Does The Size Of A Subwoofer Matter? (Not usual YADA YADA Here)

Does The Size Of A Subwoofer Matter?

The subwoofer is one of the most important parts of the home theater. Without it, there will be no realistic touch in movies. That’s why it is recommended by pros and newbies, who are flocking to it. The newbies get puzzled by the different sizes available in the subwoofers. So, does the size of a subwoofer matter?

At A Glance: The size of the subwoofer does matter because the bigger the subwoofer driver the deeper it can go in the lower end of frequencies. The deeper it can go the more realistic the movies will be. However, you need a smaller sub for a better music experience.

Keep reading as we will be discussing the science behind it. I will also discuss more related queries to this topic.

What size subwoofer is best for bass & overall performance?

Subwoofer SizeBass Nature
10 inchesDeep
12 inchesDeeper
15 inchesDeepest
This is a basic table to understand the relationship between size and bass

Here, I am going to throw another scientific argument at you. The argument is. The slower a sub’s driver can go back and forth, the deeper the bass will be.

But bass and any type of sound are transferred by air. To transfer it by air, the sub needs to stimulate the air and push it forward.

But I said earlier that the driver should move slowly. Then how can it stimulate air if it is moving slower?

Well, to stimulate the air even with slower movement, the driver needs a huge surface area. The greater the surface area, the larger it can stimulate the air. This bigger air disturbance will give deeper bass.

That’s why, if you are a fan of bass, then go for a bigger sub as possible. But don’t try to overdo it. Because it can result in a boomy bass. Read my this guide, on what causes boomy bass and how to stop itOpens in a new tab.. You will know the exact size of the subwoofer for your room to avoid bass boominess.

But here comes the second part of the argument that I have provided in bold at the beginning of this guide. Let’s discuss each part separately.

Why is a bigger sub better for movies?

The producers of the background score and the sound effects want to give you goosebumps with wow moments and with the realism of the movies.

That’s why they add bass to the background score, and the sound effects need the bass to push the realism.

The producer wants to glue you to the screen with a bass in the background score. The sound effects such as a helicopter flying sound, slamming the door, and punching someone. These sound effects in real life do have some amount of bass in them.

That’s why you need bass with movies. And for deeper bass, you need a bigger subwoofer. Here the equation is completed. That’s why you need a bigger sub for the best movie experience.

Why is a smaller sub better for music?

The music is produced with a constant flow and there is no exaggerated bass in it. As understood easily, no punches and helicopters are flying in songs and music.

That’s why I recommend using no subwoofer at all if you want to have pure music hitting your ears. But if you are a fan of bass, and you want some amount of it with music, then you can go with a smaller sub. I have articulated this matter in detail. Here in this guide, are smaller subs better for music?Opens in a new tab.

What size subwoofer do you need for your room?

Room SizeRecommended Sub Size
11X11 to 15×15Single 10 inches sub (ported). Dual if the subs are sealed
15×15 to 20×20Single 12 inches sub (ported). Dual if sealed
20×20 to 26×26Single 15 inches sub (ported). Dual if sealed
The above reference to the boomy bass guide in the second heading should be taken into account too. These numbers are written by keeping the boomy bass factor away from the game.

This is the recommended subwoofer size for each theater room size. Here I have mentioned the ported and sealed subwoofers.

The subwoofer has two types. One is ported and another is sealed. The single ported subwoofer can cover a room easily and for that exact room, you will need the same size dual sealed sub.

The ported has a hole in the cabinet and the sealed has none. While the ported sub has an edge over the sealed sub when it comes to filling the room with bass. On the other hand, the sealed sub can provide accurate bass that the movie was written in without exaggeration.

I have articulated this matter in detail here in this guide, Ported vs sealed home theater subwooferOpens in a new tab.. Which is better? Read this guide to avoid mistakes in choosing the right sub for you.

Can I use two different size subwoofers?

In-Short: You can’t use different sizes of subwoofers in one home theater because the tonality should be matched for better bass and experience.

In-Depth: The different sizes of subwoofers hit differently. You have understood it by now after reading this article.

That’s why you don’t need two sounds for one punch on the screen. The single punch should not sound different from each corner of the theater room. This will feel annoying. Because our brains can sense very small changes in sound easily.

 This is the size that matters a lot because it is a huge factor. But small factors like the same brand and same series subwoofers. You need to match these small factors too to synchronize the tonality of two subwoofers perfectly.

Matching the tonality of dual subs is critical. I have discussed this in detail in this guide. Dual vs single subwoofer does it matter for home theater? 

I have articulated this in detail here in this guide, Is A Bigger Center Speaker Better?Opens in a new tab. You will know useful things about the front speakers.

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Does more watts mean more bass?

More watts mean more bass because to push more bass the subwoofer needs more power and that power is delivered by the watts.

Covering more area and pushing more bass always require more energy. This energy is provided to the sub by watts.

Are 8-inch subs any good?

An 8-inch sub is good for music because smaller subs are great for music.

As I have said, you need pure sound in the music without exaggerated bass in it. That’s why the smaller sub will give you less bass and a better overall music experience.

What size subwoofer hits hardest?

The bigger the subwoofer driver, the harder it will hit. That’s why if you want the hardest-hitting sub then go for the biggest size like 15 or 18 inches. These subs will hit the hardest in your theater room.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more about it from this PolkAudio BlogOpens in a new tab.. (Resource for the first answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more about it from this Quora discussionOpens in a new tab.. (Resource for the second answer)

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Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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