5 Tips For Pairing a Subwoofer with your Soundbar

PB-4000 Subwoofer

If you’ve chosen a soundbar for lifestyle reasons or to get better sound than what your TV speakers provide, a subwoofer is a necessity. Subwoofers add thrilling immersive bass impact you can hear and feel and allow soundbars to focus on the mid and high frequencies, resulting in a noticeable improvement to the soundstage and overall audio experience. If you’ve never considered adding a subwoofer, you may have asked yourself, what is the best subwoofer for my soundbar?

To properly reproduce bass in music and low frequency effects in movies, a subwoofer needs a powerful motor and amplifier, rigid yet lightweight driver and an acoustically inert cabinet. It also requires careful tuning by an acoustic engineer. Many soundbars come packaged with subwoofers, but these imposter subs are little more than one-note bass boxes where the output is more of a distraction because of its muddying effect and high potential for distortion. Full disclosure, we’re a bit biased, but it’s certainly not what an artist or director intended you to hear.

The best subwoofers deliver massive output and hit the deepest bass notes with ease. Every note should be rendered with pinpoint tonal accuracy, no overhang and blend seamlessly with your soundbar. The best subwoofers effortlessly handle low frequencies without calling attention to themselves or overtaking the soundstage. For more on this, check out our article on What to Listen for When Choosing a Subwoofer.

When choosing the best subwoofer for your soundbar, there are five key things you should consider.

    1. Soundbar connections. Some soundbars have proprietary outputs that makes connecting an SVS or other powered subwoofer impossible. Look for a soundbar that accepts a cable like the SVS SoundPath RCA Audio Interconnect Cable or something comparable, and it should work with almost any subwoofer, including all SVS models.
    2. Cabinet size. Perhaps the biggest reason for soundbars’ popularity is the minimal visual impact in a room. If lifestyle considerations are an important factor, you’ll likely want a compact subwoofer that can be concealed or discreetly integrated into a home’s décor. For this reason, a sealed cabinet subwoofer is often the best choice because they have much smaller cabinet dimensions and footprints than their ported subwoofer counterparts.
    3. Listening preferences and playback levels. In the words of lead SVS Sound Expert, Ed Mullen, “there is no need to over-sub a soundbar.” Soundbars by nature can’t match the output of a 5.1 home theater surround sound speaker system or even a pair of full-range stereo speakers, so you don’t need a massive subwoofer to significantly improve bass response and impact. Of course, if you love to bump dubstep, watch action movies at reference volume levels, a larger, more powerful subwoofer may be right for you.
    4. Room Size. If you have an open concept living room or maybe a massive finished basement, the bass from a small subwoofer may lack the ability to energize the space with chest-thumping, seat-rumbling bass. If you have a big space, consider a larger subwoofer or even going dual with two smaller subwoofers to get even bass response throughout the listening area.
    5. Subwoofer Accessories. One way to reduce visual impact and open up placement options in a room is to install a wireless subwoofer kit. This is especially useful if the subwoofer is on the opposite side of the room from the soundbar because it removes the need for a subwoofer interconnect cable. Although rare, it’s also possible to run dual subwoofers out of a single subwoofer output on a soundbar by installing an RCA Y-adapter.

    SB-1000 Subwoofer The most popular SVS subwoofers for soundbars are the SB-1000 for small to medium sized rooms and the SB-2000 Pro subwoofer for larger rooms. The combination of compact cabinets, massive output relative to the enclosure size, easy room integration, and three attractive finishes make these SVS models the most popular subwoofers for a soundbar.

    If you’re still torn between a soundbar and a true home theater experience, check out Why Home Theater Surround Sound is Better than a Soundbar, to understand why a 5.1 speaker system or something bigger may be right for you.

    Have questions about pairing a subwoofer to your soundbar? Ask it in the comments or contact the SVS Sound Experts at custservice@svsound.com or by calling 877.626.5623.

    Browse SVS Subwoofers by Series

    1000 Pro Series Subwoofers

    1000 Pro Series

    Reference performance hits an all-time low with the 1000 Pro Series. Includes all-new 12-inch high-excursion drivers, 325 watts RMS, 820+ watts peak power amplifier with discrete MOSFET output, 50 MHz Analog Devices DSP, and the SVS subwoofer control smartphone app for advanced tuning and control.

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    2000 Pro Series Subwoofers

    2000 Pro Series

    Complete reimagining of the most popular SVS subwoofer models of all-time. The 2000 Pro Series feature 12-inch high-excursion driver and 550 watts RMS, 1,500+ watts peak power amplifier with advanced DSP tuning and smartphone app control.

    View 2000 Pro Series
    3000 Micro Subwoofer

    3000 Micro

    Chest-pounding, musical bass with depth and slam from a shockingly compact 10-inch cabinet. SVS 3000 Micro seamlessly blends into any speaker system, energizing a space with effortless output from dual active 8-inch drivers and an 800 watt RMS, 2,500+ watt peak amplifier. Also features SVS subwoofer control app.

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    3000 Series Subwoofers

    3000 Series

    Reference performance hits new lows. The 3000 Series feature 13-inch high-excursion driver with 800 watts RMS, 2,500+ watts peak power amplifier with fully discrete MOSFET output and SVS smartphone app for convenient DSP and control.

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    4000 Series Subwoofers

    4000 Series

    Reference quality bass, groundbreaking SVS value. The 4000 Series feature 13.5-inch high-excursion driver, 1,200 watts RMS, 4,000+ watts peak power amplifier with fully discrete MOSFET output and SVS smartphone app for convenient DSP and control.

    View 4000 Series
    16-Ultra Series Subwoofers

    16-Ultra Series

    The ultimate reference standard for bass. The 16-Ultra Series feature a 16-inch high-excursion driver with 8-inch voice coil, 1,500 watts RMS, 5,000+ watts peak power amplifier with fully discrete MOSFET output and SVS smartphone app for convenient DSP and control.

    View 16-Ultra Series

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    Apr 28, 2020