Where should you place your subwoofers? Is a subwoofer on a shelf a good idea, or should it be placed elsewhere? Does the placement of subwoofers affect their performance?
I’m here to address all these concerns, so let’s get to it!
How the Placement of Subwoofers Affect Their Performance
When setting up your audio equipment, one important thing to consider is the placement of subwoofers.
Finding the best spot for a subwoofer can be challenging because of the omnidirectional nature of the sound waves it produces.
Subwoofers produce a lot of vibration since they produce powerful bass. Because low-end frequencies are most affected by their environment, their sound signature can quickly change.
In a perfect world, the best places to keep your subwoofers are spots where their audio is unhindered to avoid bass nulls or standing waves.
But what most people do is place them in rooms with hardwood floors or carpeting, furniture, and walls, which can cause the sound waves to reverberate and bounce around the space.
It’s not easy to choose the ideal location for your subwoofers. The optimum sound output comes down to personal preference, but it still helps to understand how different environments can impact their performance.
So Can You Place Subwoofers on a Shelf?
Subwoofers can be placed on a shelf if it’s solid and dense enough to hold the equipment.
Subwoofers create omnidirectional low-frequency sound waves, making the bass perceptible. They can reverberate and generate unwelcome vibrations if your shelf is too light, weak, or close to the wall.
One crucial factor to consider before placing subwoofers on a shelf is their weight. Big, hefty subwoofers shouldn’t be on a shelf with particularly thin boards.
The subwoofer’s weight can break the shelf if it cannot sustain it. And when the shelf breaks, the subwoofer will fall and can also get damaged.
The shelf’s durability should also be considered when mounting subwoofers on it. It means that hefty shelves made of thicker boards can support subwoofers substantially.
Ideally, the shelf should also be wider than your subwoofers, as they tend to shake and vibrate while music is playing. You wouldn’t want your subwoofer to fall off the shelf because of this.
Is it Better to Place Subwoofers on a Shelf than on the Floor?
You’ve probably seen that most people put their subwoofers on the floor, which may make you wonder if this is better than placing them on a shelf.
Subwoofers should be mounted higher than the ground. It’s because the vibrations from subwoofers can be transferred through the floor and travel to other surfaces.
Between setting subwoofers on the floor and placing them on a shelf, the latter is preferable. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
Most subwoofers are massive and hefty which leaves people with little to no choice but to set them on the ground.
Subwoofers are placed on the floor for safety and convenience, but it is better to keep them on a shelf.
Other Places Where You Can Keep your Subwoofer
Since I’ve confirmed that subwoofers can be placed on a shelf, which is better than putting them on the floor, where else can you keep your subwoofers?
Decoupling from the floor is the most crucial aspect to reduce the number of vibrations transmitted to the floor. Here are some other options on where to place your subwoofers.
In a Corner
Another common practice is to place subwoofers in a corner. This boosts the bass output and reduces the likelihood of bass nulls, which can improve the sound quality.
But there’s also a disadvantage to this. Similar to placing subwoofers on the floor, the walls are also likely to be affected by the bass and associated vibrations.
On a Table
If you don’t have a shelf, subwoofers can be elevated by being set on a table. If you opt for this, you have to use a table that’s big and durable enough to hold the subwoofers.
Since the subwoofer creates vibrations, the table should also be sturdy enough not to budge or shake.
Your subwoofer’s sound quality depends on where you place it. A subwoofer’s performance is affected by various parameters, and its sensitivity to ambient characteristics makes things more difficult.
It’s good to place your subwoofer on a shelf or table. This is because the sound is clearer and detected better if you place your subwoofer above floor level, close to the ear level.
But if your subwoofer is too big and heavy, you may be forced to place it on the ground, which is something that a lot of people do.
When doing so, try to disconnect the subwoofer from the floor by setting it on a low surface that’ll muffle the vibrations.
The ideal location for your subwoofers is determined mainly by room characteristics, so I hope this has been helpful so you can maximize the performance of your subwoofer through its placement.
If you have some questions, leave a comment below and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.
A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.