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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.


The UK's Ultimate Car Audio, Security and Navigation Specialists, having been voted on numerous occasions by the "UK's Best Installers" by the Car Audio, Security & Navigation Industry Find out why...

The best car audio in Sheffield! Paul spent over an hour with me just talking about everything, door speakers, amps, sub woofers & these guys really know their stuff. Chris (who did the work on my car) spent ages making sure I had no rattles at all. I got a top of the range set up within my budget, head unit, amp, sub & door speakers & cannot speak highly enough for these guys, i learned loads & got a system that properly rocks. If you want car audio, go see these guys, even if just for a quick chat, you’ll see what the hype is about. 10/10

— Joe Walker

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

Source Sounds recently completed a stealth boot install in my Octavia, along with new front speakers and some additional little tweaks. The work they have done has been immaculate. You would never know the anything had changed, until the music starts that is. The improvement is immense. I just want to take my car for drives, just to listen to things.

I highly recommend Source Sounds. Excellent work, very helpful and knowledgeable staff and excellent aftercare and support. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my ICE needs.