I'm not always happy with the subwoofer's sound after I run these programs. We always try to get the best sound at the 0 setting, but the phase control can be a lifesaver when all else fails. For specific setup instructions for Fluance subwoofers checkout our subwoofer setup video. Now, you may end up with subwoofers that are out of phase with each other. Setting the phase of the subwoofer Sets the phase of the subwoofer. If you don't hear any difference between the 0 and 180-degree settings, leave the phase control in the 0 position. Then again, don't be surprised if the sub still doesn't sound as good as you think it should. This two-part guide will help you get the best room-shaking bass from your subwoofer. Once the sub is a lot farther away, it will be harder to maintain the illusion the bass is coming from the speakers. Now play music and movies with lots of bass, and take a little stroll around your room, stopping in the spots where you'd like to place the sub. As you move about you'll notice the bass' apparent loudness and definition changes from place to place. If you like what you hear, great, you're done! With small speakers, it's best to keep the sub within 3 or 4 feet of the front left or right speakers. Precisely matching the volume levels of the front left, center, right, and surround speakers is important, but subwoofer volume is more subjective. That's why it's worth making an effort to find the best location for your sub; it can make a dramatic difference in the sound. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. You may have to try a few different recordings before you hear any difference, and it might help to turn up the sub's volume level for this test. August 29, 2012: This is an update of my subwoofer setup article from 2008. First, you will need to set all of your speakers so that they are facing the same direction. The subwoofer crossover is a crucial part of setting your speakers to work harmoniously and avoid inconsistencies with the output. You'll be amazed just how different the bass sounds in different locations -- some will be muddy, some will sound louder, and some will reduce the bass volume. Measure the distance between your AV receiver and sub and remember to include the distances up and down over doorways and furniture. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. Three things can affect the output of your sound system when testing your subwoofer crossover: Overlap of your large, small, and main speakers The volume output of your subwoofer and speakers But if you don't like the change, return to the previous setting or rerun the auto setup to return to your original calibration settings. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.That's with passive subwoofers, though. Setting the subwoofer volume is next. When in doubt about the speakers' sizes, always select "small" on the setup menu. The "by ear" method works well enough. Again, if you feel like this is all a little too complicated, relax, take a deep breath, run the auto setup program, and let the receiver sort things out. Here you can see the Sub In connection on the Hsu's rear panel; on other subs the input may be labeled LFE, Direct, or Bypass. Buying a cable a foot or two too short is a drag, and after you've opened the package you may not be able to return it for a refund or exchange. In some rooms, smooth bass response won't be all that hard to achieve, but I've heard my share of "problem" rooms where the bass always sounds boomy or muddy. It's provided because the speakers and subwoofer sound best when they are in-phase -- meaning their woofers move in and out in sync with each other. When the bass sound is lacking or unclear, switch the subwoofer phase. That location can work wonders and really improve the sound of your subwoofer. This will allow you to judge the quality of the sound. To non-audiophiles the maze of connectors can be intimidating, but in most instances the single-cable Sub In connection will be the easiest and best-sounding hookup method. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Setting the phase control to 180 degrees reverses the polarity of the subwoofer. If you're lucky enough to have large floor-standing speakers with 8-inch or larger woofers, you may wish to run them as "large" speakers. The sub and speakers have to work together as a team, and ideally you should never hear the sub as a separate sound source. When all else fails, try placing the sub as close as possible to your couch or chair, with the sub in the "end table" position. But your center and surround speakers will still likely work best run as "small" speakers. The most common crossover frequency recommended (and the THX standard) is 80 Hz. It adjusts the waveform slightly, and that, in turn, changes where the peaks occur in the room. If you have larger speakers (with 4-inch or larger woofers), some placement experimentation may be useful; play a CD with lots of deep bass and keep repeating the track as you move the sub to all of the visually acceptable locations in your listening room. Setting the subwoofer volume is next. If you're still not satisfied with the sound try using the receiver's manual speaker setup. The numbers below highlight general guidelines for speaker/subwoofer crossover frequencies. When the bass sound is lacking or unclear, switch the subwoofer phase. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Yes, I know that sounds like a crazy idea, but it's just for test purposes. To check your sub's phase, play music with lots of bass, listen for a minute or so, and have a friend sitting by the sub flip the sub's 0/180-degree phase switch slowly back and forth. Setting the Phase. Larger speakers are generally easier to match with subs; small speakers or speakers with 4-inch or smaller woofers can require more fine-tuning to get right. If you're having problems finding the perfect spot, try this method: move your couch or chair out of the way, or into another room, and put the sub in the listening position. A sound level meter can be a big help when setting speaker levels, but it's nearly useless for determining the sub's correct volume level. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. If you have a wireless subwoofer, skip ahead two paragraphs. If you know your speaker’s frequency range, set the crossover point roughly 10 Hz above the lowest frequency your speakers can handle cleanly. Turn the volume control halfway up. So if you have any doubts, try turning the subwoofer's volume control up or down. Biggest Black Friday deals right now: $170 AirPods Pro at Amazon, $159 Chromebook, $100 Fitbit Charge 4 and more, Black Friday 2020 TV deals: 55-, 60-, 65-inch TVs from Samsung, Sony, Insignia, LG at Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon, Walmart's Black Friday sale is live: $50 Google Nest Hub, $49 Instant Pot, top video games as low as $15. If your AV receiver has an auto speaker setup program, run the complete setup routine with the calibration microphone that came with the receiver. If you don't hear any difference between the 0 and 180-degree settings, leave the phase control in the 0 position. I can set the sub's volume level with DVDs in 10 minutes or less, but with CDs I might be fiddling around for days.
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