Difference Between Woofer and Subwoofer (With Table)

Music is an invincible part of human life. Its magic has no limits. Some listen to music on television, some on the laptop, and some on the radio. Whereas passionate people love to hear songs in sound systems having higher quality bass. Sound systems never cease to be in the limelight. They are used extensively by people of all age groups. Whether it is a Disco, DJ, Pub, car or home theatre systems, they are used everywhere.

Two basic names that are popular are woofer and subwoofer. They are seen as identical gadgets by people but have some key differences between them as well. In this article, we will study in detail the key differences between a woofer and a subwoofer.

Woofer vs Subwoofer

The difference between the woofer and subwoofer is that the woofer is a small-sized speaker and can be carried anywhere when needed. On the other hand, a subwoofer or sub is a type of specialised woofer having two than two speakers and are bigger. Due to their heavyweight and larger size, they are generally used in pubs, disco and home theatres and not in cars.

The woofer is a specialised type of speaker. The frequency covered by this speaker ranges from 20Hz to 2 kHz. Woofer covers a larger and wider range of frequency than subs. Woofer can emerge as a great option for most applications and even use as car speakers. They are smaller in size. However, they are portable and travel-friendly as well.

The subwoofer is a type of specialised woofer. The frequency covered by the subwoofer ranges from 20Hz to 200Hz. This appliance covers a narrower range of frequency. This specialised type of woofer fits better when there is a demand for the best sound, as in pubs and theatres. Subwoofers are larger, bigger and also heavyweight. These are not portable or travel friendly due to their availability and manufacture in larger sizes.

Comparison Table Between Woofer and Subwoofer

Parameters of ComparisonWooferSubwoofer
What is it?A specialised type of speaker. A specialised type of woofer.
FrequencyThe frequency range covered is 20Hz to 2 kHz. The range of frequency covered is 20Hz to 200Hz.
Use Woofer can be a great option for most applications. The subwoofer fits better when there is a demand for the best quality sound.
Frequency range Woofer covers a wider range of frequency. The subwoofer covers a narrower range of frequency.
PortabilityPortable.Not portable.
SizeSmaller in size.Comparatively larger.

What is Woofer?

The woofer is a type of bass speaker. It is used as a technical term designed in such a way so that it can produce sounds of low frequency. Typically the frequency ranges from 50 hertz to 1000 hertz. However, the woofer is a technical term used for a loudspeaker. The origin of the word woofer is from the word “woof”, which means dog’s bark. It is generally used in onomatopoeic English.

The woofer is commonly designed with an electrodynamic driver. This driver is surrounded by a magnetic field and uses a stiff paper cone. At the normal SPL or sound pressure levels, the majority of humans tend to hear to about a frequency range from 50 Hz to 20 Hz.

Loudspeaker’s frequency range, the woofers cover the slightest and lowest octaves. Since 1990 the woofer has been customised for a lower frequency range, and a specialised woofer has been manufactured. It is called a subwoofer.

What is Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is called a sub. It is a type of loudspeaker specially designed to reproduce the lowest frequency sounds or low-pitched audio. These frequencies are sub-bass and bass lower than the frequency of the audio produced by a woofer. In the case of consumer products, the frequency varies from 20Hz to 200 Hz. For professional live sound, the frequency is generally kept below 100 Hz. And in THX-certified systems, the frequency in the subwoofer is kept below 80 Hz.

However, these speakers are generally kept with other speakers and not alone. They are the loudspeakers of the low-frequency range and simultaneously cover the wider and higher frequency bands. The term subwoofer refer to speaker driver technically. When one or more than one woofers are mounted along with the loudspeakers, subwoofers are made. Loudspeaker enclosure is designed to resist deformation, withstanding the pressure exerted by air.

They are made up of wood. They come in various designs, like acoustic suspension or sealed enclosure, bass reflex, tapped horn, bandpass, transmission line, cabinet size and cost and many more. The active subwoofers come with an in-built amplifier in them.

Main Differences Between Woofer and Subwoofer

  1. The woofer is a specialised type of speaker. On the other hand, the subwoofer is a specialised type of woofer.
  2. The frequency range covered by a woofer is 20Hz to 2 kHz. However, the range of frequency covered by the subwoofer is 20Hz to 200Hz.
  3. Woofer covers a wider range of frequency. Whereas the subwoofer covers a narrower range of frequency.
  4. Woofer can be a good option for most applications. However, the subwoofer fits better when there is a demand for the best sound.
  5. Woofers are smaller in size. On the other hand, subwoofers are comparatively larger.
  6. Woofers are portable. Whereas subwoofers are not portable due to their large size.

Conclusion

Sound systems have an irreplaceable place in the present world. Thus, a brief discussion has been done on the difference between a woofer and a subwoofer. Although, people always get into the dilemma while preferring the type of speaker they need for different use. And finally, end up interchanging these two terms oftentimes. For personal use, the woofer is preferably better. Whereas for parts and functions, the subwoofer is a preferential choice.

Both of these gadgets, woofer and subwoofer, are distinct and unique in their kinds. The gadgets woofer and subwoofer both are specially designed to put up an amazing show every time the music is played through them. Hence, it is advisable to buy according to individual needs and wants.

References

  1. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=7034
  2. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17536
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