Five Subwoofer Masters Explain How They Work Their Magic
Subwoofer design has undergone a revolution. No, the physics of woofers, amplifiers, and enclosures haven’t changed. But new technologies have made it possible to push the bass-ic laws of nature to their limits, such that the best of today’s inexpensive
subwoofers can outperform many of the top models from 15 or 20 years ago.
Affordable digital audio processing lets designers tune subwoofers in ways the engineers of the 1990s could only have imagined. High-efficiency amplifiers pound out powerful bass from boxes hardly bigger than a basketball. New speaker drivers use high-tech materials to produce sound levels that would have pushed older models way past the breaking point.
Since things are so different now, we thought this would be a great time to revisit some of the fundamentals of subwoofer design and examine how the old rules might have changed in the digital age.