The subwoofers mounting position is an afterthought for most car owners.
Mostly, they place it under the passenger/driver seat or in the trunk.
But this issue is much more nuanced as there many different sub-locations in those above mentioned areas that can be used to place a subwoofer.
For example, if we talk about the trunk area, you are five ways you can position it: upward, downward, in the corner(s), facing the backseat, and opposite of the backseat.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each position.
Why Does Subwoofer Position Matter?
If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you’ll know I’m a big proponent of adding a subwoofer to your vehicle’s audio system.
Many people wrongly assume that the subwoofers are only suitable for bass-heavy genres like rap. In reality, they also help in other genres, such as classical, jazz, rock, etc.
That’s because subwoofers allow the car speakers to focus on handling mid/high-level frequencies, resulting in a better sound overall.
But to get the best output from the subwoofer, you must also pay attention to its installation. And this process starts with deciding the position aka mounting location of your subwoofer.
Why Should You Place the Subwoofer in Trunk?
Many areas in a vehicle can be used to place a subwoofer, such as under the rear or front seats, center console, side panel, etc.
But no one gives you as many benefits and versatility as the trunk area.
Here are a few reasons why I believe so:
The first advantage of installing a subwoofer in the trunk is the increased space in the cabin area.
Vehicles, especially the smaller ones, have limited space in the passenger area. Installing a subwoofer there will occupy some of the passenger space (unless you have an underseat model).
On the other hand, the trunk is an underutilized area with vacant space most of the time. Installing the subwoofer there will also make the rest of the vehicle look spacious and without the wiring clutter.
On top of that, a subwoofer placed in a trunk is very easy-to-remove if you need to store some other items there temporarily.
Better Sound Separation
Placing the subwoofer in the trunk can result in better sound separation as the physical difference between its frequencies and the speakers increases. This separation results in a cleaner sound as you can hear different audio frequencies clearly and distinguish between them.
Better Sound Stage
The subwoofer can propagate its frequencies more freely when placed in a trunk. These frequencies interact with and bounce off the vehicle surface and propagate throughout the inside space, adding depth/realism to the bass and creating a better soundstage.
Protection Against Theft
One by-product of having the subwoofer installed in the trunk area is relatively better safety against thefts.
Car subwoofers are costly, with many models costing you almost 400-500 bucks. That’s why it’s the primary target during car-related theft.
A subwoofer stored in the trunk is less likely to get stolen as thieves usually go for that area far lesser than the passenger side of the vehicle.
Best Position for Subwoofer in Trunk
So now that we’ve learned some of the common benefits of installing a subwoofer in the trunk,
Subwoofer Facing Backseat
In this orientation, the subwoofer faces the rear seat and fires toward the passenger side of the vehicle. This can be helpful if you want a maximum bass impact on the front seats or if your trunk area has limited space.
As for the downsides, the bass distribution will be uneven, and the passenger seats will have a weaker bass. The bass may feel less immersive as the low-end frequencies have not truly enveloped the vehicle.
Related Post – The 7 Best 12-Inch Subwoofer for Deep Bass (2023)
Subwoofer Facing Towards the Rear
This position is opposite of the above one, as the subwoofer fires towards the vehicle’s rear.
This position is suitable if you want the highest bass possible from your subwoofer, as the bass frequencies disperse freely and evenly throughout the vehicle after reflecting off the rear surface.
However, the caveat is that the trunk area should not be soundproofed, and there should be no other objects for this orientation to work. Also, many people have complained that they don’t ‘feel’ the bass with this orientation – due to the lower tactile bass response.
Subwoofer Facing Upward Direction
When the subwoofer is facing the upward direction, the trunk area acts as an extra enclosure for the subwoofer. It results in more impactful bass and an enhanced tactile bass response.
As for the downside, the bass will be distributed unevenly in the passenger area.
Subwoofer(s) in the left and right sides of the trunk
This orientation is better suited if you’re using two smaller-sized subwoofers.
You can place these subs on the opposite side of the trunk facing each other, creating a stereo effect.
On the other hand, there is a chance of these subs interfering and canceling each other’s frequencies if placed too close.
Subwoofer Facing Downward Direction
This orientation is slightly rare, but I’ve seen some car owners doing it.
In this orientation, you position the subwoofer in the middle of the trunk, but it’s upside down and fires in the downward direction.
Its main advantage is the extra bass output throughout the low-frequency range and the enhanced bass tactile feel (like in upwards directions).
On the flip side, the bass distribution is not even, and there should be sufficient clearance between the trunk floor and subwoofer for this orientation to work.
These are some common orientations you can put the subwoofer in when placing it in the trunk.
One important thing to remember is that these are general guidelines and may not apply to your audio setup.
Therefore, try your subwoofer in all these orientations before making a final decision.
Choosing the right placement area and orientation for a car subwoofer is crucial as you’d get different issues, such as uneven bass response, muddy bass, unnatural sound, etc., otherwise.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get the most sound out of my car subwoofer?
You can get the most bass out of the subwoofer by tweaking your head unit (upgrade to an aftermarket unit), the subwoofer box (go for ported enclosures), and the amp (tune it using a low-pass filter and Bass EQ knobs).
How to hide A subwoofer in the car?
You can hide a car subwoofer by placing it under your seat or in the door panel.
Where to place under seat subwoofer?
The underseat subwoofers are generally placed under the passenger or driver seats, in the rear area of a hatchback, or in the trunk.
Do subwoofers sound better in SUVs?
SUVs have many advantages in the form of ample interior space and less sound reflection interference, potentially resulting in better subwoofer sound than other types of vehicles.
Where is the best place for a subwoofer in a sedan?
The best place for a subwoofer in a sedan is under the rear seat.