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How to Get the Best Subwoofer Performance

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Getting the best performance from your subwoofer involves three steps: correct subwoofer placement, connection and adjustment.

Correct Subwoofer Placement

Correct placement is important for all speakers including the subwoofer, however the subwoofer is generally the most difficult speaker to place. To place the main speakers, follow these instructions. Try the following guidelines to correctly place a subwoofer:
  • Place the subwoofer on the side wall, halfway between front and rear walls. I found this placement to be the most effective in my listening room
  • Some recommend a technique known as “crawling for bass”. Place the subwoofer in your listening position and move around the room on your hands and knees listening for the best bass reproduction. When you find that spot, place the subwoofer there
  • Between the two main speakers, away from the front wall

Connecting a Subwoofer

There are two ways to connect a subwoofer to a stereo or home theater system. Follow these guidelines for connecting a subwoofer.

Subwoofer Adjustments: Crossover, Volume and Phase

  • Before playing the subwoofer, adjust the crossover. If you are using large floorstanding main speakers, set the subwoofer's crossover in the range of 40Hz-60Hz. If using smaller bookshelf speakers set the crossover at 50Hz-80Hz and for small satellite speakers set the crossover at 80Hz-160Hz.
  • Turn on the power and set the subwoofer volume to desired level.
  • Adjust phase control if available. The phase control compensates for delay between the subwoofer and the main speakers. Start with the phase control in the 0 or normal position. If the sound from the subwoofer is adequate from the listening position, no further adjustment is necessary. If the sound is thin or lacking bass, adjust the phase control until the bass is satisfactory.

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