How to tell if your car speakers are blown

It's a bummer, but here's what to do if you happen to blow a speaker in your amplifier.

In the home and automotive audio world, “blown speakers” are fairly common. Many use the term in a sort of generically non-technical way to describe speakers that aren’t working right or aren’t working at all. An unfortunate inconvenience, mostly.

For musicians, though—especially working musicians—blown speakers in a guitar amp (or bass amp or PA system) are far more than an inconvenience. They can be a major problem that threatens a gig or a session. It happens in music equipment far less often than it does in home and automotive audio, fortunately, but it does happen and it raises several questions: What does the term “blown speaker” actually mean? What blows a speaker? And what should you do if you have a blown speaker?

Let’s take these one at a time.

What Does the Term “Blown Speaker” Actually Mean?

A “blown speaker” is one that doesn’t work right or doesn’t work at all. It’s an umbrella phrase that encompasses several problems that could cause a speaker to sound unpleasant or go silent, but suffice it to say that a blown speaker makes either bad sound or no sound.

What does a blown speaker sound like, and how do I know if I have one?

Oh, you’ll know. The most common aural indication of a blown speaker is an unpleasant buzzing or scratching sound, by itself or roughly at the pitch of the note the speaker is attempting to reproduce. Or there could be no sound at all.

What Blows a Speaker?

Blasting it with too much power for too long.

It’s worth noting here that in properly matched combinations, speakers are designed to handle whatever their amps can dish out at extremely high levels and for far longer periods than would ever likely be encountered in everyday use. Amp manufacturers use intensely rigorous testing procedures to ensure this level of quality and compatibility, making blown instrument amp speakers a highly improbable occurrence. Nonetheless, it is in the nature of any technology to experience occasional problems, and speakers do blow once in a great while despite the best efforts of the amplification industry to ensure otherwise. It’s improbable but not impossible.

What Are My Options if I Have a Blown Speaker?

Repair or, more likely, replacement. More expensive component loudspeakers that are sold individually, such as those by JBL and Electro-Voice, can often be repaired and re-coned (re-coning a speaker means not just replacing the speaker cone, but replacing all the moving parts that constitute the speaker cone assembly; this includes the voice coil).

Often enough, however, when considering the cost of repairing a blown speaker, you might find that you’re better off simply replacing it. In that case, learn more about Fender speakers here.

If the speaker in your car doesn’t sound as crystal clear but sounds distorted, fuzzy, or not as loud, you might have a blown speaker. Find out how to tell if your car has speakers blown out by following the steps in this article and video.

Why Are My Speakers Blown Out?

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

If you hear crackling, no sound, or a lower-than-normal volume from the speakers, common causes include:

  • Altered audio settings
  • Blown speaker
  • Physically damaged speaker
  • Defective wiring or electrical connectors

How to Check the Audio Settings

Before removing the door panel to physically inspect the speaker, check the audio settings. Someone may have adjusted settings so that no sound is coming from the speaker on a particular side. Every radio is different, but generally the radio can have settings like “balance center” and “fade” that control the sound from the front, rear, and side speakers.

1. Find the Balance Center Settings

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

Scroll through the settings and find the balance center settings, which allows you to adjust speakers on the left and right side. If the settings for a speaker are too high, it can cause the speaker on the other side to have no sound.

2. Find the Fade Settings

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

Scroll through the settings and find the fade setting, which allows you to adjust speakers at the front and rear. If the settings for a speaker are too high, it can cause the speakers on the opposite end of the car to have no sound.

3. Adjust the Settings to One Speaker to Test It, and Listen for Sound and Distortion

You can test each speaker without removing it from the door. Once you have found the balance center and fade settings, you can set them to a specific speaker and listen for sound. For example, if you want to test the driver side front door speaker, you can set fade to the front and the balance to the left side.

Listen to the individual speaker and hear how clear it sounds. If it does not work, you know there may be something wrong with it and can remove the door panel to inspect it further. Listen for a crackling sound. If the speaker is starting to deteriorate, you may hear fuzzy and unclear noises like squeaking or buzzing.

Go door to door, and check each speaker. To test the sound, use music or audio with low or high tones.

How to Check and Tell If a Speaker Is Blown

Steps on how to check and tell if a speaker is blown or damaged

    Remove the Door Panel

After testing, if you hear no sound or crackling from the speaker, remove the door panel to access it.

Sometimes you can visually look and see an issue with the speaker, like a cut or deterioration. It’s common for speakers to deteriorate if they are older, like around 20 years.

If you find one that looks badly damaged or deteriorated, you might want to replace all of the speakers. The speaker should be in a solid, whole piece and not have cuts or loose parts.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

If you don’t see any obvious problems like deterioration or damage, remove the speaker and inspect the connectors.

Remove the speaker and wiggle the connector. See if the electrical connector is loose. If the connector is loose, plugging it in might fix it.

If the speaker has corrosion, it may not sound right or work at all. Remove the electrical connector and check it for green corrosion, which is a sign moisture is collecting inside and causing a disconnection. Also, check the back of the speaker for corrosion.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

You can hook up a different speaker to the connectors, and different speakers from a different car may even work.

Test the speaker and see if the replacement works. If it does, you know the speaker needs to be replaced.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

One quick way to tell if the speaker is blown that we don’t recommend doing too much of is to take a 9 volt battery and put one wire from the speaker on the negative side and one on the positive side. Put the wires to the battery. If speaker is blown, it won’t work in any way. If the speaker is working, you’ll be able to see or hear the internals working.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

Should I Replace Only One Speaker?

If you’re replacing a speaker with an original (OEM), you can normally purchase a single speaker. If you’re replacing the speakers with aftermarket parts, you’ll normally have to purchase them in pairs. Replacing blown speakers in pairs will improve the overall sound in your car.

Learn How to Do More Than Fix Speakers Blown Out

Learn how to do more than diagnose blown speakers. Find out how to replace and diagnose parts on hundreds of models with steps from our expert mechanics in our how-to videos.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

Maybe you’re about to buy a used car or truck with a premium stereo system from Bose, Alpine, Fender, Burmester, Mark Levinson, or Krell, or maybe you enjoy a stereo system like one of these already.

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How to check for blown car stereo speakers in 90 seconds Back to video

Premium options like these are designed to maximize enjoyment from the listening experience on the move, though even the world’s priciest factory-equipped stereo systems can still experience trouble. Often, this takes the form of buzzing, crackling, or clicking sounds; non-responsive speakers; a static hiss; general distortion and fuzziness, and the like.

There are many causes of poor stereo system performance, relating to system hardware like damaged or blown speakers, or a problem with the installation and mounting of one or more speakers within a vehicle. But w hether caused by a blown speaker, a loose mounting bracket, a broken clip or a rattling interior panel nearby, poor audio system performance takes away from the enjoyment of the listening experience you expect.

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If you’re shopping for a used car with a high-end stereo, you’ll want to know if something’s wrong before you buy.

The trouble is, audio quality problems like these can be frustratingly intermittent, and simply playing some music during your test-drive may not always be sufficient to coax out telltale warning signs of trouble.

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Members of online owner’s forums often document problems and solutions relating to the vehicles they drive, and that’s where this tip comes from.

In a Mercedes C-Class owner’s forum, one discussion centres around problems with defective speakers in the available Burmester stereo system. A small number of owners are affected, and have reported that crackling or buzzing sounds may be apparent either steadily, or intermittently. In some cases, the fix to the problem involved installing new speakers, and in others, the solution was to adjust or replace vibrating speaker covers, or the mounting provisions that attach the speakers to the interior of the vehicle.

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Intermittent audio quality problems can be frustrating, as they’re more time-consuming and complicated to diagnose. Specifically, a driver may occasionally detect unwanted audio feedback from the system when a certain sound, song, or frequency is played. During other playback, the unwanted feedback may not show itself. This can add frustration to a diagnosis, and make it more difficult to obtain a repair, if the stereo system in question is still covered by warranty.

Thankfully, there’s an easy and free way to make blown speakers and other audio system problems reveal themselves more effectively: a smartphone app.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

Mobile app Photo by Getty

Start by downloading an app like Frequency Generator for your handset. The app can generate a variety of tones and sound waves across a wide range of frequencies, and allows users to adjust those waves and frequencies with incremental control by manipulating an on-screen slider. With the app installed to your phone, and your phone’s streaming audio connected to the vehicle in question, you can play a wide range of tones through the car’s speakers while sitting in the driver’s seat. With infinite adjustment of the frequency, volume, and type of waves you play, it becomes easy to coax telltale trouble sounds out of your stereo system.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

These are the best ways to tell if a car speaker is blown right away that most car audio shops go by, you can also read about them and work it out yourself at home if you prerfer. This will save you time and money. You can use an electronic multimeter if you want to check the ohms but if you use your own initiative you can tell without any tools straight away.

What does a blown speaker sound like? Using your ear as a test. If your car speakers in your vehicle are blown they will make a muffled, fuzzy, crackling or rattling sound. Sometimes if the damage is bad, there will be no sound coming out of them at all. If all the other speakers are working perfectly fine and there is just one with signs of a blown speaker, then only one will need replacing not all of them.

Using your hands to tell. Turn up the volume on your car stereo, remove the metal grill from the speaker and place your hand over the cone. If you notice vibrations being transferred onto your hands with the bass beat the speaker is fine and in good working order. However, if you seem to feel none at all or jitteriness of the movement this is another sign of the car speaker blown. Also push down the cone when no music is playing, if you can barely push the cone downwards its a second sign of a symptom for a cheap worn out blown car speaker.

A blown car speaker can seriously curb your enthusiasm on a long road trip, or even a short commute to work. Half the fun of driving is listening to your favorite playlist at a high volume.

When rattling and buzzing drown out your jam, is the issue fixable or do you have a blown car speaker?

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

Why Do Car Speakers Give Out?

Car speakers can sustain either mechanical or thermal damage, causing them to start sounding strange or not working at all.

Mechanically, if the speaker’s cone moves a certain way, it can cause other pieces of the speaker to break apart. Thermally, when the speaker receives too much power, it creates a buildup of heat that can melt components and destroy wiring.

Listen for the Obvious

For the most part, you will know right away when one of your car speakers blows. All of a sudden, a hissing, fuzzy noise will overwhelm the previous crystal-clear frequencies. Distortion will only get louder as you turn up the volume. This is the unmistakable sign of a blown car speaker.

If your speaker is severely damaged, you may not hear anything at all.

Incomplete Range?

Maybe your speakers sound great most of the time, but any very high or very low frequencies draw out that unwelcome fuzziness. What’s that all about?

If the speaker is starting to come apart, frequencies within a certain range may still sound fine. But when you turn up the bass and hear nothing, it’s clear your speaker is at least partially damaged. It’s time to have it replaced before it gets worse.

No Vibrations = No Power

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if any sound is coming through a particular speaker. The foolproof way to find out is to turn the volume up higher and feel the speaker. If you don’t feel any vibrations, the speaker isn’t receiving power.
This could be because it’s blown, or there may be a simple wiring problem that’s easily repairable. Either way, whenever there’s a lack of vibrations, it’s time to address the issue.

Listen for Other Suspicious Noises

Sometimes a blown car speaker may still transmit sound, but it will give off a rattling or popping noise. This may mean you need to replace the speaker, or it could point to a minor problem, such as a broken tweeter.

What Should You Do?

Any problems with your car audio system can be quickly remedied at Laketown Speed and Sound. Don’t let a blown car speaker interfere with your enjoyment of your ride — come in today and let us handle the repair efficiently and affordably. We also provide audio system upgrades.

Among the most frustrating things that can happen to your speaker is for it to blow out. Whether it’s a car speaker or the audio system in your home, a blown speaker produces an irritating sound that can suck the mood out of your living space.

If you suspect one of your speakers is blown, it is important to know how to diagnose the problem to find a viable solution. This is especially necessary before resorting to taking it for repairs or buying a new speaker.

But how can you tell that your speaker is blown? Below, I’ll show you various things you can do to determine whether your speakers are blown or not.

There are numerous factors that should concern you about the state of your speakers. One of the easiest diagnoses is to simply listen to the sound output coming from your speakers.

Signs of a blown Blown Speaker

Below are some notable causes for concern:

Sound Distortion

You should easily be in a position to distinguish if a speaker has got an issue from the sound it produces. Turn up the volume on your radio or audio system and listen for possible distortions in the sound quality, including a hissing sound.

For a blown speaker, the distortion tends to increase as you continue turning up the volume. The unmistakable “fuzz” or “hiss” from a blown speaker will be hard to miss if you know what you are listening for.

It will be quite obvious that something should be done to remedy the state of your speakers. Fuzzy speakers are more often than not the consequence of loose or damaged voice coils.

Incomplete System Range

Another way to check your speaker system is to test its range. For this, you want to select one of your CDs or MP3 players with a full range of sounds, more so a strong bass. The next thing to do is play the CD at different sound frequencies and listen to the output from your speakers.

If your speakers are whole, you should be able to properly hear the sound output from the highest to the lowest frequency. On the contrary, a blown speaker may not be able to produce any sound at high frequencies or a bass.

This is a simple process that will take about five minutes to decipher the problem.

Lack of Vibration

Vibration is a common thing that you can experience by placing your hand on the surface of a fully functional speaker. This is quite true for woofers and subwoofers. As a result, turning up the volume of your radio results in stronger vibrations on your speaker.

One thing which indicates that your speakers might have blown out is that there are no vibrations, especially at higher volumes. The downside to this test is that it is only effective on larger speakers. If you have a relatively smaller speaker setup, testing for vibrations with your palm may not work accurately.

So, in such a case, you might want to experiment with the other methods mentioned earlier on.

Also, when a speaker blows out, you are likely to notice the cone coming loose from its moorings. Eventually, when the speaker is completely broken, it may fail to produce the sound it once did when it was still brand new.

Generally, bass speakers are the ones which usually blow out, although they may control other ranges. In such a situation, the thudding sound of the bass is replaced by a “rattling” noise or no sound completely.

Testing with a 9-volt Battery

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

This is another simple trick that will allow you to know the fate of your speakers in a matter of minutes. Simply disconnect your speaker by unscrewing it from its mount. Proceed to remove the wires from your audio system, and while still connected to the speaker, attach the wires to a 9-volt battery.

You should be able to hear a “popping” noise coming from the speaker. This is an indication that the speaker is working just fine. However, if you don’t hear any sound, the speaker has probably blown out.

While conducting this test, be sure to practice safety when dealing with electrical equipment to prevent any possibility of injury. Don’t insert any tools into a speaker when it’s still connected to a power source.

Resistance is Infinite

Another easy way of diagnosing your speaker’s performance problems is by checking its electrical response with the help of a standard multimeter. This way, you’ll be able to quickly determine whether your speaker’s voice coil or cone are busted.

For a speaker that is functioning normally, its ohm reading on the device should be what it was rated at. But for a blown-out speaker, the observed resistance will essentially be infinite. Your speaker will also be blown if it has a reading of 2 ohms as opposed to the 4 ohms it is rated at.

Isolating the Affected Speaker

Finally, if you are having trouble figuring out which one among your speakers has issues, you can harness the fader system to isolate the various speakers. This will make it easy for you to detect the troubled speaker.

You’ll also be able to tell whether it’s partly blown or completely blown. In both cases, you might have to consider replacing the speaker. If you don’t have a fader system you may need to have the speakers physically disconnected to test them.

For this, you should seek the services of an auto service expert to handle the disconnection and reconnection of wires.

How do I Know if my Speaker is Blown – Final Thoughts

The next time you suspect that your speakers might have blown out, the above tests provide an easy approach to diagnosing the fault in your stereo system. Remember that the sooner you realize what the problem is, the sooner you’ll arrive at a viable solution.

The problem with continuing to use a faulty speaker for a long time is that it may end up degrading the performance of the whole audio system altogether. So use the above methods to know if it’s necessary to replace the faulty speaker.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

It’s a too-often-spread misconception that, in the realm of mobile, home and even pro audio, too much power will blow loudspeakers. Sure, that’s true to a point – you wouldn’t pair, say, a 20,000-watt amplifier that was designed to drive monitors at rock concerts with bookshelf speakers meant to be used in a small apartment or dorm room – but in a general sense, there really is no such thing as “too much power” when it comes to consumer-grade speakers. In fact, we keep telling readers of our articles that the healthiest thing you can do for loudspeakers is to feed them clean, continuous current…which brings us to the flip side of that coin. No, what generally kills speakers and their drivers is distortion caused by insufficient amplification and/or mismatching of components, and in this article we’re going to divulge how you can actually tell if your car audio speakers are blown out.

A Primer

Did you ever find yourself wondering if you blew one or more of your speakers because of strange sounds you’re hearing from them? Have you been concerned that perhaps you mated the wrong amp with the wrong set of speakers, and sound quality had been affected by this mismatch? You’re not alone.

Indeed, one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a mobile audio speaker – or any speaker for that matter – is for them to completely blow out. Blown car speakers are not only difficult to repair, the sound “quality” they exhibit is reduced and extremely off-putting; in many cases, you’ll be able to identify whether a speaker is blown immediately by just listening.

Tweeters and other types of drivers, such as woofers, can exhibit issues with wiring, power levels, distortion and more, and each of these can produce results that don’t actually mean the speaker is blown. It is for this reason that you must check to be sure that the speaker is blown before deciding to buy a new one.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

What to Do

Step One: Listen to the Speaker – If you suspect a speaker in your car stereo system may be blown, listen to it carefully by first stopping your vehicle somewhere safe and so that no other noises can distract you. If a speaker is completely blown, it will likely produce no sound and may just exhibit a soft “hissing” or “ringing” characteristic instead. • Step Two: Check by Touch – When it comes to larger speakers like woofers and subwoofers, they will actually vibrate when actively producing sound from an amplifier; turn the volume of your system up and place your hand against the front padding of the speaker, and if you do not feel any vibration, it is likely your larger speaker is not working properly. • Step Three: Isolate the Speaker in Question – Using the fader control on your head unit, try to isolate the speaker or speakers that you may think is/are blown; if you can focus the sound to one portion of the vehicle, you will be better able to tell if the speaker in question is not functioning.

Wrapping it Up If the problem seems to be relegated to a single speaker, ensure that this speaker is still actually wired to your amp and head unit properly.

Looking for some amazing photos of Car Stereo installs? Check out our coverage from the Largest Car Stereo contest in the world Slamology!

Even the highest-quality audio systems wear out over time, especially if you like to listen to your music at a high volume. If your car’s speakers seem muted or if they are not working at all, you need to check if one or more of your speakers are blown, so that you can have them repaired or replaced.

Part 1 of 2: Listen to your speakers

The first step you should take before replacing a speaker is determining exactly which of your speakers has sustained damage. You can do this simply by listening to them. You should be able to easily identify a speaker with an issue by the sound it makes.

Step 1: Turn up the volume. Turn on your vehicle’s radio, and turn up the volume.

Listen for any distortion in sound quality, such as a hissing sound. If a speaker is blown, the distortion should increase as you turn up the volume.

Listen to each of your speakers to determine which of them are blown.

Step 2: Test your system’s range. Select a song from your CD or MP3 player that has a full range of sound, especially a strong bass.

Under-performance, such as no high frequencies or bass, is a sure sign of a blown speaker.

Step 3: Check the treble and bass. After checking the system’s ranges, assess the treble and bass on your system.

  • Tip: Make sure that each one is right in the middle of the range. Otherwise, the lack of sound may come from the settings rather than a problem with the speaker.

Step 4: Listen for sound issues. Listen to the overall sound from your speakers and check for any crackling or rattling noises. You may also hear a shaking sound.

Rattling from the woofer can indicate a fully blown speaker. Popping may indicate that your tweeter has gone bad.

  • Tip: Touch the large speakers to see if you feel any vibrations. This tells you they are working actively. Smaller speakers may not create vibrations even when they are working.

Part 2 of 2: Inspect the speakers

Materials Needed

  • Battery (9-volt)

Once you have identified which speaker or speakers are having issues, you can check them further with a multimeter.

Warning: Always practice safety while working with electrical equipment to avoid any chance of injury. Do not use or connect tools into a speaker that is still connected to power.

Tip: This is also a good time to check their connections to see if there are any loose connections or other problems. The fix could be as simple as tightening up a loose wire.

Step 1: Disconnect the speaker. Unscrew the speaker from its mount.

Remove the wires from the audio system, and with them still attached to the speaker, attach them to a 9-volt battery.

You may hear a popping sound coming from the speaker. This means the speaker is working. If there is no sound, that indicates the speaker is blown.

Step 2: Check the speaker for vibration. Remove the cover from the speaker, and connect the wires to the battery again.

Watch to see if the cone moves. If it does, that indicates a problem with the connection rather than a blown speaker.

Step 3: Check the speaker with a multimeter. Use a multimeter to test the speaker.

  • Tip: A typical multimeter usually measures voltage, current, and resistance.

Attach the multimeter to each terminal of the speaker where the wires attach.

If the multimeter reads 1.0 ohms, the speaker is working. If it displays a reading of infinite ohms, the speaker has been blown.

Step 4: Determine the amount of damage to the speaker. The amount of damage will determine whether you need to repair or replace the speaker.

Look for any tears or holes on the speaker. You can repair small tears with a sealer that is designed for use with speakers.

Replace a speaker that has a large tear or hole.

Step 5: Repeat these steps with any other speakers. Repeat the above with any other speakers that have sound issues.

  • Tip: Check all of your speakers at the same time so that you can identify any issues correctly and replace them all at once, if necessary.

Extensive damage may mean you need to replace your entire speaker system.

Listen to your speakers periodically and if you notice any difference in the audio quality you can identify any speaker problems early on and fix them.

If you are not sure about the cause of the problem, you can ask an expert audio technician to check your radio system and diagnose the problem before you spend the money to replace some parts or entire speakers that were perfectly alright in the first place.

Next Step

Schedule Car radio is not working Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Car radio is not working Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews. LEARN MORE

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

The sound of a blown speaker is pretty tell-tale – fuzzy, distorted crunchy sound that may be roughly reproducing the signal you are sending through it or making no sound at all.

There are a few scenarios that can cause a speaker to malfunction. A speaker can sustain physical damage to the cone or even the voice coil. Sometimes the damage is obvious. In other cases, the speaker may look fine, and the distortion may be so subtle that you could be wondering if your amplifier is actually at fault. In this article, we’ll share our tips on how to determine whether your speaker or your amp is to blame.

The term “blown” is used as a blanket term to describe a speaker that is not working right. It can mean that your speaker is reproducing scratchy signal at a lower volume, or no sound is passing through the speaker. You can determine if your speaker is blown by trying one or more of the below tests.

Tests for determining whether a speaker is blown

Replace the speaker with a known good one. This is a great, easy way to quickly determine if your amplifier is working, and your old speaker is not. If you have a known working replacement speaker simply replace your old speaker with the working one. If you are getting good clean sound, your old speaker is the problem.

This is a great test that will give you solid answers when you’re hearing odd sounds from your amp and aren’t sure whether your speaker is the problem. However, note that it is possible that it is possible for a speaker to blow due to an amplifier malfunction. For instance, in 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. (This is also possible in a tube amp, but in this case the output transformer will probably blow first.) If you have reason to believe that the amp is malfunctioning — and particularly if it smells like it is burning — you should investigate that before trying another speaker. It is very possible that the new speaker will blow also.

So, before trying a new speaker, think about what happened to the amplifier before you suspected that the speaker is blown. If the signal distortion was accompanied by a popping sound, a burnt smell, and smoke pouring from the amp, do not try a new speaker before addressing the obvious issues with the amplifier.

Do I need to perform this test with a speaker of the same impedance? Yes, it is a good idea to use a speaker of the same impedance if you have one available. However, a small impedance mismatch should be okay, particularly if you are just performing a brief test. More information on speaker impedance here, and speaker information specific to Wurlitzer electronic pianos here.

Test your suspect speaker with a known working amp. If you don’t have another good speaker (or if your amp is in questionable condition and you don’t feel comfortable connecting your known good speaker to it), you can hook up the speaker in question up with a working amplifier. If this setup is giving you the same poor speaker sound, you can safely say that the speaker is blown.

Visually inspect the speaker. A blown speaker can have physical damage that can be seen. To inspect your speaker, remove it from the amplifier or instrument and take a look at the cone. There should be no holes or tears. Damage to the cone will prevent it from reproducing your signal properly, and will often result in ugly distortion.

Physically inspect the speaker. A blown speaker can have damage that can be heard with some mechanical movement. If you gently tap on the cone of the speaker it should have a firm drum like sound. If you hear a rattling sound (like a loose snare drum), this is an indicator of a bad speaker. Also, if you gently exercise the speaker cone by pushing on it (being careful not to puncture the cone with your finger or push it much further than 5 millimeters), you should hear almost nothing. Blown speakers will make a scraping or crunching sound with any movement. This is an indicator of a bad voice coil and it will most definitely need replacing.

What should I do if I have a blown speaker?

Luckily most speakers are not too expensive, and blowing them is somewhat rare. We recommend replacing the speaker. If you have an expensive speaker, such as something that might be made by JBL or a vintage Jensen, it may be worthwhile to repair the speaker, but keep in mind that if you are enlisting the services of an experienced tech you will be paying for both the part and their time.

If you plan to replace your speaker make sure it is the correct impedance for the amplifier and is rated at or above the wattage of the amplifier. Amp manufacturers regularly specify a speaker that is almost double the wattage of the amplifier’s wattage. A 30 watt amplifier may come with 50 or higher wattage speaker in order to be sure that it can handle the power that the amp is sending through it.

A replacement is almost always a good idea, and you can hang on to your original until you decide to fix it or not. If you don’t want the speaker you could sell it on ebay for a small percentage of it’s “working” price, because someone may want it for parts. Be sure to specify that the speaker is blown, and price it accordingly.

My Wurlitzer 140B, 112, 120, 720 or 145 has a blown oval speaker!

Well, you’re in luck: we just happen to have a bunch of those. Check out our Wurlitzer 6×9 speaker listing here for information on those speakers.

The most frustrating thing about any car stereo system is when the car speaker is blown. The problem is that it is very difficult to repair a speaker. Even when you spend money on repairing it, the quality of sound it produces will never be quite the same.

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A blown speaker will impact on the entire stereo system. It does not matter whether you have state of the art automotive stereo system or whether you have the average stereo system, a blown car speaker can drastically reduce the performance of the entire automotive stereo system.

The main problem is that many people are not able to detect a blown car speaker. We will share with you a few guidelines which you have to follow in order to tell if your speak has blown.

  1. Listening to the speaker output:

A blown speaker can be one of two types. These are:

  • Partially blown speaker: Partially blown speaker is actually difficult to detect. It will produce some sound but it will have a hissing sound as well. This is the reason why you have to listen carefully to the speaker output. Only then will you be able to determine whether the speaker is partially blown or not.

Another way to detect the partially blown speaker is to play audio at full volume. At moderate levels, it might be able to produce audio. At higher levels, there is plenty of distortion if it is blown out. As a result, it will become easier for you to detect the partially blown speaker.

  • Fully blown speaker: On the other hand, when it comes to a fully blown speaker, there is no problem detecting it. It will not produce any kind of output!

All you need to do is to try playing different frequencies and listening to the output of the car speakers. If the sound is reproduced properly at all frequencies, it will be easier for you to detect the fault. This test will not take more than 5 to 7 minutes of your time.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

  1. Checking the surface of the car speaker:

Vibration is pretty common on the surface of the car speaker. This is especially true when you choose speakers like woofers. As a result, when you turn up the volume of the speaker, the surface of the speaker actually vibrates. This is one of the easiest ways to detect a blown car speaker. You have to just place your hand over the car speaker. Even at a higher volume, if there is no vibration, it indicates that the car speaker is blown.

The only downside to this particular test is that it works on larger speakers only. If the speaker which you are testing is smaller in size, it will not work accurately. In such cases, you will have to use the other 2 tests we have mentioned.

How to tell if your car speakers are blown

  1. Isolating the affected speaker:

You can use the fader system in order to isolate the different speakers. Once you are able to isolate a particular speaker and play the audio, it will be easier for you to detect the blown out speaker. You will also be able to easily detect whether it is partially blown or whether it is fully blown. In either case, you will have to think about replacing this car speaker.

In case you don’t have the fader system in your automotive stereo system, you will have to physically disconnect the speakers in order to test them. This will require the services of experts from auto service as you will not be able to physically disconnect and reconnect the wires by yourself.

Know if Your Car Speaker is Blown, So You Can Have It Fixed!

So, if you are confused as to whether the automotive speaker has blown out or not, these are the 3 tests you can conduct. With the help of these, it will become easier for you to detect any fault in the stereo system. Once you are able to diagnose the fault, it will become easier for you to replace it. Continuing with a blown out car speaker system can degrade the performance of your automotive stereo as well.