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Exactly what is a warm sound? 6 reasons

You might have come across ‘warm sound’ in many of the audio articles. Have you ever wondered what is a warm sound? The sound with less high-frequency energy, which is a less harsh sound, is called a warm sound. Confused? Don’t worry. Read on. I have explained it in detail in this article.

what is a warm sound?
Image by <a href=”″>Holger Schué</a> from <a href=”″>Pixabay</a>

What is a warm sound?

Warm sound is, simply put, less high-frequency energy and full-bodied sound. High frequencies are up on the higher side of the spectrum of sound. Any sound between 8000 Hz and the audible end of the spectrum at 20,000 Hz is called high frequency.

It is also called as treble.

If the high frequency is less compared to mids and bass, then it can be said as warm sound. Not only this. The warm sound is full-bodied and has meat around the bone type of sound. 

Characteristics of warm sound

  • Less treble
  • Smooth treble
  • Rich sound
  • Sound has a body to it
  • Rounded edges
  • Less treble harshness
  • Bass is more than treble

What makes a warm sound?

The less treble is easy on the ears. The high frequency in most music equipment is a bit harsh. The sound in this frequency has a hard edge to it.

If this is removed, then the sound becomes bearable to listen to. The listening fatigue will be far less. Ear suction feeling is the close second issue that hurts hearing after piercing high frequencies.

The equipment like earphones, amplifiers, and speakers that have no harsh and less treble energy is warm-sounding equipment. They sound rich, smooth and full-bodied compared to lean-sounding bright pieces of equipment.

Even harmonic distortion that is mostly present in Single-ended Class A or Single-ended Tube amps is also said to have warm sounds.

The important thing is the equipment need not lack treble to be warm sounding. But most of the equipment that sounds warm has less treble.

The opposite of a warm sound is a bright sound. Bright sound is harsh on the ears.

Use of warm sound.

The warm sound is usually used in music therapy. The high frequencies and piercing sounds are reduced and therefore, the sound becomes warm. Since the music, minus the hard edges of the treble, is cosy, it helps in relaxation.

Another use of warm sound is that you can listen to music for a long period of time without listening fatigue or ear tiredness.

Why is it called a warm sound?

Since the high energy is reduced, it gives a sensation of warmth and cosiness to the ears. Hence, it is called referred to as a warm sound. The Lack of harsh high frequencies is often compared to the warm incandescent lamp, and hence, it got the name warm sound.

Warm sounds are often not neutral. These are called coloured sounds. The colour that is tilted more towards the bass, full mids and not towards piercing treble can be said as warm sound.

How to make a warm sound?

Warm sound is usually associated with analogue equipment. If you can pass your music through a single-ended class A tube amp or preamp, the sound becomes warm.

In the digital domain, it is easy to make warm sounds all by yourself. You only need an equaliser to make. Go to the EQ section and reduce the energies of high frequencies, especially above 7 kHz, to small degrees. Make sure you don’t lose high-frequency details. Too much cut in high frequencies will make the music sound dull. Once you strike a balance between Treble details and not harsh high-frequency sound, you’re in the warm sound territory.

The only thing that digital warmth lacks compared to analogue warmth is the missing even harmonic distortion, which makes digital sound less organic.


So, we have seen what a warm sound is, what is, and how to make warm sounds. Warm sound is usually preferred by many analogue lovers, and there is a reason for this. Less harshness.

Thanks for reading.

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