How much bass is enough?

How much bass is enough?
I want much more than flat
7% (30 votes)
I like a little more than flat
38% (162 votes)
I like it flat
45% (191 votes)
I prefer a little less bass than flat
7% (29 votes)
I hate bass
1% (3 votes)
No fish in my house
3% (12 votes)
Total votes: 427

Reader T. Bloom asks: "Do you tend towards bass frequency-response accuracy, or would you prefer either a little more or a little less bass than measures flat in your listening room?" In other words, how much bass is enough?

Robert's picture

Whatever sounds the most convincing (life like). I'm guessing that would be flat.

Jared Gerlach's picture

At low levels, I like boost on the bottom end. But as the decibels rise, a shift toward flat is preferable.

Marcel's picture

every deviation from flat ultimately will annoy me.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

When you listen to a lot of different types of music, any deviation from linearity will favor one music to the deteriment of others. Besides, great bass is enough of a challenge on its own, especially on a budget.

Bob Parish's picture


D.A.B., Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

It all depends on what type of music I'm listening to. For rock, I want the walls to fall and the foundation to rumble; for chamber music, I want to hear the rosin on the bow. For jazz, I want to hear a realistic rhythm system. Bottom line: You need a system that can do it all.

Dave Wallace's picture

I like the bass to be fast and tight, not flabby.

R.P.'s picture

It's all relative and relates to the task at hand. I want to feel deep, deep bass while at a party or being a DJ, but I belive in that the products I'm involved in at work should if I had the final say be so that I as the listner in a practical test get very close to flat. Now I don't get the final say but most people I work with that have an interest in the audio qualities (and most do - oddly ;) have a tradition of makeing sure that the person with the final say gets all sides of the case. Much to their headache.

Larry(Poor Audiophile)'s picture

As accurate as I can get it. Same with all music I play.

Sir Mixalot's picture

I like big bass, and I cannot lie...

Doug Bowker's picture

I like it flat, but it's always been above or below.

Jason M's picture

I'm a bass freak when listening casually, but for critical listening, it needs to be as flat as my room and gear will allow. To wit, I have an inexpensive Infinity powered sub that I fire up when rocking with my Vandy 2Ce sigs, but it gets turned off when the critical listening starts (at least until I can replace it with a 2Wq).

Pradeep's picture

I am used to listening with a little more than flat. Since last year I am listening to flat and still adjusting to it.

Jeff's picture

This is a little hard—for music, flat, but for movies, a little more than flat. Since I can only pick one, I guess it will be a little more than flat.

Rastanearian's picture

Accuracy rules!

Hoon's picture

I heard somewhere that playback should sound like the sound when it was recorded. But I love bass. I cannot help it. I literally hug the bass when I listen to them, of course, not to mention cranking up the bass level on EQ.

Blair's picture

I wish you could have a little extra, but then you get those moments when you're listening to some great piece of music, and all of a sudden that extra bottom end distracts just enough to break your focus.

flyin yfz's picture

Just enough—not too much. Accuracy counts here.'s picture

When it comes to bass, I want impact and flat. When I put on Saint-Saens' Third I want to hear double basses, kettle drums, and organ. Not a bunch of bass, some more bass, and than a whole lot of bass.

Tim Davis's picture

It's more important that the bass be "tight" than just loud. A good example being the subs that go into cars that are generally parked in High School parking lots: They're just loud and boomy, accurate reproduction be damned. That said, I like to feel it in my gut a little bit.

Jeff Glotzer's picture

Then get a subwoofer after you get it flat. No subwoofer, little more than flat.

EAP's picture

I like it a little more than flat. Fortunately, I have a subwoofer in my system, so I can control the bass output. I find that many older CDs are very weak in the lower frequencies and I can increase the output so that it sounds full and well balanced. In instances when I have increased the bass too much, it appears to veil the clarity of the midrange and treble and is especially noticeable when listening to vocals.

Alan Matheson's picture

One of my favourite reactions to a system I owned: A bunch of guys from Barbados, working on the farms up here in Canada, came in to my house and I had a small system with little acoustic suspension speakers. After searching through my LPs and put on some reggae music and promptly asked ,"How you supposed to move to these?" That about somes it up: If you want bass, you want it. I now have floorstanding speakers and it would be hard to go back.

Rick Laurenzo's picture

Most speakers aren't "warm" enough, especially at low levels. I have B&W XTs and you have to crank them to get them to sound good.

Terence Vanden Berg's picture

I prefer accurate if possible. I am an opera singer in Germany.

Jeff, GA's picture

For music listening, I like a sight rise below 40 Hz, but any rise from 40-100Hz is bad!

Richard V.'s picture

The extra bass is more satisfying on most pop recordings. All acoustic recordings are better left flat.

Mike's picture

Flat is where it's at!

Dan W's picture

Accuracy works for me.

Enny Arrouw's picture

I like it flat down to 20-25Hz. It must be dipole.