As you are likely aware, speakers and subwoofers contain many parts to make them work and sound great. This includes parts like the cone, surround, basket, voice coil, and the magnet. Without getting too technical, speaker magnets are a necessary component on all speakers. Their magnetic field is what pushes and pulls the speaker cone in and out. This helps produce the sounds you hear from the speaker. These magnets can be found directly underneath the speaker basket.
Here are the three main types of speaker magnet materials that manufacturers commonly use. Each is used for different purposes as they do have various effects on the overall sound and tone of your speakers.
1. Ferrite Magnets
Ferrite magnets are a commonly used affordable magnet material. They are used in speakers of all sizes, from small 3.5″ speakers all the way up to 15″ subwoofers. They are also naturally resistant to corrosion which makes them a great choice for marine audio. A majority of all the subwoofers and speakers made today utilize this material. The only exception to this is tweeters. Most tweeters use neodymium which we will discuss more later. Another reason why most speakers made today use ferrite, besides the cost savings, is that they do a great job maintaining magnetization at high temperatures. While other materials will start to lose magnetization at those temperatures, Ferrite will last.
2. Alnico Magnets
At one point in time, Alnico magnets were the most common material for making magnets. Alnico refers to the aluminum (“al”), nickel (“ni”), and cobalt (“co”) that are used to make them. Alnico magnets are very durable and are known for providing a classic type of tone. These are now becoming increasingly less common these days and fewer and fewer speakers are being made with this material.
3. Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium is a very expensive material that is primarily used only in tweeters and very high-quality speakers. You will rarely see Neodymium used on larger speakers because Neodymium in larger quantities can be very expensive. However, manufacturers started using neodymium magnets due to their field strength and overall efficiency. Speakers with these magnets also weigh almost half that of a similar speaker using alnico or ferrite magnets. In turn, smaller magnets can be used which can reduce the speaker’s weight and/or size. Tweeters like these Hertz C 26 use neodymium for their superior efficiency and as a way to keep the tweeters light-weight.
Hopefully, this article provided some insight into why these different types of material are used in different circumstances. If you are looking for more information about car speakers, make sure to take a look at some of our other helpful articles.