10 Reasons Why Your Subwoofer Sounds Weak (Solved)

Let’s be honest, adding subwoofer units to your sound system adds the depth which enhances the overall sound quality.

However, if the results aren’t satisfying or the subwoofer sounds weak, you will need some workaround.

In this article, we will discuss the 10 possible causes of weak bass effects in a subwoofer along with their solution.

10 Reasons Why Your Subwoofer Sounds Weak

Wrong or loose connection

One of the most common mistakes that we make and often overlook is improper wiring.

Particularly for beginners or when assembling a sound system and combining several brands or components, the connections or initial configuration can be a little complicated.

Connecting the sound system improperly will lead to no sound or rattling noise coming off the speakers and subwoofers.

Solution:

If the subwoofer fails to release sound or if it outputs weak sound effects, make sure to inspect that the connectivity is proper and that wires are fixed to the right slots.

Such as plugging the subwoofer into the subwoofer out port in a 5.1 surround channel instead of plugging it into different channel outputs.

Also, if you are unsure about the connections, simply refer to the user manual of your sound system or contact a professional as a last resort.

Unsuitable Music Genre

The first thing you should do is to check the music genre you are trying to play.

Bass effects aren’t a requirement for most music genres that have high-frequency signals.

To reproduce bass the ideal frequency range usually falls between 30 Hz to 220 Hz. Sub-bass frequencies can fall below 30 Hz and up to as low as 20 Hz.

It could be possible that you’re playing a song, show, or other musical note that doesn’t actually have a lot of subs in it.

Solution:

Try playing a song that has a lot of low-end information or a bass-heavy music file for testing purposes.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue you can look for the other possible causes mentioned in this article.

Low Subwoofer Volume

Check if the volume of your subwoofer unit is set to low by error or not adjusted properly.

Most subwoofers have the option to increase or decrease their volume from the settings menu.

Additionally, most soundbars have a separate woofer button on their remote controls to make changes to the bass response.

Solution:

  • If you find that the volume was lowered, try increasing it to match with the sound of other speakers.
  • Depending on your setup type you can experiment on the same or refer to the user manual of your subwoofer unit.

Underpowered Subwoofer

Although underpowering a subwoofer is not recommended as it may harm the unit.

Also inadequate power supplied to it will definitely result in weak sound. 

Solution:

  • Make sure your subwoofer receives enough power to output the desired bass effects.
  • Also, make sure to avoid overpowering it as it can cause subwoofer clipping or distortion in sound and may also lead to damage.

Frequency Settings

Subwoofers typically work best in audio configuration and to deliver the best performance, it will require all the elements of the configuration synchronized.

Solution:

  • A full-range speaker and a subwoofer usually produce low frequencies of different types.
  • You should set up the speakers correctly such as the frequency settings of the subwoofers should match the main speaker’s frequency settings.

Incorrect Amplifier Size

At low playback levels, a small amplifier in a sound system will enable the subwoofer to emit bass notes correctly.

On the other hand, as you turn up the level or at greater volumes, the sound can get softer.

Solution:

  • If the amplifier size is small compared to your sound system requirements then it needs replacement with a larger one of more suitable ability.
  • Most people install more than one amp to match the requirements of their sound system.
  • The ideal configuration should be one amplifier channel for each subwoofer.

Also Read: Which Amplifier is right for your Subwoofer? (Answered)

Polarity Settings

If you have multiple subwoofers and speakers in your sound system they should have the correct polarity between them.

If the polarity isn’t proper or relative to each other will ultimately lead to a lower sound pressure level (SPL measured in dB or decibels) which will further result in weak sub sounds.

Solution:

  • Make sure the subs have correct polarity relative to each other and you should perform polarity testing of all loudspeakers in the first place or right after setting up your sound system.

Poor Room Acoustics

Poor room acoustics can cause a lot of sound-related problems including weak sound from subwoofer.

The lower frequencies or sub-frequencies are more likely to be amplified than attenuated in an untreated room.

Usually building up bass in an untreated room is the most common acoustic problem.

This is because the low-frequency wavelengths are typically longer than that of higher frequencies. Hence they take longer to disperse throughout the space.

Solution:

Proper placement of the subwoofer is the best way to counter acoustic problems in your room.

Additionally, bass traps can be ideal ways to prevent acoustical problems where low/subs often collect especially in the corners of the room.

Also, make sure your subwoofer isn’t placed behind a piece of furniture and has enough breathing space.

To get the best from the subwoofer simply experiment by placing it in different locations in your room until you find the sweet spot.

If that doesn’t work either, you can try adding acoustic treatments such as bass traps, absorbers, diffusers, etc., to your room.

Blown subwoofer parts

There is always a possibility that one of the sound-producing parts of the subwoofer such as the driver may be blown or may have become weaker.

It can lead to distortion in sound or your subwoofer may sound weak even with the best settings applied.

It can be anything the moving parts or the electrical components that may have worn out.

Solution:

  • In such a situation, you will need to get it inspected by a professional repair person to identify and fix it for you.
  • Replacing a worn-out part can help you resolve the ongoing issue in most cases.

Aging

Speakers and subwoofers deteriorate with age and become ineffective or provide poor sound.

Solution:

  • Replacing the subwoofer unit becomes the only solution to obtain better results.
  • Make sure to replace the subwoofer considering the power requirements and specifications of your existing sound system.

Final Thoughts

For a new setup, improper connectivity and settings can be the root cause of the weak sound coming from the subwoofer unit.

It is important to know the basics to operate a subwoofer properly, however referring to the user manuals can help you configure the settings more effectively.

You can also consult your close ones, especially if they are die-hard music lovers for setting up your unit correctly.

Armed with a Diploma in electrical engineering and a remarkable 12 years of expertise, he excels in rejuvenating music systems, washing machines, dryers, and laundry-related appliances. Manish's profound insights and practical know-how establish him as a credible authority in appliance and music system repairs. Contact: manish.singh (at) subwooferblog.com. He's always ready to lend a helping hand!