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Can speakers freeze?

Yes, even outdoor speakers are best taken indoors during a repeated or extended freeze.

With frigid temperatures sweeping the country a reader asked if outdoor speakers can freeze. Speakers are typically made of a stamped aluminum or iron frame, a magnet of some type made of some type of metal, a speaker cone, usually made of paper, polyurethane, or some composite material, a surround usually made of rubber and a spider usually made of treated paper coated with a glue.

Here's how freezing could affect each part of a speaker

  • The speaker frame is made of metal and is unlikely to have much of a problem with freezing.
  • The speaker cone of paper, poly or other material my not have a problem with one freeze but continued freezing and thawing and defrosting will eventually take a toll. 
  • The magnet should have no problem at all.
  • The speaker surround, the part around the outer rim of the speaker cone, if made of rubber will survive being frozen but continued exposure will eventually make it brittle. 
  • The spider, made of paper may also experience detrimental effects over a period of time.
The biggest problem would be moisture. If left outside speakers that accumulate any amount of moisture might be further damaged by a cycle of freezing and thawing. 

The best thing to do is to take your outdoor speakers indoors during subfreezing temperatures that exceed a few days or are expected to repeat. 

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