This sound test aims at evaluating the quality of your audio equipment's lowest frequency range. Use this test to subjectively compare the output of different subwoofers.
Subwoofers - and speakers in general - vary in regard to their frequency range, sound pressure and distortion levels. One subwoofer may reproduce lower frequencies than another, or output a higher sound pressure level, but at the expense of a higher distortion. Choosing the right subwoofer needs more investigation than just picking the lowest pitch specification or the highest output level!
Distortion adds new spectral components to the original signal and thereby falsifies the sound (exactly as digital aliasing does at the other end of the spectrum). As distortion increases with the speaker's cone excursion, it limits the maximum usable output of the loudspeaker.
Use our Subwoofer and Low Frequency Response Test to roughly evaluate the lowest bound of your speaker system, then switch back to this page's test to judge how well it performs in terms of (the absence of) harmonic distortion.
Each sound file plays a two-second sine tone that gradually fades in then out. Rows span one octave (a factor two in the frequency domain) and columns over three octaves, all the way down to subsonic frequencies.
The table below must be interpreted as follows:
To check for Harmonic Distortion, proceed as follows:
Properly measuring harmonic distortion requires a calibrated measurement system and testing software (see our external link section to the right). Our subjective test only highlights audible distortion, that is to say a severe distortion beyond any acceptable tolerance!
The acceptable benchmark for loudspeaker is less than 10% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) across its working frequency range. In such a case, distortion products are located 20 dB below the main signal at least, and should be masked to our ears.
Due to the mp3 compression that is used to preserve the bandwidth on this site, you may hear a faint rustling noise when playing infrasonic files. To get rid of the mp3 encoding, simply download the associated .wav files by clicking the download arrow next to each sound, and play the downloaded files straight from your hard disk. Using the .wav files will remove the rustling artifacts.
Is AudioCheck free? Not for me. Your support keeps this site running. Any donation will be rewarded with • uncompressed .wav file download for every test (a download arrow will appear next to each sound icon) • increased durations and sample rates up to 192 kHz in the Tone Gen section • and, best of all, the removal of these pesky payment buttons below 😜
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