A subwoofer is a speaker tailored to deliver low-pitched audio frequencies called sub-bass and bass. Subwoofers are made up of one or more woofers mounted in a loudspeaker enclosure. Most subwoofer boxes are made from wood, although plastic and metal enclosures are also typical. The subwoofer box must be sealed airtight to produce the best possible sound quality. This article will show you how to seal a subwoofer box using a suitable sealant.
What Is A Subwoofer Box?
A subwoofer box is an enclosure designed to house one or more subwoofers. The box is typically made from wood, plastic, or metal.
There are three various types of subwoofer boxes that anyone can make.
Band-Pass: This subwoofer box has two chambers, one for the woofer and one for the port. The port is the enclosure hole that allows air to flow in and out, increasing the efficiency of the woofer.
Ported: This type of subwoofer box has a port (or multiple ports) that allows air to flow in and out of the enclosure. It increases the efficiency of the woofer but can also add noise to the sound.
Sealed: This type of subwoofer box is sealed airtight, reducing the amount of noise produced. However, this can also decrease the efficiency of the woofer.
Regardless of the type of subwoofer box you have, you must seal it properly.
How to Seal a Subwoofer Box
Now that you know what a subwoofer box is and the available different types, it’s time to learn how to seal a subwoofer box.
🎶Measure the dimensions
Measure the subwoofer box’s height, width, and depth using a tape measure. Ensure that the subwoofer fits the box and enough space for the ports (if applicable).
You may need to create a box that fits like a cabinet for your subwoofer. It’s okay if there’s a narrow space on the sides if you want the insulative properties it delivers. Again, make sure that you measure the dimensions carefully before proceeding.
🎶Make even, accurate cuts.
If you’re using wood to make the subwoofer box, make sure that you make accurate cuts with a saw. It will ensure that the pieces fit together correctly and that the box is sealed airtight. If you’re using plastic or metal, make sure that the cuts are even and accurate.
🎶Apply a good sealant
Once the box is assembled, apply a suitable sealant to all seams and joints. It will ensure that the box is sealed airtight and that the sound quality from the subwoofer is improved.
Make sure that you read the instructions carefully before using any type of sealant. Some suitable sealants include:
- Silicone: It is a readily available adhesive that’s best to use if your woodcuts are precise. Moreover, it is an excellent sealant for damp environments. When dry, the silicone turns to rubber, making it a good choice for exterior applications. However, if your woodcuts are not precise, you may have some trouble because silicone does not stretch.
- Polyurethane construction adhesive: This adhesive is a non-sag, water-resistant sealant that cures to a hard, glossy finish. It’s best to use on interior applications and is available in brushable and aerosol forms. You can use it on various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. Polyurethane dries quickly and is resistant to water and most solvents, making it a good choice for exterior applications.
- Caulking: It is an inexpensive way to fill small gaps and cracks. Caulking is available in both water-based and solvent-based formulas. Water-based caulking is the most environmentally friendly and easy to use, while solvent-based caulking is more durable.
- Gorilla glue: It is a polyurethane-based glue known for its strength and durability. Gorilla glue expands as it dries, perfect for filling significant gaps. You can use it on different materials, including wood, metal, and plastic.
- Liquid nails: It is an adhesive specifically designed for heavy bonding materials. Liquid nails are available in both water-resistant and waterproof formulas. It is a thicker compound that can fill in minor gaps while keeping the strength of the boxes.
When choosing a sealant, make sure that you select one compatible with the used materials. If you’re not sure which sealant to use, consult a professional.
🎶Seal the inside of the box
When sealing the subwoofer box, it’s necessary to seal the inside surfaces of the box. It will ensure that the box is airtight and that the sound quality is not affected.
To seal the inside surfaces of the box, you can use a variety of materials, including:
Foam tape – It is a self-adhesive tape made of foam. Foam tape is available in different widths and thicknesses. It is a good choice for sealing the inside surfaces of the box, and you can easily cut it to fit the shape of the box.
Spray foam – Spray foam is a spray-on foam used to insulate and seal surfaces. It comes in various colors, and it is available in both a low- and high-density formula. When it dries, spray foam is a solid, closed-cell material resistant to moisture and insects.
🎶Seal other box holes
After sealing the inside of the box, you need to seal any other holes in the box. It includes small gaps from the subwoofer box and around the terminals.
To seal these other holes, you can use a gasket. It is a rubber or silicone ring placed around the hole to create a tight seal. Gaskets are available in different sizes and shapes, so make sure to select the one compatible with the size of the hole.
🎶Fill all gaps
It is vital to fill all the gaps in the subwoofer box. For example, if you’re using a polyurethane construction adhesive, it must quickly foam up and fill all the seams. Inadequate filling may lead to the failure of the sealant over time.
To fill all the gaps, you can use epoxy putty. It is a two-part compound that hardens when mixed. If you still have gaps after filling them with epoxy putty, you can redrill them and use a silicone caulk.
🎶Seal all the seams
Once you fill all the gaps, you need to seal all the seams. Sealing the seams will ensure that the subwoofer box is airtight and will prevent any sound from leaking out. You have the option to choose from a variety of sealants. Apply the sealant on all seams using the glue or sealant you prefer.
🎶Clamp and cure the sealant
Once the sealant is applied, you need to clamp and cure it. It will help the sealant adhere to the surfaces and ensure that the box is airtight. Keep in mind that the time to cure the subwoofer box depends on the sealant you applied.
For example, the standard time to cure silicone is 24 hours. It is vital to cure it properly since some sealants may damage the driver.
🎶Sand some excess sealant
After sealing the subwoofer box, you need to sand some excess sealants. It will help create a smooth surface and remove any sharp edges.
You can use a variety of materials to create a smooth finish, including:
Sandpaper – It is paper coated with an abrasive material. Sandpaper comes in different grits, and it is available in both hand-held and power sanders. When using sandpaper, make sure to use a light touch since too much pressure can damage the subwoofer box.
Wood filler – Wood putty is a putty-like adhesive substance that can fill cracks and holes in wood. Keep in mind that wood putty or filler will not work well on painted or sealed surfaces. Also, it will not strengthen a soft spot in the subwoofer box, but it’s helpful in filling small gaps.
Bondo – Bondo is a body filler best for repairing dents and holes in metal, fiberglass, and plastic. When it dries, Bondo is a hard, durable material that can be sanded and painted. It is excellent since it acts as a permanent bond that will not shrink or crack over time.
🎶Apply some aesthetic finish
After sealing the subwoofer box, you can apply an aesthetic finish. It will help improve the box’s appearance and protect it from scratches.
You can use a variety of finishes, including:
- Paint: It is a coating applied to a surface to protect it and enhance its appearance. When painting the subwoofer box, make sure to use paint that is compatible with the box’s material.
- Lacquer: It is a type of clear coat ideal to protect wood surfaces from scratches and water damage. Lacquer also enhances the appearance of the wood by giving it a glossy finish.
- Varnish: It is a type of liquid coating applied to wood to protect it from moisture and UV rays. Varnish also gives the wood a beautiful sheen.
Apply the finish of your choice on the subwoofer box using a brush or roller. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label of the product.
🎶Screw the subwoofer box
After sealing and finishing the subwoofer box, you need to screw it. It will help keep the box together and prevent the sealant from coming undone.
Use screws that are long enough to go through the thickness of the material. Ensure that the screws are not too long since they may come out on the other side.
Place the subwoofer box in the desired location and screw it in using a drill or screwdriver.
Enjoy your newly sealed subwoofer box!
More Tips and Tricks To get Quality Sound from the subwoofer.
Photo Credit: Half Price Car Audio
Now that you have sealed the subwoofer box, you can enjoy its performance to the fullest. Remember that proper installation is essential to getting the best sound quality.
Also, there are a few things that you can do to further improve the quality of your subwoofer box:
- Make sure that you properly align the subwoofer with the port. If it is not, you will experience air turbulence and distortion.
- When using a ported subwoofer box, use the appropriate port size. If you use a port that is too large or too small, it will affect the sound quality of the subwoofer.
- To get the best bass response, make sure you place the subwoofer in an acoustic environment conducive to low-frequency sounds. For example, using the subwoofer in a room with rigid walls and ceilings will compromise the bass response.
- Experiment with the subwoofer’s placement to find the best spot for it. Sometimes moving it a few inches can make a big difference in the sound quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why seal a subwoofer box?
A: Sealing a subwoofer box is essential because it helps to improve the performance of the subwoofer and protects it from moisture and other elements.
Q: What type of sealant should I use?
A: There are a variety of sealants that you can use, such as silicone, Polyurethane, and gorilla glue. It would be best to use a silicone sealant. It is a type of sealant suitable for many applications, and it is easy to apply. Make sure to choose a sealant that is compatible with the material of your subwoofer box.
Q: How do I know if the subwoofer box is sealed properly?
A: One way to test if you adequately sealed the subwoofer box is to place your hand on the side of the box and try to push it in. If you can’t push it in, then the seal is good. Another way to test the seal is to spray water on the outside of the box. If the water beads up, then the seal is good.
Q: What type of screws should I use for final sealing?
A: You can use any type of screws that are long enough to go through the thickness of the material. Make sure that they are not too long, or they may come out on the other side. I would recommend using screws made for wood. They are available at most home improvement stores.
Q: How do I know if my subwoofer is properly aligned with the port?
A: One way to test is to place your hand on the side of the subwoofer. Feel for the air coming out of the port. If you can’t feel the air, it is not appropriately aligned. Another way to check this is to look at the port and make sure it points in the right direction.
Sealing a subwoofer box is essential for getting the best performance from the subwoofer. It is also crucial to use a proper sealant and keep the box airtight to prevent moisture and other elements from getting inside. With a little bit of effort, you can quickly seal a subwoofer box and enjoy the benefits of having a quality sound system.