Pros and Cons of Subwoofers

Subwoofers are easily one of the best things you can do to improve your car audio system. When cruising around, your music deserves to have punchy bass. You’ll have a smile on your face when you have rocking bass. There are of course pros and cons to installing a subwoofer in your car, so I wrote this article to help you decide.

What are Subwoofers?

Subwoofers are car speakers that are normally larger and serve the sole purpose of providing rich bass to your car audio system. Subwoofers are typically used in component systems in combination with mid-range speakers and tweeters.

Subwoofer Pros

I believe that subwoofers are the best thing you can do to improve your car audio sound quality. If you are looking for a fuller sound that will motivate you, subwoofers are a great place to start. The main benefit you will find from installing a subwoofer is the increased sound quality of your system.

Sound Quality

Most factory car audio systems come with full-range speakers which are responsible for reproduction of mid-tones and low-tones. Some car audio systems even create high, mid, and low tones all with one or two speakers per side.

Speakers sound better when they are reproducing a smaller set of frequencies. Smaller speakers are better for reproducing high-tones, while large speakers are better for reproducing low-tones.

Adding a subwoofer to your car will produce clean rich bass, and if you are using an amplifier that will separate the frequencies by channel, you will receive less distortion in the other speakers of your car. This improves the general audio quality from all speakers in your vehicle.

Small Subwoofer Pair

Subwoofer Cons

Although we believe subwoofers are a great addition to your car audio system, there are some things to keep in and when considering adding a subwoofer to your vehicle.

Installation

Installation of a subwoofer can be complicated, especially as a first-time DIY project. If you are not doing the installation yourself, you will need to consider the costs associated with hiring a professional audio technician.

Costs

You should expect to spend between $75 and $150 for most car subwoofers, and another $200 or so for professional installation of the subwoofer. 2 Ohm Subwoofers are cheaper than 4 Ohm subwoofers, so you will most likely want to go with a 2 Ohm Subwoofer if you are on a budget. For more differences of 2 Ohm Subwoofers, read our article here.

Power Supply

You should also be sure that your head unit in your vehicle will support a subwoofer channel. Subwoofers typically require more wattage than component or full-range speakers. You might have to purchase a mono-block amplifier or another head unit for your subwoofer installation.

Space

If you are thinking about installing a subwoofer in a smaller vehicle, you should consider the location and size of the subwoofer installation. In a small car like a Mazda Miata, there are very few places to install a subwoofer. Your best bet with small spaces is an under-seat subwoofer. We wrote a review and buying guide on under-seat subwoofers here.

Rattles

You will know if vehicle rattles bother you. In older cars, it is common for them to rattle as parts come loose over the years. Because subwoofers provide a lot of shaking for interior components, they can be a leading factor in interior rattles. Some people don’t mind their car rattling, so decide for yourself if this is a problem.


Conclusion

If you have the space and money to install a car subwoofer, we think that it will significantly increase your music enjoyment. We do not always recommend the installation of subwoofers, such as when you have a very small car or when you are trying to limit the number of interior rattles in your vehicle. If you are looking for a great subwoofer, we have reviewed some of our favorites here.