Speaker grilles on or off?

  • ON for acoustic reason
  • OFF for acoustic reason
  • ON for appearance reason
  • OFF for appearance reason
  • ON for protection reason (dust / cat / small child)
  • no grilles available / not removable

0 voters

  • speaker grill HAVE audible impact on SQ
  • speaker grill DOESN’T HAVE audible impact on SQ

0 voters

Share your opinion and experience, measurements, speaker photos etc.

You’re missing ON for cat/small child reason?


Added. More options are welcome :wink:

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Depends on the speaker.

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Sure it does but for acoustic or appearance reason? How about your primary / most liked system?
I’m trying to find out if people experiment with grilles for acoustic or appearance reasons and if they hear a difference.

The grilles will work as a form of filter (sound wave must pass through). I have noticed that speakers usually get a bit more “open” with them off, but not a massive difference. Also, some speakers are designed to sound best with the grills, while others without grills.

I do prefer to leave them on for protection.


I have read somewhere that fabric cover is not problem as it is fully transparent but the frame can be problem (size, thickness, reflections) and then depends if manufacturer tuned with or w/o grill and how audible (if audible) it is. I have nerver seen any mention by manufacturer like “better with grill off” so probably no concern.

It’s my dogs that want to lick the speakers.
I have to keep the grills on, as much as I prefer to remove them for listening sessions. (I do for the occasional long listening session)

Had them on as long as my daughter was a danger, then immediately off with the things. They are not made of fine fabric, but of a plastic. They looked a bit rustic and I think the sound is a little better without them. But perhaps that is only imagination. :wink:

What grille’s??


My point is that I’m not sure if your results are going to lead to any conclusions because people’s decisions about grills depends on the speakers they have.

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Of course. That’s why the second question was later added. This is not scientific research and not statistically relevant count of samples but even now (43 and 24 voters) seems that 2/3 of people believe that grilles have impact on SQ but many must have grilles as protection.
How about you?

TBH I expected discussion and sharing experience.

I think my ESL57s would look naked without their grilles, and I’m more than satisfied with the SQ with their clothes on, so I can’t say how they would sound without them :grinning:

However, it would not surprise me in the least that someone, somewhere, is convinced that the sound is even more transparent without them…

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Different types of grill have different impacts on both looks and performance. There is no catch all poll that will be able record the impact by type of grill ranging from metal through very fine mesh materials. Also cosmetics play a huge part which can be very personal.

I thought for a second I was looking at a funky radiator.
Going off to read about these now thanks for sharing. I’m always fascinated by electrostatic speakers and headphones :+1:

Main speakers on, I prefer the look as a whole and helps them disappear . I can’t determine any difference.witb them on or off Office speakers off sounds a tad more clear and wider soundstage, j would prefer them to be on as I don’t like the look of them.

Not to mention the 5000V inside, admittedly quite well hidden :joy:

If speaker manufacturers designed them with grills who are we to disagree with them

Fortunately the grills in my headphones are built in :joy:

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Mine are on most of the time because of my cat.

I have never heard a pair of speakers sound better with grilles on . Ever . Most speakers sound better with them off but I put them on when the grandkids visit or where my cats like to play .

My grandson was getting ready to push in the soft dome tweeter
when I made the decision to permanently keep the grilles on in the family room speakers .