You may have heard about the benefits of cardioid subwoofers, but not actually realised just how important this type of PA speaker can be to your live sound. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot to choose from out there until now! The QSC KS212C has been released and taken the live/PA world by storm, offering cardioid sub sound without you having to angle speakers to cancel each other out - the future is here! Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the QSC KS212C Cardioid Active PA Subwoofer and discuss the major benefits of cardioid subwoofers and how they can provide DJs, live performers and venue owners with superior sound quality.


For us to understand the benefit of cardioid subwoofers, we first have to understand how they work. The easiest way to think about a cardioid pattern, is to think of a heart shape, which refers to the coverage of the or recording area of the transducer, whether it be a PA system (coverage) or recording area of a microphone (scroll down for images). The likes of a cardioid microphone will pick up sound in front of it clearer and more effectively than it will pickup sounds behind it – think of the area of a love-heart shape and the line pointing inward as the back of the microphone or PA system and you’ll get the idea. So, what are the benefits of Cardioid Subwoofers? In a nutshell - In the same way as microphones record, a cardioid subwoofer produces sound in the same shape thus reducing the amount of wasted noise behind the sub and completely stopping some pretty horrible dips in volume, frequency response as well as the audience and dance floor areas suffering some poor sound – let's be honest, you don’t want that on a dance floor! This means you have almost zero reflection of sound coming from the walls behind the speakers indoors. Outdoors, you ensure that all the bass and sound coming through the subwoofer makes its way directly to the crowd with minimal sound wastage. This ensures the crowd hear everything they’re supposed to hear in better detail and your coverage is stronger. If you’re at a festival, you’ll understand not being able to “feel” the bass more when the song kicks in – with a cardioid subwoofer, you really feel it. Here’s the differences between typical dispersion and cardioid subwoofer energy dispersion – as you can see, you stand to gain a far better signal when you employ a cardioid subwoofer into your live set up. Until now, cardioid sub woofers have been almost non-existent, relying on front of house engineers to do a bit of tweaking with electronics (not recommended) and reconfiguring subwoofer placement in such a way that other sound sources and PA speakers will cancel out the unwanted noise at the rear of the sub. Just reading that sentence is exhausting, so actually going to the trouble of setting up speakers in a  certain way will send you to sleep or at the very least cause some serious headaches! Fortunately, the team at QSC have swooped in with a solution that will completely change your live set up for the better and ensure you don’t need a physics degree to assemble your PA system.


The QSC KS212C subwoofer is the world’s first-in-class single-box powered cardioid subwoofer, providing live venue owners, festival organisers and front of house engineers with all the benefits of cardioid deployment in a single, compact design – no more angling PA systems in such a way to cancel out frequencies and no more signal loss. Check out our video on the new QSC KS212C subwoofer:

For anyone out there wanting high quality sound whilst playing live or within a venue – this is a fantastic all-in-one solution. The QSC KS212C Subwoofer is all the benefits of cardioid subwoofers rolled into one convenient sub – ideal for mobile entertainers and small venues, it essentially “keeps bass in its place”, giving you the tools to automatically manage the low frequencies on the stage, or any application where undesirable low frequency energy needs to be minimised. The QSC KS212C Subwoofer features a 3600 Watt Class D power module, so you have a huge amount of power to play with. In addition, you have the latest DSP technology built-in, as well as dual 12-inch long excursion drivers each of which have been arranged in a 6th order bandpass chamber to provide a huge 15dB more output at the front of the cabinet rather than at the rear – that’s 15dB the audience is getting rather than the wall or dead space behind the sub.


In case you haven’t been listening, the benefits of cardioid subwoofers are huge and with the QSC KS212C Subwoofer, you actually get 15dB of benefits to be precise! You also get the added convenience of cardioid sound within one easy to operate and easy to transport box – it’s even got wheels and comfortable aluminium handles!


If you’re thinking 15dB isn’t that important – it’s actually the difference between 30 watts and 1000 watts. That’s a lot of sound your audience isn’t getting if you don’t use this cardioid subwoofer.


Front of house engineers understand all too well the low-end frequency “build-up” that can occur on stage, causing a muddy FOH mix and a horrible on-stage rumble which can make it difficult for performers to hear their instruments or the mix on stage. A big part of this build-up is caused by the rear projection of subwoofers. The QSC KS212C Subwoofer dramatically reduces that on-stage rumble by all but eliminating the low frequency energy emitting backwards on to the stage. Reduce the sound emitting back onto the stage, and you therefore reduce the low-end sound that the microphones pick up and clean up the FOH mix dramatically.


Outdoor festivals or live performances come with certain sound restrictions, and as we all know, bass carries quite far resulting in potential complaints from residents or even overflow from other artists within the festival. A cardioid subwoofer ensures that the boundary line is respected and that far less sound travels behind the stage and onto residential areas. Boundary line will no longer be an issue – one of the major benefits of cardioid subwoofers. Check out the full range of QSC PA speakers and PA systems over at PMT Online today or call in to your local PMT store to view a full range. 

If you have any questions about your live PA set up, speak to our PA experts today on 0151 448 2089 or any of our dedicated PA experts in store. We can help you find the right solution to suit your bespoke needs, whether you need a single active PA speaker or a full venue outfitting. We can help you every step of the way from initial, no obligation advice to complete sound system installation with aftercare.