Widgets Magazine

Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

    Widgets Magazine
    For the last couple of years I've been watching anime using my PS3 on my Samsung LCD HDTV (model LA32B530). Thankfully my TV has good speakers relatively to the newer super-slim LED TVs. However lately I've been considering buying a subwoofer to upgrade my TV audio to 2.1. I have my eye on the VIBE Optisound 5, mainly because it's cheap and of good quality. But I really have no idea if my viewing experience will be enriched/upgraded by adding a subwoofer. I watch tons of anime and stay away from Hollywood blockbusters and American TV shows. I have seen some anime in the movie theatres, but not enough to really get a feel for the bass. So really what I'd like to know is - will a subwoofer really make a difference in my case?
    Bear in mind that I have a small room (that's also the reason why I haven't bought a surround sound system yet). Also if you happen to have the VIBE Optisound 5 and could comment on its quality I would highly appreciate that as well.

  • #2
    Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

    I've got no clue on the quality of the specific set you're looking at, but a subwoofer will definitely make things sound better. Most TV speakers can't even reproduce frequencies that a subwoofer can and even the ones that do simply aren't large enough to do it well. Bass is meant to be felt and small speakers built into a TV physically can't do that.

    You mentioned that you don't watch Hollywood blockbusters and I'm assuming you did it under the impression that car chases and explosions are the only things that benefit from a subwoofer. Anything with bass frequencies will sound richer through a subwoofer, whether it be someone with a deep voice talking, a low pitch instrument in the score, a heart beating, etc.

    In general, any dedicated sound system that cares enough to include a subwoofer is probably going to be an immediately noticeable increase in quality across the entire sonic spectrum compared to a television's built in speakers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

      Thank you for the fast reply. As you pointed out I mentioned Hollywood blockbusters because they usually take special care to have bigger effects (and thus bigger sound effects) than your standard anime series. But I find it hard to believe things like deep voices or heart beats will sound better with a subwoofer. Is it because the original music/voices were recorded with bass or is the subwoofer creating the bass artificially?

      Aside from that I've heard that a good subwoofer will add to the overall sound quality without attracting the attention of the viewer. I tend to lower bass to very low levels while listening to music on my computer since I don't like to hear that "banging" sound my computer's subwoofer makes. Can I enjoy the advantages a subwoofer has to offer for a TV while sustaining a relatively low level of bass? Sorry for following a question with another question. I'm grateful for your help.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

        Strangely most anime does not seem to be mixed with dramatic 5.1 or higher sound effects. In fact much of it seems to default to an almost plain old stereo mix. However, your receiver can be set to compensate. I think most Hollywood sound design has gotten way out of hand, particularly with Sci-Fi, Horror and Suspense movies to the point where every single moment seems to be some hyper energized rumbley din.... and well I am definitely glad that anime is much more restrained.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

          Anime isn't overly bassy but there is bass. Bass is a part of the audio spectrum and many sounds include it. It won't make someone a better voice actor, but hearing the full spectrum of a persons voice just sounds better to my ears than not. Going from my speakers to a friends house that doesn't have a sound system is always a shock because I've gotten so used to how things are supposed to sound.

          If you turn down bass because you don't like bass, you could probably just stick with your tv speakers though. No point in paying extra solely to get something that you don't want.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

            I consider the bass from a subwoofer practically essential in my viewing experiences. Even if you aren't watching something with explosions every 15 seconds, it makes the music sound so much better. It also brings out subtle sounds you wouldn't otherwise notice.
            Avatar: Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun. Level 5 Electromaster and Ace of Tokiwadai Middle School.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

              Many anime audio mixes, typically the ones made for TV series, don't have audio tracks that have enough low frequencies to take full advantage of a subwoofer's capability. In other words, you'll only benefit from a subwoofer if you feel your mains can't produce enough bass that you're comfortable with.

              Take your TV for example. Let's say you use the PS3 to play your music through the TV. Since you said you need to lower the bass on your PC-sub, this test can be used as a reference. Listen to the music and notice whether or not the bass is acceptable to you. If not, you'll want to use a sub. That logic might seem odd, but chances are your audio listening in general benefits with music as a reference because more frequencies are used throughout the audio spectrum, not entirely, but most (in contrast to mostly dialog-driven shows). Though it also depends on the music's mix, but since most music doesn't extend below 50hz, you can still use this test as a guideline. If you feel the bass is lacking, then adding an external sub will benefit all your sources.

              Keep in mind that if your PC subwoofer's specs are significantly lower than the sub you're planning to use, you'll definitely hear an improvement. The 'banging' or rattling, (if not 'booming') you're hearing from your computer sub is actually severe clipping. This is mostly caused by various things - 1) your volume is too high. 2) the sub is really worth its weight 3) and it shouldn't handle frequencies that would normally pass as lower-midrange on your main L/R speakers; the built-in crossover is crap and is also liking trying to output the frequencies above 100hz, which it really shouldn't do considering that's best left for the midbass/tweeters. 4) the excursion of the driver is so much, it's hitting the enclosure, basically a sign of excessive volume/clipping.

              Basically, adding the subwoofer you have in mind should benefit your general audio listening, but you'll need to determine whether you think the TV's bass is adequate to your ears. In most cases, adding one regardless of your TV's speaker capability, is preferred.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                smashwagon: Most anime these days come with a 5.1 audio track (either Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD). I'm not saying every anime will use surround sound effectively but there are bound to be some good mixes out there.

                sickvisionz&ProvidenceBreaker: That's interesting to know. I'm guessing bass makes voices "warmer". But thank you for asserting that bass is important for watching, regardless of the genre of said series/movie. I might have written bass off all those years since I figured it won't make much difference in more casual series. I was probably wrong.

                Sensuifu: That's a great idea! I'll try doing that. I can also try playing some DVDs off my computer and than on my TV to see how the bass sound to my ears.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                  Norio Wakamoto needs a subwoofer!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                    Originally posted by Just Passing Through View Post
                    Norio Wakamoto needs a subwoofer!
                    Don't forget Jōji Nakata.
                    Avatar: Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun. Level 5 Electromaster and Ace of Tokiwadai Middle School.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                      My take on the matter is that a subwoofer should only handle very low and sub-audible frequencies -- stuff you feel, rather than hear. I prefer full-range fronts for general-purpose bass duties. From that perspective, I really don't think that most anime requires a sub.

                      Now, if you're running bookshelves or some other bass-limited system, then I can see the value in having your .1 handle a more aggressive workload. But I don't think that's the best way to go about things, either. I'll always love my 8" floorstanders.
                      Avatar: Ruri "Kuroneko" Gokou from Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.

                      I just imagined Najimi wearing a frilly dress and twirling in front of a mirror in excitement... it's horrifying...
                      -Tsuyuri, Doujin Work

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                        I have a Pioneer Elite 7.2 receiver and a 7.1 Definitive Technology surround speaker system and taking the sub away would make me cry. To me, bass is something that ALL audio material produced within the last 20 years (or at least stereo mixes) absolutely needs. The best thing to do is go to a speaker store or to a Best Buy with a MAGNOLIA Home Theater section and sit down and ask to experience some of the audio they have there. They have set-ups from 2.0 to 7.2 in most cases and you'll hear what I'm trying to explain.

                        Put it this way, if you walked by a building that was being demolished via explosives, would it sound like metal clanking or would the explosion sound like a shrill screech? Or would it shake the environs around you and cause rattling, booming, etc? Proper bass really is just an extension of making something sound as it should. There is no need to get a 20-inch floor firing subwoofer for a 8x12 room but a simple 8-inch down firing or front-firing subwoofer with just 200 watts power makes so much of a difference that you'd be surprised you've been without one so long. If you took my sub away, I'd really be upset and media viewing or listening in general would suffer greatly from lack of bass.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                          I'm still experimenting with the bass. Right now I'm trying to play DVDs and music CDs with and without bass. Although I appreciate all your help this might actually turn out to be a matter of preference rather than necessity. I'm still not convinced a TV in a small room can gain a sound boost from a subwoofer and if I do use one it will be on a very subtle frequency. At any rate I'll be sure to post my "findings" in a day or two.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                            I live in a small house with small rooms that you wouldn't think would benefit from audio extravagance, and admittedly by old CRT TV with Prologic has no need of subwoofers as its cabinet is voluminous enough to hold effective speakers. The same isn't true for my flat panel HD set though, and I have that hooked up to my home cinema, which I use even for TV broadcasts as well as DVDs and Blu-rays. Distributing the sound around the room is one thing, but even having the subwoofer connected at its minimum setting so as not to annoy the neighbours makes a great difference.

                            I found the same thing with my laptop. It's internal sound is weedy, so I connected it to a 2.0 set of speakers, and really found the audio weak in comparison to my desktop. I blamed it on the laptop, thinking its modern audio chip was naff in comparison to the desktops ancient Soundblaster card. Then about a month ago, I had reason to switch the speakers, and connected it to the desktop's 2.1 speakers instead. Again, I always keep the subwoofer at a notch above silent, to avoid annoying the neighbours and shaking the floor. And it makes a world of difference to no bass at all, and now the laptop sounds better than the desktop.

                            The trick of it is to have the subwoofer at a level where you don't even know it's there while your listening normally. You want the sound to be natural. The only time you'll notice it is if you switch it off. You don't want it to sound like one of those bassmobiles that chavs drive.
                            Last edited by Just Passing Through; 11-21-2012, 07:14 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Will using a subwoofer enrich my anime-viewing experience?

                              Originally posted by Just Passing Through View Post
                              The trick of it is to have the subwoofer at a level where you don't even know it's there while your listening normally. You want the sound to be natural. The only time you'll notice it is if you switch it off. You don't want it to sound like one of those bassmobiles that chavs drive.
                              This is definitely the key. Many people seem to believe that a subwoofer is "meant" for obnoxiously loud booming bass like you hear coming from so many cars on the road. Blending the bass in with the rest of the audio is what you want.

                              A properly configured subwoofer adds so much depth to the sound (without boominess), you'll wonder how you ever got on without it. And if you're using it for movies, it will kick in with that extra oomph only when it needs to.
                              Merry Christmas from Ana & Matsuri! || my avatar library
                              ~ Currently Watching: Sailor Moon SuperS; Hanebado!; Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise
                              ~ Last Watched: Nutcracker Fantasy; Ronja, The Robber's Daughter; The Case of Hana & Alice; Sailor Moon S (+film); Children Who Chase Lost Voices; KanColle
                              homepageblogreviewsanilistkitsu

                              Comment

                              Widgets Magazine
                              Widgets Magazine

                              Channels

                              Collapse

                              Widgets Magazine
                              Widgets Magazine
                              Working...
                              X