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Subwoofer VS Woofer: Face to Face Comparison

Are you stuck between the “subwoofer vs woofer” wars? Don’t worry, and you are not the only one. Setting a home theater system is exciting as well as overwhelming. 

But a common problem exists that what should be preferred, a woofer or a subwoofer.

We hear about woofer and subwoofer when discussing sound systems in home theater, in a car, or the club.

Some people believe they are identical, yet there is a minor difference between them.

One would wish to know the difference between a woofer and a subwoofer, for example. How do they work?

Either we can connect a subwoofer to our car without an amplifier or not? With a thorough understanding of woofers and subwoofers, as well as their components and operation.

One can easily select an aright type of speaker for their audio requirements. Let us take a look at how it works:

Subwoofer VS Woofer

What is a Passive Subwoofer

A passive subwoofer requires an external source of power, such as a receiver or amplifier. It is best for spacious places that need multiple units.

They must be powered by an external amplifier that is called a passive subwoofer like traditional speakers. It’s generally smaller and less bulky, and it has a milder sound.

Besides crucial things to note about a passive sub, it needs more power to produce low-frequency sounds. 

A fact amplifier must send enough power to support the sub’s replicated bass effects without draining an amplifier power supply.

Passive subwoofers need less power, are cheaper, often work with any receiver or amplifier, and customize it. 

Also, it can effectively combine with multiple subwoofers when required on a large scale.

Additionally, one can spread a bass in the whole room or hall irrespective of worrying about the uneven distribution of sound. 

Additionally, it is essential to use passive subwoofers to select an amplifier or receiver. With a maximum output power to nurture deep tones produced by a device efficiently. 

It can be better applicable if we know how much energy will be necessary for speakers. Assume it’s utilized in tandem with the rest of the home theater sound system.

However, a passive subwoofer seems complex in connecting all pieces, due to which more cabling is required.

It is a reason for having components as well as additional amplifiers. People with custom home theater system installations usually used passive subwoofers.

Even many passive subwoofers are fixed in a wall as a custom installation. Moreover, traditional cube-shaped subwoofers are also in use.

Subwoofer VS Woofer Comparison

A subwoofer is a type of woofer or loudspeaker designed to generate low-pitched audio frequencies known as bass, whereas a woofer is a type of loudspeaker.

There is a minute difference between them. 

subwoofer Frequency Range

Frequency Range

  •  A frequency range of a woofer is from 40 Hz to 2500 Hz. Also, it produces low-frequency sound. While a subwoofer is specialized to produce much lower frequencies that a woofer is unable to produce.
  • As a result, a woofer can replicate a wider frequency range. A subwoofer, on the other hand, reproduces a limited frequency range. Also, a subwoofer gives a more constant basis.
  • Woofers offer a wide enough frequency range for most applications, but music fans who seek the deepest bass should consider investing in a subwoofer. A subwoofer has a limited frequency range.
  • It reproduces fuller bass compared to a subwoofer. In contrast, when a subwoofer is used, additional devices are added to adjust frequencies.
  • As subwoofers focus on low-frequency range, that’s why they are made larger than woofers. Moreover, other types of speakers, because greater size allows a driver to move a lot of air while still maintaining low frequency. 
  • Woofers are mostly smaller than subwoofers because they do not operate on a low level as subwoofers do. 

Driving Power Methods

  • Subwoofers are designed as active and passive powered. On the other hand, Woofers are meant to be passive bass drivers driven by an external amplifier.
  • Due to which a woofer requires a connection to an amplifier output for getting its required power. Therefore a difference in both of them is an active subwoofer.

Number of Drivers

  • Mostly woofer constitutes two ways or an a3-way setup. In a two-way driver setup, woofers have two drives, including a woofer and a tweeter. 
  • In a three-way arrangement, however, it consists of a woofer, a midrange driver, and a tweeter. A 4-way setup is similar to 3, but it consists of a super tweeter’s fourth driver. 
  • On the contrary, subwoofers contain a single-driven system in a speaker basket. A single enclosure can house many subwoofers. But they will have a single-driven system rather than a woofer having multiple drivers in one enclosure.

Power Consumption of Subwoofer VS Woofer

  • Woofer and subwoofer are also different in power consumption. The subwoofers frequency range is low, requiring more power consumption than a woofer.


Subwoofers are designed larger than woofers because of their ability to hit a low-frequency range and high demand for air volume.

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It is possible by a large surface area and a powerful magnet. In contrast, woofers are designed in a small size because of their frequency range.

How to Test a Subwoofer

How to Test a Subwoofer

Sometimes we are enjoying a theater system at home, and suddenly something devastating happens. A low-end sound hits our ears.

It may be shallow, extra loud, distorted, or strange, which seems unpleasant to the ears. Mostly it may occur because of two factors: too much high power or distorted signals.

There are Many Ways to Test Woofers Which are Given Below

One can test a woofer’s movement by removing the cover of a woofer to reach a cone. Move cone with hands to estimate the damage.

Assessing Sound and Movement

  • When it is stuck in a spot, there is no movement at all.
  • If it is more jerky or unbalanced, movement is present.
  • Suppose it produces a scratching sound or even no sound.
  • Furthermore, cable and audio sources should be tested to find they are working correctly or not.

Using Multimeter of Subwoofer VS Woofer

Electrical resistance is measured through a multimeter. Zero electrical resistance or unstable readings indicate a damaged coil and can be measured through the following steps:

  • Subwoofer and audio input should be disconnected from a power source.
  • A second step is to connect probes to a multimeter, and the multimeter should be turned on.
  • A red probe should be connected with a positive terminal and black with a negative terminal. So, a multimeter will measure and show an exact amount of resistance through which one should test a subwoofer.

If a subwoofer is blown, then it should be removed immediately from a home theater system. Further, get an expert option about it, but new so can be changed under warranty.

Also, make sure to review what options individuals have and select the most suitable one.

How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo without an Amp

For music enthusiasts, installing a subwoofer in a car is the greatest solution. Because it increases a bass frequency, giving rise to a deep and thrilling sound.

In cars, they are used in connection with an amplifier to boost a sound. But it can also be done without an amplifier.

Hooking Up a Subwoofer without an Amplifier

  • First, collect a tester, namely hammer, skew, pliers, and spanner.
  • Disconnect the speaker and battery to avoid any harm or shocks.
  • To get access to wires, remove a dock carefully.
  • Connect a low-frequency effect jack to an output lead of a subwoofer labeled as “sub-out.” It helps a person can quickly identify it. But make sure that wires should be connected correctly. 
  • This means that negatives should be paired with negatives, and positives should be paired with positives. Also, it can be tested through a tester. If it is running well, then everything is all right.
  • When all a process is done, an authentic connection is ensured, close a subwoofer and place a speaker back. Now enjoy music with deep and thumping bass.

What is a Good Frequency Response for Speakers

Frequency response is the foundation of audio produced by speakers. An audio sound system, on the other hand, accepts an input signal and delivers it unchanged.

Moreover, an ideal speaker will play sounds at all frequencies’ equally’. It means that it will not make specific frequencies louder and quieter. 

Particularly, a loudness of a sound is indicated in a unit cell called decibel (dB). For instance, if a speaker has a frequency response of 40Hz-20 kHz+/‐3dB. 

Then it isn’t very meaningful if a manufacturer specifies without +/- dB; only 40 Hz to 20 kHz means nothing.

However, +/- 2 or 3 dB is considered very well for speakers, headphones, and mics. 

Assuredly, a speaker with a superior frequency response can perfectly and smoothly play on all tones.

Above all, a speaker’s frequency should be as flat as feasible.

Flat reflects that it produces frequencies at the same rate with which they were recorded.

If not, then frequency peak will result in sounding some frequencies very high and some little or much quieter. 

If sources give a speaker a signal outside their frequency range, they wouldn’t detect or reproduce it.

In addition, the human hearing range is approximately 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

We divided it into three musical ranges: bass, midrange, and treble. Bass is termed for the lowest of frequency.

Those in the middle are indicated as middle, and a higher-end is called treble.

Roughly bass accounts have a frequency between 20 to 300 Hz. In the middle is 300 to 4 kHz, and treble accounts for almost above 4 kHz. 

As a result, frequency response refers to the spectrum of sounds that a speaker is capable of reproducing.

Some speakers have a frequency range of 20Hz to 20 kHz, while others have a range of 15Hz to 20 kHz. Each speaker has its frequency response. 

It gives speakers individual tones, characteristics, or sounds. In short, the frequency response is the most crucial part of creating or making sound in audio equipment. 

How to Make a Speaker Box Sound Better

How to Make a Speaker Box Sound Better

Speakers with not-so-good sounds don’t sound right. We have speakers just for more amplified sounds.

Therefore, we are always struggling to make the sound of our speaker more and better.

I’m going to break down some of the ways people can make the speaker box sound better. 

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Let’s Get Started

  • Streaming music services such as apple or Spotify doesn’t generally deliver a high-quality sound. Until people alter some settings to fix it. As high-quality sound will enhance the quality of output so always go for high-quality music or sounds. 
  • Amplifiers are often called volume boosters. They can enhance the power of speakers to their peak. A person can also tune an amplifier to make them sound better. 
  • First of all, people have to observe where people should put their speaker to get more output. In the case of subwoofers, a trial is a crucial concept for choosing the right place to put speakers.  
  • Tuning on a subwoofer is a simple, smooth but effective way to amplify the sound of the speaker. 

How to Get More Bass Out of Your Subwoofer

Undoubtedly, a bass makes everything more alive and theatrical, from music to movie scenes.

Further, when it comes to the amount of bass one’s subwoofer produces, fine-tuning may serve enough to fix it. 

If it is not like that, then I am going to break down three steps. From which, people can choose one step to get more bass out of the subwoofer. 

Location or Placing of Your Subwoofer

As a rule, improper placing a subwoofer can hinder and reduce the quality of a sound. Resultantly, it will give people a bad experience or, more precisely, bad sound.

So, read ahead and observe where people can place a subwoofer in a home or car?


If people want to use a subwoofer in someone’s home, consider pacing it 8-10 inches of a wall.

Moreover, people can locate a subwoofer’s face towards the rest of a room and its back towards the wall.

One can also speculate putting a subwoofer in the corner of a room for an exceptional experience.

In Your Car

Unquestionably, it is the best option to put a subwoofer in the trunk of a car. Additionally, people can consider whether one’s speaker gives an excellent sound.

While facing upwards or towards a car’s front. As a general rule, it is dependent on the preferences of the persons involved.

Increasing Quality 

Admittedly, a second factor or way people can get more bass is by enhancing the quality of downloaded or streaming music.

Coupled with an option to boost the bass under a playback, it can elevate or enhance the subwoofer’s bass to its utmost. 

General Adjustments

Before adjusting volume, people can also consider turning crossover to get more bass. Generally, a frequency level at which the subwoofer begins to kick in with a bass note is crossover. 

By doing this, people will avoid any distorted and buzzy sounds. People may establish a perfect balance of bass and all other musical aspects by adjusting the level.

Further, this trick is easy but is a little time-consuming. A switch is usually found on the rear or bottom of most subwoofers.

Indeed, this phase switch is responsible for adjusting the polarity and frequency of a subwoofer. 

To be honest, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for what to change. It all boils down to personal taste and preferences.

What Do Subwoofers Do

Low frequencies help produce a rich 3D effect. As typical speakers are not capable of reproducing all the frequencies that an audio source is giving them. 

Typically, it has a 20-200 Hz frequency that a traditional or typical speaker can’t reproduce independently.

Without a subwoofer, people will be deprived of the most desired soundtracks. 

Subwoofers are constructed with one or more woofers built in an enclosure. However, some subwoofers like ‘Active subwoofers’ include their amplifier. 

The ‘passive subwoofer,’ on the other hand, is devoid of an amplifier. Moreover, subwoofers are used in cinema, concerts, and meetings.  

Indeed, a subwoofer is all about bass; it delivers bass and sub-bass, low-pitched audio. In comparison with woofers, they produce a lower frequency. 

Generally speaking, a subwoofer has a frequency of 20Hz or lowest, like the hearing frequency of humans.

However, other speakers drop-down at 50Hz, which deprives people of the depth and clarity of bass tones. 

The best sub-woofer will seamlessly blend when coupled with a speaker. As it does not overpower or draw attention towards itself most. 

Moreover, a great subwoofer allows people to play music as loud as possible. Moreover, people desire it since it produces sound effortlessly without distortion and distraction. 


Hopefully, people have found a complex and in-depth overview of subwoofer vs woofer in this article. Indeed, people have observed which is best in them or which perfectly suits one’s choice. 

Furthermore, a sub-woofer delivers low frequency than woofers. Therefore, low frequency leads people to clarity and more theatrical bass tones. 

However, a woofer contains a 2-way or 3-way setup; on the other hand, a sub-woofer is a single-driven system.

In the sense of power consumption, subwoofers need more power as it delivers low frequency. 

Moreover, sub-woofers are bigger than woofers. It offers people the advantage of connecting a subwoofer with a car with or without any amplifier.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. However, it depends upon someone’s priority to choose one among a subwoofer or a woofer. 

So, it’s their time to get a subwoofer or woofer. It sparkles their home or car to achieve a 3D and theatrical effect at a party or during boredom. 

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Kristin Hitchcock

Kristin Hitchcock, a music teacher and reviewer for Nice, Inc., leads a busy life juggling her two passions. Born to a musical family in Tombstone, Arizona, she was destined to follow in her parents’ footsteps and immerse herself in music.