5 Telltale Signs That Your Speaker Is Blown – And How To Fix It

There are multiple ways to tell if a speaker is blown. The most obvious one is that you’ll start noticing a change in sound output.

While you’re thinking about what possibly caused it, before you know it, it might be too late to fix it.

You must be aware of the telltale signs and symptoms before it reaches a critical situation for your speakers.

No matter what speakers you use, be it studio monitor speakers, car speakers, or even a cheaper sound system, blown speakers can be annoying.

Generally, a blown speaker is used to describe a music system that doesn’t work or, in most cases, doesn’t sound right.

It might not be a big deal if they are a cheap brand since they can be easily replaced. But if you are using a brand that is expensive, you should first try fixing it yourself.


How to Tell if a Speaker is Blown

How to Tell if a Speaker is Blown

You’ll able to tell if a speaker is blown if you notice the following signs and symptoms. Keep it mind that it always depends on how damaged your unit is:


1. Distortion

If you start to hear diminishing sound quality from your music system and you suspect it is a result of blown speakers, you will need to set your volume at a low to mid-level and test if you can hear any distortion.

Playing an audio file to avoid normal static associated with FM radio would be better. If you start hearing any fuzziness or hissing, and as you turn up, it gets worse, use the fade and balance functions to identify the blown speaker.

In most cases, the blown speaker will have loose or damaged voice coils. This is a common occurrence in speakers built with lower-quality materials.


2. Popping and Rattling

If you are playing a media file on your speakers and you hear an unpleasant sound like popping or rattling instead of music, that’s a major concern. These crackling noises are an indication that your speakers are certainly blown.

The main cause of this problem is, in simple words, a loose connection. Luckily it can be easily fixed by troubleshooting the wired connections on our speakers.


3. Infinite Impedance at the Coils

Another way to tell if a speaker is blown is by checking for impedance. Most speaker manufacturer companies list impedance ratings on their user manual or speaker labels.

The nominal impedance rating measured in ohms is an estimate of minimum impedance for audio ranges of frequencies between 250 and 400Hz.

To make this test, you will need a multimeter to measure resistance. Speakers that have an Impedance of 4 or 8 ohms are considered to be in good working condition.

If the speakers have extremely high or infinite impedance, they are blown. This test might be a bit technical, and it would be better to take your speaker to a technician.

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4. Lack of Vibrations

Lack of vibrations from the speakers is a common sign of a completely blown speaker. This problem can also be a result of a wiring problem.

To test your speaker’s vibration, place your hand on the front of the speaker grills when it is in operation. If there is no vibration, you will have to check your speaker’s wires to see if they are broken. If they are not, it’s better to get new speakers.


5. Lack of Treble, Mid-tones, or Bass

If you start noticing a gradual or drastic reduction of a speaker’s bass response, then it is a clear hint they are blown. If you use equalizer controls and notice a complete lack of treble or mid-tones, you probably need new speakers.

This is a clear indication that it has damaged parts, and the obvious change in sound quality is linked to mechanical failure.


What Does a Blown Speaker Sound Like?

What Does a Blown Speaker Sound Like?

If you are a rock enthusiast, distortion and overdrive pedals from the song’s instrumentals are probably what you like to listen to.

It might not be easier for you to notice the earlier signs of a blown speaker. When the speaker is blown, it makes a buzzing sound. However, if you’re a rock enthusiast, it can be difficult to tell because rock music usually sounds like that.

What you should do is you should play smoother music, such as R&B or opera, on a much more subtle level. It will feel like you are listening to a bunch of bees buzzing, that’s how you can really tell.

You need to have sharp ears as sometimes it might not be obvious. It is important to isolate each speaker on your music system and listen to them individually when you hear crackling, popping, and hissing.

Depending on how much your speaker is blown, only certain frequencies will be affected so it will manifest within a specific power range.


Can You Fix a Blown Speaker?

Can You Fix a Blown Speaker?

Losing a speaker because of a blowout is like losing a companion with who you have shared many great memories. It can cause a feeling of emptiness, knowing that your listening experience will never be the same again. The first question on your mind is “Can it be fixed”?

The answer to this question is yes. Depending on the level of damage your speaker has suffered, some simple to complex fixing measures can be taken, but it is rarely recommended to do it yourself.

DIY fixes might not restore the previous sound quality of your speaker hard, and it is better to reserve that for older sound systems that you don’t care much about.


How to Fix Blown Speaker – Step-by-Step Guide

How to Fix Blown Speaker - Step-by-Step Guide

If you have tested your speaker to identify whether it’s blown out, you will be able to fix it using this step-by-step guide. Start by disconnecting your blown-up speaker from the power source.

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Fixing The Cone

You will first have to remove the speaker from its shell by unscrewing the mounting screws. Unplug the wires connected to the speakers by unwinding them; avoid tugging or pulling so there will be no damage.

Carefully examine the cone to see if it has any tears or holes. Most of the damage is usually visible on the speaker’s cone, and if you don’t see any, look underneath the cover for any cracks.

Once you identify the damage, clean all the dirt and dust by using a cloth and rubbing alcohol. It is essential to avoid using any cleaning solution or water as it may cause further damage.

Apply silicone glue to the tears and holes using a clean cloth. The flexibility of this adhesive makes placing easier compared to other ones.

After applying gently dap with a dry cloth to remove any access. Let the speaker dry for at least 24 hours before reattaching it to the main body.


Fixing a Detached Voice coil

Remove the speaker cover to access the internal components. While performing this task, make sure you don’t pull or tug wires.

Next, you will need a sharp tool to remove the glue on the cone and surround. Use the same tool to separate the cone and voice coil as they are attached by glue.

Clean any dirt and glue on the speaker using rubbing alcohol and cloth. Insert a new voice coil that fits. Secure it nicely by applying glue to the new voice coil and make sure it is centered. Let the glue dry, then reattach all the speaker components as they were before.


Replacing the Surround

You will have to isolate the speaker from the shell by unscrewing the mounting screws. Once removed, you will notice the speaker cone and surround are attached.

Using a sharp object such as a razor, cut around the cone, peel, and dispose of the removed surround. Scrap the old glue residue with a sharp object and clean it using rubbing alcohol.

Place glue surrounding the edge of the speaker cone; it’s better if you use standard white glue. Then place glue on the new surround and rest it in the position where the previous one was.

Push gently with your fingers to attach the sides together and rub the access glue off after an hour. Let it dry for a day before reassembling all components.


Last Words

If you were pondering on how to tell if a speaker is blown, these 5 common signs could be the reason. By understanding how a speaker works, you can fix the speaker’s output sound by fixing the blown-out part.

After locating the specific part that is blown, you will have two choices: replace or repair. In some cases, the blown speaker might have little damage, and only a quick and easy fix is needed, while in other cases, you will need a technician to diagnose the specific problem that made it blow out.

If you want to buy new speakers, avoid purchasing cheap models built with inferior materials.


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Is a musician and journalist with over 13 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands. Ray loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.

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