Why Do My Subwoofer’s Seem Weak?

Any audiophile out there has some knowledge of their equipment and how it should perform when subjected to various use.

Let’s zero in on equipment. Let’s talk subwoofers.

Subwoofers are meant to provide the much needed low end grit that makes music feel complete.

If you’ve noticed that your subwoofers sound weak, you’ve stumbled upon this post because I’m going to explain why your subwoofers sound weak.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Without wasting much time, let’s get right into it.

Why do my subs seem weak?

There are many reasons why subwoofers may seem weak and I’m going to discuss each of these reasons below.

Audio without bass

If you play audio via your speakers that doesn’t have any low frequencies, you’ll not hear any bass coming out of your subwoofers.

By design, subwoofers are meant to handle low frequencies which usually range between 20Hz to 150Hz.

So anything above that frequency range won’t come out of your subwoofer or won’t be loud enough to be heard.

So before you conclude that your subwoofers are damaged, play audio that you know has some low end and then judge the subwoofer output.

If you feel the subwoofer is not doing it’s due then try and play the same audio on a different set of speakers and notice how much low end you get.

This isn’t really necessarily If you know your subwoofers well. If you’re unsure however, you should go ahead and test other sub or speakers.

If you conclude that your subwoofer is under performing, then keep reading because the likely cause of that is probably one of the points that I discuss in this post.

Incorrect loudness parameters

Most modern subwoofers being made today have their own unique loudness parameters.

If your subwoofer loudness is not at an optimal level, you could end up with your sub sounding low and weak.

So check your subwoofer volume that can be sometimes found on the sub unit itself or on the remote control of your sound system.

Check any parameters that are marked as “woofer” or “subwoofer”.

Also, check your subwoofer specifications and look for any loudness specs because most manufacturers will outline various settings that work the best with your sound system.

So before you start taking apart your subwoofer, ensure that you have your volume or loudness settings correct.

If you don’t have access to the user manual of the speakers, search your sound system on Google. You’ll likely find a PDF of the specs available on the manufacturers website.

Wrong subwoofer configuration

This also has to do with the settings and set up that you apply to your subwoofer and speakers in general.

Any sound system has various inputs on which you can plug your various speakers.

Tweeters, mid speakers and the subwoofer all have their ports or inputs in which you should plug them in.

If you mistakenly plug your subwoofer on the wrong input, you’ll notice that your subs won’t do their job correctly.

So check your connections and ensure you have the subwoofer hooked into the right input.

Wrong amp size

If you use small amplifier on a subwoofer that requires more boost then you’ll notice your subs sounding weak.

Pay attention to what happens when you turn up the volume.

Normally, when your amplifier isn’t the right size you’ll notice it get weaker as you turn up the volume of your sound system.

Therefore, check your subwoofer specifications and then get the appropriate amplifier.

Wrong crossover settings

You should also check your crossover settings when you notice your sub sounding weak.

A good crossover setting is 10Hz above the lowest frequency of the subwoofer.

You can refer to your subwoofer specifications for this as well.

 Poor room acoustics

A weak sounding sub can also be the result of poor room acoustics.

This is usually the case for most home studios where little acoustic adjustments are applied.

Therefore, spend time trying to get the room acoustics right by using sound absorbers and possibly some bass traps that can control some of your low end frequencies.

Also get the subwoofer placement right.

Mechanical failure

Sometimes your subwoofer sounding weak could simply be the result of a mechanical fault.

Most of the times, when the motor fails, your subwoofer is likely going to sound a lot weaker.

Therefore, you may need to get it fixed.

Reaching out to a speaker expert can be really helpful in diagnosing not only mechanical issues but configuration and set up issues as well.

Mis-polarization

All sound system speakers work in harmony and should have the correct polarisation relative to each other.

If your speakers are mis-polarized the result could be a weak sounding subwoofer due to a lower sound pressure level (SPL). 

Insufficient SPL will weaken all subwoofer sounds. This is why carrying out a polarity test of your speakers is important after setting them up.