Wall Subwoofers

Written by Serena Berger
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If the main reason you invested in a home theater system was to replicate the feeling of awe you get while watching a big-budget movie in the theater, a subwoofer is essential to your sound system. Many special effects require deep, bass sounds that cannot be adequately reproduced by full range speakers. While your neighbors may not be thrilled with the stunning wall-shaking rendering of a series of explosions from your stereo system at 3am, your audience will be blown away and completely sucked into the theatrical experience any time you watch a film.

Most listeners find that a single subwoofer is sufficient to distribute the low frequency sounds that they produce. This is because bass signals are essentially non-directional--meaning that you do not need separate subwoofers for the left and right channels. A few aficionados with a fair amount of money and space can decide to have up to three subwoofers to capture the bass from the left, right and center channels. This does best mimic the theater environment, as sound may dissipate from the center channel to the sides.

Installing and Positioning Wall Subwoofers

Many subwoofers are large boxes that connect to your stereo and can be placed on the floor anywhere in the room. If you would prefer something less obtrusive, you might consider a wall subwoofer--which, like in-wall speakers, can be installed directly into the wall. This is often a good choice is you are building your home, as it is easiest to have wiring done while the walls are being put up. It's possible, but a lot harder, once construction is completed.

Be careful where you position your subwoofer in relation to your other belongings. While in-wall subwoofers may not be visible, their vibrations will be felt not only by you but also by other objects in the vicinity. Anything hung on the wall near the subwoofer or placed on a table near it may be in danger of shaking off--so hang photos and mirrors on an opposite wall, keep breakables a bit farther away, and warn guests not to set glasses too close.


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