Car Subwoofer Guide: Passive or Active?

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Martí Micolau
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Choosing a good subwoofer is not an easy task, especially if you are not particularly versed in the field of sound technology. The Autopazzo site clarifies some doubts about it, so you can buy the right one for your needs.

Let's start with the basics: what a subwoofer is

Basically it is nothing more than an acoustic diffuser used for the diffusion of low frequency sounds. You know the bass of a hard rock, funk, rap piece or those of a disco song? Here, these are all managed by the subwoofer that the more powerful it will be, the more it will be able to manage these frequencies with precision. In some cases the subwoofers are simply used to extend the bass, especially in the case of those for cars.

Automotive systems are usually not particularly powerful in terms of bass, as they only rely on stock speakers. By installing a good subwoofer, however, the sound quality will change from day to night, especially if the cones inside the enclosure are well made. Car subwoofers are quite bulky items, so they must be installed in the trunk of the vehicle and connected to the car stereo.

If you are passionate about music or if you just want to blow up the windows of your vehicle, you just can't do without a car subwoofer. Some tuning 'freaks' buy aggressive-looking subwoofers and even participate in races in which the decibels produced by the system are measured. Maybe you don't have these claims and are just trying to figure out which model to buy, well for this reason you should know the difference between active and passive subwoofer.

Active or passive

The active car subwoofer has its own amplification, so the quality and volume of the bass depend on the size of the cone. This means that the active models will have a knob for the volume and the one for managing the frequencies of the autonomous amplification system, which simplifies the various audio settings. Likewise, active subwoofers are very easy to install as you don't have to connect them to an amplifier, which also makes them cheap.

In general we can recommend i active subwoofers if you are not particularly experienced in electronics and you are looking for a practical solution. The downside is that the sound expressed by active subwoofers is lower than passive ones, moreover the latter can be adapted to different musical genres, while the active ones are a bit 'generic'.

Now let's move on to passive subwoofers: as you can guess, these devices they do not have an integrated amplifier. In practice, these are simple components to be connected to the vehicle's audio system which must be configured to perfection in order to express highs and lows in the best possible way. Passive subwoofers are suitable for more experienced users who already have a vague idea of ​​which model to choose based on its characteristics and obviously based on the music genre to be played.

The fact that they do not have an internal amplifier makes passive subwoofers much cheaper and more customizable, but on the other hand they are quite difficult to install. If the right connections are not made, in fact, you risk damaging the system of your car and having to throw away a lot of money.

To each his own

In conclusion, as you can see, there is no one type of subwoofer better than the other, the choice between active or passive will greatly depend on your knowledge in the field of sound technology or audio systems. Keep in mind, however, that if you are driving you will absolutely not be able to exploit the full power of a subwoofer, because first of all you will get distracted and risk making accidents, secondly you could suffer hearing damage that will result in tinnitus or loss of frequencies.

So know how to opt for a product with quality cones, perhaps sacrificing a minimum of power. It is also useless to listen to musical genres played with real instruments by putting the bass to the maximum, because it would only create confusion.

If, on the other hand, you really want to amaze your friends and family with a devastating subwoofer in terms of design and power, then you can focus on the size of the cones. Rap, house music or disco music are genres that welcome low frequencies very well, so if you are a fan, give it in!

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