Subwoofer Not Working But Amp Has Power – How to Fix It?

One of the most common problems with a home audio system or a car is that the subwoofer is not working properly but the amplifier has power. The problem is that the subwoofer has not been connected to the amplifier. To fix this problem, you need to check whether the speaker wire has been connected to the amplifier. So, when the subwoofer not working but amp has power, what would you do? If you are not sure about the wiring of the speaker, you should call an audio expert to do the job.

Amp has power but subwoofer does not work? This is the most common problem that people face with their audio system. If you are experiencing this problem then you must need to fix it as soon as possible.

The Subwoofer is a speaker that is used to enhance the bass in the music. It is usually placed near the rear of the room. When it works, it is a great way to enjoy the low frequencies in the music. However, there are many reasons why the subwoofer may not be working. One of the most common problems is a loose wire. If you have an amplifier that has power, but your subwoofer isn’t working, then the problem is likely a loose wire.

Subwoofer not working but Amp has power – What to do?

subwoofer stopped working but amp is on

Amp has power but subwoofer is not working. I have checked the speaker wire, amplifier, speaker, subwoofer, and amplifier. Still, the subwoofer does not work. The amp has power, but the subwoofer is not working. I need help. What am I supposed to do now?

Don’t panic. Many people have the same problem. They have a subwoofer in their car and it’s not working. If you are one of them, you may be wondering how to fix the issue. It is a common problem for a lot of people. In this case, the subwoofer is not working because the amplifier does not have power. If you don’t know what the amplifier is, you can get confused and wonder how to fix it. So, what is the amplifier, and how to fix it?

Well, to fix the problem, your first step is to troubleshoot the problem. So, let’s get started.

Troubleshoot Your Problem First

When your subwoofer stopped working but the amp is on, you should identify the problem and once you found the problem, you can easily fix it. So, the question is how to troubleshoot because I don’t know how to do it. Well then, follow the steps.

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is check your amplifier has a proper power connection. So, check again whether the power button is turned on or not.

Step 2: Even if the power button is on, make sure the amplifier is switched on as well.

Step 3: If the power button is on but the power indicator is not on, this means the problem starts with the internal circuit of the amplifier.

Step 4: Well, if the power indicator of the amp is on but still your subwoofer isn’t working, it means the problem is not with the amplifier but with the subwoofer. So, go to the next step.

Step 5: Since your amp (Amplifier) is ok but still, your subwoofer has no sound, you should now make sure that all the power cables connected to the subwoofer have been connected properly.

Step 6: Now, if you find that the power button, as well as the power indicator of the subwoofer, is turned on, then you need to do some additional troubleshooting steps. You can know this in the next section.

Subwoofer Is Not Working – Further Troubleshooting Steps

It seems sometimes hopeless when the subwoofer stopped working but amp is on. Anyways, if the primary troubleshooting doesn’t work to bring the sound back to the subwoofer, you must have to follow some more steps. Those troubleshooting steps must have a solution to that problem. So, let’s see those steps now.

Check Whether All the Control Knobs Are Working Properly or Not

First, ensure all the connected parts, such as speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofer are powered on and connected. Then, check the control knobs for all parts. This is one of the first things you should check when you plug a set of speakers into an amplifier.

Your gain setting should be set high. Adjust the gain and mute the volume until you get a good sound out of the mic. The gain knob controls the volume that is coming into the channel, and thus, if it is set very low, the output could be too low to hear.

I’d also like to turn it up and tweak the bass knob and the treble. It’s quite likely that something like this has happened. If your amplifier and subwoofer have a mute button, you should ensure it is unmuted. Go for the next step if all knobs are perfectly set.

Check All the Input Cables Whether They Are Connected Properly or Not

When a subwoofer stops working, it’s usually the input cable that has been damaged or broken. This is because any issue with the input cable can lead to a loss of signal transmission in the entire setup and trigger an audio issue. If you’ve ever had a surge or spike in power, you know how easily it could mess up your data.

First, make sure that all the input cables are plugged in properly. If they are loose, you might find yourself having a hard time getting your signals to work.

If the problem still persists, unplug all the cables from all the machines at the same time and check if any port is damaged. Put the items in the ports that they came in.

Even though it may look like the problem is solved, there’s no way of knowing whether or not the cables are fine unless they’re replaced.

Inspect the Wires

Besides input cables, there are many types of wires in an audio system.

There could easily be some electrical issues. The first wire to check is the power wire because it is usually the culprit. You should also check the electric plug to ensure it’s plugged in properly. You can do this by plugging in some other electronic devices.

Now, make sure that the wires for the car’s audio system are neatly arranged. However, it’s important to check that the wires are not in a mess. If the audio system is in your car, don’t forget to disconnect them.

Check the Fuses

The fuse of the subwoofer or other connected parts could possibly be blown off due to a sudden power surge.

So, when a fuse blows, the electrical circuit breaks as well, and the electricity won’t flow at all. Now, you must locate where the fuse has happened. If you don’t know much about it, the user manual could be very helpful to find out.

Once you have found it, look for the broken fuse wire and replace it. If it is blown, it may indicate the problem is a bigger issue than a bad fuse wire.

Inspect the Speakers

If your subwoofer still doesn’t work, this is high time, you should check the wires of the speakers properly. Because the speakers are so sensitive, they’re very prone to damage if they vibrate and overheat. So, Overheating can cause wire insulation to become brittle.

If speakers stop working, the subwoofer won’t work even though everything is connected. Make sure you look at all the electrical connections and the input connections of your speakers to ensure they are operating properly.

Be sure to thoroughly check all the wires and cables and the input ports of the speakers. Try harder when your car subwoofer is not working but the amp has power. You must find a solution.

You must replace any damaged speakers if found. You can get replacement speakers of the same specs as the one that was damaged.

Measure the Voltage

The amplifier and subwoofer need a certain amount of power to run properly. In this case, you should use the standard 12 volts from the battery for the subwoofer while the amp requires 10.5 – 16.5 volts.

The sound output will not be affected by the difference in the voltage fluctuation, and the output volume of the amplifier will be changed by the amount of voltage fluctuation, but the amplified power in unregulated amp setups.

You might have assumed that the light was on because the signal was coming from the amplifier, but the signal could also come from a transmitter at a higher frequency than your receiver is tuned to.

To measure the voltage, you need to listen to a continuous tone of a single frequency to keep the voltage stable. You can connect your phone and play something. Use the live terminal setting the multimeter to V (volts) to measure the voltage by connecting the black and red leads and then subtract the reading from the white lead.

Keep a running list of the books you read, just like this one. It will help you remember the books you’ve already read and those that you’d like to read in the future.

Next, measure the distance from the positive terminal to the negative terminal.

It’s ok if the voltage between the battery and the terminal is more than 0.5V. but anything less is tolerable. You should test the subwoofer to make sure it gets 12 volts to work properly. Well, if you have a voltage drop, it is necessary to locate the place where the voltage drop is occurring.

You should be careful when working around an electrical circuit. Make sure the wire is not connected to anything before you connect it to your device.

Check Your Settings

Still the subs not working? Again, why is my subwoofer not working? Well, it’s quite possible that the stereo system doesn’t have a way to route any sound to the subwoofer. After trying the hardware fixing, if the subwoofer not working but Amp has power, you need to set some proper settings. If you don’t know how to do that, you can find the manual useful. 

Well, if you are unable to do that, just follow the steps.

  • Check first whether the subwoofer is enabled or not. Now, go to Settings >> Speaker >> Speaker SP and check the speaker pattern. Observe carefully, if the speaker pattern ends with 1 or 2, it is ok then. But, if it ends with 0, the subwoofer won’t work.
  • Plugging the power cord of the subwoofer into an active AC outlet is important. So, make sure it is set perfectly. Well, if you see no power cord, the subwoofer is a passive one. In this case, if the problem persists, you need to purchase an active subwoofer.
  • Check whether the subwoofer is in standby mode or not. The standby mode doesn’t let the subwoofer work. So, do whatever is necessary to switch it off.
  • Adjusting frequency is another important thing because cut-off, as well as low frequency, doesn’t work. This is why you should set the frequency to the maximum limit so that it can pick up all the low-frequency signals.

What If Your Subwoofer Has Turned On But No Sound Is Coming Out?

That Amp has power but no sound from the subwoofer is really frustrating. After following all the methods above if you still fail to fix the issue that your subwoofer is turned on but no sound is coming out, you need to follow the final steps we are going to point out here.

Here are the steps that you can follow to fix the issue.

Checking Step 1: Check and recheck whether you plugged in the amplifier properly. If yes, check the power indicator is on as well.

Checking Step 2: Loose connection of plugging in may cause such problems. So, make sure that all the inputs are tightly and correctly plugged in.

Checking Step 3: Now, inspect the RAC cables whether they are connected properly or not.

Checking Step 4: Check the voltage now because every amplifier requires a certain voltage. It’s been seen although the voltage requirement is not met, the amplifier may turn on, but the subwoofer doesn’t work in that case. So, it is truly necessary to ensure the power is flowing properly to the amplifier.

Checking Step 5: We often sometimes carelessly turn the volume MUTE. So, if this happens, UNMUTE and adjust the volume, and your subwoofer will work properly.

Checking Step 6: Due to a power surge, it is highly possible if all the steps don’t work, your subwoofer can be short-circuited. In this case, you need to replace the fuse wire. Above all, if you think there is internal damage, you need to take it to a nearby technician.

If Nothing Works, Consider Replacing Your Subwoofer

If the subwoofer doesn’t play a sound when it is powered on, or if it plays a sound but doesn’t sound very loud, then there’s a good chance that it is defective and it is time to replace it. Why is not my subwoofer working won’t be an option then?

Connecting a separate subwoofer to the sending device will let you test if the problem is hardware-related, or not.

After testing, if the second subwoofer works, you have to understand that the original subwoofer is bad.

Most people who are buying home theater audio systems are buying a powered subwoofer.

How to Buy the Right Subwoofer

Subwoofer Not Working But Amp Has Power

So, if you really want to purchase a new subwoofer, you must have to consider some factors seriously. Those factors will help you find the best and right subwoofer. So, let’s check it out.

Subwoofer Size

What you need to consider first is the size of the subwoofer. The right amount of air volume is required in case of subs to function properly. If you try to fit a massive woofer into a small housing, it will just sound bad and make things much harder for you. In this case, to know the right information on the specification of the subs, you can check this on the manufacturer’s subwoofer specification sheet, and determine if it will fit in the intended mounting area.

Power Rating

The RMS continuous power rating is more important than the maximum power rating when you’re buying a subwoofer.

It’s important to match the power output of your amplifier to the speakers. If they aren’t compatible, it could damage one or both of them.

However, if you have four subwoofers of 300W RMS power each, the amplifier needs to deliver 1,200 watts.

Some speakers have a powered subwoofer that runs on its own dedicated amplifier, which means its maximum power will be limited by the amp.

Moreover, having a subwoofer that is underpowered means that it will have a maximum power output that will be limited by its amplifier. An amp has a max power rating based on its output capability.

Voice Coils

Single coil subwoofers are the traditional type that features a single voice coil in the woofer section of the subwoofer.

Your subwoofer has a voice coil port for each channel. Connect the right and left channels so that you have two voice coils and only one wire.

The single voice coil is the most straightforward. In addition, one type of speaker system (the single voice coil) is easier to install than others. The dual voice coil design will allow you to install several subs with different impedances.

If you don’t have an amp, it’s not worth the effort. You may want to consider getting dual voice coils instead.

Vented or Sealed Box

To determine whether the subwoofer needs to be vented or sealed, it is necessary to calculate the EBP (efficiency bandwidth product).

A good way to determine how the product will perform is to see how it performs at resonance. The free air resonance is usually found on the product specifications sheet.

A value near or below 100 means a vented box is the better choice, while a sealed box offers higher performance with less bass bleed. The best value among the subwoofers is the Yamaha UB-X700. It has a frequency response of up to 100 Hz and is recommended for vented boxes.

Your subwoofer should come with a rule. This is not a rule set in stone, but it will help you get the best performance from the subwoofer.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long should a subwoofer last?

Every product lasts long if maintained carefully. In this case, if you take care of your subwoofer, it can last even for decades. Physical damage and short-circuiting are the prime reasons subs get damaged. Water or other liquids are the main enemies of a sub. So, cleaning from time to time and maintaining them can last subwoofers long.

2. Do subs wear out?

As I answered earlier, taking care of and maintaining a subwoofer can last it long more than enough. Yes, every product gets worn out but if you maintain them, they will wear out slowly which means you will have your deficiency cost by then. Read more.

3. How much does a subwoofer cost?

Normally, a subwoofer can be bought from $100 to $200. However, if you exceed the $200 mark, you can have the complete kits with an enclosure and even an amplifier. And with a budget of $500 or more, you will get a super subwoofer that would be surely amazing.

4. How do you tell if a fuse is blown?

A Multimeter is used to check whether the two sides of the fuse are okay or not. So, a multimeter can test the circuit between the two sides of the fuse. A fuse must go before you can check your wiring, so you should definitely have a working one. A good electrical fuse has a good shape that looks clean.
A fuse is a connection that allows current to flow from the power source to the device.
Fuse without the connector is very easy to pull, but you must find out which wire it is by pulling it out and looking. It should form a good Ω shape when it’s fused together. If the fuse is old or damaged, it’s not a good idea to reuse it. You may get some damage.

5. How much does it cost to install a subwoofer in your car?

It depends on the place you are living and the complexity of the work. availability of technicians is also a criterion. However, if you pick it an overall range, the subs installation charge shouldn’t be more than $100 in labor. But, if you want to add an amplifier and make the setup more complex, the cost may be twice or threefold the original price. Know more.

Final Words

In conclusion, the best way to fix a subwoofer is to take the sub out and inspect it. If it is in good condition and not broken, you can return it to the manufacturer. If you find that the sub is damaged or has a short, the sub will need to be replaced.  It’s a frustrating process if you don’t understand what you’re doing, but with patience and focus, you can get a subwoofer system working just fine. Check the fuses, measure the resistance, then work through the list. If one of the fuses is bad, turn the breaker off and work your way through the rest of the list. If you’ve followed all the steps of this guide and still haven’t found the solution, then you may want to contact an electrician or car stereo company for assistance.

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