A crossover is an electronic circuit that divides the frequency spectrum of a signal into two bands. Choosing the correct crossover frequency for your car subwoofer can be tricky. When selecting a subwoofer, several factors will affect your system’s sound quality and performance. One such factor is what type of speaker you have in your vehicle, e.g., a 4-ohm or 8-ohm.
For example, if someone has an 8-ohm speaker in their car, they would want to use a higher crossover frequency (perhaps 100Hz) to blow out their speakers with too much power and distort the sound quality by overdriving them at lower frequencies. On the other hand, somebody with a 4-ohm speaker may want to select a lower crossover frequency. In this article, we shall explain in depth what a subwoofer crossover is and how it impacts a subwoofer’s performance!
Subwoofer Crossover Frequency
A subwoofer crossover frequency, also known as a low-pass filter, cuts off or attenuates frequencies below a certain point and sends them to the subwoofer. The slope of this cut-off determines how steeply the transition from high frequencies to low ones occurs at that particular frequency. For your system’s speaker setup to sound good, you need to wisely choose what type of speakers you buy and where they are placed with other speakers so that their performances complement each other.
Several AV receivers feature the modern auto EQ model. This program assigns the correct crossover frequency depending on your loudspeakers capabilities. Therefore, It is best to leave the crossover settings as they are. You need to know a few tips if you wish to see your home theater system get the best bass. Several bass management functions will help you do some experimentation and listening to achieve some of the best sound results.
Subwoofer Crossover Setting for Music
In audio production, subwoofer crossover setting for music are much different. A recording can have its subwoofer crossover setting to make the best possible sound without distortion. This also ensures that all instruments are given enough space in a recording and nothing is masked by other sounds. In an ideal world, every room would have perfect acoustics. Each musical instrument played at home or in a concert hall would have its own unique space and frequency range within which they play. We cannot hear frequencies above 20000 Hz unless amplified with very high power levels (like a live performance or live recorded music).
Therefore, when you listen to your audio system at home or a set of surround speakers in a surround sound system, you usually listen to a more balanced and integrated sound. This is when all frequencies of your recording are allowed to play in the right proportion. This means that if you have music recorded with the bass guitar only playing at 60Hz – 300 Hz, it may be possible to boost or attenuate bass frequencies perfectly. You can also use filters to not interfere with other instruments in your mix, usually playing within these frequency ranges.
Similarly, we can use crossovers for vocals to ensure that unwanted sounds from different musical instruments, such as the drum boom, do not interfere with our vocal frequencies amplified by our loudspeakers. However, suppose you are listening to a recording that has been mixed with different sounds playing throughout the whole audio frequency range from 20-200 Hz. In that case, it is possible that some frequencies might not line up perfectly between all of your speakers due to the crossover differences or filter settings.
This may cause undesired sound effects such as muddiness or overlap of instruments and vocals. In-home entertainment systems, a movie, TV, and games also need low pass filters to reproduce sound output at the correct pitch when played through the separate front and rear loudspeakers. This is similar to having two subwoofers in one large speaker enclosure!
What is a Bass Crossover Point?
The Bass Crossover Point (BCP) is where a speaker and subwoofer crossover meet. This typically occurs between 80Hz-200 Hz; depending on how high or low your bass is relative to other frequencies can change this range. The optimum BCP depends heavily on the musical genre as well. A song with heavy drums has been known for preferring more of an extended lower frequency range.
In contrast, genres like Electronic Dance Music are looking for higher ranges that won’t distort so easily when played overtop club speakers. Such things may vary largely according to what one intends from their sound system setup! There are passive crossovers as well as the more sophisticated active and semi-active versions which use electronic circuits. In effect, they all do pretty much the same thing. Depending on what you want, they route high frequencies to your main speakers and low ones to a subwoofer or vice versa. However, subtle differences between each kind of crossover can make it a more suitable choice for you!
Bass crossover frequency will depend on the type of subwoofer you have and specified in its manual. If it is an active one, then the crossover frequency can vary between models too. You could try looking for home theater reviews to see if there are any people with similar setups as yours and ask these owners what they found worked best for them when using their bass crossovers.
This should give you a good idea of how to find your ideal setting in your particular setup. After you have tried out several different crossover frequencies, make tool notes about which ones sound better than the others. The key is finding the right balance so that some frequencies don’t get cut off entirely or sent to both subwoofers instead of only one or vice versa.
Subwoofer Frequency Setting
A speaker’s subwoofer frequency setting is a defining component of the sound it creates. The low-frequency sounds output that emanate from this part of a stereo system may be so powerful they can shake objects near them, literally shaking up any party atmosphere you happen to have to go on at your house! The range for most home theater systems starts somewhere between 60 Hz and 120Hz specifications. It depends on what speakers are being used and personal preference; some people like their thumping bass while others would instead put out less noise pollution to avoid bothering other household or community members.
Below are some tips for finding the correct frequency setting.
- Set the main speakers as small as possible without losing any of the frequency range you want from them.
- Leave plenty of room behind your front channel speakers and keep them at least 3 feet away from walls or corners so that they are not prone to coloration by standing wave cancellation effects of resonances, which could occur if close to a wall in high frequencies (especially if it is a corner).
- Ensure that there is plenty of space between your rear channel speakers, ensure their placement allows enough distance from each other, and do not place them too near to the side walls or corners due to coloration effects which may color everything from your soundstage and imaging to subwoofer crossovers.
- Ensure that the subwoofer is set to be as accurate as possible to the correct crossover frequency, which may be 80-100Hz for your particular setup.
When using your subwoofer, set the volume control so that bass notes can easily produce deep bass frequencies down to 20 Hz in your room without any distortion or missed beats. Such very low frequencies are referred to as infrasonic (below 20Hz). Some recordings will cause such strong vibrations in your listening space that it will create a rattling sensation even if you have a large sealed subwoofer enclosure with powerful amps onboard as some higher-end car audio systems do.
At this point, evaluate whether the method of damping may be desired by adding acoustic soundproofing materials or a second subwoofer in order to control the vibrations in your room. If you don’t have enough budget tools for that, there is another solution which I will discuss later on. This will help you get more accurate bass performance and extend your subwoofer’s useful range specifications considerably. Make sure that if you use a powered subwoofer with a line input (such as some home audio power amps), then run it at a low level instead of max volume control so that your speakers are not forced to reproduce sounds below their optimal frequency range or below the sub woofer crossover.
After using this setup for at least one month or so, I recommend going back to your original settings and listening again without the crossover engaged(if possible). You should now notice much better stereo imaging, tighter soundstage behind the main loudspeakers, and more natural-sounding vocals, as well as better clarity and detail from your main speakers while the subwoofer handles all the deep frequencies.
We hope you now understand how subwoofer crossover affects the sound quality of music. If you want to ensure that your bass sounds the best, you can make sure to buy a speaker system with a high-quality tweeter and subwoofer crossover.
A warm welcome to all, I am Alex Thomsan, an expert in the field of product reviews. I am here to take you through the best subwoofers for your vehicle & home. I have been working in this field for quite a long time now and will surely help you with the selection process.
I was hoping you could go through my findings and research to have a closer look at the products that are worth buying. I hope my review will ease the process for you in a useful way.