How to Find the Best Placement for Subwoofers
Are you a DJ looking for the best placement of your subwoofers to get the most out of your sound? If so, this article will guide you on how and where to place your speakers and subs to get maximum bass response and clarity. No matter who you're performing for or what type of venue, you can create high-quality sound with pulsating bass that will make your audience move their feet every time you take the stage.
Consider the Venue & Speaker Power
To achieve the best audio quality, familiarizing yourself with a venue and its measurements is pivotal. Doing so will help you find the best placement for your powered subwoofer while amplifying your sound. Every space has unique acoustics that needs special consideration when setting up speakers and subs; therefore, it's important to tailor each configuration based on environmental requirements for superior results. Take a night out at the club or wedding reception as an example. These social events usually have dance floors next to the DJ with dual subwoofer placements.
The objective and primary purpose behind finding the best placements for your subwoofers is to get people up and on the floor by forming an area where energy pulsates. Often referred to as the power alley, this is where DJs push mid-level and deep bass through the middle of the floor for optimal effect. On the other hand, events held in gymnasiums, concert halls, or conference areas require a setup that provides bass throughout the venue. Creating a power alley in these settings would be too powerful and most likely result in an unpleasant experience for the audience. If the space does not have a dance floor, the goal is to spread sound waves evenly and naturally throughout the area and fill it with bass. To get the perfect sound, experiment with different configurations to find the best places to put your subwoofers.
Determine the Distance Between Walls & Dance Floors
To create the best sound for your event, measure the distance from the back and side walls to the dance floor. If there is too much space between where you place the subwoofers and the dance floor, it will heavily impact the clarity and bass of your subwoofers and speakers. So, you must measure each dimension and determine the layout before you put your sound system in place. Many of you may not have an amplifier, so it is critical to know these numbers because not only will they help you find the best place to put subwoofers, they can maximize speaker output.
In certain instances, the proper distance, subwoofer placement, and layout can significantly increase decibel levels for a richer, more crisp sound. If the venue is small, you have a much better chance to enhance overall bass output and find the best placements for your subwoofers. Effectively utilizing the walls will allow the sound waves to fill the room evenly without delays or distortion. The last thing you want is for sound frequencies to be slightly off and become muddled or unevenly dispersed. So, when attempting to increase bass, know that the farther the speakers are from the dance floor, the lower the chance you have to increase decibel levels.
Place Subwoofers on the Ground
When determining the best placement for subwoofers, the number one rule is to keep them on the ground. Utilizing the floor and walls provides a stable, effective, and natural foundation, which is the best way to capture your desired sound. And more importantly, positioning subwoofers on the ground will allow you to increase your output by an average of 3 decibels per speaker. Never place subwoofers on speaker stands because they can disrupt sound performance and wavelengths of your audio system. Ultimately, floor placement produces the superior bass you need to optimize your sound and prevent the low frequencies from reverberating back and forth.
If the dance floor is within 8 feet of the back wall, the best place to put the subwoofer is directly behind the DJ area against it. For dual subwoofer placements, you have two options. You can position each sub to face opposite directions toward the corners or have the cones face each other with a speaker length gap between them. By placing them in a cone-to-cone configuration, you get the added acoustical benefit of the wall and allow the subwoofers to center the output to produce a bigger punch. If the venue has plenty of space, this will usually be the best placement for your subwoofers.
Place Subwoofers in the Corners
Another one of the best placements for subwoofers is in the corners along the back wall behind the DJ area or stage. To do this, place your sub 1 to 2 feet from the corner diagonally with the cone facing the walls. This type of subwoofer placement is called corner loading, and you can use a single sub or dual subwoofer placement if you have the equipment to do so. By placing two subwoofers at an equal distance apart in the corner of a room with two adjacent walls, you effectively cause sound waves to reflect off angled walls rather than parallel walls, creating deeper and fuller bass tones.
With corner loading, you can increase the bass effect by up to 3 decibels in addition to the 3 decibels you picked up by placing the subwoofers on the floor. If you want to attain noticeably clear and more powerful bass output from your existing audio equipment, use the back corners. You'll gain the extra sound you need to scatter sound waves over a larger area and increase the clarity of bass frequencies. While this is one of the best placements for subwoofers, this method is only effective if the walls are no further than 8 to 10 feet from the dance floor.
Position Speakers & Subwoofers Directly in Front of the Stage
To ensure optimal sound quality, the best placement for subwoofers and speakers is in a straight-line configuration when the dance floor is more than 10 feet away. You can do this by setting up the speakers at either side of the DJ booth or stage on appropriate speaker stands that are no less than one foot above ear level. Remember to elevate your speakers since our ears have an intense awareness of high-end frequencies, which can make listening unpleasant and uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Once your speakers are in place, you have three options for best subwoofer placements. If you only have one subwoofer, place it in front of the DJ booth in the middle, 1 to 2 feet from the dance floor. If you have two, you can either place one under each elevated speaker or place them side by side in the middle to create the power alley mentioned above. For dual subwoofer placement, both configurations will provide the bass frequencies you need for the best listening experience possible.
As illustrated throughout this post, finding the best placements for subwoofers will require planning and effort. However, with the information provided today, you possess several effective setup strategies to maximize bass and create the perfect sound. If you have questions, contact us today. Our staff of experts is at your service and is happy to help determine dual subwoofer placement and the best places to put subwoofers for your next event. Call now!