The Basics of Subwoofer Box Design

Many people are aware of a subwoofer speaker’s power, helping you bring your favorite sounds and music to life. However, not many know about the importance of the subwoofer box design. It’s essential to have a proper enclosure designed and built for a subwoofer for these components to yield the best possible results, giving you quality sound output from your car or your home theater. The trick is getting all details of the enclosure design process to get the best out of your bass system. Although the calculation steps are straightforward, many people still get confused about the process. In essence, anyone can design a subwoofer enclosure or box for deep bass by calculating the least depth of the box, size (height and width), internal dimension, and the volume required.

Additionally, you need to know your vehicle’s dimensions if you have ample or limited space to work with, the type of subwoofer you’re building an enclosure for, and the maximum or minimum box recommendations for that particular model. Knowing these things can give you the needed guidelines for constructing the speaker enclosure, giving you a more robust and profound bass system. Here are more in-depth details to help you understand more about the basics of a subwoofer enclosure design.

  • Enclosure Volume – Before digging knee-deep into the concept of subwoofer box designs, keep in mind the importance of enclosure volume. There are two parts to this, including the gross external and internal volume and net volume. Gross external volume or total volume is the full sound of the enclosure. These include sounds from the (vent) port area, what the subwoofer absorbs when it enters the box, and material thickness. In contrast, gross internal volume refers to all the car audio inside the enclosure. It’s the amount of area the boxes have without the port or subwoofer. Finally, the net volume is the enclosure’s total internal sounds after taking away the noise which the port or subwoofer would consume. All these work together and can be a great guide when testing the efficiency of subwoofer box structures.
  • Depth of the Box – This pertains to the measurement starting from the enclosure’s front to its back. To determine the minimum depth of a subwoofer design you plan to use, measure the subwoofer’s surface, and add two inches. The sum you get is what you’re going to use as a reference regarding the minimum depth.
  • Height and Width of the Enclosure – Knowing the size of your car or vehicle slot port is essential as you need to make the box following its dimensions. To determine the minimum height and width, measure the subwoofer’s frame diameter or check its user manual for the specifications. It’s best to include extra space if you plan to use a mounting grille.
  • Internal Dimensions – To determine the enclosure’s internal measurements, subtract the thickness of the wood you’re using from its external dimensions. For instance, when you use a 3/4″ MDF, this means you need to subtract 2×3/4″ from all measured dimensions you get. Then you can use the results to determine the internal volume in cubic inches, giving you more details to work on to ensure you make the enclosure as perfect as possible.
  • Cubic Volume (Height x Width x Depth) – When working on subwoofer boxes, you’d notice you need to use cubic feet measurements frequently. That’s because most manufacturers suggest enclosure volumes in cubic feet. You can do this by dividing cubic inches by a fixed number, 1728. Once you’re 100% sure the volume matches what your manufacturer recommends, determine your final dimensions, then you’re on your way to building your subwoofer box design.

Subwoofer Box Design: An Introduction

Music is a universal language that most people worldwide understand, and for most, it’s a magical escape from their daily lives. People passionate about the craft or a dedicated audiophile know each beat’s importance in impacting the listener. The tiniest changes in the pitch, frequency, amp, or bass of music or sounds can go a long way in creating a more ambient environment for the listener, whether they’re blasting tunes in their vehicle or chilling at home watching movies. Thus, manufacturers have been producing tons of equalizers and speakers that allow anyone to make their desired changes to their favorite sounds and make it even better — and the most commonly used concept for this is the subwoofer box design.

It pertains to the innovative device known as a subwoofer box. It’s a speaker enclosure designed specially to produce a low frequency that you can’t achieve with regular speakers. The primary purpose of these unique speaker enclosures is to increase the bass response, tuning frequency, and frequency response of the subwoofer. It’s not an independent device and is an accessory to a regular speaker, meaning, in essence, it’s an attachment you mount on speakers to augment the low-frequency sounds produced by them. Because of that, it efficiently transports the low-pitched sounds through a high-frequency range. These generally work for sound frequencies output between 20 to 200 Hz (Hertz), while some THX approved systems can work below 80 Hz.

Proper design for subwoofer enclosures is necessary to ensure you don’t get distorted sounds and only achieve high-quality sound with the excellent bass response and frequency response. However, regardless of which speaker enclosure you choose, always consider the exterior size first to see if it fits in your vehicle. Skar Audio is an excellent resource as they offer products that use wasted spaces while enhancing box volume and quality.

The Basic Speaker Box Design

A standard speaker can’t produce low-frequency sounds while playing music, no matter how expensive they are, if they come from Skar Audio, or what its specifications say. Plus, speakers face interference in high frequencies of audio because of this factor. A speaker box design or enclosure eliminates this issue. It increases frequency response and bass of the music, allowing the speakers to play low-frequency sounds, producing high frequencies at its best efficiency. Additionally, if you own a large car of any vehicle with much space, it likely has a music system. You can also use a subwoofer enclosure for this, augmenting the low frequencies and boosting bass response.

A speaker enclosure is suitable for creating deep bass sounds in a vehicle thanks to its amplified frequency response and bass. The best and most common design are 10-inch subwoofers that you can snugly fit in the compartment of most normal-sized vehicles, allowing you to enjoy top-quality music and tunes. These sub boxes usually consist of 3/4 MDF, composite materials, and fiberglass. Still, the box’s construction varies and determines the sound quality you get and the length of time you can use the enclosure, allowing you to make the most out of the product and excellent music output.

Most experts would agree that fiberglass enclosures produce the best sounds, but they’re usually the most expensive and can be challenging to find the right size for your vehicle. Besides that, other types include a ported box, sealed box, and a bandpass box. Sealed enclosures usually take up the least amount of space and produce an excellent bass response that you can use for most music genres, and it’s the most popular choice. A ported box takes up much space as it needs more air volume or air space to exchange air through a port, and it’s the best option for those who like rap music. Finally, the bandpass enclosure tends to be large and requires the most area out of the enclosure styles. It’s safe to say that there are a lot of options.

However, regardless of the type you prefer, you can guarantee you can bring the best out of your speakers with these enclosures. A subwoofer box is famous among music enthusiasts and casual listeners. It enhances the bass response and frequency response of any car audio, providing a more long-lasting after effect and better jams. Plus, contrary to popular belief, it’s easy to make the enclosure yourself with cheap materials that you can get almost from any store, whether it’s Skar Audio or general music stores. Moreover, whether it’s ported boxes or a sealed box, these are capable of producing quality sound waves that are at par with the output produced by some of the most costly subwoofers. It gives you a chance or creative freedom, ensuring you’re getting a unique design made from your preferences, perfectly reflecting your aesthetic.

How to Build a Subwoofer Box to Specifications

When constructing a subwoofer box, you will need to do a bit of math before you start cutting the wooden materials. Each subwoofer or port operates in a specific volume when placed in different enclosures, meaning subwoofer boxes are essential to have if you have a woofer on standby. For your subwoofer and enclosure to sound its best, match the box’s size to that spec. Because of the increasing popularity of personalized sub enclosures, why not make one on your own? Learning how to construct a subwoofer box by yourself helps you prepare how to customize your speakers or sound system without spending a fortune or watching a lengthy how-to video. All you will need is some essential tools, materials, and a bit of calculation. To help you out, here’s a step by step process of how to build a subwoofer box to specifications — helping you plan, build, and detail the subwoofer boxes of your choice.

  1. Calculate the Dimensions
    Look for the box volume requirements for the subwoofer you’re constructing the enclosure for. You can find these specifications on the manufacturer’s websites of your chosen subwoofers or the user manual that comes with the product. You’ll notice that manufacturers typically list the volume specs in cubic feet. Write several possible dimensions of different boxes and check the box volume of the enclosure you want to make. However, the most straightforward and preferred enclosure style of many is the cube. To determine the volume of a cube in cubic feet and not experience over-excursion, you’ll need to measure the width, height, and depth in inches, multiply them together, and then divide the total of the three numbers to 1,728 (a fixed amount). For instance, if an enclosure measures 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches will have a volume of 1.0 cubic feet — 12 x 12 x 12 is equal to 1,728.Plus, determine the parameters of your enclosure’s front panel. Knowing the dimensions of this part is essential as it will hold the entire speaker or port. The front panel needs to be big enough to support the speakers and give you sufficient room to create the box around the speaker’s clearances. You can achieve this by adding at least 2 to 3 inches to the speaker’s actual size. For instance, if you have a standard 10-inch subwoofer, the front panel needs to be at least 12 to 13 inches square. Finally, size the box’s mounting depth to make the volume efficient enough for the enclosure. However, a general rule is that it should be deep enough to provide the speakers with sufficient mounting room for the best output possible.
  2. Gather Your Materials
    After you’ve gotten the necessary measurements for your enclosure, it’s time to get the things you need to make the item. First, get 3/4″ MDF, it’s the standard size that most people use when making enclosures of sub speakers, but if you plan on using a larger speaker or multiple subwoofers, you’ll need a larger one. Next, you’ll need essential tools such as an electric drill, jigsaw, table saw or circular saw, adhesive, drywall and sheet metal screws, speaker terminal cup, silicone caulk, and a tape measure. After collecting your materials, make sure to set up your workstation in an open area to avoid inhaling sawdust when cutting wood.
  3. Cut the Pieces
    Write the measurements on your MDF board using a pencil, then cut the main pieces of the box or boxes you plan on making, including the front, back and side. Using the saw of your choice, like a circular or table saw, cut the board following the measurements. Make sure to cut the boards properly to fit each other well and allow you to seal it with ease. After getting the main pieces of the enclosure, mark the speaker’s cut-out or subwoofer on the front part. If you plan on using double thickness, make two identical front pieces. The same goes for its back and side parts. After cutting the place for the port, ensure it can snugly fit into the opening.
  4. Assemble the Front and Back Pieces
    Secure the two front pieces with carpenter’s glue or leave the single front piece as ease if you didn’t choose to make double-thickness for the panel, and proceed to attach the sheet metal screws. For extra protection, if you’re not using double-thickness, it’s best if you use bracing in its internal seams. A straightforward method uses 2×2 strips of lumber on the seams before attaching the boxes’ top and bottom parts. Remember that your enclosure will get exposed to extreme pressure most of the time, so it’s better to be safe and do this step regardless of what thickness or length of enclosure you plan on making.
  5. Make the Subwoofer Port/Speaker Opening
    Use a drill to make a hole inside of the circle you made following the port’s measurements. It should be large enough for a jigsaw to fit in it. Use the jigsaw to cut out the shape, successfully making the woofer or speaker opening. Following the same technique, drill a hole in a rectangular shape in the box’s back part to give the terminal cup area. Place the terminal cup, drop a bead of silicone caulk around the edges for a smoother finish, and attach them with sheet metal screws.
  6. Assemble the Enclosure
    Now that you’ve assembled your enclosure’s front and back pieces and added the porthole for the speaker, you can fasten the other parts together. Remember that MDF is prone to abruptly splitting, so ensure you’re pre-drill holes for each screw in the remaining enclosure parts before attaching them. When fastening the components, make sure to put a generous amount of industrial glue to allow you to seal the box, making it sturdy permanently. When assembling the enclosure, let the massive pieces overall lap the smaller parts to ensure maximum strength and durability. After doing all of that, use your drywall screws and roll to attach the pieces. When you do this and notice the glue coming out, don’t panic as it’s normal, and wipe it off with a wet rag. If you discover that the speaker enclosure is not assembled correctly, use a furniture clamp to put every piece back to their original alignments. After you’ve aligned the pieces, you should now have a speaker box.
  7. Double-Check
    Before continuing, place the speakers inside the boxes you made and see if it can fit. If you notice that it’s a tight fit, use coarse sandpaper to mold the enclosure’s opening and make it more massive. After adjusting, use a pencil to mark holes where you’re planning on mounting the sub with the speaker still inside. Ensure it isn’t too large as it can cause a group delay, affecting your sound stream. After adding the marks, remove the speaker and drill holes for the screws. Leave the assembled enclosure for a while to allow the glue to dry.
  8. Let the Glue Dry Off
    After the glue on the enclosure dried off, run a bead of silicone caulk on its edges and on each internal seal to ensure everything gets sealed correctly. Leave the box be for 24 hours before placing the speaker or port inside the box. That’s because the silicone caulk you use can produce acetic acid fumes and destroy the speakers. After 24 hours, put the subwoofer in the enclosure and hook its wires through the terminal cup — and you now have a functional subwoofer box!
  9. Finishing Touches
    Constructing a speaker box is a relatively straightforward process. However, it would help if you still familiarized yourself with woodwork, carpentry, and using power tools. Remember to start by calculating the enclosure’s dimensions, then write down the size and shape of the box you want to make following the speaker’s size and the area available. Once you finish all the conditions and steps above, you can finish off your enclosure by adding your preferred covering like carpet, auto paint, vinyl, or leather. After that, your subwoofer box is now ready for use.

Subwoofer Boxes Plans

If you’re considering purchasing a subwoofer box for your car, first assess the size of the speakers you have. That’s because there are different varieties of subwoofer boxes plans you can buy or make on your own on the market. Knowing the size of what enclosures you may need for your speaker’s port is essential to avoid woofer damage. Here are the different subwoofer boxes you can choose from, with each one designed to produce optimal frequencies and bass response, providing optimal sound quality.

  • 8-inch Speaker Enclosure – If you have a smaller automobile, like a sedan or a MINI cooper, it’s best to go for an 8 inches subwoofer box that you can adjust easily to fit your car. If you plan on buying one, make sure to check out reviews first as there are plenty of available 8-inch boxes from different brands. These are compact, producing optimal frequency response and high-quality sounds.
  • 10-inch Speaker Box – This is the most common enclosure style that most car owners opt for thanks to its convenient size. It produces optimal deep bass, and many people are using it for family cars or vans. The product provides ample space, guaranteeing no group delay will happen, giving enough port length and width to allow the speaker to fit and roll off quality soundwaves.
  • 12-inch Speaker Box – This enclosure is suitable for small- to medium-sized vehicles because of its relatively large parameters. It works best for larger luxury cars with a generous interior area. This size is also ideal for home theaters as it can generate loud and crisp sounds, bringing your favorite movies to life. However, ensure it has a higher power handling capacity for the best output possible.
  • 15-inch Speaker Enclosure – The largest of standard enclosures you can get is a 15-inch box, and it provides subwoofers ample space to prevent a group delay. It offers ideal frequency response and bass response output for the best results. However, not many people use this version due to its large size. But if you love your music and have a large enough truck or home theater, go for it. These are relatively expensive and can cost you thousands of dollars, so it’s best to read reviews before buying a 15-inch subwoofer box.

Why Do You Need the Best Subwoofer Box Design for Deep Bass

If you’ve bought a new subwoofer to experience crisp quality audio-induced by deep bass output, you’ll need the best subwoofer box design for deep bass for the complete experience. That’s because no matter what subwoofer you buy, to produce the best output or performance, you’ll need a well-constructed and reliable enclosure or box to enhance the frequency response and bass response, ultimately creating quality sounds. Plus, enclosures protect your subwoofers from damage and the weather. In essence, the box is as essential as the speaker to produce deep and powerful bass. Here are the features and functions that only the best boxes have.

  • Optimal Subwoofer Performance – A subwoofer usually produces sound from the front to back, and the best enclosures ensure all sound frequencies get heard. That’s because a regular speaker without a box will cancel out the tuning frequency and other frequencies from the front, leaving you with lousy sound output. Enclosures contain frequencies at the back of the subwoofer, creating uniform sounds.
  • It Protects Your Speaker – A sub box leaves enough air space around the subwoofer, allowing the air to flow in and out freely, cooling the woofers. It protects your sound system and car, especially when playing loud music.
  • Flexibility – The best enclosures are flexible as it should be able to fit in most vehicles. However, if you’re looking for the best quality sounds, consider getting the most massive sub your car’s space can allow as it has larger cone movement. But if you only have limited space or want to maximize your remaining cargo space, opt for an 8-inch model.
  • The Right Enclosure – All subs need an enclosure to perform their best, and the box you choose will have the most significant impact on the bass response and tuning frequency response you get. The best ones you can choose from include ported boxes and sealed boxes. A sealed enclosure is airtight, while a ported box features a vent or tube, allowing air to pass in and out of them. A sealed box is for ‘tight and accurate’ bass while a ported box is the best for ‘loud’ sounds.
  • Powerful – The frequencies or sound waves created by bass notes are enormous. That’s why a subwoofer demands a lot of power and cone movement to generate the sounds, which is the type of power only an external amp can offer. The best enclosures have two specs to ensure maximum power, the upper RMS power handling spec, and the RMS output.
  • Boosts Bass Performance – The best sub boxes increases the output of your sound frequencies, giving more life to songs and sounds coming from the subwoofers.

Different Subwoofer Enclosures Design

The quality of the sounds you can produce from your subwoofer doesn’t rely on the item alone, and you’ll need a robust and well-constructed subwoofer enclosures design for optimum performance. Woofers can’t deliver full bass without a box because the back’s sounds cancel out low frequencies, tuning frequency emanating from the front ultimately useless. The following are the different types of enclosures you can choose from and the various types of bass they produce:

  • Sealed Box – Sealed boxes are airtight enclosures that house a subwoofer. It’s best for any songs that require deep and precise bass. When using a sealed box, expect a flat frequency response, deep bass extension, and fantastic power handling. However, it requires more power than a ported box, meaning you’ll need to use an extra amp with ample wattage for the best performance.
  • Ported Box – Ported boxes use a vent or port to reinforce bass responses. You receive more output when using a ported box than its sealed counterpart. Ported boxes are best for rock and heavy metal songs thanks to its port area supplying air, delivering more resonant bass and quality sounds. However, a ported box is significantly larger, making them not accessible to everyone.
  • Bandpass Box – This is a particular type of ported box designed for the best sounds possible. When using this enclosure, you need to mount the subwoofer inside a dual-chambered box with a sealed portion and one with a port, with the sound waves emanating from the port side. The sounds that come out of the port are ‘extra loud,’ within a narrow tuning frequency range. Because of the port side, it’s ideal for aggressive sounds like rap and hard rock.
  • Free-air Subwoofers – A free-air system contains multiple subwoofers placed to a board mounted to a rear deck or in the trunk of a car. The trunk will act as an enclosure, housing the subwoofer while isolating the sound from its back. This factor eliminates the sound cancellation issue of these subs, even without a box. These systems save spaces, resulting in flat frequencies response. However, to achieve this, you’ll need a specially designed woofer for free-air use. The lack of an enclosure makes these more convenient to install but has lower levels of power handling.
  • Isobaric box – If you’re confident enough in your skills, configuring a box is a great way to get bass in a smaller enclosure. You can do this by building a small sub enclosure around half the volume of a sealed sub box and placing two subwoofers facing each other. You won’t need a port for this as it requires seals. However, a drawback to this is that it’s more susceptible to damage since one sub is exposed.
  • Aperiodic Box – This is a Thiele small enclosure that ‘breathes’ through moving membranes. Both the membrane and movement cone can’t be in the same exterior area, and you need to isolate them both by cutting a hole in your car or place it in a port or vent. These are smaller than an 8-inch model, making them challenging to tune and create, but ultimately provide excellent frequencies and respond faster to transients.
  • Amplified Bass Subwoofer Box – This is the best option for hatchbacks and pickup trucks. These usually only take up minimal room and produce ample bass. It follows the same concept as a ported box as it contains a port. No matter the port side or length, you can easily install and remove them. It will roll off fantastic sounds every time.

What is a Bandpass Box

If you’re searching for the best sounds that boom well and give more life to your favorite songs, a bandpass box is a great option. The bandpass box is a unique enclosure that combines the features of sealed and ported enclosure types. Each side uses the function of the individual sub enclosures. A bandpass box houses the subwoofer inside it between its two chambers, featuring the ported side and the sealed side. The sound that comes out from the device originates from the ported section and expects a ‘super loud’ output. Because of this, bandpass enclosures are the best ones you can use to highlight the low bass notes for rap, hip-hop, and hard rock genres, using a massive cone movement for the best sounds.

Many homeowners who have home theaters use bandpass enclosures, producing a ‘thunderous’ output while maintaining a narrow frequency. Although it’s only been recently popularized, its concept isn’t new in the audio industry. Andre d’ Alton filed his first patent for the bandpass method in 1934. It got its name ‘bandpass’ because its enclosure only allows a specific range or band of bass to go through the box and reach the listener. In bandpass enclosures, the sound output gets directly transferred into the port side, usually placed at the enclosure’s front. In this chamber, sound gets filtered, where the box decides which frequencies can roll off the woofer. They usually only let a band of sounds that are low frequencies. That’s why you’re able to enjoy in-depth bass sounds in a narrow frequency when using bandpass enclosures. None of the other box types can produce this type of sound, making the bandpass box one of a kind.

However, besides those distinct features, the device also allows you to experiment on various bandwidths and frequencies of songs, providing a lot of flexibility and giving you total control over the final audio output. It lets you control volumes in both sides or chambers and promotes tuning frequency, adjusting the enclosure’s efficiency for narrow and vast frequency bandwidths. The bandpass enclosure also extends low-frequency when operating at a board bandwidth, providing excellent transient responses and adjustable parameters. However, like with anything else, besides its pros, it also has its cons.

The bandpass enclosure helps you produce deep bass extensions not possible with other designs and provide extreme flexibility thanks to its numerous customization options, such as adjusting bandwidth frequencies and the final sub-bass range. It also gives you more control over the sound quality produced than conventional subwoofers as its cone movement moves every bandwidth you want. However, the downside is that it’s quite challenging to build on your own, unlike its simpler and smaller counterparts. It isn’t ideal for upper bass output as it only focuses on filtering and providing low bass notes. Finally, if a bandpass enclosure is small, expect the frequency responses to be not as uniform, meaning it may come out louder, leading to distortions of the sound quality.

The decision to purchase a bandpass box will depend on your needs or if you think outweighs the benefits outweighs the disadvantages or the problems over the advantages.

How to Be a Sub Box Builder

If you want to spruce up your sound systems but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on premium woofers and their enclosures, why not try making one for yourself? The items needed for the task are relatively simple and consists of the typical materials you’d utilize for other more common DIY projects. However, besides having the right things by your side, to be a real sub box builder, here are the following things you need to remember and incorporate whenever you’re building enclosures.

  • Know the Different Types of Enclosures
    Before you build an enclosure, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the various kinds of box designs available. The primary ones include ported boxes, bandpass boxes, and sealed boxes. Each one has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking to get a sub box with a high sound bass but want it compact, a sealed enclosure is a fantastic choice. However, if you want a more robust alternative but still want to stick to the modest side, a ported box is a great option. It can run smoothly without much wattage thanks to its vents and ports while giving you low and more in-depth bass notes, making it perfect for fast-paced genres like rock. But if you’re looking for the ultimate slam, meaning extra loudness and quality crisp sounds, a bandpass or dual-chamber enclosure is the best one for you. However, it’s the largest of them all and is only suitable for home theaters or large trucks.
  • Understand What Materials Work Best For Enclosures
    Most sub enclosures consist of MDF (medium-density fibreboard) wood, a top-quality kind of woo, but some manufacturers still use plywood and other cheaper alternatives. However, no matter the material you use, keep in mind that the thickness varies. If you want to get the most out of the box, it’s best to buy or make a thicker unit (double thickness) as it offers more robust durability and shakes less when listening to loud songs, making it safer and have an impact on the weight of the unit.
  • Learn How to Calculate Dimensions
    An essential part you need to master when you want to be a ‘box builder’ is calculating the enclosures’ dimensions. These include internal and external dimensions. The standard formula for this is multiplying height, width, and depth to get the cubic volume to help guide you to determine which size and type of box will work best for your subwoofer. When calculating, always convert measurements to cubic feet. That’s because most manufacturers provide recommended box volumes in cubic feet, so you need to convert the internal volume from cubic inches into cubic feet. You can do this by dividing cubic inches by 1,728. For instance, if you plan on making a rectangular enclosure, you’ll have 0.873 cubic feet and 0.597 cubic feet for a wedge one.
  • Know the Designs
    Besides knowing the different types of enclosures, you need to know the structures of each subwoofer. That’s because not every model works with all boxes, making it critical for you to remember your measurements and be careful when choosing box structures. For instance, if you want to produce a ‘hard-hitting’ sound output, it’s best to pair your subwoofer with a bandpass enclosure. Some boxes’ structures vary depending on the setting you wish on using it for — like with a car or at home. Be careful when choosing your unit.
  • Sketch a Plan
    When making enclosures to avoid a group delay in the output, you’ll need to develop a diagram of the speaker box you want to craft and calculate its dimensions. After obtaining the required measurements, you need to determine if it will be compatible with the room you have available. Then you’ll need to see if the power and capacity of the subwoofer based on your measurements is ideal for it. Doing all of these beforehand gives you the upper hand and makes the process easier, making you the ultimate ‘box builder.’

How Much Are DIY Subwoofer Boxes

Although there are plenty of available ready-made enclosures that you can choose from on the market, nothing beats making one yourself, but how much are DIY subwoofer boxes? It can cost you around $30 to $40 at a minimum. There aren’t many complicated tools needed for crafting your enclosure besides necessities such as the compartment builder tools like a saw, hammer, screws, and an audio driver. Of all the items needed, the most crucial equipment you’ll need is the driver, as it significantly affects the sounds produced by the subwoofers. Another essential concern is the box volume you plan on making because the shape and volume of the enclosure play a critical role in determining the final sound output. After finalizing the enclosure dimensions, you can go and get creative with designs and create the shape you want that’s most suitable for your car.

To give you a better idea of the total expenses you may be spending on a DIY enclosure, the items you’ll need include a speaker terminal for sounds, an electronic amp, and materials for making a port if you plan on making a ported box. However, you don’t need to buy these things. For instance, you can transform drainage pipes into a port. Besides those items, the essential tools you’ll need are a drill, industrial glue, screws, jigsaw cutters, table or circular saws, a terminal cup, and silicone caulk.

Although we provided a general estimate of the costs you may face when making an enclosure — the budget will still depend on you. You need to think about this very carefully because if you end up spending an excessive amount of money, you’d probably better off buying a ready-made sub enclosure from the market. Additionally, the budget can differ depending on the quality of the enclosure project you’re crafting, making it necessary to keep an eye on your cash while completing the DIY project. As mentioned earlier, the materials for making a sub enclosure aren’t costly, and you can stay well within the $30 to $40 limit when you’re careful enough.

Besides financial ‘budgeting,’ you also need to consider how long it will take you to create the sub box. That’s because when you take days or even weeks to do the project, it’s best to buy a ready-made one instead to save you time, money, and effort. However, the basic architecture of making a sub enclosure is straightforward, and the time length spent to build the item will depend on your level of productivity and experience in working with the tools needed for the box. If you have some woodwork experience, then expect to finish the enclosure within an hour or a half. However, if you put your mind to it and don’t succumb to distractions, you can complete the project in just 4 to 5 hours, even if you have no experience whatsoever.

Simple Subwoofer Box Design for 12 Inch

If you often drive luxury cars or have a home theater, add more vibrancy to the experience by following a subwoofer box design for 12 inch to their sound systems. It brings more life to the sounds, allowing you to immerse yourself more in your favorite songs or movies. A 12-inch enclosure is suitable if you have a large luxury SUV that has ample room for keeping it or a dedicated home theater system, but for the latter, you need to ensure your neighbors will not be disturbed as the sound is going to be very loud. 12-inch subwoofer boxes have a height of 14 1/4 inches, a width of 48 3/4 inches, a depth 1 and 2 of 5 1/2, 7 3/4 inches, and mounting at 5 1/4 inches. This large enclosure can come in a classic solo woofer enclosure or a dual-chambered one. A lone 12-inch box tends to be cheaper but still can produce the maximum possible bass per wattage as long as you make it right or get it from a reliable manufacturer. Although it has a relatively large stature, solo boxes can fit any automobile amplifier from modern Teslas to ancient Fords, guaranteeing ‘slams’ no matter where in your car you place it. A single 12-inch box can come in sealed or ported versions.

12-inch dual enclosures are usually more expensive but well worth the money if you take your audio seriously. These are larger in stature and are ideal for pickup trucks and vans. It can house your most massive car subwoofer with ease. Expect the enclosure to have better sound quality thanks to its dual subs. However, its length and width can be an issue as it takes most of the room, even in a large luxury car. Since these boxes usually already have the best combination of a high-performing amplifier, subwoofer, and enclosure, it won’t matter where you put it as you will always get premium sound quality. However, if you want to save more room in your car, placing it under the seats is an excellent choice if you drive a large truck, keeping your trunk available for storing other items.

Compact 10 Inch Subwoofer Box Plans

If you have limited spaces in your car or home but want quality sounds and deep bass when jamming to your favorite tunes, consider following a 10 inch subwoofer box plan to their sound systems. It’s a compact enclosure that gives you the same quality sounds you’d get with its larger 12 to 15-inch counterparts. A 10-inch box is ideal for family cars, sedans, or regular-sized vehicles. It typically fits in the automobile’s bonnet area, saving you room and giving you top-quality sounds. However, in essence, it’s suitable for any car. Still, if you have an automobile that’s smaller than usual, like a MINI Cooper or a Toyota RAV, you need to measure the compartment of it before buying or making a 10-inch enclosure. The height of a 10-inch woofer box is 14 1/2 inches, has a width of 49 inches, depths of 5 1/2 inches, 8 inches, and a mounting of 5 1/2 inches.

Most experts advise going for different boxes compatible with your subwoofer since it can end up producing distorted sounds and damage your woofer because of the excessive vibration from the extra clearance. However, for a 10-inch enclosure, it can fit in most vehicles perfectly, making it a flexible box that anyone can use for the best sounds. In essence, always remember the ‘rule of thumb’ of adding at least 2 to 3 inches of clearance to the subwoofer’s size. For instance, a 10-inch woofer needs a front panel of at least 12 to 13 inches to give it enough room to emanate the sounds correctly. Additionally, if you plan on using multiple sound systems, it will also affect the ideal size of the box you need to use.

However, 10-inch enclosures also come in dual-chambered versions like its larger 12 to 15-inch counterparts despite its relatively compact structure. 10-inch dual-chambered boxes can fit in somewhat larger vehicles like extended-cab pickups without taking too much room, making the back seat and trunk of small trucks and other cars still accessible. However, its unusual structure due to two woofers’ presence makes it a less ‘natural’ fit for smaller vehicles like sedans. But its regular single or solo version can make a snug fit on any automobile possible, giving you less power than its dual-chambered version but still produce quality and crisp sounds. If you want to make the enclosure yourself, ensure you know your woofers’ exact dimensions first to see which style suits best your subwoofer and car. However, if you’re not confident in your skills, there are plenty of available ready-made enclosures online.


If you have enough space in your vehicle, consider getting an upgrade for your speakers’ enclosures to improve their bass quality, allowing you to cruise along the roads with style — and the same goes for speakers for your home theaters. The purpose of an enclosure is to improve the bass response and frequency of your car audio and prevent port or woofer damage from overuse or over-excursion.

When choosing an enclosure type to produce the best sound you can get from your car audio and match your taste in music, remember the key points you need to consider. Consider how much room is available in your vehicle, what type of subwoofers you want to use since manufacturers designed their woofers for specific enclosure types, how powerful the amplifier is, and what crossovers and controls your amp has. Plus, the subwoofer box design also depends on what kind of songs you like listening to as different enclosure styles will sound different for different genres.

You can go the DIY route and follow the how-to guide mentioned in this article and design the enclosure yourself. You can also go for an aftermarket design like the ones featured to get the highest quality enclosure boasting a design enhancing the aesthetics, bass response, and overall car audio of your vehicle. We hope this guide helped you understand the importance of subwoofer box design, how it works, the different types of enclosures, and how to maximize its performance — allowing you to get the most out of your subwoofers or speakers and blast your favorite tunes in style.