A Guide to Car Stereo Subwoofers

Even the best car audio systems don't reach their full potential until you install car stereo subwoofers. Regular car stereo speakers just don't replicate low frequencies the way subwoofers do, so even high-quality car stereo speakers benefit from having car stereo subwoofers as companions. What do you need to know when you're shopping for car stereo subwoofers?

If you're shopping for car stereo subwoofers, make sure your car audio system can handle them.
Regular factory-installed car audio systems don't have enough power output for car stereo subwoofers. If you want to add car stereo subwoofers to your system, you'll need a car stereo amplifier powerful enough to drive them. Keep this in mind when shopping for components for car audio systems; consider not only your present use, but future upgrade plans.

If you do want to add car stereo subwoofers to an existing factory-installed system, you can use a mono amplifier or 2-channel amplifier to drive the subwoofers themselves. A Class-D mono amplifier is the best choice for powering car stereo subwoofers, as it provides a strong, efficient power output. Match your car stereo amplifier's output with your car stereo subwoofers to ensure you've got enough power for your car stereo speakers.

When shopping for car stereo subwoofers, size matters.
Car stereo subwoofers take up space. First, you've got the space lost to the amplifier. Next, you need space for the car stereo subwoofers themselves. Most car stereo subwoofers are installed in an enclosure, which can be not much bigger than the car stereo subwoofers themselves to large, blocky enclosures that take up a lot of space. Since most car stereo subwoofers are installed in the back of the car, be prepared to give up trunk space for your new subwoofers.

As far as the size of the subwoofers themselves go: car stereo subwoofers come in sizes ranging from 6.5 inches all the way up to 60 inch. Extremely large car stereo subwoofers, such as 60-inch models, are typically installed in large vehicles, and may require that you take out the entire back seat of the car for installation. 6.5-inch car stereo subwoofers are great to provide that little extra punch for your music, without requiring you to sacrifice the functionality of your car. Consider the type of music you like and what you want to accomplish with your car stereo subwoofers when you're considering sizes.

Enclosures for your car stereo subwoofers.
You've got two basic types of enclosures for your car stereo subwoofers: sealed enclosures and ported enclosures. Sealed enclosures provide more controlled bass, tend to take up less space than ported enclosures and require much less consideration than ported enclosures. Typical car audio systems benefit from car stereo subwoofers in sealed enclosures. Ported enclosures take up to 40% more space than sealed enclosures, and require a lot more design work and consideration than sealed enclosures. However, ported enclosures provide significantly more bass output from the same car stereo subwoofers.

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