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Loudest Subwoofer Box Design

Every now and then We get e-mails and comments from readers who like to crank it up too high. One recent one asked, “What’s the loudest subwoofer box design?” Well, there’s loud, really loud, and there comes a point where it’s so loud to the point where you can be heard miles away.

It’s worth mentioning that the type of bass you get from your subwoofer(s) doesn’t depend on the woofer alone. You’ll need a strong, well-constructed enclosure for optimum subwoofer performance.

A subwoofer without an enclosure can’t deliver full bass because the sound from the back of the speaker can cancel out some low frequencies emanating from the front of the speaker.

Types of Subwoofer Boxes

While the size of the subwoofer is important, the type of enclosure you choose to mount it in may have a bigger impact. The enclosure, which is usually referred to as a box, is just that: a box that contains the subwoofer. Its main purpose is to improve bass response and prevent woofer damage from over-excursion.

Subwoofer boxes come in a three main types, including sealed, ported and bandpass (these are the most popular). Each of which will produce different types of bass. To choose the right box for your subwoofer, you need to take a few things into consideration.

Asking the following questions will help you narrow down your choices:

  • How much space is available in your vehicle and how much are you willing to sacrifice.
  • What type of speaker will you be using? Some speakers are designed for specific enclosure types.
  • Do you have an amp? If so, how much power does it produce and what type of crossovers and controls does it have?
  • What type of music do you listen to? As we mentioned above, different enclosure styles will sound slightly different.

Sealed boxes: For deep, precise bass

A sealed box is an airtight enclosure housing your subwoofer; in other words, it has a “closed” airspace. The air inside the enclosure works as an air spring to control cone movement.

If you want bass that is exceptionally accurate and deep and doesn’t sound like your subwoofer is farting, a sealed box is your best option.

A sealed box is best-suited for any music that demands tight, and deep bass (not excessively boomy) that won’t shake your fillings loose.

Pros

  • Very accurate bass reproduction
  • Tight bass response
  • Great power handling
  • Somewhat small in size
  • Easy to build
  • Great low frequency response
  • Tolerant of minor enclosure size variations
  • Extended low frequency response and smooth rolloff (12 dB/octave)

Cons

  • Requires more power for high volume
  • Not as efficient as other designs

Ported boxes: For forceful bass

A ported box uses a vent (which is more often cylinder or rectangle shaped) to reinforce low bass response. It’ll deliver more output than a sealed box at any given amplifier wattage.

Ported boxes are a bit more complex to build than sealed enclosures. They’re also considerably harder to get good performance from than sealed boxes – although at many times the extra effort can be worth it.

The trick in building a ported box is to get the right size enclosure and the right size vent. The porting parameters must be very accurate. Because otherwise, you’ll end up with too much port noise from the air traveling too fast in and out of the port.

You can’t be too far off on either of these factors (enclosure & venting sizes) or your sub’s performance will dramatically suffer.

Generally speaking, ported enclosures are typically louder but not as deep. So, if you listen to music that demands extremely loud bass, and you don’t care much about bass tightness and accuracy in the low-end frequencies, a ported enclosure is the way to go.

It must be noted that not all woofers are suitable for a ported enclosure. So, to avoid speaker damage and failure, always refer to the owner’s manual and the manufacturer for proper porting specifications.

Pros

  • Reduced cone excursion
  • Reduced distortion around vent tuning
  • Increased output around vent tuning
  • Vented boxes give you that extra “bump” that is preferred in certain types of music
  • More efficient than sealed enclosures

Cons

  • Complicated to design and build than sealed boxes
  • Bass is not tight
  • Steep roll-off of 24 dB/ octave
  • Prone to have “port noise” if built incorrectly

Bandpass boxes: Maximum slam

A Bandpass box is a special type of ported subwoofer box designed for maximum slam. Among all subwoofer boxes, the bandpass ones are the most complex to build.

In this type of enclosures, the subwoofer is mounted inside a dual-chambered box (one chamber sealed, the other vented), with the sound waves emerging from the ported side. The sound that comes out of the port is extra loud within a narrow frequency range.

Bandpass boxes are available in a number of configurations including 4th, 6th, and 8th order bandpass.

  • 4th order: In this configuration, the subwoofer is mounted in a rear sealed chamber, whilst the other side is placed in a front vented chamber. In this type of enclosure the subwoofer plays louder than bass-reflex, but has a narrow frequency response. You can tune the woofer to play a broader spectrum, but that is at the expense of efficiency.
  • 6th order: In this configuration, both chambers are ported
  • 8th order: 8th order bandpass enclosures use an extra ported chamber.
  • It must be noted, however, that not all subwoofers work well in bandpass boxes.

Pros

  • High efficiency (especially 6th and 8th order)
  • Good choice for SPL applications
  • Low woofer excursion

Cons

  • Large box
  • Extremely difficult to design and build, with no room for error
  • Much harder to replace subwoofer
  • Poor sound quality

Infinite baffle or Free-air

In free-air setups, the woofers are mounted on a board or a baffle attached to the rear deck or placed in the trunk against the rear seat. In this setup, your car’s trunk acts as an enclosure which houses the subwoofer and isolates sound from the back of the speaker. This way, the waves produced by the back of the speaker never meet the waves produced by the front of the speaker, solving the sound cancellation problem (resonances) of subs without an enclosure.

Free air setups are quite convenient in that they don’t take up much cargo space. With a powerful subwoofer, this sounds like the recipe for a great audio system. However, the concept can be very impractical and cannot be perfectly implemented in real life.

Pros

  • Doesn’t require a ton of power
  • Does not take up much room in trunk
  • Relatively simple and easy to install
  • Uses speaker’ natural frequency roll-off

Cons

  • Limited power handling
  • Limited output
  • Extremely difficult to separate back waves from front waves
  • The driver can easily reach its maximum excursion (Subwoofer damage risk)
  • Rear side of the subwoofer is exposed along with the wiring and it may not be a clean looking installation

Is “Ported” the Loudest Subwoofer Box Design?

Well, the short answer is yes. “Ported” is the loudest subwoofer box design. Thanks to their efficiency, ported enclosures are typically used to get more output using the same amp wattage than sealed enclosures. This means they can play louder overall.

In a “Vented” box, the rear sound waves coupled with the front sound waves of the subwoofer allow for an increased output around the tuning frequency. This increase in bass response and volume is what makes ported enclosures very popular among people who are more interested in volume than bass quality.

The downside, however, is that the bass produced by ported boxes is not as tight and defined as that of a sealed enclosure due to the rear sound wave not being in time alignment with the front sound wave.

It’s worth mentioning that there are some minor differences between a large ported enclosure and a small ported one.

Large ported enclosure

It goes without saying that a large ported enclosure will play lower frequencies and will have more overall output than a small ported enclosure. The downside to large ported boxes is that they take up more space and tend to have more “group delay”.

Group delay is the time it takes for an electrical input signal to become an acoustical output. It’s rarely discussed, however, it’s very common with large ported enclosures.

A larger ported box will have more group delay because of the size of the enclosure and its design. Group delay will have a softening effect on the bass. In other words, Lows’ impact or punch that you will perceive will not “hit” as quite as hard. Furthermore, and as we’ve mentioned earlier, large ported enclosures can render substantially more output but at the cost of accurate sound quality.

Small ported enclosure

Obviously, a ported enclosure will not play as low as a larger one can play for one simple reason: It doesn’t have enough airspace to be tuned to a lower frequency.

To tune a ported box to a low frequency, using a larger enclosure with a larger and longer vent is a must. In a smaller enclosure, this gets very difficult if not impossible to fit the port into the enclosure due to the limited volume of airspace you have to work with. This is the reason why small ported enclosures have to be tuned at a higher frequency than larger ported enclosures.

Loudest Subwoofer Box Design — Reviews

Building a box for your subwoofer is a lot of fun. It’s one of the best ways to put your personal touch in your car audio system. Whether it’s a basic sealed enclosure or a carefully designed ported/vented one, making sure your sub gets the appropriate enclosure for your needs can make a world of difference. However, DIY jobs aren’t for everyone.

So, unless you’re a talented craftsman with a solid understanding of enclosure volumes and other technical terms, you’re better off purchasing a pre-made subwoofer box.

If you want to save yourself from the hassle of building an enclosure for your subwoofer, check out our selection of high-quality, pre-made ported subwoofer enclosures.

1. Skar Audio SK1X12V

Skar Audio SK1X12V
  • Universal Fit - Single Chamber 12" Ported Subwoofer Enclosure
  • Competition Grade, High Performance Subwoofer Box | Engineered to Sound Incredible
  • Kerf (Rounded) Port Design - Allows for Deep, Accurate, and Responsive Bass
  • Internal Air Space: 2.00 ft³ | Tuned @ 36 Hz
  • Subwoofer Hole Cut-Out Diameter: 11.00" | Mounting Depth: 13.75"

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Skar Audio may be a new name in car audio industry, but their reputation is on the rise. The company offers a wide range of car audio products including speakers, subs, and amps. It also offers a wide selection of subwoofer enclosures.

The SK1X12V is one of the best ported subwoofer box that Skar Audio has to offer. This 12 inch subwoofer box is designed for maximum bass and responsiveness. It’s braced for extreme strength, and can handle powerful subwoofers.

It’s made of high strength 3/4″ medium density fiberboard (MDF) and it’s finished in a premium black carpet, which, combined with the Skar Audio logo on the lower left side, will make this enclosure look sleek and attractive in any application.

This universal fit ported box features a kerf style port. The latter uses the curves typically found only in custom, high-end enclosures, allowing the box to offer deeper and more accurate bass.

Furthermore, this enclosure is precisely tuned to deliver riveting low-end frequency response and the loud and beefy bass that turns heads from outside the vehicle.

Internally, this ported subwoofer box is filled with poly-fill to enhance the overall versatility and depth of sound that it reproduces with any given subwoofer.

Last but not least, this subwoofer box is featured with a premium push terminal wiring cup that is built into the side of the enclosure. This wiring cup features a 16-gauge wire that is pre-soldered and connected to the terminals making it easier to wire up and install your 12 inch subwoofer hassle free.

Buy on Amazon

2. Atrend BBox E12SV

Atrend BBox E12SV
  • MDF Construction with 1-inch Speaker Face
  • Miter & Dado Construction with Premium Carpeted Finish
  • Slot Vent with Black & Red Spring Loaded Terminal Cups
  • Gross Cu. Ft. 1.65 Net Cu. Ft.1.15 (Tuning 35Hz) Speaker hole cutout 11.12"
  • (W) 16.00" x (H) 13.75" x (D) 17.25" - Vent (W) 1.25" x (H) 11.00" x (Deep) 26.00" "L" shape vent

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Atrend has been making subwoofer boxes for over a decade now, and you could say they know a thing or two about sound and enclosures. The company offers everything from single and dual subwoofer enclosures to vehicle specific boxes and shallow enclosures for shallow mount subwoofers.

Atrend BBox series of enclosures offer a great bang for the buck. They’re designed to perform exceptionally well with any subwoofer
and are reasonably-priced for the most part.

The BBox E12SV is one of the best 12 inch ported subwoofer box in the BBox series. It’s made of durable 3/4″ MDF panels to withstand the deepest bass. Additionally, it has a 1″ thick MDF front baffle to reduce panel flex and provide a solid mounting surface for powerful subs.

To provide a cleaner finish and ensure tighter seal, this enclosure uses Miter and Dado construction, which adds extra reinforcement and structural integrity to the subwoofer. Miter joints provide a lot of surface area for glue and allow for over 41% more surface area compared to a traditional butt joint.

Externally, this enclosure comes wrapped with premium carpeted finish and is featured with red spring loaded terminal cups.

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3. Q Power QBOMB12VL

Q Power QBOMB12VL
  • Side Ported
  • Durable Bed Liner Spray
  • Screw Down DELUXE Terminal Cups

Last update on 2020-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Q Power is a company well-known for their long tradition of making top-notch subwoofer boxes. So, if you’re looking for a well-made subwoofer box and don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks, QBOMB boxes are the way to go. They fall on the high end of the price and quality spectrum.

Q Power QBOMB enclosures come in a wide variety of types and sizes. They’re designed and built for the deepest bass and come finished with a black bedliner spray for increased durability.

The Q Power QBOMB12VL is no exception. It’s one of the best 12 inch ported subwoofer box in the QBOMB series.

The subwoofer box at hand is constructed with 3/4″ MDF. It features a single vented chamber design and boasts 1.8 cubic feet of air space. Additionally, this box comes with high quality spring loaded terminal for hassle free subwoofer mounting.

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Alex Brown

Hey There, my name is Alex Brown, I'm a music lover and a car audio enthusiast. I've installed everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms and beyond. I've been in this industry for years now. I enjoy creating solutions and simplifying everyday needs. My passion for music came at an early age. I love helping people get great sounding gear, thereby, saving the world from bad sound one customer at a time.

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