Front or Bottom?


Distinguished Member
Is there any real difference between downward firing (DF) and front firing (FF) subs?

I notice some manufacturers stick resolutely to one kind or another, whilst others offer both configurations, sometimes as variants of the same sub. As with all speakers there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat and for the sake of this discussion, I'm leaving multidriver, bipolar and push/pull configerations out of the arguement, never mind sealed versus ported.

Asthetic considerations aside, I've always gone for downward firing subs. Rightly or wrongly I've always prefered the idea of DF, as I assumed the fixed volume of air between the driver and the floor must in someway 'load' or 'couple' the driver like a very short horn. I've always felt there is a certain sort of correctness about this arrangement, without any empirical evidence to back it up.

Am I really missing out on anything because of this?

Just interested to hear what anybody thinks.



Generally, DF subs produce more bass on a suspended floor and you can feel it a bit more. FF are normally sound a little leaner, but can be more controlled. Although facing a FF into a wall or corner can have the same effect as a DF sub. Some manufacturers use a combination of DF and FF.

There's no right or wrong, what's more important is having a well designed and engineered product in the first place, using quality parts. Obviously this costs money, so you generally get what you pay for. A big cheap sub with a big driver may go loud, but there will be trade offs in it's control or transient abilities.

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