Protect Your Tech With Speaker Covers

A good pair of speakers is the heart of any entertainment center, whether it's in your home or in your vehicle. Once you've chosen, purchased, and installed the perfect set, you're left with an important question: do you need a speaker cover to protect them? You can find speaker covers on eBay at various price points.

How do speaker covers protect your speakers?

Speaker covers, also known as grilles, protect the audio drivers inside a speaker from dirt and damage. Grilles are usually made from a woven or mesh material. The goal is to create a cover that provides protection without significantly obstructing the sound waves on their way out of the speaker. The netting collects dust and prevents anything from falling into the speaker, while the sound waves pass through the mesh and re-form on the other side of the barrier.

One of the main protections provided by speaker covers is actually against human interference. Curious children and even adults can poke their finger into your drivers, popping the diaphragm or damaging a sensitive wire. A thin netting on the front of the speaker is a subtle way to keep this from happening while maintaining a neat appearance.

Should you put covers on your speakers?

The decision to use speaker covers comes down to a balance between device protection and sound quality. Although speaker manufacturers work hard to make a cover that won't impact the sound of their product, many audiophiles still insist that they get a better sound without them. Sound waves re-form around small barriers, but the slight disruption can still cause a noticeable difference in clarity. In addition, heavy or poorly fitted speaker covers can start rattling under intense sound pressure levels.

On the other hand, some covers may actually improve the quality of sound by applying a filter and reducing an unpleasant frequency. If it sounds like the music is thin or has an echo, the right cover can redirect the waves back at the listener and offer a small improvement. Finally, grilles are often used to improve the appearance of your speaker set. In particular, car speaker covers are used to cover up the exposed tech and give the car interior a smooth, clean look.

Whether or not you should use covers depends on the speakers you own, the environment they exist in, and the way you prefer your audio to sound. If your speakers are kept in a dusty or active place, a good cover may provide some protection. It's also a good idea to check the manufacturer's recommendation for your specific pair of speakers in case they have been specifically designed for use with or without a cover.

How do you choose the right set of speaker covers?

Speaker covers are far from one-size-fits-all. Auto speaker covers will have a completely different shape from home theater speaker covers even if they are made from similar materials. When deciding which set of grilles to purchase, you should consider:

  • Size:Make sure that the covers are the correct diameter for your model of speaker. You can measure the speaker directly, or see the manufacturer site for details on your product.
  • Fittings:A custom speaker cover can be the right diameter, but still not have the correct attachments for your product. In particular, pay attention to the size and location of the screw holes on your cover compared to your speaker set. When purchasing speaker covers online, see if the attachment dimensions are listed.
  • Material:on any set of speaker covers, the fabric used can play a significant part in the sound quality. Look for a thin, flexible mesh that will let sound through without rattling or reducing the volume.