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Woofer vs. Subwoofer – What’s the difference?

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 speakers is their range, size, and power output. Let’s analyze the differences between a woofer and 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 highly heavy-duty use or not so much.

These specs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it’s best to watch the individual specifications before purchasing.

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. Still, these specs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, 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 this is something to consider if you only have limited room for your system.

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Woofer vs. subwoofer numbers of drivers

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

The pricing difference between subwoofers vs. woofers

You can typically find an affordable, high-quality 12-inch powered speaker on Amazon 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 essential features you 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 up to $1200 bucks.

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

Now that you know the differences between these speakers, it’s time to decide which is best for your requirements. Get a subwoofer if you need something with great power and deep bass. If all you care about is high-quality sound without too much emphasis on those low frequencies, go for woofers instead! Having both dramatically improves the quality of the music you hear, and we 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 is less efficient at reproducing deep bass frequencies than a subwoofer.

How important is a subwoofer?

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A subwoofer is crucial if you like to listen to 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 subwoofer size should I get?

The size of your subwoofer is best determined by the space available and what you want to hear. 12″ and 10″ subwoofers are typical. Smaller models are more affordable but don’t offer the same power or depth as larger models.

Does a subwoofer need an amp?

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

How do you choose a subwoofer for music production?

When considering a subwoofer for music production, there are several important factors to take into account. One of the most critical aspects is the size of the subwoofer. In general, subwoofer monitors come in 8″ and 10″ sizes.

For music production in a standard-sized bedroom, typically around 120-135 square feet, an 8″ subwoofer can perform exceptionally well. This size is likely to provide adequate bass response and effectively complement your reference monitor speakers.

However, if you are working in a larger space, such as a living room or a dedicated studio, opting for a 10″ subwoofer might be more beneficial. The larger size will allow the subwoofer to produce deeper and more powerful bass frequencies, creating a more immersive listening experience. Of course, it’s important to consider your budget and whether you can afford the larger size.

Ultimately, choosing the right subwoofer for music production involves considering the size of your workspace and determining the level of bass response you desire. It’s advisable to select a subwoofer that not only fits your room dimensions but also complements your existing reference monitor speakers, ensuring a balanced and accurate representation of the low-frequency content in your music.

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Do you need an amplifier for a subwoofer?

Is an amplifier commonly used with a subwoofer?
While a subwoofer does not necessarily require an amplifier, it is commonly used to enhance the reproduction of low-frequency sounds.

What is the typical usage of a subwoofer?
Subwoofers are typically used to reproduce low-frequency sounds in music and movies.

What frequencies can a subwoofer play?
A subwoofer can play any frequency of sound.

It is important to note that while an amplifier is not required for a subwoofer to function, it can play a significant role in enhancing the reproduction of low-frequency sounds. Subwoofers are designed to handle a wide range of frequencies, but they excel in reproducing deep bass notes that add richness and depth to music and movies. While some subwoofers already have amplifiers integrated into their design, others may require an external amplifier to achieve optimal performance. Therefore, while an amplifier is not essential, it can greatly enhance the overall audio experience by providing additional power and control to the subwoofer’s low-frequency output.

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 speakers is their range, size, power output, number 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.