Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofers: Which Is Better For You?

Jerry Wilson
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Ported Subwoofers

The Pros and Cons

Ported subwoofers are among the most common subs found in your typical subwoofer setup. They are used in home theater systems and in some car audio systems.

Ported subwoofers, compared to sealed subwoofers, are popular due to a few key advantages they offer:

  • They have a lower frequency range, making them generally cheaper to manufacture.
  • They are easier to repair.
  • They often have higher sensitivity, making them louder (if equal, sealed subs capture more power, but the sensitivity difference is not significant).

The downside is the higher distortion that results from the huge vibrations that ported subs can induce. For this reason, some ported subs may not be suitable for low frequency reproduction at high volumes due to the hearing damage risk. In addition, they generally require separate subwoofer amplifiers to power them, since they are usually more powerful than the usual sealed subwoofer.

However, if you’re looking to get a subwoofer setup for home theater systems or for smaller venues, ported subwoofers will probably be a good fit.

Sealed Subwoofers

When it comes to subwoofers most people think just of things that are big and loud. Touch one of these monsters and you’d expect to feel like you’re in the middle of an explosion. And from the looks of it, that’s what most people want from these speakers. Bigger is better, right? The bigger the boom, the better the sound right?

There’s another end of the spectrum when it comes to subwoofers and if you’re concerned with sound quality over just creating a house shaking boom, then you’re going to want to take a look at sealed subwoofers.

There are a few big name companies that offer sealed subs, but there are also a lot of smaller companies that just want to get more people to hear their products. The bigger companies have a reputation that they can keep up, so there is a higher chance that you’ll want to buy their products.

The smaller companies are taking a big chance. A big chance that they’ll be widely recognized and will reap a lot of the benefits of the industry.

Making the Right Choice

Most of us enjoy listening to music from our car – the convenience is great. But with the rising popularity of car audio systems over the years, we’ve seen more set ups and more tech. We have an escalated hunger for sound … and we want to listen to it greatly … and even though we’ve given up some space in our cars for the sake of car audio, we’ve chosen to do so!

Portable systems have been a hit among audiophiles everywhere. So, if you’re looking into upgrading your car’s stereo systems, you are probably thinking about one of the two – sealed or ported.

The best car subwoofer for you depends on a few things, such as the material that it is made of and the car’s interior space. But most importantly, it depends on the kind of sound you want to experience. Both the sealed and ported subwoofers are commonly used in car audio. Do you know the difference between them yet? Which is the best choice for your vehicle? Let’s find out.