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5 Audio Test Tips On How To Tell If A Subwoofer Is Blown


A subwoofer or sub is an essential part of any music aficionado’s audio system. Not only does it add a powerful bass resonance to your music, but it can also take your listening experience to the next level.

Imagine being able to feel the music’s bass notes rumbling through your chest as if you were right there in the studio with the musicians. With a sub, this can become a reality. The best part is that nowadays, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good subwoofer.

There are plenty of quality models available to fit your budget and space requirements. A blown subwoofer is a common problem that can be encountered when using a car’s sound system.

It can be a devastating moment when you are in the middle of your favorite song, and suddenly your system just stops producing any sound. This is the result if a subwoofer blows a speaker that has been damaged or overused.

How to tell if a subwoofer is blown? To determine whether your sub has blown, test the sound at a low volume. Basically, you have a partially blown subwoofer if the sound is distorted and a fully blown subwoofer if there is no sound at all. Before jumping to conclusions, check the cable to see if the subwoofer is receiving its signal through one.

Common Sign of A Blown Subwoofer or Speaker Cone

When a sub is not functioning properly, several signs can indicate a blown sub. Some of the most common signs that the subwoofer is blown include the following:

Distorted Sound Quality

This can be indicated by a rumbling or popping noise coming from the woofer. The sound may also be muffled or tinny. This issue can be caused by a number of things, such as a damaged subwoofer cone or a loose connection in the wiring.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to check the woofer and take it in for repair as soon as possible.

No Sound Output

Subwoofers are the component responsible for producing the lower frequencies of audio input, so if you’re experiencing scratching sounds or no sounds at all, then the sub is likely damaged and will need to be replaced.

You should also check the connection to make sure that it’s properly connected and functioning properly, as this can also be a cause of no sound output.

Completely Blown vs. Partially Blown Subwoofer

A partially blown subwoofer is a type of speaker that has suffered from some kind of damage, usually due to overuse or poor-quality components. Generally, this damage is caused by too much power being sent to the car subwoofer, creating distortion and ultimately causing the speaker to fail.

The most common symptoms of a partially blown sub include partial sound distortions, odd noises, and reduced sound output. The damage can range from minor, such as a slight crackling sound, to major, such as a large distortion or complete lack of sound.

A completely blown subwoofer is a speaker that is no longer able to produce sound due to damage to either the speaker cone or the amplifier.

A blown speaker is a common problem that can occur in any sound system and is usually caused by playing the audio at too high of a volume.

Tips On How to Examine If Your Subwoofer Is Blown

Everybody who enjoys listening to music understands the value of a good subwoofer. It has the power to improve or ruin your listening experience. Subwoofers, unfortunately, have a tendency to blow up, especially if they are subjected to excessive power or loudness.

Keeping your sound system in working order requires understanding how to recognize when a subwoofer has blown. Here are some ways to identify if a subwoofer is blown:

Examine The Speaker for any Physical Damage

Subwoofers can be damaged by dropping, shaking, or any other physical impact. Visually inspect the subwoofer’s cone for any physical damage, such as dents, tears, or bulges. Check for any wires or terminals that have been disconnected or are loose.

Signs of damage to look for include tears or punctures in the speaker cone, loose or broken connections, and any unusual discoloration on the speaker surround. If any of these signs are present, the subwoofers are likely blown. If the sub has sustained physical damage, it is likely that it’s blown and needs to be replaced.

Check The Power Supply for Any Problems

If the power supply is not working correctly or is not supplying enough power to the subwoofers, it could be the cause of your subwoofers being blown. Check the voltage settings or the continuous power handling and make sure it is outputting the correct amount of power.

Ensure the power supply is securely connected and that all of the wires are in good condition. If these checks do not resolve the issue, it could be that your subwoofers are blown. Disconnect the negative and positive terminals and check the multimeter readings.

Listen For Any Sound Distortion or Crackling

One surefire way to tell if your subwoofer is blowing out is to listen for any signs of distorted sound or crackling. This could be signs of a stuck voice coil that is not working properly and needs to be replaced.

If you hear any popping, buzzing, or rattling, then it’s time for a replacement. If the sound coming from your subwoofer is muffled and doesn’t sound as clear or powerful as it should, this could also be an indication that it’s time for a new one.

Adjust The Bass Settings and Test for Any Fluctuations in Sound

Start by adjusting the bass settings on your stereo system. If you notice any sudden or unexpected fluctuations in the audio waveform or sound, it could be an indication that the subwoofer is blown and needs to be replaced.

If you don’t hear any unusual sounds, it could simply mean that the subwoofer is not being used properly. Make sure to check the settings and the wiring of the sub to ensure it is properly functioning before moving on to other methods.

Consider A Professional Opinion If All Other Tests Fail

If you think that your new subwoofer might be blown, the first thing to do is to run through a few simple tests to diagnose the problem. However, if all else fails, it might be time to consider getting a professional opinion.

A certified audio technician can run through a much more comprehensive set of tests and determine the source of the issue. They can tell you whether or not the subwoofer is beyond repair or if it just needs a simple fix. If the technician is qualified, they should have no problem offering accurate advice on what to do next.

All Possible Causes of a Blown Sub Explained

The deep, commanding bass of a subwoofer can be a defining characteristic of an otherwise impressive home audio playback system. Unfortunately, the bass sounds that so many of us have come to love can be cut short if it has been overworked or damaged.

If you’ve noticed a dull, lifeless sound coming from your subwoofer, it could be a result of any of the following common causes.

Overpowering the Subwoofer with Too Much Power

Blown subs can be caused because too much wattage is being sent to the subwoofers as compared to their power handling rating. This can result in the subwoofers being overloaded and unable to handle the amount of power.

Most of the time, this can be the reason why you get a damaged voice coil. Voice coil overheating can cause the subwoofers to blow in a car radio or home theater system.

It is important always to ensure that the power rating of the subwoofers is taken into consideration when selecting an amplifier and wiring the system. Take into account the measurement of electrical resistance, voltage, and current.

Incorrect Impedance Matching

When connecting multiple speakers to an amplifier, the total impedance of all the speakers must match the output impedance of the amplifier. If the impedance is mismatched, it can cause the amplifier to produce too much power, resulting in a blown subwoofer.

To prevent this, make sure that the total impedance of the speakers is within the range specified by the amplifier’s manufacturer. It’s important to make sure each individual speaker is wired correctly to the amplifier.

Using the Wrong Type of External Amplifier

Cross-matching the wrong type of amplifier with a subwoofer can put too much strain on the sub, leading to a blown coil. It’s important to ensure that the amplifier and subwoofer have compatible power ranges to prevent overstressing the subwoofer and potentially to blow it.

An underpowered amplifier can also cause your subwoofer to blow if the sub is not getting enough power, so it’s important to make sure the amplifier is powerful enough to power the sub adequately.

Incorrectly Wiring The Subwoofer

This can happen if the cables have not been correctly connected or if the right voltage has not been provided. If the subwoofer is wired incorrectly, it can result in an over-voltage situation which can damage the voice coils, and a loose cable wiring can result in distorted signals.

A signal distortion would be indicative of an overpowering of the subwoofer, leading to an eventual blowout. You need to ensure the subwoofer RMS wattage matches with the amplifier, so you don’t get any clipped or distorted signals.

A distorted signal can occur if the connections are loose. Therefore, taking the time to ensure the subwoofer is wired correctly is essential. Verify both the positive and negative terminals.

Low volume can be the result of a variety of issues, but the majority of them stem from incorrect wiring or loose connections.

Using A Subwoofer with Too Small of An Enclosure

This is because any low-end sound waves that the subwoofer produces will be so intense that they will cause the sub to be overworked and eventually blow.

Subwoofers blow when using subwoofer cones with an enclosure that isn’t large enough to sustain the volume levels that a subwoofer needs to produce sound.

A good rule of thumb is to use a subwoofer with an enclosure size at least twice the volume of the subwoofer itself. If you plan on listening to loud music, then an even larger enclosure is recommended. The cone’s suspension system is also an important factor to consider when selecting a sub.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Blown Subwoofer?

A blown subwoofer typically requires repairs that cost between $25 and $100. The most expensive option is to replace the entire speaker, which can run you anywhere from $150 to $300, depending on the quality.

You can save a lot of money by replacing small parts and fixing the wiring, but only if you do the work yourself. Even up to $300 may be required for vendor repairs.

Last Updated on: March 9, 2023

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