Bass Boost Vs. Gain: What Should I Adjust On My Amp?

Norvan Martin

Which settings should you adjust to get the best output from your amp? Bass boost or gain? Which is better for your music?

The difference between bass boost and gain is that bass boost only increases the low-frequencies (bass) while gain affects the entire audio frequency range. Generally, gain refers to modifying the input level before going into a preamp, while bass boost modifies the signal in post-processing. If you turn the gain up, you need to turn the bass boost down and if you turn the gain down, you can turn up the bass boost if you want louder bass.


Bass Boost vs Gain Comparison Table

CriteriaBass BoostGain
FunctionEnhances or emphasizes lower frequenciesAdjusts overall amplification level
Frequency RangePrimarily affects low frequenciesAdjusts entire frequency range
Control PrecisionOften limited control optionsPrecise control over amplification
Impact on Sound QualityMay introduce distortion if applied excessivelyCan impact sound quality if set too high
System CompatibilityCompatible with systems with bass enhancement featuresCompatible with a wide range of audio systems
Dynamic RangeMay reduce dynamic range by emphasizing frequenciesAffects the entire dynamic range
Use CasesIdeal for additional bass emphasisUsed for matching output levels and balancing sound
Amplification ControlFocuses on boosting bass frequenciesOffers control over entire amplification process
Clarity and TransparencyMay affect clarity and transparency if applied excessivelyMaintains clarity when used judiciously

What Is Bass Boost?

Bass boost is a technique used to increase the power of an audio signal and get more kick out of your subwoofer. 

Bass Boost really applies more gain to a particular bandwidth centered around a specific frequency (typically bass frequencies). For every 3dB of boost, an amp is asked to more/less double its output around this frequency.

It can be helpful if you want to crank up the bass in your music or if you want to hear more pronounced lows in your recordings.

What Is Bass Boost

However, some potential side effects of bass boost should be considered before using it.

What Is Gain?

Gain is another term for amplifier power. It refers to how much amplification a speaker can handle. The higher the gain, the louder the sound will be.

When you increase the gain of an amplifier, you’re also increasing the strength of the signal. This can lead to distortion and hearing problems if not used correctly.

Before making any changes to your amplifier settings, it’s essential to consult with a professional sound engineer to ensure that these changes will improve your audio experience.

What is the Difference Between Bass Boost and Gain?

Bass amps and gain amps are designed to amplify the sound of a speaker. Bass amps are often used in cabinets with low impedance, while gain amps are typically used in more prominent speakers. Bass amps also tend to be more affordable than gain amps.

Bass amps are often used in cabinets with impedance 4, 8, or 16 ohms. Bass amps are also the least expensive type of amp out there.

The smaller the speaker, the lower its impedance will be. To play high-quality music through smaller speakers, bass amps are perfect as they allow you to amplify the sound and send it out into the world. They’re great for rehearsals and small gigs.

Gain amps are typically used in larger cabinets with higher impedances to enhance sound quality. Gain amps can be costly due to their high-end components and power capabilities, but they’re worth the price.

Gain amps are used to play through large speakers with a lot of power. They’re usually found in larger venues and are used in professional settings.

When Should I Set Bass Boost?

When you want to set it as a boost, the answer is usually pretty simple. The bass boost should be used when your mix is too soft or loud. It can help give your music a more aggressive sound, and it can also make it easier to hear the vocals in a mix.

amplifier bass boost

However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effects of a bass boost. Some people find that bass boost makes their music louder and harder to hear, while others find it too bass-heavy.

You must experiment with different bass boost levels to find what sounds best for your music.

When Should I Set Gain When Adjusting On My Amp?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Depending on the amp you are adjusting, you may want to set the gain at a lower or higher level depending on the desired results.

amplifier gain

Generally, higher gain levels allow for more distortion and feedback, giving the amp a louder and more distorted sound. Lowering the gain will reduce the amount of distortion and feedback, making the amp quieter and less distorted.

Should I Set Bass Boost Or Gain?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Deciding whether or not to set bass boost or gain can depend on several factors, including the type of music you are playing, the level of distortion you want your speakers to have, and the type of speaker you are using.

Setting bass boost or gain can improve sound quality while reducing distortion levels. However, it’s essential to make sure that setting bass boost or gain will positively affect your speakers, as it may cause them to become less efficient.

However, if you’re setting your speakers for a bedroom or living room with low-bass sounds, you might want to set them to bass boost instead of gain. Additionally, if your speakers are used in an office or other high-traffic areas where the bass is essential, put them to gain so that they can reach higher levels of sound.


Is Bass Boost the same as Gain?

No, bass boost is not the same as gain. Gain refers to the extent to which a signal is amplified. e.i.e the ratio of the output voltage to the input voltage of an amplifier. On the other hand, bass boost is equalization – an increase in the level of some of the sub-bass frequencies.

What is the Best Bass Boost Frequency On an Amp?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific amplifier you are using. Generally speaking, you should adjust the Bass Boost frequency on your amp to get a more balanced tone.

This will improve the overall tone of your amplifier. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some amps have lower or higher Bass Boost frequencies, so it’s essential to consult with your amplifier’s manual to find the frequency that works best for you.

How To Set Bass Boost?

To adjust the bass boost on your amplifier, you first need to know the level of your amplifier. Once you have that information, you can adjust the  bass boost using the following steps:

  • First, set the level of your amplifier to its listening position. This will determine how much bass boost is output from your amplifier.
  • Next, change the frequency of your amplifier. This will determine how high or low bass boost will be output from your amplifier.
  • Now, adjust the Bass Boost knob to the desired level.

Should Bass Boost On Or Off?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on the individual amp and the type of bass. Bass Boost can be turned off entirely on some amps while others have it activated selectively.

It’s essential to find an amp that you’re comfortable with so that you can get the most out of your bass.

Is Bass Boost On Amp Good Or Bad?

There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the individual amp. In general, a bass boost is suitable for amplifiers because it increases the amplifier’s power. This means that you can play louder music and not have distortion or sound quality issues.

However, some people may find a bass boost too loud, and some may find a bass boost too low.

What is the Correct Bass Boost Level DB?

The correct Bass Boost Level Db for a car is typically set at 11.0. This level provides the best sound for high-pitched sounds and helps reduce distortion.


Bass boost and gain can be helpful if you want to crank up the bass in your music or if you want to hear more pronounced lows in your recordings. However, some potential side effects of bass boost should be considered before using it.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin