Why Is My Subwoofer Not Hitting Hard?

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Updated October 17, 2022

If you are new to the world of home audio, you may wonder why your subwoofer is not hitting hard. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers can range in quality, with some simply refusing to, as the kids say, hit hard. So why do some of the best subwoofers struggle to provide adequate volume and bass, and what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.


  • Subwoofers offer up a weak signal and poor sound quality, otherwise known as not hitting hard, for a wide variety of reasons.
  • If your EQ is set to deprioritize the bass output, it could result in a weak subwoofer, as would a low subwoofer level.
  • Try to adjust the equalizer via speaker settings or head unit, swap out any speaker wires, and ensure proper integration with the rest of your system.

Why Do Subwoofers Struggle to Hit Hard?

There are many things that can go wrong with a subwoofer, which leads some to wonder why a subwoofer bottoms out. Faulty cables can lead to volume issues, which is important when comparing the Bose Bass Module 500 vs 700. Also, there could be wattage integration issues with regard to connected preamps and receivers, which is something to look into when comparing a Boom 3 vs a MegaBoom 3.

This problem is typically a hardware issue, but the software is also a potential culprit with newer wireless subwoofers.

Insider Tip

If you have a weak wireless subwoofer, try moving it closer to the original Bluetooth audio source.

Tips to Ensure a Subwoofer Hits Hard

Each subwoofer and related setup is different, with unique adjustment potential. In other words, there is no universal list of troubleshooting tips here. There are some common things to try.

Adjust the EQ

Your first step here is to adjust the EQ, with an emphasis on increasing bass response. Some subwoofers have sweepable EQ modes, but in most cases, you must head to your receiver, preamp, or standalone equalizer. Adjust the EQ with the subwoofer playing and see if raising the bass addresses the problem of a weak signal. Keep in mind that you may have multiple EQs on the signal chain path, so check any you can get your hands on. The same goes for volume output levels.

Swap Out Cables

In many cases, faulty connection cables and power cords are to blame for a weak subwoofer. Swap out all of the cables and check to see if this solves the issue. Make a habit of having plenty of replacement power wires and connection cables on hand, as faulty cables lead to all kinds of issues.

STAT: If your subwoofer isn’t receiving enough power, it won’t be able to hit as hard as it should. Make sure that the power cord is plugged into a working outlet and that the fuse isn’t blown. (source)

Check Compatibility

Subwoofers boast unique requirements regarding amperages, wattage levels, and more. Make sure the subwoofer integrates nicely with the rest of your system, including the stereo speakers, the audio source, the preamp, the receiver, and anything else you have hooked up.

Weak Subwoofer FAQs

How to tell when a subwoofer is bad?

If your subwoofer or stock head unit is bad, you will likely know by listening to it. A blown voice coil, for instance, creates crackling and the like. A faulty connected channel amp could produce no sound at all.

What does a blown subwoofer sound like?

A blown subwoofer can sound a lot like an underpowered subwoofer, though there is typically some associated crackling when listening to the subwoofer output.

Why did my subwoofer stop hitting hard?

If your subwoofer once hit hard but hits hard no longer, it could be bad speaker wires, a faulty head unit, a malfunctioning channel amp, an incorrect volume level, a passive subwoofer without a preamp, and more.
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