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Sealed or Ported?

Q : Should I put my DD Audio Subs in a Sealed or Ported Box?

We make several lines of subwoofers, and each line is made for different applications.  So, the answer is....it depends. It depends on which one of our subwoofers you have, and what your install goals are.

We generally advise using ported enclosures based off our DD Box System,  but we also realize sometimes there are install constraints wherein sealed is the best or only option.

The reason we love ported boxes is simple. Sealed boxes are on the low end of the scale for power efficiency, and much of the energy built in to our subs will be not be utilized in a sealed enclosure. With a sealed box one might expect to get 50% or less of the potential system energy. If a sealed box is being picked simply for the sake of smaller box volume we suggest you first use The DD Box System to see if there’s a ported enclosure size that will work for you. We developed The DD Box System system to deliver a higher percentage of system efficiency. Our high energy subwoofer designs will work in ported boxes with a little as 0.4 cubic feet of airspace. One of our 8" woofers in a DD Box will outperform a 10" or 12" driver being used in the same size sealed box.

Once you decide what type of system you really want to build you can then optimize the enclosure and subwoofer design to provide the desired acoustics and aesthetics.

Here are some  basics to help you decide what type of sub and enclosure will work best for you. The info below definitely won’t answer every question you may have, but it will at least set you on the right track.

SEALED vs. PORTED

 

Sealed: This style is commonly used in systems where design and space constraints are present, and maximum output isn’t the main goal.

 

Pros:

  • Simple design elements and ease of construction

  • Small enclosure size

     

Cons:

  • Lower output

  • Lower power handling

     

Subwoofer Recommendations:

  • TS Series, Redline 200 and 500 Series

 

Ported: This style is commonly used in systems where high output is desired.  

 

Pros:

  • Greater maximum acoustic output (generally 3-5db higher than sealed)

  • Higher enclosure efficiency

     

Cons:

  • Uses more advanced design elements and construction methods

  • Requires a larger size to optimize output

     

Subwoofer Recommendations:

  • DD Series, SW Series, Redline 500 Series and up

 

In the end both enclosure types have strengths and weaknesses, and both can deliver a great listening experience on a wide range of music when properly matched to the specific application.

 

Keep in mind that with both enclosure styles a poorly designed enclosure can make a superbly designed woofer sound terrible.  If after reading through this you still have lingering questions feel free to give us a call, we would love to hear from you and help you decide which of our products will work best for your application.