If you are a lover of fantastic audio quality in your home then you probably have at least one subwoofer.
What if you installed another one or two in your home theater?
If so, the question becomes: is 2 subs better than 3?
Is 2 Subs Better Than 3?
And to answer that, there are a few things you may want to consider.
Typically, a speaker system in any home theater will always contain at least 1 subwoofer, as that is the standard for what most home systems come with.
However, there are some benefits to have two, three, or even four!
This is very true if you are upgrading to a more advanced home theater system.
Here are some notable pros and cons for having two plus subwoofers in your home theater.
The pros of having more than one subwoofer in your home theater set-up is that:
- you will get a much better bass quality
- it will widen the listening area
- you will get greater flexibility in the audio output
- and more subwoofers mean greater headroom
You will also get a greater flexibility with placement.
However, the cons are that:
- it will be harder to find that sweet spot
- your budget might not stretch as far as you’d like to afford this
- and incorrect placement will have a drastic impact on your experience.
Strictly speaking, two subwoofers is better than three, but not necessarily in terms of sound.
For a start, your budget won’t have to be as big, it will also be easier to hit that sweet spot too.
It is also more reasonable in terms of space as well.
However, if three feels right to you, go ahead and get three.
Audio is a personal thing and do what feels right for you.
Are 4 subs better than 2?
It's hard to know what you need what it comes to subwoofers.
If you are adding a subwoofer to your home theater set up, you want to make sure that you are getting the best.
There was a recent test conducted about whether 4, 2, or 1 subwoofers were best. Helping you to decide if one high-quality subwoofer was better than 2 mid-size market subwoofers, or four little bargain ones.
In this trial, there was a 15” subwoofer, put up against 2 12” subs, and 4 8” subs. All three had the same 200-watt power amplifiers. They were blind tested to see which option people liked more. Everyone believed that the 15” had the most in-you-guts bass, but the 4 8” cubs were favored for their better balance when it came to movie soundtracks and pitch definition.
The 4 smaller bargain subs had the most evenly distributed bass.
While they lacked the muscle of the bigger options, people seemed to also enjoy what the 2 12” subs had to offer.
So, the takeaway was, it depends.
If you want something that gives muscle but won’t vibrate your innards, then two medium-market subs can be great.
But if you want some subs for your home system that eventually distribute that bass then 4 smaller subs can be just as good and maybe even better when it comes to getting that even movie soundtrack to sound a little more like what you would get in the movie theater.
It's all about personal preference.
Can I stack subwoofers?
You can stack subwoofers if you want, but remember that where you place subwoofers will have an impact on how they operate.
Having 2 subs placed apart in the room is the best way to have it set up as it will allow for one sub to fill in any holes left by the other sub. If you have them placed in the same location it may deprive you of this benefit.
However, it is up to you to experiment with your set-up, so you can find what works for you.
Stacking subs may also risk lots of vibrations going from one sub to another. This might have an impact on the sound and the quality, so it would take some playing around with before you can hit that sweet spot.
Improper placement is easy to come across when you have more than one subwoofer, so you will need to experiment with the placement to hit the sweet spot.
One of the most annoying effects of improper placement is for one subwoofer to suck bass from the other, which may happen if you stack them. This means that one subwoofer's resonance will override another, which will result in a dropout or holes in the range of low frequencies.
Can I use two different subwoofers?
It is not recommended to use different speakers in your sound system.
Subwoofers are the one speaker that does not have a matching tenor, this means that it can be adjusted in order to mesh easier. However, you should be mindful that using two different brands of subwoofers can lead to an unpleasant sound experience.
Hence, using two different brands of subwoofer is not highly recommended.
You could get two different brands to work together if they have the same impedance, and other technical features are as similar as possible. This is not a very easy solution, nor can it promise the same quality of sound as using two subwoofers from the same family.
This is hard news for those who may have one perfectly functional subwoofer, but one that needs replacing. It would be understandable that you would not want to waste money on a whole new set-up if you can avoid it. Not every subwoofer is compatible so check carefully before going ahead. It can happen, and you can make it work, it just won’t be easy.
When you use two different brands and models of subwoofers with different specifications you are running a risk that they don't pair well with each other, or other speakers in your sound system.
This may end up producing more of a headache than the enjoyment you were looking for.
What's worse is this could actually damage your entire sound system too.
Is 2 Subs Better Than 3? Summary
In this article I've looked closely at whether 2 subs are better.
In addition, I addressed whether 4 subs are better, should subwoofer be stacked, and the issues with using two different subwoofer brands.
The bottom line is that it depends heavily on factors that are personal to you. Factors such as budget, space available, and what bass sound you prefer.