Picking the right subwoofer isn’t a simple task, even when I’m looking for a subwoofer, I have to carefully take down their specifications such as the size.
Picking the wrong subwoofer size means you usually won’t get the right amount of sound coming out of your subwoofer for your specific use. For example, an 8 Inch sub might be good for your car, but not good for a home theater.
In general, a subwoofer for your car can be around 8-10 inches, but a subwoofer for a home theater sound system may have to be a bit bigger depending on your room. But usually, 10-12 inches should be sufficient.
How To Pick A Subwoofer Size
The quality, range, and intensity of your bass will largely depend on the size of the subwoofer’s driver. A larger subwoofer driver will move more air and produce louder bass, whilst maintaining high quality.
And a subwoofer’s driver is pretty much the subwoofer’s speaker, the circular object that produces sound. Larger drivers have larger cones, and moving these cones, will require a lot more energy which means it will output a lot of energy.
Picking a subwoofer for a home theater is actually pretty easy, most people will have an average-sized room, so what goes best in this scenario, well an average-sized subwoofer.
The average living room is around 340 square feet, a 12 inch subwoofer would be perfect in this scenario, they’re the most common, and they are the most forgiving in terms of output and price.
But if you have an average car, you most likely won’t require the output of a 12 inch subwoofer, so an 8 inch to a 10 inch subwoofer is perfect for this situation. They are cheaper, easier to fit in a car, and output enough bass.
Is Bass Related To Subwoofer Size?
Bass is a low frequency, and the larger the driver is, the lower the frequency it can produce. Larger drivers are better capable of producing lower frequency than smaller drivers that you will find in bookshelves and floor standing speakers.
So this means that a larger subwoofer driver will produce deeper and richer bass as they are more efficient at doing it. So yes, the bass is directly related to the size of the subwoofer.
However, it isn’t just the size of the driver that is responsible for the amount of bass a subwoofer can produce. The size of the enclosure also plays a huge role, larger enclosures generally mean it can move more air and produce a deeper and richer bass.
What Is The Best Subwoofer Size
No matter what you’re watching or how you use your subwoofer, picking the correct size is of utmost importance. Larger subwoofers tend to be the most powerful due to the larger cone moving more air. However, bigger isn’t always better as a small subwoofer can save you money.
8 Inch Subwoofers
8 inch subwoofers are the smallest subwoofers you can buy on the market, and due to their small size, they are often the most affordable subwoofers. They can fit perfectly within a car audio system, but may not be the best type of subwoofer for home theaters.
8 inch subwoofers are great at producing a sufficient amount of bass for small to medium cars or trucks, and thanks to their small size, they can fit in almost any vehicle. So you save money and get a subwoofer that is perfect for your vehicle.
The type of sound the 8 inch subwoofer produces is perfect for certain music genres. For example, I’d use my 8 inch subwoofer to listen to Classical Rock, Drum n Bass, and Punk.
Also Read: Are 8 Inch Subwoofers Good
10 Inch Subwoofers
10 inch subwoofers are pretty similar to the 8 inch subwoofer as they are used in very similar ways. The key difference is that the 10 inch sub is used if you want additional bass production that an 8 inch sub can’t provide.
Sometimes an 8 inch subwoofer isn’t enough for your needs, and you cannot increase an 8 inch subwoofer too much without distorting the sound, so this is why certain individuals will purchase a 10 inch subwoofer.
Also, 10 inch subwoofers are again more popular in car audio systems, but compared to their 8 inch counterpart, it is obviously larger, so you will need to be able to accommodate the additional 2 inches. Whilst it won’t sound like much, certain vehicles that supported an 8 inch sub might not support a 10 inch sub.
Also Read: Are 10 Inch Subwoofers Good
12 Inch Subwoofers
12 inch subwoofers are highly used in home theater sound systems, this is because they are known for generating a decent amount of bass, and they have decent bass response overall.
Thanks to its larger driver, and larger cone, it is more capable of moving more amounts of air without distorting. So a 12 inch subwoofer is able to create an ultra-immersive sound experience without ruining the listening experience by distorting it.
12 inch subwoofers are able to produce deep and punchy bass for movies, but they are also amazing for listening to music. Compared to an 8 and 10 inch subwoofer, it is able to create a deeper sense of realism.
15 Inch Subwoofers
15 inch subwoofers are large in terms of subwoofers, they used to be unpopular, but now they are rising in popularity due to their intensity at producing bass.
A 15 inch subwoofer is worth it if you are hyper-focused on a subwoofer that can get loud and produce high-quality sound, think about it, all the smaller subwoofers will distort and lose their quality at larger volumes, but the 15 inch subwoofer won’t.
15 inch subwoofers are pretty popular for large home theater setups, but they are steadily rising in popularity for car usage.
What Is The Best Subwoofer Size For Apartments?
Through my experience, I prefer smaller subwoofers despite larger subwoofers being better for bass quality. I prefer smaller subwoofers because they cause less disturbance, and honestly, apartments do not require the amount of bass a 12 or 15-inch subwoofer can produce.
I’d rather weigh up the pros and cons, a larger subwoofer will cost more, cause more disturbances to neighbors, and is quite frankly, unnecessary. An 8 inch subwoofer is enough to handle a small apartment, if you need more bass, a 10 inch subwoofer can help.
If you want to go larger, or you already own a pretty large subwoofer, I’d say consult with your neighbors first to see if they’re okay with you using it. The worst-case scenario is that they say no, but usually people appreciate you for asking first. Or just turn down the volume and you should be good.
Also Read: Subwoofer In Apartment
In conclusion, the size of the subwoofer you need will mostly come down to what you are exactly looking for. 8 inch subwoofers are perfect for improving upon a car sound system, but a 12 inch subwoofer is perfect for a small to medium home theater.
However, 15 inch subwoofers are steadily rising in popularity, and you should see them recommended more in cars and home theater setups.