What Is A Free Air Subwoofer? – Easy Guide

What Is A Free Air Subwoofer? – Easy Guide

A free-air subwoofer is a type of subwoofer that doesn’t require a box or enclosure in order to produce low-frequency sound. They’re typically used in cars, and most people who are looking for better bass choose this option. 

While they have their pros and cons, free air subwoofers offer a lot of advantages that many people find appealing. Here you will explore what free-air subwoofers are, how they work, and some of the pros and cons.

So, if you’re considering upgrading your car’s sound system, read on to learn more about free air subwoofers and whether they might be the right choice for you.

Free-Air Subwoofer And How Does It Work?

A free-air subwoofer is a subwoofer that has been designed to be placed in an open space, rather than inside a cabinet. This type of subwoofer can be mounted in the trunk of a car, for example, or placed on the floor near the wall.

Free-air subwoofers work by transmitting sound waves through the air, rather than through a speaker enclosure. This allows them to produce deeper bass tones than traditional subwoofers and makes them ideal for use in vehicles or outdoors.

Types Of Free-Air Subwoofers:

There are two main types of free-air subwoofers: direct radiating and passive radiating.

1. Direct Radiating Subwoofers:

Direct radiating subwoofers have an open-back design and typically require a power amplifier to function properly. They also often have higher power handling capabilities and produce more bass than passive radiating subwoofers.

2. Passive Radiating Subwoofers:

Passive radiating subwoofers have a closed-back design and do not require a power amplifier. They are typically smaller and less powerful than direct radiating subwoofers, but they are also more affordable and easier to install.

Advantages Of Using A Free Air Subwoofer:

Free-air subwoofers have a number of advantages over traditional subwoofers. These are:

1. More Efficient:

One of the biggest advantages of free-air subwoofers is that they are much more efficient than traditional subwoofers. This means that they require less power to produce the same amount of bass as a traditional subwoofer.

2. Compact:

Another advantage of free-air subwoofers is that they are much smaller and more compact than traditional subwoofers. This makes them ideal for use in cars or other small spaces. The compact design also makes them easier to install and less obtrusive in the space they are placed in. 

3. Longer Lifespan:

Finally, free-air subwoofers typically have a much longer lifespan than traditional subwoofers, as they do not have any moving parts that can wear out over time. So, while they may have a higher initial cost, they can save you money in the long run.

Disadvantages Of Using A Free Air Subwoofer:

Despite their advantages, there are also some drawbacks to using a free-air subwoofer. These include: 

1. Limited Power Handling:

One potential disadvantage of free-air subwoofers is that they often have limited power handling capabilities compared to traditional subwoofers. This means they may not be able to produce as much volume or bass as a traditional subwoofer.

2. Limited Placement Options:

Another potential drawback is that free-air subwoofers have limited placement options and must be placed in an open space for optimal sound quality. This can limit where you can install the subwoofer in your vehicle or home.

3. Not Ideal For All Environments:

Finally, free-air subwoofers may not be ideal for all environments. They can be susceptible to outside noise and may not perform as well in very hot or humid conditions. 

How To Set Up A Free Air Subwoofer In Your Car Or Home?

1. Choose A Location For Your Subwoofer:

The first step is to choose a location for your subwoofer. You’ll want to choose a spot that’s close to an electrical outlet and away from any heat sources. It’s also important to choose a spot that’s not too close to walls or furniture, as this can cause sound quality issues.

2. Place The Subwoofer In Chosen Location:

Once you’ve chosen a location, it’s time to place the subwoofer in that spot. If you’re using a floor-standing subwoofer, you’ll need to make sure it’s stable and won’t tip over. If you’re using a bookshelf subwoofer, you can simply place it on a shelf or table.

3. Connect Subwoofer To An Amplifier:

The next step is to connect the subwoofer to an amplifier. You’ll need to use a speaker wire to make the connection between the two devices. Once the connection is made, you’ll need to turn on the amplifier and set the volume to a moderate level.

4. Connect Amplifier To Stereo Receiver: 

The next step is to connect the amplifier to your stereo receiver. You’ll need to use RCA cables to make the connection between the two devices. Once the connection is made, you’ll need to turn on the receiver and set it to the “CD” input.

5. Enjoy Your New Free-Air Subwoofer: 

Now that everything is connected, you can sit back and enjoy your new free-air subwoofer! You should notice an improvement in sound quality, especially when playing bass-heavy music or movies

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Free Air Subwoofer:

To get the most out of your free air subwoofer, you’ll need to complete a few basic steps:

First, make sure that you have the right speaker enclosure. Your subwoofer will come with either a sealed or ported enclosure. If you don’t have the correct enclosure, your subwoofer will not sound its best.

Next, make sure that your amplifier is capable of powering your subwoofer. Many amplifiers are not rated for use with free air subs, so check with the manufacturer before purchasing an amplifier.

Finally, make sure that you position your subwoofer in an area where it will have plenty of air to breathe. Placing it in a corner or against a wall can limit the sound quality.

Conclusion:

I hope this information has helped to clarify the advantages and disadvantages of using a free-air subwoofer. While they may have some limitations, they can offer a unique and cost-effective way to improve your sound system. Just make sure to do your research and properly set up your subwoofer for optimal performance. Happy listening!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Free-Air Subwoofer for My Home Theater System?

Yes, free-air subwoofers can also be used in home theater systems as long as they are connected to an amplifier and placed in an open area for optimal sound quality.

Can I Use Multiple Free-Air Subwoofers at Once?

Yes, you can use multiple free-air subwoofers at once as long as your amplifier is capable of powering them and you have enough space for optimal placement.

Which Type of Subwoofer Is Best?

This is a subjective question and ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the sound quality of free-air subwoofers, while others prefer sealed or ported subwoofers.


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Miller Smith
By Miller Smith

I am Miller Smith, the owner of allsubwoofers. As a professional audio engineer for over 25 years, I have worked on some amazing projects in recording studios, live venues, and theaters. I love helping people find the best subwoofer for their needs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced audiophile, I hope that my website can help you find the information and products you need to make the best purchase decisions possible. Thanks for visiting!


AllSubwoofers is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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