Subwoofer 101: Sealed vs Ported Subwoofers — Audioengine Skip to Content

Subwoofer 101: Sealed vs Ported Subwoofers

What are the differences between sealed and ported subwoofers?

Craving bass that not only hits your ears but reverberates through your entire being? Step into the nuanced world of sealed and ported subwoofers and learn why Audioengine's S6 and S8 are the missing link you've been seeking to enhance your Home Music System. 

The Sealed Experience: A Jazz Lounge in Your Living Room 

Picture yourself in an intimate jazz lounge where each note from the double bass is a tight, controlled event. This level of precision and clarity is the hallmark of sealed subwoofers. Encased in an airtight enclosure, they deliver an accurate and controlled bass that's been revered since the dawn of high-fidelity sound systems. An added advantage of this design is its often more compact form factor, making it a versatile choice for various listening environments. 

But why go for a sealed design? The answer lies in the type of listening experience you seek. Sealed subwoofers excel in scenarios demanding critical listening. Whether it's the intricate details in a Beethoven symphony or the subtle finesse in a Coltrane solo, the sealed design delivers unparalleled clarity, making every nuance of sound significant. 

Who Needs a Sealed Subwoofer? 

If you're a music enthusiast who appreciates the finer details in sound, from the vibrations of a string to the subtle breaths between notes, a sealed subwoofer could be the right choice for you. Known for its compact and efficient design, this type of subwoofer is versatile enough to fit into various listening environments. Its smaller size and front-firing design make it particularly well-suited for PC gaming setups, where it can be optimally placed on a desk or bookshelf at listening height.

The Ported Powerhouse: A Rock Concert at Home 

Imagine the adrenaline-pumping vibe of a rock concert or an EDM festival where the bass isn't just heard; it's felt. That tangible force is the essence of ported subwoofers. 

Unlike their sealed counterparts, ported subwoofers include a built-in tunnel, commonly referred to as a port. This unique design allows air to flow freely in and out of the enclosure.  

The larger the driver in a subwoofer, the more air it requires to generate ultra-low frequencies. The built-in port aids this process by allowing efficient air circulation, which in turn enables the subwoofer to produce deep, impactful bass. This ported design isn't exclusive to subwoofers; it's also found in some bookshelf and floor-standing speakers to enhance low-frequency performance.

Who Needs a Ported Subwoofer? 

If you're a music enthusiast who enjoys the visceral impact of sound, whether it's the pulsating beats at a rock concert or the electrifying rhythms of an EDM festival, a ported subwoofer could be an excellent addition to your Home Music System. Known for their ability to produce deep and impactful bass, ported subwoofers are particularly effective in larger spaces like living rooms. Their design allows them to move more air, making them ideal for genres and settings where a powerful, room-filling sound is desired.

The Art of Placement 

Proper placement can make or break your subwoofer experience. Sealed subwoofers like the S6 are designed for elevated locations such as desks or bookshelves, while also working well on the floor. Ported subwoofers like the S8, with its large down-firing woofer, are best placed on the floor. 

Unleash the Wireless Potential 

Both the S6 and S8 offer wireless options that provide greater flexibility in placement, allowing you to locate the subwoofer in the acoustically optimal position in your room. 

Which Subwoofer is Best for You? 

S6: Precision Encapsulated 

Designed for elevated locations like a table or bookshelf, Audioengine's S6 brings the sealed subwoofer experience to life in your home. 


Key Features 

  • 210W Class D Amplifier & 6" Long Throw Woofer
  • Frequency Response: 33 - 132 Hz +-1.5dB  & Adjustable Crossover: 40 - 130Hz 
  • Wireless Option Available: For optimal placement flexibility 

S8: The Bass Behemoth  

Tailored for floor-based setups, Audioengine's S8 is the ported powerhouse that transforms your audio experience. 


Key Features 

  • 8" Custom Down-Firing Woofer: Ideal for floor placement 
  • 3.5MM AUX & RCA Audio Inputs: Simplified connectivity 
  • Wireless Option Available: Unlocks full placement potential 
  • Available in Gloss White and Satin Black


Sealed or ported, the choice could define your audio experience. Whether you're an audiophile or music lover who thrives on detail or a bass aficionado seeking raw power, the S6 and S8 from Audioengine offer a tailored experience that complements your specific needs. With wireless options for both, you have the freedom to place your subwoofer in the ideal location, ensuring an audio experience that feels like center stage. 


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