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The subwoofer could be the most despised loudspeaker in America.

But why? Because it's big and fat? Because it's such a blowhard?

Well, here's some news for the anti-sub movement: The subwoofer is an indispensable part of a home theater. It does the grunt work in a surround-sound system, playing all those low-lower-lowest notes -- the explosions, the crashes and the rumble of helicopters -- that other speakers simply cannot reach.

The subwoofer injects realism, sound you can actually feel, into a home theater. Here's how important it is: I would give up both rear-channel surround speakers before I gave up the subwoofer in my home theater. I would even give up the center speaker, the critical dialogue specialist, and use a basic two-speaker setup with the subwoofer.

Powered vs. passive: A powered subwoofer means it has its own amplifier. A passive subwoofer, with no amplifier, must be connected to an audio-video receiver like an additional speaker. Avoid the passive types.

The lowdown: Look for a subwoofer that reaches down to at least 35 hertz (the lowest note produced in the musical world is the low-C of the pipe organ, 16 hertz). Check the manufacturer's ratings. The lowest rumbles of the Outlaw LFM-1, which hit 25 hertz, will seem capable of imploding your house.

Making the connection: Most subwoofers offer two methods of connection to an audio-video receiver. The "line level," which requires one or two interconnects, is preferred. If your receiver doesn't have a subwoofer output, connect the subwoofer like another loudspeaker using speaker wire.

The set-up: Remember, the subwoofer takes care of the low notes your main speakers can't reach. Treat it like a partnership. Pay special attention to controls on the subwoofer's back panel for volume and frequency adjustment.

Start by setting the subwoofer's high-frequency cutoff -- with a dial often designated "crossover" that ranges from 50 hertz to 160 hertz -- to match the lowest frequency of your main loudspeakers. (Check the speaker manual. Most smaller home-theater speakers bottom out anywhere from 70 to 120 hertz.)

When you set the subwoofer's crossover at 70 hertz, for example, it will not produce a note above that frequency.

If you hear movie dialogue from the subwoofer, you've set the frequency too high. Listen for a smooth transition from the lowest notes of the speakers to the subwoofer. Adjust the sub's volume if bass sounds too prominent or boomy. More precise settings require test tones and a sound-level meter.

The placement: Bass notes are considered non-directional -- hard for the human ear to detect where they're coming from -- so a subwoofer can be placed just about anywhere. But the front of the room is preferred, near, between or behind the home theater's front speakers. Placing it in a corner increases bass output.

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Foshan City Nanhai Kafu Professional Audio Equipment Factory was founded in 2006, located in Foshan, China. With more than 10 years operating, we have built up mature products technology, high quality production system and after sale service system. Our products include passive&active line array speakers, full range speakers, subwoofer, power amplifiers, digital processors and peripheral products and and all accessories, which have been successfully applied in public entertainment market, government affairs,business conference, public cultural and sports market.
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