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Video: Sealed and ported subwoofer boxes

When you add bass to your system, choosing the right subwoofer box is as important as the sub itself. Since sealed boxes feature a different overall sound than ported ones, it's important to consider your listening habits before making a purchase. This short video helps illustrate the differences between the two enclosure types.

Read video transcript

When you're adding a subwoofer to your car audio system, your choice of enclosure makes a huge difference in sound. Customers always ask, "So which is best, sealed or ported?" Each type of enclosure has its strengths, and depending upon what you like to listen to one may be better than the other for your type of setup.

Subs in ported boxes play more efficiently. Lower notes are reinforced by air moving out of the box's port resulting in bass that's louder and more resonant. If you listen to a lot of hip hop, electronic, or music with simulated bass, then ported may be best for you.

Subs in sealed boxes deliver tight, accurate bass — called "linear bass response." If you listen to music with a lot of acoustic bass, then sealed is a great option.

To illustrate the difference, we set up a simple test in our car audio lab. We mounted identical subs in sealed and ported enclosures, played pink noise — simultaneous sound from all audible frequencies — and used a real-time analyzer, or RTA, to measure the resulting sound curve. As we expected, the sealed box gives us a smooth curve and a consistent performance. On the other hand the ported box emphasizes specific frequencies, resulting in more impactful bass.

So it's not about whether a sealed box is better than a ported one, or vice versa. It's about choosing the one that best suits your taste. If you have any questions about subwoofers, just give us a call.