Strange Rattle from Your Speaker or Sub? Here’s One Unusual Cause to Check

Tracking down rattles in your home theater can be infuriating. It’s a normal part of upgrading to “real” subwoofers, but it can also happen with speakers. If you have a strange rattle from your speaker or sub, we’ve got one unusual cause you can check. Let’s discuss!


Many speakers and subs have ports. These holes are designed to allow air to move in and out of the speaker’s enclosure to increase the bass performance. Most ports have tubes that are flared or otherwise textured to reduce any extraneous noise from the movement of the air. This “extra” noise is often called port chuffing and it is something that manufacturers try to ensure will never happen.

The Unusual Cause to Check of Strange Speaker or Sub Rattles

Many speakers and nearly all subwoofers come with additional holes in their enclosures. These holes are often used for mounting or to add feet. If you are using some sort of decoupling device, you may feel like you don’t need to add feet. If you aren’t mounting your speakers on the wall, you may see no use for the threaded mounting hole.

The SVS SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System both plugs the holes and decouples your subwoofer!

Most of the time, you can ignore these extra holes in your speaker or sub without consequence. Unfortunately, some manufacturers assume that you will be using these holes. Instead of being simply drilled into the exterior of the enclosure, these holes can allow access to the interior of the cabinet. This creates a very small, very noisy that will allow air to pass through.

This can create port noise that may sound like whistling or honking. It can also cause your speaker or sub to rattle in strange or unusual ways.

What Can You Do?

Obviously, you need to plug that hole. If the hole was meant to have a foot or similar installed, go ahead and install it. You’ll still want to decouple your speaker or sub and the installed foot won’t make much of a difference. If you are dealing with the mounting point or you don’t have a foot to install, you can try something like electrical tape. Depending on the speaker or sub, this may or may not work.

With threaded holes, finding a screw that fits is usually a pretty easy solution. If the hole is larger, you can add a port plug (or something similar) to stop the air from passing through.

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