What’s the Difference Between Subwoofer and a Speaker?

Similar to the way a choir has sopranos, altos, basses, and tenors, a speaker comes in many different sizes and can handle a variety of ranges even better, which is primarily why speaker systems often have more than one speaker built into them.

In order to achieve a good sound system, particularly when it comes to DJs, bands, and singers, there’s usually a certain setup that features subwoofers and speakers along with woofers, mid-ranges, and tweeters. They all handle various ranges of sounds and notes when used together.

What is a Speaker?

A speaker is nothing more than a loudspeaker. It’s basically an electro-acoustic transducer that works to convert electrical signals into sound. Overall, the main premise behind a speaker (loudspeaker) is that the electric signal variations make the device move in perfect sync with it and therefore transmit sound waves via the medium of either water or air.

What is a Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is basically a loudspeaker, or woofer. Its primary goal is to reproduce lower pitched audio frequencies, which is more commonly known as bass.

Design and Form of Subwoofers

With regards to the overall structure of a subwoofer, it’s typically a wooden or plastic woofer enclosure that’s ultimately fitted with at least one woofer, usually more. The way in which the loudspeakers are placed allows room for many more variants. In general, subwoofer variants are differentiated based on power handling, cost, size, efficiency, and key distortion characteristics that they exhibit.

Subwoofer Types

Passive subwoofers and active subwoofers are the two main choices that you have to choose from if you’re looking to buy one. An active subwoofer has a built-in amplifier, while a passive subwoofer requires an external amplifier and consists of only the subwoofer enclosure and driver.

Main Differences Between Subwoofers and Speakers

  • Speaker refers to the general sound production system, while subwoofer is only a part of the entire sound system
  • A speaker system is comprised of various parts, such as a woofer, tweeter, and a subwoofer
  • Speaker refers to an enclosure that consists of drivers including tweeters and woofers
  • Woofers are made to produce lower sound frequencies that involve ranges of between 40 Hz – 1 KHz

The main difference between speakers and subwoofers boils down to their various frequencies. Subwoofers in general are used for the absolute lowest aspect of the entire audio spectrum, which means they are ideal for low bass tones.