What is the Subwoofer Phase Switch For?

Norvan Martin
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You might have seen a phase switch at the back of your sub and may be wondering what the subwoofer phase switch does. Most subwoofers contain a ‘Phase’ control/switch with 0 or 180 degrees. What exactly is the function of this switch?

This article will explore what the subwoofer phase switch is and how it can help improve your home theatre experience.

The subwoofer phase switch on a powered subwoofer allows you to add an electrical delay to the incoming audio signal. This phase delay can either be 0 or 180 degrees or in some cases ranges from 0 to 180 degrees. Adding delay to the subwoofer signal can help the subwoofer integrate better with the speakers in the audio system.

Now that you know what a subwoofer is for, should the subwoofer phase be 0 or 180 degrees? Check out this guide or learn more or read on to learn more about the phase switch.

What is the subwoofer phase switch for

What Is The Subwoofer Phase Switch For?

The subwoofer phase switch is a device that allows you to change the phase of the audio waveform of the speaker output in your home theatre system so that it sounds better. It’s often found at the back of a powered subwoofer.

In simple terms, the phase switch helps to synchronize the in-and-out movement of your sub with the woofers in the rest of your system so that when the subwoofer cone is “pushing” air out, the other woofer diaphragms are also moving outward.

In more technical terms, a powered subwoofer’s phase control allows the user to apply an electrical delay to the incoming signal. The phase control has a range of 0 to 180 degrees of rotation. The addition of delay to the sub’s woofer input signal frequently allows for the synchronization of your subwoofer with other speakers connected to your system.

By changing the speaker output, you can make more use of the available listening area and improve the overall sound of your home theatre system. To use the subwoofer phase switch correctly, you need to find the appropriate speaker for your specific home theatre system and use it with the correct audio cables.

What Does The Subwoofer Phase Switch Do?

What Does The Subwoofer Phase Switch Do

The subwoofer phase switch can have a significant impact on your overall sound quality. Below is what subwoofer phase switches do:

Improving The Sound Quality Of Music And Movies

The subwoofer phase switch can improve the sound quality of music and movies. When used in conjunction with a good speaker, the subwoofer can help create an immersive and spacious experience for your audio.

Additionally, by changing the subwoofer phase, you can change the stereo separation, which will improve the overall sound quality of your music and movies.

Equalizing The Sound In A Surround System

The phase switch can be used to ensure that the subwoofer is in phase with another speaker in a surround system. This will improve the quality of the sound in your home theatre system.

Equalizing the sound in a surround system ensures that all speakers play at the same level and provides a more immersive experience.

Turning Down The Treble On A Stereo System

One common function of the subwoofer phase switch is to turn down the treble on a stereo system. This can be helpful if you want your music to sound louder or if you want to reduce the amount of distortion that comes from high-end audio sources.

In addition, turning down the treble can make it easier for you to hear the higher-quality sounds coming from your speakers.

Adjusting The Bass On A Home Theatre System

The subwoofer is probably turned on when you power up your home theatre system. The subwoofer is responsible for delivering the audio signals to your speakers. It’s essential to understand how the subwoofer works and control it to improve your home theatre experience.

The first thing you want to do is determine the level of bass that you want. This will depend on the type of home theatre system you are using and the type of speakers you have. To find out what bass level you need, take a look at your speaker manual or use an online Bass Level Meter.

Once you know the level of bass that you need, you can adjust the bass on your home theatre system by turning the subwoofer phase switch.

Adding More Excitement And Excitement To Concert Or Event Presentations

When you’re hosting a concert or event, the most important thing is to make sure that your audience enjoys the performance. But what if you don’t have enough speakers in your home theatre system? You can use a subwoofer phase switch to supplement the sound of your main speakers.

This will give your audience a louder, more exciting experience that they won’t find on typical live music. In addition, by using a subwoofer phase switch, you can improve the sound quality of your audio sources.

How To Adjust The Subwoofer Phase Switch?

First and foremost, if you have a stereo system in your home, you will now have to make two separate changes to your sound.

Step 1: The first change is to adjust the subwoofer phase switch. This will allow you to change the speaker’s output to sound better. This is explained in the next subheading.

Step 2: The second change is to adjust the overall audio quality of your stereo system. This will depend on how well your subwoofer plays along with your existing speakers. If you have two separate speakers, then adjusting the subwoofer phase switch will also affect them.

If you’re not sure how to adjust the subwoofer phase switch, then it’s recommended that you speak with a professional installer or installer’s guide. Additionally, be sure to read and understand the technical specifications for your specific stereo system before making any changes to it.

When adjusting your subwoofer phase, the difference can seem relatively subtle at first. You should always ensure that the sub’s volume is not turned up too high above the speakers, or they won’t blend the phrase change will be harder to notice. Also, the subwoofer volume should not be too low because you won’t be able to pick up the changes either. 

What Should The Subwoofer Phase Switch Be Set To?

Depending on the subwoofer and the position of other speakers, it might be necessary to set the phase switch to a specific orientation.

What is the Subwoofer Phase Switch For

Set the subwoofer phase switch to 0 if your subwoofer is on the same plane as your front speakers. If your subwoofer is located elsewhere, test both settings of the phase switch and set it to the position that generates the most bass at your listening position. Given the unpredictability of bass standing waves in all settings, you might not detect any difference at all, in which case set the option to 0.

For most applications, however, the phase is often left at 0°. To manually set, play music with heavy bass while seated in your listening spot, and then have someone turn the 0/180 phase switch on the sub to 180 degrees. This will allow you to decide whether the bass is louder in your particular seating position.

The output of your sub and the main speakers are most in phase at the more bass-heavy level. Use whichever position (0/180) is loudest from where you’re sitting.  Some subwoofers may have a “variable” phase control, which allows you to adjust the phase of your subwoofer between 0 and 180 degrees for even more exact phase control.

If you don’t notice a difference when adjusting the 0-180 setting, it merely suggests there aren’t any problems in your room and everything is good.

Depending on what type of speaker you are using, there may be no change in volume. However, if you’re using a surround system or want to hear all of the music in your home at once, changing the subwoofer phase will help produce that level of sound.

Should The Subwoofer Phase Be Normal Or Reverse?

There is a lot of debate over how to phase a subwoofer. Many believe that the subwoofer’s phase should be normal because it will help it sound louder and more balanced.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe the subwoofer’s phase should be reversed, as this will cause the subwoofer to sound weaker and more muffled.

This difference is simple. Subwoofers operate on different frequencies than speakers. When a speaker receives a sound frequency, it amplifies it and sends it to the listener.

However, a subwoofer doesn’t amplify sounds, it mixes them. So when you phase the subwoofer, you’re amplifying its sounds in reverse. This can cause problems for certain music tracks because sometimes when two different frequencies are mixed, they cancel each other out.


The subwoofer phase switch can be used to improve the sound quality of your home theatre system by changing the speaker output from one channel to another. Additionally, the subwoofer phase switch can change the speaker input in a home theatre system.

So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your home theatre experience, look no further than the subwoofer phase switch.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. 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