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Are Neodymium Magnets Good for Car Subwoofers?

If you’re a car driver who loves to blast your music, then you’ve probably asked yourself at some point: are neodymium magnets good for car subwoofers?

The answer may be surprising, but the truth is that neodymium magnets provide incredible sound effects when used in cars but are they suitable for subwoofers? Let’s find out.

Neodymium magnets are an excellent choice for car subwoofers thanks to their higher magnetic force and lightweight design compared to ferrite magnets. However, the working temperature of neodymium magnets is lower than that of ferrite, and they are highly susceptible to erosion and deterioration. Therefore they are not a good choice for speakers in wet areas.

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Tip: If you are looking for an excellent low impedance shallow mount subwoofer, I recommend checking Rockford Fosgate T1S1-10 or 12″ T1S1-12 (links to Amazon).

Both are excellent choices for tight spots or if you want a strong bass without sacrificing trunk space, but they require a powerful amplifier and perfect setup.

If you decide to install a sub with the neodymium magnet, remember to fully break it in as per the exact manufacturer’s recommendation. Do not cut corners, as it can cause the sub to break.

In the article below, I’ll explain in more detail the technical aspects of neodymium magnets and where they can improve the sound quality of your car subwoofers.

Differences Between Ferrite and Neodymium Magnets

Ferrite Magnets

Ferrite magnets have been used in speakers for decades. Ferrite magnets are comprised of ferromagnetic metal oxide and are considered non-permanent magnets.

They tend to have low magnet force, which is why many subwoofers have multi-layer magnet motor structures.

Rockford Fosgate P2D4-12 Punch P2 DVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch 400 Watts RMS 800 Watts Peak Subwoofer

In order to achieve the magnetic force to drive the subwoofer efficiently, these magnets must be stacked to create the additional force needed to run the cones efficiently.

Ferrite magnets are highly resistant to deterioration and corrosion, and these properties are what make the ferrite magnets the perfect option to use when manufacturing car audio speakers and subwoofers.

Ferrite magnets also tend to be heavier, and for subwoofers, the added weight of the ferrite motor structure will add stability when the driver is pushed close to its limit.

Another reason ferrite is used in many speakers, and subwoofer applications is the cost. It is a less expensive option than its neodymium equivalent at the same magnetic force.

Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium, or Neo, magnets are rare earth magnets that contain the elements neodymium (Nd), Iron (Fe), and Boron (B).

Neo magnets are considered to be permanently magnetized and have a much higher magnetic force than the traditional ferrite magnets more commonly used.

As I mentioned earlier, ferrite magnets are frequently “stacked” to up the magnet force.

On the other hand, Neo magnets can produce the same magnetic energy as ferrite but with fewer magnets in terms of speaker design.

Rockford Fosgate T1S1-10 Power 10" T1 Slim Single 1-Ohm Subwoofer

Neodymium magnets are lighter than ferrite, which can be advantageous in specific applications, and it allows the manufacturers to create smaller, lightweight, powerful subwoofers versus a comparable stacked ferrite motor.

The downside of neodymium is its working temperature is lower than that of ferrite, and it is highly susceptible to erosion and deterioration.

Because of this, neo magnets, before used for the subwoofers, must be chemically altered and coated to make them more durable for their specific uses.

Another factor to consider, and most important for many of us, is the cost. Neodymium magnets ultimately cost more, which in turn, will raise the overall cost of the speaker or subwoofer.

Sound Quality: Is There a Difference?

Both ferrite and neodymium speakers or subwoofers can equally produce the same overall sound signature.

Many characteristics, like voice coil construction, the speaker’s cone, and even the enclosure, will ultimately affect the sound quality of a speaker or subwoofer.

Though the motor structure’s magnet material could contribute to its overall sound quality, it is important to note that it should not be the sole basis for a decision.

Other factors, such as the size and power of the subwoofer, the enclosure design, and the amplifier used to power the subwoofer, all play a much more significant role in determining the overall sound quality.

For example, if you are looking for a subwoofer that can handle high power and produce deep, powerful bass, you will likely look for a larger subwoofer with a high power handling rating and a larger magnet.

Additionally, the enclosure design also plays a crucial role in the overall sound quality of a subwoofer. A well-designed ported or sealed enclosure can significantly improve the overall sound quality of a subwoofer.

Here’s a list of pros and cons for each magnet type:

Ferrite Magnets

Pros:

  • Highly resistive to deterioration and corrosion
  • Tend to be heavier in weight, which can add stability to the subwoofer
  • Less expensive than neodymium magnets

Cons:

  • Low magnet force, which requires multiple magnets to achieve the necessary force
  • Heavier in weight which can be a disadvantage in certain applications
  • Magnet size disqualifies them from many shallow-mounted systems.

Neodymium Magnets

Pros:

  • They are permanently magnetized, with a higher magnetic force than ferrite magnets.
  • Lighter in weight, which is advantageous for shallow-mounted subwoofers
  • It can produce the same magnetic force as ferrite with fewer magnets.

Cons:

  • Susceptible to erosion and deterioration, requiring chemical alteration for durability
  • Higher working temperature than ferrite magnets
  • More expensive than ferrite magnets

Ultimately, when it comes to sound quality, both ferrite and neodymium speakers or subwoofers can produce excellent sound.

The best way to ensure top-notch sound quality is to choose a well-designed and well-built subwoofer tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Conclusion

Both ferrite and neodymium magnets have pros and cons, but both can produce the same overall sound signature.

Ferrite magnets are highly resistant to deterioration and corrosion and are less expensive than neodymium magnets.

Neodymium magnets, on the other hand, are permanently magnetized and have a higher magnetic force than ferrite magnets. As a result, they are also lighter but, at the same time, more expensive than ferrite magnets.

Regarding sound quality, the magnet material should not be the sole basis for a decision. 

FAQ

How Do I Know if My Subwoofer Has a Neodymium Magnet?

You can usually find this information in the product specifications or by contacting the manufacturer.

Some subwoofers will also have the type of magnet marked on the subwoofer. From the visual side, the neodymium magnets are much smaller than standard ferrite designs.

Are Neodymium Magnets Better Than Ferrite Magnets for Subwoofers?

Both types of magnets have their pros and cons.

Neodymium magnets are permanently magnetized, have a higher magnetic force than ferrite magnets, and are lighter. However, they are more expensive and more susceptible to erosion and deterioration.

Ferrite magnets are highly resistant to deterioration and corrosion and are less expensive than neodymium magnets. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your personal preferences and needs.

Will a Neodymium Magnet Affect the Sound Quality of My Subwoofer?

The type of magnet in a subwoofer is just one of many factors that can affect sound quality. 

Other factors, such as the size and power of the subwoofer, the enclosure design, and the amplifier used to power the subwoofer, are more critical in determining the overall sound quality.

Will a Neodymium Magnet Wear Out Over Time?

Neodymium magnets are considered to be permanently magnetized, but they are still susceptible to erosion and deterioration over time.

It’s important to take proper care of your subwoofer and protect it from extreme temperatures and moisture to prolong the magnet’s life.