How to Test Speakers?

A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Make Sound Decisions

How to test speakers

Have your home theater speakers been sounding a little off lately? Are you feeling a slight lack of bass in your car speakers? Are you noticing volume issues in your bedroom speakers?

As a matter of fact, without good quality speakers, there isn’t much to your 5.1 surround sound system or car speaker system. Speakers with good performance are game-changers when it comes to creating the best audio experience. But, it is important for you to understand how to test a speaker to ensure the best performance and output for your speaker. 

We have put together this comprehensive guide on how to test speakers to help you identify audio-related issues with your speakers. Whether you have bookshelf speakers, floor-standing speakers or car speakers, we have got you covered either way. Keep reading to have all your speaker testing questions answered!

What Are the Different Types of Speakers Available on the Market?

There is a wide range of speakers available on the market, each with its own specific use. Here are some of the more popular ones below: 

Floor Speakers, Bookshelf Speakers and Portable Speakers
Floor Speakers, Bookshelf Speakers and Portable Speakers
  1. Floor or Tower speakers: These speakers can be a great choice for your living room or home cinema. We found that most of the larger and taller speakers sound the loudest. If you are looking to buy tower speakers, place them in a room with a large floor space. 
  2. Bookshelf speakers: If you are looking to buy tower speakers, but don’t have as much floor space, we recommend exploring bookshelf speakers. These speakers come equipped with a tweeter and woofer, along with a mid-range driver. Just like tower speakers, bookshelf speakers are a great option for a surround sound system or a stereo system setup. 
  3. Portable speakers: Almost everybody these days can be seen walking around with a Bluetooth-connection speaker. These are great for when you are on the go, and can also act as car speakers during a car drive. Not only are they lightweight and easy to carry around, but they also have great sound output. Along with this, they easily connect to various devices such as your phone or laptop. Tailgate speakers and beach speakers are good examples of portable speakers.

What Equipment Do You Need to Test Speakers?

Here are some things to keep in mind when determining what equipment to get to test speakers: 

  1. Use a multimeter.
  2. Use an amplifier. 
  3. Look for a AAA battery or a commonly found 9-volt battery
  4. Make sure that you have a reliable audio source handy. Ensure that you play sounds of varied bass, frequency and beats. 
  5. Ensure you buy equipment well within your budget – you really don’t need the fanciest battery or multimeter available on the market just to test out your speakers! There are multiple options to choose from when it comes to choosing the tools and equipment to test your speakers, and there is a wide price range as well.
  6. Feel free to contact an expert to get your queries answered if you are unsure about the tools required to test speakers.

Time to Test Speakers and Wires 

Before we begin, let’s quickly touch on what a speaker wire is.

Speaker wires, or cables, function as electrical conducts between a power amplifier and your speakers. Ideally, it is recommended to have a wire with low resistance.

This is because if the resistance is high, the wire will resist the current from flowing to the speaker. Instead, this will result in heat loss, and the speaker may end up not working properly. 

Much to our dismay, figuring out the positive and negative terminals on speaker wires isn’t as easy as we had hoped it would be. When you are testing out your speakers, if you are unable to hear any sound, we recommend checking the back of the speaker to ensure that the wire connections have been tightly put in place. 

What Are the Different Types of Wires and Connections?

It is important to use the correct speaker connector or wire. In case you don’t do that, you may find that the audio signal sounds distorted. Connectors can be of great help in saving time. Owing to their vibrant colors, it makes navigating which connection to make where one of the easiest tasks. Some of the commonly used wires and connectors are: 

  1. RCA connectors
  2. Banana plugs 
  3. Speaker pins 
  4. Speaker wires 
  5. RF connectors 
  6. Spade connectors 

How to Test Speaker Sound Output?

Consider the below-mentioned factors to test your speaker’s sound output!

How Clear Is the Sound Output?

While this may sound easy, it isn’t all that much of a piece of cake. Listen to a song you are familiar with that has a significant amount of distinct beats. Play the track on your speaker, and listen intently to see if the song sounds the same. Are the vocals clear? Is any musical instrument overpowering any other?

Explore the best songs for testing speakers to test the bass, treble, and other audio features of your speakers.

How Deep Is Your Love Bass?

More than how loud your music can be, it is important to see how deep the bass can go. The bass should be crisp and distinct. If it sounds monotonous or just like a thumping sound, well, we have got a problem. 

What’s the Frequency Range?

Are you able to hear the quiet dialogues in a movie just as well as you can hear the roars and screams? If you are unable to hear the quiet parts of a track or movie, or the sound coming out of your speakers is muffled, then it is time to check your speakers.

How to Check Your Speaker for Any Physical Damage?

If you notice that your speaker produces a sound that doesn’t sound as good as it used to be, it could be due to physical damage. Ensure that the voice coil is unbroken. If it is damaged, or you are noticing audible issues, it’s a clear indication that your speaker is damaged, more commonly referred to as a ‘blown speaker.’

We recommend checking the components of the speaker for any dent or crack that is visible. Make sure to check for any defective wires or any problem with the internal circuit of the speaker. 

If you find that your speaker or its components have some physical damage, check if you have the speaker under warranty. If you do, contact customer care service to have your speaker (or its parts) replaced under warranty for no additional cost. In the situation in which you do not have the speaker covered under warranty, you will probably have to seek a replacement or a fix for the damages.

Ensure you do proper research before doing this, as the last thing you want is to bring home yet another faulty or damaged piece.

How to Connect a Speaker Wire the Right Way?

A speaker wire consists two cables. These two cables are to be connected to the positive and negative connectors of your speaker or amplifier. 

Usually, the positive terminal is red in color, while the negative terminal is black. We highly recommend ensuring that you don’t mess up the positive and negative leads, as this can lead to defective speakers in the long run. 

How to Connect A Speaker Wire the Right Way
How to Connect A Speaker Wire the Right Way

So, how do you go about connecting the speaker’s positive or negative terminals? 

It is pretty simple. All you have to keep in mind is positive to positive and negative to negative. Basically, connect the positive terminal of the speaker to the positive terminal of your amplifier or receiver and do the same for the negative terminals. 

How to Quickly Test Your Speaker Wire and Connection Using a Battery?

You can easily find common household batteries. In order to quickly test out your wires and speaker connections, use a 9-volt battery.

How to Quickly Test Your Speaker Wire & Connection Using a Battery
How to Quickly Test Your Speaker Wire & Connection Using a Battery
  1. Connect the 9-volt battery terminals to the speaker terminals.  
  2. Keep in mind that you connect the positive terminal to the positive battery lead of the battery and vice versa for the negative battery lead. 
  3. If a pulse is created, this is a good sign. This means that the speaker is working properly.
  4. Ensure that you do not keep the 9-volt battery connected to your speaker for an extended period as this may damage the functionality of the speakers. 

How to Test the Resistance of Your Speaker?

Speaker impedance refers to the measure of the resistance of speakers to changing current. High impedance can affect the volume of your speakers, while a low value could mean that your amplifier will need to generate more power. 

Resistance Testing
Resistance Testing

You will find that most speakers contain information regarding the impedance rating on the speaker’s label or the packaging the speaker comes in. 4, 8 or 16 ohms is referred to as the ‘nominal impedance rating’, which falls in the frequency response range of 250 Hz to 400 Hz.

You can test the resistance of your speakers using a multimeter. In order to do this, use the lowest resistance setting on your multimeter, which is usually around 200 ohms. In order to test the impedance of your speaker, follow the steps below: 

  1. Disconnect your speaker from its power source.
  2. Next, connect the leads of the multimeter to your speaker’s terminals. 
  3. You will see a resistance reading on your multimeter. That is your speaker’s impedance. 

An Ending Note 

And that’s a wrap! We hope by now you have learnt how to test your speakers out. Whether they are brand new or not, it is good practice to regularly test and inspect your speakers for any damage or wear and tear.

Don’t let any physical damage get worse – it’s best to fix the issue as soon as you see it, or else you won’t be able to enjoy the audio experience as much. Along with this, keeping your speakers in top-notch condition ensures that they have a long life.