Car Speakers

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What does a blown car speaker sound like?

A blown speaker is another way of saying that a speaker is broken in some way because it is damaged. There are two types of failures that can result in a blown car speaker: mechanical and thermal. Mechanical failure occurs when a speaker cone is forced to move further than its capability, thus causing damage. Thermal failure occurs when the speaker is hit with a high degree of power that causes the speaker’s internal components to burn or melt. Depending on the particular cause, the sound a blown speaker makes will be different, from mildly unpleasant distortion to absolute silence.

How can I tell if my car speaker is blown?

The most common sounds produced by a blown car speaker are scratching, or buzzing sounds, usually around the pitch of the note the speaker is trying to create. The overall audio effect will be uneven and unpleasant to hear. Sometimes the kind of sound produced can help you diagnose the problem.

If the speaker is making a strangled, scratchy sound, the voice coil could be overheating. However, filings and dust interfering with the magnet cavity could produce the same sound. If the bass suddenly has poor quality in conjunction with the scratching, the speaker’s surround might be damaged. If the bass makes loud banging noises at high volumes but is generally fine at lower volumes, it is likely a problem of an overdriven speaker.

However, if the car speaker is completely blown, you will hear no sound at all.

Can you damage car speakers by playing too loud?

Modern speakers are designed to play music and other sounds at high volumes and high power. They are tested by manufacturers, as well as amp manufacturers, making it unlikely for a speaker to blow due to high volume alone. However, these tests are run when the speakers are using compatible equipment and properly-matched to an appropriately powered amplifier. If you mismatch components or use inferior components, there is a chance you could blow your speakers at high volume. If there is a malfunction with the amp or another piece of equipment in the signal line, there is a risk of blowing a speaker.

Can a blown car speaker be repaired?

When car speakers stop working, a few questions immediately come to mind: Do I need to replace them? Can I fix speakers myself?

In many cases, car speakers can be repaired rather than replaced, though the repair costs may make the effort not worth it.

If a car speaker is blown, the most likely culprit is an over-powered voice coil. If the voice coil is blown, it will likely be more effective to replace the speakers.

While you can attempt DIY repair, the best solution is to find a Rockford Fosgate authorized dealer and have them assess the speaker’s condition and complete the repair.

When should I get new speakers?

It can be hard to get rid of the well-loved speakers you’ve had for years, especially if you paid a pretty penny for them back in the day. However, broken speakers won’t serve you well, and speakers do have a shelf life, so your audio quality could be suffering. Here are a few signs it might be time to move on to a new set.

  • If your music sounds distorted, the speaker — or possibly the amps — have likely blown and need to be replaced. If they haven’t blown, it’s possible that you have changed music styles to one that the speaker is not accustomed to or prepared for (from traditional to electric, for instance), and therefore cannot handle the new sound quality. You may need to adjust crossovers and or equalizer settings to accommodate the new music dynamics.
  • If your audio quality sounds flat despite all effort and EQ adjustments, you get distortion, pieces fall off the speakers, or you cannot raise the volume to any reasonable level, it is definitely time to get new speakers.
  • If a speaker is aged and dry-rotting, it should likely be replaced. Even if its condition is still good, it may not be built to handle the changes in modern music. Today, a lot of music has an emphasis on bass and kick drums that older speaker designs don’t handle well. Furthermore, most older speakers have aging parts, like brittle speaker cones or foam, which will not work as well as they will easily deteriorate.
  • If a speaker is full of dust and spiders, it certainly won’t be able to work at full capacity. Depending on how long it was sitting in a dusty environment, it may be able to be cleaned, but it may need to be replaced in time.

How can I get help selecting new speakers?

If you need help selecting a good replacement speaker, contact your local Authorized Rockford Fosgate Dealer. Many dealers have demonstration boards on their sales floor where you can listen to the differences in speakers, like switching between coax and component speakers. You can find local dealers by searching our Dealer Locator.