woofer and subwoofer

Most people use the terms “woofer” and “subwoofer” interchangeably, but there is a difference. Woofers are loudspeakers that reproduce low frequency sound, typically below 500 Hz. They are generally large in size and can handle more power than smaller speakers. Subwoofers are designed to reproduce only the lowest frequencies, below about 100 Hz. They are usually smaller than woofers and can be placed in more locations since they don’t need to generate as much bass. To understand better, we elaborately explain the difference between woofer and subwoofer.

What is a woofer?

A woofer is one kind of driver that generates low frequency sound and can handle bass sound. The woofer is responsible for making sound quality better.

It will prevent your sound system from distortion. You can enjoy the more accurate sound with the help of it.

The electrodynamic driver is the most used design in woofer technology. It needs stiff paper cones, and a magnetic field plays a great role in surrounding it.

Mainly it creates low frequency audio from 50 Hz to 1000 Hz. Some loudspeakers have the lowest octaves, and they can easily handle them.

A woofer creates sound moved by water or air. Mainly the main concept of a woofer is it converts the electrical signals into sounds.

Different types of woofers

All types of woofers produce low-frequency sounds. Today you’re going to know about 4 types of woofers.

  • Sub-Woofer
  • Mid Woofer
  • Rotary Woofer
  • Standard Woofer

Sub Woofer

The Subwoofer produces a limited range of frequencies between 20 Hz to 200 Hz. It is a very used woofer available on the market, and its performance and quality are top-notch.

Suppose you’re not satisfied with the quality of your regular woofer. Then the Subwoofer will help you a lot. You may hear about car subwoofer here and there. You will know more about the Subwoofer below.

Mid Woofer

Mid Woofer produces sound frequencies between 200 Hz to 500 Hz. As you can see, the frequency range of the mid-woofer is a bit higher than the subwoofer.

That’s not the issue at all. It can perform perfectly with its frequency range. But you may find distortion when the frequency range drops up from 200 Hz and level up from 500 Hz.

Rotary woofer

A rotary woofer is specially made for louder sounds. If you’re looking for a louder woofer, then it can be a perfect choice for you.

The frequency range of the rotary woofer is about 20 Hz or less. So it uses less power than other woofers for its lower sound frequency level.

Standard woofer

A standard woofer produces a sound frequency between 20 Hz to 2000 Hz. For its high-frequency range, it generates strong bass sounds. This type of woofer is perfect for expensive and high-range speakers.

Advantages of woofer

The woofer has a larger driver, and for this reason, it helps the system for better airflow. At the same time, it can generate low-frequency sounds.

  • Woofers aren’t larger than the sub-woofers. As well as, the build quality of a woofer is better than a subwoofer.
  • It makes your sound more listenable and prevents headache distortions. Woofers are the best option for a home sound system.
  • A major number of people use it as a home sound system. It generates low-frequency sounds, and that is perfectly suitable for a home.

Disadvantages of woofer

You can’t use it with full sound on a regular woofer in a hall room because it isn’t specialized for a narrow spectrum.

  • For a better experience in the hall room, you should go with a subwoofer. In some cases, it can make your sound system more complex.
  • A particular range is required to use it. And for this reason, you have to use an extra speaker to cover other frequency ranges.

What is a subwoofer?

A subwoofer is amplified with the woofer to produce a lower frequency in the music. A regular speaker can produce sounds but not quality sounds.

But a subwoofer will help you to create quality sound. You can feel the sound with the help of it.

The lower frequency is responsible for quality sounds from a subwoofer. In comparison, regular and basic speakers make the sound flat.

The range of a subwoofer is about 20 Hz to 200Hz. A subwoofer can reduce or level up the frequency of sounds. After 1970 subwoofers became popular among music lovers.

After 1990 it became so popular as a home theater, car audio system etc. And then in 2000, it was the main part and parcel of nightclubs and concerts.

Different types of Subwoofer

Subwoofers are mainly divided into two categories. One is an active subwoofer, and another one is a passive subwoofer.

Today we will talk about 2 different types of Subwoofers. To get more knowledge about Subwoofers, these two will help you.

  • Active Subwoofer.
  • Passive Subwoofer.

There is a built-in amplifier in active Subwoofers. At the same time, you need an external amplifier to use a Passive Subwoofer.

Active Subwoofer

Active Subwoofer has a built-in amplifier, speaker and AC power. If you live in a small room, it is useful for you.

Active subwoofers, which include a built-in amplifier, are easy to set up and are best used in a single subwoofer configuration. Placement is more important with active subwoofers.

One of the benefits of active subwoofers is that it doesn’t need that much cable comparatively. It is a bit more expensive than a regular Subwoofer.

Passive Subwoofer

As you know, the active Subwoofer has a built-in amplifier and AC power. To power up a passive subwoofer, you will need an external amplifier.

For this reason, it is named by passive Subwoofer. It is very similar to traditional speakers. It is useful for you if you’re a saving-minded one because it doesn’t need that much power to work. You can arrange more than one passive subwoofers which mig be crucial for large rooms.

For those who have larger rooms, it can be useful for them. A passive Subwoofer is not as expensive as an active Subwoofer.

Advantages of Subwoofer

It will make your woofer or loud sound system more convenient. It will make accurate your loudspeakers.

  • It can celebrate each speaker equally to make them sound deeper.
  • It enhances sound effects in the movie.
  • It is more reliable and convenient for home theater.
  • If you want accurate and extraordinary sound quality, there is no better option than Subwoofer.

Disadvantages of Subwoofer

A subwoofer can only generate frequencies between 20 Hz to 200 Hz. At the same time, a woofer can create 50 Hz to 1000 Hz frequencies.

  • You like compact and small things; the Subwoofer may not be suitable for you because the Subwoofer is bigger than the woofer.
  • Regarding pricing, some particular and specially designed subwoofers are more expensive than the woofer. Though it mostly depends on your requirements

Difference between Woofer and Subwoofer

You already know about the Woofer and Subwoofer’s basic things. To be clearer about Woofer and Subwoofer, there are clear differences between these:

Woofers are part of a two or three-way speaker.Subwoofers can only be used in a separate design, such as sealed or ported for lower frequency.
It produces a bass frequency.It is mostly used as a full-range sound system.
The frequency level is 50 Hz to 1000 HzIt is limited between 20 Hz to 200 Hz
Smaller magnets are used on woofers.The magnets of a subwoofer are slightly bigger than the woofer.
The woofer is limited in terms of power handling.While Subwoofer can handle a range of motion.
The components are lighter.While the components of a subwoofer are a bit higher than the woofer.
There is no dual voice coil on the woofer.Yes, you will find a dual voice coil on the Subwoofer.
The cone of a woofer is not that thick.While the cone of the Subwoofer is thicker.
The woofer doesn’t need any large wires to connect with the voice coil.While Subwoofer requires larger wires.
The cone surrounding of a woofer is not that durable and big.The Subwoofer has a durable and big cone surrounding to make a higher sound level.
You can easily handle coil power on a woofer.There is no option to do this.

Woofer vs Subwoofer


  • It is mainly known as a speaker.
  • A woofer can be better for regular purposes.
  • Woofer offers you a wide frequency between 50 Hz to 1000 Hz
  • In terms of portability, it is a better option.
  • It is small and compact.


  • It’s a part of a woofer or another edition of a woofer.
  • A subwoofer is used for better quality sound and special purposes.
  • The Subwoofer is specially made for narrow frequencies such as 20 Hz to 200 Hz
  • It’s not a better option for carrying.
  • It is larger than the woofer.

Signs of a Blown Subwoofer

There is no doubt that for a more accurate, deep and crisp sound, Subwoofer is a better option. But in some cases, there are some downsides to the Subwoofer.

  • Suddenly one day, you can find your Subwoofer producing bad sounds. And if your Subwoofer is not working, it is a sign of blown.
  • Whether your Subwoofer is blown or not, you can easily find out. Below we have mentioned some ways to find out your blown Subwoofer.
  • The first and common sign of a blown subwoofer is that you will not hear any sound after power-on.
  • Similarly, your Subwoofer doesn’t have to be completely blown if you do not hear any sound.
  • In that case, you have to check that the audio signals are working perfectly. If it doesn’t work, then there’s a possibility that your Subwoofer is blown.
  • In some cases, your Subwoofer may run. But as we know, Subwoofer prevents distortion. If your Subwoofer is blown or damaged, you will find distortion.
  • Also, you may not find any distortion, but whenever you try to level up the volume. You’re going to find distortion if your Subwoofer is blown.
  • Another interesting way to check if your Subwoofer is blown or not is by checking cone movement.
  • First, you have to force your cone down with your two hands carefully. Remember, you need to remove the cover to find the cone.
  • Suppose you find any unexpected sound while pushing it down. Then maybe your Subwoofer is blown.
  • You can check the resistance of your Subwoofer to find out if it is blown or not. It will help if you do it with an expert because one mistake can damage your Subwoofer.
  • After checking the resistance of your Subwoofer, if you find the impedance reading is not stable at all, then your Subwoofer is blown.

Difference between Subwoofer and Speaker

Though subwoofer and speaker are two different things, some people make mistakes and think there is no difference between subwoofer and speaker. Below, we present a table to differentiate the subwoofer and speaker.

Speaker is a component of the sound system.Subwoofer makes a speaker more special by its potential.
Speakers don’t need any extra components to run.The Subwoofer is useless without a speaker.
Speakers cannot produce high bass, and they can generate regular to mid-range bass.Subwoofers are best for bass or sub-bass.
Speaker is usable for regular purposes.But if you’re expecting more, then the Subwoofer is better.
It is made for direct sound.The Subwoofer is made for the speaker.
There’s no use of special build quality on speakers.Subwoofers are made of wood to protect their expensive components.
You will find distortion at full volume.It will prevent distortion even at its maximum volume.
The frequency level of a speaker is wider.The Subwoofer offers you a very limited particular range of frequency.
For wide frequency, its sound is not that much of a crisp.Its proper and limited optimized frequency can generate more deep and accurate sound.

Basically, Subwoofer is used with a woofer. It is possible to use a subwoofer without a woofer, but it will produce low-frequency sounds.

Hope you found some important differences between Subwoofer and woofer. Both are useful for different purposes.


Can a woofer be used as a subwoofer?

As you know, the woofer is typically known for its low-frequency sound. Its sound is wider, and it is made for a different purpose.

And on the other hand, Subwoofer is used for distortion-free sound. It is being used in a hall or as a home theater system.

So technically, it is not similar at all. Because these two devices are completely different, using a subwoofer on a woofer is possible by proper connection.

Which is better, woofer or Subwoofer?

Woofer can be used perfectly in a particular way. At the same time, Subwoofers are a better option for a different purpose

It depends on your condition. The woofer can produce low-frequency and wider sounds. So it is better for the car audio system.

But for the more realistic, professional and deep sound, you must choose a Subwoofer. It is a better option for a hall room or a home theater.

Comparing these two devices, the Subwoofer is better than the woofer. Because who doesn’t love distortion-free, accurate and deep sound

Which is a better speaker or woofer?

Mainly the woofer is a part of the speaker. Speaker produces sound, and the woofer makes it better.

Woofer can generate low-frequency sounds. It will help your speaker to enhance its quality.

If you’re happy with your speaker, you don’t need a woofer. But you’re not good enough with the speaker’s sound quality, so you should buy a woofer.

Speaking of performance and quality, obliviously a woofer is better than a speaker. In a word, it depends on your demand.

Can Subwoofer work without speakers?

Though speaker and Subwoofer have different purposes, Subwoofer helps your speaker enhance its sound quality.

You will find a more realistic sound from your speaker by adding a Subwoofer. But is it possible to run a subwoofer without a speaker?

Yes, you definitely can. But you will need an RCA converter to do this. This method can find low-frequency sounds from your Subwoofer without a speaker.

Does a subwoofer need an amp?

Technically a subwoofer requires an external amplifier to run. As you know, it is made for realistic and professional sound.

I think you’re still confused. The Subwoofer has a built-in amp. So you don’t need an external amp to run a subwoofer. If you need extremely good music, you can use an external amp.

Are subwoofer and woofer the same?

The Subwoofer and woofer aren’t the same at all. Woofer produces low frequency and wider sound.

But the Subwoofer produces more accurate and realistic sounds. You can use a subwoofer on a woofer to produce high-quality sound.