How to Test Speaker Ohms with a Multimeter

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How to Test Speaker Ohms with a Multimeter

Nothing beats listening to your favorite songs after long hours from work. You sit in the coach and turn on your music player. But you suddenly get annoyed because you don’t hear any sound. Then, you check the speaker wires to find out the problem. In the end, your efforts are useless – you can’t figure out if there’s a wiring fault or not. 

Don’t get upset because you can do minor troubleshooting to your speakers. How? You use a multimeter, of course. Before we go to that, let’s first identify the possible problems with your speaker. 

Possible Causes of Speaker Problems 

Sound issues in your speakers are caused by the following: 

Grounding –

Do you observe loose or disconnected ground wires on your speaker? If yes, you can relocate the wires in a stable and secure location. You would know if there’s ground wire because there would be a whining and buzzing sound in the audio system. 

Blown Speakers –

A distorted sound is often caused by a blown speaker. When this happens, there’s no chance of repairing the speaker. Your only solution is to replace the speaker. Take note: visible damage to the speaker is one of the signs of a blown speaker. 

Amplifier Settings –

Sometimes, speaker problems come from amplifier settings. Check the settings of the amplifier for you to have secure speaker connections. 

Loose or Disconnected Connections –

Speaker connectors and wires often become disconnected or loose. So, inspect the connections and wires of your speakers carefully. Check each area of the sound system to ensure there are no issues with the wires and connectors. (We’ll talk about how to test speaker ohms with multimeter later.)

Testing the Speaker Ohms with Multimeter 

A digital multimeter (DMM) is a handy device you can use in measuring the volts, resistance, continuity of a circuit or electrical component. For basic checking or troubleshooting of your speakers, the multimeter is also an excellent device to use. 

Don’t worry if you’re a beginner in using a multimeter. Remember: you don’t need to be an expert to test speaker ohms using a multimeter. Here are easy and simple steps you need to follow

1. Turn off the Speaker 

Before working with electronics, don’t forget the #1 safety rule – turn off the component. You can get hurt or damage the speaker if you don’t turn it off. Also, you face multiple problems if you don’t turn off the device. 

2. Remove the Speaker Wires 

Now, you’re ready to remove the speaker wires. Before you do that, check the wires first before removing these from the box. (Take note: this is an essential step for the positive and negative wires of the speaker.) Press the two clips holding the wire, or you can twist the connectors in counterclockwise. 

Next, remove the speaker wires from the receiver. Remember: Don’t remove the wire while the speaker’s lock mechanism is engaged. You need to press the clips together by using an electric screwdriver or (if you like) remove the wires by twisting the lock. 

3. Connect Speaker Wires Together 

Here’s the step where you would create a circuit. You can do this by twisting two separate cables together. Hence, you have a perfect closed circuit for testing continuity. 

Note: Don’t twist the wires together tightly. Why? You might experience separating the wires later that leads to damage.  

4. Setup the Multimeter 

Turn on the digital multimeter and set the dial to Ohms function. (People often use this option in testing resistance, and we’ll use this now to check the speaker ohms.) Make sure the test meter is working properly before you test the speakers. Touch the red and black probes to one another. 

Keep in mind:  The multimeter should read O Ohms that means the test meter has no defects. But if you see another reading, there’s an issue with your multimeter. It’s best you buy a new multimeter before proceeding to the next step. 

5. Test the Wire 

In this final step, you touch the test meter’s two probes to the speaker wires. Do this on two untwisted wires. 

What if the multimeter shows an infinite resistance? Well, there might be a cut or break in certain parts of the wire. The good solution to prevent this is to replace the speaker wires. 

Take note: Your speakers are working well if there’s resistance to the cable displays. Your speaker might have other sound issues. 

That’s it. In following the above-mentioned steps, you already know how to test speaker ohms with multimeter easily! But wait – we’re not done yet. 

Here are expert tips to make your work more effective: 

  • Round up the reading on your multimeter. Speaker readings might be different from the readings of a multimeter. When a speaker plays music, the actual impedance is different by the sound frequency. The actual impedance of an 8-Ohm speaker ranges from 5 to 50 ohms.
  • Buy an amplifier or speaker that has 4 ohms to get excellent ability and compatibility in running multiple speakers at once. 

Warning: 

Look for warning labels or stickers on amplifiers that tell you, “Don’t connect your speaker with less than 8 ohms.” You might face difficulty connecting more than one 8-ohm speakers to these receivers.

Don’t panic if you can’t find out at once the problem of your sound system. Besides simple wire and connector checking, you can use a multimeter to test the speaker ohm.  Multimeters are handy and reliable devices that allow you to check speaker issues precisely. You can also determine if other issues cause the speaker problem. 

Before using a multimeter, you do a physical inspection first. Assume that the device isn’t working properly if you see signs of damage. Keep the test meter and probe in a safe place to prevent damage.  Don’t forget to test the meter’s probe before using it to secure your safety. Multimeters are used to check circuits and electrical components, so it’s best to test these before use. 

Also, read the test meter’s manual to get additional tips and tricks in using the device. In doing this, you have full security and safety using a multimeter to test speakers and other devices. 

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.

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