Woofer vs Subwoofer: Difference and Comparison

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. In contrast, 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. They are used everywhere, whether it is a Disco, DJ, Pub, car, or home theatre system.

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. A woofer is a speaker that produces low-frequency sounds, while a subwoofer is a type of woofer specifically designed to make extremely low-frequency sounds.
  2. Woofers are commonly used in car stereos and home theatre systems, while subwoofers are used in professional audio systems and high-end home theatre setups.
  3. Subwoofers are larger and more powerful than regular woofers and can reproduce bass frequencies that are difficult or impossible for other speakers to reproduce.

Woofer vs Subwoofer

Woofer is a megaphone with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20KHz. It generates a wide audio frequency from low to medium range, suitable for use anywhere. A subwoofer is a kind of woofer that creates a wide range of small-frequency sounds. Subwoofers require only a single driver and consume more electricity.

Woofer vs Subwoofer

The woofer is a specialized type of speaker. The frequency covered by this speaker ranges from 20Hz to 2 kHz. Woofer covers a larger and wider range of frequencies than subs.

Woofers 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 specialized woofer. The frequency covered by the subwoofer ranges from 20Hz to 200Hz. This appliance covers a narrower range of frequencies.

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This specialized 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

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 word woofer originates from the word “woof,” which means dog’s bark. It is used in onomatopoeic English.

The woofer is commonly designed with an electrodynamic driver. A magnetic field surrounds this driver 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 customized for a lower frequency range, and a specialized 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 20 Hz to 200 Hz. For professional live sound, the frequency is kept below 100 Hz. And in THX-certified systems, the frequency in the subwoofer is kept below 80 Hz.

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However, these speakers are 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 refers to speaker driver technically. When one or more than one woofer is mounted along with the loudspeakers, subwoofers are made. The 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 specialized type of speaker. On the other hand, the subwoofer is a specialized 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 frequencies. In contrast, the subwoofer covers a narrower range of frequencies.
  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.
Difference Between Woofer and Subwoofer
  1. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=7034
  2. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17536

Last Updated : 16 June, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Woofer vs Subwoofer: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article covers the technical details well, but misses a more relatable approach that would make the content more interesting.

  2. A good technical comparison, but it lacks a human touch and personal insights that would make it more engaging.

  3. The information is presented in a very dry and technical manner. The content could be made more engaging for general readers.

  4. A clear and detailed breakdown, but it fails to capture the excitement that music and audio systems bring to many people’s lives.

  5. Informative article but it would benefit from a more comprehensive explanation of how the differences in frequency range affect sound quality.

    • I agree. The practical impact of these technical details on the listener’s experience could be explored further in the article.


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