How to increase bass in home theater


By Arindam Roy

Have you ever been watching a movie and thought, “This movie is just great, but it’s missing something”? If so, what was missing? The bottom end.

While you might not have an idea of what that means in the moment, let me assure you that when a movie doesn’t have enough bass to give it the oomph factor, something vital is missing for most viewers. Thankfully for all of us who love movies with pizzazz (and resonance), there are plenty of ways to increase the bass in your home theater. Read on to find out how!

Below are some Tips On How To Increase The Bass In Your Home Theater:

1. Upgrade Your Speakers.

If you’re looking to increase the bass in your home theater, your first step will be to upgrade the speakers in your system, especially if they’re less than three years old. While some speaker manufacturers make smaller woofers (the part of the speaker that reproduces bass), this can result in an “overhang” issue where there is too much bass at the bottom end of the frequency scale and not enough at the middle and top ends. Sometimes this is referred to as “one note bass,” which means that your speakers are simply pumping out one note at a time.

If you’re looking for more control over your bass, you’ll want tweeters that are smaller. Smaller tweeters can produce the high frequencies, but the bass is missing. For speakers in your home theater or stereo system, 4-inch to 6-inch woofers are standard, but for you to truly hear every note the way an artist intended, upgrade your speakers.

2. Position Your Speakers Correctly For Optimum Bass Response.

If you’re currently utilizing in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in your home theater setup, it’s important to make sure that they are positioned correctly for optimum bass response. When using in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, you will want to position the speakers as far away from the back wall as possible. The farther away from the back wall your speakers are, the more bass you’ll get and the more room you’ll give for your movies to breathe. If your speakers aren’t placed close enough to hang from the ceiling, consider purchasing a pair of our signature in-ceiling speaker stands so that you can suspend your speakers above eye level.

3. Add Insulation.

Adding insulation is one of those things that seems simple on paper but it’s incredibly important when it comes to increasing low end frequencies (and making a bassier sound). By adding lots of insulation, you’ll help to increase the bass and seal out noise while also giving your speakers a more “immersive” experience.

For a truly immersive experience, add lots of insulation around your home theater room. You can do this by:

Adding a blanket around your cinema seating area. This will help to absorb some of the sound coming from outside the cinema room (if you’re using overhead speakers) and absorb some of the sound also coming from below (if you’re using floorstanding speakers). Adding a sound absorption blanket or foam to where you rest when in your theater (this is where we’ve seen most theaters get this wrong!)

4. Add Extra Sound Absorption.

If you’re building or setting up your home theater, don’t worry about having too much absorption. The more absorption you have, the easier it will be for the bass to resonate and move around your room.

5. Avoid “This Note Only” Bass and Reduce Clipping With an Equalizer.

Noise can also be a culprit in the lack of bass in your home theater experience, as can clipping (when speakers are turned up beyond their capacity). To reduce clipping and avoid a “one note” sound, it’s best to utilize an equalizer so that you can adjust the frequency levels as needed to get optimum sound balance. This is one of the most common problems that early adopters run into when setup and it’s quite simple to resolve.

6. Turn Off Your Speakers When You’re Not Using Them.

Turning off your speakers is one of the easiest ways to increase your bass in your home theater, especially since you won’t even notice that they’re turned off! Start by turning off all of your equipment when you’re not using it, then gradually move up to turning on and off all equipment throughout the day (keeping a few powered on at a time). You can also start small and turn on some equipment throughout the day, like your TV or Blu-Ray player, then turn them back off again as soon as possible. Soon you’ll be turning off and on your equipment all day long without even thinking about it!

7. Add a Subwoofer.

If you don’t have a subwoofer yet, now is the time to add one to your home theater. If you already have a subwoofer, consider adding another one or upgrading to a larger one (like our S8200A). Adding additional bass to your movie watching experience will add an incredible amount of immersion and it’s also one of the easiest ways to increase the bass in your home theater system. This will be especially true when you’re watching movies with lots of action scenes that could benefit from some serious boom!

8. Use an AV Receiver with a Bass Management System.

A bass management system is one of the best ways to increase your bass, especially if you’re using in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. It will allow you to adjust your bass levels so that they are at the top of your speakers’ range and not simply “pumped out” at full blast, all the time. Bass management systems can be found on most AV receivers and it’s incredibly easy to use.

9. Add a Digital Sound Processor (DSP).

An additional step that you can take to increase your bass is to add a digital sound processor (DSP). DSPs are the best way to optimize bass response and provide the best sound quality for your movies. They will allow you to adjust the frequency levels on an individual channel or speaker, and are especially helpful if you have a difficult room with lots of echo. If you’re looking for more information on sound processors, check out our blog post here.

10. Add Bass Traps & Helmholtz Resonators.

You’ll want to start by adding bass traps along the wall (but NOT in front of your speakers), then add Helmholtz resonators above or below your seating area. This will significantly improve the sound of your home theater while also giving your movies more “stage.”

11. Add a Subwoofer.

If you don’t have a subwoofer yet, now is the time to add one to your home theater. If you already have a subwoofer, consider adding another one or upgrading to a larger one (like our S8200A). Adding additional bass to your movie watching experience will give your movies even more “stage” and it’s also one of the easiest ways to increase the bass in your home theater system.

12. Use a Good HDMI Cable (at least 7 Feet).

HDMI cables can drastically affect the quality of your sound, so it’s important to select a good one. We’ve done extensive testing, and we’ve found that our HDMI Cables offer the best sound (no matter what type of HDMI cable you use).

13. Avoid Clipping with an Equalizer.

Similarly to adding insulation, clipping (when speakers are turned up beyond their capacity) is also a common problem that you can easily fix with an equalizer. To make the most out of your movies, you’ll want to adjust the EQ on your receiver so that it does not clip/overload when playing media and adjust it so that it’s optimized for movies.

14. Use a Subwoofer.

If you don’t have a subwoofer yet, now is the time to add one to your home theater. If you already have a subwoofer, consider adding another one or upgrading to a larger one (like our S8200A). Adding additional bass to your movie watching experience will give your movies even more “stage” and it’s also one of the easiest ways to increase the bass in your home theater system.

15. Add Insulation and Bass Traps Around Your Home Theater Room & Furniture.

This is the most common issue we see, and luckily it’s also one of the easiest ways to fix. Insulation around your room not only helps sound waves travel further and deeper, but it also makes it easier for sound to bounce around. This will be especially true when you’re using in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. Bass traps are another great way to improve bass response, although they do take some time to setup. Luckily there are many options available (like our Akido F2’s) that make bass traps incredibly easy to install!

16. Add a Subwoofer and EQ Settings

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If you don’t have a subwoofer yet, now is the time to add one to your home theater. If you already have a subwoofer, consider adding another one or upgrading to a larger one (like our S8200A). Adding additional bass to your movie watching experience will add an incredible amount of immersion and it’s also one of the easiest ways to increase the bass in your home theater system. This will be especially true when you’re watching movies with lots of action scenes that could benefit from some serious boom!

17. Try an Outlet Strip Instead of a Power Amplifier if You’re Plugging In Multiple Items.

If you’re having a hard time keeping your equipment on for extended hours, try using an outlet strip instead of a power amplifier. This will allow you to plug in multiple items, such as your TV, Blu-Ray player, and gaming system. By using an outlet strip instead of an amplifier you’ll be able to save some money at the same time!

18. Install a Music Streaming App on Your Phone or Tablet.

We’ve done extensive testing and found that if you have both Amazon’s Prime Music & Netflix in your home entertainment system, it’s best to use Amazon’s Prime Music service (which we highly recommend). Using this service eliminates the need for a separate device to stream music, like a media player or remote. Most TVs also have apps that allow you to stream music, but we found that Spotify was the best app for accessing your music library on your phone or tablet. This does take some work, but it is incredibly worth it.

19. Re-Equalize Your Speakers with an EQ & Subwoofer Setup (if you Have One).

If you don’t have a subwoofer yet, now is the time to add one to your home theater. If you already have a subwoofer, consider adding another one or upgrading to a larger one (like our S8200A). Adding additional bass to your movie watching experience will give your movies even more “stage” and it’s also one of the easiest ways to increase the bass in your home theater system. If you don’t have an EQ, we recommend using our Akido F3 to make equalizing your speakers easier.

20. Subwoofer Cables are Key (but Not Mandatory).

If you have a subwoofer and are using an amp, all you’ll need is one cable for audio input from the subwoofer into the amplifier (or pre-amp). However, if you want to use a pre-amp or “power” amplifier, then you’ll need a cable for power from the subwoofer into the amp. Either way, it’s incredibly important that your cables are long enough so that sound doesn’t become degraded by signal loss and noise.

21. Use a Subwoofer Cable from Your TV’s AC Power Cord.

Some Subwoofer Cables (especially those that come with an amplifier) are designed to have RCA jacks on both ends instead of XLR jacks.

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