Subwoofers can fit many things on top of them conveniently. But, I often wondered if it is a good idea and whether it damages the subwoofer in any way. So, I looked into this topic and put together this helpful article about whether you can put things on top of a subwoofer.
So, can you put things on top of a subwoofer? It is best practice to not put anything on top of a subwoofer. This is because the vibrations will cause items to fall off or be damaged. Some subwoofers can also be easily tipped over if bumped, causing anything on top of them to fall off.
There are ideal places to put subwoofers. So, below I will explain more detail about why you shouldn’t put things on top of a subwoofer, as well as where you should place subwoofers when to turn them on and off, and more details about the tones that a subwoofer plays.
Is it Bad to Put Things on Top of Speakers?
Speakers vibrate when they are playing sound, causing anything on top of them to fall off. Electronic devices will also get shaken up. This can cause their internal components to loosen.
As a result, they can break completely or malfunction. Devices like this would include DVD players, laptops, and cellphones. Also, with cellphones in particular when they receive texts or calls they will also cause interference with the music that is being played.
Some speakers have a wood finished top. This means that, if you leave anything with sharp edges on the top of it, it will being to make indentations to the wood surface. This includes things such as vases, or fruit bowls. These often have a ring around the bottom where it sits flat on a surface. They are also heavy, which causes them to produces small indentations as they are vibrated by the movement of the speaker.
In general, anything which gets damaged when it is dropped should not be put on top of speakers. Speakers vibrate when they play music. As the speaker vibrates it causes things on top of them to move slowly closer and closer to the edge of the speaker until they finally fall off and smash on the ground.
Items with liquids in them should also be avoided. With the vibrations, they can spill and drip into the electronics. If water sits on the electronic components over time they will rust. This breaks down the wiring and will cause the speaker to malfunction. Finally, when liquids spill on the top of a speaker they can cause discoloration or the surface, making them look unsightly.
Speakers are usually not attached to the floor, this means if you bump into them with your hip they can rock back and forward or fall over completely. This means anything you put on top of them will fall and break or spill.
There are specialist anti-slip materials that you can put on top of the speaker.
The material makes the surface very grippy, and when the speaker vibrates things on top of them don’t fall off.
You may also already have a grippy case for your laptop or cellphone. This is an average solution though, and you will constantly have to watch your laptop or cellphone to make sure it doesn’t fall off. In general, it is best to avoid keeping anything on top of the speaker, especially when it is being used.
Can I Put the Receiver on Top of the Subwoofer?
You may be very limited on space and have to put a receiver on top of a subwoofer. This is a bad idea. The vibrations caused by the subwoofer will damage the receiver. It is an engineering term called vibration fatigue. This occurs slowly over time and you won’t notice it at first. But it will shake loose the components and you will have to get it repaired.
It is best practice to no put anything on top of a subwoofer, unless the subwoofer isn’t being used and you are only putting it there short term. In any other situation it will damage the item, or the vibrations will cause it fall off and break on the floor.
Your only option may be to wall mount something to get more space or declutter the space somehow.
Where Should You Put a Subwoofer?
According to digitaltrends.com, a corner is often the most convenient option but to get the best sound this is not the best. If your subwoofer is for home theater purposes you should place it towards the front of the room.
You will also get the best quality of sound if you pull subwoofers 8 to 12 inches from the walls. You should experiment with slight adjustments to their location with the help of a friend to find the ideal spot, as each room, and building structure is unique.
Is it OK to Leave Subwoofer On All the Time?
In general, you can leave you subwoofer on all the time and it causes no issues at all. Some subwoofers may emit a small hum or buzz. In which case it is better to turn them off when not in use. There is an auto setting on some subwoofers. This causes them to turn on when a certain amount of sound is sent to them from the receiver. There is anecdotal evidence that says that subwoofers can stay on for 5 to 10 years without any problems.
Each model of a subwoofer is unique, you should look through their manual to see what they recommend. Most manuals can be found online with a simple Google search, if you can’t find it then you should look for a similar model. All evidence through our research suggests that leaving a subwoofer on permanently does no harm to the subwoofer.
Does a Subwoofer Only Play Bass?
Any music environment there are highs, mids, and lows. Highs are often called treble, mids are usually vocals and snare drums, lows are where a subwoofer comes in. Bass is not directional, which means that when the bass is playing you can hear it from anywhere. This is why when a car goes past with a subwoofer playing music you can hear the boom-boom of the base but not the vocals or drums. This is also why people put subwoofers in their trunk because they can be heard throughout the car.
Therefore, a subwoofer only plays the lowest frequencies which include bass. This means that if you play music from a subwoofer you will only hear the vocals and drums very faintly. It almost sounds like a whisper. This is because subwoofers are designed to only play the very low-frequency sounds such as the bass. Subwoofers also take a load off of the other speakers that aren’t designed to play such low frequencies and make them last longer.
It is best practice to not put anything on top of a subwoofer. This is because the vibrations will cause things to fall off or damage the internal components. Some subwoofers are also large, thin, and stand upright. This means you can easily bump them and make anything that is sitting on top of them fall over. You should not put your receiver on top of your subwoofer. The vibrations will shake loose the internal components and damage it over time.
You can leave a subwoofer all the time without any issues. Many subwoofers have an auto option which turns then on and off when music is played through them. Subwoofers also only play bass.
- Wikipedia: Vibration fatigue
- Digitaltrends.com: Subwoofer 101: How to Place and Set Up Your Subwoofer
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