How To Tell If a Speaker Is Blown (And What To Do)

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The title of this article might sound kind of strange, so let me clarify that first and then we can go through the ways of how to tell if a speaker is completely blown or not, and after I’ll go through a few ways how you can fix that if the problem is not that severe already.

So, the term “blown” is used as a synonym to describe a speaker that is not working right or is just broken. It means that your speaker is reproducing a scratchy signal at a lower volume, or no sound is passing through the speaker. If someone says that their speaker is blown out, that person knows that his or her speaker has gone through a catastrophic failure.

If the speaker is blown that means that the speaker does not work at all or they just make an awful blown speaker sound, or the most common aural indication of a damaged speaker is an unpleasant buzzing or scratching sound, popping sound, by itself, or roughly at the pitch of the note the speaker is attempting to reproduce, but in a situation where a car speaker is totally blown, you usually won’t hear any sound at all from it.

One thing that you should know is that blown out speaker are a common problem In the home and automotive audio world. In the beginning, the term “blown” was used in a sort of generically non-technical way to describe speakers that aren’t working right or aren’t working at all, but after the term continued being used even by the professionals. And I’m mentioning professionals because for a random person such a problem can be just a simple inconvenience, but for passionate musicians, though, especially working musicians, blown speakers in a guitar amp, bass amp, or PA system, are far more than an inconvenience.

As I mentioned above, first I’ll go through a few steps that you can follow in order to understand if your speaker is blown or not, and then together we will go through a few simple tips on how to fix your damaged speaker, if you can, of course, because sometimes the problem with that speaker may be so deep that you will have to replace it with a new one. yes, now let’s get started.

How To Tell If a Speaker Is Blown?

A blown speaker creates an obnoxious sound that can ruin the mood in your living area, whether it is your car speakers or the house audio system.

To locate a workable fix if you think your audio system is blown, it’s crucial to know how to identify the issue.


The first thing that you can do logically, without having me to tell you this, is to replace your speaker that you suspect that it might be blown, with a speaker that you are certain is a perfect playing speaker. This is the simplest way to determine if your speaker is blown or not. After replacing your speaker with a new one and you get a good clean sound, then your old speaker is the problem.

One thing that you have to know for certain is that this inconvenience might be happening because of the amplifier’s malfunction, and this happens in a very technical way that I’ll try to explain in the simplest way possible. Take for instance a solid-state amplifier, where the power transistors are connected directly to the speaker, malfunctioning transistors can pass excessive current to the speakers, blowing the voice coil.

So if you have sound reason to believe that the amplifier is malfunctioning, and particularly if it smells like it is burning, then you should investigate that first, before trying to replace your speaker with a new one. Yes and you should stick to the idea of replacing the speaker, since replacing damaged parts can cost in the long run, you will have to replace the speaker’s voice coil. The Voice coil is one of the main components of a speaker and it is an expensive accessory. 

After investigating the amplifier and finding out that that’s not the problem, then you can proceed with the replacement method, but there is something that you should know about that, too.

It is a good idea to perform the replacing test with a speaker that has the same impedance of the speaker that you suspect that it might be blown. That would be the best way to perform that test, but if you don’t have a speaker with the same impedance, then some other speaker with a small impedance mismatch should be okay.

I must say that if you have no other speaker at all, then you can do the replacement trick with a working amplifier, and after doing that, if the whole setup is giving you the same poor speaker sound, you can safely say that you have a blown out speaker.

The Battery Test

One other simple way to test if your speaker is blown or not is the battery test. This might be the quickest way possible because of its simplicity. I just have to say that this method only works with speakers that have positive and negative wires that hook into a stereo, so its practice may be limited. So, all you have to do is take a 9-volt battery and touch it to the wires. And, after doing that, if it makes scratching noises it’s good and if it makes no sound at all, I’m sorry but you have a blown speaker.

Inspect visually and physically

The next thing you can do if you suspect that you have a damaged speaker is to inspect it visually and physically, and by that I mean, observing it while playing and touching it, examining it to notice any possible damage. A blown speaker can have damage that can be easily noticeable, In order to inspect it visually, remove the speaker from the amplifier or instrument and take a look at the cone. The speaker cone isn’t supposed to have any holes or scratches, and if it does, then those damages most probably are the reason that your speaker is blown. You can consider replacing the cone; Re-coning is the process of replacing each moving component that makes up the speaker cone assembly.

And, in order to inspect it physically, then you should gently tap on the cone of the speaker, and it should have a firm drum-like sound, If you hear a rattling sound, then you have a blown speaker.

What Should Be Done

I know that I said that I’ll take you through a few things that you can do in order to fix your blown speaker, but taking into consideration that they have a really complex technology and they are not that expensive, then the only possible option left is, replacement. That is the most logical solution at that point. Often enough, however, when considering the cost of repairing a blown speaker, you might find that you’re better off simply replacing it, just think about it if you would like to repair it, there are still chances that it won’t be fully repaired, so you will have to pay twice. 

Final Words

If there is anything left to be said, is that in order not to have blown speakers, then you should take good care of it. Most of the time the reason that a speaker is blown is that it is damaged, and that’s as a result of not being careful enough with them. So, you better not take that speaker with you in the bathroom while having a shower, and I’m not even kidding, because then you will have to replace it and that’s not an idea that you will be a fan of, I mean who would like his or her money to be ripped of his or her pocket just to replace a device that you already had but you weren’t careful enough to keep it working properly. 

Further Reading

If you own a Logitech G930 and the crackling or buzzing noises disturb you then click the link to find out what to do to fix it.

In case you want to accompany your speaker with a soundbar and you are indecisive if 2.1 or 3.1 Soundbar is better, reading the article is a must.

Hardcore gamers, since you’re here too, check out if 7.1 surround sound is good for your happy hours.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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