Equalizer or EQ is basically a sound processor that allows you to boost or cut certain frequency ranges. In simple and more normal terms, it enhances the sound quality. Equalizer consists of frequencies ranging from 20Hz to 20KHz. That is also known as the audible range for a human ear. So this clearly means that only the sounds that fall in this range can make you feel a thump on your eardrum. With this in mind, why set equalizer settings for bass?
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How to Determine the Best Equalizer Settings for Bass
Equalizer settings for bass are all the sounds and vibrations and the speed of this vibration is called frequency. So, the sounds that vibrate at a slower frequency are lower in pitch and vice versa. This is why equalizer settings should be programmed to bring out the best sound and frequency of bass settings.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to have control over what you hear? We all like remote controllers, don’t we? This is why the equalizer settings are available for your speakers because it allows you to set perfect pitch frequencies, especially for bass. But finding the perfect equalizer settings for bass can be complex. In this guide, we will help you do just that.
Equalizer Settings for Bass: An Overview
An equalizer is a processor that allows you to boost or decrease certain frequency ranges to modify or enhance the sound quality. It usually works with frequencies between 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz, which are theoretically the frequencies humans can hear, although in reality our range could be decreased by age and other factors.
Decades ago, equalizers were managed via a physical console were you could tune up and down levers to adjust your settings, but since most audio is consumed in a digital way nowadays, equalizers have been implemented in most devices such as computers, smartphones, etc. to allow you to adjust your audio settings and get the most out of your speakers.
You can also find equalizers in most stereo sound systems, Blu Rays, Smart TVs, Car stereos, etc. Frequency in “audio” terms is the number of times a wave repeats itself in a lapse of time. To put it simply, if you have a low-frequency sound, you’ll hear waves in the bass or sub-bass range. Low-frequency sounds require more power and bigger speakers, while higher frequency sounds require less power and smaller speakers.
That’s why you always see small speakers around your surround sound but a huge bass speaker to give some punch.
Here is a breakdown of the frequencies:
- 20 Hz – 60 Hz: Super low frequencies on the EQ. Only sub-bass and kick drums reproduce these frequencies and you need a subwoofer to hear them, or a good pair of headphones.
- 60 Hz to 200 Hz: Low frequencies requiring a bass or lower drums to be reproduced.
- 200 Hz to 600 Hz: Low mid-range frequencies. If you play the lower end of many musical instruments such as guitars or a piano you’ll hear this range of frequencies.
- 600 Hz – 3,000 Hz: Mid-range frequencies. This is the range we are used to hearing and also vocal sounds are located in this range. Most instruments such as guitars and pianos are played in this range.
- 3,000 Hz – 8,000 Hz: Upper mid-range frequencies. This is played in the upper range of instruments such as guitars or violins. It’s a spectrum where you can enjoy the music if done well, but many times it can be very annoying too.
- 8,000 Hz and above: Theoretically we can hear up to 20,000 Hz, yet most humans have limited hearing capabilities due to age and other factors. We need trebles to reproduce these high-frequency sounds.
Now that you understand the frequency ranges you’ll be able to see an equalizer and understand how it works and test some settings yourself.
It’s important to understand that usually, equalizers are set flat so you can hear the sound as it was originally recorded. However, you can always improve your audio experience by tweaking the settings according to the genres of music you’re listening to at the moment and also according to your speaker’s capabilities.
Any of these frequency settings can improve the sound of the bass.
Best Equalizer Settings For Bass In Car
The best equalizer settings for music always depend on the settings your equipment has. Most EQs come with a range or a band. And in a car, you are likely to have a dual-band equalizer. This helps you boost and cut low and high ranges of frequencies which are commonly referred to as treble and bass.
You know you have a good sound system if there are more than three bands. You could have as many as 12 bands. Professional arrangements have 20 to 30 bands.
Each band gives you control over a few frequencies. As the bands keep increasing, you get more divisions in the hearing range which in turn gives you more control over the sound.
These bands are isolated using audio filters which are near the central band, typically shaped like a bell. If you are dealing with a hardware system, adjusting the EQ settings might be tougher than usual.
But nowadays, there are a lot of graphic equalizers that have knobs to adjust the music till you hit the best EQ settings for a car.
A pink noise generator will give you all the frequencies in the human hearing range. Play the noise and run the RTA to see all the frequencies and how they are acting which will be shown in the form of a curve. Ideally, there should be no gaps between frequencies and there probably won’t be because you are running the noise app.
Now, even if there is a gap, it should only be a 3 dB gap. The 32 Hz frequencies should be on the higher parts of the curve, the 120-4,000 Hz frequencies will be almost entirely level and the 8,000-16,000 Hz frequencies will be near a dip in the curve.
You look for these frequencies on your equalizer and adjust them till the reading on the RTA graph is even.
It’s fairly simple with a dual-band EQ. If you have a three-band EQ, you will have to be careful because each band handles many frequencies. This means you must start with a bass boost on your amplifier, gain and the placement of your subwoofers.
And even after that, you will need to do some fine-tuning. In case you have a multi-band equalizer instead of a dual-band EQ, you will need to do some work with the balancing.
But any time you need to make adjustments, you need to start near the center because that is the foundation of the sound.
Make sure the car is parked when you are tuning your stereo because it’s not like adjusting the volume which can be done when you are driving. Adjusting your stereo can be a fun thing to do but you need to take some time and focus.
Pick a song you know very well so that you can hear it multiple times without getting annoyed. You will be using this song as a reference point while adjusting the levels so you will end up listening to it multiple times.
While picking the song make sure it has some high notes that include cymbals and flutes. It must have a good mid-range which includes vocals, piano sounds and the guitar. And finally, it needs low notes that come from drums and bass.
Now you need to tune the fade control which means the music should only come from the speakers in the front. Then you must adjust the balance so that you can enjoy the music. Note the settings down on a piece of paper if you have to.
Equalizer Settings For Best Bass
The best equalizer settings for a car audio bass mid treble should be used only as a starting point for your personal equalizer settings. Equalizers are best used when combined with other tools to fine tune sound, such as adjusting frequencies.
Treble boosts make high frequencies louder while attenuating low frequencies, while bass boosting makes low frequencies louder and attenuates higher frequencies. Mid frequency boosting allows for a balance between bass and treble.
We know you have a favorite music genre and a preferred sound quality for it. Everyone does, anyway. And when it comes to the best equalizer settings for music, the genre significantly impacts what you can comfortably tweak.
In fact, presets came about to help you know where to start for most genres, and most presets sound pretty good even without changing a thing.
The key to getting the best EQ settings for any music genre is to adjust the frequencies where most of its instruments and vocals exist. And, of course, focusing more on improving how they sound to your ears. For instance, if you’re a fan of bass or dance music, boost the lows to your favorite level and lower the highs to make the bass more dominant.
And remember to keep the mid-ranges intact or alter minimally to maintain clarity. On the other hand, for lovers of high-pitched music like the Classical genre, lower the bass and the mid-ranges slightly to improve clarity and use a low-pass filter to keep the highs reasonable.
Below are some genre-specific equalizer settings tips:
- Acoustic music: Pump the bass, mid-ranges, and highs slightly to keep the instruments and vocals as clear as possible, without going overboard or sounding unnatural. Below is our best equalizer setting for acoustic music.
- Though bass is not a genre in itself, many people wonder how best to use EQ settings to obtain the perfect bass settings. It is important to realize that bass can be split into sub-bass (20 Hz to 60 Hz) as well as mid-bass (60 Hz to 250 Hz) frequencies.
- Headphones or speakers tend to have a sub-bass dominant or mid-bass dominant which allows you to tailor settings to your preferences with EQ settings. If you wish for a stronger sub-bass performance, simply dial up the frequencies from (20 Hz to 60 Hz). In the same way, if you wish for mid-bass performance, then dial up the 60 Hz to 250 Hz region.
- Care must be applied as boosting frequencies in either of these ranges can detract from frequencies higher up and make the sound ‘boomier’. However, when tastefully done – EQing the bass frequencies can really be a powerful weapon which upholds a headphone or speaker to another level.