A sound system without a subwoofer is incomplete. A subwoofer produces deep bass and balances the sound from the speakers. No matter how premium your speakers are, the sound will not impact your ears without a subwoofer.
While you can use a subwoofer alongside the speakers, the sound of the bass could be even better when you put the subwoofer in a box. Enclosing the subwoofer in a box also protects the speakers from disintegration and the subwoofer from over-excursion.
Best Wood for Subwoofer Box Is a Must. A subwoofer box can be made of different materials, but a wooden box gets the best out of a subwoofer. There are different types of wood used in constructing a subwoofer box. Different woods impart different properties to the sound of the subwoofer.
Let us find out the Best Wood for Subwoofer Box that makes the subwoofer sound better.
What Is A Subwoofer Box and Why Do You Need It?
A subwoofer box is an enclosure that houses the subwoofer. It is a hollow cabinet where you place the subwoofer of your sound system. Different subwoofer box designs are available, starting from simple sealed box structures to complex structures with baffles and horns.
A subwoofer box protects the speakers from the vibrations of the subwoofers. Even though the vibrations may not affect the speakers in the short term, there are always long-term issues seen with speakers.
Not just the speakers, the box protects the subwoofer from over-excursion, which is self-destructive. Besides, a subwoofer box enhances the subwoofer’s output by reducing the out-of-phase sound when tuned with speakers.
Here are the most common types of wood used to construct subwoofer boxes.
1. Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)
MDF is the most commonly used wood for subwoofer boxes. Starting from wood and bamboo to paper and polymers, MDF can be a combination of various materials. Traditional MDF is made from softwood, but modern MDF is a composite wood.
High-density material absorbs vibrations effectively to produce clear sound output. Compared to plywood, MDF is harder and denser, and hence, it is a common choice for subwoofer boxes.
Besides, MDF has no voids or knots, so the sound output will be consistent. Moreover, MDF is relatively easy to paint, making it an automatic choice for subwoofer boxes.
The drawback of MDF is that it is relatively heavy. Hence, moving the subwoofer box around can be tiresome, especially when the subwoofer is quite large. Besides, some unpolished medium-density fiberboards can swell up when exposed to moisture.
- High-density material with consistency.
- Reduces vibrations and resonance.
- Easy to cut and process into the desired shape.
- Highly smooth paintable surface.
- Relatively heavy.
- Not suitable for moist conditions.
Marine-grade plywood was previously used to construct boats. It is made up of hardwood, and hence, it is harder and stronger than MDF. On top of that, it is relatively light in weight. That is why marine-grade plywood is ideal for constructing strong but lightweight subwoofer boxes.
Marine-grade plywood has high density to prevent vibrations and resonance but to preserve sound quality from the subwoofer. It also ensures uniform sound distribution without distortion. The material is also resistant to different environmental conditions and suitable for humid conditions.
Marine-grade plywood is an extremely stable material, ensuring exceptional bass response. The only drawback is that it is initially not as smooth as MDF though sanding the surface can fix it. Besides, it is slightly more expensive than MDF.
- High density and stability.
- Prevents vibrations and resonance.
- Delivers uniform sound output.
- Enhances the overall sound quality.
- Resistant to environmental conditions.
- Slightly expensive.
- Slightly rough surface.
Baltic birch plywood is an excellent material for subwoofer boxes. It is made from softer hardwood; hence, it can incorporate the best characteristics of softwood and hardwood for subwoofer box construction.
Baltic birch plywood is very dense and does not distort the subwoofer sound. Despite high density, the plywood is light in weight. Besides, it is highly durable and strong. It is also resistant to different environmental conditions. In fact, it does not get deformed with time.
You will not observe the usual chipping issue of plywood in Baltic birch plywood. The texture of the plywood is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. But due to its scarcity, it does not qualify as the best wood for subwoofer boxes.
- Highly dense and durable.
- Resistant to chipping and deformation.
- Relatively lightweight and consistent.
- Aesthetically pleasing texture.
- It is relatively expensive.
- Availability is not widespread.
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When MDF or plywood is unavailable for constructing subwoofer boxes, pinewood should be considered. Pinewood is softwood, and it can absorb vibrations better than plywood. Pinewood is also light in weight and highly durable. Pinewood can absorb sudden shock and is stiff and strong despite softwood.
The material does not shrink with time, and it is quite affordable. You can also paint pinewood to match your room décor. The material is resistant to moisture and decay. However, it can distort the subwoofer sound. This is because pinewood is inconsistent with knots, and the density is average.
- Good vibration absorption.
- Strong, durable, and lightweight.
- Inexpensive and widely available.
- Resistant to decay and humid conditions.
- The material is not consistent.
- Can distort sound quality.
Oakwood gets the least preference as wood for subwoofer boxes. This is because its properties are not ideal for subwoofer boxes. Oakwood is a hardwood, and there can be white, red, and black oakwood. The material is highly dense, so it gets mentioned as a choice for wood for subwoofer boxes.
Besides, the material is durable and resistant to moisture. Oakwood is easy to process, and the manufacturing of subwoofer boxes gets easier. The main attraction of oakwood is its color and texture. But it is quite expensive due to less availability.
Most importantly, it affects the sound quality of the subwoofer, which is why it is better to avoid oakwood for the subwoofer box.
- High density and durability.
- Resistant to environmental conditions.
- Aesthetically pleasing and has a superior finish.
- Changes the subwoofer sound.
- Relatively expensive.
Which Is The Best Wood For Subwoofer Box?
Every wood type has its own set of characteristics as well as drawbacks. The ideal wood for a subwoofer box should be highly dense, stable, and consistent. Density can reduce vibrations and resonance, and stability can improve sound quality, while consistency can provide uniform sound output.
Besides, it should be strong but lightweight and affordable. Considering all these parameters, we recommend marine-grade plywood as the best wood for subwoofer box construction.
If you want to make one and don’t know how to measure the subwoofer, here is a detailed guide on the same.