Why Does My Sub Cut Out at High Volume (Answer Explained)

Are you one of those drivers who complain of their subwoofer cuts out at high volume? Have you ever been on a long drive enjoying some good music when your subs gave up all of a sudden?

Or maybe you have checked everything in the home theater system and matched power seamlessly to enjoy a cozy movie date with your loved one. And poof! The subwoofer cut out leaving the explosions sound dry. Needless to say, the situation involves nothing but dire frustration.

If you have ever wondered why does my sub cut out at high volume, then several reasons can be attributed to it. The primary suspect is the amplifier.

But it can also happen due to bad wiring, distance, electrical issues, connectivity, or something that might have cropped up in the unit itself. Here are the top issues that may cause subs to cut out at high volume.

Why Does My Sub Cut Out at High Volume

Why Does My Sub Cut Out at High Volume

Subwoofers are an essential part of a sound system and enhance the overall listening experience. However, sometimes subwoofers can cut out at high volumes, which can be quite frustrating. There are several reasons why this might occur, and some of the most common are:

1. Poor Ground

The bad ground is one of the most significant reasons behind amplifier problems. It typically burns the amplifiers while dimming the headlights, shorting the speakers, and creating a whining noise from speakers along with a host of other issues. Thus, it is the first element to check when you see bass cut out at high volume.

The job of grounding is to complete the electrical circuit that powers the amplifier unit. This indicates that in case you are dealing with bad wiring or grounding issues, the unit may keep cutting in and out or fail to work properly or even stop working entirely.

To fix the issue, you need to check the ground wire and find the point where it is connected to the chassis to see if there is any damage.

In most cases, people just check for continuity on their ground wire. But since multimeters are quite sensitive, everything could seem alright when you check voltage throughout the day.

The real problem occurs with a greater load falling on the circuit when the connection isn’t viable enough to handle the load. It’s critical to make sure that the connection isn’t corroded or loose.

If you notice that the ground wire isn’t in good condition, make sure that it is held in the subframe or metal chassis, mostly within eighteen inches of the amplifier unit. Lastly, make sure that the gauge of the ground wire is the same as that of the power wire so that there is seamless current flow.

2. Amp Overload

Impedance which is measured in ohm is the real cause of amp overloading. In simpler words, it refers to the amount of electrical resistance that a speaker gives to the current supplied by the unit. When the impedance is low, the load will be higher and result in bass cuts out at high volume.

This is because it has to push out extra power causing the unit to heat up faster. After it reaches a certain point, the protection circuit starts kicking in and shuts down the amp to prevent damage.

An overloaded amplifier might be able to keep running for some time before it turns off or rum constantly at a low volume – both of which are undesirable. In such a scenario, you got to ensure that your amplifier can handle the load you present it.

3. Amp Used in Rotect Mode

The rotect mode’ of an amplifier is typically a shutdown state that car amplifiers hit for a host of reasons. This is also an issue that leads to subwoofer cuts out at high volumes. To assess whether this is the root cause, check if the power light has turned red or orange with the LED of rotect mode’ turned on.

Some subwoofers come with a rotect mode’ whose purpose is to shield the unit from serious damage as the subwoofer keeps cutting out. So even though it can be annoying, it will really protect your device from greater issues down the line.

To answer why does my subwoofer cut in and out, the first thing to do is to check the amp. If you find it in rotect mode’ this could be the real issue and needs to be fixed as early as possible.

4. Voltage Issues

Voltage drop is another true answer to why does my sub cut out at high volume. It is specifically relevant if it takes place as soon as the bass hits. The reason is that amplifiers are always trying to draw power.

Fortunately, the stock electric system of a car can produce surplus power. This helps the vehicle to keep the battery charger even when all the accessories are working.

But the real issue crops up because the alternator doesn’t provide excessive power. After a point in time, it cannot keep in sync with the surging demand for the power and this mostly happens when a dedicated subwoofer amp is dedicated.

It’s important to note that the higher the number of connections, the more susceptible the electrical system becomes to voltage drop. This means you are putting an immense strain on the electrical system when you are using a large subwoofer or a high-power amplifier along with other accessories.

5. Wiring Problems

The wires that are used for installing a car amplifier are as critical as the unit itself. That’s because the amplifier requires power as well as ground wires to operate effectively.

The wires have to be adequately thick so that they can accommodate the device’s electrical current requirement. Otherwise, it won’t be able to run efficiently and cause sub cuts out at high volume.

As the bass starts hitting hard, the amp grasps for more power. But it fails to draw more electricity from the system and this results in thermal shutdown, hitting the rotect mode’, or even worse, blowing the fuse to prevent further damage. In all these instances, the subwoofer cuts out when turned up.

With that being said, to make sure there is an adequate flow of current you must invest in standard amp wiring that’s not very thin or fabricated from low-quality stuff. Also, you should check there is no visible damage in the wires connecting the sub to the amplifier.

See if there is any sort of kinks, tears, cuts, or crimps in the insulation. If you find a wire with even the slightest damage, you have to replace it without delay.

Final Words

Distortion in your amplifier at high volume is an enemy you can’t overlook. It affects the speakers, eardrums, and subs as well. So, if your subwoofer keeps cutting out at high volume, and you ignore the same, you are paving the way for the amplifier unit coil to burn or become weak over time.

To answer why does my sub cut out at high volume, you need to first check whether the subwoofer is damaged using a multimeter. If you notice a wire thickness problem, then, fortunately, there is an easy fix.

As you can understand, you need not be an engineer or electrical expert to find out the reason behind subwoofer cuts out at high volume. A basic understanding of how the system works and the critical elements involved can help you reach the root cause of the issue and fix it with ease.