A subwoofer is designed to enhance bass but sometimes it sounds too loud and boomy because of wrong settings. How to tune a subwoofer to make it deliver tight and deep but not overwhelming bass?

It is worth mentioning that first, the speakers should be placed correctly taking the distance and angle into account. With regard to subwoofers, their location is also important. Do not install a sub closer than 2 feet of the main listening position to escape excessive loudness in relation to other components of the audio system. It would be great to place a sun near front speakers or at least not behind the listening zone.

Some people prefer boomy bass to shake the space. In this case, the placement within 2 feet from the corners will be perfect. When using 2 subs, non-similar placing without symmetry is recommended for clear and powerful bass.

How to Use Crossover for Sub’s Adjustment

How to tune a sub when it is just hooked up to a pair of speakers? Let’s start from the frequencies that should be the starting point of bass – mids, mid lows or lows, for example. The crossover is engaged to set up the necessary frequency. For example, the speakers aren’t allowed going much lower than 90Hz, so the sub’s crossover is set to about 90.

One can find out the recommended frequency in the speaker’s specs but manual adjusting according to the listener’s preferences is also possible. Just tune subwoofer while moving the crossover until speakers and a sub sound in a different way but well balanced.

How to Tune a Sub within a Home Theater System

How to tune your subwoofer in just a few minutes when it is connected to a complex home theater system with an HDTV, players, a receiver, and a set of speakers. Note that the subwoofer’s crossover frequency should be turned off to manage it through the receiver’s main menu. If it is impossible to turn the sub’s crossover frequency off, turn it up at maximum to get the identical effect.
Since the sub interacts with the receiver, 4 things need to be adjusted:

  • System’s crossover frequency
  • Choose the frequency you want bass to start using the receiver’s crossover.

  • Subwoofer’s volume
  • Start playing audio and reducing volume at the same time to a zero. Then turn it up to the moment the bass is getting audible filling in the space.

  • Speaker size setting
  • The majority of surround systems allow setting the speaker to “small” or “large”. The latter means the speaker will deliver all the possible lows on its own without sending bass to a sub. So, to engage a sub, set the speakers to “small” option.

  • Speakers’ Volume
  • As a rule, surround systems demand more than 2 speakers (front, main, ceiling ones, etc.). In this case, each speaker’s volume should be adjusted separately to ensure the sub’s high-quality bass. Any AVR has a test tone for calibrating volume that is able to play music through each speaker making it possible to tweak the volume level of each channel up to the full balance.