There can be a variety of reasons why your subwoofer is rattling. It might be that the wires are loose or the speaker itself is damaged.
It’s also possible that the enclosure or cabinet where the subwoofer is housed is not properly sealed, which can cause the sound to escape and create a rattling noise. In some cases, interference from other electronics can also be to blame.
What is a Subwoofer?
To understand why subwoofers rattle, it is important to first understand what a subwoofer is and does. A subwoofer is a loudspeaker that reproduces low-pitched audio frequencies, typically from 20 Hz to 200 Hz.
In contrast, tweeters reproduce high-frequency sounds, such as voices and bird songs. Subwoofers are often used in sound systems for cars and home theaters.
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How Do Subwoofers Work?
Subwoofers work by receiving sound from a sound source (usually from an amplifier) that then powers the coil(s) which then moves the woofer cone away from and back to the magnet.
Depending on the current flow coming from the sound source (amplifier) the subwoofers coil(s) and the magnet will move the woofer cone up or down to create sound.
How to Fix Subwoofer Rattle
Before attempting to fix your rattling concern you must rule out rattle noises that come from other parts of your car.
A lot of people have rattle noises that come from other parts of their car (ex. Trunk, fender, license plate) and assume it’s the woofer or the box. Please take some time to inspect the subwoofer’s location while you play some music to make sure.
Most Common Causes and Fixes for Subwoofer Rattle
- Too much power to the subwoofer – Check your gain settings and verify your amplifier power rating is not higher than your subwoofer(s).
- Power is too Low for Subwoofer – Verify your amplifier’s power rating is high enough for your subwoofer(s).
- Separation to surround at woofer Cone – Air is leaking from under the woofer cone causing a rattle. This can be fixed by purchasing a special glue.
- Loose internal Part – Usually the Coil will still perform its job but it will rattle or create audible distortion while doing so. Rebuilding the subwoofer or replacing the subwoofer altogether will fix this issue.
- Subwoofer enclosure – Check the subwoofer box for any loose pieces that might rattle when the subwoofer is active. Sealing the box up or replacing the box altogether will fix the concern.