Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed Subwoofer – Your Need?

I’m sure you’re familiar with the problem. You want to get a subwoofer for your car, but there are so many choices! Do you go for the Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed Subwoofer?

In short, I decided to try out both types and see which one was better. And after testing them both out, I found that the Enclosed subwoofer was the clear winner. 

This is a short answer to this question. If you want to learn more about each subwoofer with advantages and disadvantages then keep reading because it can be tough to decide because both options have their pros and cons.

You will decide after reading this article.

Why do you need a subwoofer?

The subwoofer is the heart of any good car audio system. A subwoofer is responsible for reproducing the low-frequency sounds that give the music its depth and impact. Without a subwoofer, your music will sound flat and lifeless.

Here are some benefits of having a subwoofer:

  • Makes your music sound better
  • Adds impact and depth to your music
  • Makes your car audio system more complete
  • Make your car feel more luxurious
  • Increase the resale value of your car

Things to Consider About These 2 Types of Subwoofers

When it comes to subwoofers the first question is always what type of subwoofer, do you want a free air or an enclosed subwoofer?

And the answer to that question is it depends. It depends on several factors such as the size of your car, how much money you’re willing to spend, and what kind of sound you’re looking for.

Here are some things to consider when making your decision.

1. Size

The first thing you need to consider is the size of your car. If you have a small car then an enclosed subwoofer might not be the best option for you because it takes up a lot of space.

A free-air subwoofer, on the other hand, doesn’t take up as much space because it doesn’t need its own enclosure.

2. Budget

Another thing to consider is your budget. Enclosed subwoofers can be more expensive than free-air subwoofers.

But, they also tend to last longer and have a higher quality sound.

3. Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a lot of basses then an enclosed subwoofer might be the better choice.

But, in case you’re looking for a more balanced sound then a free-air subwoofer might be a better option.

4. Installation

Enclosed can be more difficult to install than free-air subwoofers. But, they usually come with everything you need for installation.

Free air subwoofers, on the other hand, might be easier to install but they might not come with everything you need for installation.

Bass Quality

The last thing we’re going to talk about is bass quality. This is where the free-air subwoofer really shines. The bass quality from a free-air subwoofer is significantly better than the bass quality from an enclosed subwoofer.

Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed Subwoofer

Here is the difference between these 2 types of subwoofers, I hope you will be found this helpful.

1. Free Air Subwoofer

What is a Free Air Subwoofer? A free-air subwoofer is a speaker that does not require an enclosure in order to produce quality sound. This type of subwoofer is designed to be mounted in the rear deck of a car and still sound great.

This is a great way to add bass to your car’s music without sacrificing your valuable trunk space for a huge subwoofer box.

There are two main types of free-air:


A passive free-air subwoofer doesn’t have its own amplifier. You’ll need to connect it to an external amplifier to power it.


An active free-air subwoofer has its own built-in amplifier. This makes it easier to install, but it does require a bit more power from your car’s electrical system.

Advantages of Free Air Subwoofer

Here are the advantages.

1. Takes Up Less Space

One of the most obvious advantages of a free-air subwoofer is that it takes up less space. With a free-air subwoofer, you don’t have to worry about that because it doesn’t need its enclosure. This means you can still have plenty of trunk space for your other things.

2. More Affordable

It’s more affordable than an enclosed subwoofer. This is because you don’t have to pay for the extra cost of the enclosure.

3. Medium Sound Quality

They tend to have medium sound quality. In case you’re looking for a more balanced sound then a free-air subwoofer might be a better option. Not as power, as enclosed, have.

Disadvantages of Free Air Subwoofer

Now, let’s take a look at the disadvantages.

1. Might Not Come With Everything You Need

With a free-air subwoofer, you might have to buy some additional things like wires and brackets.

2. Enclosed Subwoofer

What is an Enclosed Subwoofer? An enclosed subwoofer is a subwoofer that is caged or ported in a box. The purpose of this is to purify the sound effect and eliminate unwanted noise while still producing the desired music.

These are generally more compact than other types of subwoofers, making them easier to fit in more vehicles.

They also tend to have very flat frequency responses, which results in full, tight bass that provides a low-level foundation for your music.

There are generally two camps when it comes to bass preferences – those who like it “tight” and those who like it “boomy.” The style of bass you prefer ultimately depends on your taste and can even vary depending on the style of music.

The secret to which type of bass you’ll get lies in the type of subwoofer box you use. An enclosed sub-box guarantees tight bass that booms and delivers the music just as you desire without compromising quality.

Advantages of Enclosed Subwoofers

Several advantages come with using an enclosed subwoofer over other types of subwoofers:

1. Flat Frequency Responses

When it comes to music, a subwoofer’s job is to reproduce the low-frequency sounds that other speakers can’t. This includes the deep thumping bass you feel in your chest as well as the subtle nuance of live instruments.

The sound quality of a subwoofer is measured by its frequency response, which is the range of frequencies it can reproduce accurately.

The frequency response of an enclosed subwoofer is much flatter than that of free air or passive subwoofer, meaning it can reproduce low frequencies more accurately.

This results in tight, accurate bass that adds fullness and depth to your music without muddying up the midrange frequencies.

2. Better Sound Quality

Because enclosed subwoofers have flatter frequency responses, they tend to produce better sound quality overall. Not better than free-air subwoofers.

3. More Durable

Enclosed subwoofers are also generally more durable than other types of subwoofers because they’re protected from the elements by their enclosures.

4. Easy to Install

One of the biggest advantages of an enclosed subwoofer is that they’re easy to install. Enclosed subwoofers come with their own enclosures, so all you have to do is connect them to your stereo and you’re good to go.

Disadvantages of Enclosed Subwoofers

There are a few disadvantages that come with using an enclosed subwoofer:

1. More Expensive

More expensive than other types of subwoofers. This is because they require more materials and labor to build.

2. Requires Amp

Enclosed subwoofers also require an amplifier to function properly. Without an amplifier, the subwoofer will not be able to produce the desired sound quality.

Quick Recipe:

Difference’sFree Air SubwooferEnclosed Subwoofer
PriceLess expensiveMore expensive
InstallationDifficult to installEasier to install
Sound QualityNot as good as the enclosed Better sound qualityGreat Sound Quality
Bass OutputGood bass outputExcellent bass output
Space RequiredRequires less space Requires more space
Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed Subwoofer

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most related FAQs.

Can you put a free-air subwoofer in a sealed box?

No, you cannot put a free-air subwoofer in a sealed box. Free-air subwoofers need to be installed in an open area so that they can breathe.

If you put a free-air subwoofer in a sealed box, it will not be able to function properly.

Can you put an enclosed subwoofer in a free-air setup?

Yes, you can put an enclosed subwoofer in a free-air setup.

However, it’s important to note that doing so will decrease the overall sound quality of the system.

Enclosed subwoofers are designed to work in specific airspace, which allows them to produce more consistent bass than free-air subwoofers.


So, which is better for you? A Free Air Subwoofer Vs Enclosed Subwoofer? The answer to that question depends on your individual needs and preferences.

I hope reading this guide helped you choose the best one.

Thanks for reading along!