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Video: Where to Position your Subwoofer Box

Big bass isn't just about power. Placement matters, too.

A circuitous path, involving England, New York, rural Michigan, Indiana, and lots of parts in between brought Matthew Freeman to Charlottesville, where he's been writing about mobile audio/video for Crutchfield off and on since early 2000. He fosters an eclectic taste in film, and is fond of a wide range of music. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, he found his way to the University of Notre Dame, where, in an act of charity unsurpassed in the history of Western civilization, he was given a B.A. in English.

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Robert Ferency-Viars is the managing editor for the Crutchfield car A/V learning content, and has been with the company since 1999. A Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he loves spending time with his wonderful wife and sons, listening to music, writing, and playing games with friends. Robert's love for car audio began at 16 when he installed his first car stereo.

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Getting loud bass in your car isn’t just about power — where you place your sub in the trunk can make a huge difference.

We decided to find out for ourselves just how much of an effect placement has on the quality of a sub’s bass. Using an SPL meter, we measured the loudness of a 12” sub in a ported enclosure at various positions in the trunk of a mid-sized sedan. The differences in intensity were readily apparent.

No matter what kind of vehicle you have or what kind of subwoofer system, placement of the subwoofer enclosure DOES impact the sound. So if you think the bass sounds louder when the sub is facing one way rather than another, well, you're probably right.

For answers to other subwoofer questions, be sure to check out our Subwoofers FAQ.

  • Josh

    Posted on 6/1/2015 11:17:14 AM

    What about facing up?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/1/2015 12:56:43 PM

    Josh, give it a try if you prefer that positioning. Personal preference is an important factor when tuning audio. So, who knows? For you, that may sound best in your vehicle.

  • Henry renfrow from United States

    Posted on 7/9/2015 9:05:21 AM

    I always like to face mine backwards in a airtight box it gives the best deep bass and the best quality sound

  • Henry renfrow from United States

    Posted on 7/9/2015 9:09:30 AM

    I've got two fifteens in a small Grand Am and I got mine facing backwards that's the best way I could get the deepest and the best sound in an airtight box and it sounds awesome he's got the deepest bass I've ever heard and I got a 3000 watt amp pushing

  • Chris from Charlotte,N.C

    Posted on 12/24/2015 12:44:07 PM

    I have a Ford Explorer and I have 2-12s in a ported box and I have the speakers bridged to the amp.. Is that my best way to get the best bass or should I hook them up sepreatly.Also I have my box faced towards the back so the bass bounces off the back window. In a Ford Explorer it's just a big glass box so you get the best bass from an suv I think.. So should I turn my box around facing the front of the suv..

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/28/2015 10:48:00 AM

    Chris, check out our Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams article for the best way to hook up your subs. When it comes to subwoofer positioning, you'll be the best judge of the sound. Try out as many positions as you can and listen for what sounds the best to you.

  • matt from sedalia

    Posted on 12/28/2015 11:36:23 AM

    My 15 box is to big to face towards the back . it's gotta be straight up. But the port slot is on the side s . should I face the port slot towards the back of car or front ?

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