Choosing a Subwoofer?


Choosing a Subwoofer seems simple. You can search the Internet or read the “The Loud Speaker Cookbook,” and then you will be an expert. You can learn about “Xmax” and “QTS,” but what do these numbers really mean? Will it make my car loud; will it make my DJ Jazzy Mike make my eyes jiggle? Or make the kettle drum come alive on the Superman soundtrack?   Let’s forget all of this. Will it make the music come alive and invite me to tap my fingers or my feet?

Sometimes we forget that “Bass” is fun; if you have been around a while, we all remember the demo vehicle with four-plus subwoofers that rattled your teeth, and it was absolutely glorious. The feel of the “bass,” the energy of the music…things you never forget. But in this application, did the “QTS” or “Xmax” matter in any way, shape, or form the experience?

For a lot of people today, the only bass they have ever known is their earphones. “Beats” headphones/earphones or earbuds introduced people to what bass could sound like. So why did people pay $199-$400 for such items? They made music more fun, new, and exciting than the free earbuds we get with a smartphone. People would audition as many headphones as possible to find out what ones would suit their lifestyle. Even color and size became a factor in the buying process. Why aren’t we offering the same ideas in the subwoofer buying process?

Do we spend an enormous amount of time in our vehicles? How many headphones were sold in 2013? According to this article by (here’s the direct link):


284 million headphones sold in 2013, with 2015 forecasted to be 315 million units sold. These are all people that didn’t say, “OEM is good enough.” What does the chart mean to me? People still love “bass” it’s that simple. Even the car manufacturer KIA has a new television commercial out, showing you can get the “club music experience in our car.”

Choosing a subwoofer is no different than buying headphones:

  • What music do I listen to?
  • What size of the subwoofer will fit in my vehicle?
  • How much bass do I want?
  • Does color and size matter to me?
  • Can I audition a subwoofer in or out of my vehicle?
  • What is my price range?
  • How will this subwoofer integrate with my vehicle?

Interestingly, you cannot answer any of these questions via the Internet or web store. Is your local store answering these questions? Does the local store offer solutions starting at $199-$400? Why are Bazooka tubes, a low-cost amplifier subwoofer combination, still selling after twenty-plus years? It adds bass, can be auditioned in your car, and color and size fit most vehicles today. It makes you wonder if buying a subwoofer has changed that much over the years?

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