Introduction: How to "unpop" a Speaker

Picture of How to "unpop" a Speaker

have you ever popped in the centre bit of a speaker and wanted to no how to get it back out? well here's the answer

there are 3 ways to do this

Step 1: First Way

the first way you can do this is simply by using your mouth

all you do is put your mouth round the centre and suck in as hard as you can (this may take a few attemps)

Step 2: Second Method

Picture of Second Method

the second method requires some sellotape

first get your sellotape and cut about a inch and a half off
then stick it to the centre not leaving and part uncovered (leave a bit of sellotape for your fingers) and yank it as hard as you can this also may take a few attemps

Step 3: Method 3

Picture of Method 3

if by now your speaker is still stuck in then its very stubborn!

anyways what you will need for this step is a vaccum cleaner so this is reerly a last resort because you should have had it unpopped by the first step

what you do is(this one's obvious) find the right attachment to fit the bubble in the centre and set your vaccum to the highest suck it has, then turn it on and just place it over the bubble and just leave it until it comes out!

(this can also be done with a hairdryer)

Step 4: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

now you should have a nice sounding speaker(again)

sorry about the images my camera wasnt useable or else i would have shown more in them


schelle (author)2013-05-14

My 7 year old got curious about how my new Mother's Day present TDK Sound Cube worked - I've only had it for two days! I didn't have any duct tape, and I couldn't get the suction method to seal... So I got creative and used bandaids. I went through a few because they lost their stickiness and it was a biggish dent... But it worked ;) you can still see the crush marks on the gold-coloured dome, but at least it isn't all pushed in any more. Thanks for the advice! Got it sitting on top of a much taller cupboard out of reach, now.

Mr.D9 (author)schelle2016-10-05

BANDAIDS OMG. I tried tape and superglue and no result. I had no vacuum small enough either (computer speaker) so I saw your post and used a bandaid and BAM its out. Too bad I already bought the duck tape and super glue.

LizardG (author)2016-04-03

Wonderful tape worked really well. Cheers

isaac.pelletier.1 (author)2015-03-10

vacuum worked immediately! didn't have duck tape so don't know if that will work. if u r wondering if u should take the time, ur answer is yes! my sub is twice as loud!

ezotter (author)2013-07-01

Vacuum cleaner worked like a charm! Gracias!

joearkay (author)2012-07-15

yeah this way pulled the centre off of my speaker...

jlopez58 (author)2012-05-01

I have 8' 20/20 Events and I actually dropped one and smashed in the middle bubble of my bass speaker.

To repair it, un-pop the middle speker bubble (dust cap), I simply used my vacuum cleaner, it took a a little time, it doesn't just pop right out. You have to move the vacuum hose along the inserted part, and you will see it coming back to shape as you continue the suctioning on the speaker bubble.

Hope this helps guys!

jimmytvf (author)2011-10-23

WIth the duct tape works great! with my fingers the glue of the duct tape, doesn't stick so much, so i grabbed a small screwdriver and i started to gently rub the tape until i saw the fibers. Then i yanked a little and, i tore a little of paper surface, but the dimple is out. Maybe i rubbed so much. I've unpopped a subwoofer and a little one

mhabel (author)2011-08-20

I used the duct tape trick and it work perfectly. Thanks !!

Thereyouhaveit (author)2011-04-30

I have a tweeter that won't unpop out no matter what even with a big cyclone vacuum :(

unaffiliatedperson (author)2011-03-11

i use the tape method works well.

Wierzbinski (author)2010-11-02

I have a Two 12" Diamond Audio HP12. I have a small dent in the center dust cap as you can see of the left.. Any suggestions or methonds that wont harm the sound or damge the sub? Thanks.

IzzyP (author)2010-10-17

I used the tape method with duct tape on a small 3.5inch cone. It worked on the first try with no damage. Thanks for the tips!

lizcano45 (author)2010-09-28


BassKrieg (author)2010-09-23

I have 2 18" MJ-18s who some loser punched a nice fist sized dent in each dust cover. I've tried everything short of poking a hole in it to fix it. Vacuum, tape, i made out with the thing for 20 mins. Help me, im ocd about my drivers.

MINNIE-DOO (author)2010-04-23

The vacum methed would seem the most practical way, Using tape could tear it ! But i suggest not using it on high,Or you could do more damage.             I  do not understand poking a hole in it like yerboggieman said would   help !!!  What dumb idea !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

Derin (author)2009-07-02

Dented dust caps didn't seem to change the sound on mine.

Da Nugesta (author)2009-05-28

1. in case you were wondering the center 'bubble' of a speaker is called a dust cap and 2. for method one i dont really want to put my chops round a dusty four inch sub! Great instructable xD

Danny (author)Da Nugesta2009-06-09

Its actually the most effective way :')

lessthanhuman (author)2007-09-14

in my younger days I acquired a speaker box from a local garage sale, was a name brand speaker box (brand I am unsure of because I scraped off the sticker for personal reasons) so i was excited, bought, brought, and hooked it up and it didn't sound to great I felt air leaks so I dismantled it but before I even got inside I noticed that the cone for the sub was punched in, I cut around it/popped the adhesive about an inch in length, and then fixed the cone (paper), but then ran into the problem, what glue should I use? I set it aside and am now tackling the problem over this weekend, please help! (and the vacuum method hasn't failed at all, props)

hcold (author)lessthanhuman2008-07-13

I heard using cigarette papers was good for tears in the cone, but this sounds a bit much.

dvdlgh (author)hcold2009-04-01

The best I have found for repairing a tear in paper cone is fingernail polish. Paint over the tear and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch around the tear. Three coats should do it (let dry between coats). This has always worked excellently for me.

Punkguyta (author)lessthanhuman2007-09-19

Eh, first off, a woofer is not a subwoofer. Two completely different things no matter what anyone tells you. Subwoofers are usually low freq. drivers, 80 hz and below, if you're talking about a couple old floor speakers, that's a woofer and will not go nowhere near that low. That explained, buy some "Krazy" brand krazy glue and use that to glue the cone back on, make sure it's an even coat of glue. Now if you ever cut the foam ring off around the woofer (hard to do but I've done it) you most usually need a special kind of glue if it's a good speaker and you want it to last. But this isn't your case and super glue will work fine. -P

hoihoi151 (author)Punkguyta2009-01-04

actually most midrange speakers can go down to 2htz. well below human hearing. Woofers r designed to go from 40Hz up to 1KHz. A subwoofer which is common 2 most home theater stereo systems. Sub's can drop to 20 Hz - 150Hz. Most Car subs can hold to 200Hz. if u r lookin 2 optimise ur music u need a lowpass filter at 160Hz it is in the middle of the swap over holding the tones from both mid and low but not canceling. Oh and incase u havent alreaedy realised im a sound tech. lol

Yerboogieman (author)2008-11-20

stick a close pin in and un-pop it.

flio191 (author)Yerboogieman2008-12-06

see, but then you lose actual sound quality by popping the speaker with a hole. you unpop by popping.

the-ruler-of-craziness (author)2008-11-20

lmao no pictures then

n0ukf (author)2008-03-25

If your speakers had a grill cloth over the drivers, the temptation to poke the dust caps is vastly reduced by a factor that could be called "out of sight, out of mind".

hcold (author)n0ukf2008-07-13

Argh, mine has a removable one, some times I like to take it off and just day dream...

BobQDobbs (author)2007-12-18

I think anyone who has developed an interest in home audio during childhood has poked in a dust cover once or twice. I am a life long musician. When CDs first came out (remember?) I kid you not I could actually HEAR the sample rate. Young ears, ah how I miss you. I can hear a difference when this poking business occurs. Especially on smaller drivers. It seems to affect the midrange and adds a tinny squeaky sound. As an aside in the early 1980s my little brother (3-4 yrs old) developed an obsession with toddling into my bedroom and unspooling my cassette tapes. I channeled my 14-year-old absolute seething RAGE into learning how to fix them. Nice posts. Thanks

Stratman49 (author)2007-10-02

Remember,the reason they call dust caps is to keep the dust out of the voice coils!! So if you cut ,or poke holes in the caps make sure you seal any intrusions in the cap to prevent dust getting to the voice coils!!!! otherwise you will soon be getting a very bad distortion from you speakers

blamm (author)2006-11-28

I may be wrong but I think the thing in the middle is simply a dust cover for the coil and serves no real purpose sonically. I pulled mine out with a pin after some little fingers pushed them in.

Punkguyta (author)blamm2007-09-19

And in high power speakers, the magnet is usually vented, like my sub, if you interfere with the almost kind of vacuum the cone makes, it changes the sound,...drastically.

darkmotion (author)blamm2006-11-28

They help to resonate higher frequencies as well as protecting the coil :)

El Bean (author)2007-07-15

lol, im gonna go try this on my bose subs. i had to order new ones because my younger sister destroyed the surrounds of 4 of my 12's. then about a year later she poked in the center "bubble" on all of em....clearly i was pissed. ill let you know if these methods work for me. (i've already tried the vacuum method using a shop vac)

Punkguyta (author)El Bean2007-09-19

Awe ....noooo way I feel sorry for you, let me get this right, she ripped the foam off your 12's??? That's sad, I hate to see a good speaker wrecked. -P

atrades (author)2007-08-22

Tonight, I noticed with horror, that my 4 year old had punched in both speaker cone dust covers significantly. Not just lightly pushed in, but pushed in hard enough that the corners were folded over on themselves. I thanked the Great Spirit that I have not yet sprung for the $3K speakers I want, but was saddened to see the trusty NHTs in such a sad state. I found this site almost immediately, and decided to try the duct tape method. FWIW, these dust covers are paper, not poly. I tore off a piece of about 1" by 1" and lightly pressed it into the middle of the first cover. Waited about 5 seconds and pulled it off - nothing. I figured that dear Hannah had just pushed these suckers in too far to be brought back out. Then I tried a bigger piece, covering the whole dust cover and I think this is the key in my case: -- lightly traced the outline of the pushed in area with a ball point pen, and waited about 15 seconds - I think allowing the extra time for the tape adhesive to make contact with the paper cone cover. Gently but quickly pulled the tape off, and WTFDYK --a good portion of the pushed in area came out !. I repeated this about 3 times for each speaker and both covers are now popped out. The only negative is that the adhesive left a darker shade of black paper where it sat over the damage, but at least the cone is popped back out. I have now gone and found the original speaker grills and put them back on. Little Hannah is going to find herself missing a few days of wacky 4 year old music, but I am very happy to have quickly found such good advice on restoring such damage. My advice is to try the duct-tape method before resorting to the less easily controlled wind vortex properites of your trusty Hoover or Dyson. Peace

Punkguyta (author)atrades2007-09-19

Your NHT's were punched in by your child? If I had a kid they would be locked away where they were out of harms reach. Those are an expensive speaker, I know a guy that has a nice pair of NHT's and they're only what, a foot high? But combined with the (I think) fibreglass speaker box, they sound as big as my technics speakers which are 4 feet high at least, and 100 more watts than the NHT's, good quality there.

Danny (author)atrades2007-08-23

hehe, im glad the method worked for you! maybe u might be lucky enough for your daughter to colour the cones in to the same shade =D

larrymroy (author)2007-09-04

Pull the driver. Pull the dust cap. Use acetone from your local hardware store to dissolve the glue that attaches the dust cap to the cone. Reshape the dustcap at your leisure. Glue it back with the appropiate adhesive and you're done. larry loudspeaker

Patented (author)2007-06-16

thank you for those great tips!!

PAWZ (author)2007-06-15

years ago my mate showed me how he did it. he used the cardboard tube that you end up with after the toilet roll or kitchen roll has finished, and used the sucking method with one of those. i suppose if the tube isn't the right size you could try and find a better fitting tube and do the same and suck it out using the tube. you can add this to the list if you like. hey, its easier than trying to stick your mouth round it :-)

Markusaurelius (author)2007-05-29

A while back I used a needle to poke a small hole in the dust cap and pull the dent out. Now that I am more experienced with audio, I wouldn't recommend anything that involves changing the shape of the cone (including poking any holes) because it causes air turbulence in cone movement that messes with the sound wave. You might not notice a huge difference, but someone with good ears probably will; especially if it's a woofer or subwoofer. If you're lucky, and if your speaker is ported, you can try blowing air into the cabinet through the vent, but the "blower" has to be a pretty good fit.

marc92 (author)2007-04-25

The Dyson vacuum is probably the only brand of commercial vacuum that will work for method 3 other than a shop-vac. The Dyson really does suck! (in a good way) Other brands just suck! (in a bad way)

Shwats (author)2007-03-07

if you have a large sub with a large cone then your kinda screwed unless you want to use a bigger needle to pop it out.

theRIAA (author)2006-11-27

FLAME!!! how does this happen? too loud? what causes it? eehehe step 1 is funny

assasin (author)theRIAA2007-02-18

i just accidentally pushed it in when i was 4

appsman (author)2007-02-01

I did this successfully with a tiny bit of duct tape. I think it works better than cellophane packing tape. The duct tape adhesive is gummier and stickier. You can regulate how much pulling force to apply by controlling how much of the tape's adhesive surface touches the cone at any one time. I fixed a 1" cone that was badly dimpled so the tape surface I used was only about 1/4" by 1/4". I started near the edge and pulled the cone out a little bit at a time.

Danny (author)appsman2007-02-01

yeh that'd work i didnt meen just cellophane you could use any tape duct tape prob works better

paulystardust (author)2006-12-30

I gust tryed the pin thing and it worked great!!um I had to bend the pin

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