How To Test A Subwoofer: Different Ways To Try Out

In our mechanized lives, music is crucial. Interesting how music can improve someone’s mood and can also elicit strong emotions into them, or soothe them.

We experience countless different emotions when we listen to something, that’s because of the sound and its vibrations. Music is known to treat mental diseases including sadness, stress, or tension.

But as music is evolving, so are the devices and technology that produce sounds. We’re all familiar to jamming to our favorite songs in cars. The majority of individuals often install subwoofers in their vehicles as well for an added entertainment and boost to the music.

The real questions are: how do you know which subwoofer goes on with your vehicle and how to test a subwoofer? This handy article is all about subwoofers and how to test them. Without spending any more time, let us guide you to the topic.

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Image Credits:  Kevin Solbrig

What Is A Subwoofer

A subwoofer produces lower bass frequencies, which are loudspeakers. A woofer differs from a subwoofer due to its frequency. The frequency or bass level of a subwoofer is lower than that of a woofer. The frequency range of a consumer subwoofer is 20 to 200 HZ. The frequency range for a professional automobile subwoofer is below 100 HZ. Systems that have received THX certification operate at frequencies under 80 HZ.

Subwoofers come in a wide range of styles, including the following:

  • Amplifier Car enthusiasts should use a power subwoofer.
  • Subwoofers are a superb audio system whether you want to use them with or without an amplifier. An active powered subwoofer is the best option.

Maybe you just bought a subwoofer, and everything seems normal until you start hearing distortion and crackling sounds. You may begin to wonder if the subwoofer is blown out or if the sound quality is simply bad.

Don’t worry; this article shows you how to test your subwoofer so you can be sure it’s functioning properly.

Test the Sound Produced

Bass will sound awful if your subwoofer speakers are bad. This will enable you to determine whether your subwoofer speaker is functioning properly because you want to know the sound quality it produces. To conduct this exam, you’ll need music and a sound system.

Turn on the subwoofer by connecting it to the power source and the audio source. Place the volume control in the center. On your audio source, start some music (preferably one that produces much audible and loud sounds).

Keep your distance from the subwoofer and pay attention to the sound it makes. Raise and lower the volume at different intervals. If the music is only faintly audible or not audible at all, the inner workings of the sub are probably broken. You should then check the wirings and connections because there can be background static noise.

Set the composition to a precise rhythm and start it. The subwoofer response should be audible by now. If the sound result is uneven and has gaps, the cone probably needs to be displaced. You should also check if it is fixed correctly with the suspension or not.

Determine If the Cone is Bad

With such a design, the cone may move in both directions, capturing and whirling a lot of air to produce the sub-low frequencies.

You must take off your subwoofer’s grille to make sure the cone isn’t the issue. Use both hands to conduct this test. You don’t want them to start an issue if there isn’t one already (of course, that would be such a drag!). Push carefully while placing your hands on the speaker cone. It’s acceptable if the cone shifts. The cone must move; otherwise, there is an issue.

Subwoofers have hard cones that are fixed with the suspension system in order to produce a powerful bass.

But simply moving won’t cut it. It must move smoothly and inside a predetermined area. So pay attention to see if the movement is slack or rigid, it is bad. If you hear what seems to be scraping, that is an issue. These noises can be a sign of a flimsy suspension.

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Image Credits:  Rackdude

How To Test A Subwoofer If The Coil Is Bad

The voice coil is attached to the cone’s tip. The component that creates a magnetic field to produce sound is the magnet. There are positive and negative terminals on the voice coil. Additionally, your subwoofer’s voice coil could burst, causing a bass leak.

This allows you to measure the voice coil resistance, which basically tells you whether the subwoofer has blown out (the voice coil is fixed to positive and negative terminals).

First things first: detach the subwoofer from the power source and turn it off. The next action is to simply cut it off from any surroundings, linked wires, or connections. Finding the voice coil of your subwoofer would be the next step.

There are different types of subwoofers, and each has a unique voice coil design. If you want to learn how to test a subwoofer with a multimeter: Connect the voice coil to the multimeter if you’ve managed to get your hands on it. Make sure the terminal you connect to is positive. Finally, you should be able to see the subwoofer’s resistance with your multimeter switched on. This will allow you to predict the outcome.

Your subwoofer is probably not blown out if the resistance reading on your multimeter is 1 ohm or higher. On the other side, if there is no resistance in the multimeter, the voice coils are damaged. Even worse, if it changes significantly, it suggests that they are blown and that you need to replace your subwoofer.

How To Test A Subwoofer Without The Amp Method

Since many subwoofers have their own amplification system, they can work with any speaker setup. There are passive subs, though, which need an additional amp connection to provide audible bass. You’ll learn how to test a subwoofer without an amp below but first prepare two 8-inch long 16-gauge cables and a portable 9V battery.

Then follow these steps:

  • Make sure the subwoofer is constantly unplugged from the power supply.
  • Now that you have the required hardware, you can start by connecting the battery to the subwoofer.
  • Take the wire and join the coil’s positive terminal to the battery’s positive terminal to do this.
  • Check to see if the cone is rising once you have finished connecting the battery. If the subwoofer is working properly, it should rise as soon as you connect it.
  • Repeating the first step with the tester or multimeter will allow you to determine whether the subwoofer has blown out if there is no movement.

Final Verdict

A subwoofer is a type of loudspeaker that reproduces bass, or low-pitched audio frequencies. An excellent subwoofer may improve the audio quality of your home theatre or music system and give you a more immersive experience. Contrary to popular belief, a subwoofer can be useful in any size area. While many people think they only need them in large spaces like home theatres.

To fix it properly and to test your subwoofer, follow the useful tips mentioned above. We have personally used the hacks above to learn how to test a subwoofer, therefore, each method surely works!


You should test the subwoofer before purchasing it. you don’t always need a multimeter when it comes to a car. You can also test your subwoofer by using a 9V battery.

  • Get a new 9V battery.
  • Connect both the negative terminals of subwoofer speaker wire and the battery together.
  • Connect the positive terminals of both.
  • Check the movement of the cone.

If you feel like your home theater subwoofer isn’t working fine, turn the volume low. If you hear distortion in sound, then your subwoofer may be partially blown. If you don’t hear a thing, then your subwoofer is completely blown! You should also check the cable connections before coming to a conclusion.

Check if the subwoofer is working fine on high and low volumes on the amp. If you hear any distortion, noises, or rattling sounds, then don’t purchase it! Also, check the reviews online for buying a good subwoofer, or you can ask the store managers as well.

We have described several methods above. Following is the summary:

  • Try disconnecting the subwoofer from the power source
  • Remove the subwoofer from your car
  • Connect the multimeter probes into the wire coil terminals
  • Switch on the multimeter to read the resistance levels in Ohms

Insert a CD of 50Hz or 1kHz at 0dB into the source. Set the multimeter to AC voltage withing the range 10 to 100 VAC. Place your multimeter probes on the amp output terminals, then a good amplifier will show a voltage reading that is ideal to recommended wattage output.