24 Comments on Getting the Correct Subwoofer Settings for Home Theater

  1. Jake K.

    This article may be too old to get a response on, but I still don’t understand what to do with my particular receiver. It has Pro Logic only, so no true “.1” (“.2” for that matter). It has a single Subwoofer output jack, but there are no crossover options, nor setting of small or large speakers. So if I use the sub out, is it LFE? Is there some sort of built in crossover? Or is every frequency getting sent to sub? I had a budget, but still 300-420W sub and it sounded like garbage, but not sure I ever had it set up right.

  2. Dave

    Hello. I am running 2klipsch Cornwall and I have 4 Klipsch Hersey. I want to set up a home theater system. I don’t have a receiver for this yet. I want to do 5.1. 2 Cornwallis and 3 heresy plus a 12 ” Klipsch sub. Thoughts? I have all Yamaha vintage gear for 2 Chanel right now. Thoughts? Any will be helpful.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Prabhakaran sathasivam

    i have Denon AVR-X520BT receiver hooked up with Klipsch HD300. I myself set the audio – manual setup.. I set 10DB for all speakers except Subwoofer(bass) .Subwoofer i set to 7DB, I got confused about cross over frequency. But end result is i could not the Bass Effect as I expected (smooth bass I prefer). Can you please help me .what is the recommended Gain to be set in Powered Subwoofer.

  4. I have a new Yamaha AV3010 and having a difficult time understanding the YPAO EQ. I need to raise my bass sound and trying to find the best way to do this. Where on the YPAO EQ would I find this to give me more base.

  5. JSS

    A little help?

    I have:
    – Dyn Foucs 160 (44 Hz – 21 kHz)
    – Dyn Sub 250
    – Sim Moon 250 I

    – Low pass options are 50 Hz to 150 Hz. (Currently at 100 Hz)
    – High pass options are flat, 60 Hz, 80 Hz (Currently at 60 Hz)
    – Slave options are LTE or Slave (currently LFE)
    – Phase 0, 180 (Currently at 0)

    Any and all advice is welcome to take my sound from very good to great. Thx!

  6. greg

    I have a denon s730w receiver in it want let my sub play in stereo mode I have my settings SET TO LTF PLUS MAIN..SHOULDNT IT ALLOW MY SUB TO PLAY

  7. Joe

    I have a “system” I put together for under 20.00 . I have a Kenwood vr-806 6.1 with the KS 506HT speakers from a previous Kenwood box system at 100 watts per Channel except for the subwoofer which required a separate amplifier so one day while I was taking the trash out someone had set out a JVC CA MX-GC5 setting on the curb waiting for the trash to come pick up (I live in a college town so finding stuff like this is common) I brought it inside they was no damage very clean I plugged it up push the power button and instantly came on and right back off I checked​ the wiring and something had chewed on the wiring and it was shorting, so a quick maybe minute rewire and the JVC system works just fine. Now the Kenwood needs a separate amplifier for the subwoofers or subwoofer what I’ve done I’ve used the auxilary in on the JVC to the subwoofer out on the Kenwood I believe the JVC pushes around 240 or 260 W per channel for the subwoofers and I believe for the mid it pushes around 70 I do not have the mid Channel speakers hooked up just two I realize this is cheap dumpster diving sound equipment but the highs are really crisp and very
    clear from the Kenwood the Low from the JVC rattles my my neighbors teeth oh I almost forgot for the back Channel I have a Insignia sound bar I once again found by the dumpster with no power cable when I contacted the company I was told basically the cable would cost about as much as the entire sound bar system so I went in and directly wired my Kenwood rear channel speakers to the speakers in the sound bar it sounds decent and looks great . This is all hooked up via optical cable to a Samsung Blu-ray smart player so I can get my iHeartRadio or Pandora to listen to. When I can find something in DTS to listen to it sounds to me. Amazing. Otherwise I can’t seem to get my mids quite right there is a setting on the Kenwood LFE-0db to-10 db and that’s it anybody have any suggestions on how to get my mid-range to sound a little better other than of course going out in purchasing an actual system I’m very proud of my El Cheapo system I made if I could just get the mid-range the sound just a little better I would be a very happy camper any suggestions?

  8. Reyaas

    Hi THERE

    I Need some help please

    I have a Yamaha RX-679 AV Receiver and Jamo S 626 HCS HOME CINEMA SYSTEM

    I needs help setting the low pass and gain on my subwoofer and also the setup on my av receiver to get the most optimal sound from my speaker.


  9. Fred V

    I’ve read several articles over the years on subwoofer pairing but still had trouble getting it all to sound right. And then, I read your article. You have a talent for making it all clear and sensible! Now my system sounds the way I have always wanted it to sound: awesome! I cannot thank you enough.

  10. Scott

    There was a lot of helpful information, but I wanted to alert you to an error in your article. No main speakers play down to 20 Hz. Most subwoofers don’t even go that low.

  11. Jon

    My sub has a dedicated LFE input. It also has separate white and red RCA inputs. Is there any benefit to using a Y adapter and hooking up the sub with the red and white inputs? I would be using a single (monoaural?) preout sub hook up from my receiver.

  12. Grant Bettencourt

    Does the variable crossover setting matter if you dont have a sub? my receiver is set to no sub; yet i have to set this setting- i put it at 40hz. My setup Denon 4802r receiver; Definitive Technology Bp10 mains ×20hz (large); Def. Tech clr 2002 center ×30hz (large); maybe it should be set to small?; Def Tech Promonitor 1000 -side surrounds ×42hz (small); klh 9250b 12″ tower- back surrounds ×28hz (large) -setup sounds great; just wonder about 1st question mostly–Thanks

    • Grant Bettencourt

      I changed my center Def. tech. Clr 2002 to “small” Its best this way sending low freq. to Def. Tech. bp10 mains. Still not convinced adding a sub would improve my setup- in a 12×13 ft room. Bass is incredible (bp10s are amzing sp 🙂 I thought about buying a SVS sb2000 sub though. Rec- Denon 4802r M- Def Tech bp10s Sur A- Def tech promonitor 1000- C-CLR 2002, Sur B-Klh 9250b 12 towers. I know not running a sub requires substantially more powerful amp/rec- due to power hungry speakers set to “large”. I had a Denon 3805 – it was great; until the power supply gave out; I never cranked it up/clipping. I only buy higher end powerful Rec/amps + quality speakers. Truth is Im old school-Still own a Pioneer VSX D1S +9900s. I think there are many amazing audio setups 2.0-? with or without subs.

  13. Jim

    This was an excellent article. Probably the best that I have read in regard to subwoofers and understanding my Yamaha receiver. Especially the part of setting your speakers to small since I have 34 year old Boston Acoustics speakers that have 8 inch woofers in them. I always thought because they were large in size I should set my receiver to large speakers. I had a Boston Acoustics 10-inch subwoofer that died recently and I’m currently shopping for a new budget subwoofer.


    I have sort of a technical question. My Subwoofer is an SVS SB13 My Avr is a Denon X4200W . I was playing around with the settings of the AVR and found that audessy set the sub a +4.5 so I dialed back to -5 the result was dramatic I had the sub @ -20 but now that I switched I had to set it to -8 in order to even hear it . The question is . The gain on the AVR is more powerful or does it have more impact than the gain on the SUBwoffer?

  15. Ben

    Hello Clint,
    My AVR is Sony strdn1080 . I have a 2.1 setup with pair r820f klipsch floor standing speakers and r 12 sw subwoofer. Should i plug into the LFE port on subwoofer? What would be the crossover frequency or the best setting on subwoofer/ AVR for good bass

  16. Marcus Wiseman

    Sorry but there is one thing that is hugely wrong here. A subwoofers setting should be set at 0 on the subs plate amplifier, no more no less for optimal performance from the sub. You can contact any sub plate amplifier and they will verify this. ( remember almost all sub manufacture’s do not actually make the plate amp driving their sub) Any decent AVR or 2 channel system should not introduce any distortion when adjusting the gain out to the sub, whether it be a + or – setting. Let the AVR do the job it was designed for. 40+ yrs doing this.

  17. Colin S.

    Hello, this is a great article, thanks for writing it.

    You have three options on how to set the crossover but I’m not sure which one is for me. I have a Definitive Technology Prosub 1000 with 18 to 150000 frequency response, Mission 704 towers with 35 or 42 to 20000 F/R, a Mission centre channel with 55 – 20000 F/R and Nuvo NVAP26C with 50 -20000 F/R. The Nuvos are mounted in the ceiling to the side of the couch seating position (not behind) as usual rear speakers are. It’s all powered by a Onkyo NR696 receiver.

    My ultimate question is, what do I set the frequency response of the sub to? Based on the article, I can set it to 80Hz for THX or 42 Hz as the towers are the lowest Hz and best speakers. Alternatively, some other boards I’ve read mentioned to set it to 10Hz above the F/R of the tower speakers which would be 52 Hz.

    I appreciate hearing your feedback.

  18. Alfredo

    Hello, great articule but there is something i dont understand yet because both my front and rear speakers manage different frecuencys so… i dont know what cut-off frecuency should i set on the AVR.
    Subwoofer LFE: 80hz (80-250).
    Crossovers: 80hz (for all, not individually)

    Cut off: 150hz (40-150hz)

    Front speakers: 46Hz – 25kHz
    Rear speakers: 75hz – 20khz

    Are my settings corrects? what should i modify. If you can help me, ill appreciate!! thanks!

    • Generally speaking, sounds like you have your settings correct. In your AV receiver, all speakers should be set to small and the global crossover for every speaker should be 80Hz (to start). The LFP for LFE setting should be left at its default (usually 120Hz). On the back of the subwoofer, turn the crossover as high as it will go. Check out this article for more information on how to test to make sure 80Hz is correct for your speakers.

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