Car subwoofers are part and parcel of any car audio. Ideally, factory car speakers don’t have the capacity to handle bass frequencies, so without a subwoofer, you are likely to miss out on some bass notes. This is because the frequency range won’t be full and balanced.
However, the positioning of the subwoofer plays a critical role in the overall listening experience. Wrong placement can take away from your audio experience, plus it can render such an expensive investment worthless. So what’s the best position to place a subwoofer in a car? And do subs sound better in a hatchback?
Hatchbacks are generally more compact than SUVs, but this should not limit your placement ideas. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best positions for a subwoofer in a hatchback and the impact of each on the sound quality. Without further ado, let’s get started with the discussion!
Best Position for Subwoofer in Hatchback
Arguably, the trunk is by far the best position for a subwoofer in a car. However, in a hatchback, it can get somewhat confusing to choose the ideal location. This is because what works in one hatchback might not be convenient in another one.
As such, most car owners may have a rough patch figuring out which position is perfect for their subwoofer. Often, the placement option is divided between the front compartment and the trunk. Now, to get the most out of your subwoofer, you may want to experiment with different placement ideas for the best sound experience.
That said, here are some of the best positions for a subwoofer in a hatchback;
As we mentioned earlier, the car trunk is considered one of the best locations where you can mount your subwoofer. In addition, trunk placement is the most ideal option for car owners looking to save more space while ensuring that the subwoofer is out of the way.
For the best bass experience, you may want to pay attention to the direction of the subwoofer in the truck and the overall impact. For example, facing the subwoofer towards the rear of the vehicle helps ensure that the bass notes are uniformly distributed while allowing the sound to reverberate throughout the space.
On the other hand, placing the subwoofer facing towards the front seats will help deliver loud bass for both the driver and the passengers, but the impact is not as boomy. Similarly, you can opt to have the subwoofer face upwards to allow you and other car occupants to enjoy deep bass without occupying much floor space in the trunk.
Under the seats
Placing the subwoofer under the seat, preferably the driver seat is yet another option that’s worth considering. This is the best position for anyone looking to keep the subwoofer out of sight without compromising the sound quality.
Generally, this setup requires you to face the subwoofer upward to achieve the best sound quality. The best part about placing the subwoofer under the seat is that it delivers the heavy bass lines even when installed in a compact hatchback.
At the front of the hatchback
Front subwoofer placement is not common, but it is one of the greatest ways to create a direct path for bass reproduction. This method entails installing the subwoofer in an inverted position and directly facing the driver as well as the passengers.
However, it is essential to note that this arrangement may not be the most ideal option if you are after hard-hitting bass. Ideally, mounting the subwoofer at the front is best suited for compact subwoofers or applications that don’t involve a lot of booming basses.
Behind passengers seat
Mounting the subwoofer behind the rear seat is also uncommon practice, but it still yields incredible results. Ideally, this is one of the positions that helps achieve uniform bass reproduction and superb sound distribution. However, you may want to take your time while mounting and securing the subwoofer to ensure that you don’t compromise the sound quality.
Factors to Consider Before Positioning Subwoofer in Hatchback
It is a no-brainer that the space available in your hatchback is going to determine how you install your subwoofer. For instance, if you’re not willing to sacrifice space in the cargo area, placing the subwoofer under the seats or getting a small subwoofer would be a wise decision.
On the other hand, if you have plenty of space in your trunk, you can opt to go with a larger subwoofer, although this will depend on your individual audio needs. However, if you don’t have a lot of room to spare, it is always a good idea to go with a position that does not take up too much space or opt for a compact subwoofer.
The number of subwoofers you intend to use is also a factor that’s worth considering. For instance, some vehicles may limit you to using just one subwoofer while others may have space for more than one unit. You can always go for it if you have the space and can afford more than one subwoofer. However, you might need to experiment with different placement positions to determine the most ideal location(s).
That’s not all. How the subwoofer looks inside the car might also be an important consideration for anyone concerned about the aesthetic of their vehicle. If you’re looking to show off your sub to your friends, placing it on the front part of the car might be a good idea. On the other, if you prefer to hide it away, installing it under the seats or in the trunk may be your best bet.
When looking for a place to install a subwoofer in your hatchback, you may want to ensure that the area is free from obstructions. What’s more, you’ll need to countercheck the subwoofer specification to ensure it is compatible with your car stereo.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to bass reproduction, subwoofer positioning is critical in ensuring the best bass response. However, it is critical to acknowledge that there is no ‘special position’ when it comes to subwoofer placement. As such, it is always a good idea to take your time and find a way to find the location that’ll work best for your subwoofer.
Considering that there is no single best position for a subwoofer in a car, the most ideal location will depend on several factors, including the size of your subwoofer, the number of subwoofers, and the space available. In addition, trying out different placement positions is a great step in determining the spot that perfectly suits your bass requirements.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.