Quick Ways to Fix Subwoofer Popping When Turned On

You are exhausted and wish to relax with some cool music or a movie. You switch on your sound system. Pop! This disturbing popping sound again. I know it sucks.

This can be a scary experience. It is difficult to tell if the subwoofer is malfunctioning or if there is a problem with your electrical system. The truth is, this popping or explosion sound is normal and doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your home theater or car audio system.

If this has happened to you, it’s not something to worry about. Most of the time, it is absolutely normal. The speaker might have loose connections, a bad voice coil or some other minor problems that will be easy to fix at home. These small issues are no reason for alarm and don’t mean that your subwoofer is on its last legs.

Do you have a subwoofer popping when turned on? Here are quick steps to help you handle that nagging problem at home without calling the technician.

Quick Ways to Fix Subwoofer Popping When Turned On

Why does My Subwoofer Pop When I Turn It On?

There are several reasons why your subwoofer may be popping. The most common ones are:

1. You have low power.

The amp is not getting enough power to push the cone down for bass notes. This causes a pop because the cone comes back up all at once. In normal speakers, the cone gradually goes back up.

Often, this problem can be fixed by using a powered sub, which has an amp built into it, so there is no need for external amps. Also, your subwoofer’s power cord might have come loose. This can happen if you are moving your sub around or if the electricity in your house is inconsistent. Check the cord to make sure it is properly connected and secure.

2. Your amp is overloading.

If you have many bass frequencies coming through your system, it might be too much for your amp to handle. Try turning down some of the volume controls on your stereo or amp, especially if you’re using an old-school component system that does not have digital signal processing (DSP).

3. The amp is too close to the subwoofer.

When your amp turns on, it generates a high voltage discharge that can sometimes damage the speaker. Moving the amp away from the speaker will eliminate this problem

4. The amp is not playing anything.

If you don’t have an input connected to your amp or the input level is set too low, there will be no signal to play and nothing for the amp to amplify. This causes an electrical discharge in the speakers, which causes them to pop.

Check to see if any input is connected and make sure its volume level is turned up appropriately. Doing this eradicates the soundbar subwoofer popping noises.

5. The wiring inside your car’s electrical system is bad or broken.

The wiring could be broken somewhere along its length between entering your vehicle’s electrical system and exiting it (the power distribution block).

A bad connection in these wires can cause high voltage spikes that damage speakers when they turn on or off. Ensure you connect these wires carefully to avoid the car subwoofer popping noise.

6. The speaker is damaged.

If you have had your subwoofer for a long time and used it often, the speaker may have become damaged or worn out. Your subwoofer may have been damaged by water or moisture and needs repairs before it works properly again.

Also, the speaker cone might be damaged. The speaker cone is responsible for producing sound. If this subwoofer part has been damaged, you will hear the home theater subwoofer popping noise.

Stop Subwoofer from Popping

Quick Fixes: How to Stop Subwoofer from Popping

  1. Switch your receiver and the sub off.
  2. Carefully smell the backside of the subwoofer to confirm whether it is burnt or not.
  3. Check all the connections on the subwoofer.
  4. Switch off other electronics that might be causing interference to your sub, especially if it is a wireless subwoofer popping.
  5. Ensure that the sub’s wires are at a safe distance from electrical wires.
  6. Using the instruction manual, reset the receiver to factory default.
  7. Finally, if all these steps fail, try using another sub to see if the sub is damaged.

How to Stop Subwoofer from Popping: Detailed Guide

If the steps above have not worked, you will need a deeper examination of the root cause of the problem. Here is a detailed guide to some of the things you can do.

1. If you have connected your subwoofer to a stereo receiver using a speaker wire, make sure the opposite end of the wire is plugged into the sub out jack on the receiver or amplifier.
If it is not in the proper jack, turn off your components and plug them into their proper ports. Doing this ensures the audio signals are not hindered.

2. If you have connected your subwoofer to an A/V receiver using an RCA cable, ensure that the cable is plugged into the dedicated subwoofer output port on your receiver. The other end of that cable should plug into your subwoofer’s “Line In” or “LFE In” port.

3. Turn off your home theater system and reconnect the power cord to your subwoofer. If you are using a surge protector, it might have tripped. This shuts down power to all devices connected to it. Turn everything back on and see if this solves the problem.

4. If you have a subwoofer making pops and other noises when turned on or off, it could be the power supply. The simplest way to test this is by replacing the fuse with a new one and seeing if it fixes the problem. If it does not, there are probably other issues at work.

5. If you hear popping when your speakers are turned up loud, there may be an issue with either your amplifier or speaker wires being too thin for high volumes and power use. Try replacing them with thicker ones to see if this improves things for you.

6. If your speakers make popping noises when turned off, the chances are that they weren’t grounded properly in their original location. Amp grounding is also important.

Check their connection to see if anything has come loose during moving; if so, try grounding them again with some screws in the studs behind them.

Subwoofer Makes Popping Noise When Loud

When turning on the subwoofer, the popping is most likely caused by a poor connection between the subwoofer and amplifier. If this is the case, you will find that playing music and movies causes the same problem as turning the sub on.

The solution to a subwoofer crackling at low volume or the subwoofer pops when the bass hits entail:

  • Check the RCA cable connections to your amp.
  • Try a different cable or RCA’s.
  • Check that the speaker wires are connected properly.
  • Check that your amp is set to the correct input source.
  • Make sure your gain is not too high.
  • Try connecting a different subwoofer to your amp and see if it still pops.
Subwoofer Crackling at Low Volume

Subwoofer Crackling at Low Volume

If you have a subwoofer popping at low volume, there could be a problem in the connections, a power mismatch or even a clipped signal.

  • Ascertain that all the wires are properly connected.
  • Ensure there are no melted wires.

Dealing with Wireless Subwoofer Popping Sound

The major reason could be wireless interference when you have a wireless sub such as a Bose subwoofer making a popping noise. Such occurs when audio signals coincide, and results hamper the transmission. Thus, the audio signals are weakened and disrupted.

Try hardwiring the sub to the receiver using an RCA cable as a quick test. If the popping noise goes away, the noises are caused by interference.

So, how do you fix popping noises caused by interference?

  • Try changing the sub’s position within your room until the sound goes away.
  • Try moving your other devices around until the sound is eliminated.
  • Establish shields between your subwoofer and other devices.
  • Ensure the sub’s channel is far from the other channels you are using for other devices.
  • If the problem persists, have the sub’s transmitter checked.

Final Word

When your subwoofer is popping when turned on or when loud, most likely, there is a whole wide range of issues that could have gone wrong. It could be a voice coil issue, bad connection cables, some fault with receiver connections, or other minor issues.

Similar Article: Why is One Speaker Louder Than the Other? Facts!

When all is said and done, you can fix any of these issues on your own and at home. Take some good time to go through this detailed guide to diagnose the problem causing your subwoofer to make popping noises.

When you troubleshoot it and determine the cause, you can address it and get yourself a heck of a time listening to clear, uninterrupted music. All the best.

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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