Remember the old days when you’d easily plug in your TV and speakers and play some tunes? Well, now it’s modern times, things are a lot more complex, and unless you’re a professional sound engineer with years of experience, you will have to research before deciding on your next sound system.
A subwoofer forms an integral part of your home audio system, but it’s not a simple “insert here and play” device. Unlike a regular speaker that reproduces high frequency sounds that clearly define vocals and instruments, a subwoofer focuses on the low frequencies in the audio spectrum. Therefore you must match the speaker and subwoofer properly to enjoy best output.
In this article, we’ll have an in-depth guide on how to match speakers to subwoofers and the benefits you get from this simple but essential task. So let’s get right into it!
Factors to Consider When Matching Speakers to Subwoofer
Finding the right subwoofer for a pair of speakers can be daunting. After all, you want to make sure that your setup sounds classy, but you also don’t want to spend too much money on something that’s not going to be worth it in the long run.
Subwoofer and Speaker Size
The first thing to consider when matching subwoofers to speakers is size. Subwoofers are typically much bigger than the speakers they’re plugged into, so choosing a pair that will fit within your available room space is important.
Size of Room
If you’ve got a small living room, you can probably get away with a pair of bookshelf speakers since they won’t take up much space on the floor or walls. But if your living room is a little larger than average, you should consider getting two smaller subwoofers instead of one large one.
When choosing your subwoofer, you can also think about how loud you want your speakers to be. If you want something that will fill up all of your space with sound, then an underpowered subwoofer won’t do the trick! You may need a pair of powered subwoofers or surround sound speakers if you want them to be heard throughout your house at once.
Another factor worth considering is whether or not you want an integrated amplifier for your home theater system! If so, look at models that offer this feature and other features like Bluetooth connectivity and Dolby Digital surround sound. If you’re not interested in those things, you can simply settle for a basic model!
If you need subs that will work well within your budget, you can buy a pair of passive subwoofers. They get powered by an external amplifier and are usually much smaller than their powered counterparts.
Lastly, remember that the speaker’s impedance should match the subwoofer’s. Any mismatch in the impedance would cause audio problems with your system or damage it. This is because the disparity in watts flowing through different speakers leads to distortion in the audio signal that reaches your ears.
How to Match Speakers to Subwoofer:
Turn on your subwoofer and play music through it. Try adjusting the crossover frequency and listen for any difference in sound quality. Keep tweaking the settings until you have crisp sound from your home theater system. Remember, the subs should be punchy but still give you a refined bass texture.
The crossover frequency may match, but you still fail to give that immersive effect from your surround system. Don’t despair; match the subwoofer’s phase with the speaker’s. If you have a 5.1 or 7.1 surround setup, just set the Phase at zero or the calibration mic. However, if you have dual subwoofers in your set-up, you’ll need to match the phase of both subwoofers until you feel the sound evenly distributed in your room.
Lastly, ensure that you’ve matched the volume of the subwoofers with the speakers. Generally, the sound of the subs shouldn’t be lower or above the other speakers in your surround system.
Your ears are the best tool that never goes wrong with matching subs to speakers. Just close your eyes and feel the sound in the background. Keep tweaking the volume settings until you get what works for you.
For car audio enthusiasts, mount the speakers in a location that’s easy to access. We recommend mounting them on the car’s dash or behind your headrests, so you can easily plug in your USB cable or aux cord if necessary. You can learn about common audio connectors here.
Connect an RCA cable from your subwoofer output to the Auxiliary input on your car stereo. If your car does not have an auxiliary input, you can use a 3.5mm RCA cable to connect your subwoofer to your car’s audio system. Read our article for the difference between the optical vs 3.5mm RCA to learn more.
Does Subwoofer Need to Match Speakers?
Subwoofers are an integral part of your home theater or car audio system. They provide deep and punchy lows that add depth, intensity, and realism to your movies and soundtracks. As an audiophile looking for quality sound, you need to know the finer details behind matching speakers with subs.
Having matched speaker types and subwoofers will ensure that both components are working together in harmony. Matching eliminates distortion in the bass frequencies and the unwanted sonic resonance in the upper range of frequencies. In return, you enjoy beautiful, pure, and undistorted sounds from your favorite songs!
You also enjoy better power handling as the speaker, and subwoofer types get the same amount of power.
Matched speakers and subwoofers in your multi-channel surround sound system offer better power handling. Each speaker gets the same power if connected directly to an amplifier or receiver.
If you’re a sound addict, you know: the sound of a thudding bass line can be addictive. And if you aren’t satisfied with just one subwoofer and one pair of speakers, there’s a good chance you’re looking for a setup that will deliver some serious bass.
For a truly engaging experience, look for matching brands. That way, you’ll always get the best combination of bass-pumping power and crystal-clear detail.
That’s it! Now you’re an expert on how to match speakers to the correct subwoofer size. You can build your home theater setup and take advantage of using your speakers and subwoofer at their maximum potential.
A good setup produces clear sound and makes it possible to hear details in the music you could never hear before. It also creates an even sound across the frequency spectrum and makes it easy to pinpoint every instrument—irrespective of how loud or soft.
Feel free to reach out to our experts if you have any questions.