Midbass vs Midrange: Learn the Basics

The audio spectrum is the range of sound that a human ear can hear, and it is often broken down into different frequency bands. The primary frequency ranges are the bass, midbass, midrange, and treble.

Today we will discuss midbass vs midrange and what each entails. These terms are often used interchangeably, but these are two different speakers with different functionality.

The midrange and midbass are the most common frequencies that you’ll come across, and each band range has a significant impact on the audio spectrum. The terms can be confusing, especially when you are new to sound and home theater systems or don’t know which speaker to go for.

Knowing precisely what each speaker does will make it easier to discern good sound from the ordinary one reproduced by hyped sound systems. In this article, we’ll evaluate the functionality of both midrange and midbass speakers, so you can have an idea of which one best suits your needs.

Let’s get to it!

Understanding Midrange

Midrange or simply the midrange frequencies represent the sound in the middle spectrum range. It is the most prominent frequency in the spectrum range since it is tasked with the responsibility of reproducing the most sensitive sounds, including the human voice.

Although most audiophiles put more emphasis on the low and high frequencies, the midrange frequency range accounts for more than 70% of all the sounds, particularly most instruments and lower harmonics.

It is also the most critical range for people who prefer soft music, and it is the range to focus on if you want your music to “pop” out. This range determines the presence of musical instruments in the mix, which helps you hear them better.

As mentioned, midrange speakers are designed to offer excellent reproduction of midrange frequencies, but they do not sound good on their own. If you attempt to push the entire frequency range to the midrange driver, it will cause distortion or even make the speaker overheat/blow. This means that for you to enjoy the full spectrum of sound, you’ll need to incorporate a woofer to handle the lower frequencies and a tweeter for the highs.

The best midrange speaker should provide natural and uncolored sound while avoiding being overly dull or bright. They are often used in three-way speaker setups to bridge the gap between the woofer and the tweeter.

If this range is inferior, it limits your ability to enjoy music for the desired length of time. However, excess emphasis on this range can take away from the entire frequency coverage or result in ear fatigue. In addition, an unregulated boost can make your sound have a metallic feel.

On the other hand, if a midrange driver is not clear, most music vocals and movie dialogue will sound muddied or audible.

Benefits of midrange speakers

  • Midrange speakers provide a wide sound dispersion
  • Midrange drivers accommodate the frequencies that the woofers and tweeters are unable to handle
  • High sound fidelity and minimized distortion
  • Balanced sound output
  • It brings out the musical energy

What are Midbass Speakers?

Midbass speakers, also referred to as mid-woofers, are speakers that are designed to reproduce high bass frequencies. In short, a midbass driver covers the span of frequencies between the bass and midrange frequencies. A midbass speaker is often used in sophisticated systems that incorporate a dedicated subwoofer for lower bass frequencies.

However, most home theater and simpler sound systems do not require a dedicated midbass speaker unless you’re looking to go to the extreme in terms of sound quality. The sounds of the midbass frequency range are often handled by either the subwoofer or midrange speaker, or both. But your home theater will still benefit immensely by adding a separate midbass driver, especially when dealing with a wide range of sounds.

Cinema theaters and public sound systems may also benefit more by adding a midbass speaker or even a pair on both sides to produce full-range and balanced sound output. However, the speakers still need to be paired with woofers (both for bass and midrange) and tweeters to enable the system to reach its full potential.

Midbass vs Midrange

Advantages of using a dedicated midbass speaker

  • Unlike the bass frequencies that are produced by the subwoofer, midbass frequencies are more directional. This means that they can be used in any system without losing the sense of direction or being too recessed.
  • Using a dedicated midbass speaker takes the midrange speaker off the burden of reproducing both the midrange and higher bass frequencies. That way, the midrange driver can focus on improving the sound quality without straining the power handling capacity.
  • Another benefit of using a dedicated midbass driver is that it allows separation of amplification between midbass and the more power-hungry midrange frequencies. This will help prevent distortion while improving the sound quality even further.
  • Midbass speakers are incredibly helpful in higher power applications, where the demands of the midbass sounds cannot be sufficiently met even by a high-powered subwoofer.
  • Having a dedicated woofer for the midbass is a great way to provide constant and sufficient bass for all media. In addition, it allows you to increase the volume of the bass without interfering with the midbass frequencies.

Which is Better; Midrange vs Midbass

Ultimately, your ears are the final judge of the sound quality delivered. Each speaker is different, so they vary in terms of the sound quality and the type of music you can listen to with each speaker. In addition, each speaker specializes in the specified range, so combining these speakers together results in fuller sound reproduction than when using a single speaker.

Midrange speakers are a necessity for anyone looking to upgrade their sound system. They are often used for surround sound systems as a part of full-range speakers that also include a subwoofer and tweeter.

On the other hand, midbass speakers are mainly used by music enthusiasts looking to add depth and a little oomph to the sound. They are common add-ons in consumer speaker setups, so if you’re looking to boost the low-level thump then you should consider adding a dedicated midbass speaker, and another one for the midrange.

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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