definitive technology subwoofer not working

Whenever your Definitive Technology subwoofer not working, chances are it’s likely due to a wiring issue.

When your Definitive Technology subwoofer is not working, you can experience static noise, no sound generated, or distorted popping sounds.

Subwoofers can malfunction in various ways but don’t worry, even if that is the case; we have prepared multiple fixes to address these issues. 

To fix your Definitive Technology subwoofer from not working, perform a factory reset. Next, check your subwoofer’s power output and amplifier setup. Lastly, inspect the speakers for damage and swap your input cables. 

Now that you know the steps we will be performing, let’s look at the most common reasons for your subwoofer to malfunction.

Why Is My Definitive Technology Subwoofer Not Working?

why my definitive technology subwoofer not working

There are two primary symptoms for your Definitive Technology subwoofer not working.

The first one is when it powers on, but the sound it plays is distorted. The second scenario is when your subwoofer doesn’t power on or has no sound

Here is a list of the most common causes of a Definitive Technology subwoofer malfunction:

The Subwoofer Is Blown

If the flexible subwoofer membrane has been damaged or pierced, your subwoofer won’t play the right sound.

Incorrect Cabling

When you have incorrectly set up your cables, this might cause your subwoofer not to work at all or to produce static noise.

Subwoofer Overheating

the overheating

Some subwoofers have a protective mode to prevent hardware damage if they overheat from prolonged heavy use. 

Electrical Damage

If your subwoofer has suffered a power surge, its electronics might be damaged.

Hardware Damage

If your subwoofer suffers damage from being dropped or other impacts, it might damage its internal components.

Incompatible Amplifier

When your amplifier doesn’t have enough power or is wrongly set up, this might cause your subwoofer to malfunction. 

Damaged Cable Ports

If your cabling ports are damaged, bent, or have build-up dust inside, they might not make proper contact to conduct electricity. 

Alert: Opening or modifying your Definitive Technology subwoofer to perform a repair yourself might void your warranty. 

Always check your terms and conditions before attempting to repair the subwoofer yourself.

How To Fix Definitive Technology Subwoofer Stopped Working?

how fix the subwoofer

Before attempting any troubleshooting, ensure that you have proper insulative protection if you handle exposed wires, such as the subwoofer fuse cable.

Some steps also require advanced electrical equipment, such as a multimeter, to test your subwoofer’s speaker for damage.

Most high-end subwoofers will require an amplifier, but if your setup doesn’t involve one, simply ignore the solutions that involve troubleshooting an amplifier.

Please follow the solutions below in order and without skipping over any for the best results:

Solution #1 Ensure All Cables Are Properly Connected

With audio systems, even if the cable is making contact but is not correctly fitted, the sound emitted might produce static noises, or your subwoofer will simply not turn on.

ensure all cable

Here are the general guidelines to verify your cabling connection:

  1. Visually inspect all interconnects for your entire sound system setup 
  2. Check that all of the cables are firmly plugged in and fully inserted
  3. Ensure that if using an amplifier, both the amplifier and subwoofer are connected to the same circuit
  4. Ensure that your power cable is not damaged or the wire is exposed
  5. Verify that any extension or audio conversion cables are firmly plugged in

Oftentimes you need a particular type of jack converter to plug in from your subwoofer to your TV or other electronics.

Some audio cabling, such as the TS and TRS cables, can often be mistaken due to their similar appearance. 

If you are unsure how to wire your subwoofer to your speakers and other devices correctly, please reference the Definitive Technology setup manual.

Note: Many cables that go directly into a TV from your subwoofer can create a static or buzzing sound. 

In such cases, you might need a specialised isolation device.

Solution #2 Factory Reset Subwoofer Soundbar 

factory reset speaker

A factory reset can clear many run-time errors that might have occurred within your Definitive  Technology subwoofer setup.

Such issues can prevent your subwoofer from working correctly or even producing sound. If you don’t have a soundbar for your audio setup, please skip this step.

This troubleshooting method applies to your Definitive Technology soundbar that is used to pair to your subwoofer.

The exact steps might vary if your setup involves a different brand or model of the soundbar.

Here are the proper steps to factory reset your Definitive Technology soundbar: 

  1. Ensure that your soundbar is powered on and connected to a working power outlet
  2. Press and hold the Wi-Fi button on the back side of your soundbar 
  3. When you hear three chime noises, release the Wi-Fi button
  4. Wait for the procedure to complete, and don’t power off your devices in the meantime

When the reset is finished, the Wi-Fi light will start pulsing white, indicating that the factory reset has been successful.

After these steps, pair your subwoofer to the soundbar again and check if the issue persists. 

Note: Performing a hard reset on your subwoofer will erase any stored internal data and settings, such as Wi-Fi network details.

Solution #3 Check Subwoofer Power 

check the subwoofer

If your subwoofer does not receive sufficient power, it might malfunction.

When connecting your subwoofer to an amp, ensure that the power strip is not overloaded with other electronics. 

Here are the steps to check your Definitive Technology subwoofer for power output:

  1. Disconnect your subwoofer from any power source 
  2. Remove your Definitive Technology subwoofer outer shroud to access the speaker 
  3. Get a working multimeter and set it to read for resistance (this is often the setting with an ohm symbol)
  4. Place the ends of the multimeter into the corresponding speaker terminals 
  5. If your speaker measures below 1 ohm of resistance, this is a strong indicator that your speaker is blown out and needs replacement
Note: If your power output and voltage are inconsistent, your subwoofer might create loud pop sounds, indicating that it struggles to regulate the incoming electricity. 

Solution #4 Check Your Amplifier Setup

check the amplifier

Your amplifier is perhaps the most common cause of subwoofer issues. This can be because the amplifier is not wired correctly to your subwoofer’s input and output cables. 

If a cable on your amplifier has a crease or is damaged, it might make your subwoofer play static noises, even when no music is played. 

In rarer cases, if your amplifier has damaged hardware, it can cause your subwoofer to short circuit or blow out. 

Here are some general troubleshooting steps for your amplifier: 

  • Visually inspect the amplifier control knobs – If your volume or bass knobs are turned down or put to the maximum, your subwoofer will either not produce sound or have a static noise.
  • Inspect the gain knob, in particular, as having too much gain on the sound can create overheating issues.
  • Check your amp’s cabling – Ensure all your cables are correctly connected and fully inserted into your subwoofer’s corresponding outputs.
  • Check the fuse – If your subwoofer’s fuse is not making proper contact, it can lead to deafening static noises. 

Your subwoofer has an internal automatic protection system. If an overheating is detected in your amplifier or subwoofer, it will shut down to prevent hardware damage.

If overheating occurs, you must wait 10-15 minutes for your devices to cool down. 

Note: Not all amplifiers are compatible with the more powerful Definitive Technology subwoofers, as they require specific amplifiers to work correctly. 

Solution #5 Replace Your Subwoofer Input Cables 

replace the subwoofer cables

This step is meant to ensure that cabling is not a cause for your Definitive Technology subwoofer to malfunction. 

To replace your subwoofers cables, follow these steps:

  1. Power down your subwoofer and speakers and disconnect their power cables 
  2. Disconnect all of the wires connecting to your subwoofer
  3. Find suitable replacement cables and use them instead of the old ones

Afterwards, reconnect your entire system and check if the issue persists after powering it on.

Note: Ensure to check and clean your power jacks for built-up dust or rust, as the presence of these will prevent any plugged-in cables from transmitting electricity correctly.

Solution #6 Inspect The Speakers

inspect the speakers

The Subwoofer’s speaker is essential to producing the deep bass we have all come to enjoy.

This membrane is often made of fragile and delicate materials, and any punctured holes or an incomplete seal around it can make the sound distorted. 

Here are the steps to inspect your subwoofer’s speaker for damage: 

  1. Locate the screws holding your subwoofer’s outer cover 
  2. Remove all screws gently and store them away
  3. Remove the hard plastic cover of your subwoofer
  4. Using a flashlight, check that all of the edges around your subwoofer membrane are firmly glued to its main body
  5. Check for any gaps or physical damage on the membrane itself

If you notice that your subwoofer speaker is damaged, please don’t attempt to repair it yourself; instead, send it over to Definitive Technology for repair.

Alert: Please don't touch or tap your Subwoofers membrane when you open it up, as this might cause damage. 

Depending on your specific warranty, disassembling or modifying certain parts will void it.

Quick Recap

To fix your Definitive Technology subwoofer issues, power cycle your subwoofer and perform a hard reset. Next, check all your input cables and verify that your amplifier is properly set up. Lastly, ensure your subwoofer doesn’t have any physical damage to the speakers. 


Now that you know why the Definitive Technology subwoofer not working, we hope that our solutions can help you fix it.

If you still have subwoofer issues even after performing our troubleshooting, it’s best to contact Definitive Technology support.

Nicole B