The challenge of adding a subwoofer under the seat of a car or truck is largely one of space. The under-seat area is usually shallow, while subwoofer speakers are usually deep. Manufacturers make shallow-profile subwoofers expressly for this application, and building your own enclosure gives you the ability to customize for your vehicle. Shallow subwoofers are, in some cases, designed for installation with no enclosures at all, increasing adaptability to under-seat mounting.
Measure the space available under the seat to plan your installation. Move the seat into all positions and consider how movement might affect your enclosure. When you determine the maximum dimensions for your subwoofer enclosure, measure clearances to see if the seat must be removed to complete the installation.
Use the maximum dimensions to determine volume in square feet and thus the size of subwoofer your enclosure can accommodate. The internal volume will be reduced by the thickness of the material you use, so factor this in to your calculation. Manufacturers’ specifications will recommend volume parameters for their subwoofers, based on type of enclosure and the amount of power supplied by the amp. For best performance, stay within the recommended volume.
Choose a style of enclosure that meets the volume requirements determined in the previous step. Sealed enclosures represent the simplest construction and greatest protection for the subwoofer. Ports can tune enclosures to reinforce frequencies of your calculation at the cost of greater complexity. If your subwoofer choice can accommodate it, the most flexible and effective enclosure may be none at all.
Tips & Warnings
- Devise a plan for routing cables from the amplifier to the subwoofer. It is usually most effective to bundle speaker cable with existing cable harnesses or under fixtures.
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