Should You Put Grilles On Your Speakers?
People have speculated whether to put grilles on their speakers at home. There are a few factors that you should think about when deciding to put grilles on. Some even wonder if putting grilles on affects the overall sound quality. There is necessarily a concrete answer due to the fact that it boils down to a few factors. Based on these factors, you can decide which ones you hold to a higher importance than the other.
What’s in a speaker grille? They are usually comprised of metal, mesh, or cloth. Each with degrees of perforation in order for the sound to travel through. Even a very thin metal sheet can drastically alter sound waves from the speaker to listener. Speaker grille cloth is specifically and specially designed to allow the easy sound transmission to flow through the material. No, this isn’t just your ordinary fabric. Speaker fabric transmits frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz through the fabric seamlessly. Not to mention these come in a variety of colors to match your aesthetic.
The first factor about placing grilles on your speakers is the style preference you prefer. Some people love the look of seeing the components of their speakers and subwoofers. This draws attention to your speakers, they take center stage of the room. Some people prefer not to draw attention to their audio equipment and prefer the decor or other pieces of the room to shine. Speaker cloths come in a variety of colors and you can even paint your grilles to match the wall color for in-ceiling/in-wall speakers. So that leaves the question, do you want your speakers to draw attention or go for a concealed look and allow them to blend in with the room?
If you have children or pets running around, this may be a good reason to keep the grilles on. The grilles do a great job of keeping sticky fingers and scratching claws away from your speakers. Why spend all that money on a quality speaker system if you don’t ensure that your kids and crawlers won’t get in the way of damaging your system? Another great benefit of keeping your grilles on is that they act as a dust cover to keep your drivers clean and dirt free.
Depending on the type and brand of speakers you have, placing grilles on your speakers can have an effect on sound quality. Some manufacturers of higher end speakers want to ensure the best sound quality and even recommend taking the grilles off to achieve the best sound while lower-end companies might not put as much thought into their speaker grille composition. Other companies will say that grilles can enhance your sound experience or they won’t make a difference in sound whatsoever. If you’re on the market for a speaker system, do some research on the equipment and what the company has to say about optimizing sound performance. The best way to figure out is the good old hearing test trick. Listen to your speakers with the grilles on and vice versa and test them out.
By: Wendy Wang