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Thread: Foam vs Rubber

  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Foam vs Rubber

    When it comes to speakers, espically subs, which is better surround material, foam or rubber?


  2. #2
    My custom user title This Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    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.


  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    It isn't real simple anymore, but, not hard either

    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.

    The preceding comments have not been subjected to double blind testing, and so must just be taken as casual observations and not given the weight of actual scientific data to be used to prove a case in a court of law or scientific journal. The comments represent my humble opinion which will range in the readers perspective to vary from Gospel to heresy. So let it be.

  4. #4
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    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.

  5. #5
    The Collector
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Springfield, MA
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA


    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!

  7. #7
    AR Newbie Registered Member Skyblazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    rubber. i like the smell of burning rubber.

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