How do you stop house guest from damaging your speakers?

Over the years I have had many adult guest coming to my house and curious about my speakers though I never mention to them I’m an audiophile. Most of the time they will lean close to the speaker, looking at the driver, maybe occasionally touching the cabinet or knocking on the cabinet. But in other times I’ve had guest touching drivers gently as well and I usually just tell them to stop to prevent them from damaging the driver when I see them doing that.

Yesterday I had a little sit down with a few guests and one of them wanted to play my Blade 2. Out of nowhere, while the music is playing he stood up and walked to the speaker and knocked on the side driver woofer and asked “are these speakers too?” It was probably 3 or 4 consecutive hard knock on the woofer while the woofer is playing, and you guys can already imagine my facial expression. I don’t want to blame the guest as the blade’s woofer doesn’t look like regular woofer and I can’t expect guests to have knowledge of how not to damage speakers, but man, that really hurts when I saw that happen.

I inspected the driver afterward and it seems like all is good and the driver survived. I don’t remember if I heard distortion while the music is playing but to my knowledge this would easily fall into the abuse category for an audiophile.

I’m wondering, do I attach a label to say do not touch on those drivers? Do I tell guests not to physically touch the speakers? 


I have a remote controlled (on/off) version of the unit demonstrated in the linked Youtube video and I simply ask that all guests remain seated while auditioning my system (until directed to do otherwise).



I have my gear hidden away in the basement. I rarely have visitors anyway. But if I was as popular as yourself, I’d get less vulnerable speakers that have speaker covers. Maybe you could come out as an audiophile. They might be more respectful then.

Stop allowing people into your listening room, who clearly don't share your passion for high end stereo equipment.  Maybe it's just me but my experience with people in general is that very few own high end systems, and that the majority who don't are mostly interested in "what did that cost you", and then they think you're crazy if you tell them the truth.  My listening room is my sanctuary and I only share it with those who already understand what they are looking at.  Didn't used to be like that but it is now.   

Definitely tell any visitors not to touch any of your equipment. I guess I would preface this with mentioning, you have a really unusual and delicate equipment.


But I am also on the side of @bigtwin. In twenty years I think I have had seven or eight people in my audio room… most other audiophiles. My system is for me. Most people don’t know it is one of my pursuits.

For a long time I would mention I was an audiophile and I would hear. “Oh, I (or my husband is)… I (he) have a Bose system…” the shock and disgust I would experience was difficult to contain. I would try and explain that was not an audiophile system without being condescending… but it would leak. I finally just stopped telling any one I had a high end system.

I’m pretty direct, especially around cleaning people. "STOP!" is a word that comes out of my mouth pretty easily. :)

Education however works best. Before they get the chance to I point out that there are expensive and very sensitive parts not to get near. Certainly not to put a vacuum cleaner near, or their fingers. :)

It does drive me crazy that I've had so many people immediately want to touch what they see as unique.  The center plug on ring radiators for instance, but it's so natural that I have to just prepare for it when letting people near.

Heck, I keep my speaker grills attached even when I just play the stereo for my lonesome self. I also got to say that the few guests I’ve had in the stereo room were either too polite or too weirded out to put their fingers on the one component they could actually do damage to -- the turntable.

I have a keep out sign I had made that hangs on the doorknob, also a protected by Colt sign hanging on the other doorknob. They are hand carved by a Mennonite in Waco Texas. 

Wrap your gear with an electric fence. Just be sure to put plenty of noise suppression devices on your audio gear. A "please don't touch" sign might work as well, with fewer injuries to your guests and your equipment. 

You should consider getting Magnaplanars.

Back in the day when I had them on multiple occasions people asked where the speakers were. Can't damage them if they can't find em.

When a guest walks over to your speakers, politely say 'Please don't touch.' A gentle reminder never hurts. Glad your speakers were unharmed.

As Big Twin mentioned, my listening room is also my sanctuary.   It's for me and no one else...  Sorry if that sounds selfish but I don't want anyone rapping on my speakers either.    My girlfriend has pretty bad hearing so it's lost on her.   

Only a few people in my circle have been in this room.  There's a reason for that.  

Unfortunately you have to say please don’t touch before they get too close. No coughing or sneezing on gear either  

If a guest shows an interest in your system you then have the opportunity to educate them about its workings.  Sure, things can go badly, but don't sweat it.  Be polite to your guests.  The alternative is to that guy who parks his car in the far corner of the parking lot taking up two spaces.

None of the folks I know are audiophiles, and they have no clue regarding a hi-end system. They’re content with listening to mp3s. So, I don’t even let them into my listening room, and I like it that way.

Who are these people you call friends? I wouldn't have a friend if I couldn't tell them point blank not to do something and chew them out if they did. Are these your wife's peeps also? That could definitely add a huge wrinkle in that approach.

Another approach is just have a nice boombox for tunes - seems like they have no appreciation for what you've created so why have them listen to it?

Like several comment here, my listening space is off limits (they don't even know I have one), and I don't tell them either...

Hey, I'll let anybody and everybody look at my stereo, sit in the sweet spot and to listen to their choice of tunes. They can pull an LP from my shelf if they so wish but I politely tell them to please keep the LP in its sleeve. Naturally, I try to lure them into listening to one of my 3D imaging spectaculars.

I can imagine that unexpected knock on a driver also knocked all the air out of your lungs. Glad to hear all is well.

Funny story…I had B&W N803 years ago and I lost count of how many people made attempts to pick up the “microphone” on top of the speakers. I learned quickly there’s no shame in politely asking people not to touch anything.

If you have an option not to let anyone into your listening space, exercise it. Otherwise just let them know it’s ok to look but not ok to touch. There’s just no upside in demoing your gear to someone who doesn’t generally care about high end audio.

We have a lot of people in and out of our house and I host parties quite often. I system isn't nearly as expensive as a lot of folks on here have - My primary listening setup is worth around 20 grand but I have some pretty expensive exposed tubes. One guests come into the room, I always mention to them to not touch the system.  When there are kids, I usually keep everybody out of the room unless I know the adult is in charge of their child.  90% of the time - I have the speaker grills on to protect the drivers anyway.

And then there's the guest that grabs the remote and turns the volume up to the point of doing damage to the speakers. 

I understand perfectly your feeling the other night I had a dinner at home and my friends wanted to know my music room. It didn't happen with the speakers but with the turntable. He just saw the turntable and started using it like a disc jockey spinning the turntable trying to be funny. I wanted to strangle him. Conclusion, the music room was limited to two couples, prior induction of how delicate the equipment is and with the friendly warning not to touch anything at all.

A drunken woman thought it was amusing to see what happened when she pushed  my tweeters in

 Get a nice pellet pistol and/or smarter friends. 

 Seriously, Ive had people set a drink on top of a speaker, a woman plop her handbag on my TT dustcover, and the fore mentioned curious finger poker. Assume people are dangerous and clueless, you'll rarely be disappointed ....

An old friend of mine had a little sign on his beautiful Marantz tube system that said:


Das machine is nicht fur gerfingerpoken und mittengrabben.  
Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken.  
Ist nicht fur gewerken by das dummkopfen.
Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets,
Relaxen und watch das blinkenlights...

My puppy pissed on my speakers a couple times. With grilles on so no damage. Just very annoying. 

Choose the people you bring to your home, they are some who are not discipline enough to respect your place.So don’t invite those, unless your have a lock music room. 

Hey l touch my own drivers in my speakers I lightly touch them occasionally to make sure everything is working Sure enough one night I just wasn't hearing the magic and  l thought I was having an off night for listening to my stereo rig  I walked by my tower speaker that has built in powered woofers and it wasn't working! Anyway friends and family that come over and have no idea and are amazing at all the audio gear that is in my credenza  I have my tube amp with its KT 88's exposed in all their glory on the top of my credenza They all look totally confused when looking at my tube amp and ask what is that!!?? I must say though no one have touched or messed with any of my stereo rig so far

Nobody that visits my place would consider touching my equipment.  If someone did come over that I didn't trust, I'd gve them a prejob briefing that nothing should be touched.  

We recently moved out of state, and I don’t have friends, but my kids have friends. Teenagers don’t like to sit down and listen to music. They are always on the move and my listening room is down a long isolated hallway where nobody goes.

Actually, the knuckle rap test has been done by more than a few speaker reviewers over the years. I ONCE suggested to an audiophile friend to do the rap test on a set of Pioneer speakers I had at the time. He commented that I had down graded to Pioneer. I pointed out that the particular speaker was trickle down technology from the top of the line TAD speaker. I do agree that people should keep their hands to themselves. When I was a kid in the 60's, we dare not go into someone's house and touch a thing! Even at the ripe old age of 21 I never touched my Grandparents TV or went into the refrigerator. I asked permission! People are clueless today.

I just don't have house guests, this works great not just for protecting the system.

Wife's Aunt sat on my subwoofer for the theater system. Very few get invited to the reference room.....they don't get what we get...they start talking while you are pulling out some strange detail and they just smile like what?  Now if any of you are near Chicago suburbs let me know...Audiophiles welcome.



Fortunately, the only house guests I have over (or want) know me well & that I'm serious about my sound sound & at least know its very expensive & not be be touched. 

I think I would be like an alert jaguar ready to pounce w/ folks I didn't know anywhere near my equipment & it would be no fun for anyone anyway. 

My Dad taught us 3 boys back in the 60's that his nice system he mostly built was off limits &  we go it! Big Bozaks from kits, Dyanco pre & power amp & a Fairchild turntable (he worked for them) w/ a a 15" platter a Pritchard wooden arm! Then later, an automatic Elac Miracord 770 H w/ a Shure V - 15 type II which we were allowed to use w/ his supervision only. 

Just be polite and ask them not to touch anything, everybody behaves like little children when things are unfamiliar to them. The ones who visited you before can respect that easily. But when there is a lot of people in the room, turntable without the lid on and speakers without grilles are a good bate for satisfying their curiosity.


I keep a Winchester model '97 trench broom,with a "Don't F with the system" sign, leaning against the rack. It seems to get the point through. 


Saw that exact sign on some very impressive equipment on a field trip to Brookhaven National Lab when I was in high school!


Upon further reflection, I believe the sign was on a cloud chamber, and actually read:



Das bubblepikturtaken machine is nicht fur gerfingerpoken und mittengrabben.  


I would preface their entry into an audio room with "This stuff is fairly fragile like in a china shop, so please don't touch it.  You wouldn't want to have to pay for repair or replacement."

I got a chuckle out of this:

Jeff Koons 'balloon dog' sculpture valued at over $40,000 accidentally shattered at Miami art festival

  • A balloon dog sculpture from artist Jeff Koons was accidentally broken at an art festival in Miami.

  • A woman attending the event allegedly tapped the sculpture, and it fell off its stand.

  • The incident will be forgiven as the work was insured, an art advisor told the Miami Herald.

It's America.  Use your 2nd Amendment rights.  Of course, you need a musket, but that shouldn't be a problem, right?

It's been 30 years since Groundhog Day was released and nothing's changed.

People are still morons.

My speakers have no grills.  I went to a fabric store and bought yards of a dense grey fabric.    I attached Velcro tabs on back side of speakers.    When speakers are not in use the speakers are draped with covers/fabric.   Also helps protect from UV too.   Honestly does not look the best but it works to keep hands off.  

IMO whether you’re an audiophile or a plumber doesn’t matter, people shouldn’t drop in and jam their hands on anything without asking ! Find new friends or train the old ones at the door !


My stereo is not going to keep me from being around the people I care about and care about me. It’s not that important.