Whether new to home audio or an expert, a subwoofer is a must component you will surely add to your home theater setup. The immense and bassy surround sound a subwoofer delivers is irreplaceable.
Combining a subwoofer with the home theater speaker, the majestic and elegant surround sound you will receive will double up your listening experience. However, the ride of setting up a subwoofer can be challenging.
Users often face issues while hooking up a subwoofer. The most commonly reported error is that the subwoofer keeps cutting out. So, why do my subwoofers keep cutting out?
There are several reasons why your subwoofers may be cutting out including subwoofer overheating, wiring issues, amplifier issues, impedance mismatched, low voltages, and Protection Circuitry.
In order to fix these issues and find out what exactly is the issue you have to learn and understand each one and then diagnose it. In this article, I’m going to talk about all of these issues in detail as well as will share what possible solutions could be.
Top Reasons Your Subwoofer Keeps Cutting Out
The situation can be frustrating when you diagnose your subwoofer keeps cutting out. From dropping buzz to humming to breaking sound, it will disrupt your sound experience. Here are the reasons behind the error;
When a subwoofer starts cutting out, checking the lousy ground first is always advisable. Grounding problems can short your speakers, burn your expensive amplifier, add noise, and more. An electrical circuit is complete with grounding. In case of an error, the subwoofer will keep cutting or might not even receive any power.
It, as a result, can damage your speaker, subwoofer, amp, and other components. Checking the continuity with a multimeter will give you a waste use of time.
FIX: Usually, a sub cuts at a high gain if having grounding issues, while there will be only humming at low. Use the sound to isolate the problem. Start from your amp. Slowly turn the knob and listen to the sound switch.
If the humming sound changes, the issue is with the amplifier. If not, turn the knob again. Hook up the speakers with different amps and keep eliminating devices till you find the faulty one. Once you find the defective device, check and fix it.
Amp In The Protect Mode:
There is a specific reason why an amplifier goes to protect Mode. The cause can be incorrect gain settings, loose connections, blown-out fuses or drivers, overheating issues, or improper installation.
However, when it happens, the amplifier blocks down power from all speakers (including the sub). The power LED with an alarming color or display flashes “Protect Mode.”
FIX: Even if you turn manually turn OFF the Protect Mode, it will turn ON again. The best way to fix this error is by seeking professional assistance.
Amp Overheating And Clipping:
Sometimes the subwoofer doesn’t cut off usually, but after hours of continuous music streaming. That is because the amplifier overheats. The key reasons for an overheated amplifier are terrible ground, blown speaker, clipping, and impedance mismatch. However, clipping is the primary cause of amp overheating.
Clipping happens when an amplifier tries to push more signal than its power capacity—the more clipping, the higher the overheating.
FIX: Lowering the volume or gain setting is the best way to solve the error. Ensure the amplifier’s RMS output shouldn’t exceed the sub’s RMS rating. Besides, ensure the impedance of the sub matches with the amplifier.
If you have a home stereo system, you can move to the next point since low-voltage issues usually occur in car stereo systems. A home is well-equipped and receives stable electrical power to convert into DC. On the other hand, an automobile doesn’t have a steady power supply.
Sometimes, the voltage drops exclusively, and the alternator fails to produce sufficient electrical current. As a result, the subwoofer starts cutting off. It all relies on the number of speakers, connections, and other technological equipment in your vehicle. The more links, the more vulnerable the car will be a to voltage drop.
FIX: Use a multimeter to check the voltage ratings of the amplifier. If the rating drops to 12 volts, you must change the amp to fix the error.
Wiring Thickness Problem:
Wiring always plays critical in the speaker setup. Since a subwoofer is a power-hungry device, it demands a lot of power. If the wires add a lot of resistance, the amplifier will be scrambling. As a result, the fuse or blower can shift the amplifier to Protect Mode.
FIX: Ensure the use of the proper thickness of the wire. For best results, use the American Wire Gauge (AWG) number. The higher the AWG, the thinner the wire will be, and vice versa. For low resistance to current flow, use a lower AWG wire.
Interference And Overcrowding
If you have a wireless subwoofer, you will undoubtedly face this error. The standard connectivity modes of a wireless sub are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Home devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, and computers, interfere with the signals pathway. As a result, the signal overlaps with the sub.
FIX: The best way to fix the error is by eliminating all useless connections. Ensure to turn off all Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices you’re not using. Besides, upgrade the mesh Wi-Fi network to lessen blocking and connect the sub to a 5.0 GHz band router.
If nothing works even after checking all mentioned ways, probably the subwoofer is blown. A wholly blown sub won’t make any sound, while a partially damaged one will make a dry sound with the uncontrolled bass response and lack of punches.
FIX: Use a multimeter to check the subwoofer. For this, change the reading settings from Volts to Ohms. Connect the multimeter to the back terminal of the sub and check the reading. If it comes out below 1 Ohm, contact customer support or a third-party servicer to fix the subwoofer.
A Quick Fix Tip That Solves This Problem
Have you heard the famous phrase; a simple reset is all it takes to fix the device. The solution might be temporary but can save a lot of frustration. For this;
- Remove the power source from the home theater and subwoofer.
- Let the devices rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Now plug the devices again.
- Keep the Auto Power Function OFF.
- Locate the RESET button and press & hold it for at least 30 seconds.
- Switch ON the subwoofer and stream music to check the working proficiency.
How to Prevent Subwoofers From Keep Cutting?
After covering the trouble-causing factors, here is you can fix the error;
Inspect The Circuit Board:
While we often ignore the circuit board, it always turns out faulty. Take a screwdriver, unscrew the home theater, separate the circuit board, and inspect it. Check all circuits and identify if any are burst or fused.
Besides, check the corresponding audio output and input. If the audio fails to come out, it’s an IC issue. Use a digital multimeter and check the IC. If it is defective, change it to fix the error.
Removal of Nearby Electronic Devices:
Check the surroundings of the subwoofer. Check whether signal interference is due to electrical devices such as microwaves, CCTV cameras, or routers. If yes, these devices will keep blocking the signal supply to the subwoofer. To fix it, keep these devices at a distance from the subwoofer.
Replace The Faulty Bass:
The bass keeps cutting out even after checking the IC and removing the nearby electronic device. For this, use a multimeter. Locate the black wire on the subwoofer and red to the home theater’s heat sink.
The multimeter will beep once and then show the value. If the rating reaches 500-550, it is defective and needs replacement. Install a new IC, then check again if everything is working well.
Manual Settings For TV:
If you use a TV or monitor as a sound input source, make some changes from the MENU. Now navigate to the Menu > Settings > Sound Option > AV Sound Adjustment Mode. Turn ON this option. Please switch OFF the TV and turn it ON again. Stream the sound to check if the issue is still.