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In Windows 7, you can go to Sound configuration, select your speakers and click Configure. You will then get a dialog called Speaker Setup. You start with a question about Audio channels (Stereo, Quadraphonic, ...) and in the next step it asks you which of your speakers are full-range speakers.

What exactly are full-range speakers, how do I know if I have them? And what exactly is the difference between checking and not checking that checkbox?

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3 Answers

Full range speakers can emit low and high frequency sound (bass and treble). If you have a separate subwoofer, then your main speakers are not full range speakers.

I can't think of what difference this makes to the sound driver, as the crossover in the speaker/speaker system should deal with how to split the sound. It possibly has to do with how 5.1/7.1 sound is output.

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Saying that, a high-end home cinema system could well have full range main speakers as well as a very low-frequency subwoofer, but if you had such a system, you'd probably know about this stuff in order to want to buy it. –  paradroid Sep 12 '10 at 18:23
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A Full-range speaker is one single unit that has one or more drivers which work independently. It covers a wide range of frequencies . A Full-range speaker convert variations in voltage into variations in sound pressure to produce different frequencies.

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As Jason said in his answer it will not have any sub-woofers (see the picture in my answer) –  subanki Sep 12 '10 at 16:11
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The 'full range' checkbox, when checked, disables high pass filtering, meaning that frequencies below a certain cutoff (70Hz, apparently) will be excluded from the signal sent to your speakers.

If your speakers are marketed as 'PC speakers', especially if they don't include a subwoofer, they may not be able to handle very low frequencies. Sending, say, a powerful 25Hz tone (just on the lower edge of human hearing) can only cause distortion and trouble.

Ultimately, it can't really cause damage to your speakers, so the best thing to do is play with the option; listen to some music with the box checked and then un-checked. Whatever sounds better to you is the right choice.

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