Ever wondered what the perfect equalizer settings are? Let’s be honest. After spending hours poring through your favourite music player’s audio settings in an effort to understand how the thing works better or to see if there’s a magical component that, regardless of the speakers you can afford, always, without fail, produces the most impeccable sound quality possible?
Yeah. We know how you feel. And this article is definitely going to be your holy grail.
Now, we’ll explain a couple of things in this post, and the only thing you have to do is simply: read it to the end. Sound easy? Let’s begin!
Equalizer Settings for Best Sound
We’re sorry to break your bubble but here’s something we need you to know first. Unlike what other people may believe, there is NO perfect equalizer level that works for everyone. Yeah, we know what a bummer that is but it’s the truth.
Here’s the thing: the perfect configuration for your speakers and genres of music relies on a variety of factors, including your hearing sensitivity, the calibre of your speakers, and the genre of music you often listen to.
In short, the best equalizer settings really depend, and as sad as it is, there’s no one-click button for it. At least, not across every speaker out there.
Now, before we start off with the actual topic, here are a bunch of prerequisite FAQs that we’ve answered so you’re not yawning away through the article wondering, “Okay yeah, but can someone just tell me what an EQ and frequency ranges actually are first??”
What Is An Equalizer (EQ)?
An EQ, short for an equalizer, is a type of processor that lets you change or increase the sound quality by boosting or lowering specific frequency ranges. It typically operates between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which are the frequencies that people can theoretically hear, however in practice our range may be limited by ageing and other causes.
How Do Frequency Ranges Work?
In audio terminology, frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself in a given period of time. In layman’s terms, a low-frequency sound will produce waves in the bass or sub-bass region and will require greater power and larger speakers, whereas a high-frequency sound will require smaller speakers and less power.
Source: CUI Devices
Here are a couple of frequency ranges for you to better understand how an equalizer is used.
- 20 Hz to 60 Hz – Extremely low frequencies. These frequencies can only be reproduced by sub-bass and kick drums, and you’ll need a subwoofer or a strong set of headphones to hear them.
- 60 Hz to 200 Hz – Low frequencies. These require bass or low-pitched drums in order to be heard.
- 200 Hz to 600 Hz – Low mid-range frequencies. You’l hear this frequency range if you play the lower end of a variety of musical instruments, such as guitars or pianos.
- 600 Hz to 3,000 Hz – Mid-range frequencies. Vocal sounds fall within this range, which is the range we are accustomed to hearing. The majority of instruments, including pianos and guitars, are performed in this range.
- 3,000 Hz to 8,000 Hz – Upper mid-range frequencies. This is performed on instruments with a higher range, such as violins or guitars. If done effectively, the music falls on a continuum where you can appreciate it, but it can sometimes be pretty unpleasant as well.
- 8,000 Hz & beyond – Although we have a theoretical hearing range of 20,000 Hz, most individuals have reduced hearing owing to ageing and other causes. Thus, to replicate these high-frequency sounds, treble is required.
Hooray! Now that you’re familiar with all the hard terms and concepts, you can examine an equalizer, understand how it works, and experiment with different settings – all on your own!
Before you begin, it’s crucial to realize that equalizers are typically left on their default setting so you can hear the sound exactly as it was recorded. That being said, you can always enhance your audio experience by adjusting the settings in accordance with the musical genres you’re currently listening to as well as your speaker’s capabilities.
Here are a couple of famous genres and the perfect equalizer settings for them.
Best Equalizer Settings for Rock & Metal Music
Rock, being a favorite music genre among many, emphasizes both low- and high-frequency sounds produced by instruments like electric guitars, etc.
Source: Music Industry How To
The majority of the information of guitars is located in the centre of the frequency band, typically between 500Hz and 4kHz. Therefore, be sure to significantly increase the mids. In most circumstances, you can leave the bass alone. It would be fantastic to provide a little push to the highs. Your equalizer should resemble a bass of 0, mids of +4 and highs of +2.
Best Equalizer Settings for Bass-Heavy Genres: Pop, Hip-Hop & Rap
As the name suggests, we advise starting by increasing the bass for music genres with a lot of bass. Hip hop and rap in particular use bass synthesisers and 808s to fill the low frequencies of pop music with substance.
From there, you may somewhat enhance the mids and significantly boost the highs since pop music in particular, of the genres in issue, needs more brightness. The appearance would be similar to a bass of +4, mids of +2, and highs of +4.
Best Equalizer Settings for Jazz & Classical Music
Jazz and classical music call for neutrality and naturalness. You need to get a neutral response because you want to feel as though the musicians are performing right in front of you.
To obtain that, though, and to ascertain what has to be modified, you must pay attention to your setup. To make your sound less boomy, a general rule is to roll off the lows. A good place to start is a bass of -4, mids of +2 and highs of +2.
Best Equalizer Settings for Bass
Although bass isn’t exactly a music genre, a lot of people nowadays seek the perfect bass levels to better enjoy their music.
A common misconception is that better sound would come from raising the decibel level. You cannot get the required bass sound by merely increasing the lower end of the frequency band. The frequency loudness will rise simply by turning up the bass, but the sound quality will suffer as a result.
You must thus establish a balance in this situation. If you want to improve the sound quality while adding extra bass, you could try this. Boost the sub-bass frequency below 60 Hz by 6 dB. Then, maintain a 0 to 6dB range for the bass frequencies (60 to 200 Hz). The rest, however, may be adjusted to your preferences, either flat or lowered.
Best Equalizer Settings for Car
Because it depends on the music you listen to, there isn’t a single equalization setting that works best for cars. The majority of individuals, however, desire their automobile audio to have a powerful bass. In light of this, you should ensure that your car’s audio system has got a lot of bass.
Don’t go crazy while adjusting the bass, though. Too much bass might damage your hearing because your car isn’t the most open space. Therefore, limit the alterations as much as possible.
Here, you ought to separate the frequencies into three groups. Think about the bass from 20 to 200 Hz and enhance it by 0 to 6 dB. Reduce the decibel level or keep the mid- and treble flat. This ought to offer some decent sound.
Another thing we’d like to add is that the safe and best equalizer setting for bass in your car is always neutral. For the majority of music and podcast genres, a neutral environment works pretty well. However, feel free to increase the mids and highs by 2 or 4 dB and the bass by 4 dB if your go-to is bass-driven music like hip-hop or EDM.
What are the best equalizer settings for clear and balanced sound?
We advise experimenting with a few lights boosts (perhaps only 3-5 dB to start) in specific frequency bands coupled with some reduction (turning stuff down) in some potentially “muddy” frequencies in order to achieve a clean and balanced sound.
Try a pretty wide bandwidth centered at 3 kHz for the gain in clarity. Just be very careful not to exacerbate sibilance (harsh “S” sounds). Try both broader and narrower bandwidths. Additionally, to add some sparkle or airiness, try boosting in a similar manner between 10 and 12 kHz. Just give it a shot and let us know how it goes for you.
We also suggest lowering it down to around the 250–500 kHz region to reduce muddiness. Experiment once more with the bandwidth, target/center frequency, and decrease percentage. There are simply no exact formulas since voices vary so greatly.
Does EQ degrade the sound?
So long as EQing doesn’t amplify distortion, ruin the soundscape, obliterate clarity, or severely overstretch certain frequency ranges. It is feasible and produces excellent outcomes.
It’s often not a good idea to use drastic EQing to fix audio inefficiencies in a system. Usually, the signal is clipped or the quality of the images and sounds is reduced to the point of diminishing returns.
Can EQ enhance audio quality?
Totally! Want your speakers and headphones to produce better sound? Using an equalizer, you can tweak the treble, increase the bass, and more to fine-tune your audio.
Should all sounds be EQ’d?
Nope. You shouldn’t straight away EQ all the tracks in your mix. Each track should be assessed on its own; if it needs some EQ to blend in effectively, add some to that track but if it fits nicely in the mix without it, applying EQ is really not necessary.
As you now know, there is no ideal setting for your equalizer; instead, you should adjust the settings in accordance with the type of music you are currently listening to and, most importantly, your own preferences. Only use the settings in this article as a general guide.
To determine where your sound is weak and which frequencies should be enhanced or suppressed, we advise using your ears. Additionally, playing about with the equalization can help you learn how it functions and how your specific equalizer reacts because there are no tight limits.
You can also look at and search the website of your speaker manufacturer if you want to take things a step further. All in all, we really hope that this guide was helpful to you in personalizing your audio experience. Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries.
If you’d like to add more information to this, let us know in the comments section below!
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