Why Does my Subwoofer Sound Weak?

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you are an amateur in the wide world of professional home audio, you may wonder “why does my subwoofer sound weak.” Even the best speakers, after all, can run into some serious issues, and subwoofers are no exception. So what causes subwoofers to stop working and the volume output is reduced? How can you troubleshoot the issue? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Subwoofers can sound weak with poor sound quality for many reasons, but first, check that the audio signal itself features plenty of bass response.
  • You should also engage the equalizer, checking the frequency settings and making sure the bass is even with the treble and mids.
  • Go around and tighten all of the wires and cables, replacing any damaged cables if necessary. Poor acoustics or a damaged head unit can also contribute to weak sound or distorted sound.

What Does a Subwoofer Sound Like?

Before understanding why your speaker sounds weak, it is helpful to understand what a subwoofer actually is. As the name suggests, a subwoofer specializes in bass response. So what does it sound like? It’s pure bass, along with some mids to keep things moving. If you are wondering why your speakers are cutting out, and one of them is a subwoofer, you’ll notice a distinct lack of bass response.

Insider Tip

You may want to update all audio drivers as part of your regular troubleshooting routine.

Weak Subwoofer Troubleshooting Tips

Each subwoofer and audio system is unique, so the issues here vary, such as when you wonder why your regular speakers are not working. Still, we have tried a list of common issues and some troubleshooting steps.

It Could Be the Audio

If your audio does not have too much bass, then your subwoofers will have nothing to work with. In other words, some songs and movies simply do not have much by way of bass presence. Test this theory by throwing on some hip hop or another musical variety that you know will feature plenty of bass.

Check the EQ

In the spirit of the above tip, your equalizer could accidentally be filtering out all of the bass, leading to a weak subwoofer. Access your EQ via your connected audio device or the speakers themselves. Make sure the bass is turned up to an adequate level and then try listening again. While you are at it, make sure your whole system isn’t muted and that the overall volume is also at an acceptable level.

Check the Wires and Cables

Loose or damaged speaker wires could contribute to a weaker than average subwoofer. Go around and tighten all of these connections, also ensuring each cable is plugged into the appropriate port. If this doesn’t solve the problem, swap out the wires for new ones. If you are leery of purchasing a whole new set of speaker cables, just purchase one of each type and go port by port until you have it figured out.

F.A.Q.S

How do I make my subwoofer hit harder?

Check the crossover settings, the power cable, and the volume on the remote control to ensure your subwoofer hits hard.


What does a blown subwoofer sound like?

A blown subwoofer sounds crackly, with a low volume. It may also cut in and out, resembling phase shifters more than a properly sounding subwoofer. Generally speaking, a blown subwoofer produces a weak sound.


How do you know when a subwoofer is bad?

If you plug in a bass guitar to a subwoofer and all you hear is crackly, low sound from the amplifier channel, then it is likely bad. A bad subwoofer results in a low subwoofer volume and an underpowered subwoofer.


STAT: The subwoofer is responsible for low-frequency sounds, like the rumbles of an explosion in an action movie or the bass guitar and drum in your favorite music. (source)

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