Subwoofers are instruments designed to reproduce low-pitched and low-frequency tunes in the range of 20Hz and 200Hz. It consists of several woofers mounted in a loudspeaker box to provide a high-quality sound.
However, subwoofers can have dips in their performance for various reasons, but there are easy fixes that you can try to restore the sound quality.
Some reasons a subwoofer may not be as loud include wrong audio settings, poor amplification, incorrect placement, or a damaged motor. Fixes include optimizing the audio configurations, using a bigger amplifier, moving the subwoofer, and repairing or replacing the motor.
This article will look into the causes of low output from a subwoofer and what you can do to fix it.
Moreover, it will also discuss some additional reasons that might cause a weak acoustic sound but are not strictly related to the working of subwoofers.
1. Wrong Audio Settings
A subwoofer has one or more woofers, and if you do not sync the audio configuration of the subwoofer with that of the speaker, you will not get the maximum output.
Subwoofers are suitable for bass sounds, whereas speakers deliver mid and high-range frequency sounds.
That is why it is essential to adjust the settings of your audio system before you turn it on.
How To Fix
You should first check whether the speaker’s frequency is the same as the subwoofer’s frequency and adjust it if not.
To get maximum sound, you have to modify the crossover as well. If you have a two-way speaker, regulate your setting for a low crossover. If you have a three-way speaker, alter the configuration for a high crossover.
To set the subwoofer sound level, you have to turn it on and adjust the level until it reproduces clear and loud low-frequency sounds.
You can also change the phase settings for an improved result before tuning the audio equalizer settings.
It would be best to check your subwoofer’s bass level because it has a separate setting, and you may not have changed it from the factory setting.
If it is at a lower value, increase the level until you obtain the preferred output.
2. Inadequate Amplification
The amplifier helps to louden the low-frequency sound produced by a subwoofer. Suppose you notice that your subwoofer plays high-quality sound at lower volumes but starts to become weak and unclear as you turn up the volume.
In that case, it is an indication that your amplifier cannot support the amplification at higher levels, and it is time you change your amplifier.
How To Fix
For a general rule, it would be best to select an amplifier that produces twice as much power at a particular impedance as the RMS power rating of the subwoofer at that load.
For instance, if a subwoofer requires 100 watts of RMS power at 2 ohms of nominal impedance, you can select an amplifier that generates 200 watts of power at 2 ohms of nominal impedance.
To have an in-depth perspective on matching subwoofers and amplifiers, you can check out this website which explains everything in detail.
You might require more than one amplifier, depending on the demand and size of your audio system.
For better results, it would be best if you used a different amplifying channel for every subwoofer.
3. Incorrect Subwoofer Placement
The sound produced by the subwoofers spreads out in all directions and bounces off from different objects before reaching you.
That is why the sound experts give immense importance to proper room acoustics for better sound quality.
Hard surfaces such as glass walls negatively affect the room acoustics. That is why the placement of the subwoofer can also dictate the quality of bass you are hearing.
How To Fix
If the sound of your subwoofers got weakened after you changed its position, then it would be best to move it back to its original place.
That is because the sound waves reflect differently at different angles, and if two waves cross each other, they will either reinforce or cancel each other depending on their orientation.
So, the new position may be causing more cancellation of the sound waves.
The easy fix to this problem is to place your subwoofers in different positions and orientations and then note the placement that results in the maximum sound.
It will also help if you do not set up your system near hard surfaces or, if it is possible, move such objects out of the vicinity.
You can also perform a subwoofer crawl to pick the correct position for the placement of your system in the room.
4. Damaged Motor
Another reason your subwoofer is not as loud as before is because of a damaged subwoofer motor.
A motor may start to malfunction if it is affected by a power surge or due to wear and tear with time.
How To Fix
The solution for this problem is to either get your motor repaired or replaced. If you observe that the fuse and the motor’s battery are damaged, you can send it for repair.
However, if the problem persists, it would be best to replace the motor.
Some Additional Causes and Fixes To Keep in Mind
If the sound does not improve after applying the fixes mentioned above, it’s time you look into other issues that might affect the working of the subwoofers.
When installing the subwoofers, make sure that you do not make a wiring mistake.
Your audio system may consist of more than one speaker and subwoofer, so double-check if the speakers and subwoofers have the same polarity when connecting the wires.
That means you should join the positive wire with the positive terminal and the negative wire with the negative terminal.
Having the same polarity is essential because they will not vibrate in sync if the devices have different polarities.
For instance, if the two subwoofers have different polarities, then when one sub vibrates outwards, the other will vibrate inwards, and there will not be enough compression of air to create the desired loudness.
You have to check your wires and reconnect them if you see a problem to fix this issue.
The Sound Only Has High Frequencies
It is also possible that the problem of low output has less to do with the performance of the subwoofers and more with what you are trying to play on it.
Subwoofers are ideal for reproducing only low-frequency sounds, so if you are playing a song with high frequencies, you will not hear the desired output.
If your subwoofer produces high-quality sounds for some media and remains silent for others, it means it is working fine, and the only problem is the media that you are playing.
Subwoofer Is Not Receiving Enough Power
All subwoofers have a power rating that indicates the minimum power it requires to function optimally.
If you connect the subwoofer to a power supply that does not fulfill its requirement, the output will also be less than optimal.
Subwoofer Box Is Not Sealed Properly
Another essential thing to check is whether the subwoofer enclosure is leaking air.
The only open outlet should be the port on the box, which redirects the sound from the back of the cone to the front to increase the bass sound.
If there are other openings, more sound waves from the back of the subwoofer will interact with the waves from the front and result in distortion.
Consequently, you will hear a weak and unclear sound.
To check if the subwoofer’s cone is not leaking air, place your hand on the surface with your fingers spread and gently press the surface inwards with your fingertips.
If you hear or feel air leaking out, you should get it repaired.
There could be many reasons that can stop the subwoofers from performing the way they should.
However, it is crucial to first identify the problem before doing something about it.
If you are not sure about the issue, it is best to consult an expert.