If you’re in the process of choosing a home theater subwoofer, it’s smart to understand the acoustic benefits of going “dual” so you can enjoy the best bass experience possible. In this article, the SVS Sound Experts explain four advantages of running multiple subwoofers versus a single sub.
The first reason to go dual is also the most obvious one, increased dynamic output capabilities, or as some people like to call it, more headroom. The combined power of two or more powered subwoofers working in tandem results in greater dynamic range, better SPL capabilities and deeper, more impactful bass that you can hear and feel in your pantlegs and chest as well in the overall pressurizing of the room with acoustic energy.
The second reason to go dual, and arguably the most important, is to smooth bass response throughout the room so all listening areas enjoy the same low frequency impact and depth. Dual subwoofers do this by removing phase cancellation, or nulls, which occur when two sound waves from a single home theater subwoofer cancel each other out, reducing the bass you hear in that spot. This happens when there is a delay between sound waves reaching your ears directly from the subwoofer and those bouncing off a wall or other room surface, then reaching your ears an instant later. You can also get “boomy” spots in a room called peaks where the bass collects and sounds louder. A single subwoofer is often at the mercy of a room, but dual subwoofers smooth peaks and nulls, and take control of the room with effortless, accurate bass.
The third reason to go dual relates the directionality of bass. Simply put, multiple subwoofers are much harder to localize than a single sub. Even with a relatively deep speaker/subwoofer crossover frequency, it's often possible to hear where a single subwoofer is placed in the room, particularly if it is not located in the front stage. In comparison, multiple subwoofers are nearly impossible to localize and give the sensation of bass all around, coming from every direction. Once listeners enjoy this immersive experience of low frequency energy emanating from everywhere in the room, they rarely go back to a single subwoofer set-up.
The fourth reason to go dual is when décor and aesthetics are a factor. Subwoofers, especially ported subs, can take up significant floorspace, and sometimes, two smaller subwoofers are easier to place and conceal in a living room or home theater. Two smaller subwoofers with less visible impact are a more “lifestyle” friendly option, and you can still potentially enjoy greater combined output versus a single larger subwoofer.
Once you’ve decided to go dual, the ideal placement acoustically is generally in opposite diagonal front and rear corners, but that is by no means a rule. Dual subwoofers can also be placed along the same front or side wall, on opposing side walls, or elsewhere, depending on your room’s layout.
Installing dual subwoofers is one of the easiest and most noticeable upgrades you can make to your audio system or home theater. It’s also the best way to completely fill a room with accurate, room energizing bass that will add a serious new dimension of feeling to all music, movies and audio playback.
For more info, check out the “Why Go Dual” article on the SVS site or watch the video below for a deeper dive into the benefits of going dual. You can also browse the SVS subwoofer selection at svsound.com. Happy Listening.