Some cars pass us along the road and the vibration and depth of sound we hear is so deep we wonder where all that is coming from. Well, say no more. It comes from the subwoofer installed in the vehicle. Subwoofers have been found out to be heavy. And really, how much does a subwoofer weigh? We are about to find out all of that and more.
Normally, the average weight of a 12-inch subwoofer is about 26 pounds. An 8-inch woofer can weigh like 7 pounds. You should also know that this is the size of the subwoofer cone alone. If you begin to factor in stuff like the box or housing of the subwoofer, we could be looking at a total weight of about 45 pounds. The least heavy subwoofer plus box size you might find around could weigh about 9 pounds. And these are usually found under the seat of the vehicle. It’s not surprising that car subwoofers are heavy. As you might have noticed, for the context of this article, we will be using pounds (lb) as our standard unit of measurement.
We can all see that the weight of a subwoofer is largely determined by the size of its cone and housing i.e. box. However, there are other factors that determine the weight of a subwoofer apart from its cone diameter and box size. Find below are some of the reasons.
Factors That Make Sub Woofers Heavy
For more loudness and depth in sound, factors like power could play a leading factor. The size of the woofer also has to be loud enough to accommodate all of these. Bass sounds operate at very low frequencies. Normal speakers might not be able to pick up this frequency and produce it effectively, but a sub-woofer can handle it well. Now lets us fully consider the things that can impact the weight of car sub woofers.
For the cone of the speaker, the magnet is the heaviest component. Woofers are known for loud, deep sounds. To accommodate this, the magnets have to be equally strong and powerful too. We have also come to notice that the ratio of magnet to cone weight might more than half. Sub-woofer magnets are generally made for two materials, namely: ferrite which is ceramic and neodymuim.
Neodymium magnets weigh less but are more expensive, while ferrites are heavy and less expensive. This is why some manufactures favor the neodymium type as it weighs about half the other type with the same power. The downside of neodymium is that they become less efficient at high temperature. So the ferrite magnets might be considered in such situations.
The basket of a subwoofer is what a chassis is to a car. It is the frame work that holds the woofer together. Just like the magnets, there are two main materials that woofer baskets are made from. The first is steel. This is the most popular one.
It makes the subwoofer look sturdy, stiff and rugged. The second type which is only sometimes seen is made from magnesium or cast aluminium. The aluminium type has a particular advantage. It is lighter than steel, lasts longer and definitely more rigid.
The weight of aluminium and steel differs and this could also play a part in the size of your car subwoofer.
As stated earlier in this article, the cone size of the woofer might not be the only thing making it heavy. The size of the box or enclosure housing it might also be a great factor. The materials used for housing a subwoofer is usually made from plywood, pine wood or Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF).
The diameter of the cone will now determine the thickness of the box size. For woofers of about 6.5 to 8 inches, the thickness of the box can account for about half of the speaker. And three-quarter of wood thickness might be needed for 10-inch speaker and above.
Due to direct contact with the vibrations of the sub-woofer, the front part of the box is made of about 1.25 inches of wood. The housing of a woofer has to be strong and heavy enough to withstand the powerful vibrations of a woofer so it does not cave from excessive distortion and rattling.
Groups of Car Subwoofers
Subwoofers for vehicles come in different shapes and sizes. Manufactures are trying to finesse with it to make it look attractive in your vehicle. But do not be carried away by this. The basic function of a sub-woofer is to provide deep bass sound to your vehicle. So listed below are some groups of subwoofers to use in a vehicle.
Spare wheel subwoofers
As the name implies, this woofer is designed to fit in to the spare wheel area of a vehicle. They are made from aluminium frame work, making it lightweight and not bare so much impact on the trunk of the car. This type of woofer usually comes in one cone only, and weighs between 8 to 12 inches.
This is a recent innovation which help to cushion the effects that the weight and size of a woofer has on a vehicle. These tubes are cylindrical in shape and are made from lightweight polypropylene. They could come in single or double cones and weigh about 15 to 30 pounds.
The external diameter of the cones could be as much as 8 to 12 inches as well. These type of woofer tubes have their own amplifiers installed. They are efficient, but the bass depth is not as much as a normal boxed woofer.
Of all the groups of subwoofers there is, the types placed under the seat of a vehicle are the smallest you can find. This is because the leg-space compartment of a vehicle is not large, so the woofer has to be small enough to fit into this space.
They usually come in a single cone and have diameters of about 8 to 12 inches. They also have their own amplifiers installed and connected to the radio system of the vehicle. The weight of the under-seat subwoofer ranges from about 6 pounds to as much as 14 pounds.
Specification to Consider When Purchasing A Sub-Woofer
Apart from the weight and size of a woofer, you might want to consider other factors that could have an impact on the general well being of your vehicle. Some of these specifications are as follows:
Range of frequency
Bass frequencies are low. And this is what causes the vibrations and rattling we feel when they are playing. So when getting a subwoofer, check for the frequency range. The lower it is, the more bass it can produce.
Number of coils
Even a subwoofer with a single cone can still have two different voice coils. This allows for better voice separation and more surround sound. These separate voice coils have their own connections so this also allows for flexible car sound wiring.
Simply put, this is the resistance to the flow of current. Rated in ohms, impedance helps to check the rate of flow of electrons in the circuit of the subwoofer. We used to have more 4 ohm woofers, but these days, 2 to 8-ohm dual voice woofers are more common.
Impedance helps to balance out the effect an amplifier has on the woofer. So we recommend that you get an amplifier that suits your subwoofer more to avoid damaging the coils of the subwoofer.
This is a very important feature while selecting your car woofer. The more the sensitivity of your woofer, the lesser the power it has to consume to produce sound. It’s as simple as that.
Subwoofers are heavy, there’s no gain saying about it. That’s because bass sound needs more room to express its low frequency. But apart from their size, make sure to factor in other reasons stated in this post before buying one.