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December 23, 2010

Subwoofer Phase Switch

Filed under: AV question — Tags: — Alan @ 2:57 pm

Q. What does the “Phase” switch on my subwoofer do? Do I set it to 0 or 180?

A. It synchronizes the in-and-out movement of your sub’s woofer with the woofers in the rest of your system so that when the subwoofer cone is “pushing” air out, the other woofer diaphragms are also moving outward. If your subwoofer is on the same plane as your front speakers then set the subwoofer phase switch to 0. If your subwoofer is located anywhere else then try the phase switch in both positions and set it to the position that produces the strongest bass at your listening position. Given the vagaries of bass standing waves that result in all rooms, you may notice no difference at all, in which case set the switch to 0.

Once the subwoofer phase switch is set, check out our sub placement tips.

Alan Lofft was, for 13 years, Editor in Chief of Sound & Vision, Canada’s largest and most respected audio/video magazine. He edited Sound & Vision (Canada) until 1996, when he moved from Toronto to New York to become Senior Editor at Audio magazine.
Lofft has been writing about hi-fi and video professionally for over 20 years, ever since his first syndicated newspaper column, “Sound Advice”, began appearing weekly in The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper. In the late 1970s, he became a contributing editor, columnist, and equipment reviewer at AudioScene Canada, the leading national consumer electronics magazine at the time. Find out more about Alan in his bio.

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