Whether you are dealing with your home stereo or a car, amplifiers and subwoofers can greatly enhance the sound quality and you experience by adding more power and bass. However, you may find yourself with the common yet annoying problem where the amp has power and turns on but the subwoofer does not work.
In this auricle, we will fix this issue – your speakers or sub stopped working but the amp has power.
This issue is often due to a variety of reasons including incorrectly set volume, wiring issues, incorrect inputs or cabling, or the sub or speakers themselves may be at fault. The most common issue is wiring.
If you suspect that you are having a wiring issue, check out this article on how to connect a subwoofer to an amplifier.
Otherwise, read on for more fixes.
What Should I Check First?
If you have powered all the relevant devices but still can’t hear any sound through the sub, any of the devices in your setup could be the culprit. The subwoofer could even be blown. Here is a quick guide on how to check if your subwoofer is blown.
However, begin by checking again if the amp has power. If by chance you find out that it has not been powered, switch it ON.
However, if the switch is on but the power lights are off, the problem could be with the internal circuits of the amplifier. Also, check that the amp has not entered protect mode.
On the other hand, if you find out that the amp is powered and the switch is ON, and the signal lights are lit, the problem could be the subwoofer. Check if the power cables from the sub are connected to the socket.
If the power switch is on and the subwoofer is still not working, check if the power switch on the subwoofer itself is ON.
If all the wiring is okay and the subwoofer is still not producing sound, then read on for additional troubleshooting.
Subwoofer Still Not Working, What Do I Do?
For many music lovers without any experience with troubleshooting subwoofer and amplifier problems, the first option is to call in a technician.
However, if you have experienced such challenges before, there is no need to panic.
In fact, before calling for a tech, there are several DIY fixes you can try to bring back your stereo to life.
DIY Fixes For Subwoofer Not Working But Amp Has Power
Some of the Do It Yourself trials you can easily try to correct this problem have been discussed below:
1. Check The Volume, Gain and Bass Knob
As soon as you have powered up the amplifier and sub, you should check the volume knobs both for the amp and the subwoofer. If they are set low, you can simply turn them up.
The gain allows us to match bass levels produced by the subwoofer with the main speakers and adjust the output levels. This means, while it is different from the volume control, it has a similar effect.
In addition, check the bass knob, especially if you are working with a replacement because not not all bass knob will work with any amp.
This should be the first thing that comes to your mind whenever you experience a similar issue.
It may appear rather obvious, but you may be surprised how many times this is the problem. Many people forget about the volume and think whenever the sub or amp is not working, then it must be a much bigger problem.
That is the very reason why many people forget to turn up the volume and still end up thinking that the problem they are experiencing could be much bigger than a simple fix.
On the other hand, there is also a chance that the subwoofer is in muted. Check this by pressing the mute again and again to unmute the sub.
Once you have unmuted the sub, turn up the volume and listen if the sub produces sound. Also, the amplifier volume could be too low. Check if this is the case and turn the volume up as you have done with the subwoofer.
However, if all these DIY fixes do not work, do not panic. Proceed to the next fact finder and try fixing the inputs.
2. Check The Inputs
Inputs are the next big culprits that are more likely to cause loss of signal in your audio setup.
For instance, if your amp is working properly but the subwoofer cannot produce any sound, there could be a problem with the input. Here is a guide on how to connect a sub to an amplifier.
First, check and ensure that the input cables are tightly plugged in. Check the head units too. Also, ensure that loose cables are correctly fixed.
If the input cable is already well fixed, unplug it. Once you have removed it from the head unit, inspect it for breakages, cuts, or any open sections. Once you have ascertained that the cable is in good condition, connect it back.
With the cable back in place, switch the units ON – both the amplifier and subwoofer. You should then check if the inputs are now working properly by turning on the system and trying to put up the volume again.
If this fails to solve the problem, change the cables. However, before changing your input cables, you should be very certain that they are the cause of the problem. Otherwise, look out for other possible causes of the problem such as poor wiring.
3. Check The Wiring
Other than the inputs, faulty wiring is another thing that will cause subwoofers to fail even if amps are powered.
The types of wires connected to a subwoofer are power and speaker wires. If the system is in your car, the wiring will be under the dashboard and any mess affecting the wiring won’t allow the subwoofer to work. Therefore, if any other thing fails, check the wiring.
4. Check The Subwoofer Fuse
In some cases, the issue could even be the subwoofer fuse. Usually, the fuse blows whenever there is a power surge. This happens to break the circuit and safeguard the subwoofer from gross damage.
Because the wiring may sometimes be more complicated, especially for the different subwoofer units, you can engage an experienced sound technician to check out the issue.
5. Check The Speakers
It is common for speaker wires to fall loose especially when the subwoofer overheats. However, the speakers themselves are also quite liable to damage.
If the speakers won’t work because they have been damaged, fixing the other devices or even the wiring system will not solve the issue.
If you suspect that your speakers are damaged, the best thing is to find a matching replacement.
Begin by checking the speaker power level or that of the subwoofer together with other speaker ratings such as impedance.
This is important because you want to replace your speakers with new ones with similar specifications to match the requirements of your home receiver.
Other Troubleshooting Options
- Check that the sub is enabled in the settings: Select Settings, then Speaker, followed by Speaker SP, and confirm that the speaker pattern ends in .1 Or .2. If the pattern ends in .0, the sub won’t work.
- Check that the subwoofer LED indicator light on the A/V receiver is on. Sometimes, the low-frequency effect (LFE) signal fails to reach the subwoofer depending on the source of audio. The LFE indicator lights when the signal is present. Note that many TV channels broadcast in 2-channel audio and may not send this signal. The sound field setting should therefore be turned to A.F.D. AUTO or a different sound field. If you have a sonny receiver, a simulated LFE signal may be sent to the sub. The SW indicator then lights up.
- Confirm that the power cord of the subwoofer is properly plugged into an active AC port. Remember the subwoofer will not switch on if the AC outlet is faulty or not active. If the power cord is missing or your sub does not have one, then the sub is passive. You may need to purchase an active subwoofer or just continue with the troubleshooting.
- If you have an active subwoofer, check and set the volume on the back to its middle position.
- Your subwoofer may have a cut-off frequency adjustment. If that is the case, turn it to the maximum position. This will allow it to pass all the low frequencies to the sub.
- Also, if the sub has a standby function, check it and switch it off.
- Join one end of the audio input cable to the audio input connector and gently tap on the center of the opposite end of the audio cable with your finger. Ensure the subwoofer is properly powered, is switched on and volume adjusted properly. You should therefore hear some thumping sound when you tap the other end of the audio cable. If the sound fails to come out, the subwoofer may be experiencing a service issue and you may need to call your audio technician.
- Wire the other end of the subwoofer cable to the audio output port of the amplifier. This is usually at the back of the receiver. Besides, some amp models will have two outputs capable of connecting and driving two subs at the same time.
- If the speakers are set to large, no sound passes to the subwoofer when you select a music sound field setting. You can troubleshoot this by checking the A/V receiver menu and ensuring that none of the speakers are set to large.
Subwoofer Turns On But No Sound
So what if my subwoofer turns on but there is no sound? Here is a quick troubleshooting process:
- Ensure that the amplifier is plugged in and turned on
- Check the input of the amplifier. Check that the amp’s input is connected to the head unit and check the RCA cables.
- Check your amplifier power because your amp might turn on even without receiving the required operating voltage. In this case, the amp will be on, but the sub will not produce any sound. Many amps power on at 6-10 volts but need at least 12 to 14 volts.
- Ensure the subwoofer has not been muted or the volume is not too low
- Ensure the amplifier settings and the subwoofer are properly configured. For example, certain subwoofer settings may disable the subwoofer.
- Replace the subwoofer connecting cable.
- Check to see if the subwoofer is short-circuited. Short-circuiting is one of the most common subwoofer problems. This is normally due to any metal that causes any positive and negative terminal to come into contact.
To earn more, check out our guide on troubleshooting an amp that has power but there is no sound from the speakers or subwoofer.
When your amp is powered but the subwoofer can’t deliver any sound, always begin by checking the volume level. However, if the volume is not the problem, check if the inputs are connected properly.
Again, if the inputs have no issue, check the wiring followed by the speakers. You can fix the problems by simple DIY procedures to ensure the subwoofer produces sound and you can enjoy cool music again.