Subwoofers: Ported or sealed?

I read that sealed subwoofers are better for music- tighter and more accurate.  And that the ported ones tend to offer more output.  Yet it seems to me most speakers, including cost no object models, are ported.  Can someone shed some light on the matter?    


Porting main speakers is a much different proposition than subwoofers with ported enclosures.  

Biggest reason is the x-max is much less (distance a driver piston is allowed to travel) on main speakers and is easier to to control the motion with the driver's suspension.  

Lack of control of driver excursion whether main woofer or subwoofer causes distortion. 

Most main speakers are ported because they are more efficient and extend deeper and the slight additional distortion is a worthwhile tradeoff and not audible.

The main reason I prefer sealed subwoofers for music is that they have significantly less distortion than their ported counterparts, especially where it matters most in the critical 25 to 80 Hz region.  That distortion can cause coloration that can veil the midrange frequencies- not good if you love vocals and clarity.  

Ported subs work well for home theater because the additional distortion is not so noticeable in a typical effects sound track and the additional efficiency and extension is more useable.  Also midrange clarity is not very high on the list of home theater system users.  

Again, distortion at critical audible frequencies that can veil the midrange with ported subs is the main reason to avoid them for music.  

The choice between sealed and ported subwoofers depends on your specific audio preferences and the intended use of the subwoofer. Both types have their own advantages and drawbacks.

Sealed Subwoofers:

  1. Accuracy and Tightness: Sealed subwoofers are often preferred for music because they provide a tighter and more accurate bass response. The sealed enclosure design has a more controlled transient response, which means it can start and stop reproducing sound more quickly, making it ideal for music with intricate basslines.

  2. Compact Size: Sealed subwoofers tend to be more compact than their ported counterparts, making them suitable for setups where space is limited.

  3. Reduced Distortion: Sealed subwoofers are less prone to port-related distortion, making them a good choice for critical listening and audiophile setups.

Ported Subwoofers:

  1. Output and Efficiency: Ported subwoofers are often preferred for home theater and applications where high output levels are required. The ported design allows them to move more air, resulting in greater output and efficiency, which can enhance the impact of explosions and deep rumbling in movie soundtracks.

  2. Extended Low Frequencies: Ported subwoofers can typically extend deeper into the low-frequency range, providing a more visceral experience for home theater enthusiasts.

  3. Larger Size: Ported subwoofers are generally larger and can take up more space. This can be a disadvantage in smaller rooms or setups where space is limited.

Ultimately, the choice between sealed and ported subwoofers depends on your priorities. If you primarily listen to music and value accuracy and tightness, a sealed subwoofer may be your best choice. If you are focused on home theater or want more output for a larger space, a ported subwoofer may be more appropriate. Keep in mind that there are hybrid designs and advanced technologies that aim to combine the best of both worlds, providing accurate and deep bass with high output, so it's worth exploring those options as well. Additionally, room acoustics, placement, and personal preferences will also influence the performance of your subwoofer, so experimentation and careful setup can be essential for achieving the desired sound quality.

Sealed is better tighter,faster more accurate , ported better for hometheatre 

moor boom impact.  Go to Svs site they have several with nice app to control your sub ,and even a wireless setup if you have multiple subs.