Subwoofer keeps randomly switching on and off - BOSTON ACOUSTICS SOUNDWARE XS 5.1 SE


Active Member
Hi I've had a BOSTON ACOUSTICS SOUNDWARE XS 5.1 SE speaker system for about 7 weeks now, and found while watching anything with them working fine, all of a sudden the subwoofer switches off for about 3 mins and then comes back on again.

Anyone have this problem and/or know how to stop it?



Distinguished Member
What sources does it switch off on? Is it 5.1 sources (i.e. bluray, DVD, some sky channels) or stereo sources being made up to 5.1? Is it turning off in quiet scenes or loud ones?
Is the sub set to 'on' or is it in an 'auto' mode?
What is the gain on the back of the sub set too and what is the level of the sub in the receiver set too?
What receiver do you have and what is the crossover on the sub and in the receiver set too?

Sorry for all the questions but need more information to be able to diagnose the issue.


Standard Member
Hi All,

I recently took my first step in the 5.1 world, purchasing a 5.1 set of Boston Acoustics Soundware XS SE with a Marantz NR1603 receiver.

The initial experience was great but I'm also experiencing this random on/off of the Subwoofer. The pattern seems to be that Sub turns of during quieter sequences and turn back on with a thump during louder scenes. Quite frustrating. This behaviour makes sense when consulting the manual as the Sub has an Auto-On feature where the Sub will enter a 'Mute' mode "If no signal is detected after several minutes".

You would assume that the when the AV Receiver is on there would be sufficient signal all the time to keep the Sub from entering the Mute state. I could understand that this would be quite a neat feature if it occurred unnoticed but there is a perceptible click from the Sub when it enters Mute and a big thump when it comes on again. As you can imagine not a great viewing experience and sometimes note for the faint hearted.

I have written to Boston Acoustics for advice but I don't suppose in the meantime that anyone has a work around for this issue?


Distinguished Member
What is the gain/volume set too on the back of the sub?
Have you run the auto set up on the receiver?
What is the gain of the sub set too inside the reciever?
Basically the same questions as above?


Active Member
Didn't see the other reply. Finally someone else with this problem!

• Mine happens when watching any source.
• Usually happens in quiet scenes
• Can't see an 'auto mode' so guess I'm just 'on'
• Gain on the sub is set to 11O'Clock... not sure what it's set to on the reciever (see last bullet point)
• Crossover is set to 180Hz (recommended setting as indicated on sub)
• Was plugged into a Marantz 1602 but that gave up the ghost so waiting for a 1603 to arrive

It did get better after I re-calibrated the speakers but still happens from time to time.


Standard Member
During the auto setup on the Marantz the process suggests that the gain is set to 12'oclock on the Sub itself and review of the receiver settings post auto setup the gain for the Sub channel is set to -12dB.


Distinguished Member
I believe -12db is probably the lowest setting on the receiver which suggests you have the gain set too high on the sub itself. The amp is then compensating for this by turing down the signal it sends to the sub. This can result in a weak signal going to the sub and hence the sub turning into standby mode. Turn the gain on the back of the sub down by about half or so and then re run the auto set up. Ideally the gain in the amp should be close to 0dB or slightly positive in value. This will mean a stronger signal from the receiver to the sub and hopefully prevent it from going into standby mode.

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