A bass hunter’s essential guide

These few tweaks and a dedicated subwoofer can deliver the powerful deep bass you’ve been missing so far

Why do you need a dedicated subwoofer?

You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate good music. However, if you want to experience the best audio experience possible, you will need the right sound system with balanced highs, mids and lows.

Many instruments, including pianos and guitars, can actually produce audible bass notes. Despite that, most speakers out there are unable to adequately cover the low-frequency spectrum and produce good bass. It is also not feasible to install big speakers capable of reproducing good bass in a car environment, where every inch of space is a premium. Fortunately, subwoofers (sub) can make a huge difference here, letting you hear and feel the bass in the music that you play perfectly while you drive.

Tip 1: Getting the right sub

To experience the best bass, you first have to choose the right sub. Subs are generally categorised as passive (e.g. Pioneer Z- & D-series) or active (TS-WX70DA).

Pioneer TS-Z10LS2 (2 ohm voice coil) & Pioneer TS-Z10LS4 (4 ohm voice coil)

Passive subs require additional components to work – for example, an enclosure, amplifier and receiver. While they are harder to set up due to the additional components, passive subs offer greater customizability and performance in terms of audio quality.

Pioneer TS-WX70DA (Recipient of the EISA Award for Best In-car Active Subwoofer 2017-2018)

Active subs on the other hand, behave more like an all-in-one kit. They come with most components preinstalled in the system, such as a built-in amplifier. Better ones like the EISA award-winning TS-WX70DA even come with a digital signal processing (DSP) function to tweak the bass’s characteristics. On the flipside, active subs are more expensive and less upgradable than passive subs.

There is no one-size-fits-all sub solution, so do get the right sub based on your needs and preferences.

Tip 2: Other key considerations

Whether you get an active or passive sub, remember that there are several key considerations you should keep in mind:

It takes a lot more power to drive a sub as compared to a regular speaker system.

• A beefy amp is absolutely critical to avoid distortion.
• A bigger enclosure and woofer driver will deliver both deeper and louder bass.
• Give your sub adequate breathing space to improve clarity, especially for a ported model.
• Take advantage of cabin gain – a smaller car interior can actually help amplify the bass produced.
• Equalizer and DSP are useful tools to smoothen out uneven bass response through minimising dips and peaks.

Tip 3: Give corner loading a try

To better optimize the sound produced by the sub, you can consider corner loading. The idea is to position a sub close to a wall or corner to enhance its performance. Although it is a tried-and-proven technique employed by many home theatre buffs all over the world, corner loading in cars has always been a controversial topic debated by both believers and sceptics. Though sceptics believe that a sub is already “loaded” due to the limited space inside a car, it is still worthwhile to experiment as there is little risk and upfront cost involved.

Tip 4: Getting all the basics right

Proper integration of the sub with your speakers is key. Follow these three steps to achieve the best sound quality possible from your subwoofer:

1) Disable the receiver’s sound enhancements and reset the EQ to neutral

2) For the smoothest transition, adjust the receiver’s crossover setting to ensure there are no gaps in overall sound reproduction

3) Experiment with the level/gain setting for both speakers and sub to play equally loud – a sound-pressure level (SPL) app like Decibel X can be extremely useful

Tip 5: Running your sub “hot”

If you’re looking to optimize the sound from your sub even further, you can consider experimenting with another controversial method – running your sub “hot”. Most people’s hearing are least sensitive to the treble and bass at both ends of the sound spectrum. To compensate accordingly, some enthusiasts have resorted to running their subs “hot” – deliberately tuning the sub to output at a higher than usual volume. To do this, simply set the gain higher via the receiver on passive subs, or the control found on an active sub.

Get the best subs and sound quality with Pioneer subwoofers

If you’re looking to find the best subwoofers, you’re at the right place. Pioneer has a long heritage and expertise in audio reproduction in consumer and pro-audio markets (TAD), and our subwoofers, including the EISA in-car active sub 2017 – 2018 for TS-WX70DA, have received many awards. The Pioneer TS-WX70DA features an ultra-slim design and 2 user-selectable bass modes: Deep and dynamic selectable via a remote, and is a great option to consider for your first sub.

For more information about the latest Pioneer Subwoofers, please visit http://pioneercarsound.com/classification/subwoofers/

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