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Sealed vs. Ported Subwoofers: Which Is Right For You?

by Reyna Thomas

When purchasing a subwoofer, there are numerous aspects to consider, including budgetary as well as technological aspects.  But whether you want a sealed or ported subwoofer is one of the most essential factors to consider. It may appear to be a little detail, and most people overlook it. However, the box that makes the sub is largely responsible for the audio quality.

The sealed box and the ported box are the two types of boxes that make up the subwoofer. So, how do these two options compare? We'll dive in and tell you so you can make the best-informed decision for yourself!

Ported Subwoofers

What are ported subwoofers? These are subwoofer speakers enclosed in a box that has a port (vents or bass reflexes) or whole for air to move through. The ports (vents or bass reflexes) in the box boost low-bass response, similar to the sound effect you get when blowing air over a bottle's mouth. This vent connects the sound from the backside of the cone to the sound from the front of the sub, resulting in a stronger, more room-filling, and more vibey bass.

ported wood subwoofer

Sealed Subwoofers

Sealed subs are simply subwoofer speakers enclosed om airtight boxes, which produce more articulate bass. Instead of echoing bass sustainment, you'll hear a flat response.

The box's enclosed air acts as a shock absorber, smoothing out the sub's cone oscillating motion through moderation and rendering all notes. Simply put, don't expect a sealed subwoofer to rumble, growl, or boom excessively.

black sealed subwoofer

What are the differences?

Now that you know more about them, what are the major differences, and which is a better pick? We'll go through the differences in size, power, visual impression, and purpose.

Size

You might not think it, but the size is a big difference between sealed and ported subwoofers. The ported subwoofer has a large enclosure and is perfect for individuals who enjoy listening to extremely loud music. So you’ll need a larger room to hear every rumble of the bass adequately, so nothing is muffled.

Sealed subwoofers, on the other hand, are compact and ideal for tiny apartments or studios. The type of sound produced is enough to be heard clearly in any part of the smaller space.

Power

When it comes to power, the ported subwoofers are certainly the most efficient and robust in terms of power and ability to deliver some tremendous beats. But, you won't have to worry about keeping the system cool. Instead, it will cool down as soon as it hits the temperature tolerance point.

The sealed subwoofers, on the other hand, are a different story. Unlike with ported subs, they require more power to produce a roaring bass. As a result, when compared to ported ones, they tend to get hotter and require adequate ventilation.

Visual Impression

All subwoofers look the same, right? Not quite. A sealed sub is often designed to be a sleek and compact box that is easier to incorporate into a room. Its cube-like shape is essential as it helps it blend in with the rest of the room's furnishings.

The ported subwoofer is larger, and some brands offer a variety of design shapes. The larger the sub, the easier it is to see it in the space and the more difficult it is to blend it in.

home theater room with subwoofers

Purpose

When choosing a subwoofer, you’ll need to consider whether the subwoofer will be used for home entertainment, car cruising, or the like.

Ported sub boxes are the way to go if you want to use your subwoofer as part of a home theater setup. Any horror or action picture will be remembered for its thrilling, dynamic vibrations from highly bassy sounds. You’ll hear everything the way the movie-makers intended, and it’ll feel like you’re inside a movie theater.

Sealed subs give articulate instrumental bass for producers and professed audiophiles with a critical ear for sound. So, when it comes to creating a music hub or room in your home, a sealed subwoofer makes your tunes sound amazing.

Decision Time

happy adult man buying music speaker

Now the decision is yours! While you know how each subwoofer will fit your lifestyle, it's important to keep in mind that both sealed and portable subwoofers make excellent additions to any audio system.

If you care about clarity and bass production, the sealed subwoofer is the way to go. But go with the ported subwoofer if you're all about high levels of low-frequency audio. And when you choose the one you want, you know the perfect store to go to Toton’s TV! If you still need some help deciding, just give us a call or stop in today!