Bass Management

The fundamental principle of bass management (also called LFE Crossover) in surround sound replay systems is that bass content in the incoming signal, irrespective of channel, should be directed only to loudspeakers capable of handling it, whether the latter are the main system loudspeakers or one or more special low-frequency speakers (subwoofers). There are notation differences between the pre-bass-managed signal and once it has passed through bass manager. For example, when using 5.1 surround sound:

5.1 channels
Before bass management After bass management
L - Left L - Left
R - Right R - Right
C - Center C - Center
SL - Surround Left SL - Surround Left
SR - Surround Right SR - Surround Right
LFE - Low Frequency Effects N/A (incorporated into Sub)
N/A (bass can be in any channel) Sub - Subwoofer

As the table shows, the bass manager directs bass frequencies from all channels to one or more subwoofers, not just the content of the LFE channel. However, when there is no subwoofer, the bass manager would direct the LFE channel to the main speakers. This is the only time the LFE channel would not be sent to the subwoofer.

The key concept is that the LFE channel is not the "subwoofer channel".

Other articles related to "bass, bass management":

Low-frequency Effects - Home Theater Systems
... The LFE channel delivers bass-only information to supplement the overall bass content ... LFE channel is used to carry additional bass information in the Dolby Digital program, while the subwoofer output is bass information from up to all six ... The bass management in surround sound replay systems is that bass content in the incoming signal, irrespective of channel, should be directed only to loudspeakers capable of handling it ...
Surround Sound - Bass Management
... Surround replay systems may make use of bass management, the fundamental principle of which is that bass content in the incoming signal, irrespective of channel, should be directed ... There is a notation difference before and after the bass management system ... Before the bass management system there is a Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel ...

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