Should I bother with a Sub woofer in my home cinema set up?
In a word YES!
Sub-woofers are a great addition to your home cinema set up providing that brilliant base sound that really adds depth to your audio. They'll improve the overall sound quality of your system and do a lot of work so your other speakers can really shine. There are a great variety of sub woofers available, from invisible in-wall subs (such as the Definitive Technology in-wall Reference) to standard standalone subs and if you're thinking of getting a new set up, then have a chat with us before you buy as they have different installation requirements. The set up of your room can make a difference too so sometimes it can be a bit of "trial and error" getting the right placement.
So do you want your sub woofer to be noticeable or not in your room? If you're planning on installing them in-wall, then you'll need to think of the cabling using a low smoke, zero halogen cabling so you don't get any toxic fumes in the event of a fire and you'll also need to consider that you'll probably need to add sub woofer amplifiers back at the comms cupboard as they're normally passive. Also you may need in-wall cabinets and if you're thinking of installing them yourself, then really think about that as walls will need cut, cables fished back to cabinets so you really want the help of a specialist with this option.
If going for stand alone subs, then these are much easier to install, you'll just need to consider how your room is set up and how you're going to place it (or them). Most people start with one sub, but ideally you want more. 2 or even 4 subs is a great set up and one which will really take away any "quiet areas" in your room. It will give a good, even bass across the room rather than have loud and quiet areas in different parts of the room. If you can get them at opposite ends of the room so they're spread about, that is the best set up. If you can put one in each corner then that is ideal. We love the Kef Kube Subwoofer, available in a few sizes for your room.
Where to place them?
Most are placed at the wall, usually in the corners (although this doesn't always fit the room). Smaller sub woofers or less powerful ones, tend to work better near a wall but it doesn't necessary improve the quality of the bass, just make it louder.
Ideally don't place it in a cabinet - it needs to be heard! This will ruin the effect of your sub.
If you've went for a higher quality sub, with a larger driver then it works better placed off the wall, around 8-12". Put it in the front of your room ideally, near the front channel speakers.
Once you've invested in a new sub, then take the time once you've got it plugged in and move it around - see what the best place is for you and if you can get a friend to help then even better. As furniture and walls make a difference to the audio, even small movements can make a big difference.
If in doubt - just ask! We install full surround sound systems every day and have encountered every scenario with installation. Get in touch if you're thinking about investing in a surround sound, it's much better to have a long conversation before anything is purchased rather than during it!