Are subwoofers really needed in video conferencing rooms?

22 Jul 2017 | Blog, Boardroom AV, Interactive Technology, MDT

THX define a sub woofer as: A low frequency speaker producing sound below 80Hz.
The typical human hearing range is from 20hz (low frequency) up to 20,000hz (20Khz) high frequency.
Most human speech resides in the 300hz to 3,000hz spectrum.


subwoofers video conferencing



Sub woofers have been around for a long time, common in cinemas, clubs, touring rigs and visitor attractions. One thing they all have in common is their size, they can be huge! Often large black cabinets with large drivers designed to move large volumes of air and needing large powerful amplifiers.

The job of a subwoofer is to deliver those low range frequencies that typically less expensive speaker designs fail to deliver (under 80hz) improving those lovely warm bass sounds in your music listening and ensuring those explosions in your home cinema set up really do go boom!!

So should we care about this in a conference room?

For a video conference <120Hz is largely irrelevant to the matter in hand (nominally) human speech over a bandwidth limited connection, with high compression. A typical VC microphone won’t even pick up sounds below 80Hz so why would we worry about the far end reproducing them?

For telephony, usable voice frequency band ranges from approximately 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz, even the most broad subwoofer definitions are <200Hz. Now if we are considering frequencies in a Woofer and Midrange then these certainly are important to the rich full sound we experience when speaking to another human face to face.

In short, clear audio has little to do with sub woofers and everything to do with quality components correctly installed. The biggest factor in the designing an audio solution for your meeting room is the room itself.

For your consideration;

A typical (top 2) vendor TelePresence Microphone has a frequency range of 80hz to 15Khz, and (see above) THX define sub-woofer frequency requirements as being below 80hz.

We ask, why do vendor designed integrated systems come with a Subwoofer?

Contact Involve, we are an experienced integrator, working with leading vendors Video Communication systems and best in class Audio Visual to create better and less expensive room solutions.