Home » Should A Subwoofer Be On The Floor? [Explained]

Should A Subwoofer Be On The Floor? [Explained]

So you got a new subwoofer, and now you’re thinking of the best spot for it. Well, it turns out that there are several places to consider if you want the best sound quality.


This post will answer whether you should place your subwoofer on the floor. We will also cover the best spots for your subwoofer if you want the best results.

Let’s dive into it.

Should I put my subwoofer on the floor or table?

Subwoofers help reproduce low frequencies (bass), enhancing your audio experience. This makes their placement vital if you want to get the best sound out of your home theater. 

When you get a new subwoofer, you might want to place it on the floor and end there. But this is not the best option, and we will explain why.

There are a few reasons why your subwoofer should not sit on the floor. They include:

  • Vibrations
  • Bass Distribution
  • Performance of the Subwoofer

Vibrations

Subwoofers allow you to feel bass frequencies, but with that comes vibrations. If you have been to a cinema, you know how action scenes create vibrations on your seat. Now imagine those sounds causing your entire floor to tremble. Let’s say your neighbors won’t be too happy.

Apart from the disturbance to neighbors, vibrations can negatively affect your listening experience. If you have wooden floors, these vibrations can cause rattling. This makes it difficult to get clear dialogue from your movies. 

Keep your subwoofer off the floor if you don’t want angry neighbors knocking on your door.

Bass Distribution

Placing the subwoofer on the floor can cause an uneven distribution of bass. The bass can have peaks and nulls when your subwoofer sits on the floor. This is the reason bass can be too boomy in some parts and inaudible in other parts of your room.

If you notice that portions of your room have more bass than others, there is an uneven distribution. You can fix this by removing your subwoofer from the floor.

Performance of the Subwoofer

A subwoofer is a high-pressure device that uses powerful drivers to create bass. This means that your placement can affect how well it performs. 

When your subwoofer sits on the floor, it causes vibrations. The vibrations can affect the clarity of the bass which your subwoofer produces. So if you want the best audio experience from your subwoofer, raise it from the floor.

What about a table?

With the floor out of the mix, you might be thinking of placing your subwoofer on the table. While this is a better alternative, there’s a catch.

Your table needs to have enough weight to not rattle from the vibrations. You also want a table that is low for the best bass production.

Where is the best place to position a subwoofer?

While the floor is not ideal for your subwoofer, you should still keep it close to the ground. The most important thing is to elevate your subwoofer. This way, sound can travel evenly across your room. 

There are a few placement options that will minimize vibrations. These options will also ensure an even distribution of bass across your room. They include:

  • Placement on a Table
  • An Isolation Platform
  • Placement on a Shelf or in a Cabinet
  • Placement on Speaker Riser Foams
  • Mounting the Subwoofer
  • Building a Subwoofer Box

Placement on a Table

As mentioned earlier, a table is a good spot for your subwoofer. You only have to ensure that it is heavy enough to withstand vibrations. You also want a table that is not near ear levels. You will find out why in the next section. 

An Isolation Platform

Another option is to isolate your subwoofer. There are isolation platforms that elevate your subwoofer. Some of these platforms can hold weights of over two hundred pounds.

Placement on a Shelf or in a Cabinet

If you have a front-firing subwoofer, consider placing it on a shelf. You can also place it inside a cabinet. Just ensure that the shelf or cabinet can withstand your subwoofer’s weight. You can also add vibration pads to minimize the vibrations that transfer to the floor.

Placement on Speaker Riser Foams

If you are looking for something different, consider speaker riser foams. This platform eliminates audio resonance and vibrations. It also comes with anti-slip rubber pads to protect your subwoofer from falls.

Mounting the Subwoofer

Mounting your subwoofer is another option to remove floor vibrations. Some subwoofers come with mounting brackets for this purpose. If you opt for a wall mount, make sure you consider the placement. And ensure that your mount is strong enough to hold your subwoofer’s weight.

Building a Subwoofer Box

You can also build a subwoofer box to decouple it from the floor. This is a good option if you do not have a table or shelf. There are many online tutorials for building this box. Keep in mind that your box should be heavy so it can dampen your subwoofer’s vibrations.

It would help if you also considered lining the insides of the box with a protective layer. Filling the box with sand will also make the box heavy. A box allows your subwoofer to remain close to the ground.

Should I place my subwoofer near Ear Level?

The answer is No, and here’s why- Your subwoofer is the heart of your entertainment system. While your soundbar handles high frequencies, your subwoofer focuses on the low frequencies.
High-frequency waves travel in one straight line. This makes the placement of your soundbar at ear level ideal. But since low frequencies travel in all directions, there is no need to place your subwoofer at ear level.
The best spot for it is somewhere close to the ground. This allows sound to move across your room naturally.

What should I put under my subwoofer?

There are a few things you can place under your subwoofer. The first is a carpet, which can help to dampen vibrations from the subwoofer. It also allows the subwoofer to remain close to the ground.
A second option is a speaker riser foam. These pads reduce vibrations by isolating your subwoofer from the floor. Even better is that they come with anti-slip rubber to prevent falls.
If you want something different, consider an isolation platform. This third option will elevate your subwoofer in style. It can also hold weights from the subwoofer.
Lastly, you can put a table or shelf under your subwoofer. But make sure the table or shelf can hold weights and withstand vibrations.

How do you isolate a subwoofer from the floor?

As you may already know, isolating your subwoofer is the best way to get rich bass quality. It also eliminates any vibrations that would disrupt your listening experience.
That said, there are several ways to isolate your subwoofer from the floor. One option is to use a subwoofer box. These boxes elevate your subwoofer by about 12 inches. They also offer additional protection to the subwoofer.
An isolation platform is another option. As the name implies, this platform elevates your subwoofer from the floor. It also makes your subwoofer look good.
Speaker riser foams are another common option for isolating subwoofers. They have vibration pads and secure your subwoofer from falls. Other options include your table, shelf, or cabinet.

Can you put things on top of a subwoofer?

Technically, yes! But we wouldn’t recommend this. Your subwoofer produces lots of vibrations. These vibrations will cause things on the subwoofer to dance around- until it falls. If you don’t want to replace that iPhone, keep it away from your subwoofer.
You should also avoid placing items that can spill on top of your subwoofer. Liquids can cause damage or discoloration to the subwoofer. To avoid problems, don’t place anything on top of your subwoofer.

Where to place a subwoofer with a soundbar?


Experiment with different positions if you want the best sound out of your subwoofer. The dimensions, shape of your room, and objects in the room can affect sound directions. So you want to discover the spot that allows sound to travel uniformly.
That said, Subwoofers are best placed on elevated platforms. Suppose you can find a spot in the corner of your room or close to the wall, even better. This enhances the bass output.
Your soundbar can rest under your TV or on the wall.

Wrap-Up


To sum it up, your subwoofer is best off the floor. However, you still want to keep it close to the ground. You can elevate it by using a table, shelf, platform, wall mount, vibration pads, or a box.
The safety of your subwoofer should be a top priority when looking for elevation. The best way to safely elevate your subwoofer is to use a subwoofer box.
Experiment to find the best listening spot to get the most out of your subwoofer. Do all these, and you’re set.