When it comes to subwoofers, most people do their research and spend ample amounts of time figuring out which sub is best for them. Fewer people spend the same amount of time considering something just as important as the subwoofer and that is the box that the sub requires. There are a wide variety of subwoofer boxes or enclosures on the market today. They come in different styles and sizes, are made from different materials and made by many manufacturers. Many audio enthusiasts even choose to build their own boxes. Although such a large selection is available, there are essentially three types of boxes. The two most popular types of subwoofer enclosures are sealed and vented. A third option is a hybrid of the first two called a bandpass box.
A sealed subwoofer box is exactly what it sounds like. The speaker faces outward from the box and the rest of the box is sealed so that no air can escape. This is probably the most common type of box. Due to the fact that no air can leak in or out of the box, a sealed box produces very accurate sound and can handle very low frequencies better than most boxes.
One disadvantage of a sealed box is that it typically requires more power than a vented box. However, a sealed box is a good choice for anyone who wants a real high quality sound from their subwoofer.
A sealed box can be purchased at any good electronics store or it is possible to build your own. There are numerous websites and/or videos available on the internet with plans to help you with the construction.
Vented boxes are also known as ported boxes. These types of boxes contain a small vent or port in the enclosure that allows air to escape from the box. These boxes produce a very loud sound using less power to drive the woofer but they are also less accurate and will deliver lower-quality sound than a sealed box.
Vented boxes are tuned to a certain frequency range determined by length, width and diameter of the vent. There are several different variations of vents. For example, a vent could be round or it could be long and narrow, more like a slot. Every subwoofer has a specific frequency that it is designed to run at for its maximum output. By modifying the vent, the subwoofer can be tuned to different frequency ranges.
One of the advantages of a vented box is that it requires less power to drive the subwoofer. However, one disadvantage of a vented enclosure is that the bass is not as accurate as with a sealed box.
Another option that is often overlooked when people are discussing which type of subwoofer box is best is the bandpass box. This is a type of hybrid box that is essentially a combination of a sealed and vented box. Bandpass boxes are extremely efficient. A subwoofer is mounted inside a dual-chambered enclosure. One chamber is vented and the other is sealed. The bass from the speaker travels out from the sealed chamber and then continues out through the vent in the outer box. This produces deeper sounding bass and requires less power than a sealed box alone. However, not all subwoofers will work in a bandpass box so one needs to do their research when contemplating a bandpass box. They are also quite difficult to build. If you are thinking about building your own box, it may be easier to go with a traditional sealed or vented box.
As with many decisions in life, the choice as to which subwoofer box is right for any given individual will come down to that individual and the factors impacting their choice. It really depends on so many different factors that no one can say which box is best overall. Factors like size, cost and sound quality will all play a part in the decision. The good news is that no matter the combination of factors, there is sure to be a subwoofer box out there that fits all your needs.
Source: Ezine Articles – Frank Voo