Subwoofer 101: The way to arrange and configure your subwoofer

May 9, 2019 By Lisa

Subwoofer 101: The way to arrange and configure your subwoofer

On the A / V scale awesomeness, few parts are as environment friendly because the subwoofer. There may be simply one thing primal in a field made for the only real goal of creating your bones vibrate with monstrous notes. We expect everybody ought to have at the very least one, however two, it's higher. Sadly, as spectacular because the subwoofers are, they are often extraordinarily fickle.

If you don’t grasp the science of acoustics properly and if you happen to absolutely perceive the operation of your audio-visual tools, putting and putting in a subwoofer for optimum efficiency can show to be a tedious course of. Though we cannot anticipate and react to the myriad variables of every room (flooring kind, ceiling kind, room measurement, and so on.), we will level you in the best path. Our objective is to provide the instruments you have to clear up it your self. There’ll all the time be some trial and error concerned, however at the very least there shall be knowledgeable trial and error; and ultimately you’ll get higher bass. Yay for the bass! Now, let's do that.

Why a subwoofer?

You get extra (and a lot better) bass to your greenback in a specifically designed field to guard it. Subwoofers are much less troublesome than flooring audio system with drivers sufficiently big to carry out the identical process. As well as, submarines have a devoted energy provide, which reduces the pressure in your A / V receiver or multichannel amplifier. Briefly, they’re a extra environment friendly means of assembly low-end wants. The right integration of a subwoofer will even enhance the general sound high quality of your system, by rising the depth and width of your system's sound stage and by enhancing the sound emitted by your audio system, as they’ve been relieved. .

The significance of placement

Most individuals don’t assume that means, however while you take heed to an audio system, you actually hear the impact of your piece on the audio system. Partitions, home windows, and furnishings shade all of the sounds you hear, however low frequencies are notably delicate to ambient components. That's why placement is admittedly vital.

Among the many greatest enemies of your subwoofer, there are parallel surfaces – you understand, these loopy issues known as partitions in your front room or your den. Since bass waves are basically omnidirectional, they have an inclination to bounce all through the room. When they’re mirrored in your partitions, they typically recuperate one within the different, creating considered one of two situations: stationary waves or zero bass values.

Though we concede that an angle is usually essentially the most sensible choice, it’s not often the perfect choice.

Stationary waves (influenced by the scale of your room and the size of the sound wave) signify an extra of power from the bass. This happens when a particular frequency is enhanced by room components or related wavelengths occurring at roughly the identical time and place. What you hear in such a case is that this "dynamic" or "low word" impact that lacks definition or rigidity. On the reverse finish of the spectrum are the zero values ​​for the bass, which happens when reflective waves cancel, leaving you with a useless zone.

With a purpose to handle the acoustics of the room and its results, you possibly can select to work with or towards the room. Working within the room includes acoustic therapies in addition to clever placement and tuning of the subwoofer. Working within the room can contain subtle EQs in room correction software program. We desire the primary tactic to the second every time doable.

The place to place it

As a common rule, if you happen to place your subwoofer in a nook or close to the wall, you’ll get extra bass, however not essentially the most effective. Small, low-power subwoofers, comparable to these usually supplied with residence theater techniques and soundbars, have a tendency to make use of small audio system coupled with low energy amplifiers and due to this fact profit from a strengthening of boundaries. Sadly, all you get is extra of the identical low shit. Though we concede that an angle is usually essentially the most sensible choice, it’s not often the perfect choice.

Invoice Roberson / Digital Tendencies

Subwoofers with bigger amplifiers and extra highly effective amplifiers don’t must depend on your wall for assist. The truth is, top quality submarines are inclined to have the most effective sound when they’re shot at the very least eight to 12 inches from any wall. Subwoofers additionally work greatest within the entrance half of your listening space, positioned nearer to the audio system of your entrance channel to cut back timing and part cancellation.

Listed below are some sensible strategies on the placement of your submarine relying in your flexibility and what to anticipate.

Carte blanche: So you possibly can put your submarine anyplace? Nicely, congratulations to you. No, significantly, it's nice as a result of so few folks have the pliability you’ve gotten. However, as you perceive it, here’s what we suggest: transfer your armchair or your listening chair far out of your common place. Now, stick your subwoofer the place your chair was and let your self go to wealthy content material. Stroll and crawl across the room listening rigorously the place the bass is essentially the most uniform and essentially the most outlined. It's not simply this visceral kick within the intestine. You need to hear the timbre (tonal high quality) and texture of the notes. Place a bit of duct tape on the ground while you discover that issues are sounding properly, then transfer on to a different location. Proceed like this till you’ve gotten Three-Four choices in an effort to cut back the massive winner.
Regardless of the place on the entrance: comply with the "rule of thirds" for subwoofers. The concept is that by putting your subwoofer on the third of your room in your room, measured from a wall, you cut back the variety of stationary waves and 0 values. Mathematically, by following this guideline, you improve the probabilities that your seating space is a "great spot for bass".
It should be in a nook: Hear, no one needs to place child in a nook, however generally you need to do it. Right here's what you are able to do to alleviate issues with inserting a submarine in a nook. First, in case your subwoofer is put in behind the case, you possibly can stuff it with tennis balls, rubber balls and even rolled socks to seal the case and cut back its interplay with the wall behind it. Many producers now supply customized playing cards with their merchandise so you possibly can expertise the sound. Second, transfer the subwoofer at the very least 6 to eight inches from the nook. Give a pal a pizza in order that he actually crawls on the ground for you; transfer the subwoofer just a few inches in every path to seek out the right place. Simply ensure that they don’t go loopy with the amount.
Below a sofa or desk: This isn’t the worst plan on this planet, however count on a gap within the sound if in case you have very small satellite tv for pc audio system that rely upon the submarine for frequencies above 120 Hz.
In one other cupboard: We perceive that generally sure circumstances cannot be overcome. However it’s essential to know that it’s the worst doable state of affairs. Placing a submarine in one other cupboard goes nearly towards the aim of a subwoofer. These non-directional low frequencies want area to breathe within the room. You simply put them in a cabinet and also you closed the door.
Contained in the wall: That is turning into increasingly common with customized installers, and though JL Audio, Paradigm, and B & W supply excellent wall subwoofers, this isn’t the kind of product that tenants ought to even think about. set up – except you’re actually, actually good at repairing drywall, and even then, you danger to anger your neighbors. Wall subwoofers should be professionally put in with particular housings designed to carry the subwoofer housing in place and isolate it from the remainder of the room. Executed accurately, this may be an efficient answer. One factor to recollect: wall subwoofers are very costly as a result of they typically require exterior amplification, crossovers and a whole lot of work to put in them correctly.
What about wi-fi? If it’s the cabling that compromises the position of the subwoofer, think about buying a wi-fi subwoofer adapter such because the SoundPath Wi-fi Audio Adapter from SVS. This is not going to relieve you of the necessity to discover a handy energy outlet (in actual fact, this provides to this requirement), nevertheless it eliminates the necessity for a bodily hyperlink to your A / V receiver or amplifier. In the event you get one, make sure that it’s designed for extremely low latency. Some Bluetooth fashions have an unacceptable delay. That is good for headphones, however ugly while you attempt to sync with as much as 9 different wired audio system.

Automated calibration vs guide

These days, most mid-range and higher-end AV receivers have some type of automated room correction (ARC). Though they decently detect objects comparable to speaker distance and channel ranges, they’re notoriously inaccurate for figuring out the crossover. settings. For functions of this dialogue, the time period "crossover" refers back to the level the place a speaker stops producing bass and the subwoofer takes over. As you possibly can think about, this setting is crucial for getting the most effective bass response in your room.

Some ARC software program does a greater job than others. Anthem's ARC is by far essentially the most environment friendly we've seen, adopted by Sonos Trueplay, which is more practical primarily as a result of it solely has to deal with a handful of Sonos audio system. YPAO from Yamaha, Audyssey and others are usually much less efficient.

Quite than counting on the automated system, decide for your self the most effective crossover settings to your system. You’ll be able to nonetheless use automated calibration for the remainder of your audio system and solely guide subwoofer calibration. To know the way to do that, see beneath.

Composing every little thing

After you have discovered the most effective location to your subwoofer and set some important system parameters, it’s essential to choose the part, the crossover level and the basement quantity. The smaller the opposite audio system, the upper the subwoofer's crossover frequency. If you don’t already know what your audio system are able to, verify the frequency response specs to your audio system of their manuals or on-line. Now take that quantity and improve it by 10hz.

It’s simple to set the cross selector: mount it absolutely. This may neutralize the submarine's inside crossover, permitting your A / V receiver to carry out its process. If you don’t use an A / V receiver or preamp / processor to manage your crossover (maybe utilizing line-level inputs for a stereo setup), set the crossover as near the purpose as doable. you need the sub-producer to start out producing. low. That is often primarily based on the nominal low frequency extension of the speaker. You too can ask your boyfriend (is it nonetheless there? I hope that they haven’t eaten all of the pizza.) Begin with the passive filter dial on the backside, then convey it gently till you’re feeling that you’re mixing your audio system and the sub.

Then take heed to very demanding music at low frequencies (films are unreliable and don’t give your ear one thing acquainted to recollect). If, whereas listening, you discover an apparent drop in bass power (or what we name "suction") close to the crossover frequency of your subwoofer and your fundamental audio system, you have to modify your part management . Play the identical monitor time and again and pay attention whereas your pal modifications the part setting (this generally is a steady dial or a easy one- or two-way swap). Cease when you’ve gotten arrived on the setting that produces essentially the most full sound. If the adjustment part doesn’t free you, the issue could also be as a result of a nasty placement. Return to the position part of this information and check out once more.

Quite than attempting to reduce the impact of your room on the sound by tweaking it, modify your room.

Relating to the amount, the error is to regulate the amount of the subwoofer to the utmost. As a substitute, modify the amount about 75% or so and modify the output degree of the subwoofer of your A / V receiver or your preamp / processor. Begin by rising the amount, then in small increments till you attain the purpose the place you don’t actually discover the subwoofer. This could basically "disappear" into the sound, creating the phantasm that your total system reproduces the whole bass response. A well-integrated subwoofer will even increase the sound stage when it comes to depth and width.

In the event you're on the lookout for a simple, however much less demanding, solution to name your filter, the subwoofer producer, SVS, has a set of pointers for cutoff frequencies for various sizes and forms of audio system.

Work together with your room, not towards it

Quite than attempting to mitigate the consequences of your room on the sound by adjusting the sound itself, modify your room in order that it doesn’t have an effect on the sound within the first place. One of many best methods to do that is to use some type of acoustic therapy to the corners of the room. You need to use bass traps or every other sound absorbing system particularly designed for this goal, however they are often costly … and ugly. To dispel the acoustic muddle within the corners of your room, strive putting a bit of furnishings (keep away from glass or massive flat surfaces – that's what we're attempting to repair, right here!) Or a big potted plant (this generally is a pretend) in area. Cabinets stuffed with books are additionally appropriate for this type of factor.

If in case you have hardwood or concrete flooring, investing in a carpet or carpet will assist lots. For these with a hardwood flooring, using crampons and discs underneath your submarine will make all of the distinction. If you wish to spend more cash, you may also think about a devoted subwoofer help (sure, they do).


Earlier than sharing our final tip, remember that we’re not sellers: we have now completely little interest in benefiting from your hard-earned cash. What we’re about to let you know is true. We tried ourselves and the outcomes are unbelievable.

You need to have two subwoofers.

Significantly, you actually ought to. Todd Welti, acoustics technician at Harman Worldwide (the corporate answerable for Harman / Kardon electronics, JBL audio system, and so on.) is without doubt one of the greatest analysis articles ever written on this topic. That is his conclusion. We perceive that, for nationwide causes, the multi-subwoofer route is usually not supreme, however we’re right here to let you know that it sounds spectacular. In the event you can swing it, it is best to. Many submarines is not going to clear up the standing wave drawback, however it should give everybody within the room a greater sense of bass response by eliminating the potential of these void areas we talked about earlier.

Go forward and be moved

A number of passes or perhaps a few days could also be essential for issues to go properly. You may even trouble some neighbors or roommates alongside the best way. However this wonderful second when your subwoofer delivers the kind of bass that makes your backbone jingle is value any work and any grief related. S & # 39; enjoyable!

For assist with the remainder of your system, remember to take a look at our information to the several types of audio system and their usefulness, in addition to our record of the most effective A / V receivers which you can purchase.


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