How To Install a Subwoofer in an Enclosure (DIY) Guide

Half the battle of creating the ideal quality car sound system, is purchasing the correct components.

Mounting your system is the other half. Thus, your enclosure for the subwoofer is essential. Subwoofers and their enclosures can be purchased from audio sound stores as well as online stores.

Booming bass is one of the qualities we look for in the ideal modern audio car sound system. A part of this effect is created by the subwoofer itself.

how to mount a subwoofer in an enclosure

The rest of this effect is created by the enclosure in which your subwoofer is mounted. This would mean that the enclosure in which your subwoofer is mounted is key.

Often one would select the subwoofer along with it’s enclosure, but in cases where the subwoofer is purchased separately, it is important to read the owner’s manual before paying for it as not all subwoofers are designed to work with all types of enclosures.

Subwoofer Enclosure Types

The three basic types of enclosures are sealed enclosures, Ported enclosures and a Bandpass box.

The oldest and easiest of speaker enclosures is the Sealed enclosure. It is called the sealed enclosure due to the idea that it is relatively airtight which causes the air inside the box to act as a spring, limiting the movement of the speaker cone.

This popular box provides the clearest, most crisp bass sound. It however does not allow for the booming bass that a lot of people seek from a subwoofer. It creates the lowest volume of all the enclosures.

The Ported enclosure adds a bass port into the enclosure. It allows for the sound from the back side of the speaker to be heard as well. This type of enclosure allows for considerably more sound and volume than sealed units.

The sound emitted tends to be slightly more “muddy” and less crisp due to the sound waves coming off the back of the speaker being out of phase with the speakers off the front.

Being designed to a specific frequency, ported speaker enclosures affects the sound quality received from a speaker.

Understanding Port Frequency tuning – 25 Hz provides the closest sound to sealed enclosures, working very well for hearing ultra-low notes.

45 Hz gives off the greatest bass volume boost, but gives the muddiest sound. 33-35 Hz is a good middle ground allowing for a bit of both.

The Bandpass box combines a ported enclosure and a sealed unit. The subwoofer is mounted in a sealed enclosure with an additional enclosure in front of it.

The additional enclosure is a ported one, combining the maximum bass volume while still providing crispness and a flat frequency response.

It is important though to check if your subwoofer is compatible with this sort of enclosure as they don’t all work well  with this sort of box.

Mounting your enclosure

One needs to pick the type of enclosure keeping in mind the type of sound desired, but also the size allowed by the make and model of your car.

Due to limited space, a pick-up truck is hardest to mount a subwoofer enclosure in. Sealed enclosures are most popular for this use.

Most passenger cars have a lot of wasted space under the seats, making under-seat mounting favourable in this case.

It does require removing and reinstalling the seat bottom, which is not too difficult. Sealed and ported enclosures work well for this application.

A classic way of mounting a subwoofer is in the trunk, whether it be a hatchback or sedan vehicle. With plenty space available, one can easily use a big box design.

The steps to mounting your subwoofer:

  • Know the impedance
  • Connecting the wiring well
  • Installing insulation
  • Sealing the speaker
  • Use the correct mounting hardware
  • Mount the subwoofer enclosure

Amplifiers normallyhave separate positive connections for each of the impedances, while the negative connection is common.’ Before mounting, you need to establish this number. If a speaker is connected to the wrong connection, it ultimately damages the amplifier, eventually ruining it.

Care is needed when connecting electrical wiring. Corroding wiring will cause a loss in connection and should never be spliced together bare.

Insulation assists to absorb the sound from the back side of the speaker. Fibreglass home insulation or quilt batting is a good example of such insulation.

A manual screwdriver is best when assembling an enclosure as a powered drill or screwdriver usually causesover-torque, stripping out the fibreboard that the enclosure is made of. You could use t-nuts in addition to the manual screwdriver.

The enclosure should also not only be placed inside the vehicle to move and shift around. The first way to mount this enclosure is to bolt it right through the enclosure itself. This is the most secure method.

The next method is to use angle brackets. However, the brackets will be visible and any thief determined enough could remove them with little effort.

You can also purchase pre-made enclosures on the internet or at installation experts.

How to Install Subwoofers in an Enclosure (Video)