Is Distorted Bass Bad For Speakers? (Solution + Important QnAs)

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The distorted bass can be caused by the speakers, sound, or by an amplifier. There are different effects of each case. But the question is. Is distorted bass bad for speakers?

At A Glance: If the distortion in the bass is caused by music then it is not bad for the speakers but if it is produced by the speakers or amplifier then it is very bad for the speakers. The speakers will blow or die sooner.

Keep reading as we will discuss how to stop the distortion and save your sound equipment and will discuss many more aspects of it. I will talk about the distortion but throughout this article, I will mean bass distortion by that.

What causes bass distortion in speakers?

There are three causes for bass distortion. It can be caused by the speakers themselves, the music, and by the amplifier.

Let’s discuss each one and its effect on the speakers.

How distortion is caused by the speakers?

How distortion is caused by the speakers?

In-Short: Many components are working inside the speaker to produce sound. If those components are not made by well-experienced engineers, or they are made under a budget for a cheap market. Then these components can easily create heat and distortion.

Let me explain this briefly.

In-Depth: Like the voice coil that goes in and out of the speaker magnet to create the sound waves from the sound signals being fed.

This voice coil can generate its electric current when going back and forth in the magnet. This current will interfere with the upcoming current, and it will heat and distort. 

The spider, the dust cape, the cone, and the surrounding parts will also vibrate with the sound production and this vibration will contribute a lot to the distortion.

Apart from this, the speaker box itself will vibrate on some level. This will also contribute to distortion.

Read my this guide about the best speakers for home theater. Few speakers’ quality will shock you.

Can distortion by the speaker damage a speaker?

The distortion that is caused by the inner components of the speakers to a noticeable level will surely damage the speakers.

Some level of distortion occurs in almost all speakers. There is no speaker with zero distortion in the world at the time of writing this post.

But a speaker with the best build quality will have distortion that can’t be noticed by the listeners. And this type of distortion is not bad for the speakers.

But the distortion that is noticeable by the listener and produces heat in the speaker will damage the speakers.

How distortion is caused by the Sound?

There might be some amount of distortion in audio that producers want you to feel for some reason.

Watch this video below in which the YouTuber has answered this question as well as what distortion sounds like.

At the beginning of the video, he says a few words in distorted sound. Throughout the video, he is examining all the (THD) total harmonic distortion levels. All these levels of distortion will play through your speakers.

There will be many more occasions in the movie or music when producers will want you to hear the distortion in the audio for any reason.

Can distortion by sound damage a speaker?

This type of distortion will never damage your speakers. So don’t worry about it at all. If you hear distortion in the audio, then rewind it and check if the distortion is still there at that segment. If it is present then have a breath of relaxation because the distortion is in the audio, not due to the speaker.

Know how to optimize the home theater audio. You will get the best quality audio of your life.

How distortion is caused by the Amplifier?

If the amplifier is not able to power up the speakers completely and the volume has raised the amplifier will try hard to supply the needed power by the volume raise and as result, it will send clipped signals that will cause distortion.

When the amplifier is rated as 75 watt RMS power per channel and there are 85, 95, or 105 RMS watts speakers in the connection. Then the amplifier from the beginning will not be able to power the speakers very well. 

That’s why the amplifier will work very hard to deliver the needed power to the speakers. As the result, it will send clipped signals to the speakers. These speakers will produce heat due to these hard-to-produce sounds from signals. 

Another type of distortion caused by the amplifier will be when the amplifier is capable of amplifying 2 volts of signals but is fed with 5 or higher volts of signals. This will also create clipped or in other words square signals. These will again cause distortion.

Can distortion by the amplifier damage a speaker?

Yes, this will damage the speakers. The solution to it will be to choose an amplifier that is capable of powering the speakers with their rated power.

Also, choose the right preamp that can deliver needed volts signals to the amplifier.

Know how to match the preamp/processor with the amplifier. You will know more things about the separates for home theater.

At A Glance

Distortion TypeBad Or Not
Bass Distortion due to the soundIt is not bad for speakers
Bass Distortion due to amplifierIt is bad for speakers
Bass Distortion due to speakers’ build qualityIt is bad for speakers

How do you fix speaker distortion in the bass?

To fix the speaker distortion in the bass. Choose an amplifier that can supply the needed power to the speakers, choose well-built quality speakers, choose a preamp that can deliver needed volts signals to the amp, and play distortion-free audio.

We have discussed this before but let’s discuss it from another angle briefly.

Yes, there might be a distortion itself in the audio. This audio can be of a movie, music, or games. This audio distortion will not damage the speakers but still, it is advised to not play such audio by your speaker. If you don’t want distortion at all, then avoid distorted audio.

Did you get something out of this distorted bass guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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How do I make my bass sound clean?

Choose the best quality subwoofer. Supply it with the needed power and place it in the right place in the theater room.

The right place will be between the center speaker and one of the front speakers. If they are dual subwoofers. Then place them diagonally opposite to each other in the room, so they can better fill the room.

How can I make my bass sound better?

Acoustically treat the theater room and also soundproof it. The next part will be to bring in dual subwoofers and play them. Now, calibrate it with a calibration mic or software such as Dirac Live.

After that, you will get the best of the best bass.

Is bass boost bad for home theater speakers?

It will never be bad for them as they are made to play sound and bass. But if you boost the bass out of its limit, then it will surely harm the speakers.

By our limit I mean when you run out of the maximum volume raising, and you use special software to raise the volume above 100 which is the end limit. Then the base produced by that volume will be very, very bad for the speakers.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. Read my guide about the best subwoofer for home theater. You will get more ideas about the best.(Resource for the first answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more about it on SVsound. (Resource for the second answer)
  3. This was my opinion, read more about it on Quora. (Resource for the third answer)
This article was first posted on
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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