We all know that a high-level loudspeaker is an integral part of any home theatre system. The ambient sound and 3D audio are incredibly immersive, but movies lose much of their magic without this type of speakers’ rumble. Have you thought about adding a high-end bass speaker to your home audio system? Many people have a system that is mainly used to listen to music. One of the most popular configurations these days is a stereo with two speakers, perfect for listening to discs on a record player, CDs, or favourite music streaming service. Many people opt for a pair of shelf speakers, which offer this coveted stereo sound without taking up much space.
The downside of these systems that use compact speakers – even excellent ones – is the bass’s lack of response. The sound can be clean and stereo, but it often lacks the punch of low frequencies to make it perfect. The good news is that it is easy to remedy this problem using the star of the house cinema, the loudspeaker of extreme serious.
Why a high-pitched speaker is a solution to the lack of bass in your home audio system
If your home audio system is equipped with a pair of column speakers, you’re definitely already in good shape (although you can still add a low extreme speaker to get extra bass). However, shelf speakers are much smaller, making them more convenient; but they face a harsh reality in producing low frequencies. Bass is low-frequency sound waves, and to generate these waves, you need a large speaker capable of moving large volumes of air.
The extreme bass speakers are built around large transducers, usually 8 inches, 10 inches or 12 inches in diameter. In comparison, the speaker responsible for low and medium frequencies in most shelf speakers can measure between 4 and 6 inches. Many shelf speakers are designed with a double speaker, and the bass speaker strives to cover both low and medium frequencies.
This shelf speaker does not reach the 10-inch extreme bass speaker’s ankle, which is behind it, to produce quality bass.
The addition of a low-end speaker means that your audio system now has a speaker dedicated to low frequencies and equipped with a large transducer capable of producing them.
In a home theatre system, this adds realism to effects like explosions and running motors. This gives depth and adds a subsonic rumble. In a home audio system, the extreme bass speaker gives more importance and depth to instruments like bass guitar and drums. The bass may look decent in a compact stereo listening system, especially if it is equipped with a good pair of shelf speakers, but the difference between the two can be quite significant.
Use The Right Cables
There are two ways to connect a low extreme speaker to an audio system, and each method requires different audio cables. Some receivers and amplifiers are equipped with a dedicated outlet. It is usually labelled SUB OUT. In this case, the connection is as simple as using an RCA cable of speakers to connect to the LFE or the speaker’s line entrance.
However, many stereo receivers and amplifiers do not have this high-impact speaker output. Especially systems that are used mainly for listening to discs.
Many installations use a two-channel stereo receiver or amplifier, often an older model that predates high-end speakers. However, these systems can still be used with a high-level speaker. You will have to choose a high-end speaker that offers an entry and exit at the speaker level. It basically reproduces the speakers you see at the back of your receiver.
In this case, to connect the speaker to extreme bass, it is necessary to disconnect the speakers from the receiver and connect them to the speaker’s exits of low extremes (they use the same configuration left and right, in black and red). Then you move a new set of speaker cables from the speaker input from extreme bass to your receiver’s speaker outputs. It is recommended to use fairly strong speaker cables, calibre 12 to 16.
Positioning (and do I need two extreme bass speakers for a stereo)?
The location of the loudspeaker extremes is important and can be a little difficult to determine. Space is often the biggest problem because they are big. They have large transducers but also large cases to give these transducers the space to move. Most extreme bass speakers are powered, which means you need to be within range of an electrical outlet. The cases must also contain an amplifier (with extreme bass-powered speakers) and other electronic components.
Size can have a lot to do with choosing a small or large bass extreme speaker.
An audio system’s usual configuration is to use a single speaker of extreme bass and position it between the two speakers, ideally a few meters at most from the speakers. In this configuration, the bass will give the impression of coming from the speakers and not from the speaker of extreme bass. Technically, your installation won’t really stereo for low-frequency notes, but you shouldn’t see any difference. So you don’t need two extreme bass speakers, even if some people make that choice.
The loudspeaker of extremes is often placed near a wall. Models that have bass ports at the front can be placed closer against the wall. Units with bass ports at the rear must be kept at a certain distance from the wall. Otherwise, the airflow coming out of the vent will be disrupted, which will affect the sound quality.
In my office’s layout (below), I have a pair of shelf speakers placed on shelves (this seemed appropriate to me), and the extreme bass speaker is placed between them, hidden under my desk.
Adjust the settings of the speakers of extremes serious: the key to a great performance
Connecting and locating the speaker’s extreme bass are the two basic steps, but we’re now focusing. This is the step that will make a difference in your listening experience.
Home theatre receivers usually charge themselves by setting the speaker with extreme bass or guide you through the process. When you connect to a stereo receiver (especially if it doesn’t have a dedicated output), it’s time to refer to the user manual. It may take you a few minutes to find these settings and find the perfect combination.
On the back of the loudspeaker of extremes serious, you will find a crossover device. It can also be called “low pass.” It’s the setting that controls the point where your stereo signal is processed by the speaker of extreme bass instead of the speakers. Anything that exceeds the frequency you have chosen is transmitted to your speakers, as usual. Everything below this level is now dealt with by the loudspeaker of extremes serious.
The level you choose will depend on your speakers. For shelf speakers with a small bass speaker (4 inches or less), you’ll want to set this filter high enough. Try 120 Hz. The larger the transducer, the lower the crossover can be, for example, 100 Hz for a 5-inch bass speaker. Then listen to music with bass. If the female voices’ sound is too low, the filter is too high, and you have to reduce it a little. If the male vocals or bass guitar sound too low, increase the crossing frequency.
The volume controls the power of the speaker from extreme bass compared to other speakers. If the volume is too loud, the bass starts to rise and deform, especially when the music volume is high. Too low, the music will have a finer sound, especially when it is stronger. Try adjusting the speaker’s volume from extreme bass to 50% and adjust it from there.
This is a switch control (0 or 180 degrees) that ensures that the high-end bass speaker and speakers of your main speakers work together in sync. Listen to music that has a lot of basses while switching between a phase of 0 and 180. Leave the sound to the one who is the best. If you can’t tell the difference, go for 0 degrees.
Do I need a high-end bass speaker with a soundbar?
Many people use a soundbar instead of a traditional stereo system. They save space for TVs but can also be used as a home audio system. Do you need to use a high-end bass speaker with a soundbar? For a home theatre, games and music listening apps, the sound will always be better with a bass extreme speaker.
I have an older but high-performance soundbar in my games room. It is equipped with 21 small 1.5-inch transducers and a pair of 4-inch speakers. When I first installed it, I thought it sounded pretty good. However, only when I added the corresponding extreme bass speaker was that the system reached its full potential. The latter brought the missing rumble and provided the necessary bass until the windows shook.
The complication is that many soundbars have no output for extreme bass speakers or speakers. If you already have a high-end speaker, check its outputs. It is also possible that the manufacturer will sell a high-end bass speaker specially designed for this soundbar.
The good news is that if you buy a new soundbar, many brands like Samsung, Bose, JBL, Polk, Sony, Sonos, Klipsch and Mission offer sets of soundbars, including a high-end speaker.
The sound is too loud, distorted or weak.
If you’re lucky, everything will be perfect when you connect the extreme bass speaker to your home audio system. However, it is also likely that some adjustments will be required. If the audio appears to be too powerful, distorted or weak, it’s time to change the speaker’s position from extreme bass and the crossover, volume and phase settings.
A bass extreme speaker moves a lot of air. And this can sometimes cause vibrations, especially at high volumes.
In my case, the bass speaker was equipped with feet to help dampen vibrations. However, on a wooden floor, the vibrations were still enough to vibrate my libraries’ objects. It goes without saying that the vibrations were not only annoying; it was awful for my record player.
When vibrations are a problem, the bass box must be insulated from the ground and/or walls. There are rubber speaker feet and even damper-mounted speaker feet designed for this purpose. I used a heavy sound insulation platform with built-in damper feet. This eliminated the vibrations.
Sometimes a low-frequency background buzz can be heard when the loudspeaker is switched on. If this happens, check the speakers’ cables and the connections between the high-voltage speaker and the amplifier. A bad connection or damaged cable can cause a buzz. The other cause is usually electrical. If both devices are plugged into the same socket, try plugging the soundbar into a different socket.
Enjoy your home audio system with improved bass performance!
It’s time to sit back and listen to music that includes powerful bass and sounds right. Pink Floyd has never sounded so good on my system since I installed a high-end bass speaker.
A high-key speaker’s advantage is that you can improve your audio system’s sound without having to replace your existing speakers and components. And you don’t need to use column speakers; you can make a system built around shelf speakers or even a soundbar look awesome.