Sealed or Ported? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 5Likes
  • 1 Post By OzzieP
  • 1 Post By basshead81
  • 1 Post By Bill Fitzmaurice
  • 1 Post By Hopinater
  • 1 Post By derrickdj1
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
OzzieP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Kolob
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Sealed or Ported?

It's time for subwoofer upgrade, and I am no expert in this arena but I do love good bass in my movies.

I see ported and sealed sub-woofers and was wondering if one lends itself better for movies?

I know having to subs play together nicely in one room can be a challenge, but what determines if more than 1 sub is actually needed. Is this more a personal thing or is there some specifics for it?

I see a lot of subs have built in amps, and a few require external amps, is there a preference for home theater use?

Also how do you know how much you can push a sub before over stressing it, do subs have some kind of limiter to prevent you from blowing?

Sorry for the newbie questions, but I do wish to upgrade my sub to something respectable but I am not 100% familiar here, so any help is appreciated.

Thanks
skipford likes this.
OzzieP is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 07:32 AM
Member
 
niknod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieP View Post
It's time for subwoofer upgrade, and I am no expert in this arena but I do love good bass in my movies.

I see ported and sealed sub-woofers and was wondering if one lends itself better for movies?

I know having to subs play together nicely in one room can be a challenge, but what determines if more than 1 sub is actually needed. Is this more a personal thing or is there some specifics for it?

I see a lot of subs have built in amps, and a few require external amps, is there a preference for home theater use?

Also how do you know how much you can push a sub before over stressing it, do subs have some kind of limiter to prevent you from blowing?

Sorry for the newbie questions, but I do wish to upgrade my sub to something respectable but I am not 100% familiar here, so any help is appreciated.

Thanks
This is worth reading and explains sealed vs ported quite nicely
http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeak...ted-subwoofers
niknod is offline  
post #3 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 07:33 AM
Member
 
skipford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denton Texas
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked: 44
I too have this question.

From what I am reading in the past few weeks, I think that a sealed subwoofer tends to have more range, meaning in order to get the low low frequencies (like below 20hz) you want a sealed enclosure. But if you want the middle subwoofer frequencies to be really punchy like in the 80hz range then ported is the way to go, but you may not get as low a range on the speaker.

I believe I will be going with a sealed enclosure.

Also, I don't know if you were planning on it but I would check out the DIY subwoofers in this forum because there are some amazingly well performing speakers there for a fraction of the price.

Also, I currently have only one subwoofer and after reading posts and posts and seeing the podcast with Scott Wilkinson I believe it is critical to plan on having at least two of whatever subwoofer you go with. It is necessary to have two subwoofers to smooth out the base within the listening space of the room and scientifically, one subwoofer can not acheive this.

I know none of this helps, but I guess I am posting this to see if people in the know can agree with some of the general directions I have thrown out here.

Thanks everyone.
skipford is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 07:45 AM
Advanced Member
 
89grand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 606
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked: 166
The response characteristics are different between the two. A sealed sub should produce lower bass compared to most typical ported enclosures because they are often tuned a bit high, say 35hz or so so that they sound louder because their sensitivity is higher and they can use a smaller amplifier to drive them (its a cost saving measure), but their lowest bass is compromised. A sub with say a 35hz tuning really should have a low pass filter that blocks bass much below the tuning frequency if one expects bass much lower than the tuning frequency from whatever source they are using, because the woofer starts to unload as you get lower below the tuning frequency, and it's easier to damage one with say a 20hz tone.

Music is my priority over movies, and average ported enclosures work fine for me, but if one truly wants the lowest bass you'll want either a sealed sub, or a ported one with a low tuning frequency, and that won't be your typical Best Buy subs. I should note that I think many put too much thought in ultra low response when it's rarely needed in many cases.

I can attest to the advantages of multiple subs over 1. I use 3 actually, and that in addition to using room correction made a huge difference, and much more so than what exact sub you choose.
89grand is offline  
post #5 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
OzzieP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Kolob
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by niknod View Post
This is worth reading and explains sealed vs ported quite nicely
http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeak...ted-subwoofers
Thanks for the link, will be reading that when I have more time later today.
OzzieP is offline  
post #6 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 08:12 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
basshead81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Posts: 13,218
Mentioned: 187 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked: 9291
Ported subs have more output over sealed around the tuning point. Higher tuned subs which are normally associated as "budget" are tuned above 30hz. This increases efficiency producing more output with less power in the frequencies that bass is most commonly reproduced. The problem with higher tuned subs are group delay and phase shift around the port tune which can cause cancellation with the main speakers. This tends to cause the sloppines or boominess that gives ported subs somewhat of a bad rap. A quality ported sub that is tuned around 20hz or lower should sound every bit as musical as a sealed sub being the port is playing no contribution to the sound above its tuning point. This keeps group delay at bay and also tends to sound tighter being the port is only contributing to the output in the ultra low frequencies which are felt more then heard.

The adavantage for sealed is smaller foot print and deeper extension in most normal sized room. Sealed can take better advantage of room gain. A room that the longest dimension is 20ft or less can benifit from room gain starting around 30hz where most sealed subs start to roll off with a natural 12db per octave slope. In this case a 2-4 sealed subs can make for a impressive system for all source content. If the room is overly large and the longest room dimension is greater then 20ft, sealed would not be the best choice especially if only one sub can be used.

Point being,

1 sub only in a large room, stick with a quality ported unit.

Multiple(2-4) sealed subs in a normal 2500^3 room or smaller, sealed can be a potent combination for output and deep extension.

I would consider both designs to be equall in the sound quality department being they are used in the right application and setup correctly.
dsrussell likes this.

Last edited by basshead81; 07-15-2014 at 08:16 AM.
basshead81 is offline  
post #7 of 22 Old 07-15-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 5775
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipford View Post
From what I am reading in the past few weeks, I think that a sealed subwoofer tends to have more range, meaning in order to get the low low frequencies (like below 20hz) you want a sealed enclosure. But if you want the middle subwoofer frequencies to be really punchy like in the 80hz range then ported is the way to go, but you may not get as low a range on the speaker.
Sealed only has the advantage in sensitivity over ported below roughly 15Hz, and if you do want to get high output that low you'll need plenty of them, as the sensitivity and output capability in that range remains quite low. In the 80Hz range you can't tell one from the other. The only advantage to sealed for the average user is that they're smaller than ported, which is fine if you have a small room that will reinforce the lows with cabin gain, say no larger than 18 feet on the longest dimension. If you want big lows in a big room you need a big box, or lots of small boxes.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #8 of 22 Old 07-16-2014, 05:53 AM
Senior Member
 
sevenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieP View Post
It's time for subwoofer upgrade, and I am no expert in this arena but I do love good bass in my movies.

I see ported and sealed sub-woofers and was wondering if one lends itself better for movies?

I know having to subs play together nicely in one room can be a challenge, but what determines if more than 1 sub is actually needed. Is this more a personal thing or is there some specifics for it?

I see a lot of subs have built in amps, and a few require external amps, is there a preference for home theater use?

Also how do you know how much you can push a sub before over stressing it, do subs have some kind of limiter to prevent you from blowing?

Sorry for the newbie questions, but I do wish to upgrade my sub to something respectable but I am not 100% familiar here, so any help is appreciated.

Thanks
Does your town have any shops or do u have any friends that have both ported and sealed subs? Cos my own experience is that i was asking this question too for some time, and the explanation does help, but......... nothing beats hearing the difference for yourself using your familiar movie and music tracks, and discerning the difference.

And go with whatever sounds better to you.

Last edited by sevenz; 07-16-2014 at 06:22 AM.
sevenz is offline  
post #9 of 22 Old 07-16-2014, 06:04 AM
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 5775
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenz View Post
nothing beats hearing the difference for yourself in a shop
What you'll hear in a shop is the room response of the shop. Subs sound different in every room, so the only way to make a valid comparison of how they'll sound in your room is to compare them in your room. Subs also sound different in the same room based on where they're placed in the room, so before you can make a valid comparison in your room you'd have to determine the best placement in your room. That makes comparing subs a very difficult proposition. Doing adequate research is the better option for most. This is a highly recommended research source:
www.data-bass.com.
sevenz likes this.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #10 of 22 Old 07-16-2014, 06:29 AM
Senior Member
 
sevenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
What you'll hear in a shop is the room response of the shop. Subs sound different in every room, so the only way to make a valid comparison of how they'll sound in your room is to compare them in your room. Subs also sound different in the same room based on where they're placed in the room, so before you can make a valid comparison in your room you'd have to determine the best placement in your room. That makes comparing subs a very difficult proposition. Doing adequate research is the better option for most. This is a highly recommended research source:
www.data-bass.com.
yep yep, thanks Bill agree too that the FR will be different. And also +1 that it will sound different in your own room, and that it depends on placement.

But I was assuming that the OP can't compare both ported and sealed subs in his house, so the only way he can at least try to hear the difference is in other places.

Just to clarify, my point was to (after reading up the internet info), for the OP have a 'real' opportunity to hear the difference between a ported and sealed sub if everything else is constant, ie. if you tested sub A and sub B in the same room, same equipment and same placement, you could possibly hear how different a ported sub and a sealed sub would sound using familiar music or movies. I did the same thing too when i was asking the same questions sometime back when i started the hobby, and i found it very useful for discernment, learning and at the same time validating the internet info.

And personally, I found the databass link very awesome. Thanks to whoever who took time to measure, record and putting it up.

Last edited by sevenz; 07-16-2014 at 06:49 AM.
sevenz is offline  
post #11 of 22 Old 07-16-2014, 09:55 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
KidHorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Derwood, Maryland
Posts: 5,422
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1847 Post(s)
Liked: 1279
You want to know how they'll sound in the same spot?


They'll sound basically the same except around the port tune of the ported sub the ported sub will sound louder. Below the port tune, the sealed will be louder, but unless you're in a small enclosed room, you won't hear much of either below the port tune. The ported sub may sound kind of sloppy at frequencies around the port tune because the port is always out of phase with the main driver, but in most cases what you hear is so distorted due to playing a long wavelength in a relatively small space and your ears aren't very accurate at hearing frequencies that low, you won't notice. You just hear and/or feel a thump.


This has been my experience in every case.
KidHorn is offline  
post #12 of 22 Old 07-16-2014, 11:00 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
derrickdj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,767
Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1005 Post(s)
Liked: 767
Yep, they pretty much sound the same.
derrickdj1 is offline  
post #13 of 22 Old 07-16-2014, 06:32 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Hopinater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Central VA
Posts: 6,736
Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked: 10868
when deciding between ported vs. sealed I usually think more in terms of room size for the reasons stated above by basshead and bill. It makes sense IMO to go with ported if your room is larger in size due to the output required to pressurize the space you have. For smaller rooms sealed subs often work nice because they have a smaller footprint and can use room gain to their advantage. As far as music goes, both seem to work equally well in my experience (unless you buy a cheap ported sub, they tend to be boomy).

IMO the bottom line is to make sure you think hard about the size of the room you are putting your sub in and buy a good subwoofer.
basshead81 likes this.
Hopinater is online now  
post #14 of 22 Old 07-17-2014, 06:15 AM
Senior Member
 
sevenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post
You want to know how they'll sound in the same spot?

They'll sound basically the same except around the port tune of the ported sub the ported sub will sound louder. Below the port tune, the sealed will be louder, but unless you're in a small enclosed room, you won't hear much of either below the port tune. The ported sub may sound kind of sloppy at frequencies around the port tune because the port is always out of phase with the main driver, but in most cases what you hear is so distorted due to playing a long wavelength in a relatively small space and your ears aren't very accurate at hearing frequencies that low, you won't notice. You just hear and/or feel a thump.

This has been my experience in every case.
Thanks for sharing. My experience was a little different, especially for music.

The shop owner played a variety of music, some are songs which require fast and quick bass beats. The sealed subs sounded slightly cleaner and musical compared to the ported subs of the same size.
sevenz is offline  
post #15 of 22 Old 07-17-2014, 07:11 AM
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 5775
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenz View Post
The shop owner played a variety of music, some are songs which require fast and quick bass beats. The sealed subs sounded slightly cleaner and musical compared to the ported subs of the same size.
Did he have all of the subs tested EQ'd for flat in-room response? If he did you would not have been able to tell the difference between them with music. Of course, he did not, that's simply not practical. This is another reason why listening in a shop won't tell you what you really need to know, which is what a sub will do when it's in your home and it has been EQ'd for flat in-room response.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #16 of 22 Old 07-18-2014, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
OzzieP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Kolob
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Finally found a shop with both sealed and ported woofers of comparable power and size available for listening.
I am no sound expert but to my ears they sounded very similar. The bigger difference was when we went to
a different room that was a lot bigger than the first room. The ported subs defiantly had more power on the low end.

I know room acoustics makes a big difference and it may sound different in my room but considering my room size I am thinking ported is the way to go. I thank everybody for the links and tips in helping me decide.

Now its a matter of which brand of sub and if I can get by with a single or go with dual subs.
OzzieP is offline  
post #17 of 22 Old 07-18-2014, 01:06 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Alan P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 11,709
Mentioned: 110 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6357 Post(s)
Liked: 5685
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieP View Post
Finally found a shop with both sealed and ported woofers of comparable power and size available for listening.
I am no sound expert but to my ears they sounded very similar. The bigger difference was when we went to
a different room that was a lot bigger than the first room. The ported subs defiantly had more power on the low end.

I know room acoustics makes a big difference and it may sound different in my room but considering my room size I am thinking ported is the way to go. I thank everybody for the links and tips in helping me decide.

Now its a matter of which brand of sub and if I can get by with a single or go with dual subs.
Beautiful theater Ozzie! Whatever you do, do that room justice on the bass!
Alan P is offline  
post #18 of 22 Old 07-18-2014, 02:55 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Hopinater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Central VA
Posts: 6,736
Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked: 10868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Beautiful theater Ozzie! Whatever you do, do that room justice on the bass!
I agree with everything Alan just said.
Hopinater is online now  
post #19 of 22 Old 07-18-2014, 04:05 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
derrickdj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,767
Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1005 Post(s)
Liked: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenz View Post
Thanks for sharing. My experience was a little different, especially for music.

The shop owner played a variety of music, some are songs which require fast and quick bass beats. The sealed subs sounded slightly cleaner and musical compared to the ported subs of the same size.
The term fast or slow concerning a good sub should not be used. A bigger sub will have a stronger motor to support the driver and should have the same speed response as a smaller sub. An 18 in. sub can be just as musical as a 10 or 12 in. sub. The main difference is music does not require as large a sub since there is less low bass in general.
basshead81 likes this.
derrickdj1 is offline  
post #20 of 22 Old 07-19-2014, 08:01 PM
Advanced Member
 
Gmash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 684
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieP View Post
Finally found a shop with both sealed and ported woofers of comparable power and size available for listening.
I am no sound expert but to my ears they sounded very similar. The bigger difference was when we went to
a different room that was a lot bigger than the first room. The ported subs defiantly had more power on the low end.

I know room acoustics makes a big difference and it may sound different in my room but considering my room size I am thinking ported is the way to go. I thank everybody for the links and tips in helping me decide.

Now its a matter of which brand of sub and if I can get by with a single or go with dual subs.
I looked at your video and I'd say you'll definitely want two subs in that room, probably ported. You'd probably want four sealed in that space. Nice theater!
Gmash is offline  
post #21 of 22 Old 07-20-2014, 11:43 AM
Member
 
98Harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 69
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 20
I recently purchased my first subwoofer, a discounted Rythmik E15 from them and could not want anything more for both music and movies. It is truly exceptional, dual purpose and more than meets my needs, I could not be happier with this subwoofer.
98Harley is offline  
post #22 of 22 Old 07-30-2014, 07:38 PM
Member
 
MDST's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Sealed only has the advantage in sensitivity over ported below roughly 15Hz, and if you do want to get high output that low you'll need plenty of them, as the sensitivity and output capability in that range remains quite low. In the 80Hz range you can't tell one from the other. The only advantage to sealed for the average user is that they're smaller than ported, which is fine if you have a small room that will reinforce the lows with cabin gain, say no larger than 18 feet on the longest dimension. If you want big lows in a big room you need a big box, or lots of small boxes.
Bill, sorry to bother you and changing a little the main subject but what do you think about Eminence Lab12 subwoofers?? I find two at 130$ new and I was thinking what would be the best box for them ( sealed or ported in medium room ).

Thanks very much!!
MDST is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off