Equalizers, also known as “EQ,” are audio filters that isolate frequencies for manipulation.
After tweaking frequencies, artists can manipulate audio to enhance sound quality.
But is adding EQ bad for your speakers?
While adding EQ is not bad for speakers in itself, excessive boosting of high or low frequencies can cause damage to your speakers if you send too much power to the drivers. Used judiciously, EQ will not damage your speakers and can improve your listening experience.
If you’ve been concerned with whether or not an equalizer might damage your speakers, this article can answer any questions you might have.
Once you’re finished reading, you’ll know how to use EQ to make your music sound better without damaging your equipment.
What Is the Purpose of Equalizers?
The purpose of equalizers is to make it possible to change a speaker’s sound to the user’s preference. EQs “color” audio frequencies to improve the sound quality.
Coloring audio frequencies in speakers means you modify the sound quality.
Misusing equalizers can lead to poor sound, due to distortion.
Speakers come with pre-set EQ settings, but you can also program your own after purchase. Either way, EQ is the perfect way to personalize speaker sound settings.
Multiple types of EQ have similar and yet very different purposes. For instance, linear versus non-linear equalization.
The main difference between these two equalizers is the amount of sound distortion.
For instance, linear equalizers will not do well with severe channel distortion.
Equalizers have multiple purposes, including adding filters and adjusting overtones.
Overall, they will increase the sound quality and reduce the background noise of audio.
Filters are a basic type of equalizer that can adjust the shape of frequencies to help remove unwanted noise.
Using filters minimize room noise and everyday background noise like fans or talking.
The type of filters available varies depending on the speaker you purchase. One kind of equalizer filter includes the parametric equalizer, which makes concise adjustments to frequency, gain, and bandwidth.
The parametric equalizer is adjusted using the knobs on the stereo system. It is one of the most common filters placed over the music but is often misused.
When misused, filters can cause sound distortion and ruin the overall quality of the music.
Filters make verbal audio clearer which can be helpful for singers, live streamers, podcasters, and many more.
All filters layer on top of one another to create one pleasant sound.
Roll-off refers to how quickly a frequency declines to a non-audible level.
In other words, roll-off is how long the frequency takes to go quiet.
Imagine a hill. The slope could symbolize roll-off. In musical terms, hit a piano key or strum a single guitar string and then count to yourself the amount of time it takes for the note to go quiet.
Rolling off is used for parametric and graphic equalizers.
There are four categories of roll-off filters, including high-pass, low-pass, and band-pass filters and band-reject.
Category significantly impacts roll-off.
Overtones are secondary tones that represent higher-frequency harmonics. Adding EQ to speakers means changing sound quality.
The term ‘overtone’ represents any resonant frequency above the fundamental frequency (the lowest resonant frequency).
By default, adjusting EQ in your speaker changes secondary tones or overtones.
With overtones, you can adjust tone quality by adding harmonics in varying amounts. Adjusting tone quality produces a harmonic sound.
Multiple harmonics are referred to in numerical order, starting with the first, second, third, fourth, etc.
What Equalizer Is Used in Stereos?
The most common types of equalizers that people find on stereos include parametric equalizers and graphic equalizers.
The type of EQ varies based on the stereo system used. The most common is a three-band, semi-parametric equalizer.
Equalizers often depend on user preference. While purchasing a stereo, concentrate on the pre-installed EQ.
Look on the back of the stereo to see the type of equalizer built into the system.
While it’s possible to replace built-in equalizers, this process is incredibly tedious and expensive.
With that said, it’s best to purchase a stereo system that’s already equipped with your desired EQ settings.
What Is the Most Common EQ in Stereos?
The most common EQ in stereos is a three-band, semi-parametric EQ. Three-band, semi-parametric equalizers are found on the back of almost every musical instrument.
Another common EQ for stereo systems includes graphic EQ.
Graphic EQ has more settings. The more settings to adjust, the better the sound quality can become.
A large number of customization options let you choose exactly how you want your music or audio to sound.
Like instruments, the knobs of these equalizers can be found on the back of speakers and manually adjusted.
Individually target which frequency you would like to change and then boost or reduce the amount.
What Are the Kinds of EQs?
There are several types of EQs, including fixed, graphic, and parametric equalizers. Each equalizer targets individual frequencies and fine-tunes them to create an overall better sound.
At the same time, every EQ has a different purpose too.
For instance, a graphic equalizer has multiple sliders, which allows for extreme fine-tuning.
The following are different kinds of EQs:
- Graphic equalizers
- Parametric equalizers
- Semi-Parametric equalizers
- Fixed equalizers
- Linear-phase equalizers
- Dynamic equalizers
Different EQs produce different audio effects. These effects that the EQs cause is because they have different intentions.
Parametric EQ, for example, is intended to give full control on a large number of audio signals.
On the other hand, a semi-parametric EQ permits only partial control.
EQ is often already built into the stereo. When considering the type of stereo you purchase, pay attention to the EQ on the back.
What Does Adding EQ Do to Speakers?
Adding EQ to speakers changes the sound quality of the audio you are playing.
Sound quality is heightened or can become distorted depending on the filters added.
The overall objective is to make music clearer and make the sound quality of music better.
In music, EQ correction, or equalizer correction, adds or removes frequencies to make the end product sound better.
The frequencies are individually targeted for the song to produce the best outcome possible.
Benefits of Adding EQ to Speakers
The number one benefit of adding EQ to speakers is improving the sound quality of the audio. Distorted sound becomes clear after being played through speakers with EQ.
Some musicians limit additional production so listeners can customize the experience.
Adding EQ to speakers is one of the many ways that music lovers can customize their listening experience.
Enhancing the sound quality of music is just one of many ways that EQ can improve the listening experience. Adding EQ to speakers has several benefits.
Benefits to adding EQ to speakers:
- Sound clarity (fixing distortion)
- Decreasing background noise
- Sound quality
There are many benefits, and mostly, these will outweigh the drawbacks.
Drawbacks of Adding Eq to Speakers
Playing distorted music through speakers with added EQ or poor EQ settings can cause damage to speakers over time.
Adding incorrect filters or experimenting with sound haphazardly can have a negative result.
A speaker with added EQ can increase its sound quality. However, it can also decrease sound quality too.
If the audio and the speakers are incompatible, the outcome will become undesirable.
Even worse, speakers with EQ can distort the sound of songs that musicians have worked tirelessly to produce.
Songs that producers have worked on can sound worse through speakers that their owners have personally tweaked.
In that case, you’re not getting the best possible sound quality.
Physics considers music ordered sound, whereas noise is a disordered sound.
Equalization takes disordered sound and converts it to beautiful music by isolating distracting background noise.
Adding EQ to your speakers is typically a good thing. Typically, adding EQ is bad for user preference.
Playing speakers out of frequency for too long can damage speakers.
There are many purposes for adding EQ to your speakers but adding them to your speakers can reduce the sound quality of some songs.
Often, the songs that have sound quality reduced have been hyper-produced by music artists.