RP 1600 SW on a floor next to a beige credenza mobile

What Size Subwoofer Do I Need?

Does Subwoofer Size Matter?

Okay, get your mind outta the gutter for a moment. We’re talking about subwoofers right now.

“Though subwoofers can appear to just be big boxes with big drivers, there are many nuances that go into designing a proper subwoofer,” says Klipsch Connected Audio Product Manager Zach Beyer.

When shopping for the right subwoofer for your setup, the size and numbers do matter. We’ll walk you through how a subwoofer size comparison works.


What DO those numbers mean (8, 10, 12, etc) when it comes to subwoofers?

“In general for Klipsch subwoofers, the number denotes the woofer size,“ Beyer says. “For example, the R-121SW has a 12” woofer, while the RP-1400SW has a 14” woofer.”

Besides woofer size, what are the other differences in the subwoofers?

“While a bigger box is certainly a way to achieve greater bass extension, it is not the only way,“ Beyer says. “The C-Series subwoofers, for example (C-308AWSi and C-310AWSi) utilize dual passive radiators and digital hybrid amplifiers to achieve good bass extension while maintaining a small footprint."

Passive radiators accomplish the same job as a port, but there are distinct benefits to using this design. One is that when designing small footprint subwoofers, the actual port length would need to be larger than the actual box to produce very low frequencies,” Beyer explains. “Passive radiators allow us to tune the cabinet* to lower frequencies while minimizing box volume.

*Tuning a cabinet – Cabinet tuning is what determines the lowest frequencies a subwoofer will produce. This is the LFE, bass extension, etc. specification.

Just remember to take into account the size of your space and if you’re sharing walls or floors with someone. Pissing off the neighbors is one thing. Having the police arrive repeatedly for noise complaints is another.

See the three best spots to place a subwoofer>

How Much Does a Subwoofer Cost?

As we've mentioned, it depends on the size of the woofer itself, the size of your space, your goals for the sub, and your personal budget. Klipsch makes high-end subwoofers for every size and budget. It just comes down to your preference and how much you want to spend to add some thunder to your home theater system.


Categories: Subwoofer