Many people still think it doesn’t matter where they place the subwoofer. The truth is quite different. Improper placement can lead to both uneven frequency response and poor timing. This means you’ll never get those tight belly blows that are the fun part of bass.
But where should the subwoofer be placed? You can always experiment, one option is to put the subwoofer in your favorite listening spot on the couch and then crawl around on the floor like an idiot. The subwoofer should be placed where you feel the bass is best. This can be difficult if the subwoofer is large and heavy.
Make it easy with an app
Luckily, there’s now a much simpler solution. Download the SubZone app from Sonic Baume and enter the dimensions of the relevant room. Then mark your seating area in the room and select the materials used for the walls, ceiling and floor.
The app uses acoustic simulation to calculate each surface’s absorption of low frequencies and then calculates the best positions in the room for a subwoofer.
Multiple possible locations
Instead of showing only the best space, the app shows several possible locations, each with a quality scale from 1-10.
Each possible location is placed on a “heat map” of the room, with red for zero and blue for 10. The best locations will be marked with a star.
Should the best locations be excluded for aesthetic or practical reasons, you can look for the bluest areas to find the optimal compromise between eyes and ears.
The waiting is (almost) over. Here is the Sonos Sub Mini.
Inspired by the developer’s own problems
Developer Chris Baume was inspired by his own experiences with subwoofer placement:
“The idea was inspired by my own experience of struggling to place my subwoofer. After trying many different placements and following all the advice, it always sounded good on one side of the couch and flat on the other. Eventually I found the best spot using simulation software, but it was complicated and very expensive. SubZone gives everyone a simple, affordable and scientific way to place the subwoofer.
As hi-fi enthusiasts, we’re used to seeing thousands of dollars get wings when it comes to buying fancy gadgets for small tweaks that make the sound just that little bit better – or maybe just different. Getting the bass just right is therefore something that should be worth a lot to many. Yet the app only costs one euro(!) during the introductory period. That has to be the biggest no-brainer we’ve ever come across.