Subwoofer placement and calibration tips - Rapallo New Zealand :: Home Theatre & Hifi | Design & Installation
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Whether you have 1 subwoofer, or are looking to add one to your system. A subwoofer is an essential part of a home theatre. It has the ability of fundamentally changing a home theatre experience. Rather than being able to hear the bass, you can actually feel it in your chest. It moves from a listening experience to a physical experience. Here are some tips we have to help you make the most of your subwoofer, and the bass frequencies within your room.


Go Wireless

You can now get quality subwoofer wireless kits that don’t degrade the sound quality at all. The beauty of using a wireless kit is so you are able to play your subwoofer anywhere in the room (it just needs a power outlet). This will help with placing the sub in the optimal location with out needing have a subwoofer cable run all the way back to the AV Receiver. This is great if you have the amp in a cupboard, rack or in a remote location. The kits we sell are easy to set up and pair. There is no delay or quality loss in the latest kits provided by SVS, Episode audio and Earthquake.

Rapallo | SVS Soundpath Wireless Kit


Wireless Subwoofer Kit options:



Since bass frequencies are omni-directional you can place a subwoofer anywhere in the room and hear its effects without knowing where they are coming from. The usual place to put your subwoofer is in the front of the room. This results in the best blending of the main channels and the center. Placing a subwoofer in the corner of the room or close to a wall will noticeably boost the bass output.

Single Subwoofer placements:

  • In the front between front channel and center speaker.
  • 1 of the corners of the room

Dual Subwoofer placements:

  • Front of room
  • Front corners of the room
  • 1 in front, 1 in the back (opposite phase setting)

SVS | Subwoofer PlacementSVS | Subwoofer Placement


Volume level

Getting the volume level right on your subwoofer helps blend the bass with the rest of your speakers. Blending is just as important in a 2ch stereo system. On the back of every powered subwoofer is volume dial. You can adjust the volume dial to get the right amount of bass volume and not waste the power being drawn from the built-in amplifier. To get the volume levels right to match the speaker you can download a SPL meter app on your smart phone. Follow a few simple steps to get your subwoofer volume level matched perfectly to your speakers.

5 steps to matching Subwoofer volume levels

  1. Play music (or white noise) at a volume you would normally listen at.
  2. Unplug the subwoofer, and have the main speakers plugged in.
  3. Start measuring the dB level. Note down what the average dB rating was for a particular period of music.
  4. Play the same music through the subwoofer when the main speakers are unplugged.
  5. Use the volume dial on your subwoofer to match the dB level that you recorded while the speakers were plugged in.

On AV Recievers you are able to select white noise to play through each channel independently,
which can make this test a bit easier than a stereo amp. 

Rapallo | Subwoofer blog volume


Listening Test (trust your ears!)

The best test is to use your own ears, listen to music you enjoy. Experiment with the subwoofer in different location in the room. Play a song that has a repetitive and heavy bass track. While you are listening focus on the bass, move the sub to a few locations until you think the bass sounds natural. If the bass is too boomy or muddy, pull the sub away from a wall. If you want heavier bass put it closer to the corner of the room.


The ‘Subwoofer Crawl’

SVS recommends the ‘subwoofer crawl’ technique. It may sound odd, but this really works and can help determine the best possible placement location if you have multiple options and want the best sound possible. This involves the following steps:

  1. Place the subwoofer at or near the main listening position. Get help moving the subwoofer if it’s a big/heavy model.
  2. Loop a familiar soundtrack with a repeating bass line.
  3. Evaluate the bass quality at each available subwoofer location in the room. Keep your head at/near knee level while listening (hence the term ‘subwoofer crawl’).
  4. Pick the location in the room which provides the most accurate and balanced sounding bass – and place the subwoofer there.

(Source: SVS)


Sources: SVS, Klipsch, audioholics

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