Subwoofers are speakers designed to produce low-frequency bass or sound. The subwoofer adds great value to the music. If you want to enjoy some decent bass in your car, then the subwoofers are necessary with the speakers in your car. Subwoofers reproduce bass and make the music more enjoyable and loveable. It could also make the sound louder.
When you go out to buy a subwoofer for your car or home, it will come in two forms enclosed or free air subwoofer. It might be difficult to get the right device for you if you don’t know about the technicalities of the sound. In this article, we are going to give a comprehensive comparison of free air subwoofer vs enclosed subwoofer. Both have their pros and cons and you can choose the one which is most suitable for you.
What is a free air subwoofer?
A speaker without having any enclosure is called free air subwoofer. These speakers, despite being mounted at the rear side of the car, sound very good. These are passive-speaker subwoofers without having any sub-box. There will be no amplifier in it and you have to connect an external amplifier for power.
In this kind of speaker, you don’t have to lose bass due to less space availability. It can move more air and demand less power from the sound system. Other than the back deck side, you can also mount it in between secondary lounges and storage space. The biggest advantage of having these speakers in your car is that these speakers take much less trunk space and give you highly reasonable bass at the same time.
Tips for installing a free-air subwoofer
First of all, you must isolate the sounding waves from interfering as it will greatly impact the sound of the subwoofer. There must be vibration and sound-absorbing material at the mounting place where the subwoofer is going to be installed. You might use a material like “Dynamat“. A more rigid surface also might reduce the rattles and vibrations.
With the free-air subwoofer, you might get punchy bass due to its installation at the rear side of the car. If you insulate the speakers, then you could enjoy the better sound.
If the subwoofers are mounting through the package, then you have to make large holes that are not repairable. Otherwise, the insulation and sealing might add some weight to your system.
Thus, the owners of the car having little trunk space must consider a small ported sub-woofer rather than free air subwoofer.
What is an enclosed subwoofer?
An enclosed subwoofer is fit in the cage for sound purity and to keep the noise away from the sound. It produces a roar or thunder to give you the actual effect of the sound. With a flat frequency response, it plays tight and provides you with full bass. Sealed or enclosed subwoofers come in a very compacted form and can easily fit in your car.
What is the actual difference between them?
The basic difference between these two subwoofers is their mounting place. In the free-air case, the subwoofer is mounted on the rear side of the car while in the enclosed set-up it is mounted in an enclosure. When we experienced them closely, we came to know that when we play ‘pop’ music then the free-air subwoofer shows a muddy or punchy voice but the enclosed subwoofer is much better in this kind of music.
On the other hand, if you play ‘Rock’ music, then you can experience emphatic bass from the enclosed subwoofer but just a louder sound from the free-air subwoofer. In the case of classical sound or Electro/dance mode, the free-air subwoofer will provide you with quality bass and a more natural sound than the enclosed subwoofer.
In a nutshell, we can say that the enclosed subwoofer is perfect for producing tight and accurate bass for some specific kind of music while the free-air subwoofer sometimes falls out of tune. The enclosed subwoofer is also good in providing you with a perfect beat and melody. These things make the music flow with the original rhythm.
Free air subwoofer vs enclosed subwoofer: which one is better?
There is no final opinion if you ask the above-mentioned questions. It wholly depends upon your preferences. You can choose any one of them if you have certain preferences in listening to music. An enclosed subwoofer is perfect for booming bass, tight bass, or if there is no space issue in your car.
On the other hand, a free-air subwoofer would be an optimum choice if you are tight on the budget or you don’t have enough space for a subwoofer in your car.