If you need a long interconnect or RCA subwoofer cable, I recommend Blue Jeans Cable. Setting the subwoofer volume is next. If you're still not satisfied with the sound try using the receiver's manual speaker setup. Then again, don't be surprised if the sub still doesn't sound as good as you think it should. If you have larger speakers (with 4-inch or larger woofers), some placement experimentation may be useful; play a CD with lots of deep bass and keep repeating the track as you move the sub to all of the visually acceptable locations in your listening room. The sub and speakers have to work together as a team, and ideally you should never hear the sub as a separate sound source. But your center and surround speakers will still likely work best run as "small" speakers. All of the bass should appear to come from the speakers. Turn the volume control halfway up. As you move about you'll notice the bass' apparent loudness and definition changes from place to place. Precisely matching the volume levels of the front left, center, right, and surround speakers is important, but subwoofer volume is more subjective. © 2020 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. When the bass sound is lacking or unclear, switch the subwoofer phase. When all else fails, try placing the sub as close as possible to your couch or chair, with the sub in the "end table" position. First, you will need to set all of your speakers so that they are facing the same direction. If your AV receiver has an auto speaker setup program, run the complete setup routine with the calibration microphone that came with the receiver. If you don't hear any difference between the 0 and 180-degree settings, leave the phase control in the 0 position. The phase control operates over a range of 0 to 180 degrees. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. So if you have any doubts, try turning the subwoofer's volume control up or down. A sound level meter can be a big help when setting speaker levels, but it's nearly useless for determining the sub's correct volume level. Some folks like to feel the sub working the room all the time -- and some prefer to only hear the sub's contributions with big special-effects-driven movies or dance music. Corner placement is the de facto strategy for most people, possibly because the sub will then be out of the way and almost always produces the most bass, but corner placement may not yield the most accurate bass, or smoothest transition to the speakers. This two-part guide will help you get the best room-shaking bass from your subwoofer. Adding delay to the subwoofer signal can sometimes help the subwoofer to integrate better with the loudspeakers in the room. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Measure the distance between your AV receiver and sub and remember to include the distances up and down over doorways and furniture. Buying a cable a foot or two too short is a drag, and after you've opened the package you may not be able to return it for a refund or exchange. In some rooms, smooth bass response won't be all that hard to achieve, but I've heard my share of "problem" rooms where the bass always sounds boomy or muddy. Adjusting phase on a subwoofer is very similar to what happens when you move it along a wall. With small speakers, it's best to keep the sub within 3 or 4 feet of the front left or right speakers. Merely buying a great subwoofer is no guarantee that you'll wind up with great bass. The subwoofer crossover is a crucial part of setting your speakers to work harmoniously and avoid inconsistencies with the output. If you're lucky enough to have large floor-standing speakers with 8-inch or larger woofers, you may wish to run them as "large" speakers. Setting the phase of the subwoofer Sets the phase of the subwoofer. The most common crossover frequency recommended (and the THX standard) is 80 Hz. The correct setting is the one that yields more bass. Biggest Black Friday deals right now: $170 AirPods Pro at Amazon, $159 Chromebook, $100 Fitbit Charge 4 and more, Black Friday 2020 TV deals: 55-, 60-, 65-inch TVs from Samsung, Sony, Insignia, LG at Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon, Walmart's Black Friday sale is live: $50 Google Nest Hub, $49 Instant Pot, top video games as low as $15. It adjusts the waveform slightly, and that, in turn, changes where the peaks occur in the room. Yes, I know that sounds like a crazy idea, but it's just for test purposes. When the bass sound is lacking or unclear, switch the subwoofer phase. Now play music and movies with lots of bass, and take a little stroll around your room, stopping in the spots where you'd like to place the sub. If you like what you hear, great, you're done! Larger speakers are generally easier to match with subs; small speakers or speakers with 4-inch or smaller woofers can require more fine-tuning to get right. Your speakers' or subwoofer's user manual may offer specific guidance in this area; otherwise use the Audiophiliac's crossover recommendations: for small speakers with 2- or 3-inch woofers, try settings between 150 and 200Hz; for midsize speakers with 4- or 5-inch woofers, use 80 or 100Hz; and with large bookshelf speakers or skinny floor-standing speakers, try a 60 or 80Hz crossover. When in doubt about the speakers' sizes, always select "small" on the setup menu. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. It's provided because the speakers and subwoofer sound best when they are in-phase -- meaning their woofers move in and out in sync with each other. Sets the phase of the subwoofer. How long is long enough? But if you don't like the change, return to the previous setting or rerun the auto setup to return to your original calibration settings. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. Again, if you feel like this is all a little too complicated, relax, take a deep breath, run the auto setup program, and let the receiver sort things out. That might be all you need to do. If you don't hear any difference between the 0 and 180-degree settings, leave the phase control in the 0 position. I can set the sub's volume level with DVDs in 10 minutes or less, but with CDs I might be fiddling around for days. Setting the subwoofer volume is next. While a subwoofer's deep bass is nondirectional, it would be unwise to just stick the sub anywhere that's convenient in your room. Next, turn the sub's (low-pass) crossover control knob to its maximum, highest numerical setting (you're going to rely on your AV receiver's internal crossover control to route the mid and high frequencies to the speakers and the bass to the sub). Once the sub is a lot farther away, it will be harder to maintain the illusion the bass is coming from the speakers. I'm not always happy with the subwoofer's sound after I run these programs. You'll be amazed just how different the bass sounds in different locations -- some will be muddy, some will sound louder, and some will reduce the bass volume. When you find the place that sounds the best, put the sub in that spot. This will allow you to judge the quality of the sound. If you have a wireless subwoofer, skip ahead two paragraphs. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.That's with passive subwoofers, though. To check your sub's phase, play music with lots of bass, listen for a minute or so, and have a friend sitting by the sub flip the sub's 0/180-degree phase switch slowly back and forth. Learn how to correctly set up your subwoofers for optimal placement and connectivity. That location can work wonders and really improve the sound of your subwoofer. One of the other controls you may find on your subwoofer's rear panel is marked "phase." For specific setup instructions for Fluance subwoofers checkout our subwoofer setup video. To non-audiophiles the maze of connectors can be intimidating, but in most instances the single-cable Sub In connection will be the easiest and best-sounding hookup method. Three things can affect the output of your sound system when testing your subwoofer crossover: Overlap of your large, small, and main speakers The volume output of your subwoofer and speakers Now, you may end up with subwoofers that are out of phase with each other. There are too many ways to squander its performance potential, and that's why putting in the extra effort to achieve proper subwoofer setup is crucial. The numbers below highlight general guidelines for speaker/subwoofer crossover frequencies. August 29, 2012: This is an update of my subwoofer setup article from 2008. If you know your speaker’s frequency range, set the crossover point roughly 10 Hz above the lowest frequency your speakers can handle cleanly. Setting the phase control to 180 degrees reverses the polarity of the subwoofer.
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