Why Does My Subwoofer Rattle? Top Full Guide 2022

Why Does My Subwoofer Rattle? Top Full Guide 2022

The cause of the rattling subwoofer could be caused by all of the different factors. It could be the subwoofer, the amplifier, the wiring, the subwoofer enclosure, or even the subwoofer power supply. It can be due to a variety of reasons, which makes it important to properly diagnose the problem in order to make sure you fix the right problem.

Thus, in order to help you solve your problem, with this blog post, Hooke Audio will answer your question ” Why does my subwoofer rattle?” and show you how to fix it. Let’s get started.

How Does Your Subwoofer Work?

It may help us understand the workings of our subwoofers before we begin troubleshooting. Understanding the basics of subwoofers will make it easier to diagnose issues faster.

A subwoofer, which is basically a speaker, is designed to produce the lowest possible bass frequencies from your stereo system.

A subwoofer’s frequency range is typically between 20 and 200 Hz for consumer-grade products. The frequency range for professional-grade subwoofers is usually below 100 Hz. Professional subs are used for live performances. It is important to inspect these subwoofers prior to each and every performance.

While regular speakers may have a broad frequency range, they often lack the most resonant frequencies. This is where the subwoofer steps in. A subwoofer should never be used by itself.

The following components make up a subwoofer:

Voice coil, former: electrically stimulated – The voice coil is wire wrapped around a cylindrical called a former. The subs magnetic field causes the voice coil to react with it and create vibrations when it is energized.

Cone: material attached to the voice coil that vibrates in response to movement of the voice coil. This produces sound

Surround: A flexible ring that supports and protects the cone

Backplate: The center of the gap between the voice coil and the sub-assembly is located at the rear.

Spider: A flexible ring that supports and protects the rear end of the cone

An amplifier converts sound waves into sine waves of AC electricity, which is the science behind acoustics. AC current works by changing voltage between positive and negative values. An amplifier could supply the sub with a positive current. In such a case, the cone and voice coil move in accordance with each other.

Subwoofers have a larger woofer with an amplifier built-in that amplifies the signal for deeper, cleaner bass. Subwoofers can be powered by an external power supply. This allows them to run an amplifier.

Passive subwoofers don’t require a dedicated power supply. They can use power from an external amplifier.

In all cases, the amplifier will send a signal to the subwoofer through the voice coil.

The magnetic field created by the subwoofer’s magnet field will cause electricity to pass through the voice coil, creating an electric field that interacts with the magnetic fields of the permanent magnet attached at the sub.

The interaction causes the voice coil’s magnetism to be reacted to by the subwoofer, causing it to move in and out.

The attached cone is then moved in the same way. The attached cone vibrates producing sound.

Why Does My Subwoofer Rattle And Vibrate?

Why Does My Subwoofer Rattle And Vibrate?

Your speakers could be vibrating or rattling for many reasons. They can vibrate when the speakers are not properly powered or overpowered, or if there are loose parts within the speaker.

Most cases of rattling are caused by bad subs. Before you can correct the problem, there are a few things you can do to help diagnose the issue.

How Do You Find The Source Of The Problem?

It’s always a good idea first to diagnose the problem before you attempt to fix it.

Turn on your sound system, and play bass-heavy music. You will need to crank the volume up until you hear rattling or vibrating.

These are quick troubleshooting tips:

Cone Damage: If you hear the rattling, it is worth looking closer at the cone to find the source of the problem. The sub’s cone should be your primary concern. If you notice a tear in the cone of your sub or a gap, it is time to have it replaced.

Cone Padding Problems: If there is no tear or gap, you can gently press the cone to test if it stops the rattling. You can then check the padding between the speaker cabinet and the woofer to see if it stops the rattling.

Woofer Cabinet Questions: Next, check the woofer cabinets. Only loose screws and parts can cause rattling. To resolve the problem, tighten any loose screws and legs. You should also note that the problem could be in the cabinet, which can be fixed by adding more screws.

If the problem still persists after following the troubleshooting steps, it is time to look closer.

Two main reasons your sub might be rattling are losing components and being over/underpowered.

Let’s look at these issues and how we can fix them.

1. Loose Components

Loose components are one of the main reasons subs rattle. Many subwoofer components such as the surround, backplate, and outer cabin can be loose and require tightening.

How To Fix Loose Parts

Sub: A subwoofer that is not balanced may cause problems, especially if it’s placed on soft feet. To ensure the sub is level with the ground, you can use a level. You can also turn the subwoofer upside down and inspect the feet. Secure the screws that hold the feet to the enclosure.

Make sure everything is secure: We recommend checking the basic components of your sub before you do any other work. Check all screws and tighten any loose ones. If you are unsure about the condition of your screws, simply check them by running your fingers over them. Make sure you check the grill to make sure it is properly screwed down. The subwoofer could be rattling in the enclosure if the screws are not tight enough. If your sub is in a custom enclosure check to see if it’s properly mounted into the box.

Check your cables: Subwoofer rattling can sometimes be caused by even the simplest of cables. Verify that all cables are connected correctly and that they are not loose or rattling against jacks.

Take apart the cabinet: You will have to do it again if that doesn’t solve the problem. Take off the screws and check the interior for broken components. Once everything is in place, tighten it and secure it.

2. Subwoofer with high power

If you turn the volume up too much, it might start to distort the sound. The result may be a rattling sound inside the sub.

Every subwoofer comes with a maximum rating which explains how much power it can handle.

You risk damaging your subwoofer if you exceed its power handling capabilities. It will also sound horrible.

This is especially true for powered amplifiers and passive speakers, as these subs need to draw power from the amplifier.

Is this likely to cause damage to the sub?

Keep in mind that when an electric current passes through the voice coil, it is the voltage that determines how far the coil moves backward and forwards.

Too much voltage can cause the voice coil to move too far forward, which could lead to the surround being ripped.

If the voice coil is moving too far backward, it could crash into the backplate, or even get stuck inside the gap between the voice coil and the plate. This is a serious problem.

3. Underpowered Subwoofer or Faulty Amplifier

You can also underpower your subwoofer and cause it to rattle. It may seem like you believe that sending less power to your subwoofer shouldn’t cause problems. This is not the issue.

The problem is actually with the sub’s ability to send clipped signals. Subwoofers are affected by clipped signals. They can also cause Subwoofer popping. These signals can be heard rattling and buzzing, but it is possible that the subwoofer will be damaged.

What is a clipped signal, then?

First, sound signals are sinusoidal waves. Clipping signals are usually caused by too high a voltage from the source.

Sometimes, an amplifier might be designed to handle such high power but it is not working properly. The amplifier is unable to handle such high voltages so it simply cuts the sine waves or removes the extremes.

This results in a square waveform, not sinusoidal. This waveform will pass through the subwoofer and attempt to move it backward and forwards at a fast rate, much faster than what the sub can handle.

The cone’s rapid movements can cause it to wobble or rattle. It can also cause damage to the speaker cone and other components, such as the surround.

Due to the square waveform, cones will remain at maximum and minimum positions for longer periods of time than the sub can handle.

It takes a lot of energy to hold the cone still for such long periods. This can cause it to heat up, and eventually, it could burn through.

Remember that the square waveform has twice the RMS rating than its sinusoidal counterpart. These cones are easy to unwind and form in most cases.

How To Fix a Subwoofer That Is Underpowered?

Your sound system can be damaged by defective amplifiers. Your subwoofer can be permanently damaged by the clipped signals from a low power or deflective amplifiers.

First, make sure your amplifier capable of handling high volume signals. If you have issues with your subwoofer, check that your power amps work properly.

If it doesn’t, you can either replace the amplifier or reduce the volume.

4. Broken Internal Components

There are many reasons that internal components can be damaged, such as overpowering or underpowering subwoofers.

These are common internal issues that might require the expertise of an audio tech:

The coil wires that touch the cone below: The spider is supposed to support the cone and separate it from its voice coil rub. Clipped signals can damage the cone or cause it to touch its voice coil.

The coil gap can be closed by the coil stick: similar to clipped signals, the coil can stick in the back plate’s voice coil gap.

The sub cone may have magnetic particles near it: occasionally, the magnet can break down and particles could get stuck to the coil. Rattling is caused by the vibrations of the particles when the coil vibrates.

Broken/torn surround or cone: If the surround or cone is broken or tears, rattling may be possible

The spider fell below the cone: A broken spider will cause an unstable cone, and rattling is likely.

Magnet housing unstable: The magnetic housing is an integral component of the sub-‘s structure. Rattling is possible if it’s unstable

Coil movement is not parallel to the magnet: The coil should move parallel to the magnet. You will experience problems if the coil moves in any other direction than it is supposed to.

Subwoofer Rattle

Subwoofer Rattle At High Frequency Or Low Volume?

A subwoofer will rattle if parts are loose. However, it can also rattle if the subwoofer is overpowered or underpowered. Subwoofers are an essential component of any sound system, so make sure you inspect them as often as possible.

What Does a Blown Subwoofer Sound Like?

Your subwoofer is most likely dead if it doesn’t produce sound. You should ensure that both the audio source and cable are working correctly. If you hear a weak, distorted sound from your subwoofer at all volumes, it is most likely a partially damaged subwoofer.

Check out our full post: How to tell if a subwoofer is blown?

How do I stop my car subwoofer from rattling?

  • Locate the source of the rattling.
  • Install a sound deadener in your car.
  • Take care of any parts that have become loose.
  • You can change the bass frequency.

How can I stop my subwoofer from shaking?

It is easy to decouple your subwoofer. To reduce the rattling effect, you can place the sub on an isolation pad to separate it from the ground. An isolation pad is a flat piece of material that has been covered with foam to absorb cabinet vibrations. Isolation pads can be cumbersome, ugly, and expensive.


As you can see, there are various factors causing subwoofer rattling. If you can find correctly the reason of the problem, you can easily fix it by yourself. We hope that you find helpful in this article.

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