Speaker grills/mesh are one of the most common parts that often people neglect. Have you ever thought can these speaker grills affect the overall sound of your speaker? Well, I found these things pretty interesting and so I went a little deeper and I’d like to share my research with you.
Does the speaker grill affect the sound? Yes, the speaker grills do affect the sound. The speaker grills are present at the face of the driver covering it. As they allow the passage of sound, there is an interaction that takes place between the sound wave and the grill or mesh. Due to this interaction, sound wave propagation is affected.
So, I was a little curious and tried pulling the grill off the speaker and check if there is any difference. The results were certainly impressive.
It turns out that when you remove the grill or mesh off your speakers, you will experience a better sound quality. I pretty much loved how my speaker was sounding without those grills.
There’s one more thing I found out, that not all speakers have a removable grill or mesh. Luckily, the speaker grills we detachable and so I could fix them back. Therefore, do not try this with your speakers if you are uncertain about their detachability.
However, my little experimentation led me to find out how the sound was getting affected by the speakers and why my speakers sound better with the grills off. Let’s find out!
How do the speaker grills affect the sound?
The function of the speaker grills is to protect the internal parts of the speaker and the driver. Read more about it from here: Why do speakers have grills/mesh?
Nonetheless, they have an effect on the sound that comes out. Now, the one thing you need to know is that these speakers don’t really affect the sound in woofers and subwoofers.
This happens because woofers or subwoofers, deal with the production of low frequencies. These speaker grills are designed such that they allow the low frequencies to pass without any considerable effect on the sound waves.
For high frequencies, these grills tend to attenuate or tame the sound waves a little. It basically softens the high frequencies or sound effects.
The attenuation that takes place is not on a very large scale but it is enough to produce a noticeable difference in the sound. This is the reason why when I remove the grills, my speakers tend to sound better.
The speakers sound better without the grills because, when the grills are off, there is no attenuation of frequencies that take place. Since the frequencies come out as they are, the sound seems to be clear and hits on point.
However, since the grills are present for protection, some manufacturers make some adjustments. What these manufacturers do is that they tune the high frequencies enough to make up for the softening effect of the grills.
So, when you take off the grills, you end up with a lot of high frequency and it’s just noise. Although, this is not the case with all speakers.
Well, this was about the effects on sound due to the speaker grills. I have more information to share as this doesn’t possibly answer all the questions. Let’s move ahead with more questions.
Do metal speaker grills affect the sound?
As I even mentioned in the earlier post that there are two types of grills, hard and soft grills. Out of these the soft grills are made of materials like fabric, cloth, and so on. Whereas the hard grills are the ones that are made from materials like metal, wood, or plastic.
When talking about the materials used for the manufacturing of grills, the resonance of each material is to be considered. Different materials have different resonant frequencies and hence variable results.
As speaker grills, in general, affect the sound, it is pretty apparent that even metal speaker grills affect the sound, so the question here is how?
How do metal grills affect the sound?
Metal grills or hard grills are present on those speakers that are designed for rough wear and tear. Hard speaker grills have holes drilled on them that allow the sound to pass. They protect your speakers from comparatively bigger debris.
Hard or metal speaker grills are susceptible to rattling sound because of their thickness. This rattling sound is caused by the high-pressure levels.
Another aspect that affects that sound is that metal grills exhibit issues related to the resonance, reflection, and phase of the waves. Metal grills tend to reflect rather than absorb the vibrations.
Due to these factors metal grills have a considerably noticeable effect on the sound. Manufacturers most commonly use metals like aluminum or mild steel for making speaker grills.
Will covering a speaker damage it?
Well, the entire purpose of the speaker grills is to protect your speaker from any sort of external damage. So, covering your speaker with a speaker grill or mesh won’t damage your speaker. If you are wondering about the rattling and resonance I mentioned about, that is just to explain the different effects of the speaker grill.
There are some speakers that do not come with the speaker grill in the first place. So, altogether, covering your speaker with a grill or mesh doesn’t have to do anything with damaging it.
What is speaker grill cloth and does it affect the sound?
A speaker grill cloth is the soft speaker grill type. Again, yes, even the speaker grill cloth will affect the sound. However, the cloth grill eliminates the sound rattling possibilities as they absorb the vibrations and not reflect them.
So, the speaker grill cloth will have a comparatively less effect on the sound than the metal speaker grills, but they do have an effect on the sound.
- Also Read: Does subwoofer box shape really matter?
Here is my view about the speaker ends with how they affect the sound of the speakers. I hope that now you have a clear these grills and their effects on the sound.
If you feel like I’ve missed out on any point or you want me to answer some other questions, do let me know in the comments section.
See you in the next one, be techy:)