Not All Subwoofers Are Created Equally - Here's Why — Audioengine Skip to Content

Not All Subwoofers Are Created Equally - Here's Why

Selecting the Right Subwoofer: Not All Subwoofers Are Created Equally

Selecting the right subwoofer for your home audio setup requires an understanding of how a subwoofer is designed and why all subwoofers aren’t made to the same standards.

This guide is here to steer you through selecting between subwoofers tailored for music versus those suited for the broader range of home audio, including home theater setups.

Movies & Music: Choosing the Right Subwoofer

For music lovers, a subwoofer that delivers crisp dynamic bass is the key to hearing your favorite songs exactly how the artist intended. Without a subwoofer, even the best speakers can sound like there is something missing. Subwoofers that are designed for music must be excellent in delivering detailed bass responses.

Clarity and accuracy are essential for the depth and authenticity of musical genres, ensuring each note is felt with precision. That is a problem for most subwoofers designed solely with home theater and movie sound in mind, as they focus on cost efficiency and reliably produce the deepest of tones, but can fall short on accuracy, creating an awful “muddy” sound profile when playing music.

Even in a home theater setting, maintaining a balance where the subwoofer doesn't solely focus on the lowest end but provides a full spectrum of bass is key. The Audioengine S8 exemplifies this balance, offering a formidable choice for those looking to augment their home theater setup without sacrificing musical fidelity.

Beyond Volume: The Quest for Quality

While volume is important, it should not overshadow the quest for sound quality. A superior subwoofer distinguishes itself by its ability to render sound with utmost clarity across its operational volume range. It should excel in delivering a consistent, distortion-free performance, ensuring the integrity of the sound is maintained, whether at whisper-quiet levels or room-filling volumes.

If more volume is what you are looking for, remember that more volume can be great but only if the subwoofer has high quality components to prevent the potential for distorted lower quality audio.

What Is an Adjustable Crossover?

A crossover is an important internal part of a subwoofer that serves as the traffic director of sound frequencies between speakers and subwoofers. The crossover separates sound into frequency bands, ensuring that higher frequencies are directed to your speakers and the lower frequencies to your subwoofer.

An adjustable crossover allows you to adjust which sounds are played by your speakers and which are played by the subwoofer. When properly adjusted for your listening environment and setup, an adjustable crossover prevents distortion and enhances overall sound quality, leading to a more immersive and satisfying audio experience with that signature thump of bass you are looking for.

How To Adjust a Crossover

Showcasing Audioengine's S8 and S6

If you are looking for a superior subwoofer to complete your home audio setup, we have two exceptional recommendations, varying on your specific needs and preferences. The S6 and S8 both feature adjustable crossovers, incredible audio quality and the option to add wireless connectivity, so let’s discuss why you’d choose one or the other.

Audioengine S8: Music and Home Theater

Featuring a hand-crafted real wood cabinet that is designed to reduce resonance and unwanted vibrations, the S8's front ported design and 8" down-firing woofer combine to fill your room with deep, resonant bass rivaled only by a live concert from your favorite artist.

For those who live for the heart-thumping moments at a rock show or the adrenaline rush of EDM beats, the S8 ported subwoofer is your ticket to bringing that concert energy right into your living space, enhancing both your music and home theater experiences.

Audioengine S6: Desktops & Neighbors

Front-firing subwoofers are engineered to focus sound right where you want it, perfect for personal deskside concerts and neighbor-friendly listening. This design minimizes the dispersion of sound into the next room or through the floor of your apartment, making it a superior choice for apartment dwellers.

The S6 features a 6" woofer in a hand-crafted sealed real wood enclosure, focusing on delivering accurate and deep bass tones, offering a frequency response that beautifully articulates the depth of music.


Deciding on the right subwoofer involves understanding its design and the sound quality it offers for either music enjoyment or a broader home audio setup, including movies. For both music and movie lovers, a subwoofer that delivers clear and dynamic bass is crucial.

The Audioengine S8 and S6 fit these needs differently, with the S8 being versatile for both music and movies, and the S6 optimized for desktop audio and neighbor friendly listening.

When making your final decision, remember to consider factors like the size of your space and weigh the benefits provided by subwoofers with higher sound quality, front firing or down firing, wireless connectivity and adjustable crossovers.

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