Studio subwoofer?

I have the Behringer Truth B2030A studio monitors which are decent for midrange and highs, but not for bass. I’m looking to add a studio subwoofer, likely a KRK S10.4 to the setup. Before I pull the trigger, any of you have some advice, or possibly other recommendations?

For context of music… I play at our church, lots of pads in the mix. I love trance music and want to start doing more of that composition (remixes, etc.). I don’t currently produce much of anything publicly.

I really wouldn’t. I think you would be better going for more capable monitors than the Behringers and not adding a sub. Some acoustic treatment too, if you have none.


What a rabbit hole this can be. I agree with The_Elf since I did own those Behringers and did add a sub which I convinced myself helped, but it didn’t really. What really helped was tons of practice mixing and acoustic treatment.

If your room doesn’t let you hear the bass properly a sub won’t help anything.


100% agree - it’s really difficult to have a true representation of the bass element of a mix without investing serious money in acoustic treatment. You can get high and mid range managed with the typical “hobby” level acoustic treatment (or just simply having drapes, carpets and bookshelves in your audio room), but bass resonances are really a pain. Using a subwoofer may just over-excite the room on the bass side in a couple of resonant frequencies, but will not get your mixes to translate well.

For me, the solution is to use good studio monitors for most of my mixing, but work on the bass side with frequency compensated headphones and “virtual listening environments”. My current standard is the Slate VSX combo (headphones and plugin) - easy to quickly switch between one of the really good studio rooms and alternative listening situations (boom box, car, earPods). But I’ve also had a very good experience with the Waves nx plugins (Abbey Road, Ocean Way, CLA) - very nice with the head tracking sensor!

Most of my basic mixing is still done on the monitors, but when it comes to getting a mix to translate, the final check is always with headphones - especially to get a feeling for the bass range and for annoying frequencies and masking effects which I wouldn’t find as easily with my speaker setup.

For the amateur or semi-pro who can’t afford the professional room treatment with bass traps etc, this is IMHO the best combination. You can get the headphones with the plugin for less than the investment in a half-way decent subwoofer.

And to pre-empt the professional, cork-sniffing studiophiles: glad you CAN afford the big well-treated studio rooms - not trying to convert you guys…


I have the B2031A (8 ¾" woofers) and I don’t miss having a subwoofer. However, they don’t seem to be as powerful as the specs say.

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I’m going to buck the trend here and say that a subwoofer will improve things in many situations. How big is your studio? If your monitors are more than 3-4 feet from where you sit, then I think a subwoofer can do a lot of good. You will have to play around with location, crossover/EQ, and relative volume levels.

I have two setups: my desk PC, which has a way-better-than-average sound system; and my practice room, which generally approaches the stage volume when I perform.


  • 2 x Presonus Eris E44 – dual 4.5" + 1.25" tweeter, 103dB SPL @ 1m peak
  • SVS SB12-NSD – 12" sealed sub, 400W, 120dB ( ???) SPL
  • Crossover at 100Hz, 48dB/oct


  • 2 x Alto TS408 – 8" woofer + tweeter with 1.4" voice coil, 1000W RMS bi-amped, 127dB SPL @ 1m (130dB peak)
  • Behringer NEKKST K10S – 10" ported sub, 300W, 117dB SPL
  • Crossover at 90Hz, 48dB/oct

Granted, the SVS sub is overkill – it’s a holdover from a larger system that I used to have in the office (10" studio monitors capable of 115dB or so!). But the NEKKST sub is not overkill, IMHO. I can highly recommend the K10S. It was designed by Keith Klawitter (KRK founder), and it’s 75% of the price of the KRK S10.4! :grinning:



I bought a KRK 12" sub for a home stereo years ago that I commandeered for my studio monitoring system. The reason it works is its powered, it has its own volume control and its own adjustable low pass filter that essentially acts as the crossover for where the 8" monitors’ bass starts rolling off.

As for room treatments, I’m all for them, but doing one right can be costly and architecturally undesirable if the room is multi-use. So I found that using REW and a cheap measurement mic to find a sweet spot in the room and dial in an EQ curve for that specific spot actually works pretty well. But it is one of those things where you have to have your ears in the place where the measurements happened, not within a foot or two, because then the sound will be off noticeably…

Maybe this gives you some alternative ideas to consider.


Thanks everyone for your sage advice! I’ll hold off on the sub for now. I do most work with headphones, so just bought the ATH-M50x set. If things get serious I will add something like the Sonarworks SoundID Reference tool (with mic and virtual monitoring, where you can simulate the sound in all kinds of environments/situations).

I feel like overall yes, I should have some acoustic treatment on the walls, but it is a multi-use room (shared too) so for now I’ll stick to headphones.

I’m not a fan of any of that ‘correction’ or ‘simulation’ software. Just learn what your monitors/phones are telling you and you will be fine. Many great mixes have been made on ‘imperfect’ speakers and headphones.

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I have the discontinued but still amazing Klipsch SW-350 8" Down Firing 350 Watt Subwoofer. Straight up bad a$$. Can’t live without it. I need to know what is going on in the sub 40Hz range via a transducer.

My studio speaker “tops” are the discontinued LSR 308s. They don’t “wow” me though, so I pulled the low frequencies and directed them to the Klipsch. My neighbors love me (not really).

With this setup the frequencies stay pretty stable from the transducers across volume levels and I don’t experience loving what I hear in the studio, only to play it in my car and hate it LOL.

Discontinued means you can get them on ebay, just saying.


Oh, if you have the expertise you can probably use almost anything. But the problem is, I don’t have that expertise. And some experts I’ve talked to recommended that kind of software. If I did a ton of mastering and mixing sure, I’d get to know how things “should” sound on probably almost any old setup.

I work with a lot of ‘experts’, and not one of them would tell you you needed that kind of software to make a decent mix…

It’s up to you. Personally I think these companies have managed to sell us a problem we never had, and are then selling us a solution we never needed.

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Bass for some of us is the hardest element to get right across multiple platforms. I can’t count how many great sounding mixes I made in my studio that didn’t translate in the car or on Home stereo systems. And these days the headphone/earphone mix is likely the most used speaker system so mixing for them is also important. So I guess I’m in the camp that says any help I can get making sure the bass is right, be it acoustic or digital I’m going to try it and see if it helps. I know using the ARC system on my system and paying attention to staying in the proper listening zone made a big difference (like Torsten explained in an earlier post). It’s a pain to set up but then you forget it’s there and carry on. Like any listening system you get well acquainted with the speakers and in my case the room compensation and know that when they sound a certain way tonally what it translates to on other systems. Anyway that’s my 2 cents. :slight_smile:

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It’s fine until you’re working away from your home studio, then you’re stuck without your support software…

It seems most here are reporting what works for them and hopefully you can get some ideas that may work for you. It really does not matter too much if one person’s process wouldn’t work for someone else. So here is what works for me:

  1. I have Event ASP6 studio monitors in an untreated room that usually allow me to get close. The low end is the most difficult to get right. Using just this method in the past would cause me to have one to many repeated rounds of listening after mixing on other speaker systems followed by adjustments and then repeat until I liked it everywhere.
  2. I added to my process a cross check on the various Waves NX “rooms” with my Sony MDR7506 headphones. Once I get a mix that sounds good on all the rooms and my ASP6 monitors, I move to the next new step.
  3. I use the Ozone Tonal Balance Control for a quick view of mix zones. I like the “Rock” preset. Sometimes I make adjustments based on this. Then I move on to the next new step.
  4. I run the mix through Ozone mastering with some settings that I like.

Usually, after this I still listen on other speakers as before, but that doesn’t usually cause me to want to tweak anything as it sounds good everywhere else, too.

In fact, this works so well that I just recorded a song before leaving on vacation and did the mixing on the road, but moving the ASP6 step to last (after I got home). I didn’t need to adjust anything because it sounded the way I wanted. It turns out it is easier to take this part of the studio with me when I leave than it is the room and monitors.

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For a long time I’ve been mixing on a pair of Tannoy PBM 6.5’s powered by an Alesis RA100. The room I’m in wasn’t difficult to treat acoustically for mid and high range but the bass still has good size bump centered on 100hz. A few years ago I setup IK’s ARC plugin and used it for mixing. The problem is when I’m not listening though software that can run a plugin I’m dealing with bass issues.

Recently IK released a hardware device that can store and process the ARC corrections. I thought about adding it but the RA100 has unbalanced inputs.

That got me thinking it’s time to replace the Tannoy’s and RA100 and since I like ARC I decided to shop around for IK’s MTM’s that have ARC built in. I found a pair for sale on ebay from a good seller in NYC and have been using them for about a week.

They have a great soundstage and are crystal clear without overemphasis of bass in this less than ideal room/monitor placement situation. They produce a good amount of bass, not chest pounding but clear and present.

These aren’t the Precision MTM’s - just the currently $600 US (pair) model titled iLoud MTM.


The REW correction software I use on my setup deals with the bass issues of the room by constructing a correction EQ, and in my case, for a specific spot in the poorly treated room (with respect to bass). Like dsteinschneider mentions, its pretty easy to treat a room for mids and highs. But treating it for lows is another matter. So in my case I decided to stop fighting the room and just choose a spot and fix the one spot instead of trying to fix the whole room. Easy enough with REW, just choose to implement the corrections it identified at the position of the measurement microphone (placed where my head will be when working) for the lows and call it a day. Works great, at least in the room/spot I did it for. And the bass is now not a problem since I can hear the right levels instead of a combination of rogue waves (i.e. constructive interference) and cancellations (i.e. destructive interference) that naturally occur in an untreaded or poorly treated room with respect to bass. Of course jmo, ymmv, etc. but that said, REW is free and the learning curve isn’t too bad and a cheap Behringer measurement mic suffices, so the cost of trying this is only about $30 for the measurement mic and some time. FWIW, you can export the correction as an IR to use in any convolver so no issues using it in ASIO environments. I listened to low frequency sine sweeps before and after correction and it is a very noticeable improvement in consistency of the perceived volume with respect to frequency.


For me, my studio is my laptop (with all the software), D/A converter, keyboard, headphones. I can take that pretty much anywhere, so my “studio” goes with me.

But I’m not concerned with portability. Because the only time I’m finishing a song and want some mastering help is when I’m in my home studio.

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Before I bought the iLoud MTM’s I watched “Piano Man” on YouTube compare them to the Eris (actually the larger ones). He pointed out that the Eris had better subwoofer compatibility because the Eris had a 100hz high pass filter. IK added that later to the MTM’s through a firmware update. He pointed out the Eris used the same Mid Tweeter Mid design. I notice the gen 2 Eris don’t have that configuration.

Some input on speaker correction software / hardware: while these will certainly be useful to “normalize” your speakers and eliminate some of the room resonances, it is difficult to near impossible for these solutions to treat the lower range effectively. Given the wavelength of low frequencies, you will have interference patterns in your room that are of significant size - you can have one spot where a certain bass frequency is almost completely eliminated through interference and another just one or two feet away where that same frequency is booming from resonance.

While you can certainly dampen some boominess, it is pretty much impossible to even out a frequency “hole” through speaker correction - you can boost like mad, but it will still cancel out from interference. And since these room modes are frequency dependent, your low frequency range can look like a complete mess in some places in your room; with speaker correction only able to compensate slightly.

That is why speaker correction may work pretty well for shorter wavelengths, but for bass frequencies, it’s pretty much impossible to have an even response across the room without serious acoustic treatment measures like a number of bass traps.

A subwoofer can help with room modes - you can move the subwoofer around, thus also influencing the position of these room modes (positions of “holes” and “peaks”), without affecting your stereo position from your mid-/high-range monitor speakers. So you might be able to have a more balanced low frequency experience at your listening position - but you can’t totally eliminate room modes; you’ll just move some of them somewhere else…

That’s why I always advocate using both speakers and headphones for mixing (at least for those of us not fortunate enough to have a great acoustically treated listening room). No room modes in headphones, so as long as their bass response is decent, you’ll be able to mix the low end portion of your mix without any impact from your room.

If you then add some more frequency correction or “virtual mix room” on your headphones is up to personal taste really - of course you can get used to the frequency response of any set of headphones by doing a lot of listening and mixing on them, so headphone correction isn’t strictly “required”, but having a better listening experience can certainly make the work a bit easier and more enjoyable - and most of us are doing this for fun, so why not enjoy the experience?



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