6 Reasons Why Subwoofers Are Important for Music
There’s a lingering sentiment in the audiophile community that subwoofers are only for home theater and the benefits to music playback are suspect or even negative. It’s true that lesser subwoofers are not designed to optimally handle the speed, detail and nuance of certain music, but it’s certainly not the rule for subwoofers in general.
A great subwoofer elevates the listening experience in a way no other audio component can. Below is a list of six different reasons why a properly engineered subwoofer, like an SVS, is important to music playback.
1. Reveals Sounds and Feelings Your Speakers Can’t Reproduce – The majority of speakers start dropping off at about 50Hz, which deprives you of the full depth and clarity of bass tones. A great subwoofer will reach down to 20Hz or lower, right down to the limit of human hearing. This means you never miss a note and can even feel the lowest notes from something like a pipe organ, kick drum, bass guitar or the occasional cannon volley from the 1812 Overture, for a much more immersive experience.
2. Plays as Loud as You Want with No Distortion – In many systems, when you really start bumping music at high volumes, the woofers in your speakers can have trouble keeping up with the mid drivers and tweeters. A great subwoofer plays effortlessly loud and distortion free, no matter how demanding the musical material and how loud you like to play it.
3. Accurately Reproduces Every Note in the Low Frequency Spectrum – Unlike speakers, which can have a “sonic signature”, a great subwoofer is completely faithful to the musical content delivering bass notes exactly as the artist intended. This is also why a great subwoofer can be matched with any brand or model of speaker to add weight and energy to the overall listening experience.
4. Adds Speed and Control in Low End Transients – Many genres of music present rapid starts and stops in the vocals and instrumentals that lesser subwoofers can struggle with, resulting in a smeared or undetailed acoustic image. A great subwoofer has the speed and transient response to present bass with phenomenal realism and impact so even the fastest bass lines are rendered with feeling and precision.
5. Blends Seamlessly with Full Range Speakers – A great subwoofer should always sound and feel like an extension of the speakers without overpowering them or drawing attention to itself. When blended perfectly, a great subwoofer allows speakers to sound their absolute best, across the frequency spectrum, so highs sparkle and mids have perfect clarity without being overpowered.
6. Unleashes Sonic Potential of Smaller Speakers – A powered subwoofer brings its own low frequency amplifier and with proper bass management, a connected AV receiver or amplifier can drive smaller speakers in the mid and high frequencies above the crossover point. This allows speakers to perform to their full potential no matter what the content.
Looking past the technical enhancements, having a subwoofer adds a whole new dimension to music. A great subwoofer should never be overbearing or boomy, but instead, should add color, depth and impact to the final output delivery.
From infectious bass guitar riffs and hypnotic drum beats to the most complex electronic bass compositions, a great subwoofer reveals layers of sound a speaker is simply not equipped to handle. And while some subwoofers merely add a few notes of bass, a truly great subwoofer elevates the listening experience in a unique and palpable way.
If you’ve never experienced this level of performance with your music, SVS offers a risk free 45-day in-home trial with fast and free shipping, so you can judge for yourself, in your own home, how dynamic and impactful a subwoofer can be for music. You can also try our intuitive Merlin Subwoofer Selection Tool, which recommends the perfect subwoofer for your exact model of speaker.
Looking for system optimization tips? Check out these additional articles from SVS.
Share Your Thoughts