I have a malfunctioned speaker, its sound does not come out normally but is like being stuck, which word(s) could I use to describe a speaker with defected sound? Thanks in advance.


4 Answers 4


I would be tempted to describe the sound the speaker makes. There are lots of ways a speaker could be broken, The sound could be:

  • tinny
  • cracked
  • distorted
  • warped
  • garbled


  • choppy, “Discontinuous, intermittent. [eg] The sound is choppy in this video
  • staticky, “Resembling or containing static [eg] The connection was staticky
  • buzzing, “The sound produced by something that buzzes [eg] I can hear buzzing coming from the television

Three possibly-relevant ELU questions are Can sound be "blurry?", What word can I use for unclear music?, and Term for buzzing or hissing sound often created by vibration. In an answer to that last, I wrote:

An webervst.com spterm.html webpage defines numerous terms for speaker-related distortions, including Boomy, Breakup, Buzz, Rattle, Cone Cry, Ghost Notes, Edge Yowl, Crunch, Damping, Diffused, Fizz, Flabbing, Farting Out, Harsh, Honking, Muddy, Peaky, Presence Notch, Voice Coil Rub. The web page attributes buzz and rattle to speaker damage, caused for example by exceeding a speaker's power limits.


Clipping- a form of distortion caused by cutting off the peaks of audio signals. Clipping usually occurs in the amplifier when it's input signal is too large or when the voltage rails of the power supply cannot deliver the necessary voltage to the power amp.

Distortion - any undesirable change or error in the reproduction of sound that alters the original signal.

Phase Distortion - a type of audible distortion caused by time delay between various parts of the signal; can be caused by equalizer



You can use faulty speaker or defective speaker, for example.

  • Faulty and defective are words with wider meanings. But here we're only concern with sound of speaker nothing else. @superluminary has the correct answer, he described the problems in sound.
    – paul
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 9:05

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