Is there any difference between low-pass and high-cut filters? There must be, and that's why they're named differently. But, when and why would you use one instead of the other?

3 Answers 3


Low pass and high cut are synonyms, so there is no difference. Other filters also have multiple names. Here are some examples:

  • high pass and low cut are the same.
  • bell filters often have other names like boost/cut or peaking. When used in cut mode only, with a narrow bandwidth, a bell filter may be called a notch filter.

I normally hear it referred to as low-pass simply be cause it avoids confusion with high-pass filters, but low-cut and high-pass are exact synonyms. The only difference is if they are describing what is being cut or what is being taken.

I suppose there might have technically been a difference at one point based on if it was implemented by taking the lower frequencies out of a source signal or dampening the high frequencies to remove them from a signal, however the result of either description is the same, a signal where the frequencies above a certain frequency are removed or greatly attenuated.


A high-pass filter only allows a certain frequency range to pass through it. Frequencies below the cutoff are reduced by a factor of the Q of the filter, usually -12 or -24 db/octave.

Low-cut is a generic term that could apply to a high-pass filter, but more typically to a low-shelf filter.

A low-shelf filter reduces all frequencies below the shelf by a specified amount.

See Wikipedia:Filter Design:The Frequency Function

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