What Does a Blown Subwoofer Sound Like?

What does a Blown Subwoofer Sound Like?

What Does a Blown Subwoofer Sound Like

People use many different types of speakers for various purposes nowadays. A speaker is the most basic equipment of a home theater system. If you plan to optimize the sound effect, you need a subwoofer. This device specializes in bass response. It reinforces the bass and richness of sound to create an engaging listening environment. When subwoofers malfunction, the quality of sound will deteriorate. What does a blown subwoofer sound like? Let us find an emphatic answer to this question.

What does a blown subwoofer sound like?

If you experience sound distortion, you can suspect a blown subwoofer. A blown subwoofer often sounds crackly or fizzy. A rattling or buzzing sound could be a sign of a blown subwoofer. It may also cut in and out, similar to shifting phases, which are not associated with a regular subwoofer.

What Causes Subwoofer to Blow?

Excessive power and distorted signals are the two prominent reasons that cause subwoofers to blow.

The Impact of Excessive Power

High volume makes your listening experience more enjoyable, exciting, and engaging. If you operate a subwoofer beyond its limits, you will make it highly vulnerable to damage. Excessive power puts unwanted pressure that may get subwoofers blown or damaged.

Root Mean Square (RMS) represents the continuous power handling capability of a subwoofer. Top-quality subwoofers are designed to handle extra power than their specified RMS. However, you must be alert when cranking up the volume. It is essential to ensure that the sound stays clear without causing any distortion.

The bottom line is that you should never undermine the importance of the RMS wattage of your subwoofer. This figure provides a clear idea about the continuous power handling capability of the device.

How do Clipped or Distorted Signals Lead to Subwoofer Blowing?

Many users turn up distorted signals immediately to make their listening experience better. This approach can cause critical damage to your subwoofer. That is to say, distorted or clipped signals invite detrimental effects on your sub.

Several people will continue to turn up signals to high levels without realizing that they are clipped or distorted. They will keep increasing the levels to cause critical damage to the subwoofer.

How to Check If Your Subwoofer is Blown?

You should examine the woofer carefully to determine the real impact of the damage. Here are the three popular methods to test whether a subwoofer is blown;

Sound Inspection

You must listen to the sound carefully to identify this problem. Lower the sound and switch on the audio playback button. Then, gradually increase the volume and bass while taking note of the sound with the utmost vigilance.

The sound indicates the impact of the damage. A fully blown sound woofer does not produce any sound. You need to check the audio source and cable before making the final decision. A partially blown subwoofer generates a weak, distorted sound. The volume level varies based on the impact of the damage.

Physical Examination

A physical examination is another popular method to assess the condition of a blown subwoofer. You need to check the subwoofer movement to discover the damage. The first step is to remove the cover and access the cone. Subwoofer cones come with a suspension system that promotes their fluid movement. You can check the damage by pressing the dies of the cone using your hands.

When it comes to pressing, you should not exert excessive force. A mild press is enough to check the condition of the cone. If the cone doesn’t move and is locked in place, you can suspect a blown sub. An unstable cone makes unsteady movements. Damaged cones also produce scratching sounds while pressing them gently with your hands. You must remove them immediately from your home theater system to prevent further damage.

Electrical Resistance Measurement Using a Multimeter

Coil issues often lead to problems like blowing. You can use a multimeter to check the coil damage. This device is used to measure the voltage, current, or resistance. It is an excellent tool to have on hand. As mentioned above, the multimeter lets you check the electrical resistance to identify coil damage.

Lack of voltage or electrical resistance damages the coil and blows out subwoofers. Unsteady readings also indicate a damaged subwoofer coil. A multimeter is the best tool available to measure electrical resistance.

Step-by-Step on Measuring Resistance with a Multimeter

1. Remove the subwoofer from its power source

2. Disconnect the audio input from the sub

3. Detach the subwoofer from its enclosure (This step is needed if an external receiver or amplifier does not power your subwoofer)

4. Then, two probes should be attached to the multi-meter. (You must connect the black probe to the negative and the red probe to the positive leads)

5. The next step is to turn the multimeter on to measure the electrical resistance

The device accurately measures the voltage to help you determine the condition of the coil and possible damage. The figure displayed can be leveled off to the nearest whole number to get a precise resistance.

How to Solve Blown Subwoofer Issues?

You must immediately remove the blown subwoofer from your home theater system to prevent serious complications. You can hire a professional to identify the problem and get an expert opinion on the existing condition.

If your subwoofer is covered under warranty, you can replace it with a new one without spending any money. Taking it to a repair service is a good option if your sub does not have a valid warranty. The efficiency of the repair depends on the impact of the damage. The next best option available is to buy a new subwoofer. A fully functional sub restores the optimal functionality of your home theater system.


What does a blown subwoofer sound like? A blown subwoofer produces a fizzing, buzzing, crackly, or rattling sound. If you hear a distorted sound, the subwoofer is blown partially. A fully blown subwoofer does not produce even a distorted sound. You must identify the underlying reason and solve it to restore the optimal functionality of your home theater system.

Leave a Comment