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If you are new to the world of home audio, you may wonder why your subwoofer is bottoming out. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers can range in quality, with some bottoming out with regard to bass response. So why do some of the best subwoofers bottom out, and what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.
It takes a lot of power to create bass frequencies at a high volume, which is why many wonder why their subwoofers are not hitting hard. Sound is essentially vibration, and when you push subwoofers too hard, it causes the cones to extend, no matter where you place the subwoofer. Over time, this leads to decreased performance, otherwise known as bottoming out. This problem impacts all subwoofer types, even if you are learning the definition of a passive radiator subwoofer.
A quick troubleshooting tip here is to swap out all connection cables and power wires. Sometimes it does the trick.
This is a common issue with many causes. In other words, there is not one universal fix here. There are, however, some common troubleshooting steps to get started.
High volumes create vibrations and increased airflow that can impact the delicate components of a subwoofer. If you are experiencing the dreaded issue of a subwoofer bottoming out, try adjusting the volume to compensate. In other words, lower the volume. You can do this at the subwoofer level, if possible, or via the entire setup. You likely won’t have to decrease the volume too much, as a little goes a long way here. So, yeah, you can still enjoy your favorite songs at a decent volume.
This is basically another way to adjust the volume, but this does the trick without impacting anything else in your setup. Your subwoofers may feature a dedicated EQ section. If so, turn the bass response down a bit. If not, head to any EQ on your signal chain and do the same thing. Be aware that you may have several equalizers in your system, and they may all need adjustments.
STAT: From about 1900 to the 1950s, the “lowest frequency in practical use” in recordings, broadcasting, and music playback was 100 Hz. (source)
Your subwoofer could just be ill-equipped to handle a powerful signal, so it will always bottom out when approaching higher-than-average volumes. There is a foolproof fix, though your bank account might not like it. Replace your current subwoofer with a new model that can handle higher volumes and increased bass response.