might peak your interest are digital and electrodynamic ones.