How to choose a bass horn for a small car?

How to choose a bass horn for a small car?

Sound system
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

A sound system is an extremely important piece of equipment in a car. And from audiophiles point of view – the most important one. First of all, it requires a considerable amount of money and professional knowledge in order to achieve the highest quality of sound and musical experience. In this article we will focus on subwoofer sounds and help you choose the right bass horn for a small car.

Small in size, big in heart

Small cars, because of their size, require planned measures to make the best use of available space. When deciding to buy a subwoofer, the good news will be that unlike other components of the audio system, it does not involve a large expense. The fairly low price translates into enjoyment of the music.

A bass tube is one of the cheapest ways to build a bass stage in your car. The purchase of this device is associated with an expense of 100 to 500 zł. In this price range you will get a speaker with a diameter of 16 and a half cm to 30 cm, built with a polypropylene membrane mounted on a butyl rubber suspension. It is a standard among subwoofers, however it has a few disadvantages – in tubes, a frequently noticeable drawback is the questionable quality of the quoted speakers, which is usually manifested by a coil of insufficient strength or a basket of insufficient rigidity.

Bass horns very often include built-in amplifier. This solution is simple and functional, but the quality and power of electronics and power amplifiers is at best satisfactory. It is, however, an ideal option for those who want to maximize bass output. With the low availability of usable space of smaller cars.

Tubes are back in favor?

For many years, bass tubes were the cheapest way to get bass in a car. It was also associated with questionable sound quality. Since a few years we can observe an increase in popularity of this solution due to top manufacturers of audio equipment such as Alpine and Pioneer. New technical solutions will certainly satisfy even the more demanding audiophiles

What to pay attention to?

  • Amplifier power – this value should be adjusted to the impedance of the speakers mounted in your car.
  • Frequencyresponse – this should be at or above the minimum range of 20-125 Hz.
  • Maximum frequency range – this allows for bass tones of different frequencies
  • Amount of acoustic space in your car – in order to produce the right sound wave.
  • Maximum diaphragm exc ursion – protects the voice coil from popping out of its fixed socket and breaking or burning.
  • Efficiency expressed in dB.
  • T/S (Thiele-Small)parameters – characteristic for the cabinet construction for woofers.

As you can see, choosing the right bass horn is quite a challenge. It requires familiarity with the subject and thorough research. Obtaining good sound quality is especially important in case of woofers – because often underestimated, they play first fiddle in audio system and directly determine acoustic experience of a user. It is worth noting that in the case of smaller cars the size of the acoustic space has to be taken into account in order to maximize the use of the sound system.

We have selected a few variants, which should attract your attention and make it easier to choose the right bass horn for your vehicle.

Our proposals

Pioneer TS-WX306T subwoofer

Pioneer is a higher-end option, but a higher expense will certainly translate into higher quality. The TS-WX306T is a subwoofer with a diameter of 30 cm in a bass-reflex horn cabinet.

  • maximum power: 1,300 watts,
  • nominal power: 350 W,
  • 4Ω impedance,
  • frequency response: 20 – 125 Hz,
  • sensitivity 96dB +/- 1.5dB,

Alpine SWT-12S4

It is a little cheaper product, which should satisfy most of your expectations. SWT-12S4 is equipped with the same speaker diameter as Pioneer

  • maximum power: 1000 W,
  • nominal power: 300 W,
  • impedance: 4Ω,
  • frequency response: min. 28 Hz,
  • sensitivity: 92 dB.


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