What Makes a Great Subwoofer? 5 Key Performance Attributes (Presented by SVS)

2015-12-18T19:05:19+00:00December 18th, 2015|Audio, Features, Home|211 Comments

What Makes a Great Subwoofer 5 Key Performance Attributes

Adding a subwoofer can be the most impactful upgrade you can make to the performance of an audio system or home theater. But a truly great subwoofer adds dimensions of impact, excitement, and low frequency extension without negatively impacting the overall accuracy and believability of the system’s sound. Here are five key attributes all of the best subwoofers must possess.

  1. Have outstanding low frequency extension – This seems obvious, but many subwoofers don’t have the ability to reproduce the deepest bass, so attempt to make up for it by exaggerating the mid-bass performance to address the deficit. A great subwoofer is capable of delivering all the low frequencies in the content being played, sometimes at frequencies so low they can only be felt, not heard!
  2. Be able to produce those low frequencies at the highest sound pressure levels (SPLs) – A great subwoofer plays effortlessly loud and distortion free, no matter how demanding the source material.   Lesser subwoofers use amplifier limiting to cap output, resulting in the bass “disappearing” when the listener turns up the volume past conversational levels.
  3. Be accurate in terms of frequencies produced, and NOT produced – A great subwoofer adds no sonic signature and is completely faithful to the source content delivering the bass notes or low frequencies exactly as the artist or director intended. Lesser subwoofers deliver boomy “one note” bass that is never convincing or enjoyable.
  4. Have speed and control in transients to stop and start reproducing bass according to the actual program content – A great subwoofer has speed in musical or cinematic transients so as to keep pace with the content. Lesser subwoofers can’t keep up with the content or the full range speakers, making the overall system sound smeared and undetailed.
  5. Blend seamlessly with full range speakers – Subwoofers are great, but in order to function properly they must be a seamless part of the overall sound of the system, never drawing attention to the bass alone.

From strumming bass guitar riffs and drum beats to the most complex and demanding movie sound effects, a great subwoofer reveals deep layers of sound a speaker is simply not equipped to handle. And while some subwoofers merely add bass, a truly great subwoofer elevates the listening experience in a unique and visceral way.

If you’ve never experienced this level of performance, SVS offers a 45 day in-home trial with free shipping both ways, so you can judge for yourself, in your own home, how dynamic and impactful subwoofer sound can be.

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