Can I Leave My Subwoofer On All The Time? (Revealed!)

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Disclosure

Can I Leave My Subwoofer On All The Time? (Revealed!)

At some point you may have wondered, can I leave my subwoofer on all the time?

It’s definitely a good question to ask since home theater can be a complex topic and one that seems to often be changing.

So with that said, the answer to that question is actually really interesting.

But it also depends too.

Let’s get to it!

Can I Leave My Subwoofer On All The Time?

Yes you can leave your subwoofer on all the time as long as it properly utilizes an auto standby feature. Subwoofers in standby last longer & use less power. Older subwoofers that don’t have this function should be turned off when not in use as electricity escapes in the form of heat, causing the amplifier to get hotter than normal.


Reasons You’d Want To Keep Your Subwoofer Powered On


So one reason why you might want to keep your subwoofer powered on is it’s simply more convenient.

Having to get up to manually turn the sub on every time you want to watch a movie can become an annoyance rather quickly.

With it remaining on, you don’t have to worry about constantly toggling it on and off.


No Need To Access The Power Toggle

Another reason for leaving it on is you won’t have to constantly access the power toggle to power it on — especially if it’s hard to reach.

If your subwoofer is setup in a way where it’s placed up against the wall or is situated behind something, accessing the back panel of the unit can be difficult.

You may even move an adjustment dial accidentally when attempting to power it on, which would then throw the entire sound signature out of whack.

Simply leaving it on forgoes that all together.


When Can You Leave Your Subwoofer Powered On?

Has An Auto Standby Feature

However there’s a lot more nuance than for me to just broadly recommend leaving your subwoofer on as there’s a few things to keep in mind.

The most important thing to remember is you’ll only want to leave your subwoofer on if it has what’s called an auto standby feature or auto/on.

Auto standby is basically a feature included in most modern subwoofers that turns the device on automatically when it senses the actual signal coming to it.

When it no longer detects that same signal after a period of time (typically around 15ish minutes or so) it’ll go back into standby mode to save power.

This is helpful because not only do you not have to worry about constantly turning the subwoofer on and off which can prolong the life of it, using auto standby also turns the unit off automatically when it’s not being used.

It also uses less electricity.

Most modern subwoofers have this feature since they typically have class D amplifiers which are much more efficient when it comes to power.


How Can You Tell If Your Subwoofer Has an Auto Standby Feature?

You can tell if your subwoofer supports this feature by taking a look on back panel and seeing whether there’s a knob or toggle that has an off, on, and auto setting.

Turn it to auto so that the sub automatically turns on or off when content is playing.

Again the internals of most modern subwoofers usually incorporate some kind of standby feature to make things easier for the user.


Should You Turn Your Subwoofer Off If It Doesn’t Have An Auto Standby Function?

But what if you have an older subwoofer that doesn’t have a standby feature, what should you do then?

Well in the off chance that you have a subwoofer that doesn’t support this feature, I’d recommend turning it off honestly.

I say this because if it doesn’t have a standby function, there’s a decent chance it has a class A amplifier (especially if it’s an older subwoofer)

The problem with this is that when a sub of that type is left on, regardless of whether it’s receiving a signal or not, the amplifier inside will be running at full power.

If electricity isn’t going to the speakers, it’ll be transferred to the amplifier which can heat up as a result.

This is due to the fact that the electricity escapes as heat.

So the internals of subs without a standby mode can get hot when left on for extended periods because the the excess electricity has nowhere to really go.

Not only this, but it’ll use more power consequently.

So in short, if your subwoofer doesn’t have an auto on or standby function, turning it off when you’re not using is highly recommended.


But Does Anything Happen Over Time If You Turn It Off & On?

A picture of a subwoofer's internals

But does anything actually happen to the sub if it’s turned off & on?

Well there’s actually a few things that can unfortunately go wrong.


The Knob/Toggle Could Wear Out

The first thing that could technically go wrong is the knob or toggle that controls the power of the sub could wear out.

While not immediate, the more you use it, the higher the chance that over time, parts of it like a power switch could wear out and simply stop working in some fashion.


Inside Components & Wires Could Weaken

When constantly turning your subwoofers off and on all the time, the internals off the subwoofer itself might weaken.

Now whether it’s better to power cycle or leave a subwoofer on that doesn’t have that function really depends on how often you do it, the type of sub, and its quality since each one is different.


It Becomes More Susceptible To Large Surges Of Electricity

Another thing that can technically happen when constantly left on is they could be affected by the electricity from storms (typically in older subs).

While not common, it can very well happen and can permanently damage the internals of your device.

What you can do to mitigate this is using a smart power strip that only turns on when sensing a certain amount of power.

This is helpful for the units that don’t have standby because it’ll turn off the sub when not in use while protecting the circuitry from anomalous electrical surges.

Some even have outlet timers to turn electronics off after a certain period of time to save energy which is helpful (not to mention pretty cool in my opinion)


How Long Does A Subwoofer Last?

So then with all of this said, how long does a subwoofer last?

Well the answer to that depends on a number of factors including how well the subwoofer cared for in the room it’s in, the materials of the sub’s cabinet, the materials of the driver (being that rubber is more durable than foam), the environment of the room it’s placed in, the volume it’s played at, etc.

I wouldn’t say there’s any one specific answer since there’s so many different factors that could affect it.

From my experience though, I’ve found that with proper maintenance, if a subwoofer is high quality, it can last many years (often 15 years plus barring any defects)

Sometimes it can even be a lot longer.

But again it really depends since that length of time can be longer or shorter due to it really depending on the subwoofer itself and how well it’s taken care of.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully with this article you now have a better idea of when it’s best to leave a subwoofer on and what steps you can take to prolong the life of your sub.

As long as there’s a standby feature, it can be left on as long as it’s properly cared for.

That wraps it for this one though.

Until next time, make it easy, keep it simple!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *