When you only hear distorted or muffled sounds…
What you have is what’s called a blown-out speaker.
And if you’re unsure what that means or what to do about it…
Fret not. I’ve got the answers for you.
Keep reading to discover:
- 7 surprising reasons why speakers actually blow out.
- Things that you can do to prevent your speakers from blowing out.
- How to easily tell if your speaker has blown out and what to do to fix it.
- And much more…
Why speakers blow out – 7 reasons
A blow out is just a blanket term for speakers that are no longer working properly. It doesn’t mean explosions as you see in Hollywood movies.
And you’d know if your speaker has blown out if you notice the following:
- Distorted sound.
- Random volume changes.
- Speaker won’t turn on at all.
- Speaker is on but there’s no volume.
- Physical damage to the speaker cone.
Now, there are several reasons why some speakers blow out. And I’ll be going over each of them.
So let’s get started.
#1: Setting the volume to the max for a prolonged period
Do you enjoy turning up your speaker’s volume and jamming to loud music?
If so, you may want to change that habit.
It’s not only bad for your hearing…
You also run the risk of damaging your speaker.
You see, maximizing the volume level for long periods is the most common reason a speaker blows out.
“Why is that?”
Well, speakers have internal parts such as a magnet and a voice coil. Now, you don’t need to understand the engineering behind how they work.
But to put it simply…
When you turn up a speaker’s volume, those internal parts’ activities also increase.
Soon enough, they start to heat up. And after an extended period, they eventually overheat. In turn, this leads to damage to the magnet or the coil.
#2: Maximizing the equalizer settings
Some speakers also have a built-in equalizer.
These are the controls that you can push up or pull down to adjust the audio quality.
With an equalizer, you can boost or decrease the bass or treble of a song. You can also select preset options for various music genres.
But the one thing that you should avoid doing, though, is to maximize every single option.
As with volumes, doing so will overwork the speaker’s internal components.
And again, that can result in overheating, leading to damage.
Moreover, when you turn up the equalizer’s bass, in particular…
This will cause the speaker’s cone, the circular part in the middle, to vibrate even more than usual.
And eventually, too much movement from vibrations can also cause defects to the cone.
#3: Power surge
A power surge refers to the sudden increase in the current or voltage of an electrical system.
Now, there are several reasons why it can happen, including:
- Lightning strikes.
- Defective wirings.
- Electrical overload.
- Extreme weather conditions.
- Power restoration after an outage.
A power surge can be bad for any electronic device. And it also happens to be another common cause of a speaker blow out.
This is because speakers are designed to handle only a limited amount of electricity.
And when too much voltage flows through these devices…
The result is short-circuited or damaged internal components.
#4: Accidental damage to the speaker cone
Another usual cause of why speakers blow up is accidental damage to the cone.
This circular object at the center of most speaker models is rather fragile. And it’s mainly because of the materials manufacturers use to make it.
Speaker cones, in general, are made of any of the following:
- Paper pulp.
- Thin sheets of metal.
Now, those aren’t exactly the strongest materials.
That’s why it doesn’t take much force to cause dents to a speaker cone. And you can already damage it by just lightly pressing against it.
#5: Exposing the speaker to extreme temperatures
Leaving your speaker in an environment that’s too cold or too hot may also cause it to blow out.
In cold weather, moisture can develop inside the speaker. And as you know, water and electrical components don’t match.
On the other hand, under extremely hot conditions, a speaker can also overheat. And that, again, can lead to damage.
“So what temperature range is best for speakers?”
It should vary depending on who manufactured them.
But let me give an example:
Sony recommends that you don’t leave your speaker in a place that’s beyond the 5 °C to 35 °C (41 °F – 95 °F) range.
Anything colder or hotter than those and your risk your speaker blowing out.
#6: The speaker was made of poor-quality materials
The kind of materials used in manufacturing is also a factor in a speaker blowout.
Those non-brand speakers are much more prone to breakage. And that’s because the manufacturer likely used subpar materials to keep the price down.
As they say, you get what you pay for.
And when you buy a really cheap device…
You can’t really expect it to last long.
#7: Wear and tear
Wear and tear is another reason why a speaker blows out.
Although, in contrast to cheap and non-brand speakers…
High-quality ones from popular brands are much more durable.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for speakers to last over a decade with proper maintenance.
However, these speakers obviously won’t work forever. Eventually, they’ll also show signs of wear and tear.
So as the years go by, the likelihood of your speaker blowing out also increases.
BONUS: What you can do with a blown-out speaker
Blown speakers are fixable.
However, it’s not something that you can do yourself. That’s unless you’re a trained professional.
And it’s because the engineering that goes with developing speakers is a bit complicated.
So your best course of action is to take your speaker to its manufacturer. From there, you may ask for repair options.
Now, in some instances, the repair cost may actually be almost worth the price of a new unit.
And if that’s the situation you’re in…
Then it’s better to simply buy a new speaker.
How to prevent speakers from blowing
To prevent speakers from blowing, avoid maximizing their volume. And you also should refrain from boosting every equalizer setting. Moreover, you should also plug your speaker into a surge protector. And see to it that you perform proper maintenance.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
So rather than deal with the hassle of a blown-out speaker…
Just follow the tips below to prevent it from happening.
#1: Avoid maximizing your speaker’s volume
As I mentioned, max volume is the most common cause of why speakers blow out.
So avoid doing that.
If you really need the audio to be loud, you have several other options.
One is to connect your speaker to an amplifier.
It’s a device that’s mainly used for boosting the volume level of a device. And it’s relatively affordable.
You can find many variants under $50.
Another option is to hook up your speaker to another speaker. Just check if it’s possible with the brand and model that you own.
But if not, consider buying a speaker from another brand that allows it. JBL is one example.
You can easily connect JBL speakers together to produce really loud audio.
You might be interested in: 7 Best Linkable Bluetooth Speakers That Pair Together
#2: Refrain from turning up every equalizer setting
As with the volume, refrain from maximizing your speaker’s equalizer controls.
It’s fine to turn up the level of one equalizer option at a time.
Let’s say you want to improve the bass of a song. It’s ok to raise the level of that. Just ensure that the other options are turned down.
This way, your speaker doesn’t get overworked. So you minimize the risk of overheating and eventual blowout.
#3: Use a surge protector to power your speaker
A power surge is usually beyond your control. You can’t really prevent it from happening.
However, there’s a way to protect your speaker and electronic devices when it does occur.
That’s by using a surge protector as a power source.
It’s a tool with multiple outlets. And it regulates the power that the devices plugged into it receive.
What’s even better is this device is really affordable. Surge protectors cost less than $20 on average. So that’s a cheap but effective way to safeguard your speaker.
#4: Perform proper speaker maintenance
As with any device, if you want your speaker to last long and not blow out…
You need to take good care of it.
Now, there are several ways to properly maintain a speaker.
One is to clean it regularly.
Just ensure that you clean gently. As I’ve mentioned, some speaker parts, like the cone, are fragile.
Another way to maintain a speaker is to store it in a place with proper ventilation.
Since extreme weather can damage your device…
See to it that the temperature in its location is well-regulated.
And lastly, a simple but effective way to prolong your speaker’s lifespan is to limit your usage.
Let your speaker rest for a few days in between use.
By doing so…
You also minimize the chance of overheating.
Now, if you’d like a more detailed guide on how to clean a speaker…
You may check out this video below:
#5: Buy high-quality speakers
You should also avoid buying cheap speakers from obscure brands. Those types tend to blow out easily.
Instead, invest in a quality speaker from reputable companies.
Here are just a few of the most trusted and well-reviewed speaker manufacturers:
Sure, it’ll cost you more to buy from those brands.
But what you’ll get is superb audio quality and a durable device that’s much less likely to blow up. So you’d really get your money’s worth.