How to Test Speakers for Damage

Speakers are fun, that is until they get damaged. Blown out speakers are no fun at all. It doesn’t matter if it is your home audio system or your car speaker because blown speakers can produce an annoying sound that ruins the mood.

How to Test Speakers for Damage

If you are unsure if your speakers are really blown or not, it is important to know how to test speakers for damage so you can diagnose the issue and find the best solution for it. It is especially a must before you resort to letting the pros do the repairs or shopping for a brand-new speaker.

There are several factors you should worry about when it comes to the condition of your speakers. Among the easiest and simplest ways to test for damage is to just listen to the sound output that comes from your speakers.

Below are some of the things you can do to identify whether your speakers are damaged or not:

Incomplete System Range

Testing its range is one of the ways to check your speakers. For this, you need to choose one of your MP3 players or CDs with a full sound range, specifically a strong bass. Next, start playing the CD at varied sound frequencies while listening closely to the output coming from the speakers.

If there is nothing wrong with your speakers, you should clearly hear the sound output starting from the lowest frequency to the highest. A blown speaker, on the other hand, might not be able to generate a bass or any high-frequency sounds. This process is simple enough and will only take you around 5 minutes to identify the issue.

Lack of Vibration

Vibration is something that you commonly experience if you place your hand on the surface of any working speaker. It is also quite true for subwoofers and woofers. Your speaker will produce stronger vibrations if you turn up the volume of the radio.

One of the things that indicate that you might have blown out speakers is when you don’t feel any vibrations, particularly at higher volumes. The only downside to this particular test is that this will be effective only on bigger speakers. If your speaker setup is relatively smaller, using your palm to test for vibrations might not work correctly.

In cases like this, you might need to experiment with the rest of the methods stated here. Also, if you are dealing with a blown out speaker, you will probably notice that its cone has come loose from the moorings. In time, once the speaker is already totally broken, it might no longer produce sounds in the same way it did when you first bought it.

Bass speakers in general are those that are more prone to blowing out even if they might control the rest of the ranges. For such situations, the bass’s thudding sound gets switched with a rattling noise or there might be no sound at all.

Resistance is Infinite

An easy test to diagnose the performance issues of your speaker is to check its electrical response using a standard multimeter. Through this, you can quickly identify if the cone or voice coil of your speaker is busted.

If the speaker functions normally, the ohm reading on the multimeter must be at what the speaker was rated at. As for a blown out speaker, there will be essentially an infinite observed resistance. You also have a blown speaker if it reads 2 ohms instead of its rating of 4 ohms.

Sound Distortion

It should be easy for you to determine if there is an issue with your speaker based on the sound it produces. All you have to do is turn up the volume on your audio system or radio and keep your ears peeled for possible distortions in the quality of sound, which include a hissing sound.

If the speaker is already blown, the distortion increases as you also continue to turn the volume up. That unmistakable hiss or fuzz coming from a blown out speaker will never go unnoticed as long as you know what exactly you are listening for.

This will be very obvious that you need to do something to address the issue with your speakers. Most of the time, fuzzy speakers are the result of damaged or loose voice coils.

Test with a 9-Volt Battery

Testing using a 9-volt battery is a simple and easy trick that will let you determine how your speakers are doing in just a matter of minutes. Unscrew your speaker from its mount to disconnect it. Proceed to take off the wires from the audio system. Attach the wires to the 9-volt battery while still connected to your speaker.

There should be a popping noise that comes from your speaker. It indicates that your speaker is working well. But if there are no sounds at all, it probably means that your speaker is already blown out.

While doing this test, make sure you observe safety as you deal with any electrical equipment to stop the risk of injuries. Avoid inserting any tools into your speaker while this is still connected to the power source.

Isolate the Affected Speaker

If you find it hard to determine which speaker has problems, you might want to leverage the fader system to isolate the different speakers. It will make it easier for you to identify the troubled speaker.

You can also tell if it is completely or partly blown. You might need to replace the speaker in both cases. In case you don’t have a fader system, you might need to physically disconnect the speakers so you can test them.

In this case, you need to seek the help of an expert who can handle the reconnection and disconnection of wires.

The Bottom Line

The next time you think that your speakers are damaged or blown out, the different tests above can help you diagnose any issue in your audio system. The sooner you identify the issue, the sooner you will reach a feasible solution.