If you own or plan to purchase a car subwoofer or subwoofers and are looking for the right subwoofer enclosure, there is some important information you need to know before making the investment. Obviously you want to get the best quality sound, but do you want to get that sub system booming or a tighter sound suits you best? These are questions you need to consider. A common mistake is putting time and effort into choosing the perfect car subwoofer and then not worrying about the box it will be housed in.
The dimensions of your subwoofer enclosure are equally important and should fit your car subwoofer adequately. Getting a smaller box than that recommended by the manufacturer will give a tighter sound while one that is too big will sound scruffy. Check the manufacturer?s space recommendations carefully.
If you have the "do it yourself" type of attitude you can have a go at constructing your own subwoofer enclosure and it is definitely less costly considering an enclosure for a single car subwoofer starts off at about $65(you can get yourself all the materials you need for about $25!). There is more room for creativity and if you have limited cargo space, this may be a good solution. However, before taking a hands-on approach, two vital rules are to be considered: that the subwoofer enclosure is properly sealed and solid. You have a box with deficient isolation and it won't block some of the back sound waves from your subwoofer.
You won?t be maximizing sound quality of your subwoofer neither of your car speakers, and the result, far from desired. On the other hand a solid box will keep the box from flexing and vibrating. Most manufacturers include information on box building, recommended sizes and sub specifications.
When choosing the material for your subwoofer enclosure, keep in mind that a faultless one is somewhat impossible to find but there is something out there that will suit your needs. Wood is the most common of the possibilities. You will find it easily at your local hardware store. MDF (medium density fiberboard) is probably the best option. Its high density reduces panel vibrations. It is easy to build, as long as you are only looking to make a square or rectangular shaped box. It is, however, heavy and not too versatile.
If you are building a subwoofer enclosure for boat and marine audio make sure you go for marine-grade plywood instead. Count on about 40-50 pounds of extra weight for a single subwoofer enclosure. Fiberglass subwoofer enclosures, on the other hand, can solve some of your problems. It is built in layers making it more versatile and allowing you to shape that box however your heart desires. It is lighter than the normal wooden box as well. The downside is that you will need to let go of more cash to make a fiberglass enclosure and have a lot more work building it.
Plexiglas boxes, although not as common, are out there for the bigger investors. Unless you are a highly skilled craftsman, I suggest you go for a pre-fabricated Plexiglas box. Although costly, it is known to maximize sound quality as it is air tight and does not leak or absorb high frequencies. You also get a very good looking box to impress.
If you are going to buy a pre-fabricated car subwoofer enclosure there are various types to choose from. It is suggested that some thought is given to what type of sound you are looking for before you loose your head and purchase something you will regret later. The most common and easiest to make is the sealed subwoofer enclosure. It is an airtight enclosure which gives off a tight, precise bass. You will need, however, more amplifier power. Another option is the ported subwoofer enclosure which has a tube (port) that allows air out of the enclosure.
It is bigger than a sealed box but is ideal for deeper bass for all you heavy metal, rock, hard driving music fans. The Band pass box is a special type of ported box. It consists of a dual chambered-box with sound waves coming out of the ported side. The result is an aggressive sound ideal for reggae, rap and hard rock. Some people go for the free air system where they mount the subwoofer behind the back seat or under the rear deck of a car. The trunk functions as an enclosure. It is ideal for economizing space and for a flat frequency response but count on more amplifier power and an inaccurate bass at low frequencies.
Whether you have that "do it yourself" approach or get the box you have been dreaming about built for you, you want your moneys worth and get everyone in the neighborhood talking about it.