4 reasons your hi-fi setup needs a subwoofer

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It’s easy for audio enthusiasts to succumb to GAS, or equipment acquisition syndrome. Once you listen to a good pair of speakers, you want to try the next best thing, then something else, and then the cycle continues.

Still, one of the biggest upgrades you can make to your hi-fi system is likely to cost less than a brand new pair of speakers and last for you thanks to a plethora of speaker purchases.

I’m talking about what’s in the title, of course. If you don’t already have one, your next audiophile purchase should probably be a subwoofer.

Unfortunately, I still see too many audiophiles rejecting subwoofers from the start. Sometimes it’s because they think they don’t need a lot of bass. Other times it’s because they think it will make their system more powerful. But I’m here to tell you why these aren’t things you should care about – and why buying a subwoofer is one of the smartest purchases a music lover can make.

More bass

Duh. The main task of a subwoofer is to increase the extension and / or bass output of your audio system. This is especially important if you are using bookshelf speakers, but even tall towers rarely stretch linearly to the limits of our hearing.

Humans can hear around 20Hz to 20kHz, and we can still feel frequencies below 20Hz. Yet bookshelf speakers typically lower the output below 100Hz – they rarely have significant output below 40Hz. Subwoofers are typically crossed with your other speakers at around 80Hz , taking over as you descend. A good subwoofer will take you down to 20Hz or less.