Do Magnets Mess Up Speakers? (Answered)


Speakers produce sound by applying magnetic forces to a cone surround. These forces, activated by electricity, create vibrations which our ears interpret as sound. However, these powerful speaker magnets can potentially cause damage when they come into contact with metal objects.

The Detrimental Effect of Magnets on Speakers

The size and type of magnet can affect its potential damage to speakers. Larger magnets can heat up voice coils, leading to distortion or even burnouts. As such, it is recommended to keep magnets several inches away from speakers to ensure optimal performance.

Interference of Magnetism on Speaker Performance

Recalling a basic grade school science experiment, iron filings over a magnet demonstrate the lines of magnetic force. This force can distort the sound produced by speakers, leading to an adverse effect on the music performance and your listening experience.

Inside a Speaker: Magnet Selection and Sound Production

Inside every speaker is a permanent magnet surrounded by an electromagnet that contains coils of wire. Pulses of electricity passing through these coils cause rapid fluctuations in the magnetic field, triggering the voice coil movement necessary for sound production. Speaker manufacturers often use magnets made of neodymium, alnico or ceramic (ferrite), each with their own benefits and potential drawbacks.

Why You Should Avoid Keeping Magnets Near Speakers

Placing magnets near speakers can result in several types of damage. Firstly, the magnetic field could interfere with the speaker’s functionality, causing sound distortion. Moreover, magnets could damage metallic components like screws over time.

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The Potential Dangers of Magnetic Fields to Speakers and Users

Magnetic fields can produce voltage that may damage or destroy voice coils, potentially leading to dangerous sparks. For safety reasons and to maintain the integrity of your speakers, it is advised to keep magnets away from them and ensure all metallic components are secure before assembling your speakers.

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