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As devoted ambassadors to creating a Supreme Sound experience to share with the world, we are continually focused on evolving current products and innovating new ones. With the upcoming launch of one of our greatest creations yet, we wanted to drop knowledge on the core of what we focus on when designing a headphone with Supreme Sound.
Bass is considered the most powerful sensation in modern day music. When listening to your favorite Ray Charles song or Jay-Z beat, it’s easy to point out bass. We often consider it the portion of music you can literally feel.
Coming soon from Skullcandy is a headphone that will literally rattle your brain with bass. Think about when you're at a concert and can feel the music beat. Or when you can feel the two 12” subs sitting in the trunk of the car next to you at a stoplight. Our question was, why can't a headphone give you that same experience?
The bass in most headphones is either suppressed and muddy or exaggerated and boomy. Our cans? Well, they attack with punchy & powerful bass that’s engineered for music or gaming – bass you can feel.
It’s important to have a basic understanding of sound and frequency. All sound is produced by vibrations that travel through the air. We hear sound when the vibrations enter your ear and vibrate your eardrum. Our brain translates those vibrations into sounds we can understand and interpret. For reference, humans can hear sound ranging from 20Hz – 20,000Hz.
What is Bass?
Technically, bass is the range of frequencies below 250Hz. These are the lowest notes you hear in music. Bass is actually split into two regions: bass and Sub-bass. Sub-bass includes frequencies below 60Hz. In the Sub-bass range, our ears are not very sensitive, so we actually tend to feel more of these sounds rather than hearing them. Regular bass is in the region of 60Hz to 250Hz. This is where most of the bass sound is located. For instance, with a kick drum, you may feel the 50Hz fundamental, but you will hear the fullness in the 60Hz to 250Hz notes.
How is Bass Created?
In speaker systems, bass is generated by large transducers called “woofers”. Woofers create low notes by pushing huge amounts of air. Generally, woofers require the use of an additional amplifier because of the amount of air they’re pushing and the large movements required to push that air. Think about those two 12” subs in your trunk – they need additional amplification to make your car Harlem shake.
In typical headphones, the principal is the same, just in a smaller package. Most headphones strive to produce sounds throughout the entire audible frequency range using one driver and only the power of your music source (MP3 player, computer, etc…). As you may have heard, some headphones are better at producing certain frequencies than others. The key is to find the perfect balance across the entire audible frequency range.
What makes good bass? Bad bass?
As defined by most audiophiles and sound enthusiasts, bass should be punchy, attacking, and should not linger or boom. Think about that kick drum again. A good bass sound will have enough Sub-bass to create a tactile sensation. Enough thump to get your heart going a bit without lingering. It’s also really important bass doesn’t reduce the clarity of the mids and highs.
An overemphasis in the high end of the bass frequency range (right around 250Hz) can result in muddy vocals and reduced sound clarity. A big no-no. A lack of bass will make songs sound thin and tinny. Too much Sub-bass can create rumbling and lingering when it wasn’t intended.
What is key in making good bass in headphones?
You may have the best headphone driver in the world capable of producing punchy, attacking bass audiophiles dream of; however, without a cushion that seals the headphone to your head, most of the bass notes will escape resulting in a thin sound. Clamping pressure and the right ear cushions are crucial for locking in sound as well as providing comfort for your extended jam sessions.
Previously, we stated that typical headphones strive to produce sound throughout the entire audible range using one driver and one power source. Skullcandy is about to change everything. The tactile sensation of Sub-bass. The powerful feeling of the music beat. A headphone CAN do that. And it WILL do that. On April 1st, come back to Skullcandy.com for the biggest launch in Skullcandy history. A headphone with bass the whole world will feel!