Easy Way to Tell If a Speaker Is Blown or Not!


Introduction: Easy Way to Tell If a Speaker Is Blown or Not!

This is just going to be a short instructable because of its simplicity. This only works with the speakers that have the positive and negative wires that hook into a stereo. To tell if the speaker is blown or not without taking it apart is really easy. All you have to do is take a 9 volt battery and touch it to the wires. If it makes scratching noises its good. If it makes no sound at all its blown.



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    11 Discussions

    Does this work even if you have a Competition Sundown Audio NightShade v.3 D2- 3000 watts RMS.] DVC ?

    I have 4 out door speakers sharing the same receiver. 1 is not working. How do I know if it is the speaker or if I have issues with the line(wire)?

    1 reply

    Move the suspect speaker to a wire that you know is working correctly. That will eliminate the speaker. You can eliminate the wire by twisting the two ends together. Then go to the other end of the wire at the amp and disconnect the wire from the amp and do a continuity check with a "DMM" digital multimeter. If the wire "rings" ok then hook the wire back up to the speaker. You now know that the speaker and the wire are good. Now it would appear that the problem is in the amplifier. Make sure all wires are clean and not corroded, make sure all connections are tight and everything is back together. Try the system again.

    This is an old trick that many technicians have used for decades. It is a "small" 9volt low amp battery such as one that might power a small transistor radio. Just touch the wires to it - don't hold it there and heat up the voice coil. The speaker should make a "pop" or "scratching" sound if you move the wire on the terminal.

    I too would use a DMM to test for continuity and resistance. Also a speaker could be damaged but not completely blown and using a battery to make it generate noise will not tell you if it's going to reproduce music very well. I do use the AA test method frequently when trying to locate which speaker is tied to which wires in a vehicle.

    If it's not blown before this is probabaly will be afterwards ;) an easier way to check is with a DMM

    I'd say the best way is with an ohm meter but DC will kill the speakers. I'd only use a 9v to check polarity on big subs such as my Electrovoice EVX180s.

    1 reply

    The only thing wrong with your comment is when you use an ohm meter it actually uses a set DC voltage to test the resistance so if your meter is powered off of a 9v batt. your actually checking ohms with 9v

    That scratching noise might just be your cat that wants to come in, or get out of the speaker ... meow?

    Sounds good. I did the math and if W = V^2/R then with a fresh 9 volt battery you're subjecting an 8 ohm speaker to a little over 10 Watts of power. 10 watts doesn't sound like much but distortion seems to do more damage to speakers in my experience than clean signals do. "Scratching noises" is my definition of distortion too.

    A lot of times speakers don't have sophisticated crossovers in them, just non-polar electrolytic capacitors, and the caps fail more often than speaker drivers. Although I've burnt out a lot of tweeters over the years myself. Most tweeters can't handle too many watts.

    1 reply

    For a PP3, actually getting your full 10 watts (1.125 Amps) isn't going to be very likely. That's quite a load ...

    Usually this test is done with a 1.5V cell (AA), just to test polarity (positive battery to positive/red speaker = cone pushes OUT).