April 13, 2016

Subwoofers, Part 1: You need a better reason to come back to our Blog.

We recently used this blog to introduce you to Paradigm's new Prestige Series of high-powered subwoofers. You know: "Louder. Lower frequency. Lower distortion. Gut-wrenching power!"

Since then, this blog has been one big award and one great review after another. Hey, we're tooting our own X-PAL Tweeters here, so to speak. But we'd understand if you're beginning to feel that our bragging is getting dry. 

How about some information you can really use? Maybe even an opportunity to -- most important -- learn something that helps you get better performance from your audio equipment? That's exactly what we've been thinking, too. 

Click the jump to find out what we have in store for you now, and what you can do to be sure you don't miss any upcoming posts.

Louder & Lower: What you can expect in the coming weeks from the new Paradigm Blog.

No, really, we meant it: you need a better reason to come back to read our blog on a regular basis. It's our goal to give you one. 

So over the next couple of weeks we plan to post some interesting and educational information about one of our favorite topics: subwoofers.

We'll get low-down and deep with the new Prestige Series of subwoofers. We'll talk about what makes a good subwoofer, and why a good subwoofer is important. Plus, we'll let you in on some of the secrets of great subwoofer performance, and give you lots of tips to help you get the most bass from your subwoofer (some of which you can only get from us).

Got subwoofer questions? Email them to us here, and we'll try to cover your answer in a future blog post!

Big bass is not just important, it's also really good. We look forward to blogging about it!


  1. Hi, I've seen enough sealed vs ported debates. I'm curious to hear more about front-ported vs rear-ported subs. I have two Paradigm PW2200 subs, which feature rear ports. It seems to me more rare for modern subs to have rear ports. I find they sound best pulled out a ways (at least a foot) from the front wall to give those ports room to breathe. Can you speak more to advantages/disadvantages of front vs rear ports?

    Also, on the topic of subwoofer positioning, I've seen at least a couple of gentleman go as far as to recommend turning a sub around BACKWARDS, so that the driver is actually firing away from the listener and directly into the front wall. I have not tried this myself. I was curious if you had any info on this novel idea. Thanks! -Lucas

  2. Lucas, thanks for your question!

    Everything in audio ultimately comes down to “how well it’s implemented” – not simply right or wrong. The same goes for subs and ports – or any speaker and ports for that matter. When done properly – a port is similar to a driver and must be tuned to do a specific task, if not, bad things can happen to the sound.

    When it comes to speakers of any type – the room and the position of the speaker in the room can have an enormous influence on the overall sound. With lower (bass) frequencies, the lower you go, the more the room and speaker position influences the sound, making subwoofer placement critical. This is why you get such polarizing answers from people on the subject of subs and positioning. Some guys will tell you to always put the sub in a corner, while other guys will say never put a sub in a corner. And even then – where is the corner? Is it an outside wall corner along a foundation, or an inside drywall corner in the middle of the basement?

    You are going to have peaks and dips in the in-room response based on positioning so the lower you can reasonable cross over the sub (the low pass filter) – the more you can narrow that down, the better. The single most difficult thing to do is get the bass from the sub to blend with the main speakers … if they are larger you may be able to cross over easier. If smaller, it often gets tougher.

    You may find positioning deep in a corner increases the very low bass – but it also may cause large peaks in the mid bass … pulling it out slightly may reduce both, or exaggerate one or several peaks. It really tough to predict … experimentation is a must!

    As far as ports go – when tuned really low they are pretty omni-directional, similar to a driver. So you may find the position of the driver and the position of the ports to be similar.

    Ultimately, unless you have a method to deal with the problems a room causes – like with advanced room correction software (like ARC or PBK) – you have no way to fill in the peaks or dips in the response caused by room placement.

    Experimenting can yield improvements – but never fully correct for the damage the room does to the sound. The good news is you’ll be shocked how much better your system will sound when you deal with its single biggest enemy – the room.

    Hope this answers your question and thanks!