More BASS for Your PC Speakers!





Introduction: More BASS for Your PC Speakers!

About: I love DIY, cars and techs.

More thumping bass? You came to the right place. Don't worry, you're not alone - not everyone are using bassy PC speakers / headphones. This instructables will teach you to add more bass without destroying the rest of the sound.

/**Updated on 23 Jul 2016**/
- Major revision in each steps.

Before we get started, let me tell you that I have tested dozens of "free" software on the market and even some paid ones with the sole purpose of adding bass to my speakers. This method may not be the easiest, but definitely is the better sounding among others.

What is bass?
Bass is low-frequency sound we associate with thumping (boom boom). Bass frequencies start at 20-200Hz, while human ears perceive frequencies from 20-20,000Hz. That is approximately just 1% in number, but we can 'hear' and distinguish lower frequencies (bass) easily such that it is very common we demand good thumping bass.

How to add more bass?
Well, perhaps the easiest way to add bass is to do the opposite: keep the bass at 0 and the reduce the others. That seems easy but trust me, not alot of software especially free ones are capable of doing that properly. Once you completed this instructables, you will hear the difference. The only drawback is that this instructables only work with music files on your computer.

Disclaimer: This instructables comes with a low risk of damaging your audio equipment such as blown speaker or amp. Do not attempt to change settings that are explicitly prohibited!

What you need:

- PC with Windows OS

- foobar2000 [See attachment] or Click here for my portable version with some plugins added.

- foobar2000 plugins [VST Adapter, SH-1 EQ & Voxengo SPAN]

- Working built-in / external sound device

- PC speakers preferably with a subwoofer (or headphones)

- Access to Tone Generator for initial testing

Step 1: Initial Testing

Before we begin with adding more bass, first we have to ensure that there are no issues to your speakers or subwoofer. No I don't mean if they're faulty or not, but whether they are working properly.

1.) Check if your speaker or subwoofer are "rotten"

The problem with all speakers is that they are prone to foam degradation, especially when left in a long period of time. If you have a rotten speaker / sub, do not continue as this will not help them sound better. You have to re-foam the speaker by getting a repair kit or send it to a professional.

2.) Find where your subwoofer sounds best

There is a thing called sweet-spot for subwoofer. A subwoofer can sound better in certain place depending on the room, so it may be better to find a spot that will allow your subwoofer to sound much better before we continue.

You can place it under the table, facing the wall, behind a cupboard etc to find out where your subwoofer sounds best. I have a downfiring subwoofer (Megaworks 550) that sounds better if I tilt it 90-degree. So I put a thick rubber feet on the left side of the subwoofer where the port is located and it sounds better below my old desk.

3.) Bass knob: MAX is not best!

For PC Speakers, most bass knob only act as either attenuation knob or fixed equalizer knob. Maxing this knob doesn't help you get more optimal bass. Find out which position gives you the smoothest bass. And then foobar2000 will take it from there.

4.) Test your subwoofer

Use this Online Tone Generator to check your subwoofer frequency response. Set your volume at your normal listening level, and listen to your subwoofer. You can start listening from 100Hz to 30Hz and figure out where you would want to add some bass. Ideally most PC speakers struggles at 60Hz and below, but if your speaker is small it may already struggle at 100Hz.

Warning: If your subwoofer is smaller than 6.5" you can stop at 40-50Hz instead to prevent damage.

Step 2: Add Some Bass!

After testing, you should have any idea at which frequencies you would want to increase. Unfortunately, boosting frequencies are not as easy as it seems: raising the 40Hz bar at the Equalizer does not mean it will boost only 40Hz frequencies. It will most likely boost frequencies from 40-90Hz.

As seen on the graph, the frequencies above 100Hz are actually lower. This means you have to turn up your volume, but your bass will be solid and distortion-free.

So now here is a guide to enable the SH-1 (Pic 2):
Run foobar2000, then press CTRL+P
At the left column select Playback > DSP Manager
Enable SH-1 and click OK

Configure SH-1 Equalizer (Pic 3):
Go to View > DSP > SH-1 Equalizer
Turn it on (left top corner lit)
Reduce the input gain on top left bottom (this is to prevent clipping)
Boost the bass on 30Hz / 40Hz / 63Hz / 100Hz
Play your favorite bassy music!

Now that you have added more bass, it is very important to check that you do not introduce clipping to your speakers. Clipping is a form of distortion that basically means you are pushing your speakers too much in a way that it will overdrive both the speakers and amp that will result in overheat and eventually permanent damage. Fortunately in foobar2000 we can easily check for clipping using Voxengo SPAN plugin which is also included in the attachment.

Enable Voxengo SPAN:
in foobar2000, press CTRL+P
At the left column select Playback > DSP Manager
Enable Voxengo SPAN and make sure it is most below position and hit OK

Check for clipping:
Go to View > DSP > Voxengo SPAN
On top left corner first select 2 (for 2 channels)
Click Edit on top right corner, and adjust some sliders according to Picture 4
Carefully read the clipping value and ensure it's always 0 even when the bass hits hard

If there is any clipping, refer back to SH-1 and reduce the input gain until there is no distortion.

WARNING: I am not responsible for your subwoofer / headphone / ear damage if you set too much bass or allow too much clipping. You have been warned!

Step 3: Optional: for 5.1 Speakers Only

If you have a 5.1 speakers (6-channel) for your PC, you can add bass directly into the Subwoofer. All music that you're playing comes in stereo (2-channel) format, and therefore we can add additional bass to the subwoofer.

Unless you're using upmix software such as Dolby ProLogic II, DTS: Neo, etc this method will work. This is particularly useful if you want to add more bass without losing the volume like the previous step did. I will assume you have setup your 5.1 speakers correctly.

Enable ChannelMixer:
Click CTRL+P (Preferences)
At the left column select Playback > DSP Manager
Enable Channel Mixer and make sure it is at most bottom. Click OK
Go to View > DSP > ChannelMixer

Configure ChannelMixer:

General Tab
Set channels to 6 for 5.1 speakers.
Leave stereoimagewidth to 1.00 (default)

Upmix Tab
Mode: Off / Copy / Surround
As an added bonus now you can customize how the rear and center speakers sounds
Slider "rear in front" and "front in rear" is identical to the stereoimagewidth. Default value is 1.00

Subwoofer Tab
Tick Use Subwoofer
Select Subwoofer channel

Optional: Enable Bass Redirection [Leave Satellites / Leave Sub / Full Redirection]
Try each one and check which one sounds best on your system (because different 5.1 have different crossover system)

Note that in ChannelMixer, when you set subwoofer volume beyond 1.00 in either page, you can introduce distortion.

Step 4: Extras: for MP3 Players

I love the bass. I wanted to get the same experience when I'm listening to my MP3 players or even my smartphone. None of the paid software apps on Android can deliver the same smooth bass as foobar2000 did, so here is the way to make your music bassier for your MP3 players:

Create a quick new playlist on the left by double-click the empty space.
Drag desired tracks to that "New Playlist".
Select all the tracks, right click > Convert > [..]
Click Processing
Enable SH-1
Configure it according to the settings you found in previous step
Click Back
Make sure the output format and destination are correct.
Click Convert

Warning: You will get lower volume in the CD / MP3 that you've just made. Set EQ accordingly, and remember to reduce input gain for SH-1 to prevent distortion.

Tips: You can use a sync folder as destination target. When I connect my phone I will automatically get the songs with more bass from that folder.

Step 5: You're Done! Enjoy the Bass!

Thanks to foobar2000 my ears heard enough bass. Everywhere: PC Speakers, cellphones, MP3 players, and even the stock CD player in the car. Here are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the foobar2000:

I am new. How do I add my songs?
Go to: File > Add Folder > and point it to your songs' folder > and click OK / Select Folder
Or simply drag your desired folder from explorer window into foobar2000 window.

I want to add artwork to the library page.
Right click the column and check artwork

Control Volume:
Go to right bottom corner, you will see values indicated in dB. Click to adjust volume.
or right click on upper area and add volume toolbar.

When I drag some tracks to the new playlist, I want to switch to it / not.
File > Preferences > Column UI > Playlist Switcher> Drag & Drop > Activate target playlist

Start foobar2000 always maximized
Create a shortcut and go to its properties. In target box, add [ /show] at the end. Example:
...foobar2000.exe" /show

More tips: right click -> options
In many positions (such as playlist tab, visualizations window, toolbar), there are many 'hidden' options which can be accessed by just right clicking it.

Change foobar2000 colors and fonts
File > Preferences > Display > Column UI > Colors and Fonts

Fade in / out
File > Preference > Advanced > Playback > Fading

Configure playback buttons
Right click buttons > Options.

Resume playback when foobar2000 is launched
File > Preference > Playback > Resume playback after restarting foobar2000.

Buffer Length
File > Preference > Playback > Output

This is the length of the buffer of your songs. Shorter means lower latency, therefore it avoids playback-skipping when working with other heavy process. Just an example if you're gaming, sometimes it takes longer time to adjust your volume or pausing the songs. This is because of the high latency. I set mine at 500ms.

Full File Buffering
File > Preference > Advanced > Playback > Full File Buffering (in KB).

Load your currently playing music to your RAM instead of HDD. This also means lower HDD activity, and is useful if you're playing from external drives or network. My songs are between 3MB to 55MB so I set it at 60000KB there. foobar2000 memory usage will increase according to your songs file. Check at task manager to see the difference between each songs.


Many thanks to:
- Peter Pawlowski (foobar2000)
- CrazyCoder (foo_amip_wrapper.dll)
- SkipyRich (foo_channel_mixer.dll & foo_dsp_span.dll)
- Yuobe (foo_ui_columns.dll)
- NEMO7538 (foo_quicksearch.dll)
- Yegor Petrov (foo_vst.dll)
- sweetboy@programmer? (SH-1 Equalizer)
- Voxengo (free SPAN analyzer)
- AIXcoustic (free Electri-Q posihfopit)
- pro_optimizer (FreeSurround)



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    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    YES! Klipsch is the first commercial manufacturer... They do sound sweet. I have the old Pro Media 5.1 with dual 8's and it's pretty sweet. However, the Polk 12 is mBA

    4 replies

    They make really good speakers, too bad they pair it with short-lived amps. The iFi I mentioned above died on me few years ago. it was easily the best 2.1 computer speakers available 400$ can buy until today.

    I have the Klipsch promedia 4.1's which were purchased around 1999 and still use them today. There are a few reasons they died on people prematurely. Once plugged in, the amp was always on (bad idea) So I drilled a small hole in the amp back-plate and connected a toggle switch to kill power when not in use.

    Because they were always on, a few resistors and a diode would overheat a section of the pcb turning it black and it would ruin those components and possibly the circuit pathway. The trick was to remove those components, replace them w/ higher capacity components of the same value, and elevate them off or away from the board during replacement.

    Then I tapped into the AC power feed, connected a step-down DC transformer (12 volt wall wort), and used a 12 cm computer fan to direct airflow to that region on the amp.

    The promedia 5.1's suffered the same overheating design flaw and the fix is slightly more extensive but essentially the same. You can see the board turning black from overheating on the upper right side in the pic.

    Burnt Resisters.jpg

    yeah, it's a pity those great PC speakers didn't make it. they don't make them like they used to. my cambridge soundworks 550 also died by itself when I arrived home from a month vacation.

    i have opened the iFi and even send it to a few technician to no avail. i even replaced all the caps and found out the amps are TDA8924 and TDA8920. there are no burnt components at all. well they're digital so without a manual i am completely clueless.

    finally decided to save and go for proper receiver with bookshelf setup. there are days i would miss having simple good-sounding 2.1 like the iFi where I can just plug an iPod and use the RF remote to play some music. but those days are just gone.

    i am happy for the fact that your promedia 4.1 is still kicking ass! a friend bought my altec lansing ada885 which was once a cheaper alternative to the promedia 4.1 back in 2000 and he is still using it today.

    There is a guy who advertises on fleabay named Stpeteshepherd who offers his services for the old Klipsch 4.1 & 5.1 systems. Some people won't easily give up on those systems because they sound phenomenal. Klipsch refused to disclose a schematic for those Bash amps so he mapped out them out himself. I did my own repair but he pointed me in the right direction. I also have a set of the Z-5500's and they're louder but the sound isn't quite as nice as the Klipsch.

    Thanks it worked like a charm on my Cambridge CSW130 but I have a question and that's how do you decrease the amount of clipping?

    1 reply

    You will have to reduce the input volume in the SH-1 Equalizer (knob on the left bottom corner) so you will have to turn up the main volume in the end. If it still clips, try to reduce the bass knob, small subwoofer distorts easily.

    user of the greatest speaker that i've ever

    hi, in foobar2000, navigate to "View" on top of the window, click it and select "Equalizer".

    Once the equalizer is ticked (enabled), you can increase and 55hz bar to get more bass, but remember to click auto-level each time you increase it.

    hope this helps, good luck!

    haha sweet
    I was reading and I see papertube mod on Edifier MP300? :P
    was happy to hear you still remember this mod :D

    1 reply

    lol. of course i should. it's one great trick i found few years back. anyone using Edifier MP300 / MP300+ should use it.

    Why do you consider SRS Audio Sandbox and Dolby Prologic IIx to be "creepy"?

    2 replies

    SRS makes the sound quality very fake.
    trebles sounded like plastic bag lol
    and sometimes there's too much trebles and you can't reduce it :(

    that dolby thing...I dunno lol

    The SRS, i found both the Sandbox and TruSurround that comes with my logitech z cinema are overrated. using couple of freeware such as foobar2000 above it makes things sounds better. the only SRS I used is the windows mobile version.

    and for the DPLIIx, my laptop has it embedded. Doesn't sound good at all, perhaps they just reverse the matrix of front speakers for the rear channels. However, I turn them on so they upmix things from internet like youtube.

    0_0 It has a spectrogram!? SO COOL!! I can see phasing!

    Is there any way to wire this so that it displays the spectrogram of a real-time line in or microphone? Or do you know of any other freeware real-time spectrum analyzers? I don't have a good way to visually monitor things in high detail when I'm mastering in Reason (the vocoder trick works, but it's not a large display).

    2 replies

    Regarding the spectrogram, i'm not really certain. However, you could check at the official forums at

    Compared to WMP, of course foobar2000's EQ sounds much better. I have not touch WMP for music playback since i use foobar2000. lol

    thanks and enjoy...

    Yeah, I just found a bunch of stuff. This website has lots of downloads and you can filter by freeware etc:

    Thank you!!!!! This is wonderful! Two things were really starting to piss me off about WMP:
    1) Single-band compression causing ducking of my low-end when the high end peaked, giving that obnoxious "wobbly" sound. (I'm a big audiophile)
    2) It seems like it's been taking longer and longer to start up.

    I use VLC, primarily for FLAC and streaming, but I don't like it's UI and lack of library support. I am giving foobar a shot and it looks like it's going to be a good match :)