What is cutoff frequency subwoofer

Frequency range of the subwoofer: The lower limit frequency

In multi-channel systems, subwoofers are responsible for reproducing the low tones. The lower limit frequency indicates the maximum audio frequency that a bass loudspeaker can achieve. Real "low-riders" come to 25 Hz or even less, other subwoofers reach their limits at a frequency of 35 or 45 Hz. But what differences are there in practice with the frequency range of the subwoofer?

Why low tones make us move

Our hearing perceives sound in a frequency range between around 20 and 20,000 Hz. It applies here that sound waves that propagate in the room at a low frequency, produce deep tones. If the frequency increases, we perceive it as high tones. One Hertz (Hz) corresponds to one oscillation per second. The Effect and perception of sound waves differs depending on its frequency range.

In the range between 20 and 100 Hz, for example, we only perceive sound events to a limited extent as different pitches. Rather, we hear something that cannot be specified Humming or rumbling. In addition, we can hardly localize the sound events in this area. This fact also has an impact on how you should set up the subwoofer.

In addition, low tones at a correspondingly high sound level do not only affect the ears - a powerful bass can Chest and stomach shake. The low notes actually go through the bone. This can also be observed at concerts and in clubs: It is above all the rhythms of bass guitars and electronic bass lines that get people moving.

Another important and frequency dependent property of sound waves is theirs wavelength. At 20 Hz it is 17 m, at 50 Hz the length of the sound waves is already reduced to 6.80 m and a tone that vibrates at 1,000 Hz only has a wavelength of 34 cm. As a result, low-frequency tones spread over much greater distances and are more poorly absorbed by obstacles.

This video shows how the sound reproduction changes when the frequency decreases:

Which cut-off frequency for which area of ​​application?

Because of the described properties of low-frequency sound waves, different cut-off frequencies have direct Effects in practice.

  • The lower the lower limit frequency of the subwoofer, the more we perceive sound effects physically. That can be instrumental to one intense home theater experience contribute. When something explodes on the TV screen, the earth shakes or a shot is fired, the effect is particularly haunting.
  • Bass from electronic music and hip-hop songs are reproduced particularly powerfully and precisely with a subwoofer frequency range with a low cut-off frequency.
  • In Rock songs and other genres, such deep bass can hardly be achieved. In a standard tuning, an electric bass goes down to about 41 Hz. In most cases, a subwoofer or a multi-channel loudspeaker with a cut-off frequency of 40 Hz can therefore reproduce all recorded sounds sufficiently well.

Soundbars with wireless subwoofer from Teufel

Note: The information on the cut-off frequency is often provided with the information "-3 dB". This specification indicates that the sound pressure drops by 3 decibels in the range of the cut-off frequency for bass reproduction.

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  • ▶ With a lower limit frequency of 25 Hz, the active subwoofer also brings the very deep tones into the room powerfully, precisely and without noise.
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Conclusion: Low cut-off frequency for bass that gets under the skin

  • The lower limit frequency of the subwoofer frequency range indicates the minimum frequency up to which a loudspeaker can reproduce sound events with almost full performance.
  • We cannot locate low-frequency tones (in the range between 20 and 100 Hz) and only perceive them at a higher sound level than is the case with high-frequency tones.
  • We can physically feel the bass clearly.
  • Subwoofers with a low cut-off frequency (e.g. 25 Hz) can reproduce sound effects in the bass range particularly precisely and impressively.
  • When listening to music, basses below 40 Hz are hardly to be found; Exceptions are electronically generated basses.