When you’re hoping to listen to great music or see a great movie, one of the worst experiences is having a blown speaker system, regardless of the speaker you are using, such as car speakers, studio or guitar amplifiers, TV or computer speakers, or the home theater speaker system. It’s a terrible experience to discover that a speaker that previously functioned brilliantly has been blown and became worthless.
When it comes to music, excellence takes precedence above everything else, therefore concerns with perversions are of little consequence. The audio from a blown speaker will either shut down altogether or continue to play with the constant hissing emphasizing every tone. To be honest, I’m not sure whether choice is worse: having poor audio or having no sound at all.
Before you keep saving money for the new speakers, keep in mind that there are solutions to this problem that you can achieve on your own. In this regard, I decided to illustrate How to Fix a Blown Speaker, so that you can easily fix it.
What Exactly Does the Term “Blown Speaker” Mean?
A ‘blown speaker’ is a phrase used to describe a speaker that is not functioning correctly or at all. It’s an umbrella term that refers to a variety of issues that might cause a speaker to sound poor or fall quiet, but it’s enough to say that a blown speaker produces either bad or no sound. If the sound quality of your speaker has deteriorated or you are unable to hear it at all, you are dealing with the classic blown speaker.
Usually, blown speakers causes problems such as:
- High levels of audible distortion.
- Limited frequency response (especially in multi-driver designs).
- Low levels of sound.
- Intermittent sound.
- High noise levels.
- No sound.
- Will not turn on (active speakers)
These issues may worsen with time. Sound quality deterioration is a subtle issue that worsens over time until there is no sound left. However, there are occasions when there is no sound and it is due to an electrical fault.
What Does a Blown Speaker Sound Like?
An unpleasant but slight buzzing or scraping sound, by itself or roughly at the pitch of the note the speaker is attempting to reproduce, is the most typical auditory sign of a blown speaker. It’s also possible that there will be no sound at all.
As this distortion may be silently buried in the audio, it might be subtle and difficult to detect. Another explanation is because the noise is created at the same pitches as the music or speech being played back.
If it’s not immediately evident, you’ll have to pay attention. Muting the other speakers and only listening to the troublesome one helps. You may accomplish this using the panning controls on your car’s radio panel, as well as the panning controls on your home theater receiver, or in your digital audio workstation software on your computer.
How Do Speakers Get Blown-Out?
The speaker is usually blow-out if the speaker performs prolonged signals for too long. Alternative currents with amplitudes measured in AC voltage are the audio signals that drive speakers.
The speaker’s voice coil is meant to be a part of the circuit that transmits the audio signal. The electrical current’s direction and amplitude are converted into speaker movement, which creates sound. The dissipation of heat from the voice coil is a consequence of this electrical current.
Let’s go into the five ways that speakers will encounter blow-out now that we’ve covered the basics:
Abused Equalization and Volume
In most situations, the equalization mechanism is abused before cranking up the music excessively loudly, especially for car speakers or home theater system speakers.
You could easily rip the cone on your subwoofer if you browse to the subwoofer settings and turn it all the way up while also raising the bass and decreasing the middle frequencies and treble, and then put the volume up extremely high.
Your other four speakers are in the same boat. They are meant to be used at a variety of levels, including extremely high ones, but if you change the frequency response using the equalization settings outside of the typical range of use, you can easily blow out a speaker.
Mismatched Speaker and Amplifier Power
You might underpower or overpower your speakers at the amplifier if you set up your sound system without paying attention to the specs. Both of these circumstances result in clipping, which causes the voice cone and coils to move abnormally.
Amplifier clipping can cause distortion in underpowered speakers (as can overpowered ones). This implies that instead of a smooth sine wave, the music is now delivered as a square wave, which is highly unpleasant to the cone to replicate and dramatically lowers speaker life.
Because the source material and amp can’t satisfy the power rating of the speakers, you have to turn them up higher and higher, which causes audio clipping. The same distortion occurs when a speaker is overloaded, but it occurs at the speaker-lever rather than the amp because it is overpowered.
When speakers are overwhelmed, the cone can jump out of its usual range of motion and do so in such a violent, repeated manner that the cone rips apart. However, amplifiers for guitars and related instruments do not have to worry about this. You should learn How to choose amplifier for speakers.
Burned/Melted Voice Coils
The conductive part of the speaker driver is responsible for dissipating heat.
However, if the audio signal’s amplitude is too high, the driver may not be able to properly dissipate heat. The conductive element may burn and/or melt as a result of this. The voice coil is the element of moving-coil speaker drivers (which are by far the most popular).
If you apply too much heat to the coil, it will melt into a single mass or possibly fuse the coil to the magnet. In the worst-case scenario, this leaves the speaker incapable of correctly reproducing the audio input or even creating sound at all.
The material of older speakers may degrade to a point where it causes severe degradation to the speaker performance.
We see this often with the foam-type surrounds and suspensions of older speaker models but it can happen with other materials that suffer erosion due to normal wear-and-tear.
Blown Fuse Or Loose Wires
Electrical fuses will be installed in some active loudspeaker and studio monitors to guard against speaker blow-out. However, if these fuses break, the speaker will not be able to function and will appear to be blown out.
This fuse may be replaced to bring the speaker back to life while still protecting it from high-amplitude audio sources.
Speaker burn-out can also be caused by loose wiring, which manifests itself as distortion, crackling, and popping.
How do you know if your speaker is Blown
Here’s a rundown of the problems you’ll run into if you have a blown-out speaker. Some will be more subtle than others, and it all depends on how much your device has been damaged.
Distortion at Normal Volumes
If you hear hiss, static, or fuzz even at modest volumes, you’re dealing with one of two issues. You either have a ripped cone or loose or broken voice coils. The problem should grow worse if you turn up the volume.
Lack of Cone Vibration
A speaker’s cone travels quickly in order to push air around and generate sound. It isn’t receiving power if it isn’t vibrating (regardless of loudness). This indicates that a wire has come loose or that a component within the speaker assembly is failing.
Incomplete Frequency Response
A blown woofer is identified by an inadequate or incorrect frequency response. This implies you’ll hear less bass or high frequencies from this speaker than from others in its set, for example.
Rattling, Popping, & Noises
You can hear popping from blown tweeters, rattling from a flapping cone fabric, or a misbehaving voice coil, in addition to the typical distortion. Pay extra care when you know it’s not an issue with the source material, such as a CD skipping after you ripped the album to mp3 files on your computer.
Infinite Impedance at the Coils
A multi-meter can be used to evaluate the impedance at the voice coil for the more technically minded. If it’s practically endless, you’ve got a serious electrical issue on your hands. In most situations, it should be in the range of 4 to 10 ohms.
Direction: How To Fix A Blown Speaker
1. Find the Blown speaker
As always, the first step is to figure out which of your speakers is the blown speaker. You’ll be able to identify which of the speakers has to be repaired if you’re working with a standard house speaker set. If the speakers have a cover or grille that you don’t want to remove unnecessarily, there are alternative options for locating the broken one.
You may, for example, simply detach each individual speaker from the subwoofer one at a time. By listening for the above-mentioned indications of blown speakers, you’ll eventually discover the black sheep.
On the other side, you may utilize the equalization if you’re dealing with a speaker set that’s not as straightforward to disconnect. You’ll need to look for the balance control function in particular. So, if you think one of your vehicle’s speakers has blown, try shifting the balance from the left-side speakers to the right-side speakers to discover where the noise is coming from. You may try increase the volume a little to see if the noise gets louder. Don’t go overboard; you could blow one of the other speakers.
And, of course, you’ll need to entertain yourself while running this exam. I suggest sticking to songs you already know. As a result, you’ll be able to hear any differences produced by the speaker’s damage.
2. Find the Problem
You’ll want to double-check if the suspect you’ve identified is the one you’re looking for. If a faceplate prevents you from inspecting the surround and cone, carefully remove it. You’ll need to loosen the cloth covers on certain speakers without damaging them. By lightly touching the cone after you’ve removed it, you should be able to spot tears or at least get a sense that something isn’t quite right.
If your assumptions were accurate, it’s time to remove the speaker from its container, which may be a basic box or a vehicle door. But first, make sure the car is turned off and the speaker is unplugged from the outlet.
Two wires must be disconnected before the driver may be removed from its enclosure. They’ll most likely be red and black, with identical labeling on the driver. If they aren’t, keep a checklist of which wire goes where. If you connect them afterwards, the speaker will sound, to put it mildly, odd.
The first thing you should do when you get the driver in your hand is sniff it. Yes, you read that correctly. You should be able to smell the coil if it is hot or melted. If a burned odor is detected, you may need to order a new driver or at the very least recone the speaker.
3. Prepare The Area and Order Replacements
You’ll need to clean the speaker you just pulled out after having a short glance at it. It’ll be covered in dust for months, if not years. However, a simple wipe-down with alcohol-soaked cotton swabs should suffice.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the speaker, you may examine the damage. You’ll need to replace the surround if it’s torn. Speakers are typically available in conventional sizes, so you should be able to locate the component you want quickly. Check to see whether the maker of your speakers provides new components before going anyplace else.
If you purchase a foam surround repair kit, it may also come with an adhesive and a brush. After cutting and scraping away the old surround, you’ll use those to adhere the foam to the cone. If the cone is torn, you’ll either have to repair it or buy a new one. And it can be more costly than you would imagine. Because the cone is linked to the voice coil, you’ll need to replace the entire driver.
4. Install the New Surround System
When your new surround comes, you’ll need to fully remove the old one before installing it. Scrape off any remaining foam residue with a scalpel or razor before immersing the cone and basket edges in 70% isopropyl alcohol to remove any remaining adhesive. Once everything is clean, apply your glue to the inner lip of your new surround and adhere it to the cone’s flat outside border.
After that has dried, you’ll need to connect the surround’s outer lip to the basket without disturbing the voice coil. There are two ways to keep the voice coil in place while you’re doing your thing. You may use the shim approach if you obtain a new dust cover as well.
Remove the current dust cap without harming the cone, then put thin plastic shims around the coil on all sides. When the outside lip of the surround has cured, remove the shims and replace the dust cover.
However, you may also play a low frequency music in the speaker, as the outer lip of the surrounding area is illustrated in this video, if you don’t want to get into issue with the new dust cap.
5. Patch The Cone
If your paper cone has a rip, you may simply patch it with paper. It’s a fantastic temporary repair for tears of all sizes, but it’s not a long-term answer if you want to perform at your best. In any event, you’ll need a paper tissue and some Elmer’s glue to test it out. Separate a layer of tissue and tear it to the size you want. Tearing is preferable than cutting since it allows the paper to merge into the cone.
Soak the paper in the glue, holding it in your hand, until it’s nice and mushy. Then, apply to the cone’s rip. If feasible, repeat the process on the cone’s bottom side. You may spray it with a flat or matte black spray once it dries, or leave it as is if you don’t mind the random appearance.
People have also used a similar approach without the tissue. They dilute glue with warm water. Pour the substance straight on the cone using a painter’s brush. The cone should stiffen as it dries, and any tiny tears should be bonded. However, if you’re struggling with bigger tears, it won’t be enough.
6. Recone Your Driver
Reconfiguring your speaker is the most intrusive thing you can do to repair it. That means you’ll have to remove the cone, coil, and spider before replacing them and finishing with a new surround. If more than one of those pieces is broken, this is a fantastic option. But, before you order all of those parts, think about the price.
Sending it to a repair shop or installing new components yourself may be more cost-effective than buying new speakers if you’re looking to save money on pricey audiophile speakers. You may avoid the costs of the metal basket, magnet, and speaker box by using this method. However, if the replacement costs more than the speakers, get a new set instead.
7. Do a Speaker Test and Re-install Your Driver
Finally, you’ll really would like to check the driver before reinstalling it in the speaker box or your car. It would be the similar frequency test we saw in one of the videos I linked to earlier. You can reinstall the driver after ensuring that it is completely working, making sure to connect the wires to the correct connections.
Wrapping up: How to Fix a Blown Speaker
So, what should you do if your speaker is blown out? Repair or replace are your options. In the section above, I discussed when I would attempt to fix them myself or hire a professional to do so. The majority of the time, you’ll want to replace the entire set.
It’s critical to avoid turning up the volume for too long in order to protect your speakers. You should also examine the speakers’ system on a regular basis. To restore the characteristics of some pieces, you may just need to apply glue or tape in some situations. In certain cases, you can repair a speaker rather of purchasing a new one.
This way, repairing a blown speaker is straightforward. Furthermore, you can fix sound problems and get rid of annoying noises on your own.
Well, this FAQ segment is here to enhance your knowledge and solve even more questions that might be poking around your head!
Why Do Speakers Distort at High Levels?
There are two major reasons for a loudspeaker’s distortion at high volumes. The most typical reason is that the audio source is distorted in the first place. Speakers, on the other hand, can distort if their drivers are pushed to the limits of their specified motion, causing them to react non-linearly and generate distorted sound.
What Causes Pops and Crackles in Speakers and How Can We Repair Them?
Interrupted electrical current (audio signals) or, in other words, a loose or unclean connection causes speaker popping and crackling. Troubleshoot the connecting wires to locate the source of the crackling and popping, then protect the connection or replace that cable.