Speaker grills are generally used to protect the speakers from dust and people who like to poke their fingers in everything (don’t do that please).
However, In regards to speakers grills, many people ask the question; do speaker grills affect sound quality? The answer to this question is not straightforward. It depends on what kind of speakers you are using and how they are being used. Speaker grilles can actually help improve the quality of sound, but only if they are designed in a certain way.
When you install a set of speakers, it is important to make sure that they have airflow through the grill. This will keep your audio sounding crisp and clear. If you notice any distortion in sound, then chances are there is something blocking the airflow from getting into the grill.
In this blog post, I will discuss the different types of speaker grilles and their effects on sound quality.
What are speaker grilles and what do they do?
Speaker grilles are the mesh or metal coverings on speakers that protect the drivers from dust and dirt. These can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns.
For instance, some speaker grille covers may have diamonds cut out for visual aesthetics while others will use circles to make them more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Speaker manufacturers also try their best to make these grilles resistant to weather conditions so they won’t need replaced often due to corrosion or rusting. In addition, there is something called “acoustic dampening foam” which goes behind the speaker driver inside this grill cover.
This material helps reduce vibration coming through by absorbing it with its acoustic properties rather than reflecting it.
How Do Grilles Affect the Sound Quality?
As mentioned earlier, grilles are primarily used to block any unnecessary elements from getting into your speakers. Dust, pets, kids – everything that you would want to keep away from your precious sets of speakers (all audiophiles can relate).
However, the grilles do impact the sound. It happens because the sound waves get diffracted because of those grilles. The mids and lows get muffled. However, the sound, when compared with when the grilles are off, sounds crisper and livelier.
To explain, play something on your phone and listen to how it sounds carefully. Now, place your finger or a paper over the speakers – you, see? There is a clear difference. The former just songs better.
Why speaker grilles are important for sound quality?
Speaker grilles are not just for decoration. They also serve a functional purpose as the front-facing part of an enclosure that protects drivers from dust and dirt, prevents sound from escaping outside its intended area (or to other speakers), and helps absorb vibration coming through the diaphragm inside the speaker driver.
There is much confusion about whether or not these grilles have any effect on how we hear audio output – turns out they can!
Let’s explore more in detail below…
The right kind of grill can create better acoustics while still being visually appealing. Grills with larger holes will allow us to listen without obstruction but may cause unwanted reflections which could slap against our ears wrongfully causing feedback loops.
Some speaker grilles will also have foam padding that is designed to minimize vibrations coming through the diaphragm. There are plenty of different types of speakers on the market today, all with their own unique set of characteristics and features as well as driver configurations – which can include woofers, mid-range drivers, or tweeters.
On top of this, there’s no one solution fits all when it comes to enclosures either: we find variations in shapes (from ported boxes up to horns), sizes (perhaps from floor standing cabinets for home theater use), and materials used (ranging from plastics to wood).
All these factors make it difficult to answer definitively whether or not speaker grill design affects sound quality.
It’s clear though that there are some general guidelines to follow when considering speaker grilles.
For one, the type of material used will have a large impact on sound quality: rubber or foam materials can help reduce vibration coming from the diaphragm while metal grill covers may reflect unwanted noise back into your eardrums.
The size and shape of these holes in the speaker grille also play an important role here as well: for example, larger spaces could be better at allowing us to hear what’s being played without obstruction (while still looking visually appealing) – but they might also create issues with feedback loops and reflections that slaps against our ears wrongfully causing distortion.
When Should You Use the Speaker Grilles?
Yes, I know that I just said that the sound does get affected when you use speaker grilles. But here’s the thing – you know wearing sunblock is annoying, but it keeps you safe.
Similarly, sound grilles do keep your speakers safe. Therefore, you should use them.
You can find the right balance by using the grilles when you are not using the speakers and take them off when you play something on them. So, you will get to keep your cake and have it too. On the other hand, if you are a clean freak AND you live without kids or pets – feel free to take the speaker grilles off.
On top of this, the speaker grills do give the device a cleaner and sleek look. You can either have a bunch of objects on your speaker or a decent soundbar type looks to it. The latter will look a whole lot better.
1. Magnetic Speakers Grills – Protection Made Easy
Now that we know that speaker grills are important to keep your speakers safe, but they will somehow take away from your experience. So, we have found a way out – magnetic sound grills. You can just take them off in a snip and enjoy your playlist and snap them on when you are done. However, you will have to pull off Bob the builder, but we will walk you through the process.
2. Lay The Base
First thing first, it’s time to lay the base. Take a wooden plank made out of cardboard material, anything that is not heavy. You need it to be lightweight, so it does not topple over your speakers. Next, drill four holes on each side of the plank (in a rectangular manner).
After that, you will have to stack two more pieces of cardboard and then glue them together. You will have to keep the drilled one in the center. After you are done, put a weighty object on the cardboard and leave it for a day so the glue gets some time to settle.
3. Cut it Down
Now you will have to cut the cardboard to make space for the grill cloth. Before you make the cut, make sure that you mark the space properly, so it fits the speaker like a glove. Because if it doesn’t then all this hard work will go to waste.
4. Time To Add the Cloth
After you have cut the cardboard with precision (hopefully). You will have to locate the magnets and staple the cloth over them. It is crucial to use a thinner cloth to avoid any hassle while stapling it on the wooden plank.
Once the cloth is on, you are done. Try it on the speaker and make sure that it fits properly. If not, you can sand the edges after taking off the cloth or make another one from scratch. The good thing is that you will now be experienced to do the job (pun intended).
Speaker grills make a difference in sound quality. You can argue over the fact that the difference is minimal but there is a clear difference. However, it is a double-edged sword, you need the sound grills to keep your speakers safe. So, you need it to keep them on, at least when you are not using the speakers.
For this transition, you can make a DIY magnetic grill setup that you can just put on and off in a snip. So, you get to kill two birds with one stone.