How to Fix a Blown Subwoofer: 7 Step-by-Step Guide

There’s nothing worse for an audiophile than realizing that their beloved subwoofer is blown. If you’re hearing strange noises coming from your subwoofer and feeling uncomfortable about it, don’t worry. In this article, we will provide you with the common causes and detailed steps on how to fix a blown subwoofer.

Common Causes of a Blown Subwoofer

Understanding the causes of a blown subwoofer can prevent future damage. Let’s look at the common reasons:

Weird noises

If your subwoofer starts making weird sounds like crackling, hissing, or popping, that’s usually a warning sign.

Normally, the reasons for these strange sounds come from the voice coil. You can think of it as the heart of your subwoofer – it’s crucial for making the sound. But if it gets damaged from too much use or getting too hot, it can start making noises.

For example, if the voice coil is out of place, it can rub against other parts inside the subwoofer. And if it gets too hot, it can “blow,” much like a fuse. When this happens, you might hear popping or cracking noises.

Blown coil

A blown coil is another common cause of a blown subwoofer. This occurs when you adjust continuous high-volume levels or if it’s receiving too much power from the amplifier. Thus, this causes the subwoofer to be pushed beyond its limits and blown.

In detail, the voice coil is designed to handle a certain amount of heat. When an electrical signal passes through it, the voice coil generates heat. Usually, this heat is dissipated through the cone and the surrounding air. But if you keep the volume up too high for too long or give the subwoofer too much power. The coil gets too hot, causing the protective covering on the coil to melt, leading to a short circuit.

When the coil is blown, it will fail to create the necessary magnetic field to move the speaker cone, hence the sound production will be distorted or may cease entirely. If the blown coil isn’t replaced in time, it could lead to further damage to other components of the subwoofer.

Damaged Speaker Cone

Another reason for poor sound quality is a damaged speaker cone, which can impact the sound quality, making your sound loss the clarity and distortion.

In more detail, the issue often appears as punctures or tears in the speaker cone. There are various reasons why this can happen, such as mishandling, applying too much force, or accidentally hitting the speaker. Additionally, as the cone material ages, it becomes more susceptible to damage.

Repairing a damaged speaker cone can be tricky, depending on the severity of the damage. Small punctures or tears can sometimes be fixed using special repair kits. However, if the damage is more extensive, you might need to replace the entire speaker cone.

How to Fix a Blown Subwoofer: Step-by-Step Guide

Now, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to repair your blown subwoofer. But before you get started, it’s essential to gather some essential tools:

Material Tools Needed

  • Multimeter
  • Adhesive
  • The new voice coil and spider
  • Speaker cone kit
  • Microfiber Cloth

Step 1: Check the subwoofer

Your first step is to figure out if your subwoofer is blown. You can start by checking for any visible damage or strange noises. But remember, not all problems are clearly visible to the naked eye or to the ear.

So, to check exactly, you can use the multimeter to measure the subwoofer’s impedance. If the impedance is off, it could be a sign your subwoofer is blown.

Step 2: Assess the voice coil

Next, you take a close look at your voice coil. If it’s changed color or looks warped, that’s a pretty clear sign that it’s blown.

Remember, if you’re not sure what you’re looking at, it might be a good idea to compare it with a picture of a healthy voice coil (you can find these online).

Voice coil

Step 3: Inspect the speak cone

Next, if your voice coil seems to be in good shape, the cause could be the speaker cone. Sometimes, when the sound from your subwoofer gets scratchy or distorted, the speaker cone is to blame.

To check for any damage sign of it, you can use a little bit of force to gently press around the edge of the cone. If the speaker cone is healthy, it will sink under your pressure but then bounce back to its original shape. But if it doesn’t bounce back or feels weird to the touch, it might be damaged.

Step 4: Detach the speaker from its frame

For this step, you’re going to need a screwdriver. You need to carefully unscrew the speaker from the frame. In the process, be gentle and take your time with this. Once you’ve unscrewed all the fastenings, carefully lift the speaker from the frame to avoid damaging it in the process.

Step 5: Remove the speaker surround

After you removed the frame, now tackle the speaker surround. To do this, you’ll need a tool like a putty knife or a sharp blade to get it unstuck and remove the glue. In the process, you need to be careful to avoid damage.

Step 6: Remove the voice coil and speaker cone

Now, use your knife or another sharp instrument to carefully extract the voice coil and speaker cone. Additionally, disconnect the wires and handle the spider, cone, and coil with caution to prevent any damage.

Step 7: Replace the voice coil

For the final step, start by gently cleaning all parts using a soft cloth to eliminate dust and small pieces of dirt. It’s highly recommended to use an air blower for a thorough cleaning of the coil and air subwoofer. After that, place the new voice coil in the appropriate spot, along with a new spider.

Next, stick the coil in its position, making sure it’s centered correctly. Allow the glue to dry completely, and it will take you at least a day.

Then, reattach all the wires and secure your frame after returning all other parts to their original positions. Test your speakers to ensure they’re in good working before you finish your repair work

Signs of a Blown Subwoofer

Here, we provide some signs to help you identify the issue and fix it promptly:

  • Distorted sound: One of the most common signs is distorted sound output. If your music or audio sounds off, it could be a symptom.
  • Lower sound levels: Another sign to watch out for is a noticeable decrease in the volume level. A blown subwoofer often fails to produce sound at its original capacity.
  • Complete no sound: If your subwoofer has completely stopped producing sound, it’s a clear sign that it has blown. However, check for other issues like connection problems before concluding.
Car subwoofer box

Pro Tips for Subwoofer Maintenance

To prevent any damage to your subwoofer, we will provide some tips to help you maintain it and avoid potential issues:

  • Regular cleaning: Keeping your subwoofer clean is crucial. Dust and debris can hinder its performance and even lead to damage over time.
  • Avoid overloading: Don’t push your subwoofer beyond its capacity. Consistently high volume levels can strain and potentially blow the subwoofer.
  • Ensure proper ventilation: Subwoofers produce heat, so ensure they’re well-ventilated. Too much heat can cause the voice coil to blow.
  • Regular inspections: Regularly check your subwoofer for any signs of damage. Early detection can prevent minor issues from turning into major ones.
Car speakers an subwoofer

Conclusion

Subwoofers are crucial for an immersive audio experience, but they’re not immune to damage. Understanding their functionality and potential issues can help you repair a blown subwoofer effectively. With this guide, you now know how to fix a blown subwoofer and prevent potential damage through proper maintenance.

Read more: Why Does My Subwoofer Sound Weak? 12 Reasons & Methods

FAQs

  1. Is it possible to fix a blown subwoofer?

    Yes, a blown subwoofer can be repaired, especially if the damage is limited to a partially blown sub or a damaged cone. However, if the voice coil is damaged, it becomes more challenging to replace. Depending on the severity of the issue, purchasing a new subwoofer might be the best solution.

  2. What can you do if your subwoofer isn't making any sound?

    First, check if the plug has slipped out or if it's not firmly inserted into the socket, as this can prevent the flow of power. Also, ensure that all connections, including other plugs and outlets, are secure. Additionally, inspect the fuse box that supplies electricity to these outlets.

  3. What occurs when a speaker is blown?

    You'll usually notice it right away. Instead of a clear sound, you'll hear distortion or even crackling that persists even at lower volumes. In some cases, if you can't hear any sound at all, it could indicate that your speaker is blown.