How to Port a Sealed Sub Box in 2023?

Last Updated on November 6, 2022 by Devon

Porting a sealed enclosure can greatly improve the performance of your subwoofer. While not necessary, ported enclosures are often preferred over sealed ones for producing louder bass. This article will show you How to Port a Sealed Sub Box? Let’s dive in…

What is a Sealed Enclosure?

A sealed enclosure is the exact opposite of a ported enclosure because there are no openings in it, thus making it very simple to construct while being slightly less efficient since airflow cannot really occur through the woofer itself. This is okay though since most people will not notice a difference in the sound quality while listening to their tunes.

What is a Ported Enclosure?

A ported enclosure, also known as a bass reflex enclosure, is an enclosure with a hole in it. This is done in order to give your woofers more power by allowing more air to flow through the port than through the woofer itself. This will increase its efficiency thus making it possible for you to play your music at lower volumes while having more sound come out of it.

How to Port a Sealed Sub Box?

How to Port a Sealed Sub Box

Let’s get started without any delay!

1) Build your sealed box according to the enclosure calculations (External dimensions, port dimensions, tuning frequency). Use MDF or another dense wood for this process.

2) After you finished building it, measure the volume of the box with water using a graduated cylinder. This will give you the cubic inches in your sealed box.How to port a sub box with PVC?

3) Now use the following formula to determine how much your ported box should be:

Enclosure volume = 1 / (1/n)(-2_Q_pi(Fb_SQ)))where n= number of boxes, Fb=tuning frequency, SQ=system Q. So we basically divide the internal volume of the sealed box by 1 over the number of boxes.

4) Next sketch out your port on a piece of paper. The port should be half as long as your internal enclosure’s width and have quarter-inch sides. Be sure to round all edges off. Draw the port so that it sticks out at least an inch inside the enclosure, and the ends should be flush with the box’s ends.

5) Cut out your port from the piece of paper and use it as a stencil to cut out your real ports. Be careful not to cut too deep into your enclosure. After you are finished cutting out all four ports measure each one with an SWR meter at the tuning frequency of your enclosure.

6) Once you made sure the ports are cut to the proper specifications, glue them into place with some waterproof carpenters glue. After they dried use a router to round off all edges inside the box. If you do not have a router just sand them down by hand.7) Once that is done seal all the edges with silicone caulking. Make sure you do not use too much as excess caulk can squeeze into the sub’s motor and kill its magnetic field.

8) Attach your terminals to the back of the box, and seal all connections with a generous amount of silicone caulk or hot glue.

9) Next attach your subwoofer to the box and place a heavy object on top of it. This will apply pressure to the enclosure and seal any leaks that may still remain.

10) Now cut a circular hole in the carpet with a utility knife, and screw your enclosure into the trunk of your car. If you are using a sealed enclosure make sure not to overtighten the screws as you will strip the threads and ruin your enclosure.

11) Now that all that is done, connect your subwoofer to an amplifier and play some music! Just be sure not to cover up any of the ports or else it will mess with the sound.

12) If everything went right, congratulations on completing your project! You should now notice louder bass and reduced port noise. Enjoy!

How to port a sub box with PVC?

Well, first you have to build an airtight sealed box. This is where the PVC comes in. To seal this sub box you can use anything from silicon caulking to liquid nails so long as it creates a proper airtight seal on all seams of the enclosure. Just make sure that there are no leaks because any leak will create pressure loss which means your woofer won’t be under proper tension and the volume of the port has to be increased for it not to lose low end response.

If you find out that some of your materials are causing pressure loss then just replace them with new ones until they don’t cause pressure loss anymore. Also, if you haven’t built an air-tight sealed box then I would suggest you read this article first before you continue reading this how-to.

What You’ll Need to Get This Job Done?

1) Enclosure Plans

2) Tape Measure

pvc pipe port

3) Saw

4) Glue (Liquid Nails or Silicon Caulking would be the best choice.)

5) Drill and Bit Set

6) Hacksaw or some other tool to cut PVC Pipe.

7) Router with a Round Over Bit (optional, if you want your port to have a round shape.)

8) A thin piece of wood, plastic or metal stock that has been cut into a circular template.

9) Jig Saw (optional if you want to use this kind of jigsaw blade .)

10) Paint Brush for Applying Silicone Caulking.

11) Sand Paper (optional if you want to sand down the PVC)

12) Flat Head Screwdriver (for removing caulking inside the enclosure after it’s dry.)

13) Drill Press (optional but makes drilling subwoofer holes easier. It also prevents the wood from splitting.)

If the box is done then the next step is to build a PVC port. Now, because PVC piping has different diameters at each end I’m going to suggest you use a piece of wood that’s about 5 feet long and drill one end of it so that it fits snugly inside the 1&1/2″ or 3″ pipe depending on your subwoofer’s requirements.

This wooden tube will serve as your port divider so make sure it doesn’t have any low spots because these low spots will cause air turbulence which means less airflow through the port meaning that your woofer won’t get enough air for proper operation. So just sand down that wood until there are no low spots.

Also, make sure that there is no glue residue on it because if there is then you should sand it off too because using the divider with residue will reduce airflow by at least 50%. After you’ve done all of this then drill two holes near each end of that 5 foot divider. These two holes will be used to screw the divider into your subwoofer box so don’t forget where they are.

After all of this is finished then cut a piece of PVC piping that’s about 4 feet long and fit one end snugly inside the other one so that both ends have equal diameters which will ensure maximum airflow through your ported enclosure. Don’t glue or seal any parts together yet though but instead just hold them together because you should know that PVC is very flimsy especially the thin cheap kind so just holding it together will be enough for now.

Now all you have to do is glue the divider onto the subwoofer box with your sealant of choice and make sure that there are no leaks anywhere. Also, attach the 4 foot long piece of PVC piping into one end of your 5 foot wooden divider. Which should make a square shaped port, or if your subwoofer box has different heights on each side then drill some holes through your divider at each end.

And use screws to attach it to both sides making sure that they’re not close enough together that they reduce airflow but also not too far apart that they create gaps between them causing turbulence which will decrease the port’s performance. After this is done then drill a hole at each end of that 4 foot PVC pipe and attach it to your subwoofer box using screws or whatever works best for your particular enclosure.

Now that you’ve made a square shaped ported enclosure then all you have to do is wire up both ends of the port with either 3/4″ speaker wire or L-Pads depending on how much airflow you want. If you use speaker wire don’t forget to install some foam bungs because these holes are very critical especially.

if you want SPL out of your ported enclosure but just know that they’re also equally important if you plan on making an efficient ported design so make sure they’re installed too. So once you’ve done all of this and made sure that there are no leaks then you’re finished.

Now, if you want to increase the efficiency of your ported enclosure then just replace one end of the 4 foot PVC pipe with a L-Pad or a terminal cup but make sure that you use both of them because every box has two ends meaning that it uses up twice as much port area which is why it needs twice as much compensation on each end.

This will make your woofers sound louder without increasing power levels at the same time so don’t forget to wire up these different types of compensation devices before sealing everything off. Also, make sure that you read my previous article about sealing off ported enclosures because there’s more than enough information in there to get you started.

At the end of the day, just know that if you want to stay within your budget then ported enclosures are better than sealed but if SPL is your main concern then go with the latter.

If you have any more questions about this topic or others like it then by all means ask away in the comments section below and I’ll try my best to answer them as soon as possible. Thanks for reading this article folks and I’ll see you next time!

Can You Convert a Sealed Enclosure into Ported?

Absolutely. It’s actually not too difficult at all. Before you know it, you’ll have your ported enclosure completed in no time.

It is recommended to have a professional help you design the port but if you are confident enough then here’s what you do: First, build your enclosure and make sure there are no leaks anywhere. After this is done, cut a hole at each end of your enclosure and install a terminal cup or L-Pad, wiring it up to your subs.

That’s about it! You just have to make sure that you know what you’re doing first before attempting this task. It is more difficult than a sealed enclosure design but nonetheless very simple once you know what you’re doing. If you wish to save yourself some money then go with a ported enclosure but if SPL is your main concern then go with the latter option.

How Can I Make a Ported Enclosure?

A port can be complicated or as simple as they come depending on how it is constructed and what type of equipment is being used. Here are the steps to building a ported enclosure:

1) Make sure there are no leaks inside of your box.

2) Once you have ensured that, take measurements in order to determine how much port area is needed in order to compensate for the desired frequency range.

3) Buy foam inserts or acoustical material in order to block off one side of the port. This will improve your overall efficiency by making more bass possible with less power at the same time.

4) Cut out this material and then test out how it sounds before sealing everything off. 5) Add terminal cups, L-pads, or ports onto both ends of your enclosure (if you decided to use a ported enclosure design instead of a sealed one) in order to improve its overall efficiency.

6) Seal off your box and you’re finished.

Related Article: The Complete Guide of Best Subwoofer Box For SUV in 2023

Why is it not Recommended to Port a Sealing Box?

Actually, you can port a sealed enclosure if you wanted to but it will also decrease the overall quality of your sound as well. It all boils down to personal preference and what type of power you’re using for this particular subwoofer setup.

If you have one with an amplifier that doesn’t put out much power but wants to achieve high SPL numbers then go ahead and seal off the box. The downside to this is that you won’t get much sound quality out of it due to its decreased port area but if your main goal is SPL, then so be it.

If you have a very powerful amplifier and want great sound quality at the same time then go with a ported enclosure design. It will be much more expensive but at the same time, you’ll get better sound quality out of it.

Do I need a ported or sealed box??

Depends on what you want to see accomplished in the end. If your main goal is SPL then go with a sealed enclosure because it will be cheaper but if you are mostly concerned about sound quality then go with an expensive ported one instead.

Why Don’t You Just Use a Sealed Enclosure?

This is where I recommend sealed enclosures over ported enclosures. Even though they cost less money to purchase, they also give off less quality sound in the long run.

A sealed enclosure makes use of a smaller port area in order to compensate for the lack of internal airspace in comparison to ported enclosures which have larger ports in order to compensate for a large amount of internal airspace compared to sealed ones.

So basically, this means that it takes less power and material on your part which is why they cost less money than a ported enclosure is.

When designing a single subwoofer per sealed enclosure, you can expect to get around 1-2 decibels more output as opposed to the same exact measurements in a ported box design for this particular speaker setup.

However, if you’re looking for better sound quality and seem to have enough money to do so then I recommend going with a ported enclosure design for this particular subwoofer.

This is because, in order to compensate for a large amount of airspace inside of a ported box, you will need to use larger ports which also happen to be larger than those found on sealed enclosures rivaling them in terms of size.

Expert recommendations for ported and sealed subwoofer box

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How do I plan a ported enclosure design?

The measurements are the same as when building any other type of enclosure. You need to determine how much airspace you want in your box. After that, take all of the internal dimensions and add them up together in order to get the total cubic feet inside of it.

Next, divide that number up by the tuning frequency you want in order to get the cubic feet per each one of those frequencies.

Example: Let’s say we have a 10-cubic foot ported box and we wanted it to be tuned at 30 Hz (the lowest point in which you will play this subwoofer). This means that we will have 3 cubic feet per each one of those frequencies: 20 Hz, 15 Hz, 10 Hz, and 30 Hz.

After we’ve done that we can get started with actually designing our box by adding our internal dimensions up to get the total amount of airspace inside of it compared to taking all of them and dividing them by the desired tuning frequency.

For example, if we added together all of the internal dimensions (1 ft by 1 ft by 2ft) it would come out to 4 cubic feet. So in this case, we can go ahead and divide 4 by 3 which gives us one total cubic foot per frequency which implies that it will be tuned at 40 Hz (the closest higher or lower frequency).

Also Read: How to connect a subwoofer to a car stereo without an amp

What’s a good ported enclosure design?

The top part of the box will be around the port with a diameter that is equal to the displacement value of your woofer. The length can obviously be adjusted in order to accommodate for different tuning frequencies but make sure you keep it as close to the actual port diameter as possible.

The bottom part of the box can either go straight down or flare outwards away from each other which is up to you and your preferences. Keep in mind that it will be harder to properly construct a flared woofer box compared to one with two straight walls so keep this in mind before beginning construction on your enclosure.

It’s very important to make sure your enclosure is properly braced and well-constructed in order to prevent unwanted resonances and vibrations from occurring.

What is Ported vs Sealed Bass Reflex Enclosure?

A ported bass reflex enclosure has vents or ports on the front side while a sealed enclosure does not have any openings whatsoever. A ported enclosure, on the other hand, takes more time to construct than a sealed box but will be louder in the end.

An added benefit is that they are easier to get sounding good because of their inherent low tuning allowing for you to really crank up your tunes without having to worry about bad sound quality or underperforming woofers.

How to Make Bass Reflex Box?

There are many different ways to make a bass reflex enclosure but the best way is to use an internal pipe that serves as a vent. The reason why it must be cut at both ends is that this allows for the port noise to exit from one end and go into the ambient air, thus making your woofer sound louder.

Once the box is finished, you just have to seal off the other end and cut a hole for your woofer as well as tune it to your desired frequency range. As long as you make sure there are no leaks inside of your box then this will work very well inde

How to Build a Sealed Box?

A sealed enclosure, on the other hand, has less air leakage and is, therefore, more efficient than ported enclosures. If you want your music loud then this should be your preferred choice since it can take up less power while not sacrificing sound. Just make sure that there are no leaks inside of your box and you should be good to go.

How to Build a Ported Box?

A ported enclosure is slightly more difficult than sealed boxes but has many benefits to it that will make the extra effort very worthwhile indeed. For one, it requires less power to produce the same amount of sound, thus making it very efficient.

They are also much louder than sealed boxes for this reason as well. With that being said, ported enclosures are more complex to build so it is recommended that you have some experience with wood working before attempting to do this on your own.

What makes a sub box louder?

The thicker the speaker box is, the better it will be. The main idea behind a thick speaker box is that you have a thick cavity to push air in and out of. The more air you can move back and forth in a certain amount of time means the louder the sound will be. In order to get lows, you need a lot of air being moved. All ported boxes are thicker than normally sealed boxes because they need to provide a larger volume for the sound to resonate in order to produce lower frequencies (bass).

If you’d like more information on porting, here’s another article that could be worth checking out: ” Ported vs Sealed Speaker Boxes .”

Why is Speaker Box Thickness Important?

As stated above in the second paragraph, thicker boxes can provide a louder sound. The problem with that is in some cars you do not have the space to house a thick box. If you have a small car, such as a Honda Civic, Buick Skylark or Chevy Nova, thick boxes will not fit well in your trunk and might restrict the use of the back seat. The way around this is to make a speaker box with triple-layer MDF (medium density fiberboard). This provides both thick cavities to house sound in and thin walls to make the box smaller.

How Much Power Will A Bass Reflex Enclosure Use?

It will require anywhere between half to twice the power that it would take if you had an equivalent sealed enclosure. Just keep in mind that ported enclosures are more efficient so they usually require less power than what a comparable sealed box would need.

Even though this is true, however, this does not mean that ported enclosures are not efficient enough to run on amps with less than 100W of power. You can expect these kinds of enclosures to work just fine at around 50-75W – anything more and you would be overdriving the woofers anyway.

What size port for sub box?

Answer: A large box that’s about 1.5 cubic feet in volume should have either a 4 inch or 5 inch diameter port, which is typically the size of standard ports for subwoofers. A small box of around 0.5 cubic feet should have either a 2 inch or 3 inch diameter port, which is more commonly used with compact subs like 10″ woofers or smaller woofers under 8″.

An over-sized box with a large subwoofer would be designed with an appropriate port size based on its internal volume and performance needs, not just how it may appear externally to listeners on the outside. It’s more important that you match your port area to your enclosure than what external dimensions it will give you; you can always alter the exterior size to make it fit your needs.

Where to put port on sub box?

Answer: The port(s) of the sub box are installed on the same side as the woofer. This facilitates maximum output for 38Hz and below, while minimizing excitation at higher frequencies that would result from a vented enclosure with a larger opening.

How to Make a Bass Reflex Box?

Bass reflex enclosures are usually made out of wood, but they can also be constructed from plastic. Ported boxes have two openings – the front one for your speaker and the rear one which is open to allow air in and out so that it may pass through the woofer itself.

The size of the port is the most important aspect in building a bass reflex box since it determines the frequency at which it will resonate in order to amplify your sound. Usually, ports are made in between one third and half the total length of your enclosure.

How do You Make a Speaker Box with Triple-layer MDF?

Let’s start this off by saying what MDF is. It’s an engineered lumber product that is made through compressing wood fibers together under intense pressure, heat, and moisture to create a dense fiberboard. Many companies sell MDF in sheets that are 4ft x 8ft (or 2ft x 4ft).

The first thing to do is find the center of the board. Once you’ve found it, draw a circle with a diameter of 10in. This will serve as the hole for your subwoofer.

Now cut it out with a jigsaw.

If you have a router, now is the time to use it! If you do not have a router, that’s fine. You can always use a jigsaw or circular saw to make the cutout for your subwoofer. To do this, place the subwoofer box in the center of where the circle will be. Draw a line around the circumference of the box’s base and cut it out with a jigsaw or circular saw.

Now that you have the hole for your subwoofer, you need to measure from where you just cut out from either method above. Multi-layer MDF tends to warp when exposed to moisture, so you’re going to have to place the MDF on top of some 20ft 2x4s. The gap can be anywhere from 1-2in, but it’s best to make sure that you keep it around 1in. This will prevent any unnecessary bending in the MDF board.

Now, drill four holes in each corner of where the box will be. These holes should measure 2in. This part can sometimes get difficult, but you’ll need to make sure the screws are in the correct place because this is where your speaker box will stand! It’s best to find something that’s shorter than 4ft so that it doesn’t top off at 6ft. Once you’re done, go ahead and screw the board to the 2x4s.

You’ll have to do this five times so that your box can stand on both ends, which is why two boards are needed.

Now attach any bracing you want to add with either brackets or screws so that there isn’t too much movement while driving. If necessary, use a few screws around the edge of where your subwoofer will be to prevent any movement.

Now for the fun part! Make some pocket holes (wood that is hollowed out) in your MDF with your Kreg Jig. This tool makes it simple, easy, and fast! Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go!

Once you have the pocket holes made, attach your MDF to your 2x4s with L brackets. You can use nails or screws for this step as well.

Go on and do it on the other end as well! If you don’t know how to do this, here’s a great video that explains it: ” How to attach MDF board with L brackets .”

Now you’re ready for sanding and painting! If you want a smoother finish, feel free to put several layers of paint on it. I didn’t do this because I plan on placing carpet over the entire thing anyway. Now that we’ve gone over making a speaker box, let’s go over the wiring!

This was all about How to Port a Sealed Sub Box? If you have any question in your mind plz drop a comment below!

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