Can You Use A Subwoofer In A Small Room?

When building a home theater, the subwoofer is a crucial piece of equipment especially in high end setups. The subwoofer ...

By Dewayne

When building a home theater, the subwoofer is a crucial piece of equipment especially in high end setups. The subwoofer is there to enhance the listening experience by providing deep, rich bass that brings movies and music to life. Not owning a subwoofer can be seen as a big mistake as it lowers the immersive experience with your surround sound setup.

When building a surround sound setup, the subwoofer usually sits in the front of the room. So when you have a small room, this can seem like a problem as subwoofers often take up a lot of space. Also, subwoofers are pretty powerful, so the bass can be quite overwhelming depending on how much power it consumes.

Answer: To answer your question, using a subwoofer in a small room is tricky as for beginners they can be pretty hard to properly integrate. But if done correctly, your subwoofer can enhance the audio experience in your small room significantly. It’s best to understand how big your room is before integrating a subwoofer.

What Is A Subwoofer And What Does It Do?

A subwoofer is a loudspeaker that plays low-pitched sounds. This is called bass and sub-bass. Subwoofers are able to play these sounds perfectly how they were meant to be played.

Subwoofers come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have one common goal and that’s to play low frequencies perfectly. Because subwoofers produce a lot of bass, it’s important that they are made out of tough materials that can handle the air pressure. Bass is lost easily to the air, so it’s important that subwoofers have a good build quality.

Now, some subwoofers will come with amplifiers, this is great as there is no need to worry about having the wrong subwoofer to amplifier configuration. Such subwoofers that have amplifiers are called active subwoofers. There are also subwoofers that do not come with amplifiers and these are called passive subwoofers.

When using a passive subwoofer, you have to select the right amplifier to get the best experience possible. Passive subwoofers are great for those who are looking for a subwoofer on a budget as they are usually cheaper than active subwoofers.

How Do You Choose The Right Subwoofer For Your Room?

Firstly let’s get one thing straight, depending on the size of your room, there will be different subwoofer requirements. The smaller the room, the quieter your subwoofer can be to hit specific reference levels with little distortion. The larger the room, the more powerful and louder your subwoofer will be, once we understand this, picking the right subwoofer for your small room should be pretty straight forward.

Here, we’re going to talk about three types of rooms: Small, Medium and Large. And we’re going to define the sizes of rooms by their cubic volumes. From here, we can recommend subwoofers for each room size.

When measuring the size of a room in cubic feet, you will need a tape measure and a calculator. To measure the room’s cubic feet, simply measure the length, width and height of the room and multiply them together. This will give you the total volume of the room in cubic feet.

Room SizeCubic Feet
Small Room1200 – 2000 ft3
Medium Room2000 – 30000ft3
Large Room3000ft3+

Picking The Right Type Of Subwoofer Per Room Size

So, now that you’ve measured your room, hopefully you were able to categorize it based on our specifications. From here, we need to find out the appropriate output for each room size. After this, you should be able to purchase the right subwoofer for your room. We are mostly going to focus on small rooms, but you should be able to use this information to find the right subwoofer for medium and large rooms.

So with a small room, an output of around 116dB should be enough to fill the room with sound. We would also like to recommend sealed speakers, and a great example would be the MartinLogan Dynamo 10’s. This should be enough to pressurise your small room without being overwhelming.

Tips For Setting Up Your Subwoofer In A Small Room

Setting up a subwoofer should be straight forward, the first thing you should probably do is connect it correctly. Usually, connecting your subwoofer involves using speaker wire to connect the subwoofer to an amplifier or AV receiver. The subwoofer will usually have spring clips or binding posts that will make this connection possible.

After you have connected your subwoofer, the next thing you need to do is place it in the right spot. Subwoofer placement is pretty important, the best and most common place would be to place it in a corner. This is because subwoofers tend to radiate bass in all directions, so by placing it in a corner, you are able to make use of all the bass that is being produced. You could also choose to place them in the front, this is great if you want the subwoofer to blend in with other speakers.

After placing the subwoofer, the next thing to do is to adjust the phase and crossover settings. The phase setting on a subwoofer controls how the subwoofer lines up with the other speakers in your system. This is important as subwoofers usually have a delayed bass output. The crossover setting on a subwoofer controls what frequency range the subwoofer will reproduce. For a small room, we would recommend setting the crossover to around 80Hz.

Why Are Subwoofers Popular

Subwoofers are great additions for home theaters and music systems. They are able to reproduce low frequencies that other speakers are not able to reproduce. This gives subwoofers the ability to produce deep and impactful bass. This deep impactful bass will enhance music, and movies to give a deeper more memorable experience.

Subwoofers are also popular because they are relatively easy to set up and do not require a lot of space. You can usually find subwoofers that are compact and easy to place in small rooms. You can also find subwoofers anywhere, they’re popular in cars, stores, and online.

Overall, subwoofers are a great way to improve the sound quality of your home theater or music system. If you have a small room, we would highly recommend getting a subwoofer as it will greatly improve the sound quality of your system.


The verdict is yes, you can indeed use a subwoofer in a small room, but you will have to consider the size of your room, and the output of the subwoofer. We would also recommend getting a subwoofer that is easy to place and doesn’t require a lot of space since you will be using a smaller room.

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