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How To Test A Subwoofer: A Comprehensive Guide in 2022

If you think you have a blown or a damaged subwoofer, you can test the subwoofer using a multimeter, which is the most efficient way. You can do it yourself by following the steps in this article.

Find more bonus ways mentioned below to check if your subwoofer is blown or not!

🔌 How To Check a Subwoofer With a Multimeter: Step-By-Step

How To Test A Subwoofer

Follow these steps to check your subwoofer with a multimeter.

  • Firstly, turn off your subwoofer and disconnect any power source. Failure to do this will result in improper measurement and safety risks.
  • Disconnect all the audio inputs and outputs and any other cables from the subwoofer. 
  • Get the subwoofer out of the enclosure box.
  • Safely disassemble the subwoofer to access the voice coils.
  • After you have access to the voice coils, get your multimeter and attach the positive terminal to the positive end of the voice coil.
  • Similarly, connect the negative terminals of the multimeter and the negative terminal of the voice coil.
  • Then, turn on your multimeter and check the resistance readings.


1. If you have a reading of 1 ohm or higher, the subwoofer is in perfect condition.
2. If there is no resistance to reading at all, the voice coils are damaged. Which could mean you have a blown-out subwoofer.
3. The worst-case scenario is if the readings change abruptly or keep varying a lot, which means the subwoofer voice coils are completely blown away.

Also Read: 5 Top Subwoofer Boxes To Buy In 2022 [Tested and Rated]

🔊 How To Test A Subwoofer Without An Amp: The Simple Way!

How To Test A Blown Subwoofer Without An Amp: The Simple Way!

If you have a passive subwoofer that does not have a built-in amplifier or works with an external amplifier, here is how to test it.

But before proceeding, make sure you have the following items available with you:

Now, follow these steps to test your subwoofer:


  • STEP 1

    Disconnect the subwoofer with the power supply.
  • STEP 2

    Uncover the coil of the subwoofer.
  • STEP 3

    Connect and hold the battery’s positive terminal to the positive of the coil, and the negative to the negative terminal of the voice coil.
  • STEP 4

    You want to observe if the cone rises up and down or back and forth, and you might hear a noise. If you do, the subwoofer is fine. If the cone does not move, it is probably damaged.

Also Read: The ONLY Guide You Need To Repair Your Sub With No Sound In 2022

🎯 Other Ways Of Testing Subwoofer

How To Test A Subwoofer

1️⃣ Testing the coil

The coil is an integral part of the subwoofer, which transmits electronic signals.

Here’s how to test your subwoofer coil:


  • STEP 1

    Disassemble the subwoofer carefully without damaging any connections.
  • STEP 2

    Locate the voice coils of the subwoofer, which are on the rear part of the subwoofer.
  • STEP 3

    Now, try to tug gently at the bonded wire of the coil. If you can’t seem to move it, it is stuck in place and is most likely fine. If there is a lot of movement, the subwoofer has a blown-out voice coil.

Also Read: Top 7 Soundbars Without Subwoofer In 2022 [Tested and Rated]

👉 Alternate method

Follow STEPS 1 and 2 from the above method. Then grab your multimeter and connect the voice coil terminals and that of the multimeter, respectively.

If the readings are above 1 ohm, the coil is in good condition. If it is less, then it is probably damaged. If there are no readings, then the coil is blown.

2️⃣ Testing the cone

The cone is what drives the production of low-end frequencies. Subwoofers feature cones built with suspension structures that allow their back and forth movement, creating a low-end sound.

Check the quality of your cone by following these steps:


  • STEP 1

    Uncover the subwoofer.
  • STEP 2

    Take a look at the cone, and if you see any scratches or signs of wearing, the cone may need replacement.
  • STEP 3

    Gently press on the sides of the cone and press to check the movement.
  • STEP 4

    If the cone rises up perfectly and there is no looseness or rigidity in the movement, the cone is good to go.
  • STEP 5

    Next, try listening to the cone’s movement while you play music. If there feels like a rustling or a scraping sound, the suspension could be deteriorating.

Also Read: The Cost Of Installing A Subwoofer In Your Car Is $$$ [Hidden Details Inside!]

3️⃣ Testing the sound

How To Test A Subwoofer

Testing the sound is a very straightforward and a sure-shot way of knowing if your subwoofer has blown or not.

  • Turn on your amplifier and turn up the music.
  • Listen for any abnormalities. If the sound is distorted, or the bass sounds very thin and scrappy, you have a blown-out subwoofer, or it is damaged.
  • Try listening to a very sophisticated piece of music like a Hans Zimmer composition or a Ludwig Goransson score. If you notice some things like an uneven bass response or scratching sounds/buzzing noises, it is an indication that the cone might need replacement.

4️⃣ Voltage check

Follow these steps for a voltage check to determine a blown-out subwoofer:


  • STEP 1

    Get a multimeter to check the voltage reading.
  • STEP 2

    Connect alligator clips on the two speaker amplifier terminals. It will allow you to measure the voltage running through the amplifier without contacting any connections.
  • STEP 3

    Check the readings. If the voltage reading is absent or negligible, the subwoofer is likely blown.

😷 Common Symptoms Of A Blown Subwoofer

How To Test A Subwoofer

There are quite a few ways to tell whether a subwoofer is blown. The most obvious way to know is via the sound output, so here are a few signs of a blown subwoofer:

  • Thin, weak bass.
  • Distorted sound at normal to higher volume.
  • Rattling or scratchy sound coming from the enclosure.
  • No sound at all.
  • Unusual cone movement.
  • Sudden spikes in sound or improper audio response.

💡 How To Test A Subwoofer FAQs

How To Test A Subwoofer FAQs

1) Is it possible for anyone to fix a blown subwoofer?

Yes, it is possible to fix a blown subwoofer. It can be difficult or easy to fix a blown subwoofer, depending on the type of the problem. Some issues like a damaged voice coil might demand a complete replacement of the subwoofer.

It would be best to consider the pros and cons of getting a new subwoofer or fixing your current one. It is advisable to consider a new purchase over fixing a blown subwoofer. Or, if you intend to fix it, consult an expert to try and help you.

2) Why does my subwoofer keep blowing?

One of the most common reasons for a subwoofer blowing is an excessive signal supply to the amplifier. Too much power can also make the subwoofer operate beyond its thresholds and result in excessive stress on the subwoofer build.

Also, pushing the subwoofer to its limit while playing music might cause distortion, clipping, and subsequent blowing up of the sub.

3) What is a multimeter, and what are its uses?

A multimeter is an electronic measurement device used to measure electrical values. It is used almost everywhere there is electricity. You can either use a digital multimeter or an analog multimeter.

Checking conductivity, testing the continuity of a circuit, measuring voltage levels across a car battery, and measuring resistance are some instances where a multimeter is used.

4) How do I know if I blew my subwoofers?

If your subwoofer output starts to sound odd and has a feeble bass response that sounds thin and unclear, your subwoofer may have blown.

Another telltale sign is unusual distortion and clipping even while playing music at normal volume. And if there is no sound at all, it is most likely blown.

5) What Things To Check Before Buying A Subwoofer?

Some things to look out for before purchasing a subwoofer:
1. The sound quality of the subwoofer.
2. Size of the cabinet.
3. Size of the driver.
4. Power rating.
5. Type (Sealed or Ported).
6. Connectivity.
7. Frequency range and output volume.

About the Author

How To Test A Subwoofer

Rach Wellard

Rach Wellard is the driving force behind Sound & Solitude. Her mission is to help you discover the profound impact of sound in your daily life and to explore the beauty of solitude. With a deep passion for the connection between soundscapes and emotions, she brings a unique blend of expertise and personal dedication to our platform.

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