How to Get More Bass Out of Your Subwoofer
Want more bass but don’t want to spend the extra money to upgrade your subwoofer? If so, you’re in luck! When it comes to the amount of bass your subwoofer produces, a simple fine-tuning session may be all you need to boost the bass and completely revamp your sound system. If you find yourself wondering “how do I get more bass out of my subwoofer?” keep reading to learn how you can do just that with a few simple steps:
The 101 About 808s
First and foremost, it is important to note that while there are ways to get more powerful bass out of your subwoofer, you can only elevate it’s sound so much before it becomes a matter of subwoofer quality. With that in mind, be sure that you have realistic expectations based on what your subwoofer is fully capable of prior to making adjustments.
When you are ready to take your subwoofer to its full potential, follow these four easy steps to optimize the overall bass sound quality:
#1 Place Your Subwoofer Mindfully
The first thing you will want to be aware of when it comes to making the most out of your subwoofer is it’s placement. In fact, improper placement of a subwoofer can significantly reduce the overall music listening experience as it affects the entire system all together.
In Your Car
When placing your subwoofer and sound system in your car, to make the most out of it, consider making use of the space in the trunk of your car. Not only does the trunk give you much more room to position the subwoofer as you’d like, but it also reduces the chances of any break ins or theft when it comes to your speaker system.
Your subwoofer can permeate through most surfaces, which means that placing it in the trunk won’t reduce or hinder the sound throughout the car. However, you will want to be sure that when you position your subwoofer in the trunk, you avoid positioning it towards another speaker. When speakers are facing each one another, sound becomes distorted and decreases in overall quality.
Once you place the subwoofer in your trunk, move it around until you find the best sounding placement. For some cars, the subwoofer sounds best facing upwards, while other stereo-finatics find that the best bass sounds are produced when the speaker is facing the front of the car.
In Your Home
Similarly, if you are looking to make use of a subwoofer in your home, you will want to be mindful of where you are placing it as well. It is recommended that for optimal quality sound, you should place your subwoofer within 8-12 inches of a wall, facing outwards towards the rest of the room. For even more output, consider placing your subwoofer in the corner of your room, as it can significantly increase the overall sound due to the positioning.
#2 Increase The Quality of Your Music
The second way you can get more powerful bass out of your subwoofer is by elevating the quality of the music you are playing.
As for streaming music digitally, you will want to be sure to go into your settings on your streaming platform of choice and choose the highest music quality as possible for both streaming and downloaded music. In addition to upping the quality overall, there should also be an option under playback to boost the bass as well. With this combination, you can make the most out of the music you choose to stream, and as such, boost the bass from your subwoofer in doing so.
If you want to take your music one step further, consider connecting your subwoofer and sound system to an analog recording of music such as a vinyl record player. In comparison to digital playback, record players like Victrola, which play analogous recordings, provide an unmatched quality of sound due to the warmth and details embedded in the recording of the music itself.
Upgrading the quality to analog playback is a sure fire way to make the most out of your subwoofer. That in mind, not only do Victrola record players come with a powerful and intimate sounding stereo system, but they also are adaptable and easy to connect to a subwoofer of your own. With a timeless aesthetic and a wide range of styles and price ranges to choose from, you can find a record player that perfectly matches the style and sound of your subwoofer.
#3 Use an Enclosure
While this may be more or less obvious, you will want to make sure that your subwoofer has an enclosure, and more so, an enclosure that properly fits in order to avoid sound leakage and rather optimize the sound of the bass itself. To get a little more technical, there are two main types of enclosures that will impact the sound of the bass when being played:
- A sealed enclosure - allows for more accurate sounding bass
- A ported enclosure - allow for more output, or louder sounding bass
In other words, a sealed enclosure is notably smaller, which creates a tighter sound and more precision when it comes to the sound of the bass. On the other hand, a ported enclosure creates a louder, more booming and heavy bass sound.
While some audiophiles may argue that one type of enclosure is superior to the other, at the end of the day it really just comes down to personal preference and what type of bass you want to obtain from your subwoofer. Regardless of your choice in enclosures, simply making sure that you have one for your subwoofer is vital in boosting the bass as much as possible.
#4 Make Adjustments
The last step in order to get the most bass out of your subwoofer is to make a few adjustments to the crossover, volume, and phase switch.
Prior to adjusting the volume levels, you will want to be sure to start by tuning the crossover of your subwoofer. Essentially, the crossover is the frequency level at which your subwoofer begins to kick in with the bass notes.
When it comes to adjusting the crossover, you want to set it as soon as you notice that your main speakers are tapering off. As a general rule of thumb, if you know what your speaker’s lowest frequency is in it’s range, you will want to set the crossover about 10 Hz above that frequency. For example, if your speaker’s lowest frequency is around 80 Hz, you should set your crossover point at about 90 Hz. In doing so, you will avoid any buzzy and distorted sounds being produced.
Lastly, and quite possibly one of the most important things you will want to do is adjust the volume of your subwoofer in order to achieve the perfect balance of bass and all other musical elements. It is important to note that in this step, it really all comes down to personal preference. There isn’t a fixed number regarding how much bass should be produced by your subwoofer, so it is in your hands to determine how much more you truly want to get out of your subwoofer.
While this step is relatively easy, it can also be a bit time-consuming. With that said, you will want to choose a song that is filled with bass and get ready to listen and adjust manually. Start by dialing the subwoofer down so that you can no longer hear it. As the song plays, slowly increase the volume until you hear the amount of bass that you want without any distortion.
The Phase Switch
Nowadays, most subwoofers have a switch on either the backside or the bottom which is known as the “phase switch.” This switch is responsible for the polarity and the frequency produced by the subwoofer.
Luckily, there are typically only two options when it comes to making any adjustments with the phase switch on your subwoofer: 0 and 180. That said, all you need to do in this step is flip between the two settings after you adjust the crossover and volume to see which side of the switch produces the best sound in your opinion. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong answer here, again, it all comes down to personal preference.
Enjoy Your Boosted Bass
With these four simple steps you can guarantee that you will be making the most out of whatever subwoofer you own. Whether you are streaming music in your car or enjoying quality sound right from the comfort of your own home, making the most out of your bass makes all the difference in the overall listening experience.
For some, bass is more than just a sound, in order to be able to truly appreciate all that it has to offer, you should be able to feel it too. In that sense, the bass makes everything from music to movie scenes much more alive and theatrical. For others, however, quality sounding bass is simply the key to a great sounding beat.
Regardless of the amount of bass that you choose to settle in on, you now have the tools to adjust as much as you’d like and as often as you’d like - so get to boosting your bass and enjoy everything your subwoofer has to offer!
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