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Sealed or Ported? That is the question we get asked a lot

March 25th, 2015

Sealed or Ported? That is the question

The most commonly asked question we get at Source Sounds is whether a subwoofer works best sealed or ported? In our opinion there is no definitive answer to this as everyone has their own opinions and preferences. All of us here at Source Sounds in Sheffield prefer the sound of a sealed subwoofer enclosure over the sound of a ported enclosure.

 

Sealed or Ported? Rainbow Hammer SW250 sealed subwoofer enclosureSealed Enclosures

A sealed subwoofer enclosure uses a specific volume of air for the type of subwoofer. As the woofer moves, it pulls the air forwards and backwards with no pressure loss which allows the subwoofer to reproduce the low frequencies more accurately than a ported box due to the air inside the enclosure acting like a shock absorber, allowing the subwoofer to move with more control thus giving better controlled sub bass.

 

Ported Enclosures

Sealed or Ported? That is the question. Hertz EBX250 ported enclosureA ported enclosure is something that is a little more tricky to build due to the nature of the box. For the subwoofer to perform to it’s optimum the port has to be a specific size. This includes correct measurements for the width, length and shape of the port. You can’t just stick a hole in a sealed box and turn it into a ported box. Having a ported enclosure allows the subwoofer to take advantage of the frequencies produced at the rear of the subwoofer. This reinforces the low frequency response of the subwoofer. This lower frequency response however will only sound good at whatever the tuned frequency of the port is.  This tuned frequency can be adjusted by altering the airs resistance to motion inside the port which is accomplished  by changing the length and width of the port.

 

In summary, ported enclosures can typically offer better low-end extension as well as greater output around the tuned frequency whereas a sealed enclosure will give a better frequency response across all frequencies with a more controlled output, which is why here at Source Sounds in Sheffield we prefer the sealed enclosure as it gives better sound quality overall than a ported subwoofer enclosure.

 

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Testimonials

I bought a car radio from somewhere else with the intention of replacing the factory installed one. I contacted Halfords and they bluntly told me that they did not fit a radio that was not supplied by them. I then stumbled upon Source Sounds on internet and decided to give them a try.
What set wind to my sails was their warm customer relations and their confidence that it was “do-able!”. Their charges are reasonable as well.
They changed the fascia and in the process provided extra space for auxiliary equipment (space that had been covered by only two knobs on the previous radio). They kept me updated on the progress. I now have a trim dashboard , and am over the moon! Thanks to Paul and his team. Your customer care is second to none.

— Nhamo Chinogara

I have had several products installed by Source and have always been happy with their service. They are a great bunch of guys who take the time to understand your needs and provide professional advice. No pushy sales just pure knowledge and friendly advice. I would not trust anyone else with my car audio and security.

— Dave Hartshorne

When I arrived back home after my short trip from Source to Donny today, I thought a short thank you email was in order. When I first sat behind the wheel and heard what a difference your adjustments had made, I was very pleased. I put Pink Floyds’ “Dark Side Of The Moon” in and set off for home. When I pulled onto my drive, I couldn’t get out of the car for 10 minutes because the CD hadn’t finished. It was stunning ! All the meticulous work you put into my install came together today and exceeded all my expectations. The sound stage is now immense, fills the front of the car and is fully balanced to my seating position. A great many thanks to you and all the team at Source Sounds, I wish you every success in the future.