As an avid enjoyer of movies and music, bass plays a crucial role in the immersiveness and impactfulness of what you’re watching.
Bass is important for giving movies an atmosphere that makes it feel like you as the viewer is actually inside the movies, it can also add a feeling of suspense giving a feeling like something is about to happen.
And bass has a huge impact on music as being able to reproduce those low frequencies accurately greatly improves how the song sounds.
In this post, we’re going to explore different frequencies for bass, and their effects. This is going to help you tune the subwoofer specifically to your needs so you can get the desired effect.
Frequency Ranges And Their Effects On Bass
The audio frequency spectrum is pretty large, it goes all the way from 20 Hz to 20000 Hz, and both ends of the spectrum theoretically are inaudible to humans.
In general, humans are most sensitive to sound waves between 2000 – 5000 Hz due to how the ear works and picks up certain frequencies.
So, with the upper and lower end of the frequency ranges are generally inaudible. 20000 Hz(20KHz) is referred to as ultrasonic frequencies, and are used in sonar and imaging.
With the lower end being 20 Hz, this is referred to as infrasonic frequencies and is often used in seismic surveys and atmosphere studies.
Sub Bass(20 – 60 Hz)
The frequency range of sub bass which is 20 to 60 Hz is the lowest level of bass, and it’s generally easily heard by the human ear, but subtle in nature.
In movies, sub bass is often used to add a layer of immersiveness by creating a feeling of depth and intensity. And in music, sub bass is used to enhance existing bass sounds.
Bass(60 – 250 Hz)
Bass, which has a frequency range of 60 to 250 Hz, is easier to hear than sub bass, and this is where the most bass heavy sounds are heard.
This bass range is easily perceptible by humans, and when heard, it can easily trigger an emotional response due to its intensity in terms of rumbliness and power.
In movies, bass is used to create anticipation, create drama, and get the viewer on the edge of their seat.
Moreover bass and its frequency, it’s usually felt more than heard which makes the viewer feel like they’re actually present in an intense movie scene.
Low Mid Range(250 – 500 Hz)
Low mid range sounds are between 250 and 500 Hz, and this frequency has the purpose of bringing out the lower mid range frequencies such as kick drum and bass guitar.
In movies, the low mid frequency range is especially important if you’re one to pay attention to dialogue and sound effects. This is because it gives a depth of clarity.
This range is where human ears are easily able to pick up sounds, our ears are highly sensitive to it. Be careful when boosting the frequency range as it can make the sound feel muffled.
Mid Range(500 – 2 KHz)
The upper mid range frequencies cover instruments and human voice, this is where these instruments have their primary energy.
In music, the upper mid range frequencies give many instruments their signature sound, and these instruments include the likes of electric guitars.
This frequency is where human ears are the absolute most sensitive to, and excess output at this frequency range can cause ear fatigue.
Upper Mid Range(2 – 4 KHz)
The upper mid range frequency range is responsible for giving sounds to percussive and rhythm instruments if effectively boosted.
As the listener, this frequency range sounds exceptionally clear in the present in the mix, also Vocals and instruments will have a nice depth to them.
Boosting this frequency range too much can have bad effects and sound harsh and unpleasant to the listener, so be careful.
Presence(4 – 6 KHz)
This frequency range is extremely important for the clarity in the sound, and most stereos will center their tremble in this range.
Boosting this frequency range can result in irritation to the ears as it can sound pretty harsh. Lowering it will make the sound feel transparent.
Brilliance(6 – 20 KHz)
The brilliance frequency range is composed of mostly harmonics. The brilliance frequency range boosts higher frequency harmonics, this will have the effect of adding sparkle to the sound.
It will also add treble sound, which will create a sound that is actually brighter with additional clarity.
Boosting this frequency range can result in clipping if you overdo it, this can damage your speakers which is obviously not what you want.
Does Lower Hz Mean More Bass?
Technically yes, lower Hz means more bass, but Hz isn’t everything when it comes to delivering the best bass through your subwoofer.
Hitting those lower frequencies is almost always hard work on the subwoofer, so you need to ensure that you’re able to drive sufficient power to the subwoofer.
And for the purest and cleanest bass possible, you need to ensure that you have a suitable crossover frequency.
The crossover frequency is when the sound will switch at a certain frequency, this means the sound transitions from one audio source to another.
It’s important for bass because it’s used to separate higher frequency ranges from lower frequency ranges in order to create a more accurate and pure sound.
This will ultimately give more emphasis on the bass which is what you want, this is how you achieve your desired effect with your subwoofer.
Lowest and Highest Hz For A Subwoofer
While lower Hz equates to more bass, as the frequency range approaches very close to zero, you will actually lose the effect and experience fewer vibrations compared to if the frequency range was around 20Hz.
The highest frequency range for a subwoofer is around 200Hz, going higher isn’t really possible as this is hitting typical loudspeaker territory. Subwoofers are made to handle lower frequencies.
Does Subwoofer Size Matter For Frequency?
The quality, range and intensity of your subwoofers bass will largely depend on the size of the subwoofer. Larger subwoofers have larger subwoofer drivers, which means they are better capable at moving more air without losing sound quality.
Low frequencies also have a relationship to the subwoofer driver size, lower frequencies are better produced in larger subwoofer drivers, so yes, size does matter for frequency.
This is why normal speakers have smaller drivers, this is because smaller drivers are better at producing higher frequencies. And larger drivers petter produce lower frequencies, but they also require more energy to move.
Subwoofer Enclosure Size Matters
Also, your subwoofer enclosure’s size also plays a huge role in how well your subwoofer can reproduce lower frequencies. This s because the air within the actual enclosure affects the frequency response.
If the enclosure is small, then there’s less air within the actual enclosure, therefore it can cause a decrease in frequency response. If the enclosure is larger, it can cause an increase in bass response.
So larger enclosures produce a deeper and wider frequency response. It’s not only the size of the driver that contributes to the quality of bass, but it’s also the size and quality of the enclosure that has a huge impact.
Also Read: Best Subwoofer Size
In conclusion, for the best bass, the best Hz is around 20 and 160 Hz. This frequency range will ensure that you have the best experience with movies and listening to music.