They definitely absorb quite a bit of sound from the back. If you move your head around to the side behind them, the noise level drops off a very noticeable amount. They did smooth out the bass. It was a bit boomy before (partly because my room is almost square), and these definitely helped. But as I said, if your corners are free of obstructions, I think the corner bass traps (like what GIK sells) will do a bit more.