If you just got a higher-end subwoofer, and for some reason, the output doesn’t seem as expected, you might have to do some tweaks to it. And knowing what to do if your subwoofer is not hitting hard enough really matters for an audiophile.
However, there are many possible reasons behind this issue, like motor failure, under-powered amplifiers, low-quality files, etc. But you can easily solve these by using high-quality files or a stronger amplifier, changing cables, etc.
This article addresses both the reasons why it happens and possible fixes you can try yourself to unleash the full potentiality of your subwoofer.
Thankfully, the issues are generally not that extreme and easy to detect. The followings are the most common reasons for subwoofers not hitting loud.
The first problem we are going to address is one of the amateur mistakes that people make with their subwoofers, which is not using the right file or media.
You need to understand that subwoofers are designed to reproduce low-frequency sounds to make them more enriched.
In other words, they can only enhance the low-frequency part of the audio. This includes bass guitar sounds, explosion sounds, drums, or other similar rumbling sounds.
So, if the file you are playing does not contain any low-frequency parts, there is nothing for the woofer to enhance.
It’s not uncommon to make this mistake, so play some other files containing low-frequency sounds before doing anything else.
Also, many of us made the mistake of using compressed files since they take up much less space than high-quality files. As a result, you can fit more files on the device.
What we don’t realize is that crunching the size effectively lowers the quality of the audio.
Compressed audio files usually can’t even contain the higher and lower frequencies. It effectively lowers the quality of the file.
Fix – Use Correct Files
Using high-quality files is one of the first conditions to make your subwoofer hit hard.
High-quality files will contain all the right frequencies that make a subwoofer go hard. This is why make sure to play the right file and preferably not compressed ones.
A lot of the time, tuning the bass level of a subwoofer goes unnoticed, which may also lead to lower sound quality. Some of the brands and models have functions where the bass level adjusts automatically with the speaker.
But many times, you need to tune the bass level manually. Models that require manual tuning have a ‘woofer’ button on the soundbar. And you can use it to increase the bass level to your liking.
In case there is no button in that name, check the user manual.
Fix – Ensure Proper Tuning
Always tune your subwoofer and your speaker. This is a must for receiving the best thrumming bass effect.
If you can’t notice any visible button, it has a built-in bass level. Otherwise, you will always need to tune your woofer manually.
Tuning the bass level to the highest will give you the loudest and most prominent bass effect.
Misaligned settings are a critical reason for subwoofers not hitting as expected.
The subwoofer and the connected speaker are designed to play on a range of different frequency levels. So, when they are connected, both of them must have a synchronized setting to create the best thrumming effect.
When the settings of the two instruments are set on different frequencies, they will clash and make an unpleasant distorted sound.
It’s also important that the amplifier settings match the subwoofer and the speaker. Overall, make sure all the settings are synced.
Fix – Configure It Properly
We need to remember that a subwoofer is not a standalone device. It is connected to the main speaker to make the sound system. So, the settings on the two devices must be in sync to make the best sound effect.
In many instances, the woofer sound output can seem weaker than usual when the frequencies don’t match each other.
Do some adjusting and syncing of the speaker as well as the woofer. Hopefully, you will get your desired output.
Underpowering can also be a reason for this one. Even though it doesn’t mean any immediate danger to the woofer, it rather causes it to produce weaker sounds than usual.
An extension of this scenario is using an overworked and worn-out amplifier to power up the woofer.
A strained amplifier will not only mess up your audio quality and extremely distorted signals but also potentially damage your subwoofer.
Fix – Provide Enough Power
Always make sure your woofer is getting enough power not to strain or overwork the equipment. Hopefully, it will fix the issue if the reason was related to underpowering.
The source of configuration, as in the device or resource you are using to play the audio, can also significantly affect the audio output quality.
Changing the source to another device can help detect if the source is damaged or not.
On top of that, it can also be because of the poor acoustics of your car. The woofer will make weaker sounds if there is not enough ventilation to help with the standing wave.
Fix – Position It Right
If you notice weaker sounds, try moving them to somewhere with more space and air. It will significantly enhance the sound quality.
You can never imagine what positioning can do to the sound quality of a subwoofer.
Most people tend to place them in small and compact places since it adds an additional rumbling effect to the sound.
Just like any electrical equipment with cables, a subwoofer with weaker cables will most likely lead to weaker sound output. Issues with cables are hard to detect since there are always more than a couple of cables to deal with.
Visibly torn or worn-out cables must be replaced immediately since they are probably not delivering enough electricity to the woofer to create a stronger sound. In fact, cheap and low-quality cables can also result in distorted sound quality.
There’s also the possibility that some cables might have loosened up while the car was on the move.
Fix – Change Cables
We already said that cables are an integral part of any sound system. Especially for subwoofers, always use high-quality cables instead of cheaper ones to get the best sound effect. Also, check for damaged cables regularly.
As soon as you find any visibly worn-out or damaged cables, replace them immediately to maintain the best sound quality.
Just like an overworked amplifier, a wrong size amplifier can also affect the audio quality of a subwoofer. A smaller-than-required amplifier may work fine at low playback levels. However, with increasing volume, the sound starts to weaken.
In such a case, switch to a bigger amplifier to power your subwoofer’s sound system.
Fix – Use the Correct Amplifier
Always consider using a stronger and bigger amplifier if your subwoofer is not hitting hard enough. Because sometimes, when you are using a smaller amplifier, it can’t deliver enough power to the speaker. And the result is a weaker sound.
Motor failure is one of the more serious causes for a car subwoofer to produce weaker sounds. Most of the time, when you have checked for all the possible issues to cause this type of problem and haven’t found one, it’s probably an issue with the motor.
There are many instances where a motor issue on a small scale goes unnoticed. But as time goes on, they can lead to more severe cases. Subwoofers making distorted and weaker sounds can point to a possible problem, like a blown fuse or short circuit in the wires. So, check up on that.
Fix – Repair or Replace
If the issue is just a blown fuse or a fried wire, changing the damaged parts can solve the problem.
In more serious cases, you might need to change the motor altogether.
Does weak sound always mean the subwoofer is bad?
Not necessarily. There might be other minor issues like settings, adjustments, space acoustics, etc. However, proper testing can surely tell the reason behind the weak sound output of subwoofers.
It’s very unfortunate that your subwoofer doesn’t give you the expected output. But now you know what to do if your subwoofer is not hitting hard enough. Figure out what is causing the issue, and apply the fix you learned from this article.