If you have opted for a sound bar for aesthetic reasons or to enjoy better sound than your TV speakers can provide, a subwoofer is what you need. The subwoofers add an immersive and exciting bass impact that you can hear and feel and allow the soundbar to focus on the mid and high frequencies, resulting in a noticeable improvement in the soundstage and overall listening experience. If you’ve ever considered adding a subwoofer to your system, you’ve probably wondered how to find the best option.
To properly reproduce the bass in music and the low-frequency effects in movies, a subwoofer needs a powerful motor and amplifier, a lightweight but rigid cone, and an acoustically inert enclosure. It also requires careful adjustment by an acoustic engineer. Many sound bars come with a subwoofer, but these “imposters” are only slightly better than a single-note bass box, where the sound is more of a distraction due to its muddy effect; In addition, they have a high potential for distortion. Let it be known: it is true, we are a little biased, but that is really not what an artist or a director wanted us to hear.
The best subwoofers achieve enormous output and reach the lowest notes with ease. Every note should be delivered with pointillist tonal precision, without projection, and should blend seamlessly with the soundbar. The best subwoofers handle low frequencies effortlessly, without drawing attention to themselves or hogging the soundstage. You can read more about this topic in our article What to listen for when choosing a subwoofer.
In order to choose the best subwoofer for your soundbar, there are five key elements you need to take into consideration.
1.Sound bar connections. Some sound bars have proprietary outputs that make it impossible to connect an SVS or any other active subwoofer. Look for a sound bar that accepts a patch cable like the SVS SoundPath RCA or equivalent, which should work for virtually any subwoofer, including all SVS models.
2.Chassis size. Perhaps the biggest reason for the popularity of sound bars is the minimal visual impact they have on your room. If decor is an important factor for you, you may want a compact subwoofer that’s easy to hide or integrate into your environment. For this reason, a sealed enclosure subwoofer is usually the best option, because they are usually much smaller than their bass reflex equivalents.
3.Listening preferences and playback volume. According to Ed Mullen, sound expert at SVS, “there is no reason to overwhelm a sound bar with bass.” On their own, sound bars can’t match the sound of a 5.1 home theater system, or even a pair of full-range stereo speakers, so you won’t need a massive subwoofer to significantly improve their bass response. and impact. Of course, if you like to feel the bass like an earthquake, watch action movies at the reference volume, a larger and more powerful subwoofer will do you good.
4. Size of the room. If you have a large, open living room or a specially designed room in the basement, the bass from a small subwoofer may fail to fill the space with chest-pounding, seat-rattling bass. If you have a large space, you should think about a large subwoofer or even two smaller ones to achieve a more distributed bass response throughout the room.
5. Subwoofer accessories. One way to reduce the visual impact and have more options when placing the subwoofer is to purchase a wireless kit. This is especially useful when the subwoofer is in the completely opposite corner of the room from the sound bar, as it eliminates the need to purchase a subwoofer cable. Although it is not common, it is also possible to use two subwoofers through a single output of a bar, using an RCA Y adapter.
The most popular SVS models for sound bars are the SB-1000 for small to medium-sized rooms and the SB-2000 for large rooms. The combination of compact enclosures, a significant output in relation to its size, ease of integration and its three attractive finishes make these SVS models the public’s favorites.
If you are still torn between a sound bar and the experience of a true home theater, we recommend reading the entry Why is surround sound from a home theater better than a sound bar? and you’ll understand why a 5.1 or higher speaker system might be right for you.