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Sealed VS Ported Subwoofers

By July 11, 2022 No Comments

Sealed VS Ported Subwoofers

One of the great benefits to working at home is getting to listen to music and stream videos between Zoom calls. At the end of the day, you can turn your chair, put your feet up, and crank the bass. When it’s time to upgrade your home audio system, rather than overhaul your existing system, you can get the same benefits by putting a Kanto subwoofer into the mix.

What is the Best Subwoofer?

There are two main types of subwoofers you can buy: sealed and ported sometimes known as “vented.”

Ported Subwoofers

A ported subwoofer has an opening in the cabinet that lets air move in and out. It’s either a tube or a slot and the shape and length of the slot affects how the sub sounds.

As the frequency goes lower going from audible to mostly tactile volume also goes down as it takes more and more power and air movement to hit seriously low notes.

The length of the port can be designed so that the tone admitted from the port is lower than what the sub can produce by itself. This gains low-end sound. A port can be designed or tuned to give better extension or lower frequencies but below that tuning frequency, the volume of the sub drops hard and it losses steam.

If a port’s limits are exceeded, they can produce a sound called “chuffing”. The air moving in and out of the port itself is smooth at normal listening levels. At higher volumes, the sound becomes choppy, like the sound heard in an open car window.

It can be resolved with a wider, longer port tube, meaning a larger cabinet, and a larger subwoofer. It also requires much tighter engineering to maintain quality audio.

Sealed Subwoofers

A sealed sub is self-explanatory. The cabinet that the woofer sits in has no openings. The woofer sits inside of a box and all the air inside is trapped. It can’t flow in or out.

A sealed subwoofer doesn’t have a sudden reduction in volume. There’s a gradual reduction in volume relative to the reduction of frequency that’s playing. In the industry, that is known as a “smooth rolloff”. At really low tactile frequencies, a sealed sub can actually have more energy than a comparable ported subwoofer.

Sealed subs respond quickly to changes in direction because every time the woofer moves out the sealed cabinet wants to pull it back in and when its pushed in the springiness of the air wants to push it back to its starting place. Sealed subs go from equilibrium to high excursion and back really fast. That is why sealed subs are sometimes referred to as “quick or tight”.

Sealed subs have the advantage of a smaller profile and lower design requirements for quality audio reproduction.

Choosing Your Home Subwoofer

Determining which is the best subwoofers for your home or office depends on how you intend to use it. Each system has its own benefits and caveats. Ported subwoofers are good for theater systems, even home theaters, where big, hard-hitting bass is a must-have for action flicks, at the expense of some distortion and a larger physical footprint.

In the home office or small rooms, a sealed subwoofer like the Kanto SUB8 Powered Subwoofer can give you the desired clean, deep bass tones in a small, compact design. Since shelf-rattling bass is probably less of a concern in your home office than minimal footprint, this small, sleek subwoofer would be an elegant but powerful addition to your audio system.

The Kanto SUB8 features independent controls and power function, so that additional low end extension can be seamlessly integrated with your existing audio system. It’s designed to be plug & play.

Ported vs. Sealed, the Debate Continues

In sum, the buyer needs to consider their options:

  • Available size: Sealed subwoofers are still smaller and more compact and are the better choice for apartments and small offices.
  • Intended use: Enthusiasts and home theater aficionados prefer the deep, far-reaching bass tones ported subwoofers provide.
  • Playback levels: If you intend to turn it up to eleven, ported is the one you want. Ported hit lower and louder with less wattage.
  • Aesthetic considerations: For maximum bass and minimum profile, sealed still has the advantage over ported.

When it comes to audio quality and size, if you’re in the market for a subwoofer and you’re on a budget, and you don’t have the type of large space that could benefit from the additional headroom of the ported subwoofer, you’ll be rewarded with the tight musical low-end sound that reproduces audio the way it is intended to be heard.

Kanto Audio has a wide array of wired and wireless audio systems, including powered subwoofers such as the SUB8, which will complement your existing systems and décor. Whether you want to improve your home audio system or install your TV on the wall for your home theater, you can find exactly what you need through Kanto.