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What are Inverted Subwoofers

You’ve got your favorite subwoofer after researching for a number of hours and have also selected your new ported/sealed enclosure in the meantime.

Surely it’s all straightforward from here, right?

Not, actually.

Like many other areas in car audio, you get a couple of options about the way you want to install your sub into the enclosure. While most people prefer to install them in a regular manner, some car enthusiast prefer to do it after inverting them.

While subs are either mounted upside-down or backwards in the enclosure to considered as ‘inverted’, the speaker magnet is positioned outside the box in both cases (rather than being inside it). This makes it pretty easier for you to identify whether a particular sub is inverted or not.

Inverted Subs: Are They Worth it

Many people argue that these subs provide better sound experience, while critics label it just another gimmick.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether these inverted sub are worth it or not.

Benefits of Inverted Subs

The first advantage of these inverted subwoofer is the cooling. Under normal circumstances, the continuous usage of subwoofers (especially with high volume) produces some heat. And unless you have some proper cooling mechanism in place, this excessive heat can damage the subs in the long term.

Now since the magnet is facing outward direction in an inverted sub, the heat can easily dispersed into the air and the sub will remain cooler. That’s why if you’re having thermal issues with your sub, inverting is definitely worth a shot.

The other major reason why some enthusiasts opt for this mounting style is space constraints, especially in case of multiple subwoofers.

It gives you more headroom when it comes with enclosure selection since the major portion of the subwoofer will be outside the box. This way you can choose even a compact enclosure without worrying whether it’ll be compatible with the sub or not.

Drawbacks of Inverted Subs

The biggest drawback I can think of inverted mounting is the extra need for protection. Since the big chunk of your subwoofer will be exposed, you need to stay alert 24×7 and make sure it doesn’t get damage from any outside object.

You’ll also have to actively maintain all wirings/connections.

Several people have reported to hear some unwanted noise after inverting their subs. This issue doesn’t happen with everyone and most probably depends on how your subwoofer is manufactured. The only way for you to find out is through testing.

And unlike what many folks claim, there’s no substantial difference in sound quality no matter which way you mount your subwoofer.

So if you intend to invert your subwoofers to improve your sound quality, then it’s simply not worth the effort.

How to Install Inverted Subs

Contrary to what most people think, you don’t need to install and wire inverted subs differently. You just need to follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding to what mounting option you use.

However, if you’re using multiple subs in your car and not all of them are inverted, then you should wire the inverted sub to be ‘out of phase’ so that they produce the audio signals in accordance with the non-inverted subs.


I wouldn’t advise inverting subs to everyone who’s not an enthusiast.

If you’re intending to do it hoping for extra bass and volume, then it won’t happen sadly. Even if you’re doing it for aesthetics and show off, the extra care is simply not worth the effort for most of us.

Michael Brown is the founder of, a website that provides car audio installation guides and tips. A self-taught car audio enthusiast, Michael has been installing and modifying car stereo systems for over 15 years.

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