Car Subwoofer Enclosures
Get the most out of your subwoofer with a sealed, ported, or bandpass box/enclosure.
Car Subwoofer Enclosures Information
Car Subwoofer Enclosure Information:
It is often overlooked, but every great car audio system features a subwoofer enclosure purposely selected to maximize subwoofer performance. It may surprise you to learn that a sub box can make or break the perfect setup. We have a wide variety of professionally constructed sub boxes, built for your convenience and designed to perfectly complement your personalized system. We advise you to choose a sealed, ported or bandpass box based on your car subwoofer specifications and available vehicle space.
Sealed enclosures are smaller than most other types of sub boxes. They do not allow air to escape from the box, thus making it harder for the sub to move in and out. This increases the transient response, meaning tighter bass and greater sound accuracy. These boxes also have good power handling, as it is harder for the sub to bottom outĚ (excursion beyond peak excursion), which makes it less risky to push the subs to thump to the beat. However, since the airwaves cannot escape from the box, the sub is less efficient, meaning less sound reproduction. Their tightly sealed design also doesn't allow the speaker's motor structure to cool down as well as it does in other boxes or free air setups.
Ported boxes, also known as vented boxes, are enclosures that are designed with a port tuned to a specific frequency. They are more efficient than sealed enclosures because the back waves are channeled into the listening environment along with the front waves, which gives you more sound output than sealed enclosures produce. The ports in these enclosures help produce deeper bass up to the tuned frequency. However, power handling is poor below the tuned frequency and as such, woofer damage can occur. Further, there is no internal pressure working against the speaker, giving it worse transient response and speaker damping than a sealed enclosure. Finally, prefabricated boxes are not built with ports tuned to manufacturer's recommendations. This may make reproduction sound muddy or sloppy. Also, the air exiting the ports will at times produce a medium to loud noise, called port noise. To summarize, ported boxes give you a higher sound output and will generally have a better low frequency extension than sealed boxes. On the downside, they are larger and have poor power handling below their tuned frequency. They also have a reduced transient response and may generate port noise.
A bandpass enclosure is basically a combination between a sealed and vented enclosure. With one sealed and one ported chamber, bandpass boxes produce great power handling as well as a good low frequency response. However, you should note that a bandpass box should be specifically designed for your subwoofer(s). Furthermore, they are not as efficient as ported boxes, and since the ports in bandpass boxes are not tuned to speaker requirements, most speakers will have a better all around sound in ported or sealed enclosures.
When trunk space is at a minimum, you might consider using free-air subwoofers. Free-air subwoofers are specially designed to perform without an enclosure. It is usually the easiest and least expensive way to add a subwoofer to most sedans. No enclosure is required, you just use a board mounted on the rear deck or in the trunk along with the subwoofer. The downside is that you will experience a worse low-frequency response, or simply put, less power handling and less bass. You also get the least amount of transient response. You must also be sure that the baffle board is properly sealed and that the trunk or surrounding areas are properly dampened, otherwise bass cancellation will occur (loss of bass). This is why, space allowing, we recommend that you invest in an enclosure to ensure optimal performance.
Another small investment for better subwoofer performance is our polyester fiber fill, which slows down back waves inside of the box, making the subwoofer perform as though it were in a bigger enclosure. We recommend that you use approximately 1 pound of fill per cubic foot of box volume. In enclosures where the fiber fill may blow out of a port, a light multipurpose adhesive should be used to secure the fill to the wall linings.
If you need help selecting the proper box for your subs, give us a call at 1-877-289-7664. Our staff will help you in selecting the right setup so that you can start building your dream car audio system today!