The Complete Guide to Subwoofers
Many people don’t often understand the job a subwoofer does. Most people know that a subwoofer produces low notes and sounds, but are still uncertain about why they need one.
What is a subwoofer and what does it do?
A subwoofer is simply a speaker that reproduces the very lowest audio frequencies. Subwoofers are specialised audio products that can bring the thrill and action alive in your movies in even with the most modest audio system. Subwoofers are generally quite big because a large cabinet is necessary to create low notes with high volume, but this doesn’t always have to be true.
Why do you need a subwoofer?
You’ll definitely want a subwoofer if you use your system for movies, but even for music a subwoofer can be very helpful, especially for a system with smaller speakers. A good quality subwoofer that produces more than just loud, one-note bass can really enrich the sound of your music. For movies, because of the low frequency energy needed for movie sound effects, a quality subwoofer is a necessity.
What about the placement?
Many times, improper subwoofer placement is the biggest challenge you’ll face when building your audio system. We must often compromise between where a subwoofer sounds best and where it looks best. Aesthetics often take priority over acoustics which can frustrate a new subwoofer owner when the placement of the subwoofer doesn’t let the subwoofer operate at its best. Low notes are affected by the walls, corners, and furnishings in a room in ways that can seriously diminish sound quality. KEF subwoofers use an ingenious equaliser that compensates for room placement issues by adjusting the low frequency output based on placement near a wall, in a corner, or even in a cabinet. KEF subwoofers can even adjust for apartment living, allowing you to have great bass response while still being a good neighbour! Because of these innovative features, the compromise between acoustics and aesthetics is no longer an issue.
With KEF’s Wireless Subwoofer Adapter Kit, placement of your subwoofer is no longer limited. The KW1 Wireless Subwoofer Adapter Kit eliminates the need for a bulky cable connection from your amplifier to the subwoofer. Simply connect the KW1 Transmitter to the output of your amplifier and then connect the KW1 Receiver to your subwoofer. You can then place your subwoofer anywhere in your room, without compromising performance at all.
Does the size of the subwoofer matter?
Most people think all that really matters is the size of the subwoofer – the bigger the better, but that isn’t necessarily true. Size shouldn’t always be your main consideration when choosing a subwoofer – the quality of the design and manufacture are equal in importance. Subwoofers produce bass by moving air – just like any other speaker – so design and driver performance are critical to a great experience. Before you buy, it’s best to know exactly what you need: If you live in an average-sized home, you don’t need a huge subwoofer. A 20cm or 25cm driver can fill an average room with deep bass while working well with the rest of your speakers. And believe it or not, a properly designed subwoofer featuring a driver as small as 15cm can do a fantastic job producing the low notes every movie and music fan wants to hear. Our brand new KC62 is a perfect example where you don’t have to compromise between size and performance. The patent pending Uni-CoreTM technology reduces the cabinet size by over a third while delivering the same accurate bass.
How do I connect the subwoofer to my speakers?
Connecting your subwoofer is generally quite simple: Use the LFE outputs on your amplifier or receiver, or a pre-amp output if your receiver/amplifier doesn’t have an LFE output. LFE contains only the low frequencies. If your receiver doesn’t have an LFE or a pre-amp output, you can use the subwoofer’s high-level inputs by simply connecting the speaker output from the amp to the high-level input on the subwoofer. For more information on connecting your subwoofer, always consult your subwoofer’s user manual.
Connecting to your LS50 Wireless II
When using the LS50 Wireless II, subwoofer connection is even easier. Simply connect the RCA cable to the SUB output on the LS50 Wireless II – there’s a SUB connector on both the primary and secondary speakers for ultimate convenience! Once connected to your LS50 Wireless II, you can control LS50 Wireless II subwoofer output’s gain, polarity and low-pass frequency from the KEF Connect app.
Subwoofers can be a major enhancement to any music or movie system, and they’re not incredibly difficult to set up especially with a quality product that has been designed to be user-friendly and high performing.