The subwoofer plays an important role in boosting the base in a stereo, and it creates full sound when you’re listening to music. Unfortunately, after some time, it starts malfunctioning, and it stops sounding the same anymore. In this article How to tell if a subwoofer is blown I will guide you on how to tell if a subwoofer is blown, how to test if its blown and how to fix a blown subwoofer
Why does my subwoofer sound weak and produce distorted sound?
1. Excessive power
This can be playing the subwoofer too loudly or too quietly. The highest rating of power is not supposed to be enforced for an extended period. Even though you bought the subwoofer because it said it could handle long periods of being a blast. It’s supposed to be played on intervals and not continuously.
The overpowering tears the voice coils buy, separating them from the spider. This creates low sound or none.
You can also damage the subwoofer by getting the speakers underpowered. This causes overheating, jamming the voice coils. And that’s when you know your subwoofer is blown.
2. Distorted signal
When there is a distorted signal, please do not turn it up to hear it better, as this easily damages the subwoofer. It is usually made worse by the fact that you might not be able to hear the distorted signal until you’ve turned it high up and already caused damage.
It is essential to assess the subwoofer to determine the level of damage which has taken place. When a subwoofer is blown, there are different types of damage. You can learn to run the tests without causing further damage to the faulty subwoofer.
How to test if a subwoofer is blown
1. Listen to the sound
The sound you will receive will directly indicate the amount of damage done. Play some audio playback in low volume, then gradually increase the volume together with the bass. Listen out for any audio quality disturbance. Check if you can hear and cracks, pops, and general static. Different sounds have a different meaning;
No sound at all – this au means that the subwoofer might be completely blown. If your sub is receiving the audio signal through a cable, check first before ruling out anything.
Partial sound with distortion – if you hear a weak and distorted sound when you play at any volume, then it means that you have a partially blown subwoofer.
2. Check the speaker cone
Since the speaker cone works on a suspension system, it should be flexible and easy to tear. Checking the speaker cone is the most straightforward test because it requires just your hands though it needs concentration. First, you should remove the cover to access the cone. Then, move the cone carefully using both hands while avoiding any use of force.
No movement – this could be due to a jammed or broken voice coil. It means it is blown.
Unstable/shaky cone – when the cone unsteadily moves around, the suspension system might interfere.
Rough/scratchy sounds mean the damage has already occurred, and the cone should be replaced.
3. Test the subwoofer’s voice coil
A voice coil is usually attached to the subwoofer’s cone and has negative and positive terminals. It amplifies the current that runs to the speakers. In this test, you have to get a multimeter as this checks for electrical resistance.
How to test a voice coil using a multimeter
Disconnect the subwoofer from the power.
Unplug the audio input cables.
Remove the sub from the enclosure.
Connect the two proves to the multimeter.
Turn the multimeter on to measure the ohms.
Insert the red probe into the positive lead and the black probe into the negative lead.
The multimeter should be able to measure the amount of resistance by now. For correct resistance, round it off to the nearest whole number.
The results should be interpreted as;
- No resistance/infinite resistance – damaged voice coils.
- Shifting readings – voice coil wholly damaged.
- Reading above 1.0 ohm – functional voice coil.
After concluding that your subwoofer is blown, the first thing to do is disconnect it from your car. Staying there longer accelerates the damage to the audio equipment. Next, you can check your warrant validity and get it replaced, or the manufacturer can repair it. Do this before opening it. Then, you can call a technician.
How to fix a blown subwoofer
After the tests if the subwoofer is blown, you can decide to purchase a new model if the blown subwoofer is old. If you don’t feel like buying a new one, you can fix the old one. The process of fixing a blown-up subwoofer is by trying to correct different issues like;
1. Subwoofer cone and coil
- Remove the speaker.
- Cut out the spider.
- Remove the voice coil and the gasket and clean any debris.
- Remove solder and wires.
- Line up the new coil with the terminals.
- Glue the spider to its original position.
- Where the gasket was applied glue.
- The speaker cone is supposed to be put in a correct position
- The lead-out wires should be placed against the cone
- Solder the lead wires and thread them.
- Place the dust and cone cover back on.
- Solder the lead wires in the basket terminals.
- Test it after replacing the driver.
2. Foam surround
- Separate the gasket from the frame.
- Cut the damaged part off the subwoofer.
- Remove the residue using alcohol.
- Connect the new foam surround.
- Fit the new foam surround and give the glue time to set.
- Reinstall the gasket.
- Take a paper towel and speaker dust cap glue.
- Apply glue to the paper towel to cover the hole.
- The paper towel should be smooth and seamless to avoid a messy job.
4. Stuck voice coil
- Look for a flashlight or any other cylindrical object.
- Push the coil back to place.
- Test whether it works.
In conclusion, the first thing you should do before ruling out a subwoofer is blown is test it and then diagnose which part is damaged. You can then decide to do a quick fix with items readily available, call a technician or buy everything all together. Of course, the cheapest would be fixing it using the steps and procedures we have highlighted above.
By purchasing the best subwoofer in the market can save you a lot of stress and give you longer lifespan of enjoying quality music in your car. Below are our best 3 subwoofer products that I’d highly recommend
- MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D
- BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8 Inch Car Subwoofer
- Skar Audio SDR-10 D4