Can I Put My Subwoofer On Top Of Furniture?

We’ve talked about hiding subwoofers before. The big, black box that is the sub, is probably the least appreciated speaker in your system by your family or significant other. You’ve mentioned all of our recommendations as well as anything else you can think of for hiding your sub. But they’ve shot them all down. They’ve countered with their own suggestion – putting your subwoofer on top of some furniture. Up high, it won’t be as visible as they prefer. Plus, it doesn’t take up valuable floor space. Can it work?

Are You Sure You Have a Subwoofer?

If you are asking if you can put your subwoofer on top of some furniture, our first question is about the size of your subwoofer. Most true subwoofers weigh quite a bit. If you think your bookshelf can handle the weight of your sub, we’re wondering if you have a subwoofer or a bass module. A bass module is more akin to those small boxes that come with computer speakers. They extend the bass abilities of the diminutive speakers but aren’t true subwoofers.

Even if you have a “real” subwoofer that is small and light enough to fit on top of furniture, we’d wonder if the sub was big enough for your room. If you bought your sub because of its size and not the size of your room, you are likely going to be disappointed in its performance.

I don’t think it will fit…

But Will It Work?

Disregarding the questions above, the question stands. Will elevating your subwoofer make a big difference in its performance? The answer is probably not. As we’ve said multiple times, bass is omnidirectional. This means that the bass will bounce around the room multiple times before you can even perceive the sound. Raising the subwoofer is unlikely to make much of a difference overall. It will make placing your second subwoofer a little more tricky, however.

It is not as easy as throwing your subwoofer on top of your furniture, however. There are some things you will have to worry about.

This shelf will hold a speaker, not a sub


Obviously, the most important consideration when deciding to put your subwoofer on top of some furniture is the size and weight of the sub. Most subwoofers are very heavy. You don’t want the thing to come crashing down. It could hurt someone and cost a lot of money to replace.


Probably the most important thing to worry about is vibrations. When we place subwoofers on the ground, we often talk about decoupling them. This involves putting something squishy between the subwoofer and the ground. Decoupling keeps the vibrations from the subwoofer from traveling into the structure of your home and creating noise in your room and other parts of the house.

While the floor in your room is fairly inert, your furniture likely isn’t. Now you have to worry about your subwoofer shaking not only the structure of your home but also the furniture upon which it sits. This can cause lots of rattles and other noise as well as slowly walk your subwoofer off the top of your furniture.

Wrap Up

Can you place your subwoofer on top of furniture? Probably not. Sonically, it is unlikely to be any worse than any other random location in your room. But subwoofers are heavy, cause tons of vibrations, and are unlikely to fit on any normal bookshelf. But, as a purely academic question, can you? Yes. And if you have, share your pictures! We’d love to see them!

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