Protip: Using a sub? Plug your mains

Merry holidays, or drinking season, whichever you celebrate I support you.

For those of you with ported main speakers and subs, here’s a big tip: Plug your main speakers.

It will reduce the bass output, but also greatly reduce the movement of the driver below the port frequency. This combination increases the dynamic range, and reduces distortion, especially when used with a line level high pass filter. It also often makes integrating the subs easier thanks to less overlap. Use a sock, preferably yours and clean unless you are some weirdo. You don’t have to stuff the entire port length, just plug the end tight. I won’t be held responsible for those of you who lose their intimates inside their speakers.


Wow onother idea. I just install the pioneer modified yesterday? They do complement my KLH model 9 nicely. 

One thing worth clarifying: Not all drivers will work well ported, but all drivers will work sealed. Yes, this is no longer "as intended" by the designer, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a better match with a sub.

You are playing with the bass response here. You raise the -3 dB and make a gentler slope.  You are not making the "ideal" sealed speaker.  There are differences.

Generally speaking, an "ideal" sealed speaker uses a smaller volume of air vs the ideal ported speaker, so if you just plug a ported speaker, without reducing the volume you end up with a speaker that is normally orveramped...  BUT!! ... in this case you are doing so specifically for a subwoofer, which means overdamped is fine.

Also, therefore, lastely and soforth:


This is a tip that is easy to try and reverse too. :)  Try it and listen.  No good, no damage.

@erik_squires , thanks so much for this tip! I felt compelled to chime in with positive results. Used a couple of sock pairs to plug port in right Tekton Enzo XL. It has really cleaned up and tightened bass. Plugging both speakers was a little bit of overkill.

I have single REL sub, and could never get bass dialed in. Bass trap, cross-over/gain adjustments, speaker/woofer positioning... nothing seem to eliminate bloat in room. Plus, I don't know the science behind it, but midrange SQ is improved too.

All the best, and happy listening!


Thank you for that, @strateahed - That's pretty innovative of you, I'd not have thought to only do one or the other but it makes sense.

Glad you were able to get what you wanted out of your system now. :)