One of the things we all love about subwoofers is the rich punchy bass they produce. The vibrations give us a sensational and enthralling listening experience that arouses our musical emotions forcing us to dance around or nod our heads along with the rhythm. That’s why music is a perfect remedy for the mind and soul.
But, for you to enjoy that deep earth-trembling bass, you need to understand how exactly to tune your subwoofer by understanding the physics behind sound as well as the entire audio frequency range algorithm. Now, while perusing through your home theater’s spec sheet, I believe you’ve come across something that reads “20Hz-20KHz”. Have you ever asked yourself what these numbers mean?
So, in case you’ve been wondering about what Hz is best for your subwoofer’s bass, then this short guide will break these complex audio spectrum range spans into six different frequency bands.
Besides that, we’ll focus on the sub-bass and bass categories to identify which Hz rating is the best for your subwoofer.
Understanding Frequency Ranges
So, you probably know that sound is a wave. What you might not have realized is that sound waves have two measurements which are the amplitude (height) and the wavelength (distance between peaks). Frequency, on the other hand, is the inverse of wavelength and is used to calculate how closely packed the peaks of a wave are.
Now, during its measurement, frequency concentrates on the cycle of a wave. The cycle is generally the space between two peaks and is measured in Hz which in this case is equivalent to 1Hz. This means that a cycle of a wave will take approximately one second to pass through a specific point in space.
The last thing you need to know about frequency is that it’s directly related to pitch. So, the lower the pitch, the lower the frequency will be. To help you understand how these frequencies work, let’s discuss the six main frequency bands and how frequency affects their sound characteristics.
- Sub-Bass (20Hz-60Hz): Although there are other much lower frequencies (infrasonic and subsonic) which the human ear can’t hear, the bass frequencies are relatively low though they’re easily heard by the human ears. Since they appear occasionally, the deep punchy bass they produce make these very low bass frequencies easily felt rather than heard due to their rambling and earthshaking characteristics.
- Bass (60Hz-250Hz): Also known as low-midrange, this section of the sound is usually a mix between sub-bass and midrange sound.
- Low-Midrange (250Hz-2.5KHz): This is the range where the human ears are most sensitive and responsive. Most sounds in this range are easy to hear and boosting the frequency range beyond 1kHz can make the sound feel a little bit muffled.
- Upper-Midrange/Tremble (2kHz-4kHz): This is the frequency range where your ears are extremely sensitive. Here, you need to be very careful when boosting the frequency because a slight difference can result in higher-pitched notes that can cause listening fatigue.
- Presence (4kHz-6kHz): This range is usually responsible for the clarity you hear in a sound. Most home stereos center their tremble in this range. Boosting this range can cause an irritating harsh sound to your ears while lowering it too much can create a distant and transparent sound.
- Brilliance (6kHz-20kHz): This is the last audio frequency you’re likely to hear in your home theater system. This range is above the treble range and it’s responsible for the sparkling clear sound that comes from your audio system. The worst thing about this frequency is that boosting it can result in clipping which can be dangerous to your speakers especially the tweeters.
What is Bass?
Having discussed six different frequency ranges, we will now get back to our main topic where we will discuss everything you need to know about the sub-bass including the best Hz for bass. But first, what is sub-bass? Now, based on what we’ve just discussed, sub-bass is a very low frequency that ranges from 20Hz to around 160Hz.
The best sub-bass frequency starts at around 60Hz and goes down to around 20Hz. This is where you start to feel the crackling and the heart-thumping vibrations of the subwoofer when you’re listening to music. Bass notes are usually generated by bass guitars, kick drums, pipe organ, and stand-up bass.
Do Lower Hz Mean More Bass?
In any music setup, subwoofers are considered the best when it comes to reproducing the best punchy bass. One rule of thumb is that the lower the Hz, the more the bass you’ll get. In most cases, some of the most powerful subwoofers can reproduce deep bass at a frequency range of 20Hz.
However, there are those subwoofers that can go well beyond this. Unless what you’re looking for is commercial-grade music such as the one in a night club, a frequency range of 20Hz and upwards is usually the best.
Which is the Lowest and Highest Frequency Ranges of a Subwoofer?
Now, earlier on, we mentioned that the lower the Hz, the more bass you’ll get. But, as the frequency range approaches zero, the amount of vibrations you previously experienced when it was around 20Hz will start to fade away since sound at such low levels is less audible to the human ear.
So, if you’re looking to experience deep bass tones at much lower frequencies, the best option is to get a subwoofer with a larger diameter.
On the other hand, the highest frequency range a subwoofer can manage is 200Hz. Normal loudspeakers can get to even higher limits than this. But, for the case of subwoofers (considering they’re designed to handle low frequencies), exceeding 200Hz will make the sound quite awful.
I will conclude by confessing that sound systems and sound enjoyment are two subjective factors. While one group of people prefer the deep punchy bass, the other prefers to listen to their music at the midrange level.
In either way, the best thing is that you’ve clearly understood how the subwoofer works and which Hz is best for bass. So, if you’re planning to buy a new car or home subwoofer, you now know that the best Hz to consider for deep bass is the one ranging from 20Hz and 120Hz.