How to Fix a Ripped Subwoofer Cone

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Updated October 26, 2022

Even the best speakers are highly delicate and sometimes suffer damage. So, to keep your good subwoofers and speakers in good condition, owners should know some basic repair techniques. If your sub-speaker has a crack, puncture, or tear, below we’ll explain how to fix a ripped subwoofer cone.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The type of patch and repair supplies for a blown subwoofer depends on the material of the speaker cone.
  • To repair it, remove the subwoofer from its box and glue patches onto both sides of the speaker, letting them rest for a couple of days to fully dry.
  • Test the patchwork by plugging the speaker into the amp and listening for any buzzing or flapping noises. You may need to add another patch if there are still strange noises.

Another great habit of getting into is cleaning your speakers routinely. For more on this, you can read our guide on how to clean a subwoofer speaker.

Insider Tip

Always double-check to ensure that the glue you’re using will adhere to the material of your speaker cone.

How to Repair a Torn Subwoofer

Given that subwoofers are usually placed out in the open with the speaker exposed, it’s not uncommon for the speaker to get punctured or torn. Cones can also get damaged if placed in an area with dramatic humidity fluctuations.

When this happens, the speaker makes strange flapping sounds, which can ruin the listening experience. Upon discovering the damage, many think they need to get a new speaker, but successfully repairing a subwoofer cone takes just a bit of technical know-how.

For more technical tips on subwoofers, check out our other resources, like how to fix a subwoofer with no sound or how to connect a subwoofer to a TV.

STEP 1 Purchase Proper Repair Materials

Stores sell specific kits with everything you need to perform a successful repair. Depending on your cone type, you may need to purchase different materials. For example, subwoofers usually have a plastic, silicone, or polypropylene cone, which requires an elastic foam patch. However, if your speaker has a paper cone, you should use paper to patch the tear.

STEP 2 Remove the Speaker from the Box

Use a screwdriver to remove all the screws attaching the speaker to the enclosure.

STEP 3 Create Patches

Measure the size of the speaker cone’s tear or puncture, then cut out two patches that fully cover the damage. If the incision size is significant, create one patch to cover the damage and a larger patch to go on top of the first one.

STEP 4 Glue the Tear

Before placing on the patch, apply glue or silicone caulk with a small paint brush to the cracks or tears. Rub in the glue to ensure it goes in between the seam.

STEP 5 Place on the Rear Patch

Take your patch cut out, add some extra glue to the cone’s surface area and place the patch sitting entirely over the tear. Once the patch is on, place a weighted object on the patch to hold it down. Leave the weight on for about an hour.

STEP 6 Place on the Front Patch

Glue on another patch to the outer side of the speaker. Then press it and let it sit for an hour.

STEP 7 Apply Glue to the Edges of the Patch

Use the paintbrush to add more glue around the edges of the patches, then wipe away any excess glue with a tissue.

STEP 8 Let the Speaker Rest

Allow the speaker about 48 hours to let the glue fully dry.

STEP 9 Test the Speaker

Before placing the speaker back in the enclosure, hook up the subwoofer to the amplifier and play something through it to test the security of the patch. Ensure the flapping or buzzing sound has gone away. Also, check the patches on both sides, ensuring no visible tears or leaks.

Warning

When repairing a torn speaker cone, avoid using super glue. Super glue becomes extremely rigid when dry and can eventually damage the outer foam ring.

STAT: The typical frequency range for a subwoofer is between 20-200 Hz. (source)

How to Fix a Ripped Subwoofer Cone FAQs

How can you protect your speaker cone from riping again?

Quality repair materials are essential to ensure the speaker doesn't break again. Additionally, place the speaker where it's less likely to be pierced or jostled. You can also buy a separate speaker grill to protect the speaker from being bumped.

Is a repaired speaker cone going to sound worse than a new one?

If the job is done correctly, the sound quality will closely resemble the speaker before the damage. But it likely won't be the same as it was before.

Can you use a speaker even if the cone is ripped?

Technically, yes. However, there will likely be storage flapping noises, and the continued low frequencies could further stretch and worsen the damage.
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