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Parametric Equalizers vs. Graphic Equalizers

Parametric Equalizers vs. Graphic Equalizers

EQ refers to equalization. Mighty wiki says, “the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electric signal.” It's a bold statement. Secondly, let's emphasize the word “balance”. Parametric Equalizers vs. Graphic Equalizers is a not topic nowadays.

However, A proper “EQ” is mostly finding the perfect harmony between the frequencies of music. Moreover, you need to know the manipulation process of your desired balance.

We hear a huge range of frequencies. To be exact 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Each instrument impacts with energy in a specific frequency. EQ sets the contents coherently in a mix. So, everything feels balanced and clean.

So, Audio equalizers are used to alter the frequency response. Besides, We’ve discussed this topic previously. However, We get many devices with a built-in audio equalizer. Bass and treble knobs are common. Moreover, music apps for mobile PC/desktop sound cards offer EQ customization.

The best equalizers have accurate control over frequency. 10 Band or more controls are a significant leap beyond 2 knobs. 

If your devices don't allow you to tweak, separate equalizers may help. Today we will discuss two common equalizers

  1. Graphic Equalizer
  2. Parametric Equalizer

Graphic Equalizers

Graphic EQ

In these two, graphic equalizer is the simpler one. So, you will find it in most places. This system has a number of filters, distributed evenly. Besides, each filter is the same shape having one control. The filters imbricate. So the final result comes from the shape and the position of the sliders. Its sliders are to boost or cut frequencies. However the number is not definite. Like typically, you will find a five-band graphic equalizer. Therefore, it will cover 5 zones of Frequency. They will be 

  1. 30 Hz for bass)
  2. 100 Hz for mid-bass
  3. 1 kHz for mid 
  4. 10 kHz for upper mid 
  5. 20 kHz for treble 

Similarly, A ten-band equalizer offers control for ten zones of frequencies. They have similar ranges mentioned above. If you have more bands, you will have finer control. 

You can boost or cut specific frequencies accordingly. Each frequency can be boosted or cut to a maximum/minimum degree. The up and down range might be +/- 6 dB. Some systems allow +/- 12 dB. These are not fixed. However, It totally depends on manufacturers or service providers. 

Graphic EQ can come with analog circuits. It might have digital signal processing. 

We have to consider one thing for Graphic equalizer. So can call it the perks of graphical EQ. Individual Sliders affect its neighboring frequencies. However, Just imagine a scenario. You are Poking a finger into a flexible plastic poster. Your press will create a slope effect inside of the pressure point. Pressure point gets the most effective and other areas get faded outside gradually. Deep penetration intensifies the slop. Light penetration gets dimmer slop. Graphic equalizers alter the frequency in the same way. 

Let’s summarize what graphic equalizers offer:

  • 1. It's a simple, plug and play type operation
  • 2. Frequency adjustment is fixed
  • 3. It effects on A Broad range.
  • 4. It's for general use scenarios
  • 5. Typically less expensive than parametric equalizers

Parametric Equalizers (PEQ)


Parametric equalizers aren't as simple as Graphic ones. Besides, you have the ability to adjust a lot beyond volume. It will allow you to alter three sectors. 

  1. Level (boosting/cutting dB),
  2. The center/primary frequency, 
  3. Bandwidth/range (also known as Q) 

All of those three for each frequency. So, it offers you more of clinical precision. Therefore, getting a well-customized tone is pin-point. 

However, you can choose a single filter’s width. Therefore, you will find it helpful to correct frequency response errors. It's highly useful to reduce peaks in speakers and headphones. 

Nonetheless, PEQ allows the frequency to increase/decrease the volume. Though graphic equalizers were fixed, PEQ offers a choice of center/primary frequency. 

ibasso dx160

ibasso Dx160 will offer you a fairly flexible PEQ customization. If you aim higher, you can have FiiO m15 

Let’s see an example. GEQ has a fixed slider at 20 Hz. However we can adjust PEQ to any frequencies like 10 Hz, 15 Hz, 20 Hz, and so forth. You can select, adjust, and customize. It varies by model and service provider tho.

Then comes to discussion, Bandwidth/range. It's the slope that affects neighboring Freq. A PEQ has control over the bandwidth/range of each individual frequency. 

Let's do an example here. Think the center frequency is 50 Hz. If you get a wide bandwidth, it will have the ability to affect as low as 20 Hz and as high as 80 Hz. If you get a narrow bandwidth, you will get the precision of 45 to 55hz range. 

However, there will still be a sloping effect active. But it's far more accurate than the graphic equalizers. The sloping tends to zero. It's not zero but a close one. So, we can fine-tune any specific frequencies. This won't disturb neighbors too much. 

Parametric equalizers are detailed and precise. Its accurate control offers fine-tune and clinical adjustments. Therefore, it will satisfy particular/personal tastes. So it's useful in mixing and personal playback. 

Let’s summarize what parametric equalizers offer:

  1. It's a complex but a calculated operation.
  2. It offers accurate frequency adjustment.
  3. It has a Precise range and finer control.
  4. Ideal for studio and personal use.
  5. It's exclusive and expensive.

Sonic Situation


Firstly Graphic EQs are easy to use. Moreover, it's reliable. It keeps unnecessary features off of the table. It makes a faster and efficient mix or playback tuning. So, When you need something easy and straightforward Graphic EQs will save your back.

Parametric EQs should be there to add color and energy to your sound. They offer precise customization which a graphic EQ can't touch. Therefore, when you want band-by-band tuning PEQ is the way to go.

In sonic situations, PEQ will offer a more controlled sound than Graphics. 

Which to use?

We are at the end of today’s discussion. The EQ type will be based on your situation. The PEQ is ideal for Speaker correction according to room response.

It's a noteworthy point that PEQ offers flexibility with more customization. Both EQs need the same procession power. The graphic is easy, sort of run, and gun type. On the other hand PEQ takes time to perfect. 

You can A/B both and play with toys. Thus, you will find the best one for you.


If you want to start your audiophile journey, Hifigo will be always there for you. However, you can ask anything regarding this topic or any.

Most importantly stay safe and keep rocking. 

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