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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 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

I began researching an audio upgrade to my BMW and have visited several high end car audio specialists in the North West to get advice on possible options and costs …then I visited SOURCE. On walking in I was initially impressed with the SOURCE showroom display and the range of options to sample.There really is something to suit all budgets ,certainly far more comprehensive and wide ranging than any others I visited in the North West . The real “gem” of SOURCE is however their very detailed knowledge of all the technical and “fit” aspects and most especially the time they are prepared to spend talking through technical /price options without pressure to buy .As a result I returned a second time and again experienced the same friendly non pushy very informed advice as we explored the possibilities in a little more depth.Every question I had was answered,time was ,once again, not an issue and nothing was too much trouble including phone calls to suppliers to check availability/latest spec for my car etc .In the end I genuinely felt they wanted to advise the best system for me and definitely not just the most expensive. I am convinced you cannot get better than SOURCE for your car audio needs ,excellence like this is very rare in my experience and I strongly suggest you call in to this 5 star outfit – you wont be disappointed and I reckon you will be totally satisfied/blown away with the result if you buy.

— Brian

Absolutely first class customer service with some real friendly and knowledgeable guys. I had every option and product explained to me in depth and the finished product is perfect. I will be using them for years to come