Published on March 18th, 2013 | by Jules Yap


Subwoofer in a Drawer

Materials: Hemnes Three-Drawer TV Unit and Onkyo Subwoofer

Description: I have an Onkyo soundsystem hooked up to the TV that sits on my Hemnes TV Unit and the subwoofer is so big that it was almost as tall as the unit when it sat beside it. The speakers themselves were pretty big too, and inspired by the salad bowl speakers I saw on Ikea Hackers, I intent to make me own, smaller, housings for speakers too.

However, when I realized one of my drawers was empty, I decided, what the heck! Why not put the Sub in the drawer!

I didn’t think to take a pic of the sub before destroying, but I tore apart the box and separated all the equipment inside, cut holes in the bottom of the drawer for the speaker, for the sub’s control panel (cable and power input, output level, etc.), and for the air intake. I mounted the power supply to the side. The wood on the bottom of the drawer was pretty flimsy which wouldn’t insulate well, so I used wood from the original box to reinforce the the bottom and make for better sound insulation.

2 hours later, the base was booming and my living room was less cluttered! I was afraid it might rattle the slide brackets, or make my TV vibrate, but you can’t even tell the sub is in there!

~ David, Brazil

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

2 Responses to Subwoofer in a Drawer

  1. Michael says:

    I am not surprised that it works, tho’ I have my doubts that it’s working up to the original specs of the sub. Having designed and built three dozen subs from scratch (ported, sealed, infinite baffle, bandpass, even a tapered pipe) for a car stereo company, I have a few concerns.

    In sub design, the speaker and it’s electro-mechanical characteristics define the enclosure type and volume (size). Too small and bass is thin. Too big and bass is loud but sloppy and dull. You need to use the Theile-Small parameters to design the optimal sized enclosure. And even when ported (the air intake you mentioned), the enclosure must be sealed tight, except of course, for the port opening.

    Ports also must have a free space to face into, generally 2-1/2 times as long as the port is wide (3″ port, 7-1/2″ port to wall space). Any shorter and the wall detunes the speaker.

    HOW TO make it work better. Build the sub enclosure that fits into the drawer’s space, but not be in the drawer. Use the drawer face as an add on to the sub enclosure. But all this will only work if the box is the same volume as the original sub.

    Final thought. Where the sub goes determines it’s quality of sound. There are only a few places in the room, relative to your seating position, for good deep smooth bass. The easiest way to find this spot is to place the sub where you sit, and then on your hands and knees (best done alone to avoid snide comments from witnesses) move around the perimeter of the room. You’ll find a few places where the bass sounds best, with the rest sounding less than that. Then choose if you want to put the sub there. In most cases, you’ll end up putting it in a less than optimal space (other furniture in the way is the biggest problem), but you could get lucky.

    Your idea was ingenious and if it works for you, stay with it. But if you want better sound, move the sub out of the cabinet.

  2. Jon says:

    So does the bass still sound the same? The sub box, speaker and port are designed for each other. Do you have problems where it rattles or you get sound leaking around the drawer edges?

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