Subwoofer High Pass Filter: What Does it Actually Do?

To get the best listening experience, a great output is a must. And different devices are used to enhance the sound quality. A high pass filter is such a device. 

A high pass filter is very popular among music lovers for its function. So people want to pair it with different output devices. Many even decide to use it with a subwoofer. 

So, how useful is a Subwoofer High Pass Filter?

The high pass filter will attenuate the low-frequency sounds in the subwoofer. This will increase the clarity of the sound. The longevity of the woofers will increase too. But some negative sides of the filters are also there. The system becomes too complex. Also sometimes the sound gets distorted. 

So the usefulness of subwoofer high pass filters depends on various factors. Below I have elaborately discussed all these factors. So keep scrolling!

What Is a Subwoofer High Pass Filter? 

A subwoofer high pass filter is an electronic device used to remove the low-frequency sound. It is used in many subwoofers to enhance the sound quality. High pass filters can be used in either 12 or 15-inch subwoofers.

Source: Steve Willson Kujur

This filter cuts out the bass of the sound. But it does not remove all the bass of the sound. 

Only bass with a lower frequency is cut out. This saves the speaker from the stress of low bass. In the subwoofer high pass filter setting, a frequency point is determined. It is known as the cutoff frequency. Any frequency below this point is attenuated. 

It works opposite the subwoofer low pass filter. In this way, the filter blocks unwanted sounds. As a result, the quality of the produced sound is increased. For its usefulness, high pass filters on amps are also used. 

What Are the Advantages of Subwoofer High Pass Filter?

There are several advantages of subwoofer high pass filters. Let’s see the plus points one by one.

Sound Becomes More Clear 

The most important effect of the high pass filter can be observed in the sound clarity. The sound becomes very clean because of the filter. The noises are reduced up to a great extent. 

The listening experience becomes more enjoyable because of the high pass filter.

The Subwoofer Can Perform up to Its Potential 

The subwoofer’s high pass filter box enables the subwoofer to perform at its best. Almost all sound devices come with a frequency range. At this range, any device gives the maximum output. The filter can be used to take advantage of the frequency range. 

We have to find out the optimum frequency range of the subwoofer. Then a high pass filter is to be used with it. The frequency point of the filter is to be given according to the woofer range. Then the subwoofer will give a fantastic performance. 

Environmental Noises Are Removed 

Music producers try to keep the recording studios sound-free. Yet often environmental sound gets into the recording. This can be annoying and lessen the enjoyment. But good for us, most of these sounds are of low frequency. 

So we can avoid them by using a filter. The High pass filter will keep out the environmental noise from the output. But it will keep the high-frequency sounds undistorted. This is surely beneficial for listening to quality sound.

Plosives Are Eliminated

Plosives or p-pops are very common in the recording industry. This happens when the voice of the artist causes pressure on the microphone. Plosives reduce the recording quality. This problem can be reduced by using a high pass filter.

The frequency of the plosives is low compared to the recording frequency. So a high pass filter can easily separate them. By setting the correct cutoff point, the plosives can be eliminated from the records.

Handling Sounds Are Removed 

Many times while working with the microphones and other recording instruments, extra sounds are produced. These sounds reduce the quality of the recording. However, they can be easily filtered by high-pass filters.

Like any other noise, the handling sounds are of low frequency too. So the high pass filter can attenuate these noises. Thus the quality of the sound can be maintained. 

More Gain 

High pass filter for speakers helps the speaker to have more gain. There are differences between Gain and volume. They are two entirely different things. 

The high pass filters reduce the distortion of the sound. And the amount of input gets increased. Thus the gain becomes more.

High pass filtering the main speakers

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Source: thecoolist.com

The Lifespan of the Subwoofers & Speakers Increases 

The speakers consist of Twitter and woofer parts. The tweeter is to give an output of high-frequency sounds. On the other hand, the work of the woofer is to produce sound with low frequency. 

If the low-frequency sound gets in the tweet, the speaker can get damaged. And its lifespan also decreases because of this. So a crossover of low pass filter vs high pass filter is used here. These filters separate the high and low frequencies. 

And then send them to their correct destination. The high pass filter sends the sound to Twitter. And sound from the low pass filter goes to the woofer. This is helpful for the health of the speaker.

These are the advantages of high pass filters. Because of these points, the high pass filter car audio and subwoofers are made. But there are disadvantages too. I will present the negative points in the next section. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Subwoofer High Pass Filter?

Besides several positive aspects, the high pass filters also have some negative sides. You should know these points to get a complete idea. So let’s see them!

The System Becomes Complex 

The high pass filters consist of circuits to accomplish their goal. It is inserted between the amplifier and preamp. All these settings make the connection very complicated. It can be a great problem while using the subwoofers. 

So the use of high pass filters is often discouraged. Instead of the filters, it is suggested to use high-quality speakers along with the subwoofers. This will give better outputs.

Sometimes High Pass Filters Don’t Workout 

The working method of the high pass filter is to block the low-frequency sounds. In theory, this should not cause any problem in the output. But sometimes this is not the case. Because of using the filters, the phase of the sound gets changed. 

Source: nytimes.com

This can also change the sound. As a result, the listener does not get the authentic output. This is negative for the listening experience. 

Missing Out on the Real Recording Experience 

This point is true for many listeners. Many people like to hear the actual recording instead of a filtered one. The high pass filter makes the recording more noise-free. But this is against the real recording experience. So this is a sacrifice you have to make.

Using a high pass filter might often rattle the subwoofer in extreme volume.

So there are both positive and negative aspects of the high pass filters. I have made it clear what a high pass filter is in the audio subwoofer. Now it’s your call to use a high pass filter in your indoor and outdoor subwoofer or not.

FAQs 

Does a high pass filter affect subwoofers?

Yes, a high pass filter affects the subwoofer. The high pass filter cuts all the low bass. That means low-frequency sounds do not pass through. The output of the subwoofer is highly modified. The effect of a high pass filter on subwoofers can be both negative and positive. 

Does a subwoofer need a low pass filter?

A subwoofer does not always need a low pass filter. The low pass filter blocks all the frequencies above a certain point. The high bass of the sound gets blocked. So if the bass is too high, it will improve the sound quality. But if you have a high-quality speaker, you won’t need this filter.

Can you set a low pass filter on a subwoofer?

You can set a low pass filter on a subwoofer based on its frequency range. Every speaker has a frequency range. The low pass filter will block high frequencies. So while setting it, you will need the lower range of the speaker. 70% of the lower frequency range should be pointed in the filter.

Conclusion 

This is all I have on the subwoofer high pass filter. I hope that you have got a clear idea of this topic.

The high pass filter comes with some benefits and some problems. So before getting it, make sure that the benefits outweigh the problems for you.

Good Luck!

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