Simply put, a subwoofer is a speaker that’s specialized to reproduce only the deep bass, or low tones. For those of us in the home entertainment business, it’s hard to imagine a home theater system without one. Movies would be dull, lifeless, and lacking in the emotional impact that is so much part of the viewing experience. Music also becomes less like a live performance. The drummer’s bass drum seems to be missing, and the bass guitar player seems to be about twenty feet behind the other players. Yeah, I guess you could say we like subwoofers, a lot.
Powered and un-powered subwoofers
Most subwoofers are equipped with a built-in amplifier. It takes a lot of amplifier power to push a subwoofer to the volume levels where you can really feel, as well as hear, the sound. So instead of draining all the power from your existing audio system, a powered subwoofer supplies its own. And since the speaker specializes in just the bass tones, the amplifier can be a specialist too. An amplifier that’s particularly efficient in the bass region, but not very good in the higher tones, works just fine because all of the higher tones have been filtered out, leaving just the low bass tones.
Un-powered subwoofers require a separate amplifier, just like most other speakers. The amplification can come from your existing sound system, or from a separate subwoofer amplifier, specially designed for subwoofers.
Can I add a subwoofer to my system?
Adding a subwoofer is a pretty simple affair, particularly if it is a powered subwoofer. Most powered subwoofers provide several types of connections to make them as universally compatible as possible. The connection can be via the speaker wires from your sound system, or from a specialized subwoofer output. Most home theater receiver feature a specialized subwoofer output that pre-filters out all the high tones so the subwoofer blends seamlessly with the other speakers in the system.
What kind of sound can I expect?
A properly designed and installed subwoofer is probably the most important part of a home theater system, at least in terms of the emotional impact of the system. That “hit you in the gut” sound of high explosives. The rumble of the approaching train. The roar of the jet engine. Without a subwoofer, all this falls flat on its back. Lifeless.
I like the idea. What’s the next step?
Call us. Or click our link for a Free In-Home Consultation. An Ovation systems designer can show you how a subwoofer can add to the excitement of owning a home theater or audio system. Don’t delay, there’s a whole world of entertainment out there just waiting to be experienced.