Woofer vs Subwoofer: Difference between woofer and subwoofer

 Subwoofer vs Woofer

Nowadays DJs, singers, and others use various kinds of speakers to provide high-quality sound. To achieve such a high-quality sound, they use subwoofers and woofers.

We always hear the terms woofer and subwoofer whenever we talk about sound systems. Most of people get confused about these two speakers, the woofer, and the subwoofer.

Most people think that the woofer and subwoofer are like each other, but they are wrong. There is a slight difference between these two speakers. Woofer vs subwoofer will be our topic of discussion today.

As we know bass gives the sound more depth. In technical terms, the bass is known as a low-frequency sound. Woofer and subwoofer are used for bass.

These two are made for responding to low frequencies. Woofer and Subwoofer almost have the same duty but there is a slight difference between them. What is the difference between woofer and subwoofer? Let us find out.

Comparison Table

Factors Woofer Subwoofer
What is it? A special type of bass speaker A special type of woofer
Range of Frequency 40Hz-2500Hz 20Hz-200Hz
Working Frequency Works at wide range frequencies Works at narrow range frequencies.
Size 4 inches to 15 inches
(Floor Standing woofers 6.5 to 8 inches)
8 inches to 21 inches
Impedance 8 Ω 4 Ω,8 Ω
Power Consumption 10-100 W RMS of Power 200-1000W RMS of Power


Woofer – What is it?

Woofer – What is it

The primary role of the woofer is to create low-frequency sounds. A dog’s low bark can be described as “woof” in woofer.

A Woofer is a special type of bass speaker. Similarly, a woofer is a speaker designed to reproduce low and mid-range frequencies.

They are responsible for reproducing the sounds you hear, like voices, most musical instruments, and sound effects.

A woofer can be as small as 4 inches in diameter or as large as 15 inches in diameter, depending on its enclosure.

There are many speakers on the market with floor-standing woofers that measure 6.5 inches to 8-inch in diameter. In bookshelf speakers, you can usually find woofers with diameters between 4 and 5 inches.

Subwoofer – what is it?

As its name suggests, a subwoofer or sub is a loudspeaker or woofer designed to reproduce low-pitched frequencies of audio. Generally, this speaker does not come alone, but rather in combination with other woofers or more full-range speakers.

Sealed Cabinet type of subwoofers

As subwoofers focus on the narrow range frequencies, they can provide consistent bass for most media and can help increase the volume of the bass in music.

Today, movies and music usually include special effects that add to the entertainment value.

As most of these effects differ in a frequency range, a subwoofer, and several speakers covering the full range of frequencies will ensure you will not miss any sound.

To reproduce punchy deep bass accurately, a subwoofer has a built-in capability of handling high levels of sound pressure (SPL).

If you ask a regular speaker to reproduce the low frequencies, you will either get distortion or gaps when it comes to reproducing those low frequencies.

Do subwoofers and woofers have different characteristics?

 Subwoofer vs Woofer

When discussing sound systems, whether in home theaters, clubs, or cars, woofers and subwoofers are frequently used terms. Even though most people think these two things are alike, there is a slight difference.

WOF stands for ‘low’ and refers to low sounds, such as that of a dog’s bark, and woofers specialize in the lowest ranges of the audible spectrum.

The frequency range of subwoofers is much narrower than that of woofers, which are specialized speakers. Here are some points that help you to understand the basic difference between woofer and subwoofer.

Range of frequencies

In technical terms, woofers are loudspeakers designed for reproducing low-frequency sounds. A woofer is generally capable of reproducing sounds between 40 Hz and 2,500 Hz. Unlike a woofer, a subwoofer is designed to reproduce lower-frequency sounds.

The general operating range of a subwoofer is from 20 Hz to 200 Hz. Woofers reproduce sound from a wide frequency range, whereas subwoofers reproduce sound from a narrow range. Hence, a subwoofer provides better bass consistency.

For most applications, the frequency range covered by woofers is ideal. A subwoofer is a good option for music lovers who are looking for the best bass. Subwoofers reproduce fuller bass since they cover a narrower frequency range than woofers.

Woofer vs Subwoofer – size

Another important factor when comparing woofers and subwoofers is size. A woofer comes in different sizes like 4 inches to 15 inches. On the other hand, subwoofers come in size from 8 inches to 21 inches. So, the woofer is very easy to carry with you anywhere you want.

Why Subwoofer Size bigger than Woofer

A large amount of air must be driven when driving at low frequencies. A powerful magnet and a cone with a large surface area are needed to perform this task.

Due to this, the subwoofer has a larger overall size than a woofer. A subwoofer reproduces lower-frequency sounds than a woofer.

So, a subwoofer must be larger than a woofer. Even though some woofers are quite large, most of them are still smaller than subs and cannot reach the lowest frequencies.

Energy Consumption

It is important to note that in the battle of woofers vs subwoofers, both consume different amounts of power. A different woofer consumes different power, they can consume power between 10-100W RMS.

On the Other hand, the Subwoofer is bigger in size than a woofer. So, they consume more power than a woofer, it can be from 200-1000W RMS.

Due to their low frequency, subwoofers use more power. The Lowest-frequency hits require a large amount of power from the amplifier.

Woofer vs Subwoofer: Summary

Woofer is a special type of bass speaker. Subwoofer is a special type of woofer.

Woofer is used to handle a wide range of frequencies, while on the other hand, subwoofer is used to handle the narrow range of frequencies that a woofer cannot handle.

Woofer’s frequencies lie in between 40Hz and 2500Hz, Subwoofer’s frequencies from 20Hz to 200Hz.

Woofer is smaller in size whereas Subwoofer is large.

Woofers are good for some applications but a Subwoofer is best for good quality sound lovers.

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