As bass sounds are occurring in waves, it can be difficult to determine how to tell if a subwoofer is blown. This post will walk through why the subwoofer is blown and how to know? Let’s get started.
If your subwoofer suddenly starts making a buzzing or distorted sound, it may be blown. Other signs of a blown subwoofer that your subwoofer is blown include decreased volume, rattling, or no sound at all. If you suspect your subwoofer is blown, there are a few simple tests you can do to confirm it.
Why Do Subwoofers Blow?
Subwoofers can be damaged by excessive power or distorted signals.
Many subwoofers are blown because they have too much power. Even though it might be more fun to hear your music louder, a subwoofer can only handle so much. You can force the sub to work beyond its capabilities, which eventually leads to damage.
Subwoofers can handle more power than the indicated RMS (root means square), also known as continuous power handling. But ensure that your subwoofer is clear and doesn’t distort when you crank up the volume.
NB Knowing the RMS Wattage of your sub is crucial as it ensures that your sub has the right amount of power every time.
We often find ourselves looking for distorted signals to improve our subwoofer’s performance. This is compounded by the fact we sometimes cannot recognize a distorted signal before it has caused serious damage.
How To Tell If A Subwoofer Is Blown
1. Begin With A Quick Physical Inspection
The best way to tell if a speaker has been broken is to look at it for signs of damage.
It is easy to find damage in subwoofer cones. The suspension system allows subwoofer cones to move fluidly. You can identify when the cone has gone off by simply using your hands. You might feel the following symptoms if you gently push on the speaker cone with your two hands.
No movement – This is an indication that there has been broken.
A wobbly cone – The cone’s suspension system is severely compromised when it moves about unsteadily.
Scratching sounds – If you try to move the speaker cone with your fingers and it makes scratchy or grinding noises, there is damage. You need to take the speaker cone out of your home theater system before it breaks something else.
2. Test the Sound
Your subwoofer’s sound is a good indicator of the extent of damage done. You will hear the following sounds from a subwoofer that is completely blown or partially blown:
There is no sound – This indicates that your subwoofer may have been damaged. Make sure you test your audio source and cable. Make sure everything is working right before you jump to any conclusions.
Partial sound with distortion – If your subwoofer sounds weak or distorted at any volume, you probably have a partly blown subwoofer.
3. Play Some Audio At Low Volume
You can also determine if your sub is damaged by playing low-volume audio.
This is a great way to find out if your sub is making any pops or crackles while it is playing audio. Play audio playback at a low vol. As you listen to any sound quality issues, increase the vol and the bass.
What are you hearing?
Distorted sound? If so, your sub may have been partially blown. If the sub doesn’t produce any volume/bass increase, it is full-blown.
IMPORTANT: You might check the cable before you make any conclusions. Your sub cable should be placed at 90 degrees relative to any other cables.
4. Go For The Voltmeter
A digital voltmeter can be used to diagnose a sub-blown.
Simply connect the leads of the device to the negative and positive terminals of the subwoofer, and you can check the reading.
Each sub has different ohms reading. The CompR 12-inch kicker reads at 2 Ohms.
5. Check a Blown Sub with Multimeter
An attached voice coil to the cone of the subwoofer is a voice coil. It is equipped with both positive and negative terminals. The coil produces the necessary motive force for the cone through the reaction of current passing through it to a magnetic field.
We will use a multimeter to check the resistance voice coil. Subwoofer functionality will be determined by the condition of the voice coil.
These steps will help you measure resistance in ohms.
- Completely turn off the subwoofer and unplug all power sources.
- To make your subwoofer completely free of cables and audio inputs, you must remove them all.
- Take out the subwoofer and remove it from the enclosure
- Attach the positive measuring instrument probe at the positive terminal of the voice coil of the subwoofer
- Connect the negative multimeter probe and the negative terminal for the voice coil
- You will be able to see the resistance by turning on the measuring instrument
- If your voice coils have no resistance, that means they are damaged.
- If the reading changes abruptly, it is a sign that your voice coil has been damaged. This is a strong indicator of a damaged voice coil.
- If your reading is higher than 1.0 ohm then your coils may not be safe or sound.
How To Measure The Electrical Resistance of Your Subwoofer
First, disconnect the subwoofer’s power source and audio input.
If the subwoofer isn’t supplied by an external amplifier/receiver, you’ll need to take it out of its enclosure.
The multimeter will connect the probes and measure ohms. The red probe should be inserted into the positive lead and the black probe into that of the negative.
The resistance will be measured by the multimeter. To get a precise resistance, you will need to round it to the nearest whole number.
Can You Fix A Blown Subwoofer Symtoms?
Sometimes it’s possible to repair your blown speaker. In other cases, you might just decide to buy a new one.
If you want to fix your blown sub, below is what you need for your work:
Stuck Voice coil
To push your voice coil into position if it is stuck, grab a flashlight or another round object similar to one. You can then test it to make sure it works.
You can use a paper towel, speaker dust glue, and a rubber band to repair a tear. Use the glue to seal the tear. To ensure seamless patching, the paper towel should be smooth.
A damaged foam surround can be repaired by separating it from the frame, and then cutting off the affected part. To remove any residue, use rubbing alcohol and then place the foam surround.
Place the foam surround in place and allow the glue to dry. Finally, reinstall the gasket.
Subwoofer Cone and Coil
Next, remove the coil and cut the spider. Next, remove the gasket and voice coils. Finally, clean up any debris. Next, remove soldering and wires. Make sure the new coil aligns with the terminals.
The spider should be glued back in its original place. Apply glue to the area where the gasket was. Next, place the speaker cone in the correct position and lay the lead-out wires flat on top of it.
Then, solder the lead wires and thread them. Put the dust and cone cover back on, and solder lead-wires into the basket terminals.
Lastly, take the driver out and put it in to test.
Read more about our post: How To Fix A Blown Subwoofer?
What Happens When a Subwoofer Blows?
You’re enjoying your home entertainment system when something strange occurs to your low-end sound. Perhaps it becomes hushed or begins to sound distorted.
Perhaps there is no sound coming from the low end, or it begins to sound odd and too loud. Whatever is causing you to believe that your subwoofer has blown may be disastrous since subwoofers are essential for home theater systems.
When a subwoofer is broken or blown, it has either gotten too much power or too much sound. Clipped signals cause many broken subwoofers, as well as placing too much power on your subwoofer.
Clipped or Distorted Signals
You might easily harm your subwoofer if you crank up a distorted signal to hear it better. Clipped or distorted signals are disastrous for your subwoofer. In other circumstances, you may not even realize your signal is distorted until the levels are so high that it distorts and causes harm.
Too Much Power
Too much power is often the cause of a blown subwoofer. A subwoofer can only withstand so much noise, even if it might be thrilling and entertaining. It may be pressed to operate beyond its limitations, resulting in excessive pressure and damage.
Subwoofers are cleverly built to handle more power than their RMS limits, but ensure to keep the music clear and distortion-free at high volumes.
If you don’t already know it, you should know your subwoofer RMS wattage to guarantee that you consistently provide the proper power to your subwoofer(s).
Are Subwoofers Equipped With Fuses? Where They Are Located?
They do. The fuse for a subwoofer is inside the box, next to the wires of the subwoofer. The fuse may be found in the amp that is dedicated to the subwoofer. Different appearances can be given to in-line fuse.
What Does It Mean To Clip In A Subwoofer?
Clipping refers to a sound distortion caused by an amplifier cutting off an audio waveform.
How/Why Does Clipping Occur?
Clipping is an indicator that an amp is being overwhelmed by a subwoofer, or other speakers to the point that it can’t supply enough.
What’s The Best Hz For A Subwoofer?
80Hz is the recommended frequency for crossover and the THX standard.
- For on-wall speakers or tiny satellite speakers: 150-200 HZ
- For mid-size center-surround, bookshelf, and center: 80-100 HZ
- For large center-surround, bookshelf, and center: 60-80 HZ
What Is Recone Of Subwoofer?
Recone is the complete rebuilding of a speaker or subwoofer. If you have an old sub that is not working well, it may be worth removing worn parts.
A subwoofer is one of the most important parts of a good sound system. But even the best subwoofers will wear out and need to be changed at some point. You can check if your subwoofer is blown by the ways we outlined above. Don’t stop listening to music because your speaker is broken.