[Update 2018] Now works with all sound coming out of your PC!
Want 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 07 Sep 2018**/
- Uses EqualizerAPO platform instead of foobar2000
8 years ago when I started this instructables, I'm only using foobar2000 with VST equalizer that works only with music files. Now, you can enjoy more bass on everything, including popular platform such as YouTube and Spotify.
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 we often want 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.
What you need:
- PC running Windows Vista OS / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10
- Working built-in / external sound device
- PC speakers preferably with a subwoofer (or headphones)
Step 1: Let's Get Started!
First we have to install EqualizerAPO and Peace EQ. These softwares are free, and is a very powerful tool, even more powerful than what you find on typical consumer soundcard such as Creative X-Fi or Asus Xonar. During installation, please select the device you are using in conjunction with EqualizerAPO.
Now open up Peace EQ and select "Full Interface" on the right if prompted.
1. Set the toggle to ON position
2. Reduce pre-amp value by -6.00 first. You will have to reduce more if you're planning to add so much bass.
3. Now, raise the first 4 bands to 5.00 [See Pic 2]
The reason why I raise it to 5.00 instead of 6.00 is to leave headroom in case there is little distortion.
The default frequencies for the first 4 bands are 10Hz, 21Hz, 42Hz, 83Hz. Of course with different subwoofer size you can go lower to reduce "muddy" bass. I am using a big subwoofer so I set it at 13Hz, 20Hz, 34Hz, 56Hz instead.
Adjust until you find the setting to your liking. Do not raise the bar beyond what we minus on the pre-amp.
If you're adding 10dB, then you'll have to at least minus -11dB on the pre-amp setting. This is to prevent distortion.
4. You can also save a profile for the EQ you just created
5. For advanced analysis and measurement, you can click the "Graph" button to display the Graph [See Pic 3]
Now you can understand, despite we adding the bass for only 5dB, the final result is higher.
If you check the box "Adjust frequency in graph" you can use the mouse to slide the EQ.
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 2: Done!
Thanks to EqualizerAPO and PeaceEQ my speakers sounds just like I want it. Everywhere: watching YouTube video, streaming Netflix, listening to Spotify and etc.
There are no discernible difference in CPU usage with Peace running. Even when playing games. If you're using headphones, you may want to check out HeSuVi for the "virtual surround" package on top of EQ-APO.
Now if you're using a subwoofer:
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.
Also: Maxed Bass knob 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 use the EqualizerAPO to add more bass.
Please Leave a Comment if you liked this instructables!
I have been using many PC Speakers in 2.1 and 5.1 setup from Altec Lansing, Cambridge Soundworks, Edifier, Logitech, Klipsch, Audiobox and many more. I am currently using custom 5.1 setup with Pioneer VSX521.
Special thanks to:
- Peter Verbeek (EqualizerAPO)
- Jonas Thedering (PeaceEQ)