Disclaimer: The following is a sponsored post by our friends at SVS. While this advice didn't come directly from HomeTheaterReview, we do endorse it wholeheartedly.
If you're in the process of choosing or upgrading a home theater subwoofer, it's important to understand the benefits of going "dual" so you can enjoy the best bass experience possible. It's absolutely possible to get heart-pounding, room-energizing bass from a single, properly placed subwoofer, but there are inherent advantages to going dual, especially if you have a larger listening space or are experiencing peaks and nulls, which we will explain below.
In this article, the SVS Sound Experts explain four benefits of running multiple subwoofers versus a single sub.
Smoother bass response at all listening positions: The first reason is also the most important. Dual subwoofers smooth bass response throughout the room by removing phase cancellation, or nulls, which occur when two sound waves from a single home theater subwoofer cancel each other out, reducing the bass you hear in that spot. This happens when there is a delay between sound waves reaching your ears directly from the subwoofer and those bouncing off a wall or other room surface, then reaching your ears an instant later. On the flipside, you can also get "boomy" spots in a room called peaks, where the bass collects and sounds louder and slightly distorted. A single subwoofer is often at the mercy of a room, but dual subwoofers smooth peaks and nulls, and take control of the room with effortless, accurate bass.
Increased dynamic output capabilities: Perhaps the most obvious reason, the combined power of two or more powered subwoofers working in tandem results in greater dynamic range, better SPL capabilities and deeper, more impactful bass that you can hear and feel in your pantlegs and chest. Running duals will ensure you can always pressurize your room with palpable acoustic energy.
Decreased localization of bass: Simply put, multiple subwoofers are much harder to localize than a single sub. Even with a relatively deep speaker/subwoofer crossover frequency, it's often possible to hear where a single subwoofer is placed in the room, particularly if it is not located in the front stage. By comparison, multiple subwoofers are nearly impossible to localize and give the sensation of bass all around, coming from every direction and all speakers simultaneously. Once listeners enjoy this immersive experience of low frequency energy emanating from everywhere in the room, they rarely go back to a single subwoofer setup.
Décor and lifestyle factors: Subwoofers, especially ported subs, can take up significant floorspace, and two smaller subwoofers are oftentimes easier to place and conceal in a living room or home theater. Two smaller subwoofers offer visible impact and are a more lifestyle-friendly option in some instances when outside factors are a concern.
Once you've decided to go dual, the ideal placement is generally in opposite diagonal front and rear corners, but that is by no means a rule and multiple subwoofers are generally very forgiving when it comes to placement. Other common locations are inside or outside the main Left/Right speakers, along the same side wall, on opposing side walls, or elsewhere, depending on your room's layout.
Installing dual subwoofers is perhaps the most drastically noticeable upgrade you can make to your hi-fi system or home theater. It's also the best way to completely fill a room with accurate, chest-thumping bass that sounds like it's coming from all of your individual speakers. Multiple subwoofers add a serious new dimension of feeling to all music, movies, and audio playback.
For more info, check out the article "Why Go Dual" on the SVS site or watch the video below for a deeper dive into the benefits of going dual. You can also reach out to the SVS Sound Experts 7 days a week at [email protected] or 877.626.5623.
If you're considering dual SVS subwoofers, you earn a discount when purchasing two or more from the SVS site. Browse the full selection here: Shop SVS Dual Subwoofers.