Is It OK to Leave A Subwoofer ON All the Time?

My first subwoofer I turned on and off all the time, but my friend told me it’s fine to leave a subwoofer ON all the time. I wanted to know the real answer so I did some research and put together what I found in this helpful article.

So, is it ok to leave a subwoofer on all the time? A subwoofer can be left on for many years without turning it off. But, this is only if the subwoofer is set to auto standby. If you are leaving your sub on for more than a few hours without using it you should turn it off.

There are a few issues that can come up when you turn your sub on and off frequently. So, below I’ll explain when you can leave it all the time, common issues that come up when turning it on and off all the time, and how a sub works.

When Can You Leave Your Subwoofer ON All the Time With No Concerns?

As previously mentioned, you can leave you sub on 24/7 if you set it to auto. The reasons are because when you aren’t using it, it will automatically go on standby mode.

When it is on standby mode it doesn’t use nearly as much power. It also, makes your sub last longer. When it is on but not being used electrical current is still going to your sub. The electrical current weakens the wire over time, especially if you have a power surge.

When you turn off the amp the sub also turns off. So, if your amp goes into sleep mode or you turn it off, then your subwoofer will turn off as well.

There have been concerns about leaving subwoofers 24 hours a day for extended periods even when not in use. You shouldn’t do that because it’s better to turn it off. Especially during the day when you go to work, or night time when you go to bed.

Another thing you should do is consult your subwoofer manual to get all the ins and outs of your specific subwoofer.

What Can Go Wrong When You Turn Your Subwoofer ON and OFF Regularly?

There is a range of issues that can occur when you turn your subwoofer on and off. Below, I will list the main ones, but you will want to check your manual if it isn’t listed here.

01- There is a thump when you turn the subwoofer on and off.

Source:There is other equipment that turns on before the subwoofer that is causing the sound.
Fix:When you turn on your equipment you should turn your subwoofer on last. When you turn everything off you should turn off your subwoofer first. That way it will be off when other equipment is on which will make the thump.

02- The subwoofer goes to sleep mode when it is playing

Source:There is not enough signal coming form the source.
Fix:You need to turn the signal up. On the amp, there is a setting for the subwoofer level. You should consult your manual about how to do this. Then turn down the volume on the subwoofer to get back to the same volume. Also, you can turn the amp to on rather than on auto. Do this, if you can’t be bothered for the time being to adjust the volume.

03- The LED on the subwoofer doesn’t light up (there isn’t any output)

A: There are two causes for this, the first one is:

Source:No power is getting to the amplifier.
Fix:Take a look at both ends of the power cord to make sure they’re plugged in all the way. Plug-in something else, to see if it is the plug that isn’t working. Try a phone charger or similar. 

B: The second cause is:

Source:The fuse on the amp is blown.
Fix:There is a fuse box where you plug the power cord into the amplifier. One of the fuses may have blown. You can open it up with a flat head screwdriver. If you’re not an electrician you should call or email the company you purchased it from. You can also look at the manual or website.

How Does a Subwoofer Work?

Subwoofers are specially designed speakers that produce very low-frequency vibrations. Technically, they produce waves between 20 hertz (Hz) and 125 hertz (Hz). The higher the hertz number the more waves go through each second.

They are like a high-pressure air pump that pushes air back and forward.

Electrical power is sent to the subwoofer. This energy is used to move the speaker very fast, back, and forward. The motion pushes particles in the air, and you sense the changes in the small bones of your inner ear. A signal is then sent to your brain which is what you hear.

What Does 2.1 & 5.1, and All Those Numbers Mean?

The 0.1 in the name means that the speakers come with a subwoofer. So 2.1 means two speakers and a subwoofer. A 5.1 is five speakers and a subwoofer. The subwoofer is not called a speaker from a technical standpoint so it is called 0.1.

Whether your subs are used for orchestral music, rock and roll, low-frequency effects, explosions, and the like for blockbuster movies. The larger the room the larger the subwoofer needs to be. Each subwoofer has specifications for what size room they should be used in. It is measured in volume. So, the height of the room multiplied by its length and width.

There are broad general categories of sizes, and you should find a matching sized subwoofer for the size of your room. In very large spaces more than one subwoofer gets used.

An issue that can come up when using more than one subwoofer is that the pressure from the sub builds up into what are called fanning waves. These create areas where you hear powerful deep bass. But, if you stand 2 or 3 feet (1 meter) away, the bass will almost disappear. This is because of standing waves.

Standing waves are dictated by the particular dimensions of your listening room. You can’t predict ahead of time where a subwoofer will sound it’s best.

So, don’t set up a system based on the notion, that I’m going to put the subwoofer up here next to the fireplace near the flat screen TV. 

Because, you may be putting the sub in a spot that’s in a node of sorts, where you won’t get much deep bass. You have to experiment.

One good way is to use two subwoofers. What two subwoofers do is smooth out some of the variations in standing waves throughout the room. A typical setup would be to put one subwoofer on one side of the room, and an identical sub on the opposite side of the room.

Or you could even use a smaller subwoofer if you already have one. But, it’s nice if they’re identical subs. Another alternative is to put a subwoofer at the front of the room, and another subwoofer at the back of the room.

In Conclusion

You can leave a subwoofer on all the time if it has an auto-standby setting. With this setting on the subwoofer will go to sleep when not getting any input.

Greatly reducing the amount of power it uses, and increasing the life of your subwoofer. If you aren’t using it for long periods of time, such as when you go to sleep or go to work you should turn it off. It is best practice to turn the subwoofer on last and turn it off first.


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