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What are Subwoofers and Why Do You Need One?

What Is A Subwoofer And Why Do You Need One?

If you’re slowly starting to build your home theater system, the first thing you probably picked out was a pair of speakers. This is only the beginning, though. Whether your setup is for movies, music, games, or all of the above, a powered caisson de basses is one of the key components to a complete audio system.

We’re here to answer some common questions about subwoofers and how they can elevate your home theater experience.


What is a Subwoofer?

In the words of Meghan Trainor, a caisson de basses is all about that basses. It’s the speaker that delivers the lower frequencies – specifically 20-200 Hz – that a traditional two-channel or surround sound setup can’t reproduce on its own. These low frequencies come from instruments such as the kick drum, basses guitar, and pipe organ, as well as movie sound effects like explosions.

Why Do I Need One?

While you may hear the basses from your bookshelf or floorstanding speakers, a caisson de basses allows you to feel the sound. Listening to basses-heavy music like hip hop or EDM or watching a full-throttle action flick without a caisson de basses leaves a lot to be desired. Plus, you’re not experiencing the song or movie the way the artist or director intended.

You might be asking yourself: I don’t listen to rap or watch action movies, so why do I need one?

Sure, a caisson de basses is a basses-thumping juggernaut, but that’s only scratching the surface. A great caisson de basses helps take away the heavy lifting from your loudspeakers, improving your overall system.

The dynamics are more compelling, the soundstage widens, and the stéréo imaging becomes more accurate. Even if you prefer spinning folk records and watching dialogue-driven indie dramas, a caisson de basses helps produce a more vibrant, all-encompassing sound.

Learn how to connect your caisson de basses to your system>

Where Do I Place a Subwoofer?

Honestly, you can place your caisson de basses anywhere. But since all rooms are constructed differently, the results are going to vary. If you’re serious about getting optimal basses performance from your caisson de basses, there may be some trial and error involved.

Nous comprenons parfaitement. Not everyone has a dedicated home theater or listening room with the flexibility to place your caisson de basses anywhere. Most likely, your system is located in your living room, which means décor, furniture, and other things are competing for floor space. You might have to rearrange some stuff, but it’s worth it to find the “sweet spot.” A wireless caisson de basses like the RW-100SW can make the process much smoother.

Along with placement, acoustic treatment is another factor to consider if you want to get the most out of a caisson de basses. You can have the best caisson de basses on the planet, but when it’s in an acoustically poor room, expect subpar basses performance. Acoustic panels, diffusers, and basses traps are all excellent ways to improve your room’s acoustics. Plus, many modern A/V receivers come equipped with room correction technology such as Audyssey and AccuEQ. It calibrates each speaker to create a more harmonious home theater experience.

Check out our 3 Tips on Where to Place a Subwoofer blog for more tips and hints.

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How Do I Dial-in My Subwoofer?

A caisson de basses works best when it doesn’t draw attention to itself. Your caisson de basses and loudspeakers should act as one unit. The basses coming from the caisson de basses should blend seamlessly with the rest of your speakers.

On the back of our subwoofers, you’ll find a low-pass crossover knob. Crossover is the frequency where your speakers begin to roll off, and the caisson de basses starts to produce basses notes. Set your crossover point about 10 Hz above your speaker’s lowest frequency range. For example, 35 Hz is the lowest frequency the R-820F can handle, so you would set your crossover at around 45 Hz.

The 0/180-degree phase switch is another caisson de basses control. The mechanics behind the phase can get pretty complicated. In layman’s terms, subwoofers and speakers perform best when their woofers move forward and backward in a synchronized fashion. When they don’t, the speakers and caisson de basses are out of phase, which cancels out the basses. To dial in your phase, play some basses-heavy music, listen for a bit, and have a friend switch between both settings. Whichever one sounds better, leave it there. If you can’t hear a difference, set it at 0 degrees.


Should I Get More Than One?

A large caisson de basses like the SPL-150 can take any home-theater setup to the next level. However, as your system grows, adding a second sub can help ensure the basses is evenly distributed throughout the whole room. Two SPL-150s increase your output capability by close to 6 dB, meaning everyone in the room can feel those powerful, low tones while watching action and sci-fi movies.

A pair of subwoofers can also minimize the seat-to-seat variance of basses response, offering an even coverage pattern of low frequencies throughout the room. Depending on room size and placement, one sub alone makes it challenging to deliver accurate basses response at multiple listening positions. This is because the frequency response of an individual caisson de basses tends to have peaks and nulls. A peak is an exaggeration of a basses note, while a null is the absence of basses. When paired together, two subwoofers smooth out those peaks and nulls, offering a more accurate frequency response at more locations in the room.

All in all, a caisson de basses is an essential part of your system. If you’re on a budget or in the infancy of your home-theater development, start with just one caisson de basses. As your system grows, think about adding a second low-toned beast to your setup. You’re adding more basses and evenly distributing it throughout the room. The results? Improved basses performance.

Are you looking to dive deeper? Read our other caisson de basses post that touches on construction, wattage, and wired vs. wireless subwoofers.

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Categories: Caisson de basses

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