That boom you hear coming towards you isn’t King Kong on the run. That’s my subwoofer giving us the truth.
And you can have the truth if you properly align the amplifier with your subwoofer. And while most of the attention is given to both the amp and subwoofer, and rightfully so, another component that shouldn’t be overlooked is your speaker enclosure.
Speakers that aren’t enclosed in a tightly constructed box won’t provide the full potential of your subwoofer. The low bass sound is diminished because the back of the speaker and front cancel each other out. Having the best subwoofer and a poorly designed box will give you terrible results. Say bye bye to boom boom.
Speaker boxes are made in the following type of models, each producing their own unique sound.
- Sealed Box — An airtight design that gives a clean, tight sound. It’s best used for music requiring accurate, precise bass. You’ll get better sound quality, but less “boom.” For example, think of progressive house or dance music. The bass doesn’t overwhelm you, but fits in and enhances the overall sound. Sealed boxes require more power so make sure your amp can handle it. Also, they’re usually made in smaller sizes so their ideal if you have less room in your car. Here’s an example of a sealed box along with the diagram below.
- Ported Box or Vented Box — The opposite of a sealed box, this enclosure produces a low, booming bass response, compromising on sound quality. The vent (port) reinforces a deeper bass than a sealed box. Hip hop and rap make good choices for this type of enclosure. Keep in mind, these boxes are much larger than a sealed box. Here’s an example of a vented enclosure.
- Bandpass Box — This is a combination of the above boxes, having two chambers inside. One is sealed and the other ported. This produces the best overall boom, deep and clean. The bass erupts from the ported side of the box within a narrow frequency range. If you have the budget and want to shake the ground, then this is the box for you. Please note, however, the construction has to be perfect and needs to be designed specifically to match your speakers. If anything is off, they won’t produce as expected. For more information, take a look at this bandpass box and the image below.
The perfect speaker enclosure will depend on a variety of things, but most importantly, the type of sound you want. You also need to know what type of bass the box is designed for. When you find the right box for the sound you want, only then can you bring the boom.