A subwoofer is an essential component of your audio system that generates low-frequency sound. This low-pitch audio frequency is referred to as the bass. Sound comprises of various frequencies. Your main speakers are best suited to reproduce high and mid-range frequencies. When your conventional speakers try to transmit different sound signals, the result will be sound distortion.
Subwoofers come in two basic types, active and passive. A passive subwoofer requires an external amplifier to power it. It is mainly used in car audio systems as a big speaker or a group of speakers contained in a box. An active subwoofer, also known as powered subwoofers has a built-in amplifier. It has its own power connection. With active subwoofers, there is no need for special wiring configurations. Powered subwoofers are commonly seen as a single subwoofer. It is best suited for home theaters, movie theaters, and sound systems.
Subwoofers come in many sizes, but the most common are 8", 10", 12", and 15". This is probably also noted in metric for the european brands. As you can imagine, the bigger woofers are the ones that will play louder and play lower. Of course, the smaller ones are more musical, more precise, and sound "tighter". What size you decide on usually has to do with your own preferences, as well as installation considerations. Remember! 18" subwoofers don't just fit anywhere!
Subwoofers are already easy to find because they are widely available in hi-fi stores, electronic stores and computer stores. There are also retailers online that will auction brand new and second hand subwoofers with different designs you can choose from. Very good subwoofers are found in high-end electronic retailers, you should also watch out for weekend sales, or end of the month sales.
There are numerous subwoofer enclosures that are designed specifically for certain models of cars. That means you have subwoofers for jeeps, Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and many other cars. By classifying the subwoofers under the heading of a particular car, it makes it fairly easy to ensure you are placing the proper subwoofer speakers into your car. Of course, that will have the obvious benefit of a car audio system that delivers on its expectations.
The most common today for subwoofer cone woofer material is polypropylene plastic. This type of material allows for a much smoother and typically consistent frequency response. Polypropylene does not react much to the surrounding environment and would therefore maintain its own properties consistently. They're usually the median priced subwoofers and companies like Pioneer, Orion, and JL Audio make great polypropylene cone subwoofers.
Probably the best place to start your research on subwoofers is to ask friends who already have them Ask them what they like (or don't like) about their subwoofer. Ask how difficult it was to install it. And ask them if there are any shortcomings to the particular subwoofer. Next, head out to a few audio specialty stores to actually listen to as many different types and brands of subwoofers as you can. Listen to a $60 subwoofer followed by a $600 subwoofer and compare what you hear. Ask and look at the way the subwoofer is installed. Unless you know exactly what you want, a subwoofer is not something to be purchased online without listening to it.