Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed

The choice of subwoofer can make a difference whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or just someone who loves the thrill of booming bass. You’ve probably come across the debate of free-air subwoofers vs. enclosed subwoofers.

In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the pros and cons of each type. You can make an informed decision that best suits your audio preferences. We’ve consulted experts in the field to ensure you receive the most accurate and trustworthy information.

Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed: Choosing the Right Subwoofer

Understanding Subwoofers:

A subwoofer is a specialised speaker designed to reproduce low-frequency audio, commonly called bass. These frequencies are typically between 20 and 200 Hz, adding depth and richness to audio content.

Free Air Subwoofers:

Free-air subwoofers, also known as infinite baffle subwoofers, are designed to operate without a dedicated enclosure. Instead, they rely on the natural acoustics of your car’s trunk or cabin to produce sound. This design choice allows for a more dynamic and open soundstage.

Enclosed Subwoofers:

On the other hand, sealed or ported enclosures house enclosed subwoofers. It provides precise control over the subwoofer’s sound output. This design is known for delivering powerful and accurate bass, making it a favourite among enthusiasts who crave precision. We need a dedicated enclosure for adjusting.

Why Choose a Free Air Subwoofer? (Pros/cons)

  1. Space-Efficient Design

One significant advantage of Free Air subwoofers is their space-saving design. They don’t require a dedicated enclosure, making them ideal for compact installations.

  1. Effortless Integration:

These subwoofers seamlessly integrate into your car’s existing audio system. They’re a perfect choice for upgrading your sound without complex installation.

  1. Dynamic Soundstage

Free-air subwoofers create an airy, dynamic soundstage that fills your car’s interior with bass. You’ll feel like you’re at a live concert, surrounded by music.

  1. Installation Challenges:

Installing Free Air subwoofers can be tricky, as getting the acoustic environment right can be challenging. But its installation is more accessible if you have some knowledge about it.

Why Choose an Enclosed Subwoofer? (Pros/cons)

  1. Powerful Bass Output:

Enclosed subwoofers are renowned for their ability to deliver robust and deep bass notes. They are perfect for those who crave a thumping audio experience.

  1. Easy Installation:

Compared to Free Air subwoofers, enclosed models are easier to install. The enclosure takes care of the acoustic environment, ensuring optimal performance.

  1. Customizable Sound:

You can fine-tune the sound of an enclosed subwoofer by adjusting the enclosure’s size and design. This flexibility allows you to balance power and refinement.

4 . Sound Isolation:

Enclosures prevent sound leakage, ensuring that the bass remains inside your vehicle. It enhances your listening experience and reduces disturbance to others on the road.

  1. Space Requirements

One drawback is that enclosed subwoofers require more space due to the enclosure. It might not be suitable for compact installations.

  1. Cost

Enclosed subwoofers are more expensive than their Free Air counterparts, making them less budget-friendly.

According to our expert Team

So, which one is better for you depends on your priorities:

If you prioritise precise and controlled bass and customise the sound to your liking, enclosed subwoofers (sealed or ported) may be the better choice.

If you have limited space, want a straightforward installation, and are not as concerned about ultimate bass quality, a free-air subwoofer could be a more practical option.

Ultimately, your choice should align with your audio goals, available space, and budget. When deciding, it’s essential to consider the subwoofer’s compatibility with your existing audio system and your listening preferences. Proper installation and tuning are also crucial for achieving the best performance from your chosen subwoofer setup.

Also Read: Why is My Subwoofer Not Pairing?

Related Asked Questions:

Which subwoofer type is better for deep bass?

 The choice between different subwoofer types largely depends on your specific preferences and requirements. There are two main categories: sealed and ported subwoofers.

Sealed subwoofers, or acoustic suspension, are renowned for their accuracy and tight, well-defined bass. On the other hand, ported subwoofers are vented designs that excel at delivering louder. According to individually, the sealed subwoofer is best; otherwise, choose the ported subwoofer for the best experience.  

Ultimately, the better type for deep bass depends on your listening preferences, room size, and the kind of audio experience you seek. Consider your priorities and acoustics when making the choice.

Can I use an enclosed subwoofer in a small car?

Yes, you can use an enclosed subwoofer in a small car, but you may need to select a compact enclosure that fits your vehicle’s available space. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The limited space in a small car can make it challenging to install and position an enclosed subwoofer correctly. It may take up valuable trunk space and potentially restrict rear visibility.

Moreover, the sheer power of some enclosed subwoofers can overwhelm the confined cabin, causing vibrations and distortion. It’s essential to balance the subwoofer’s size and your car’s interior space to ensure optimal sound quality without sacrificing comfort or safety.

Do free-air subwoofers have any drawbacks?

Free Air subwoofers, often found in car audio systems, may be better for home theatres. While designed to work without an enclosure, their performance in a home setting could be better. Home theatres demand precision and power, and Free Air subwoofers often lack the necessary section to control sound waves effectively.

They can produce tight bass in a controlled car environment, but in spacious living rooms, they may need help to deliver the depth and impact required for immersive movie experiences. 


A free-air subwoofer is your go-to choice if you crave dynamic, airy sound and want to maximise trunk space. On the other hand, if you seek precision, customisation, and powerful, controlled bass, an enclosed subwoofer is the path to audio nirvana.

Whichever you choose, rest assured that your car audio experience is about to reach new heights. Remember, it’s not just about the sound; it’s about the emotions that bass-heavy music can evoke. So, unleash the bass powerhouse that suits your style, and let the music move you like never before.


Divi, What is the best subwoofer for deep bass? Posted: Aug 10, 2020

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Robert David

Robert David

I’m Robert David an owner and writer of subwoofergiant. I love to spend my time finding good products. I guide people about which subwoofer is best for them to pick. if you want knowledge about subwoofers. you come to the right place Thanks!

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