How to Isolate Subwoofer From Floor: Sub Isolation Platforms
Subwoofers are a great way to reproduce those low-pitched audio frequency signals that your main speakers cannot make audible.
Having a sub among your home theater system is amazing because you will be able to hear all those bass and sub-bass your system might be producing.
However, there is one problem that almost all users of subs face, and that is, the vibrations that come when running a subwoofer. This may cause you to ask;
How to isolate subwoofer from the floor?. To minimize sub vibrations on the floor, elevate it from the floor with a subwoofer isolation stand or platform that is specifically designed to reduce the vibrations from getting to the floor.
Subwoofers even though are great, can be a source of worry for especially those who are in shared spaces or apartments with shared walls and in situations where your floor is someone’s ceiling. The vibrations that might come from your sub would not be appreciated by your neighbors or other apartment dwellers.
The last thing you want to receive noise warnings or having angry neighbors banging on your door. With subs, the volume is not only the problem but as the volume increases, so are the vibrations.
The vibrations get even more intense if you are using down-firing subwoofers. The thing is that bass frequencies are low frequency and hence have long wavelengths that can travel through the floor, the drywall and insulation whereas high-frequencies have shorter wavelengths, and the sound mostly reflected inside the room.
Hence bass frequencies can be a bit challenging to control or isolate from traveling through walls, ceiling, and the floor. Before I get into some recommendations, let’s look at;
Should a Subwoofer Be on the Floor?
Subs are meant to reproduce bass and sub-bass. If you live in an apartment, a condo, or duplex with neighbors downstairs, the answer is NO, because you will be annoying your neighbors if unless it is the obvious reason – maybe to get back at noisy neighbors.
Besides that, you could choose to still place them on the floor but this would cause the sound to be lost somehow as these are designed for low frequencies.
A subwoofer needs to be elevated from the floor for the best performance. You can place it on a stand, foam pad, or spikes to give it an elevation from the floor.
Best Subwoofer Placement Pads and Stands
Now that you know it is not a good idea to place your sub on the floor, it is also good to mention some of the best subwoofer stands and pads that you can use to place your sub on for best sound.
1). Auralex Acoustics Subwoofer Isolation Platform
This subwoofer isolation pad is designed to drastically reduce sub vibrations through walls, floors, and ceilings. With a Dimension of18” L x 22” W x 1.75” H, this isolation platform can support a subwoofer with up to 200 pounds.
This sub mounting platform works to preserve the clarity of the original audio track while also tightening the bass for more low-frequency clarity.
2). Pyle Sound Dampening Speaker Riser Foam
This thick and high-density durable foam is designed and la-tested to promote efficient speaker stabilization, noise isolation, and sound dampening that gives the speaker or sub the ability to provide bass clarity.
The package comes with two sound dampening riser platform pads that are universally compatible and works with most speakers such as subwoofers, shelf speakers, monitors, loudspeakers, etc.
Its main purpose is to reduce vibrations and eliminate unwanted levels of audio resonance.
With each riser having a dimension of 9” W x 12” D x 2” H and load capacity of 33 LB, its a great sound sub isolation foam for your home.
It also features an anti-slip rubber base pad that keeps your speakers secured and stable. It is also equipped with a reversible upward/downward-firing sound speaker placement.
3). IsoAcoustics Iso-Puck Series Acoustic Isolators
The IsoAcoustics Isolators feature a unique patented design that provides a high degree of isolation while resisting lateral movement and oscillations, which results in greater sound clarity and focus.
These acoustic isolators are able to provide an innovative approach to isolating speakers, subwoofers, studio monitors, etc. Each ISO-Puck ha a weight of 6 lbs (2.75 kg). A mini of 3 ISO-Pucks can be used to isolate a speaker with weight 18 Ibs and up to 24 Ibs using 4 units.
Their low-profile design makes them great for mounting floor stands, consoles, desktops, and among others. The ISO-PUCK upper flange “suction cup” design adheres to the underside of the cabinet making the upper isolator live with the speaker, while the lower isolator anchors to the supporting surface.
4). IsoAcoustics Iso-200Sub Subwoofer Isolation Stand
This product is one of the best subwoofer isolation stand which is designed and tested at the National Research Council of Canada. It measures 7.8” (200mm) Wide x 10” (254mm) Depth 3.5” (90mm) Height and weighs about 75 Ibs.
This isolation stand manages the sound energy of the speaker to reduce the vibrations and resonance by providing the supporting surface that is able to eliminate dissonant sounds from traveling to the adjoining rooms.
This stand is compatible with most subwoofers and can accommodate a single unit or combined with other units for larger support.
What is the Best Location for Subwoofer?
Now, you are probably wondering where should you place your sub for the best quality sound in your room?. well, your concern is valid because what is the point of having a sub if you can get the best sound out of it.
Placing the subwoofer in the front of the room is the most common placement and this is because it brings the best results in blending with the main speakers and center channels. This setup also minimizes localization effects and Bass energy is Omni-directional.
However, you can place the sub in any part of the room. Here are some tips to guide you to choose the optimal spot for your subwoofer.
- Consider the Cords
Some subs require you to connect it directly to the receiver via wire, in such a situation, you need to make sure you can hide the wires wherever you choose to place your subwoofer. Leaving wires lying on the floor can easily be tripped over and stepped on to and over time could damage the wires.
- Corners and Walls
A subwoofer placed in the corner of a room may increase the subwoofer’s output which makes the sub sound louder. However, depending on your floor space, that might not be realistic if is likely to be far from the listening area.
Plus, a subwoofer’s close proximity to a flat wall can cause a harsh, rumbling, unpleasant sound. Fr subs with ported design, it is better to keep it twice the diameter of the port((typically 6-12 inches) away from a wall to allow airflow out of the port.
- Use This Method for Finding the Sweet Spot
Placing a subwoofer in the corner of a room can increase its output, making it sound louder.
The great thing about a subwoofer (especially a wireless subwoofer) is they can be situated almost anywhere on your floor space. There is no formula for locating the best spot. And, it’s truly your personal preference.
You can fine-tune the sweet spot by connecting your sub and turning on music or movie that has a lot of bass. After that, sit on your listening spot and hear how it sounds. Move the sub around until you can get the ideal sound from it. If you have other dwellers in the house, cross-check how the sub will be sounding at their sitting spots as well.
If the room is large and you want to get smooth encompassing bass, you might want to consider adding another subwoofer to even out the sound.
Final Thoughts on How to Isolate Subwoofer from Floor
If you live in an apartment or shared space and want to minimize vibrations, it is better to get front-firing subwoofer than a down-firing subwoofer. You can greatly minimize the vibrations with a rubber or foam isolation platform.
The key to reducing sub vibrations is to have the subwoofer elevated from the floor with a sound-absorbing material or product. Something that can block or dampen sound as it passes through it. This will reduce the impact of the vibrations directly on the floor.
Once you are able to prevent or reduce the transfer of sound energy from one spot to the other, then, you will eliminate the sub vibrations on the floor.
If you don’t have the bucks to purchase the above-recommended sub isolation platforms, then you can get a block of wood and turn it in a stand and place the sub on to of it.