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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

A few niggles at first that were not the fault of Source Sounds. But even though it wasn’t their fault, they spent hours trying to resolve the issues created by my vehicle being electric. I could not recommend the service level of this company any higher, their product knowledge is second to none, have all the gear right there in the shop, and will fit you in as soon as … where else do you find that these days!!

— Paul Robinson

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.

— Dave Sanderson

Was there today, 18th May at 8am to have the front components on my ford focus changed to a pair of Audison Prima’s, along with some sound deadening anf wave diffusers fitted.
Got there and the staff couldnt have been more helpful or polite. Told me it would he ready by midday. After 2 and half hrs i went to have a look to see how the work was going and the technicians were almost done with it even talking to me during finishing off the install to advise me on future upgrades im thinking of and how to achieve the result im after.
Overall im very impressed, can’t reccommend them enough and im definitely going back for the rear speakers and headunit, amp subwoofer setup in a few months.
They even vaccumed the car after they had finished and went through the setip of my current stock stereo to maoe sure the new speakers were set right, advising me on how to adjust the headunit to ensure optimal burn in for the new speakers.