Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofers: What's the Difference and Why Should You Care?

Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofers: What's the Difference and Why Should You Care?

Hi Legends!

You’ve decided to take your home entertainment experience to the next level by adding a subwoofer to your audio setup. Great choice! Subwoofers enhance the overall sound experience by delivering those deep, low frequencies that your main speakers may not produce. Should you go for a ported or sealed subwoofer?


Don’t worry, you don't have to be an audiophile to understand the basics. In this post, we'll break down the differences between ported and sealed subwoofers, and offer some tips to help you decide which one is right for you.

What are Ported and Sealed Subwoofers?

Sealed Subwoofers:

  • Design: Sealed subwoofers have a simple design consisting of a speaker driver enclosed in a sealed box.
  • Sound Quality: Sealed subwoofers generally produce tighter, more accurate bass and are often described as sounding more "natural."
  • Space: Sealed subwoofers are generally more compact, making them easier to fit into smaller spaces.

Ported Subwoofers

  • Design: In addition to the speaker driver, ported subwoofers have one or more openings (ports) in the box.
  • Sound Quality: Ported subwoofers can produce louder, more resonant bass but might lack some of the tightness and accuracy of a sealed subwoofer.
  • Space: Ported subwoofers are generally larger in size compared to non-ported subwoofers.

Hybrid Options

  • Some subwoofers allow you to switch between ported and sealed modes by blocking the ports with foam or plugs. This gives you the flexibility to experiment and find what suits your taste best.


How to Choose: Factors to Consider

Room Size

  • Small to Medium Rooms: A sealed subwoofer is usually a better fit, as it is more compact and produces precise bass that won't overwhelm the space.
  • Large Rooms: Ported subwoofers can fill a large space with resonant bass more effectively.

Music vs. Movies

  • Music Lovers: If you primarily listen to music, a sealed subwoofer's tighter, more natural bass might suit your needs.
  • Movie Buffs: The louder, more resonant bass of a ported subwoofer can enhance the cinematic experience, making you feel like you're in the middle of the action.

Personal Preference

  • Accuracy: If you prefer accurate, controlled bass, go for a sealed subwoofer.
  • Volume: If you like your bass loud and resonant, a ported subwoofer is probably the better choice for you.


  • Hybrid Options: If you're unsure or want the best of both worlds, consider a subwoofer that allows you to switch between ported and sealed modes.


Choosing between a ported and sealed subwoofer is ultimately a matter of personal preference, room size, and what you'll be listening to.

If you would like some help determining the best option for your system, our team will be happy to help.

Happy listening!