Speaker Grills On or Off: Which Method Sounds Better?

We all had experienced some sort of disdain towards the speaker grill at some point. What’s the use of this thing? The sound comes louder and better without it. So, why bother keeping it?

So, here comes the dilemma on which is better, speaker grills on or off?

Your speaker can sound a lot better without the speaker grill. But then again, it depends on personal preference and the quality of sound. Tones come crispier and louder when the grills are off. Which may or may not sound pleasant to all ears. When they are on you get more of a deep tone. 

Not sure about which decision you want to go with? Then we invite you to read our piece till the end. Maybe it’ll help to make up your mind.

Let’s begin!

Should Speaker Grill Stay On Or Off?

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to speaker grills. Why is that? Because the configuration of sound devices differs from brand to brand, model to model.

With one model or brand, music might sound better with a speaker grill on. But with another brand or model music might sound better without the grills.

Should Speaker Grill Stay On
Source: audioholics.com

It greatly depends on personal taste as well. Some may prefer sharp tones while others prefer the deepness of it. The material on which the grills are built also determines the tone of it. 

Even the famous Klipsch brand stick its hands into the heated debate-

Therefore, there are lots of determining factors when it comes to the speaker grills.  The choice differs from person to person based on many aspects.

So, there’s no concrete answer to it. Rather people do what they find preferable. Because using your speaker with or without grills doesn’t cause any harm to the device.

Some people find the crisper and loud sound better. So the grille is better off with them. But there are some factors you should learn before taking off the grills. 

It might help make up your mind on whether to keep them on or off.

The Problems With Speaker Grills

Do speaker grills affect sound quality? As a matter of fact, yes it does affect the sound quality. The grille on the speaker causes diffraction of sound

The sound coming from the device hits the surface of the speaker grills. As a result, few soundwaves reflect back. This phenomenon causes some of the sound produced by the device to get blocked.

Speaker Grills
Source: electronichouse.com

The reflection goes back to the speaker’s cone. Resulting in a phase called comb-filtering which creates strange resonance. The grills also create their own resonance.

As this adds up it affects the sound quality of your speaker. Now, the fabric that is stretched over on the grille is not the main cause. That’s because those are acoustically transparent

So the interference is way too little. What causes the phenomenon is the frame of the grille. The figure and the construction of its structure make it less or more audible.

The material the frame is made of plays an important part here. These frames are usually made from plastic, wood, or metal. Each of these elements has its own sonic issues.

Plastic and metal grill frames face resonant frequencies due to their material and shape. On the other hand wooden frames suffer more from diffraction problems.

Some of the frames have both resonance and diffraction issues. So, whichever type of grill it has will be affected by the material and shape. 

This is why when you take off the grille the tone sounds different. In most cases, the sound comes sharper and louder than before. Those are the devices with the most diffraction issues.

resonant frequencies
Source: archimago.blogspot.com

But diffraction doesn’t always mean bad. Sound engineers do calculate the diffraction efficiency ratio grills are gonna make. Based on that they determine the structure of the grills.

Grills often make the tone sounds smoother and more pleasant to the ears. It also has many other advantages. Now, let’s look at the brighter part, shall we?

5 Advantages Of Using Speaker Grills

The speaker grills have more than one advantage. Which makes it even more debatable whether to keep using or discarding it. Let’s go through them one by one.

Protects Speaker From UV Damage

Keeping the speaker exposed to sunlight for a long time can damage it. That’s why it’s recommended not to place them in the presence of sunlight. Although UV exposure for a short while isn’t serious.

But excessive rays can damage the cones of your speaker. That’s why it’s better to leave the grills on. It can filter harmful UV rays. In the process, it will minimize the harmful effect the UV rays put on electrostatic membranes.

Protects Speaker From Humid Weather

Your weather can put a toll on your electronic devices like subwoofers. Especially if the weather is high with humidity. Rain, snow, and sleet in other words cold weather can damage your device.

Water can get into the device from the humid weather. Although your speaker can be waterproof it still doesn’t ensure its safety. 

To block the blowing cold air from entering the system, frills would work just fine. That’s why when the air is humid, you should leave the grills on. Maybe it’ll help to prolong your Sony speaker’s lifespan.

Protects From Dust

The grills on speakers are not only for decoration purposes. It saves the internal components from getting blocked by dust.

grills on speakers
Source: flanners.com

Dust leads to corrosion and easily shortens the lifespan of your electronic devices. Also, it’s pretty hard to get the dust out of your electronic devices. 

Without the grills, your speaker will get blocked soon. As a result, the sound quality will also be hampered. Keeping the grills on saves you from this hassle.

Protects From Physical Harm

The hardware of the speakers is mostly made out of wood or metal, plastics even. But that doesn’t mean they are completely out of harm’s way.

Especially if you have kids or pets in your house. It’s important to safeguard the internal components from scratches or water getting spilled over.

The speaker grills do an excellent job of that. So, it’s recommended that you use the grills to keep the speakers from harm’s way. That way, your home speaker’s lifespan will be longer.

Provides More Bass

Have you checked the sound quality of your speaker with and without grills? Then you must have noticed one difference very clearly. The tone sounds much crispier than before.

The feel of the bass sound has reduced a lot. That’s right, speaker grills help the device in producing more bass. In case you prefer the sound enhancing the lower notes, the bass is necessary.

It makes the frequency higher and provides a much richer sound. So, it’s not always an obstacle. But also an element to make the sound better. It also helps small speakers make more bass.

For deeper bass metallic grills are preferable. They can produce the highest frequency needed leading to a much deeper bass.

Things to Consider When Choosing Speaker Grills

Earlier we mentioned how speaker grills block some sounds and cause diffraction and resonance. But you can minimize this loss and get the best out of them.

For that, you’ll have to consider the following facts when choosing grills for your speaker.

Material of the Grill

The frame of the grills is mostly made out of metal, wood, or plastic. Speaker grill fabrics are used in the middle. Among these choices, it’s better to cast wooden structures aside.

Since the diffraction and resonance both form on wooden grills. That leaves you with either choosing metal or plastic grills. Metal grills provide a strong barrier for the internal components.

But since they are too hard, metal grills have some drawbacks. It has a lack of flexibility when the soundwaves hit the frames. So, instead of providing protection, it causes damage to the speaker.

Speaker grill fabrics
Source: fabricgateway.com

That’s why the density of the frame’s material is important. If the material is too dense it’ll backfire. The best choice among all these options would be plastic grills.

Speaking of plastic grills, there are actually lots of aftermarket grills you can check out. For example, KISSTAKER Speaker Fabric Cloth or WAYBER Speaker Grill Cloth Stereo Mesh Fabric. These are excellent replacements for your sturdy speaker mesh.

They have the perfect density and are also hard and durable. Plastic is also water resistant so you don’t have to worry about rust or corrosion.  

Frame Structure

When choosing the speaker grills try to pick ones that cover less with frame. The fabric part should be more stretched. The frame part shouldn’t be in the middle area and create obstacles for passing sound waves.

The shape of the speaker cone also determines a lot about the grills’ shape. If you’re confused about the frames try having expert opinions. Depending on the model and brand of your speaker the availability would also matter.


Speaker grills perforation makes a lot of difference in the sound quality. The amount of vibration that passes through the grill sheet should be accurate. 

The designs that can reach the more precise number to accuracy give the best outcome. A good quality grille with perfect perforation will have more open areas to pass sounds.

The patterns should help it gain the most unaltered sound. If the patterns are not favorable the sound quality will differ a lot for alteration. 

That’s why high-end brands always come up with good perforation patterns. Hopefully, all this information helps you with buying your speaker grill.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we call the end to our discussion, a few more facts to know-

Which is better between a cloth speaker grill or a metal speaker grill?

Metal speaker grills can last very long compared to cloth speaker grills. Durability aside, cloth grills absorb some of the sounds and create a high-frequency tone. The diffraction is less. But it’s higher in metal grills. Metal grills are better if you want deeper bass.

What is a soft speaker mesh/grill?

Soft speaker mesh is generally made out of fabrics and not hard materials. For example, cloth(stitched, weaved) or foam. They are usually used on guitar amps, computer speakers, and home theatre speakers. They are more on the absorptive side rather than reflecting the sound waves.

Why do some speakers don’t have any grill?

There are some instances where the speaker grills are not necessary. Because it hampers the sound performance. Such as the studio monitor. These are designed in such a way that produces sound with much accuracy. The grills would only act as an obstacle and will complicate things.


That’s all from us about speaker grills on or off. Although the answer isn’t absolute, we tried to give you a clear picture here. 

So, you should know with trial and error which one you prefer it to be. Because either is fine. Hope that helps with making up your mind. 

See you soon!

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