Woofer vs. Subwoofer – Understand the differences

A woofer is a speaker that handles the low-frequency audio signals in your system. A subwoofer, on the other hand, specializes in reproducing deep bass frequencies. The main difference between these two speakers is their range, size, and power output. Let’s analyze what are all the differences between a woofer vs. a subwoofer.

What is a woofer?

A woofer is a speaker that handles the low-frequency audio signals in your system. Woofers are often used as front/rear channel speakers in home theater systems while subwoofers are typically used to achieve a high-impact sound with movies or music videos.

woofer vs subwoofer - advantages

What is a subwoofer?

A subwoofer, on the other hand, specializes in reproducing deep bass frequencies. Subwoofers can be found at many different price points and offer various levels of power consumption depending on their size and if they’re designed for extremely heavy-duty use or not so much.

These specs vary from one manufacturer to another so it’s best to keep an eye on the individual specifications before making your purchase.

Woofer vs. subwoofer frequency ranges

The frequency range for a woofer is typically between 50 Hz and 2,000 Hz, while subwoofers will usually go as low as 20 Hz or even lower than that and only go up to 200 Hz.

Woofer vs. subwoofer sizes

A standard 12-inch model will usually handle around 200 watts of continuous power but these specs vary from one manufacturer to another so it’s best to keep an eye on the individual specifications before making your purchase. In contrast, if you’re looking for something less powerful you can opt for a small subwoofer that might be rated at 50 watts of continuous power.

A subwoofer typically takes up more space than a woofer, so if you only have limited room for your system this is something to consider.

Woofer vs. subwoofer numbers of drivers

A subwoofer is typically a single-driver speaker, while a woofer might have as many as four drivers, being 2-3 drivers the most common setups, and many times it includes a tweeter.

The pricing difference between subwoofers vs. woofers

Typically speaking, you can find an affordable high quality 12 inch powered speaker on Amazon starting from $99 bucks. A decent entry-level budget option would cost around 150 dollars but we’ve seen some models closer to 350 bucks so it all depends on what features are important enough for you to spend a few more bucks on.

The typical cost of a regular woofer starts at about $100, while a subwoofer can range from as low as $150 to upwards of $400.

If you are looking for some of the best woofers/subwoofers on Amazon, we recommend checking out JBL and Polk Audio models which offer different price points from $200 bucks all the way up to $1200 bucks.

Here’s the top best selling subwoofer on Amazon lately:

Now that you know the differences between these two speakers, it’s time to decide which one is best for your requirements. Now if you need something with great power and deep bass, then get yourself a subwoofer. If all you care about is high-quality sound without too much emphasis on those low frequencies, go for woofers instead! Having both greatly improves the quality of the music you hear though and we personally recommend it.

Subwoofer vs. woofer power consumption

The power consumption for a woofer is typically 100 watts and up, while the subwoofer ranges from 40 to 200 watts.

woofer vs subwoofer - disadvantages

Frequently asked questions

Can a woofer be used as a subwoofer?

Yes, however, a woofer will not be as efficient in reproducing deep bass frequencies as a subwoofer.

How important is a subwoofer?

A subwoofer is absolutely crucial if you like to listen to the low-frequency bass in songs or movies. If this doesn’t matter much to you, a pair of woofers with tweeters will do fine.

What size of subwoofer should I get?

The size of your subwoofer is best determined by the space available and what you want to hear. Smaller models are more affordable but they don’t offer the same power or depth as larger models.

Does a subwoofer need an amp?

A subwoofer does not need a separated amp in order to work properly. Many subwoofers have amps built-in so you won’t have to worry about purchasing an amp separately.

Final thoughts

A woofer is a speaker that handles low-frequency audio signals in your system while a subwoofer specializes in reproducing deep bass frequencies (20 Hz or below). The main difference between these two speakers is their range, size, power output, numbers of drivers, and pricing.

We hope this article helped clear up some of the confusion surrounding speaker terminology but as always feel free to reach out anytime 🙂

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