January 18, 2023

Subwoofer Buying Guide

Article written by POLK STAFF


Everything you need to know.

What is a subwoofer?

A subwoofer (or “sub”) is a loudspeaker designed to exclusively produce low frequencies, generally from around 20 to 200 Hz. This deep bass sound is what gives you that “booming” feeling in the pit of your stomach during a particularly impactful scene in an epic movie.

How is a subwoofer different from a speaker?

A subwoofer is a speaker, one that’s designed to reproduce extremely low frequencies. Physics dictates that the lower the frequency, the bigger the sound wave, so the speaker needed to reproduce it. Subwoofers, with their large drivers, are able to produce lower, more powerful bass sound than full-range speakers, to create that rumble you can feel.

Is a subwoofer necessary?

A subwoofer is necessary for true surround sound experiences—including Dolby Atmos. If you love music, a subwoofer extends your system’s bass response to present every detail in your favorite recordings as the artists intended. Plus, having impactful low end in your listening setup is fun! It’s like when the drumline marches by and you can feel each hit of the bass drum in the pit of your stomach. Or when you’re at the movies and can feel the impact of every explosion in your bones.

How to choose a subwoofer?

To choose a subwoofer, ask yourself some questions. How big is your space? If you have a smaller space, go with a smaller subwoofer. For example, if you are living in a studio apartment with neighbors all around, it makes sense to go with an 8-inch sub instead of, say, a 12-inch. You’ll still feel those lower frequencies, it just won’t shake the entire apartment complex. On the other hand, if you’re building your dream home theater setup and want to go big, add a high-performance 12-inch subwoofer like the Polk MXT12 and you’ll rumble the neighborhood.

Why buy a Polk subwoofer?

The best speakers at the best price. That’s our mantra and we stand by it. Polk products are made to sound great together, so whether you choose Polk standalone components and subwoofers or an all-in system with an included subwoofer, you can be confident that you’ll experience seamless dynamic sound with the deep bass impact you crave.

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