|The choice of which type of subwoofer system is
best for you depends on your personal listening tastes and what you hope to achieve. I've
listed a few examples below that may assist you in choosing the best system for your
needs. Note that these are general examples, e.g. a high-end system does not necessarily
have to use a sealed system design for the subwoofer.
Goal: High-end audio applications; size no object; excellent transient response.
Design Goal: High SPL sound reinforcement, size no object.
Design Goal: Add-on subwoofer for small system, low cost, good
transient response, small box.
Design Goal: Add-on "bass unit" for secondary audio
system (dormitory, multimedia).
Design Goal: Car audio subwoofer.
Note: if you are using an existing driver, the driver's T/S parameters will typically make the choice for you. Low Q (<0.3) drivers are generally more suited to higher-order bandpass and horn-loaded systems (which are not covered here). Drivers with Qts between 0.3 to 0.4 are usually best used in vented systems, and drivers with higher Qts are usually best suited for sealed systems. 4th order bandpass systems can usually work with drivers with any Qts between 0.3 to 0.6. In the case of car audio systems, you will almost always get the best results with a simple sealed system