What is a Subwoofer Driver?
A subwoofer is a specific type of driver that is designed to reproduce low audio frequencies, also known as bass and sub-bass. The usual frequency range that a subwoofer can reproduce lays between 20 and 200 Hz. Most woofers tap into this frequency range, but are limited by its size to reach the sub-bass frequencies below 60 Hz. This is where a subwoofer chassis comes into play. Subwoofer chassis focus a small frequency range, and some can go down to 20 Hz, which is also the limit of what the human ear can hear.
A subwoofer chassis can mostly be found in a separate subwoofer cabinet and is never used alone due to its limited frequency range. It is more considered an addition to an already existing home audio system.
What is the Difference between a Subwoofer and a Woofer Driver?
As just mentioned, the main difference between a woofer and a subwoofer lays in its frequency range. Every subwoofer falls into the woofer category, but not every woofer can be considered a subwoofer. While a woofer has on average a very wide frequency range from around 60 Hz up to 20,000 Hz, a subwoofer is dedicated to a much smaller range of only 20 Hz to 200 Hz. While, you can use a woofer as a stand-alone speaker without pairing it with a tweeter, and still get a very decent sound spectrum. A subwoofer, on the other hand, cannot be used alone and should only be used as an additional component for your speaker system.
Do I need a Subwoofer?
There is no straight answer to this question. It truly depends on what you listen to. Electric music contains a lot of low frequencies and mostly require a subwoofer to get the best listening-experience. The same goes for organ music! Believe it or not, but an organ creates sounds as low as 16 Hz! Therefore, without a subwoofer you would miss quite a few tones, so a subwoofer is recommended.
Pop, Rock or Blues do not rely on a subwoofer. In case you have a decent pair of full-range woofers, your music should sound the way it was intended. Therefore, a subwoofer is not required. However, in the end, the decision to add a subwoofer to one's home audio system.