Floor speakers

Do I Need Subwoofers For My Floor Standing Speakers?

One of the most asked questions about floor standing speakers is whether or not you need a subwoofer to use them.

Well if you have ever found yourself asking this question, Do I Need Subwoofers For My Floor Standing Speakers? then you are in luck as we have just the right answer for you and everything you need to know about our answer.

The majority of individuals who ask this question are the ones who own surround systems with large tower speakers and powerful bookshelf speakers.

They ask this question because of how powerful the bass of their speakers are and do not require a subwoofer.

However, a subwoofer is not necessarily meant to add volume or bass. If you calibrate your sound system appropriately, the rest of your surround sound system will be complemented without throwing anything under the bus as long as your speaker’s lower bass is unable to produce quality sound.

As this article proceeds we are going to learn what a subwoofer is and the important roles they play in a surround sound system.

Do I Need Subwoofers For My Floor Standing Speakers

What Is A Subwoofer?

A pair of speakers is the first thing anyone picks when they start building their home theater system.

While purchasing a pair of speakers is not wrong, it is just the first step of the home theater set up.

Regardless of the reason behind your home theater set up; movies, games, TV shows, or music, having a powered subwoofer is a very vital component to the haven that is an audio system.


A subwoofer is a speaker in your sound system that gives them the lower frequencies that an everyday surround sound system or two-channel speaker is unable to reproduce without assistance.

You get these low frequencies from a bass guitar, movie sound effects such as explosions pipe organ, kick drums.

Where Is A Subwoofer Positioned?

The placement of a subwoofer can be flexible since different apartments are built in different ways.

If you intend your subwoofer to give you the optimal bass performance you may have to try some things that may or may not work.

However, everyone does not have a listening room or dedicated home theater flexibility to position their subwoofer wherever they please.

It is commonplace to place your surround sound system in your living room which means you have to put your furniture, décor, and others into consideration.

In most cases, individuals reposition their furniture and décor in search of that sweet spot.

Apart from the position, another thing to consider is the acoustic factor if you intend to get the best out of a sub. The best subwoofer in the world will underperform in a room with poor acoustics.

You can ameliorate the acoustics of your room with Acoustic panels, bass traps, and acoustic diffusers.

A plethora of A/V receivers have room correction technology like AccuEQ and Audyssey that calibrate your sub to ensure you get the best home theater experience.

The Size Of A Subwoofer: Is It Too Much?

The answer to this question goes both ways, most people visualize subwoofers as a huge box that has a single large driver.

While those are still a thing and are preferred by many, other individuals are not fans of keeping something of that physical magnitude in their apartment.

subwoofer driver size
subwoofer driver size
photo credit: ledgernote.com

The size of most modern subwoofers has been delineated by dual-driver designs, newer technologies, and more efficient amplifiers. These innovations help the users conceal them in their apartments.

The goal of adding a subwoofer to your surround sound system is to ensure its range blends seamlessly with your surround speakers and that it is strong enough to boost the driver effortlessly.

Floor Standing Speakers And Subwoofers

You are ensured impressive power with floor standing speakers. One common thing is that a plethora of speakers have the capacity of playing loud bass, but they are unable to reproduce a music track or soundtrack’s lowest frequencies.

The soundtrack of a film gives you from about 20hz to 20khz from a dedicated channel of a speaker referred to as Low-Frequency Effects (LFE).

The subwoofer’s main purpose is to reproduce the LFE, however, if a subwoofer is absent the bass of gets redirected to the main speaker.

Information from around 5hz upwards in the LFE channel, where most of the action is found around 20-80hz, sometimes you may find some on both sides in certain soundtracks.

The powerful bass action is found in this frequency range. The effects you find them include; car doors slamming, explosions, earthquakes, guns firing, and many more.

For you to enjoy the complete sound effects of a movie, you need to have speakers that can reproduce it. A large number of floor standing speakers cannot reproduce bass around the 20hz level.

Do I Need Sub Woofers For Floor Standing Speakers?

Now that we know all about subwoofers and what they do for our surround sound systems, let us address the elephant in the room which is whether or not floor standing speakers need subwoofers.

There is a plethora of floor standing speakers that perform amazingly like big titans but even these sound powerhouses are limited. Most of these speakers have a frequency range of about 3 decibels to 38hz.

That is the point where the ability of the floor-standing speakers to reproduce lower frequencies begins.

From that point on, the output level of anything under that level is restricted which means that you do not get the full sound experience of music or cinematic action below that level.

Even though the floor standing speakers cannot perform below such frequencies, it does not take away the fact that they are amazing speakers because the basic home speaker will be unable to perform at the level of these floor standers in that frequency range.

And some of these floor standing speakers like the big titan cannot reproduce some really low bass.

Now if you combine a top-quality floor-standing speaker with a subwoofer, you will be able to play low bass frequencies down to 15-20hz and even beneath if you have a good subwoofer in your hands.

This low-frequency sound performance gives you the chance to fully enjoy the soundtrack of your movies and your music as well. A subwoofer will let you experience low bass extension that you cannot get from speakers.

A lot of power is expended when low frequencies are reproduced; if the speakers have to struggle to play higher range bass.

If the low bass chore is removed, you can never get a clean sound and takes away a lot of strain from your speakers.

The reduction of stress on your floor standing speakers allows it produces better sound. The overall sound performance is better sound quality and one that gives you the much-needed oomph whenever a significant scene plays on your movies.

At this point, I think the answer to the question of if you need subwoofers for your floor standing speakers is obvious.

Yes, you need subwoofers if you want a complete sound performance so let us take a look at some of the most important reasons you need subwoofers.


The importance of subwoofers cannot be overemphasized because as aforementioned a plethora of speakers are incapable of reproducing every frequency sent to them by your audio source.

You miss out on a big chunk of the sounds of your music and movies without a subwoofer.

The low frequencies help produce rich, three dimensional, full, the sound effect that makes music and movie soundtracks worth listening to.

Several floor standing speakers that are referred to as “full-range” do not live up to their names because of their inability to reproduce everything.

Even if these so-called “full-range” speakers reproduce everything the sound performance is usually not realized fully or the speakers become stressed.

While rich bass can be produced by most full-range floor standing speakers because some of them have built-in subwoofers, they would perform better if a subwoofer is added.

Final Thoughts

While the bass from your floor standing speakers may be heard, you can get the complete feel of the speakers when a subwoofer is added.

Listening to music with heavy basses like EDM or hip hop or watching a high octane action movie with the absence of a subwoofer does not do the needful in terms of sound performance because you do not get to experience the movie or song as the director or artiste would have wanted.

One question that may come to your mind right now is “do I still need a subwoofer if I do not watch action movies or listen to hip hop movies?”

Well, the answer to that question again is still yes because apart from being a bass-thumping powerhouse a great subwoofer takes the strain off your speakers which makes the overall sound performance improve.

You get more compelling dynamics with an added subwoofer; the stereo imaging is more accurate, and the soundstage becomes wider.

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