Foam vs Rubber [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-21-2004, 08:10 PM
When it comes to speakers, espically subs, which is better surround material, foam or rubber?


This Guy
02-21-2004, 08:41 PM
Rubber will last much loner then foam. Foam may rot out in a few years, or it may last over 20 (rare). Rubber wil last your life time. In my opinion, foam surrounds are a little better as a surround material in bass drivers. Don't buy a speaker based on it's surround material. Rubber will last forever, foam wil eventually rot out, but there are refoam surround kits which wil make them good as new. Buy what sounds best.


02-21-2004, 09:06 PM
Modern foam surrounds have built in UV resistance that the old ones didn't. The ones used in most speakers of any quality whatsoever will last 25, 30 years, or more. Butyls will last for 40 or 50. Don't see much of the old type foam anymore, although I did see it on one really cheap KLH at Best Buy the other day. The speaker someone was going on about being "really good for a really cheap speaker". Like $50/pr bookshelves. They still had a foam that was discoloring, meaning it wasn't very environmentally resistant. There are also some compressed foam surrounds that look like butyl rubber but really aren't.

Best advice is not to worry about it too much. Buy a good set of speakers and enjoy life.

02-21-2004, 10:22 PM
For what it's worth The designer of Audio Note uses foam speakers have the rubber surrounds but they have decided for "sound" reasons to go back to foam. You'd have to ask them why they choose to use foam specifically - something about the way it moves, distortion etc.

I can't say in general terms if it would be better for your needs...since it's the design and box that make the most difference.

02-21-2004, 11:54 PM
i have come to find that foam has a better excursion. the new foams do last a lot longer than the older ones but will still rot out. i perfer the sound of most foam surround speakers over rubber. I do also like cloth surrounds over rubber too. just got with what you think sounds better though

Mr Peabody
02-22-2004, 01:12 PM
The rubber is criticized for taking away from the feeling of the event where foam is less effective and a bit messier. Messy and more sensation, I vote for the foam!

02-23-2004, 02:29 AM
rubber. i like the smell of burning rubber.