You may be thinking that your subwoofer is sturdy enough to literally put anything on. Most likely, if you have a quality subwoofer, you'd be right in a sense.
Most things won't damage a subwoofer, but some things are still just a bad idea when it comes to placing on this expensive audio equipment.
It's probably better to just sit your items (or your own body) in something like a chair or on a desk. Your subwoofer is not exactly meant to be a table for other items.
I've seen this done time and time again, and I've even done it myself back in my college days. Is it a terrible thing to do once or twice? I'm sure not if you have a quality subwoofer. Is it something that you want to make a habit of? Obviously not.
Most items that you would consider placing on your subwoofer wouldn't be a concern, but your entire body weight on any important piece of equipment is not a great idea.
A lot of people use a subwoofer as a chair, but it's not really meant to hold human weight!
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Most small items won't really hurt your subwoofer, so don't feel bad if you like to put something small like a box or a stuffed animal on it from time to time.
A lot of musicians like to prop their leg up on a subwoofer while in the studio, which is nowhere near as bad as putting your full body weight on it. If you are going to place items on it, consider using a plastic cover to protect the finish.
While it's not recommended, small items won't do any harm as long as they aren't items that can easily break or easily spill. The vibrations that come from your subwoofer could damage a small piece of art made from glass, for example.
You would also not want to set drinks or food on a subwoofer since the vibrations can easily cause a spill. Do note that the levels at which you play your audio will greatly affect how much things shake and are at risk of falling.
Some people have a setup that includes another speaker or a receiver on top of their subwoofer.
While the weight of this won't be that much of an issue, some technical aspects may cause damage or take away from the sound quality of the audio equipment over time.
Vibrations from the subwoofer can be distorted with speakers on top or slowly damage the parts of a receiver with repeated use. This is due to something that mechanical engineers call vibration fatigue.
Putting a speaker on top of a subwoofer would cause the low bass frequencies to vibrate directly against higher frequencies in the speakers and clash.
The subwoofer's vibrations may hit the bottom of your speakers in a way that would give off the sound of distortion, depending on how the speaker is made.
A simple rule of thumb is that if the item is on the expensive side, don't put it on your subwoofer. If it's something that can spill, don't put it on your subwoofer.
If it's something that is the size of a full human, don't make a habit of putting it on your subwoofer.
If it's another audio device, it's not recommended to put it on your subwoofer, although it won't do any obvious damage at first. If you have this setup, consider rearranging things sooner than later.
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