Why Do My Speakers Rattle? Here’s Why!

Are your speakers giving out some awkward sounds lately? Do you feel unwanted vibrations around your speakers when they are in use? These signs obviously mean there is something wrong with the speakers. 

If you suspect the speakers to be rattling and you want to find out why they rattle, then you are at the right place. Speakers rattle when they play music at very high volume levels. Other reasons such as low bass frequencies, foreign materials, and loose screws can also make your speakers rattle. 

Most drivers often experience rattling of their speakers to some extent, so you should not be surprised if you suddenly begin to notice rattling in your car speakers. The unwanted vibrations in your car speakers can really be a nuisance to your listening experience especially if you are in for a good ride. Several other factors account for the rattling of the speakers, so read on for these causes as I explain them vividly in this article. 

What Does It Mean When Your Speaker Rattles? 

First of all, when your speaker rattles, it doesn’t automatically mean that the speaker is blown. 

Here’s why. Because a functional speaker may also rattle at some point when its volume is too high or when there is too much bass in the music you are listening to. 

When your speaker rattles, it means foreign materials have gotten into your speaker and therefore need to be removed or fixed. 

The nuisance noise that you hear in the speakers are as a result of the foreign materials vibrating to the power from the speaker. 

If the speakers are not fixed in time to eliminate the rattling of the speakers, the speakers may be damaged in the long run.

What Does a Blown Speaker Sound Like?

As I said earlier, when your speaker rattles, it doesn’t mean that it is blown. Blown speakers, on most occasions, do not produce any sound. This is embarrassing since the speaker might just leave you in the middle of your audio session the moment it gets blown. 

However, if you are lucky enough, the blown speakers may produce some sounds. Bear in mind that sounds are not anything to write home about. 

The sounds are annoying and may cause your speaker to rattle. If you hear buzzing sounds in your speaker, chances are that it is blown up. 

You may also pay close attention to the notes of the music you listen to. On a blown speaker, you will likely hear indistinct notes throughout the duration of the music. 

Also Read:

How to fix a rattling speaker

Why are My Speakers Vibrating?

Rattling speakers often vibrate inconsistently. The vibrations could be so intense to displace objects around the speakers. 

Sometimes, you may even pick up the vibrations with your body and then begin to feel the vibration sensation in your chest and joints.  This can affect your health if you get exposed to such vibrations over a long period of time. 

Since speakers convert electrical power to sound, there is some sort of vibrations that comes into play whenever they are in operation. These vibrations are normal and only become a matter of concern when they are at intensive levels. 

If your speakers are vibrating beyond the normal levels, it could be that there I something wrong with the speaker connected to the amplifier. 

Most of the time, the cables are the culprits. When you connect faulty cables to the speaker and an amplifier, the connection tends to create some sort of electrical noise which is then transmitted to the speaker. 

With the noise in your audio system, the speaker will have no choice but to convert whatever signal is being transmitted to it. So, the speakers end up vibrating in an unusual manner, creating awkward noises in your ears.  

Why Does My Speaker Rattle?

Speakers rattle due several reasons. Some are technical reasons while others are just ordinary. 

If your speakers are rattling and you are concerned about what might be causing it, I have some reasons for you. 

Below are some of the reasons why your speakers rattle: 

  • High Volume
  • Low bass frequencies
  • Foreign materials in speakers
  • Loose screws

Let’s look at these reasons in detail. 

High Volume 

Let’s face it, some music is better enjoyed when the volume is high. However, listening to music at very high volumes on speakers is also a major cause of rattling in speakers. 

Here’s the thing. Speakers rely on electric power from amplifiers in order to produce sounds. The more the power, the likelihood of it producing louder sounds. 

The power from the amp creates sound vibrations in the speaker in order to create sound. When the amplitude of the sound is too high, the vibrations become intense and the cone of the speaker begins to move abnormally. 

The irregular movements of the cone at higher volumes are the main cause of rattling in speakers. 

Other damaged parts of the speaker such as the surround and the spider will also cause the speaker to malfunction and rattle at high volumes. 

Low Bass Frequencies 

If you’ve been around bass guitar amplifiers or speakers for a long, you’ll easily understand this phenomenon. You’ll realize that when very lower bass notes are played on the guitar, the vibrations instantly displace objects around the speakers. 

It’s almost the same thing with rattling speakers in your cars or homes. Bass notes tend to be heavy and there vibrate very strongly.

If you are playing music at mid to high frequencies, you may not experience rattling in speakers. However, music that is bass related or has a lot of bass notes will cause your speakers to rattle. 

Foreign Materials

Since the speakers often vibrate as they produce sounds, the introduction of foreign particles in the speaker will only increase the vibrations in the speaker. 

Light foreign materials such as shavings from metals resonate with the vibrations of the speaker and in the process are displaced all around the speakers. 

The vibration and displacement of such loose and light particles are what cause the speakers to rattle. 

During the displacement of the particles, they may be scratched against the voice coils or cone of the speaker, leading to the speakers producing annoying rattling sounds. 

Loose Screws

The speakers in your car, wherever they are, whether at the door panel or rear side, need to be screwed firmly into their compartment. 

Sometimes, the screws that were used on the speakers become loose and dangle around the positions. 

As you use the speakers in your car, the loose speakers feel the vibration from your speaker cones and resonate with the speaker. 

The screws, being metallic, produce unpleasant sounds which interfere with the music on your speakers. 

The rattling is largely caused by the vibrations of these loose speakers, which often scrape against other surfaces. 

Can You Damage Speakers by Playing Them too Loud?

In general, loud sounds are not good for your speakers except the speaker has enough capacity to accommodate the sound. 

This simply means loud sounds on your speakers may damage the speakers after some time. 

The speaker has voice coils that produce sounds in the speakers. These coils can only take electrical power within the limits of the power rating of the speaker. 

When you set your amplifier to higher volumes, the power that would be sent to the speakers may exceed the rating of the speaker, causing the coils to heat up and even burn in the process. 

So, it is always advisable to keep your speakers at lower volumes. 

Final Thoughts 

The rattling of speakers is something you will most likely come across as a driver. If you prefer to listen to music at higher volumes during your car ride, then you should expect your car speakers to rattle at some point in time. 

Many factors contribute to the rattling of your speakers. The experience may be unpleasant especially if you are an audiophile since you’ll have to constantly battle with some annoying background sounds. 

The rattling of your speakers may be caused by the introduction of foreign particles in your speakers or the presence of loose screws around your speakers. Generally, high-volume audio is the major cause of rattling in speakers so you may look out for that. 


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