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What Do Subwoofers Do?

Learn what subwoofers do in this Howcast car stereo video with expert Movin' On.


Hi my name is Movin On, and I've been working in the field of car audio and mobile electronics for 8 over years. I've installed everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms, and beyond. To learn more, visit our web site at

Today I am going to be sharing my knowledge of car audio and mobile electronics. In any musical environment there are highs, mids, and lows. Highs are considered treble. Mids are usually vocals and snares and things like that. And then lows, that is where your subwoofer comes in. Now bass is not directional, which means that anywhere that there is bass you can hear it from. So often times to add bass to a car stereo we put what is called a subwoofer in to the trunk of the car of the car. From the trunk it sounds like it is coming from everywhere inside the car. Unlike the little speakers that are up in your dash, tweeters, or the woofers that are your door. Installing a subwoofer can help lighten the load on your car stereo speakers by letting you play them flat and using the subwoofer to pick up on all of those really low frequencies. Subwoofers come in all shapes and sizes. There are small subwoofers that you can fit under a seat. There are big subwoofers that take up the entire trunk. And there are subwoofers that are everything in between. If you just want a little bit of bass in your car you can add an eight inch subwoofer or a ten inch subwoofer. Some people get two twelves. Obviously the bigger the subwoofer the more power you are going to need to make it move. Amplifiers are always going to be needed when you add a subwoofer. If your car came with a high end sound system chances are you have a small subwoofer built right in to it. You can usually tell if you look in your doors, your front doors, and if you see if there are speakers in all four and you have some extra ones in the rear deck. A typical car stereo is going to break up if you turn up the bass too much. So often times the best option is to leave the bass flat and add a small subwoofer to pick up the extra load. This way you can turn the car stereo up without your music distorting and the subwoofer is going to pick up all the bass. Because subwoofers are big and they move a lot of air they can easily produce bass and give you music impact. It is going to make everything sound a little bit louder and it is going to make your speakers job a little bit easier because they are not going to pick up those low frequencies that they are not designed to handle.

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