I Got Cheap Speakers, Why Should I Get an Expensive Subwoofer?
Through good fortune or savvy shopping, you got a great deal on some home theater speakers. That’s great! But now it is time to buy a subwoofer and you are a little surprised at the prices. Subwoofers are so expensive! How can you pair an expensive subwoofer with such cheap speakers? Surely, there is something wrong! Let’s discuss!
Price Isn’t Everything
If you’ve read any of our articles about bookshelf speakers, you know that we often recommend smaller, less expensive speakers in most situations. This is because the size of the speaker often is determined by how far away you sit from that speaker. Sure, if you are in an overly large room, you may need larger speakers. So, when we say “cheap” speakers, we don’t necessarily mean you got some crazy deal on them.
A lot of times, people go down the rabbit hole while shopping for home theater gear. They start with one idea that maybe doesn’t cost very much. But, after some research and online “advice,” they find themselves with a ballooned budget and no real idea how they are going to pay for everything. If they end up with a system that costs less than that, they feel like they got off cheap.
Subwoofers Aren’t Like Other Speakers
We talk constantly about subwoofers because they are so unique. Subwoofers work with your room to create the bass that you experience. This means that you shouldn’t look at your cheap speakers and think that your subwoofer is too expensive. You look at the room and pick a subwoofer that is the appropriate size.
You may have bought extremely expensive speakers for your small room. That small room will need a relatively cheap subwoofer to achieve full pressurization. A bigger subwoofer would just be a waste of money. Alternatively, you may have purchased the same speakers for a much larger room. But, because the room is so large, you need a much larger (and more expensive) subwoofer. Regardless, you match the subwoofer to the room, not to the speakers.
We often see questions online that ask for subwoofer recommendations based on the speaker selection. People will make recommendations based on how much those speakers cost. They very rarely ask about the size of the room. That’s a mistake. You don’t get a cheap subwoofer because you have inexpensive speakers or an expensive subwoofer based on the price of your speakers. You get the correct-sized subwoofer for your space.