The Best Ways to Hide a Subwoofer
Ok, so let’s face it, subwoofers are not exactly the most pleasing objects to look at in a room. They are generally large, bulky, black boxes that we throw in a corner and hope to blend in and disappear. But what if you are not lucky like I am and can hide it behind some furniture? Well, read on, and hopefully, we can help you conceal your subwoofer or blend it in with your decor. Here are six (or seven) of the best ways to hide a subwoofer in your room.
This science lesson will be concise. Bass is omnidirectional. Unlike typically directional tweeters, you can get away with having your subwoofer behind things and not worry about it obscuring the sound. Yes, jamming them in a corner will increase SBIR and create some boominess, but you can attenuate that with proper subwoofer settings and room treatments.
Solution 1 – Behind the sofa
So this ended up being the best way for me to hide my subwoofer. I have my subwoofer tucked in a corner on a homemade isolation pad, and the arm of my sofa is within a foot of it. So unless you are looking specifically for my subwoofer or are sitting beside it, you won’t see it in the room. I have played with my subwoofer all over my room, and having it tucked away hasn’t impacted its sound at all. I did have to spend more time dialing in the subwoofer correctly, but it was well worth it. So if you have your sofa close to a wall, you probably can hide your subwoofer there without any issues.
Solution 2 – Hiding It with Plants
Depending on the size of your subwoofer, it might be best to hide it behind a plant or another piece of decor. My wife has tons of relatively large plant stands that will almost entirely hide my SVS SB1000 subwoofer. Get yourself a vine or creeping plant, and you will have a nice wall of camouflage in no time. Now before you decide to make the subwoofer the stand…stop! Plants need water. Water makes water rings. Water rings ruin subwoofer finishes. Plus, I can’t tell you how many times the water has leaked into the stands. Keep things off your subwoofers.
Solution 3 – Under Furniture
This solution was also a standard go-to for me. I had a sealed subwoofer that I would hide directly behind my sofa under the sofa table. It nicely hid the subwoofer, and the placement added a little extra punch to my seats. But there are lots of places you can hide subwoofers. End tables are an excellent place for small subwoofers to hide underneath. With a smaller sub, placing them near-field is better anyway. A friend of mine has his soundbar wireless sub under his end table, and it works great for his setup. You may have a hard time finding an end table to hide your 15” subwoofer, though. Try a piano. I’ve seen that before as well.
Solution 4 – Fabric
Fabric is a great way to hide something in plain sight. Plus, you can change up the look pretty quickly. My wife has a ton of fabrics that she will throw over end tables to change with the seasons. Why not do the same with your subwoofer? But remember, not all fabrics are created equal. You will want your fabric to be acoustically transparent. To test, do the breath test. If you put it to your mouth and can easily breathe through it, the sound will also pass through. Good news. Many cotton materials are acoustically transparent, and it’s available in many colors and patterns.
Solution 5 – Inside Cabinets
Ok. So this is not an ideal solution for a lot of reasons. Subwoofers create vibrations and resonance. Throwing them in an enclosed space will increase them, so you will have to play around with isolation and dial it in properly to get the best sound. So if the choice you have is a subwoofer in a cabinet vs. no subwoofer at all, I will grudgingly accept it. But know that you can’t close the door on that sub and forget it. You will need to remove the door or modify it with some speaker fabric to allow the sound to pass through. Luckily, that’s not as hard as it sounds. Just know that this is not an ideal setup, and you will never get the same performance as having outside the cabinet.
Solution 6 – Build A False Wall
This solution is probably my favorite, but it’s also the most work. With a false wall, you are building a small room within a room, placing your speakers inside it, and then covering it with speaker fabric. This installation method is commonly used with an acoustically transparent projector screen. If you are moderately handy and can frame a 2×4 wall, it shouldn’t take long to do.
Author’s Note: Another similar way to hide a subwoofer and other gear is to create a “stage apron.” An easy way to DIY an apron solution is to install a shelf above your subwoofer that is the general size of your sub. You then drape an acoustically transparent material over it and the subwoofer. It may look a little weird, but you can use the shelf at least. Plus, you normally watch in the dark anyhow. Who’s really looking?
Hiding a subwoofer is not hard if you take a little time to plan. Yes, it may take some extra effort and money to set up correctly, but your reward will be a hidden subwoofer that brings the boom! Do you have a creative solution to hiding your sub? Comment below and tell us how you did it.