How the Car Speaker has Evolved and Become What it is Today
Cars have come a long way. From solely being just a way of transportation, they have evolved into something far bigger, including a way to listen to your favorite tunes like never before. Drivers have become a lot more serious about their cars – and for good reason. Aftermarket accessories, like car speakers, allow you to customize and personalize your car audio system to sound just how you like it. And with car audio installation, you can completely transform your car stereo overnight.
If you’ve been considering upgrading your car stereo in San Diego, you’ve most likely turned to the Internet to answer some of your questions. But what you may not have initially thought to research is how car speakers have advanced within the last few decades. More specifically, car subwoofers.
That’s what we’re here for. Where were subwoofers first used? How have they changed over time? Let’s dive in.
What are Subwoofers?
First, let’s clarify what subwoofers are. These speakers are responsible for producing the heavy bass and low frequencies in your sound. While they can be found in car audio systems, subwoofers are also part of surround sound systems in movie theaters. If you’ve ever felt the vibration of loud car speakers, that was the audio system’s subwoofer in action.
A subwoofer is an essential part of any car audio system. Without one, your car’s factory speakers aren’t able to support and produce the bass and range found in a variety of today’s music genres. Subwoofers also prevent your full-range speakers from strain and distortion by lessening the demand put on them.
When were Subwoofers Invented?
Subwoofers have been around since 1954 when Acoustic Research developed the first audio system that was able to extend its bass to 20hz with zero equalization while enclosed in a woofer. Because the human ear can only recognize frequencies down to 20hz, the sound seemed to be coming from all directions.
However, subwoofers didn’t actually arrive on the market until 1966 with New Technology Enterprises’ design of the Servo Statik 1.
In the late ‘60s, Ken Kresiel of Miller and Kreisel Sound Co. released his own subwoofer design when his customers were looking for more bass in the electrostatic speakers. His design was able to support the low frequencies his customers wanted.
Subwoofers in Car Audio Systems
Subwoofers became part of car audio installations in the 1990s. As far as materials for the cones, suspensions, surrounds, and motors go, these elements haven’t changed all that much. And because subwoofers solely work to reproduce low frequencies, these materials wouldn’t have a huge effect on its performance anyway.
Instead, advancements have been made regarding our ability to model the behavior of the magnetic field within the subwoofer. Understanding and optimizing this magnetic field has paved the way for designers to create subwoofers that are not only more efficient, but also won’t distort your sound when the volume is turned all the way up.
Subwoofer enclosures have also advanced in size and location. At first, if you wanted more bass, you had to sacrifice room in your trunk. Now, car subwoofers are designed to be discreet and fit within small enclosures, while still producing a resonant sound.
Enclosures can be sealed or ported. A ported enclosure has vent-like openings that work with the woofer to create a resonating sound, similar to a pipe organ. The unique design of these enclosures are able to produce that “boomy,” vibrating sound that most people think of when they consider subwoofers.
Like their name suggests, sealed enclosures don’t have any openings, keeping your sound concealed and accurate. The air inside the enclosure acts as a shock absorber, allowing the subwoofer to move in a more controlled motion. Although they aren’t as loud as ported enclosures, they can still optimize your listening experience by providing you with an accurate bass that can be felt in your chest.
The type of enclosure you decide to install into your car audio system largely depends on what type of music you listen to, how you want to be impacted by your sound, the amount of space available in your ride, among many other factors.
Any driver can add an aftermarket subwoofer to their vehicle with car audio installation. Subwoofers are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find one that corresponds with your personal budget and fits seamlessly into your ride.
Upgrade Your Car Audio System with Subwoofers and More
Now that you’re more knowledgeable about car subwoofers and how they’ve become what they are today, you’re one step closer to upgrading your car audio system. To get started, just search “car audio installation near me” in your browser to find car accessory stores in your area. These establishments specialize in car audio installation, and can provide you with a huge inventory of aftermarket car accessories, including premium-grade subwoofers.