Tips for Repairing a Home Theater Subwoofer

A home theater.
  • 4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,000
What You'll Need
Theater system

Are you having problems with your home theater subwoofer? Don't despair. In the world of electronics, even the best equipment will sometimes stop working or fail to impress. If your home theater subwoofer, or sound system, is problematic or stops working, there are things you can do to check it out. Make sure that you have your manufacturer’s user manual with you. These troubleshooting tips will help guide you through the process.

Before You Begin Troubleshooting

Because a subwoofer is part of an electrical mechanism it is important that you verify that your system is unplugged from the electrical outlet before you begin any disassembly of your subwoofer. You could damage your equipment if you are tinkering inside it while it is still plugged into the socket, not to mention the bigger problem of electrocuting yourself. Safety should always be your top priority.

Troubleshooting Manual and Quick Fixes

A home theater.

Locate and review the troubleshooting guide that can be found in the user's manual that came with your home theater system. This is a good place to start when you wish to know how to check the components of your home theater system. Verify that the subwoofer is still plugged in securely to the right components and that none of the wires have pulled loose. Check your cables and make sure they have not been crimped or pinched. This could cause the wires inside to break and not send the signal to the output. If you do find a cable to be pinched, try replacing it and then plug your sound system in and check the subwoofer.

Vibration and Reverb

Many times the fix is as simple as plugging it in. Electricity is motion and while the vibrations might be slight, with time cables can come loose. Check to see if the vibration or bass level on the subwoofer settings is incredibly high. Large amounts of reverb can cause distortion to the sound and can even blow out the speaker. If you are just experiencing some distortion or static while using the subwoofer, try setting the bass level on the speaker box to a lower level until you lose the buzzing sound.

No Sound from Subwoofer

A home theater.

If you find that there is absolutely no sound coming from your subwoofer, then check the settings on your receiver. If the speaker's impedance is wrong, then the subwoofer and the sound system are not properly talking to each other, causing the subwoofer to not respond. If you find the speaker's impedance is set too large, try changing it and test it to see if this resolves your subwoofer problems.

Testing Any Troubleshooting Steps

Verify your cables are plugged in properly, and then plug the stereo system back in and turn the volume and EQ all the way down. Turn on the stereo and slowly turn up the volume and the bass EQ to see if you have found the issue. Play music with a lot of bass to verify the subwoofer is working.