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Will unplugging speakers while they are still on damage them?

Last response: in Components
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April 18, 2012 2:36:34 AM

Well, today I unplugged my stereo speakers from my Xonar DG while still on and they made a loud popping noise. Will this damage my speakers or sound card?

Thanks

More about : unplugging speakers damage

April 18, 2012 3:31:49 AM

unplugging speaker while it work could damage the sound card ,your better shut them off and dont plug them in if the system is on that does a surge of power on the magnet and speaker usualy dont love that
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April 18, 2012 4:07:41 AM

scout_03 said:
unplugging speaker while it work could damage the sound card ,your better shut them off and dont plug them in if the system is on that does a surge of power on the magnet and speaker usualy dont love that



How would it damage the sound card?
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April 18, 2012 4:10:32 AM

yes there is a chance since output on modern sound card are made of transistor so system give audio power to empty load when speaker are not connected
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April 18, 2012 4:10:49 AM

If the amp is turned up enough it can actually damage the speaker, while it's unlikely that you have done any damage there is a possibility (turn the sound down next time)
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April 18, 2012 4:12:49 AM

scout_03 said:
yes there is a chance since output on modern sound card are made of transistor so system give audio power to empty load when speaker are not connected



So he should shutdown his computer before un plugging his speakers? lol
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April 18, 2012 4:15:18 AM

yes it's the same with a sound system
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April 18, 2012 4:19:03 AM

Well speaking from years of experience unplugging my speakers both with the computer on and off, but the speakers almost always on, I've yet to have any speakers explode/die from it.

The only damaged speakers I ever had was a set of logitech 2.1 X-230's where the sub-woofer developed a short in one of the wires going to the voice coil. It was from 2+ years of loud gaming and music with the sub turned all the way up.

Is it possible to fry a sound card the same way? Possibly, just like it is possible to fry a NIC by plugging in the network cable while everything is on. It's just not probable with the sound card.
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April 18, 2012 7:57:06 AM

cliffro said:
Well speaking from years of experience unplugging my speakers both with the computer on and off, but the speakers almost always on, I've yet to have any speakers explode/die from it.

The only damaged speakers I ever had was a set of logitech 2.1 X-230's where the sub-woofer developed a short in one of the wires going to the voice coil. It was from 2+ years of loud gaming and music with the sub turned all the way up.

Is it possible to fry a sound card the same way? Possibly, just like it is possible to fry a NIC by plugging in the network cable while everything is on. It's just not probable with the sound card.


I also made a lot of plugging/unplugging of powered speakers/hifis. If the volume control is pretty high, then you could damage the speakers (it did not happen to me yet, but I rarely listen to loud sounds). But contratry to the loud sound, I would say the high-frequency drivers are more susceptible for damage. This is because the bass driver will probably handle the power (amps are ususally of lower ratings than speakers), but the high-pass filter of high-drivers will pass a powerful spike when the amp clips (if you put it loud enough to distort sound, most active speakers will start blinking their power LED due to electrical limitations).

As for sound card damage, unplugging should not be a problem, but plugging could, especially if they are connected in another wall outlet (I'm thinking about different power circuits).

As a side-note, the NIC problem is not that relevant. All NICs have a transceiver that isolates the potential difference to the "other side". Also the cables are much longer, so NICs are designed to handle more, and when they fail, usually only the tranceiver will be damaged (the biggest component you can see on a NIC). As opposed to the sound card, which if damaged could result in BSODs, as almost nothing protects the chip from the jacks. But this can even happen on handling the PCB with static.
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