Is your speaker not working? Have you tried every possible fixes on your computer but nothing seem to work? Maybe the problem isn’t on your computer but the speaker itself.
If your speakers are not producing any sound, or if they are malfunctioning and producing distorted sounds, this could be an indication that they have been physically damaged.
In case the issue is software related, then the fix is much easier and won’t cost your money. However, if the speaker is malfunctioning because of a physical fault, then you might either have to repair it or buy new speakers.
The most common way to test for speaker damage involves performing a series of visual inspections and also checking their connection for damage.
Most Common Causes for Speakers Damage
Here are some of the common causes for the speaker damage:
- Water-related speaker damage
- Damaged audio jack or speaker cables
- Improperly configured connection
- Speaker component Damage due to physical impact
- Overuse of voltage when using an amplifier
- Electrical short circuit
Before You Begin Testing Your Speaker
It is crucial that before testing your speaker for damage with the following methods, first completely disconnected from any amplifier and not connected to anything.
The speaker needs to be just by itself. Please use extreme caution when handling any exposed wires and always check if your electric testing or handling equipment is rated for high voltages (for example if using pliers, they must be isolated so that the current doesn’t jump through the metal to your hand).
How to Test Speaker for Software Issues?
The fastest way of checking if you have a software related issue is to plug in a different set of speakers into your PC and check if they are working. If your PC has improperly configured audio, then you will not hear any sound even with a different set of speakers.
Here is a list of simple software troubleshooting you can apply for your speakers before you proceed with hardware fixes:
- Right click on the speaker icon on the bottom of your task manager and click “Troubleshoot sound problems”.
- Check if your sound is muted either on the speaker itself or on your Windows menu, or the speaker volume is not turned up.
- Check If your Windows sound output isn’t set for the proper device: Right-click on your Speaker Icon on the taskbar, then click “Open Sound Settings” and finally check under “Choose your output device”.
- If you are using a bluetooth connected speaker device, then double check if it’s paired with your PC and not with any other device, and also verify that your PC has a properly working and turned on bluetooth connection.
- If you are using speakers from your PC external monitor, then the issue might be that the monitor is improperly set up or configured as the default output.
- Perform a speaker and soundcard (if applicable) driver update. If you are unsure how to update your speakers drivers, we have a full dedicated guide to update drivers.
If after these steps your speakers still can’t produce sound, then you almost certainly have speaker damage.
How to Test Speakers for Hardware Damage?
There are some dead giveaways that your speakers have hardware damage and not a software related problem:
- Distorted Sound: When music or sound is playing it is completely out of tune.
- Speaker Volume is Too Low: Even though it’s turned to the max power on all settings,
- Cracking Sound: Your speakers or subwoofer produces cracking sounds or fails to properly reproduce sound.
Testing your speaker for hardware damage requires some knowledge of electrical currents, and how to properly use various equipment. Depending on the approach you take you will also have to be able to take the speaker apart in some cases, so be prepared to also assemble it back together properly after you are finished.
The first and easiest method to test your speaker for damage is with a 9 Volt battery. Here are the steps:
- Locate the two leads for your speaker: most commonly the positive is red and the negative is black colored. (The conductive ends of the wires should be exposed, if not use pliers to remove about 1cm of length from the plastic wire wrapping)
- There should be two wires connecting each of them to the main power source.
- Unplug the cables from the power source and have them just connected to the speaker itself.
- Get any 9V Battery that’s working and charged up.
- Connect the leads of the speaker to the 9 Volt batteries end – the positive goes with the positive and negative with the negative lead.
If you notice that your speaker is generating slight vibrations while connected to the 9V battery, then this is an indication that it’s properly working.
The second and more reliable method to test your speakers for damage is to use a multimeter. Any model will work fine as long as it has a continuity checking setting. Here is how to test your speaker with a multimeter:
- Have your multimeter set up to check for continuity (continuity simply refers to the presence of a complete path of current flow through your device)
- Like with the 9V battery, connect both ends of the multimeter with the corresponding negative and positive cables from the speaker.
- Your multimeter will typically emit a specific continuous sound if the circuit through the speaker has a working connection. This will again indicate that your speaker is properly working.
How to Test a Speaker With a Battery for Damage?
The troubleshooting steps for a speaker with a battery are almost the same as a speaker without one.
You can test if the battery in the speaker is still holding a charge. If your speaker has a charging cable and the battery isn’t holding, or has very poor performance before going out, then your battery might be due for a replacement. If your speaker uses replaceable AA or AAA batteries, you can test them with a voltmeter to see if they are still working properly.
If your speaker has a built-in battery that’s not replaceable or accessible then don’t try to access it yourself; instead, you can contact the manufacturer and ask for a replacement by sending the speaker back.
How to Test Your Speakers for Damage on a Laptop?
You can test your laptop speakers for damage the exact same way as any other speakers. The only difference is that accessing them is considerably harder.
Laptop speakers are always built in the laptop chassis and almost always require the complete disassembly of your laptop to be accessed. Be aware that opening some laptop cases might void your warranty, and if done improperly carries a risk of damaging your hardware components.
To access your laptops speakers, search for the exact guide online on how to properly and safely open your laptops case and remove any other parts that might be in the way of the speakers. When the speakers are exposed, remove the laptop’s battery and use a multimeter to test for a continuous flowing current.
How to Tell if My Amplifier is Damaged?
Attempting to fix a damaged amplifier is an extremely complex procedure. The finished product has to offer consistent current, have no overheating issues and also run stable under prolonged use. If you suspect your amplifier is damaged, it’s best to seek professional repair help.
Here are some of the common symptoms of a damaged amplifier:
- Your amplifier is not powering on
- It turns on, but without any input or output
- The sound generated by your amplifier is distorted
- The amplifier has inconsistent power output
Should I Attempt to Repair the Speaker Myself?
Repairing a speaker will require some extensive knowledge on various skills like soldering, fabrication, electrical testing and more. It’s best to leave your damaged speaker to a trained technician, since attempting to repair it yourself without prior knowledge can further worsen the situation.
If your speaker is still covered under warranty, then your best bet would be to send it back to the manufacturer either for repair or replacement. Even if you connect the speaker and its working, if it’s not done in an optimal manner, the sound produced might be completely out of tune.