You just came home from a hard day's work with a pile of assignments to finish up because you decided to go back to school and pay the fees on your own. The assignments look daunting and you don’t know where to start. This is where you switch on your speaker system to calm your mind.
The genre of music that you pick requires a lot of bass, but no worries because you have your subwoofer switched on as well. Waiting in anticipation, the first beat drops with no bass drop. What happened? You decide to test your subwoofer to see what’s the issue but don’t know how to.
Well, you’ve come to the right place, we’re about to take a journey on testing a subwoofer.
The bass that you hear comes from your subwoofer as it provides a lower frequency. Your tweeters(if you have tweeters installed) serve to give a higher frequency of sound. The majority of people look to pump out more bass because it makes the music sound louder, but as a music enthusiast, you look for a more equalized sound with equal parts bass and high-pitch frequencies. Sometimes you play your speakers at higher sounds to hear the bass but this can cause great displacements in the coil. Before we look into testing your subwoofer, the coil is also an important factor to consider. The coil can become loose or lose its original position due to the high volumes.
The cone may also break away from the coil, this would mean that the subwoofer speaker has blown.
A voice coil is the coil of wire attached to a loudspeaker cone. When your subwoofer has been used for a while, sometimes it does not produce the same intensity of bass that it always has. This bass comes from the cones vibrating vigorously with the help of the voice coils. To test whether or not your voice coils are damaged, obtain a multimeter with testing probs (negative and positive). Attach the positive and negative probs to the positive and negative terminals to measure the electrical resistance in the coil. The resistance is measured in ohms. An ohm reading of zero would mean that your coils are damaged, any reading above 1 ohm means that your coils are not blown. Any reading below 1 ohm proves to be a strong signal that your coils are blown.
After we’ve established that the voice coils are not blown, we can move on to test if the subwoofer is blown. Two methods will be discussed.
To test your subwoofers with a battery, you would need a couple of things first. We’re going to include the multimeter because the following method will include a multimeter. You’re manually testing your subwoofers which means that you will need:
All of these items can be purchased on Amazon or at your local hardware store.
To the actual test, there are two methods I will describe but a few youtube videos will also be attached for a visual effect.
The above method does not mention a multimeter, but this method below does.
Using the multimeter, we can also check the impedance on a subwoofer. Right now, we’re only looking to test the subwoofer. We’re going to use two multimeters for this test, a Fluke multimeter, and a digital multimeter. Here are the steps for testing your subwoofer with a multimeter:
If your subwoofer has a dual coil, a 4ohm reading is ideal when testing. Also, make sure that your meters are equipped with a battery that has enough juice in it to provide a solid reading.
If the reading shows less than 1 ohms, there is something wrong with the subwoofer. If the reading shifts drastically, that means that your voice coil is completely damaged.
Your subwoofers are normally placed in a stationary position. They rarely move and this can gather up dust. Any audio problems can be prevented by regularly cleaning the system and making sure that you wipe away any dust with a damp cloth. With less obstruction to your cones, your audio system can release a clean source of sound. When you regularly wipe away dirt, you check your wiring for early exposures, preventing potential damage to your system.
Finally, play some music at low volume and listen to the difference in the bass. You can also play different clips and audio tunes to identify any other problems with the bass. Your subwoofer needs to be taken care of. With the correct testing and regular maintenance checks, your afternoon chill sessions would be as easier as pressing a button!