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.
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.
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Kicker CompC 44TCWC104
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Rockford Fosgate Punch P3S-1X10
Sealed truck-style enclosure with one 10" Punch Stage 3 shallow subwoofer
Kicker CompRT 43TCWRT124
Enclosure with single 12" 4-ohm subwoofer and passive radiator
Rockford Fosgate Punch P1-2X12
Ported enclosure with two 12" Punch P1 subwoofers
Rockford Fosgate P3-1X12
Punch P3 ported enclosure with 12" sub