In Wall or Stand-alone Subwoofers?
Some people believe that a freestanding sub is always better than an in-wall sub. While freestanding subwoofers (and speakers, of course) can give you spectacular sound, in-wall subs have evolved a lot over the years and do offer many advantages.
Love Me Slender
One of the great advantages of an in-wall sub is the floor space you gain. This is important if you're building a home theater in a small room. It really cuts down on the clutter and may even give you points with your more aesthetically inclined spouse. With 8" and 10" woofers and excellent power handling, these stealthy speakers have a great "wow" factor as the bass seems to come from nowhere. Keep in mind that in-wall subwoofers are generally passive devices, meaning they require external power. An amplifier provides stable power to your subs and enhances the low frequency sound effects for realistic roars, thunders and crashes.
Space Is No Object
If you have the space for a freestanding subwoofer, you might want to consider it. They are obviously further away from wall boundaries and have their own enclosures (cabinets) to control resonance. There is also the advantage of placement flexibility. With in-wall subs, you've got to make sure you have it right the first time as there's no moving it later. (By the way, adding more than one sub will improve sound envelopment with cleaner, more detailed and dynamic bass.) Whichever one you choose, in-wall or freestanding, one or multiple subs, you won't regret adding bass to your home theater as it brings you out of reality and into the magic.
Bass up Your Backyard!
Adding an outdoor subwoofer is a great way to enhance sound in your backyard, garden or patio. Improving overall bass response will add acoustic depth and increase emotional impact, and the best part is you can place these outdoor subwoofer speakers just about anywhere. Such products are built super tough with thick, water- and UV-resistant enclosures so they can take even the harshest weather conditions.
Location, Location, Location
One way to find the optimum location for the subwoofer is to place it where the person will typically be sitting while viewing/listening to the home theater or audio system. Then, walk around to a couple of different potential locations for the subwoofer and compare the sound quality of the sub at each stop. Once you have determined the location that sounds the best, reverse the location of the sub (i.e., from the listening spot to where the sub will located fulltime). We recommend that you involve your spouse/partner in this process. Female hearing is better, and your spouse will have an opinion on the subwoofers final location.