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Subwoofer Enclosures

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sound ordnance sub boxes

The type of bass you get from your component subwoofer doesn't depend on the woofer alone. You'll need a strong, tightly-constructed enclosure for optimum subwoofer performance. Speakers without an enclosure can't deliver full bass because the sound from the back of the speaker can cancel out some low frequencies emanating from the front of the speaker.

Using our box-building accessories, you might choose to construct your own box to create the enclosure size that you want. However, unless you're a talented craftsman with a solid understanding of enclosure volumes and other technical terms, you're better off purchasing a pre-made enclosure, like one of the Sound Ordnance models shown above.

Box types

Different types of boxes will produce different types of bass:

Sealed boxes: For deep, precise bass

A sealed box is an airtight enclosure housing your subwoofer. A sealed box is best for any music that demands tight, accurate bass. Expect flat response (not excessively boomy), deep bass extension, and excellent power handling. Since a sealed enclosure tends to require more power than a ported box, use an amplifier with ample wattage for optimum performance.

Ported boxes: For forceful bass

Ported boxes use a vent (called a port) to reinforce low bass response. You get more output than you would from a sealed box at any given amplifier wattage. Some people prefer the sound of ported boxes for rock, heavy metal, or any hard-driving music. Ported boxes can deliver deeper bass than sealed boxes, though they need to be much larger than sealed enclosures to accomplish that.

Bandpass boxes: Maximum slam

Bandpass boxes are a special type of ported box designed for maximum slam. The woofer is mounted inside a dual-chambered box (one chamber sealed, the other ported), with the sound waves emerging from the ported side. The sound that comes out of the port is extra loud within a narrow frequency range.

Because bandpass boxes are super efficient within that range, they tend to boom. Their aggressive sound is great for rap, reggae, and hard rock. Not all subwoofers work well in bandpass boxes, though; consult our product information or call one of our Advisors to be sure.

Free-air subwoofers

A free-air system consists of woofers mounted to a board attached to the rear deck or placed in the trunk against the rear seat. The trunk of the car acts as an enclosure which houses the subwoofer and isolates sound from the back of the speaker, solving the sound cancellation problem of subs without an enclosure.

Free-air systems save space and have flat frequency response. The woofer must be specifically designed for free-air use. The lack of a box makes them more convenient to install, but their power handling levels are usually much lower than their boxed counterparts.

  • eric from harvey

    Posted on 7/18/2015 2:11:42 AM

    I have a ported double chamber box and two p2d4 12" Rockford fosgate subs with a Rockford fosgate t600-2 amp. I know most punch eq and bass boosters are speaker killers so I have it at minimum on amp and -5 on my deck. I have a factory infinity audio in my 2011 Hyundai genesis coupe... and one of my subs magnet cracked in half... I took it out because it was blown and when I took the sub apart the magnet was in half and the pieces of it were rubbing on the coiled wire in the sub so its shot. I am still pushing the one sub with all guts that would rattle the other taken out and put back in place to keep the sub box enclosed... wondering what my best option for premium bass for rap and techno would be without replacing the factory motor... has automatic climate control so I wont remove it

  • Kevin McCarthy from detroit

    Posted on 7/22/2015 6:54:50 PM

    I need a box made for 2 10s (circle ) and 1 15 square

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/23/2015 9:29:15 AM

    Kevin, check out our selection of enclosures or if you're interested in building your own box, this article will help.

  • brian from haines city

    Posted on 7/26/2015 11:09:50 AM

    What box will my 2 15" L5 kicker solo Baric sound best !

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/27/2015 11:14:10 AM

    Brian, awesome purchase! Unfortunately, we don't carry boxes for the Solo-Baric series (only pre-loaded boxes). If you want to build your own box, we can help you with that. Otherwise, give Kicker a call for a recommendation at (405) 624-8583.

  • tim from columbia, tn

    Posted on 8/1/2015 7:10:18 PM

    what is the best design and dementions for 15 inch. boss chaos series subwoofers??

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/3/2015 1:12:08 PM

    Tim, check your manual for the ideal specs for an enclosure. If they're not listed there, the Boss support site should be helpful, or give their tech support a ring.

  • Ethan

    Posted on 8/8/2015 4:24:43 AM

    I am planing on buying two kenwood 12s. Would a 1.6 cu ft ported box sound good? The sub calls for a 2.0 cu ft ported box.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/10/2015 1:48:09 PM

    Ethan, that might be a bit too small. Take a look at the owner's manual and follow their recommendations for the best sound.

  • Dennis kinnear from Cape Town

    Posted on 8/15/2015 1:20:07 AM

    If my box is 450mm wide, what length round port can i use

  • Devil Dawg from Spring Hill

    Posted on 8/15/2015 11:43:43 AM

    How will a JL Audio 13W7 do in a sealed enclosure vs a bandpass enclosure?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/17/2015 12:06:10 PM

    Devil Dawg, that's a great choice for a sub. Your choice of enclosure comes down to what you're looking for in you bass. As this article points out, a sealed enclosure will give you tighter, more accurate bass, while a bandpass box will put more boom in your bass.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/17/2015 4:04:20 PM

    Dennis, the size of port you need depends on the cubic volume of your box and what frequency you're trying to tune for. You can check the subwoofer owner's manual for suggestions, but searching the internet for "tuning port calculator" should point you to a couple of places that'll help you figure it out.

  • Erich from Pretoria

    Posted on 8/21/2015 11:42:41 AM

    Hi, I wondered what was best between a double/dual box setup? Both in one box but there is a split between them so they are actualy seprate or should they just be in one open box?? I have two Rockford Fosgate R2D2-12 subwoofers and just wanted to find out before i install them.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/21/2015 3:03:50 PM

    Erich, all of our dual enclosures feature an internal wall to ensure each sub gets the right amount of air space and to give the box a stronger, sturdier structure.

  • Guillermo from Mesa

    Posted on 10/21/2015 11:41:21 PM

    Hi, i been wondering what to do with my system, i have 2 12" kicker solo x i want em to sound as loud as possible but my trunk isnt that big, i dont wanna spend a bunch of money in a custom fiberglass box what could i do?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/22/2015 8:52:31 AM

    Guillermo, I've passed your information along to our sales team. An advisor will contact you soon to help.

  • Mason Schneider from Caldwell

    Posted on 11/29/2015 10:28:36 PM

    I have 1 10 inch shallow mount pioneer sub. I'm going to install it under the seat of my old pickup. What type of box would work best for me.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/30/2015 10:10:04 AM

    Mason, I've passed your information along to our sales team for the best answer. An advisor will contact you soon to help you find the enclosure that works for you.

  • John from Cincinnati

    Posted on 12/19/2015 10:02:44 PM

    Do subwoofers play in stereo. So using 2 subs on the proper 2 channel set up left and right. Is that stereo

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/21/2015 10:46:06 AM

    John, while two subs wired to two different amp channels are indeed technically playing in stereo, you're not likely to hear any stereo separation with bass frequencies, especially when the subs are sitting right next to each other. Most people choose instead to bridge the amp channels into a single output, which will give the subs more power than the stereo connection.

  • brett

    Posted on 4/6/2016 9:48:42 AM

    i have a sealed box for 3 10" polk db1040dvc subs. Would it be possible to get both ported and sealed sound quality by putting ports in two of the subs and leaving the one in the middle sealed or is that unrealistic?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/8/2016 7:16:14 AM

    Brett, typically, folks opt for one or the other, since each has a distinctive quality (here's a little more info on that), but if you'd like to combine those sounds, you could.

  • Tmoney from high springs

    Posted on 4/17/2016 11:53:06 PM

    I have two aucostic 15 and two 1500 watt boss amps the RMS on speakers are 300 and the RMS specks on the ams 200-300 anyway I was wondering if this is a good fit and should I use a double vented enclosure or single

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/20/2016 1:25:28 PM

    Terrence, we'd need a bit more information to confirm that match, but this article is a great guide to be sure. As far as the enclosure style, that will come down to your preference in bass.

  • Donny Casarreal from Fontana ca

    Posted on 5/6/2016 1:08:43 AM

    I have 2 12 Jlaudio w6v2 subwoofer for my 1995 Chevy Impala what kind of box would be the best for it

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/6/2016 9:20:38 AM

    Donny, check the manual for the ideal dimensions for your subwoofer or you may even want to consult the manufacturer's tech support before beginning. Be sure to take accurate measurements of the space you'd like to use in your vehicle, then follow the steps outlined in this article if you're building your own box.

  • Nathanial

    Posted on 5/24/2016 11:40:37 PM

    I am looking to make a bandpass box for 4 or more Re SeXv2 12D4's, but I don't know what frequencies those boxes can handle. I want to tune the box to be able to play +20hz, but I also want to play higher notes as well (50-80hz). I know a regular ported box could do that, but I want a ton more boom with those 30-60 hz range and I want to be able to get a ton of those +20hz as well. Is any of this possible? And would you possibly have a box design I could use?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/3/2016 4:41:21 PM

    Nathanial, unfortunately, we don't have a design you could use. Given your parameters, you may need to experiment and innovate. Sounds like a fun project. Your best bet is to contact your sub manufacturer and consult with their tech team for dimension requirements, and then modify from there.

  • Kevan from Fenton

    Posted on 7/6/2016 5:34:22 PM

    The box I am looking at for my truck is pretty small only about .60 airspace for the sub and it it holds 2 ten Inch subs. This will be going behind the rear seat of my 2002 F150 supercrew. The mounting depth is small also. The mfg said with the extended 5/8 mounting depth option I could make a Kicker comp 10" work but it would be a really tight fit. What subs if any do you carry for this box? Can you help? I am trying to avoid spending $ 350 for just the single 10" mtx enclosure for my truck.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/8/2016 10:56:13 AM

    Kevan, I've passed your question along to our sales team. An advisor will contact you soon to help find the right sub for your truck.

  • Dan from Brentwood CA.

    Posted on 7/24/2016 11:53:31 AM

    I am putting together a sound system for my boat. I am trying to figure out a better solution than a free air sub that seems the norm. I have an engine compartment with open but divided storage. The side gunwales are open to this compartment. Approx 10in oval port's . If I place a sub box firing to the rear, will this sound travel through the open gunwales. Will this be like a huge speaker box. Will it even sound good?? Was wanting an opinion before I buy the JLaudio 112 HO W6V3 loaded box.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/25/2016 8:29:25 AM

    Dan, I've passed your question along to our sales team for the best answer. An advisor will contact you soon to help you find the perfect solution.

  • Jay from Port saint lucie

    Posted on 7/27/2016 6:55:07 PM

    I have an 8 inch kicker free air subwoofer rms 200watts mounted to the rear deck of my car. Its being pushed by a kicker 300 watt rms amp. My question is to get more bass out of it should i build an enclosure around that sub directly underneath the rear deck to seal it in or should i step it up a notch and get the kicker 8 inch sub that is 300 watts rms and being that its not a free air sub, build the enclosure around that. I have kids so i use my trunk regularly so using thst back deck is the better option for utilizing space. Thanks in advance

  • Jesse from pikeville, ky

    Posted on 8/25/2016 12:25:11 AM

    Should I use a bandpass, sealed, or ported box for my 15 inch kicker cvrs?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/26/2016 9:03:19 AM

    Jesse, there's no right answer. It's a matter of preference because each style box will give you a different kind of sound as described above. So, the question becomes: how do you like your bass? Once you decide on that, an advisor will be able to give you a recommendation. Give us a call!