Every avid music listener knows how important getting the best equalizer settings for bass is. Getting your equalizer settings right can be the difference between a thrilling session on the dance floor and a tiring, boring affair.
For maximum enjoyment, it is important to get the settings right for each song you are listening to whether it is the latest pop song, old school jazz, or rap.
I will give you general guidance on how to decide the best equalizer settings that suits your favorite music, and the atmosphere you want to set. First, let me explain what an equalizer is.
What Is An Equalizer?
An equalizer is a processor that helps you control the quality of the music you listen to. In times past equalizers used to consist of physical consoles where levers can be turned up or down to adjust settings, however with developments in technology that results in most music being digital, equalizers are present in devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones.
In fact, most of your multimedia players would have one, just like the VLC equalizer shown below.
The human ear is capable of picking up sounds with frequencies between 20Hz and 20kHz. Sounds with frequencies in the lower end of the range are lower-pitched and deeper. They are usually referred to as bass sounds.
Sounds in the upper range of frequencies are higher-pitched, and are referred to as treble sounds.
Equalizers help you to boost and amplify certain frequencies while cutting or minimizing other frequencies. This is done to enhance the quality of the music and make it more appealing to the listener.
With an equalizer, you can make the vocals clearer and more articulate by boosting the treble frequency range. You can also make the music sound heavier by boosting the bass frequencies. Certain sounds can be cut completely also.
Best Equalizer Settings For Bass
As I have earlier mentioned, there is no equalizer setting that works for all kinds of music and on all occasions. Your setting depends on the kind of music, the speaker or stereo capabilities, and even the hearing range of each individual.
For instance, for acoustic sounds, it may be wise to set the bass and the mid-range frequencies at about the same level while for pop music the mid-range frequencies should be boosted above others to give the vocals the prominence. Rock music would sound better if the bass is boosted as well as the high frequencies at which the electric guitar is played.
Below are some suggestions on what the best equalizer settings for bass are for some special systems.
Best Equalizer Setting For Bass on PC
You can set the bass on your PC by first right-clicking on the Volume Control icon at the bottom right corner. Then click on Sound Settings.
Next in the settings window, click on Sound Control Panel.
Next, select the speaker/headphone and click on the Properties button.
Several sections such as “bass boost”, ” enhancement” and “bass balance” allow you to adjust the bass. Look for Equalizer and click, then on Bass.
In the Equalizer, use the following settings:
- Set sub-bass to +6db
- Set low mid to 0db
- Set bass somewhere between 0db and +6db
- Set mids to the same level as bass
- Set the upper mids and high a little below mids.
Best Equalizer Settings For Bass For Headphones
Most smartphones and tablets have an automatic bass enhancer or boost in their equalizer. It usually enhances the best sufficiently, but if it does not suit your needs, you can adjust the enhancer this way:
- Adjust the bass to between 0db and 6db
- Set the mids and upper mids to the same level as the bass
- The lower mids should be set at a little below 0db
- The sub-bass should be set slightly above 6db
- Usually the high should be lower than the upper mids, but there is room to experiment to see what fits you best.
Best Equalizer Settings For Bass in a Car
Though car stereos vary, they work similarly. To enjoy the bass sounds, switch the subwoofer level on. You can adjust the output of your subwoofer until you find the right level for you. If your stereo has Dynamic Bass Control, enable it.
Adjust the loudness. Don’t make the sound so loud that it disturbs the entire city. Most speakers are powerful enough to give quality sounds without being tuned to the loudest.
Having a good balance and fade control is important. Balance control deals with the audio output on the right and the left. Fade control deals with audio output at the rear and the front.
Front speakers should play the melody, which means the focus will be on treble sounds. The back speakers can then focus on the bass sounds.
Frequency Ranges On an Equalizer
Before diving into the frequency ranges on an equalizer, and what my suggested settings for them are, note that there is not one perfect equalizer setting.
The right equalizer setting will differ from song to song and, and from one genre to another. Even the kind of mood you want to create with your music will affect your decision in setting your equalizer.
For instance, if you want to emphasize a bass guitar or drums, boosting the bass is the right choice. For songs where vocals are the emphasis, boosting the treble gives clarity and greater prominence to the sound.
Below are some of the frequency ranges that help you understand the best equalizer settings for bass.
Super Low/Sub Bass
Sounds with a frequency of 20Hz to 60Hz fall in this category. These are the lowest-pitched sounds that can be picked by the human ear. At this frequency, the sounds are not so distinct, but rather manifest more like a vibration.
Amplifying this frequency creates vibrations that can be felt throughout the room and even far away. Boosting the frequency makes the sounds undefined, so it should be done moderately. For most songs, sub-bass of 6db should be perfect.
Sounds with a frequency between 60Hz and 250Hz fall under this category. On your amplifier, this frequency is controlled by the bass knob.
To fully enjoy instruments such as drums, cello, trombones, baritone and tenor saxophones, and even the lower notes of the guitar, boost this frequency.
Sounds in this frequency give a rich vibration, but each sound is more intelligible than that of the sub-bass frequency.
Sounds with frequencies between 250Hz and 1500Hz fall in this category. We can hear these sounds more clearly than others. This means that boosting this frequency has a similar effect as raising the overall volume of the music.
The downside to boosting sounds in the mid-range of frequency is that it can have a tiring effect when boosted excessively. The key is to find the right balance that emphasizes the instruments you want in the mix without being jarring.
In an amplifier, the middle knob controls this frequency.
Sounds of 1500Hz-6600Hz fall within this frequency range. The range is great for intense keyboards and guitar. When done correctly it gives a chiming bell-like quality to the music. Sounds in this range have a clear, crisp quality to them.
Note however that sounds in this frequency are the most damaging to the ear, so you have to amplify the sounds with moderation. The secret is in getting it right.
Sounds of this frequency are controlled by the treble knob in an amplifier.
The highest frequency range that is audible. Sounds of 6600Hz-20,000Hz fall in this category. In your amplifier, it is controlled by the presence knob.
These sounds can sound annoying and stinging in the lower end of the frequency; and ambient or atmospheric in the higher frequencies. It is suggested that you minimize sounds in the lower frequencies in this range while enhancing the higher frequencies to create an atmospheric feel to the music.
Final Thoughts on Best Equalizer Settings For Bass
Having the right equalizer settings for bass can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and a forgettable one. The right setting gives your music a richer, more vibrant feel.
With improvements in technology, powerful speakers have been created that can capture the full range of audible frequencies. As a result, the emphasis on finding the right bass settings on your equalizer has increased.
I have given suggestions on how to go about with your bass settings as a template to use when you are listening to music, or even listening to podcasts or watching movies. You can now enjoy richer, more vibrant audio all the time using the best equalizer settings for bass.