Why is My Subwoofer Popping? 6 Common Causes

Car subwoofers enhance your music experience, but only when they’re working properly. Unfortunately, we sometimes notice weird popping sounds from the subwoofer. As expected, they will ruin your mood. 

You may wonder about this problem whenever it arises. Today, we will get you covered. 

This guide will discuss the causes of the popping noise from car subwoofers. You can also learn some tips to fix them properly. Let’s scroll down to check! 

What is Popping Noise?

The subwoofer itself makes a popping sound, which is actually the audible outcome of the voice coil vibrations. It pops when there is too much bass, although no music is playing.

Subwoofers are common in car stereo systems and gaming sound systems. You can also find it in a home theater system. We use them to duplicate and amplify low frequencies, typically between 20 and 200 Hz. 

Regular speakers play those frequencies smoothly. But the subwoofers aim to help you feel the vibrations delivered by the strong bass sounds. 

If your car subwoofer fails to play any sound or produces a distorted popping sound, you should fix it as soon as possible. 

What Causes My Subwoofer To Pop?  

Squared waveforms, improper cone signals, or unbalanced power setups typically cause your subwoofer to produce popping noises.

Besides, according to the speaker’s specifications, distorted noises frequently point to a conflict between the output and the input.  

Here are the most common reasons that make your subwoofer pop: 

Improper connection

If your subwoofer pops, check the connection first. It is the most frequent factor affecting the efficient functioning of subwoofers. 

If the sub’s audio input connection is bad, you will easily notice interference in the sound. The overall sound quality will weaken significantly, and in the worst case, you won’t hear anything at all. 

The connection involves multiple parts. In the case of your subwoofer, there must be some problems with the outer pieces. In this scenario, we refer to the RCA cables. 

You may have connected the RCA cables to its poorly. This problem will make it pop and even damage it in some way.  

Make sure you have your subwoofer connected properly

Faulty power supply 

Your subwoofer makes a popping noise if the power source is defective. Either faulty construction materials or incorrect grounding is responsible for power supply problems.

Subwoofers are not an exception to the rule when it comes to unpleasant interferences caused by incomplete circuits. 

Clipped signals

Check the audio signal if your subwoofer’s components and connecting chain are in excellent condition, but you’re still getting popping noises. 

Tracks with squared waves may clip. Consequently, they blow out your subwoofer much the way powerful amps do.

Any sound system will pop and crack due to sound clipping. Some audio recordings can clip and place more stress on your subwoofer than it can manage. This problem comes from poor sound quality, defective construction, or extremely low fidelity.

Incompatible amplifiers

The amplifiers can be the cause of the popping noise from the car subwoofer. There are two types of amps: internal and external. While the internal amp causes problems sometimes, the external one is more likely to be blamed. 

An incompatible external amplifier may often lead to popping sounds in a subwoofer. The key is to check the mismatch between the two devices. 

We measure the power an amplifier can produce and it can accept in RMS. The RMS of your devices should ideally match each other.

The subwoofer may blow out if your amplifier’s RMS value is higher than the subwoofer’s since it will take in more voltage than it can sustain.

It implies that your subwoofer will always be susceptible to overcharged signals, which might cause popping noise, component degradation, or even complete sound loss.

The amplifier should give the sub enough power

Incorrect settings 

The stereo in your car may have the wrong settings. The boosted audio signal supplied to the subwoofer will cause it to pop if you set the volume or bass boost too high. 

Damaged subwoofer 

Stereo devices mainly vibrate to produce sounds, and subwoofers are specially made for this task. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that every subwoofer component is in good condition for proper vibrations. 

Every broken or loose part in the subwoofer configuration will lead to unwanted sounds. For example, it may make a popping problem. 

How Do You Fix The Popping Noise In A Subwoofer?

As you can see, numerous reasons create popping sounds from your subwoofer. To solve this problem, you need to handle each of them popping. 

Step 1: Check the connection

Start by inspecting the RCA wires that link your car audio system’s subwoofer to them. Replace the wires with new ones if they have got damaged. 

If the exterior wires are working normally, you’ll need to access the subwoofer box and look for any loose connections.

You can check the wires by detaching the plastic cone and basket from the front. Otherwise, unscrew the input-output plate from the rear. Be careful not to mess up the screws because you will have to reassemble the components. 

Now you can see the internal amplifier of the subwoofer. It stays attached to the input-output plate.

Here, look for any loose connections or damage on the negative and positive wires that link the internal amplifier to the other sections. If necessary, reconnect or replace them. 

Check for wrong and loose input connections carefully

Step 2: Check the amplifier 

It’s important to determine if your amplifier and subwoofer are compatible. The RMS information will help you. 

It would help if you replaced your amplifier or subwoofer to solve this problem. Unfortunately, the RMS mismatch is hard to solve with a little handiwork. 

Even if your amplifier’s RMS value is slightly less than your subwoofer’s, you shouldn’t worry. At worst, you’ll hear a minimal reduction in audio clarity and sound quality in this circumstance.

Step 3: Adjust the settings

The next thing to check is the settings on your devices. You need to modify the gain control of the car amplifier until it matches the bass level control of the radio or the amp. 

There could be a combination of parameters that keeps the bass levels at the right levels while decreasing the unpleasant popping noises.

Step 4: Solve the clipped signals

The simplest solution for this issue is to get a more powerful amplifier or turn down the music if you think your subwoofer is making popping noises from a clipped signal.

Clipped signals often occur when soundwave mishaps arise to a degree that exceeds the subs’ capabilities. High-quality amplifiers immediately deliver maximum output to ensure that the playback you hear is accurate.

When you can match those power figures to the right RMS settings on two devices, as we said in the previous step, you should solve the clipping issue. 

If you are not willing to invest in a better amplifier, turn the volume down in your car. Then, learn to live with that problem until you can change some parts of your stereo system. 

Step 5: Fix or replace the subwoofer 

If you detect some loose parts in the subwoofer box, consider removing the sub’s surround. Then, you can analyze all the components of the device carefully. 

Now, look for any loose parts and tighten them if needed. You may see some dislocated pieces too, and you need to reinstall them to where they belong to.

If the subwoofer has broken down severely, replacing it will be the best solution. The longer it remains in your car audio system, the worse the sound quality. Soon, it will affect the whole scheme. 

After fixing the issue, do not let it happen again. There are several things you can do to prevent the popping sounds, such as:

  • Using high-quality speaker wires
  • Check the connection regularly
  • Invest in an amplifier with adequate power to drive the sub
Learn some tips to fix subwoofer popping


If you notice a popping sound coming from your subwoofer, check for the connection, compatibility with the amplifier, power supply, audio signals, and stereo settings. Sometimes, the physical structure itself is the cause.

Once you identify the reason, follow the instructions we have shared. If the popping sound is still there, contact us to discuss it further. We will give you a hand. Thank you for reading! 


Does a speaker popping damage it?

Yes. If there is a popping sound from your subwoofer, there must be problems with certain stereo system parts, such as incorrect wiring, faulty power supply, and incompatible amplifiers. No matter the reason, these issues will put stress on the subwoofer. 

Over time, it will get heated and burn out, getting damaged severely. Moreover, it will affect the whole audio device in your car.

Why is my subwoofer making a popping noise?

There are multiple reasons for a popping noise, such as:

  • A damaged or disconnection
  • Improper settings on the stereo
  • Clipped signals
  • Broken or loose components within the subwoofer
  • Incompatible amplifier
  • Faulty power supply

Why do my subwoofers pop when I turn my car off?

Even when you turn off your car, the popping noise remains when the DSP or radio shuts down before the amp turns off. 

It’s because when the DC offset vanishes, the amplifier shuts down briefly when the power supply to its remote line is lost, resulting in a pop.