Type Of Gig:
The type gig you have can play a large part into whether or not you need subwoofers. Typically, for any event where music is not the primary focus, it is best to leave your subs at home. This includes events where the focus is on key note speeches or networking. This would also include cocktail style parties, where guests are there to mix and mingle and speak to each other. It’s generally harder to carry on a meaningful conversation when you have to contend with bass in your ear all night. In my experience, subs are best suited for when music is the main focal point of the evening, such as school dances and parties.
Size Of Your Venue:
The size of your venue can play a large part as well. If you’re in a fairly small room where you expect some dancing but most of the guests will be at the bar or chatting to one another, then having subwoofers may be more trouble than they’re worth. I’ve been to plenty of venues and parties (such as smaller weddings) where I ended up needing to take the subs off entirely. As a matter of fact, I now don’t take subs to most of my smaller weddings, and guests still have a great time!
Type Of Venue:
If your venue is generally made of highly reflective material, such as brick, glass, or metal, then leaving the subs at home may be the better option. Lower-end frequencies tend to bounce around in such venues, giving you a muddy and unclear sound. However, if you’re in a venue that consists of mostly absorbent material, such a large drapes, thick carpet, spray foam, then sub will work well as sound frequencies will not bounce around as much.
Number Of Guests:
The number of guests also play a large part into making my decision on whether or not to use subs. Typically, if the guest count is less than 100 people, I wouldn’t use subs. However, even with only 100 people, if the party is expected to be a “rager” then you may want to plan on having subs.
Buy Or Rent:
Based on the considerations above, perhaps hold off on buying subs for now and rent them as you need them. After all, they are expensive and you’ll need to find a place to store them when they’re not needed. That being said, the cost of renting and the time spent going back and forth to your local audio shop can add up over time. My general rule of thumb is this… if you expect to need subs more than 12 times a year, it might make sense to buy them rather than rent them. If you can afford the upfront cost, this approach may save you spending more in the long run in terms of time and expense going back and forth.