What Causes Boomy Bass? (Solution + Important QnAs)

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The bass is affected a lot by the room size, acoustics, and the sub’s size. To control the boomy bass you must have to take control of all these factors. So, what causes boomy bass?

At A Glance: The boomy bass most of the time is caused, when you install a large subwoofer in a small room or install a small subwoofer in a large room and raise the volume so high, that it can cover the whole room.

Keep reading as we will discuss many more aspects of its causes and also how to stop it.

The Causes Of Boomy Bass In Detail

When you choose a large sub for a small room. Then technically the sub overpowers the total area of the room and that contributes to boomy bass.

But when you choose the complete opposite of it. When you choose a small sub for a large room, the small one can’t fill up the area of the room.

In this case, Home theater owners usually up the volume so high. But the small will now sound boomy because now it is trying hard in its full power to fill up the entire room. But when the volume is low, it will not be able to fill up the entire room.

Read my guide about the best subwoofer for home theater. You will know more about the factors that suggest the best bass.

How To Solve This Issue

To keep it simple and sweet. I will keep my explanation away from room sizes and sub sizes formulas.

The first piece of advice will be to always use dual subwoofers in a room and treat the home theater acoustically. We will talk about this acoustic treatment in the upcoming section of this article.

The dual subs will erase the dead spots and standing waves in the room. But how does it help in stopping the boomy bass? You have to start raising the volume from zero. Now listen to the bass carefully. Stop the volume when it starts throwing boomy bass. Keep 1 or 2 digits lower volume than that boomy bass volume number. I will call that volume number a boomy number on which your sub will start sounding boomy.

Now these dual subs will cover the room completely, and erase the bass dead spots and standing waves. Three strokes in one shot.

But which size of a sub to use in which size of the room? To keep it simple. If your room is at least 11X11 or lower then dual 8 inches or 10-inch subwoofers will help. But if your room is 21×21 or lower then dual 12 inches subs will work.

When the room is 30X30 then I will recommend dual 15 inches but if the room size is higher than 18 inches dual subs.  And also for the rooms above 21×21 rooms, I will recommend using a separate processor and amplifier rather than going with an AV receiver.

Recommended subwoofer size for each room size

This will ensure the best possible bass experience.

Room SizeRecommended Subwoofer Size
11×11 ≤dual 8 inches or 10 inches subwoofers
21×21 ≤dual 12 inches subwoofers
30×30dual 15 inches subwoofers
30×30 ≥dual 18 inches subwoofers

Another Usually Ignored Causes Of The Boomy Bass

  • When the sound in the movie or TV show is meant to be boomy. For example, the subs and music in a bar or nightclub are meant to feel boomy. When James Bond is in the bar and sipping a drink. Now, the producers want you to feel the environment of that bar. Here your subwoofer will sound boomy because it is meant to be. That’s why don’t panic in this situation.
  • The low build quality of the subwoofer. Always try to get a sub from a reputable brand and consider a model that got nice 4 or 5 stars customer reviews.

How do you stop a boomy bass?

In-Short: To stop boomy bass, you will have to calibrate the audio with sound calibration mics and software like Dirac live or Audyssey and acoustically treat the home theater.

In-Depth: To acoustically treat home theater you will have to install bass traps in the room. The best place for the bass traps is in the corner where two walls meet each other. Here the bass will collide twice and will reflect too and this will damage the bass quality.

Also, these bass traps are absorbing the boomy frequencies of the bass which will help a lot in stopping the boomy bass.

Apart from bass traps, you will have to install acoustic panels and soundproof the home theater. Click on the blue-colored words to read my guides about them. These two topics are huge, that’s why I can’t cover them here. These acoustic panels and soundproofing will enhance and refine the audio even more.

Another thing is to calibrate the home theater sound. First I will assume that you have installed dual subs in your home theater. Then you must have the mics and software that come with Audyssey or Dirac Live.  Many AV receivers come with these technologies by default.

Watch this video to see the Dirac Live optimization over the shoulder.

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What frequency makes bass boomy?

The frequencies between 100 to 120Hz will sound boomy in the home theater. The clean bass will start from the 20Hz to the 59Hz frequency range.

I recommend a 120Hz frequency crossover for the home theater subwoofer. But if you are more into completely killing that boomy bass. Then you can set up the frequency crossover for the subwoofer at 60Hz or 59Hz. But 60Hz is recommended to kill that boomy bass.

This much low crossover is not recommended in all conditions but only when you don’t want the boomy bass at all.

The subwoofer will shift sound frequencies above 60Hz to the front left and right speakers to play. To understand how the frequency crossover works.

Is boomy bass bad?

If the boomy bass is at or above 85dB then it is bad for the human ears and if it is lower than 79db then it is completely fine to go with.

The boomy bass starts from 100 Hz frequency to 120 Hz in a theater room. For other rooms that will be much higher than 120Hz. 

For home theater, I say 120Hz because we don’t set the frequency crossover for sub above that. That’s why talking about 121 Hz to 200 Hz is a waste of time.

If you set the sub at or above 85db then the sound will touch the 100Hz and will start a boomy bass. Now, at this dB the bass is harmful.

The best step to do is to set the subwoofer at 78db to completely avoid the badness of the bass. It is not the boomy bass that is bad but the decibel level that is bad.

What is a boomy sound?

The sound frequency from 100-201Hz is called boomy sound. Every sound range has its name. The boomy is just a name that is chosen for this frequency range.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. Read my this guide on how to set up the frequency crossover for each speaker in the surround sound. (Resource for the first answer)
  2. Know more about the harmful dB levels by the CDC.GOV. (Resource for the second answer)
This article was first posted on Homelytainment.com.
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

I'm Ayaan khan, a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After my degree, I started an internship with my father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month I realized that this is the best job in the world for me and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when my internship ended, I joined my father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. I test new equipment and approve it before it can be installed in the customer's house. I love to test equipment and sometimes love to install it by myself in the customer's theater room. I have the right experience and knowledge to learn from my 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. If you have any questions for me. Reach out to my email (Support(AT)homelytainment.com)

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