What Is a Mid-Bass Woofer?by Anne Hirsh
A mid-bass woofer is a type of speaker that produces sounds in the middle-low frequency range. Speakers classed as “tweeters” produce clean high-range, or treble, sounds. Speakers classed as “woofers” produce low-range, or bass, sounds. "Subwoofers" produce the lowest sounds of all. If you break the sound classes down farther, you have sound frequencies classed as "midrange," a designation overlapping both treble and bass. Mid-bass speakers cover a span in the upper bass and lower midrange frequencies.
Understanding Sound Frequencies
Sound travels through the air in waves that oscillate, or cycle between two extremes, at different speeds. One complete cycle in one second equals 1 hertz, generally noted as "Hz." Every pitch has a different frequency, or number of times it oscillates per second. The lower the frequency, the lower the sound's pitch.
Humans can hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 hertz, approximately. The bass frequencies cover 20 to 1,000 hertz, while treble covers 1,000 to 20,000 hertz and midrange overlaps from 300 to 3,000 hertz. Mid-bass range is approximately 140 to 400 hertz. A mid-bass woofer is a speaker specifically designed to handle this sound frequency.
The mid-bass range is an important part of sound production because it covers the tones of orchestral instruments such as French horns, cellos and bassoons. Most male voices also fall into this range, whether singing or speaking. If you have too much mid-bass range in your sound system compared to other ranges, the excess will make the tones sound "muddy," a common sound term for a lack of clarity in the audio. If you have too little mid-bass, you will lose some of the important tones in this range, and listeners perceive the sounds as lacking depth or warmth.
Your home stereo probably doesn't need a dedicated mid-bass woofer unless you are extremely interested in producing the best sound quality. However, a public sound system, such as for playing live music, will do best with at least one pair of mid-bass woofers, one placed to either side at the front of the audience, to give a balanced, full-range sound. Accompany these speakers with woofers and tweeters to get the full sound range you need. Another alternative is to use a sound control board that offers multiple controls in bass, midrange and treble so you can control the mid-bass range through standard woofers and tweeters.
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