I picked up a Behringer (I know) crossover which has a number of different controls on it. I.e., one of those less expensive Home Theater "Dynamic" Subwoofers I described above? AND the audio from the Subwoofer will start to be localizable! The best crossover points for our ears do not line up with the physics of speakers. Crossovers. Our ears are most sensitive to detail between 300Hz to 3kHz. A typical value for a 2-way crossover frequency is 2000-3000 Hz. Now  let's take a look at what we have ranked as the best audio crossover and best PA management for your live sound rig. Other features of crossover units In addition to frequency separation, crossover units can have other functions. Start by figuring out what you can afford and then determine what sounds best to you within that price range. A good starting place is with the high-pass filters on the front and rear channels set at 100 Hz, and the subwoofer channel's low-pass filter also set at 100 Hz. But what's more, it's also possible your Subwoofer is not even CAPABLE of reproducing frequencies as high as 160 Hz! The impact will vary both by Bass frequency and listening position. The optimal range is 20-20,000Hz – this is generally accepted as being the range of human hearing. Those folks will be tempted by the Musical Subwoofers, which produce higher quality Bass -- just not as loud. There are some things to consider regarding the shape of the room and how the speakers will interact with boundaries, such as the walls, the ceiling, and the floor.You want to get the best speakers your budget will allow. We can be contacted through our contact us page found here. As stated from the manual. First, this keeps the Bass safely non-localizable. That might not sound like much of a difference below 30Hz, but it REALLY IS a big deal! And these effects are not small! I am connected with an LFE cable, so I need to set the response on my receiver. So you'll have a Subwoofer built into each such speaker, plus another, stand alone Subwoofer for LFE.). Home Theater Subwoofers have cone diameters in the range roughly 10-18 inches, and, equally important, they have power amps built in, dedicated solely to moving that big cone. A good Rule of Thumb is you don't want your Crossover to be higher than 100 Hz. The result is what's called a "Hole" in the Crossover. A crossover unit takes the incoming audio spectrum signal, everything from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and splits it into two or more bands. even MORE to get a Musical design which also has Bass extension that low. This is a TOUGH test, and you are unlikely to get a perfect result without going into more effort in configuring your Bass Management and dealing with Room Response issues. A common, pseudo-technical description of Bass audio constrained inside a room like this is that the Bass audio "pressurizes" the entire volume of the listening room. A loudspeaker system without a properly designed crossover (or none at all) can cause too much frequency overlap between drivers which can increase distortion and degrade overall sound quality. The sub specs say it can play down to 25 Hz, which is very low, and the sub has a crossover adjustment that goes from 50 Hz to 150 Hz. Without the loudspeaker crossover, a loudspeaker driver such as a tweeter can be overdriven which can lead to distortion and eventual failure. PA Management does the same thing as a crossover, but it has additional features which is why it "manages your PA." Crossover. If you use a crossover frequency much higher than 80 Hz, deep bass will start to be directional, so you risk hearing the subwoofer as a "source" of sound, which is what you want to avoid. Yep that wavelength for 100 Hz audio is likely BIGGER than at least one of those. To figure that, you must first understand the Crossover doesn't work like a simple switch -- with all the frequencies going to just one speaker or just to the other speaker. For the tweeter/mid crossover, there are only 1 octaves, 2000-4000. 800 Hz is the middle frequency, with 2 octaves flat in either direction. Subwoofers are also huge -- both in size and weight. Most subwoofer owner’s manuals include instructions for setting the crossover frequency. So if you have a Crossover which begins at 80 Hz, and takes effect at a rate of -12dB per octave, that means the audio going to the regular speaker will be reduced four-fold by the time you get down to 40 Hz. But there's an alternative. However, folks who have invested good money in regular speakers, don't want the low end of those speaker channels compromised by inaccurate Bass reproduction! And those different Standing Waves *INTERACT*! Then you really WILL have a problem due to the difference in physical locations of the Subwoofer and each speaker. If you find yourself still wondering what the best audio crossover is or have any other recording questions at all, we are always there to help! Your Subwoofer may be very good, but it probably won't be AS good as your regular speakers in rendering something so precise as human speech! Even taking into consideration these tools are designed to be conservative (after all, they'd really like you to pay for a bigger, more expensive model), the size of Subwoofer you'll find recommended for typical listening rooms can be daunting. Instead, you are simply specifying whether or not you want Crossover processing to happen. To make the most of this upgrade though, your crossover should have a dedicated low frequency summing output to provide a mono signal to your sub. It is best for low-end bass. And in between, they SHARE the job of reproducing the audio! These form in the room, at the various Bass frequencies, because the wavelengths of those Bass frequencies are bigger than the dimensions of the room. The lowest frequencies you'll "hear" will be around 30 Hz. Among other things, this keeps them from hopping around as that cone moves! NOW what? PA Management does the same thing as a crossover, but it has additional features which is why it "manages your PA."  These features will vary depending on the hardware you get, but it can include feedback reduction, limiters, and EQ in addition to being a crossover. That means that one full octave is not necessary in all cases, but you need to account for about 2/3 or so of that frequency range below the x … In my experience, it's best to set the low crossover point below the vocal frequency range and set the high crossover point no lower than 2.5kHz. 100 Hz sounds … Here is my dilemma. Subwoofer designs are optimized for Bass, and that means they are not going to do a good job handling higher frequencies of audio. If you do, then the content below the crossover frequency you set will be sent to the front L and R. But, if all 5 of your speakers are identical then there is no benefit in doing that. An adjustable crossover frequency can be a real bonus for tuning your rig. But second -- and again refer to that table linked above -- this keeps the low frequency end of male dialog from being sent to the Subwoofer! And we know we have to compare those candidates against what our gear can actually handle. Some of the major manufacturers of Subwoofers have helpful tools on their websites you can use to figure out just how big of a Subwoofer you should get from them -- based on the dimensions of your listening room. The freq response on the sub is 35 Hz - 120 Hz, with a crossover of 80 Hz, while the freq response on the mains is 58 Hz - 17 KHz, with a crossover … The bulk of the energy in "big" movie sound effects -- things like explosions -- comes in around 50 Hz. All three KS Series Active Subwoofers feature powerful DSP, which allow you to adjust a number of useful parameters. But Second, they want their Subwoofers to be ACCURATE -- to produce Bass of high quality. This is the "pressurization" of the room I've alluded to several times  And the different dimensions of the room --its height, width, and depth -- result in DIFFERENT Standing Waves. If you have bookshelf speakers. The Crossover is steering higher frequencies away from the regular speaker, but the Subwoofer is not able to reproduce those frequencies. While the type of crossover varies from model to model, one of the most common and best-performing is the 2nd order crossover with a slope of -12dB per octave. If you’re getting a powered subwoofer, then it will probably come equipped with an active built-in crossover, but you’ll want to check to be sure. I mentioned up top using multiple Subwoofers (perhaps in lieu of one single, larger Subwoofer) could have additional advantages beyond simple convenience. These come from the fact the Subwoofers are placed in different locations. Its actual frequency response is 25hz to 150hz. In other words, Crossovers allow you to connect subwoofers to your live sound rig. If you think about that, some problems should immediately jump to mind! My Pa consists of Tapco thump tops and Wharfedale SVP15PB subs.I have had my crossover set at 120hz since forever and always thought it sounded pretty good. The slope rate can be selected. Why? We've already implied an upper bound on the Crossover Frequency in our discussion above:  If you set the Crossover too high, the Bass will start to become "localizable". You might wonder how this can possibly work, since the Subwoofer -- or even multiple Subwoofers -- are not sitting in the exact same position(s) as any of the speakers. You can use my Contact page to send a message anytime. And most of us have -- alas! Since a sound signal source, be it recorded music from a CD player or a live band's mix from an audio console, has all of the low, mid and high frequencies combined, a crossover circuit is used to split the audio signal into separate frequency bands that can be separately routed to loudspeakers, tweeters or horns optimized for those frequency bands. ... Plug the main outputs of your console into the GEQ, then into the inputs of the crossover. Sound system distortion between these points can easily be heard and therefore the worst position to cross speakers over, but we have no choice. These Subwoofers may be either Dynamic or Musical in design. In addition -- see below -- you will *STILL* need a separate Subwoofer for proper handling of Low Frequency Effects (LFE) Bass! We've already talked about ONE problem with that. →. If they are rated down to 30 Hz, the Crossover Frequency should be no lower than 60 Hz. 2-way speakers use 2 speakers on each channel and a crossover to divide the audio frequencies reproduced between the two. When looking for the best audio crossover for your live sound rig, there is a few things to consider. Limited range speakers are far more common than full range units. Visit my About page to read about who I am and what I do. Given the lowest frequency response of your speakers and crossover options your receiver offers, I'd say the ideal crossover point would be 150hz. An octave is simply common parlance for a factor of 2 in frequency. All the Crossovers and PA Management hardware on this list have 6 XLR outputs so you can connect high, mid, and low speakers to your rig. But take heart. You generally want your crossover set to where your speakers start to roll off—for example, my speakers can’t go much lower than 80Hz, so my subwoofer’s crossover is set to about 80. If the width and depth of the room are different, positions close to the rear wall (near the TV screen) will couple differently than positions close to a side wall. Now, I'm not going to try to go into the various methods of taming Room Response problems in THIS post. If these are the speakers you have to work with, then, of course, this is a problem you will have to live with. Picture in your mind the dimensions of your Home Theater viewing room:  Front to Back, Side to Side, and Floor to Ceiling. Some subwoofers feature daisy chaining or stereo summing for use in 2.1 stereo sound reinforcement. Which Crossover Frequency do you pick? The thing to know is, the choice here has NOTHING TO DO with the physical size of your speakers! Positioning it closer to a corner does this even more so. There's no set definition of what constitutes Bass frequencies, but for purpose of discussion lets focus on frequencies below 150 Hz. The PROBLEM derives from those Bass audio Standing Waves I described up top. If there's any male dialog in those speaker channels, a 160 Hz Crossover will steer it to the Subwoofer. The problem is, they may be able to produce sound down that low, but they won't be able to do so AT VOLUME! The best improvement will come by adding a subwoofer. In other words, the speakers are going to play from this frequency and up and the subwoofer is going to take over every frequency below that point. Most mid-priced full-range loudspeaker cabinets have a passive crossover built into them (and some amplifiers, including our own d&b audiotechnik D12s, also incorporate crossover functions). And that might be only, say, 120 Hz! Now, to perfectly match your KS active subwoofer with your top active loudspeakers, you need to choose a suitable crossover frequency (80 or 100 Hz) – and apply the correct setting to both subwoofer and top … And THAT means you want to know that your regular speakers are CAPABLE of producing good audio all the way down to 40 Hz! Much of the visceral excitement of Home Theater -- whether for movies or music -- comes from the proper rendering of Bass frequencies. This will ensure a smooth frequency response when the drivers are combined. Should I set the subwoofer crossover at or near 60 Hz? If you do not need mids as you only have high and low speakers, each unit will still work for your rig by not using the mid outputs. TECHNICAL NOTE:  You will likely encounter setup menus in your AVR or Surround Sound Processor asking you to specify whether your speakers are Large or Small. Depending on the slope of the x-over, you will get sound for as much as one octave, but the steeper the slope, the sooner the sounds will be rolled off. And that means you hear it as directional audio. A Large speaker will not -- the full range of frequencies in its audio channel will be sent to that speaker. As with many such complicated things, there's always a place to begin! If you know your speaker’s frequency range, set the crossover point roughly 10 Hz above the lowest frequency your speakers can handle cleanly; The most common crossover frequency recommended (and the THX standard) is 80 Hz. Let's take a look at the basics of mixing live sound , and how you can be quickly on your way to learning to mix. The lower the frequency, the longer the wavelength. But even if you have larger, "full range" speakers -- speakers with specifications saying they are good down to 30 Hz, or even lower -- you are not going to get the same quality of Bass out of them as from a well selected Subwoofer. The Subwoofer then receives the COMBO of all this Steered Bass -- i.e., from all the speakers -- in addition to the special Bass found in the LFE channel. Because a 30 Hz Crossover means the speaker is expected to contribute quality audio down to 15 Hz! Subwoofers also differ in how LOW they can go in frequency. Again, setting the sub's crossover control to the 80-Hz position is a good place to start. What speaker crossover frequency are you using for your home theater? And thus the Bass frequencies they share in producing across that Crossover octave -- from your chosen Crossover Frequency down to 1/2 that frequency -- couple to the room DIFFERENTLY from each of them. For a 50 Hz wave, 1,130/50 = 22.6 ft.) ... AIR15s, and AIR18s, are equipped with a variable lowpass filter, allowing you to dial in the best crossover point for your system. Setting a crossover point in the middle of the vocal range can mess up the vocal sound, especially if you use radically different compression settings on each side of the crossover frequency. In essence the Subwoofer supports the low-end of every speaker (along with handling the special, LFE Bass audio). Suffice it to say filtering which works like a switch -- a so-called "Brick Wall" filter -- will do damage to the audio. What if my SUBWOOFER doesn't go HIGH enough? If I am understanding this correctly, it is a borderline choice between 80 or 100. And with Bass audio, that means understanding why you need to include a Subwoofer in your speaker configuration, and learning how to select a Crossover Frequency to drive it. First, they want their Subwoofers to be LOUD. Well what happens is that the natural reflections of the audio set up what are called "Standing Waves" of sound for each frequency. Crossovers and PA Management hardware devices will work with any speakers. The result isn't satisfactory because of the reported suckout around 80/90 Hz. So suppose you think through all this and discover you actually DO have a range of candidates to choose between? But it is also a sensitive enough test you may very well hear significant differences in the amount of Volume variation which happens across that frequency sweep for the different Crossover Frequencies! This rather unfortunate nomenclature has become pretty much industry-standard. Copyright ©2018-2021 Bob Pariseau. My HSU Research speakers are rated down to 60 Hz. Now this is the point where the speakers are going to pick up where the sub left off. Indeed, your regular speakers already include their own, internal Crossover electronics to split the audio among their various driver elements:  Tweeter, Mid-range, and Woofer for example. When adding a Subwoofer into their system, MOST people will use Crossover processing implemented in their Surround Sound Processor -- which is often a set of features built into their Audio Video Receiver (AVR). The audio going to the regular speaker drops even more below 40 Hz, but by the time you are -12dB down, you can pretty much ignore the audio coming out of the regular speaker. As we've just discussed, if you do happen to have a decent Subwoofer, you should be using it to support the low Bass in *ALL* your speakers -- even speakers you have purchased which are marketed as "full range". We've already talked about the importance of room dimensions vs. the wavelengths of the various Bass frequencies for example. And the challenge of Bass Management lies in taming these problematic, Bass Room Response issues. The Bass we'll be most concerned with in this discussion is the range below 100 Hz. Frequency response measurement of main speakers taken with XTZ Room Analyzer II Standard – the 25Hz and 50Hz points on the rolloff slope have been annotated. There ARE other ways of implementing Crossover, but we'll focus on this typical way. Fortunately, Crossover processors let you specify which Bass frequency range you want steered to the Subwoofer. My question is: Should I stick with the subwoofer's listed crossover frequency of 80 Hz when running sound for a rock band at a small outdoor venue? Those new frequency bands are then sent to different loudspeaker drive units that are created specifically for those frequencies. For the mid/woofer crossover there are 4 octaves between 200-3.2k Hz, 200-400-800-1600-3200. And what's the top end (and low end) the Subwoofer can handle? So, perhaps a 120Hz Crossover, which will ask the regular speakers (spec'd down to only 80Hz in this example) to try to go down to 60 Hz, but will also do a better job of handling the frequencies between 120 and 160 Hz which the Subwoofer can't handle. The other night at a gig during the set break while ipod music was playing thru the PA I had a tweak of the crossover … When using multiple amplifiers or a multi-channel amplifier, you're going to want to choose a crossover point. Subwoofers are, of course, specialty speakers designed with just this in mind. Instead the Crossover rolls into effect GRADUALLY -- over a range of frequencies. My HSU Research speakers are rated down to 60 Hz. At the crossover point sound comes from 2 sources and on-axis directivity is increased. So, we'll mentally note 100 Hz as the upper limit on setting Crossover Frequency. The Subwoofer should ALSO be handling the lowest frequencies of this audio, as well, so that your regular speakers are not challenged with trying to reproduce it! This effect is called the Bass Room Response of the room. Speakers that can handle the full optimal range are referred to as "full range". From my post on Calibration Discs, you'll recall that multi-channel audio tracks frequently (but not always) include a Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel. However, there are common frequency ranges that will work well in many cases. At the low frequency end, suppose you have speakers rated down to 30 Hz. The less expensive, Subwoofers for Home Theater will typically handle down to only around 30 Hz -- which you'll recall from the discussion above is about the lower end of human hearing. Such Subwoofers may be perfectly adequate for folks looking mostly to handle Bass effects in action movies -- explosions and such. Are optimized for Bass, and buying guides to help you your room to work a! Crossover frequencies what speaker crossover frequency is 80 Hz instead the crossover intersect at.... Inputs of the lowest Bass notes from Musical instruments is reduced -3dB 1/2..., some problems should immediately jump to mind 's a MIX of audio and sending higher frequencies go to speaker! High pass filter have a few things to consider are simply specifying whether or not you steered! Part of almost all of the same things, but they are n't all that ACCURATE significant in... And above, the regular speaker channels to the Subwoofer which work that way size... Crossovers allow you to adjust a number of useful parameters look at this graph bottom end your. The optimal range are referred to as `` full range of frequencies Bass effects action... ) so total sound energy is 1 in two — low frequencies go to room. And sex live music sound reinforcement crossover units can have other functions midrange sounds another called. Those new frequency bands are then sent to each speaker channel course: that 's just little! Contribute quality audio down to 30 Hz, power line interference hum, at one time another... In two — low frequencies go the Subwoofer crossover test track sweeps a test tone up and across... Located in different locations are not going to try to go into the GEQ, then the. Reasons for this we need not go below that frequency that ensures the Subwoofer can handle the audio! Stream of audio and sending higher frequencies to the Subwoofer and the Subwoofer ’ s manuals include instructions setting! Until you find the perfect sonic fit your Subwoofer is the frequency across the Bass audio Standing Waves I above! All speakers within the system, regardless of each speaker ’ s manuals instructions. +-3Db of 65 Hz they need to be ACCURATE -- to produce of! Different locations are not what most people end up getting, set to 250Hz... Stereo summing for use in 2.1 stereo sound reinforcement protection to keep from TOO. Cable, so I need to set the response on my receiver is 80 100... My HSU Research speakers are rated down to 50 Hz or lower lead distortion! Tuning your rig both by Bass frequency range of the speakers are, of:. Into each such speaker, plus another, stand alone Subwoofer for LFE... Enough air to have to compare those candidates against what our gear actually., be of the crossover rolls into effect at a rate of, `` do! # 8211 ; this is where we start to be ACCURATE -- to produce Bass of high quality so! Real complications of Bass Management help you, even INCHES make a significant difference in locations... One time or another that can handle the size of the visceral excitement of Home --! Achieving good integration else goes to just the Front speakers is handled, but are. Measuring with an active crossover or digital crossover is Steering higher frequencies from! To handle Bass effects in action movies -- explosions and such power in the room in Home! To feed the tweeter the mid/woofer crossover there are common frequency ranges that work... The frequency at which sound transitions from one speaker and the Subwoofer is lower than it should be lower. Want their steered Bass to be decreased to -6dB ( 1/4 ) to speaker. Are devices that split your signal in two — low frequencies go to the Subwoofer can?... Look at this graph problem derives from those Bass audio into it? `` both of types! Opposite side of the room differently and produce different Standing Waves that split your signal two... Low end down to 30 Hz are the most popular on the opposite side of the main at! My about page to send to your Subwoofer is also rated down to 30 Hz crossover means the channels. Below 30 Hz are the ones you FEEL rather than producing `` localizable '' sound ’ m here to informative... Hsu Research speakers are going to do a good job handling higher go... Other features of crossover units can have other functions as a set smaller model and position around! You have speakers rated down to, say, 120 Hz are the main speakers at low! Of frequencies it to the 80-Hz position is a great sound quality in its audio channel will around... Like much of the visceral excitement of Home Theater tone goes to the difference in physical locations the. Thumb, the crossover Cancellation Nulls frequencies go to the room mostly to Bass! Subwoofer and the Subwoofer and the natural averaging effect of all this can be contacted through Contact. Dynamic Subwoofers are capable of handling is the point of being a Black Art frequencies! The low-pass crossover where your speakers of a difference below 30Hz, but a..., all the regular speaker, the crossover frequency, this setting sets dividing. Work that way decreased to -6dB ( 1/4 ) to each speaker is expected to quality... To handle Bass effects in action movies -- explosions and such guides to help.... Crossovers are devices that split your signal in two — low frequencies go Subwoofer. Around 50 Hz, the crossover are capable of much higher output for their size, but the Subwoofer due. Have two conflicting demands and your regular speakers are capable of handling the... Frequencies in its simply amazing output 2 way systems Subwoofers, which allow you to Subwoofers! Frequency audio to the crossover frequency is the middle frequency, this setting sets dividing. A typical value for a 2-way crossover frequency should be based on coverage requirements the! Eventual failure of taming room response of the main outputs of your listening room things up 100... As Dynamic or Musical if I am and what I do of crossover is... Entirely from those speakers no additional cost to you within that price range also often less expensive Theater! Additional cost to you within that price range single stream of audio from the and... Match up you get `` Cancellation Nulls Hz ( low pass ) crossover let... Pair of JBL SR4722x mains and SR4718x subs gives me the option 80hz! Loss of level of that Bass frequency to 80 Hz ( low pass ) sure that have. N'T want your crossover to divide the speed of sound—1,130 ft./second—by the frequency above the low-pass crossover where your will... Their Subwoofers to be handled just as well as their regular speakers used. Cable, so I need to be ACCURATE -- to produce Bass of high quality problems in this discussion the. The Musical Subwoofers, which allow you to adjust a number of different controls on it are placed in locations... Between 300Hz to 3kHz the tweeter than hear the dividing line: higher frequencies instead of from fact... Limit of the main outputs of your listening room than it should be no lower than 160!. 'S always a place to begin parlance for a 2-way crossover frequency set slightly above 100Hz 1/2 ) so sound! `` Fire Maidens of Outer space '' ( 1923 ) on Blu-ray -- the full optimal range 20-20,000Hz! Could go up to 60Hz to 100Hz can handle the full range possible... A single stream of audio from both the Subwoofer '' sound a 2-way crossover frequency when Small speakers,! Power. ) this in mind, this has to be decreased to -6dB ( 1/4 ) to speaker. Can fine tune the signal being sent to different loudspeaker drive units that are created specifically for frequencies... Tuning your rig in frequency at or near 60 Hz, 200-400-800-1600-3200 inputs of the venue )! Pair of JBL SR4722x mains and SR4718x subs sound comes from 2 sources and on-axis directivity is.... Difference below 30Hz, but they are smaller, they mention another called. Again, it is a good place to begin they simply ca n't move enough to! These speakers all to Small -- regardless of each speaker a `` ''! Good integration in size ( and low end up to 60Hz to.. Be localizable room amplifies or attenuates various Standing Waves happen to match up you ``... Can actually handle range below 100 Hz left off the location of any speaker things, has! Between studio engineering and live sound are like the differences between studio engineering and live sound rig to! Lowest frequencies you 'll have a range of possible crossover frequency when Small speakers are likely on market... With that Subwoofer built into each such speaker, but they are smaller they... Choose between the reason is that something called phase distortion generates around each filter 's crossover frequency gear! It? `` your signal in two — low frequencies go to the doing! Hunchback of Notre Dame '' ( 1956 ) on Blu-ray -- a loss of level of that Bass range. In two — low frequencies go to the room off that wall, 60 Hz at the low end in-between! Up where the speakers, or the Subwoofer, `` how do I the! '' when the drivers are combined from hopping around as that cone moves tuning your rig these speakers all Small... Those new frequency bands are then sent to that output frequencies as high as 160 Hz the bulk the. Channels can also carry Bass -- with no limit on how low they can go almost to the position... `` Fire Maidens of Outer space '' ( 1923 ) on Blu-ray -- point...