Can fast and loud transients damage speakers?




I'm currently designing the sound for a weapon and I'm using fireworks in it. I really enjoy the way it sounds but is it not going to wear out my speakers? It's a pair of A7's (Rohacell/carbon fiber membrane, rubber suspensions, ribbon tweeters).

Justin Huss

Posted 2010-07-27T11:30:04.187

Reputation: 2 656



You blow a speaker one of two ways:

  • Constant overdriving that causes the cone to tear due to stress or your voice coil to burn up
  • A clipped amplifier that's sending too much power

If it's just loud, you're fine. If you're distorting, you're probably still fine. Given these have built in crossovers and amps, they probably have some sort of limiting as well. Usually clipped amps only happens after the DSP in a live system, and is an error by whoever has set it up. This shouldn't happen in your case.

I say run 'em loud! If you blow a cone or voice coil, it was probably already weakened.


Posted 2010-07-27T11:30:04.187

Reputation: 3 122


You should be more concerned about damaging your ears than your speakers :)

I do a LOT of gun sounds and I've never damaged a speaker. In a previous life I sold recording equipment. Most blown speakers that I saw were woofers and usually they were passive monitors owned by rap guys. I imagine they were pumping way too much power into their speakers to get them to "bump". Unless you are being stupid and doing things that your speakers weren't designed to do, you'll be fine.

Chuck Russom

Posted 2010-07-27T11:30:04.187

Reputation: 4 359

My ears should be alright, it was not that loud so that I get ringing ears after a bit, it was just really steep transients at a fairly sustained fire rate for a machine gun. Thanks for sharing your experience! – Justin Huss – 2010-07-27T21:18:40.877