What is Treble? Everything You Need to Know

VD July 07 2021

Are you looking to create clear sound and deep beats in your speaker? We explain the most important terms relating to speaker settings, especially when it comes to treble sound.

What is treble?

The tone control that affects the higher tones or frequencies is called a "treble". The term is derived from the Latin word “triplum” (triple), which in 13th-century music stood for the third and highest voice register. In music, treble is used to adapt instruments such as violin or guitar.

Treble sound in equalizers

With an equalizer, you can optimally adjust the spectrum of your audio material. We explain the basics of equalizer settings to you so that you can optimize the sound in a targeted way in music production as well as at home.

An equalizer is a filter for tone control. With an equalizer, you can make specific frequency ranges louder or quieter in order to adjust the loudness, i.e. the perceived volume, of the entire spectrum.

One or more options for adjusting the sound image are already integrated into most stereo amplifiers. How extensive the options depend on the manufacturer and the design. Most often, the loudness button controls the sound in inexpensive devices. If this is activated, the treble and especially the bass are increased.  

Other common functions or controls for adjusting the sound on an equalizer are:

  • Treble: Here you can emphasize high frequencies or turn them down.
  • Midrange: emphasis or reduction of the middle frequencies
  • Bass: You can use this tone control to boost or attenuate low frequencies.
  • Balance: This can be used to emphasize the reproduction of the left or right side.


What is treble? How to set treble for listening at home

Professional music is already well mixed and only needs a little readjustment through the equalizer of your home system. Here are some tips for the optimal listening experience:

  • The sound tends to become warmer as you increase the low frequencies below 160 Hz.
  • A bright, brilliant sound is created when you increase the treble, i.e. the range above approx. 7 kHz.
  • Sounds become louder, more defined, and easier to understand if you amplify them where the human ear is most sensitive: in the middle, between approx. 2 and 4 kHz.

It’s important to set the equalizer for your typical speaker and listening position. Due to room modes, i.e. standing waves between room walls, floor, and ceiling, the sound in comfort rooms is heavily dependent on the position of the speakers and the listener.

It is best to set the equalizer with music that you are very familiar with. Finally, the most important thing is that your favorite music sounds good.

What is treble? Optimize treble in speakers 

The control of your sound with highs and lows (treble and bass sound) should be done as the last resort. Most of the sound problems are due to the room and the position of the speakers. That is why you will get a much better result if you eliminate other disruptive factors before you adjust the sound with treble and bass.

If you're changing highs and lows, it's only to reduce excess bass or treble. This should be done with care, because as soon as you turn the treble controls, the sound begins to distort, even at moderate sound pressure. Just give it a try with your favorite song: Turn up the bass and treble and turn it up really loud. You will see that this is a very bad idea!


What is treble? Practical tips for achieving the best sound

The rule of thumb is that small speakers are best for smaller rooms, while large speakers are best for large rooms. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and your personal taste also plays a role.

The room itself has a lot to do with your sound. All hard surfaces (tiles, concrete, glass surfaces, etc.) reflect the sound and amplify the treble tone. If you want a massive sound like in the cinema, then you need soft surfaces that break and absorb the sound waves.

You can use ceilings, curtains, potted plants, paintings, furniture, acoustic panels, and more to dampen the sound. The most important thing is to break the hard surfaces and their reflections. Use your imagination and experiment with materials. Sometimes a carpet in the right place is enough to improve the sound enormously.

Last but not least, if you can't find the right place for the speakers, move! It can make a big difference when you move your chair, sometimes half a meter is enough. Maybe that's the only move you need to do to achieve the best sound.