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Video: Where to Position your Subwoofer Box

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

I've been a huge fan of car audio ever since I tried (semi-successfully) to build my own custom truck speaker enclosures as a 16-year-old. I joined the Crutchfield car writing team way back in February of the year 2000, and proceeded over the years to write about nearly every product category we carry. In 2007, I assumed my current role of Car A/V Editor for our catalog, a position that helps me channel my passions for both music and driving.

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I've been with Crutchfield since 1999, where I began as one our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. After a couple of years, I moved to the writing team where I spent a decade researching new products and getting hands on with car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Yeah, I've been doing this for a while.

For the past few years, I've been the managing editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web article content. I couldn't ask for a better job — we get to play with car audio gear every day! I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outside of work, I love listening to music, playing board games, and installing new audio systems for my friends.

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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

    What about facing up?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/1/2015

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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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