Do you need a subwoofer for music reproduction?


Getting a subwoofer properly integrated in a high quality music system requires a bit of work. Is it even worth it? Many movies have a lot of low frequency content, some even below 20hz. But what about music?

We decided to study typical frequency content in contemporary music. We wanted to determine the low frequency response required by your system to properly reproduce the recorded material. Our approach was to perform a spectrum analysis of a number of different tracks, with the goal of determining the target frequency response of our music oriented subwoofers.

This is not by any means a scientific study of all music. While sampling a large set of tracks across many genres, we intentionally looked more at music we already knew to have a good bass fundament. In other words, music that someone who owned a high quality system with a subwoofer would be inclined to play. So this is not by any means an average of all music of all time.

The result

We found that even in tunes perceived as quite rich in bass content, the most powerful frequencies between 20-200hz was typically in the 50-70hz region.

Tracks with content below 40hz was common.

Tracks with content below 30hz was less common, and this was typically found in tracks with obviously very deep bass, and most likely to be found in newer recordings with synth/electronic instruments.

Tracks with content below 25hz content was relatively rare.

Does this mean you'd be fine with a system that doesn't go below 30h-40hz? Based on our findings we concluded that for music reproduction you need a system that can produce content at least down to 30hz perfectly. Thus, 30hz can't be at the limit of the system. You need a system that is quite capable at least down to 20-25hz to confidently reproduce 30hz and above with low distortion. On the other hand, if your taste is limited to genres with less bass or mostly older recordings, a limit of 40hz would probably be fine most of the time, so this is also dependent upon what you listen to.

Sigberg Audio subwoofers

All Sigberg Audio subwoofers have an expected in-room response down to 20hz or below. Almost no music goes this low, and content below 30hz is more tactile than audible. Despite this, there may still be important information at the very bottom end of the spectrum. Recorded hall ambience of concerts or orchestras may extend this low, adding to the perceived richness and sound stage. Also, by ensuring our subwoofers have the capacity to reproduce the full audible spectrum, we can confidently say that we will reproduce any musical recording with high fidelity.

What is not so easily spotted from typical specifications, is that due to cheap, inferior drivers and often poor bass reflex design, many subwoofers have high levels of harmonic distortion even at moderate listening levels.

We use drivers and amplifiers of extremely high quality and very low levels of distortion, ensuring an accurate reproduction. Rest assured that our subwoofers will keep up with even the most expensive high end loudspeakers in terms of sound quality, dynamics and precision. After experiencing a properly integrated high-end subwoofer, you will never want a system without it again.

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