Protecting speaker wood finish from sun/uv damage

My new speakers will see lot’s of sun exposure, I can pull the curtains during the day but they are sheer but only partially reduce the sun exposure. Curious if a wood wax that would help protect the color?

My only other option is have some custom covers made, but athletically this is not my first choice.

Advice welcome…Thanks.

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linseed oil or something similar for the wood finish. But as for sun bleaching, you’re best bet is curtains :smile:

There are UV varnishes out there but if you recoat the speaker with a varnish it’s resale will drop to near zero. In any case, you cannot apply UV varnish to things like the cones or grilles. Over a long time, the rubber on the edge of the cones will likely vulcanise and crumble. A lot of sunlight will make it through the grilles and the material on the grilles themselves may start to break down.

We all know that speakers are used in the real world. So I guess the question is one of degrees. What constitutes direct sunlight and for how long each day? The sun can only shine in most windows for a limited period each day unless they are in a conservatory on a hill.

Did the Titans have evidence of color changes?
Would you expect the K6s to be more sensitive to sun damage?
I keep my window treatment in closed position but I don’t have your huge expanse of glass nor your view :sleepy:

Yes… the finish faded over the years. It was so gradual I barely noticed until I boxed them up. I want to keep these speakers for the long term so protecting the finish is a priority.

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Have you considered UV films on the windows? These sheets are self applicable (with a bit of practice) and vary from nearly opaque black to completely transparent but block out 99% of UV light. Decent ones that are indistinguishable from the glass they cover can be a couple hundred $ per m2 and must be applied by a professional.

I used these to black out the windows in an AV room once. Where we are now, I was quoted about $3k to coat the large 7 x 2.5m window with fully transparent UV films to protect the colour of the wooden floor.

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Maybe repane the windows with commercial glass that filters UV?

If it’s by a deck or veranda, you could have a UV cover above the window to filter the rays. In NZ the UV is vicious and destroys everything, including our bodies :flushed::worried:

Had not considered that, but going to research cost. 3M makes a film that blocks U/V. This may be the best solution.


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I have my car windows tinted. I had them done with a 30% tinted ceramic film. You might want to google window tinting. FWIW I paid about $400. ( Audi A4) to have all my windows done except the windshield. Other than that, 100% zero UV would be covers.

It’s February here in the UK :cloud_with_rain:
I’m sure i used to know but must of forgot, what is a sun? :cold_face:


I had the same concern several years ago. My speakers are finished in rosewood, which is relatively resistant to fading. Although I rarely bother (but it is used at times), I went to a local fabric store and from their close-outs bought two pieces of a fairly heavy white muslin and while the original plan was to have custom covers made, I instead just drape them over the speakers. When not in use- folded, they protect the top of my CD player, which is also where records or cd’s are kept out when being played. Btw . Do Not use linseed oil, some woods actually darken with linseed oil. I have used a butcher block combination oil/wax on my speakers, but the manufacturer (Harbeth) does not recommend that anything be used . So far still like n ew

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I did a fair amount of research on the 3M films for one of my projects. They are pretty good but whether they completely overcome the fading of veneers over a long period is another matter. One thing is certain is that the glass (visual) appearance will change both inside and out when a film is applied. Most likely the glass externally will have a reflective appearance on bright days and will appear darker on the inside, probably a brown tint. This might be acceptable if you plan to install the film on all your windows but if you are thinking of only doing a portion then the difference between the coated and uncoated will be noticeable…your supplier may be able to do a mock up installation for you. You should also check the roll width compared to the clear glass width otherwise you will have a seam between adjacent runs. A good installer will be able to make the joint almost invisible unless you are very close to the window.

As an alternate you might consider putting up a decorative freestanding screen that fits in with your room decor so that it blocks direct light onto (the side?) of your speaker.

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You should contact the speaker manufacturer to find out what type of finish they use, as you will need to choose something that is compatible. It may be that they already have a finish that contains a UV filter.
Looking at the finish, it seems relatively light for walnut. In general, oil based finishes give a darker, richer finish; water based finishes less so. That’s a one-off, though. Walnut is not a wood that darkens significantly with age and sunlight, in the way that Cherry or Pine do. So I guess it’s sun bleaching that you want to protect against. But as I said, it may already have that protection, and if not, you need to add a compatible one. There will be a suitable product out there once you know what’s already on the wood.

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Nearly all, if not all, commercial speakers will be finished with some sort of polyurethane product, so it’s pointless trying to add an oil or wax finish. Most wood veneers will change with any light exposure over time - best bet is simply to protect them from direct sunlight and accept that natural wood will probably not stay the same shade for ever.

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There’s a wide range of 3M films. I got their top of the line CS Premium 90% film for my car and most people can’t tell it’s on: there may be a very mild yellowing of reflections from the outside but the appearance is minimally intrusive.

You should make sure you get it from an installer that will extend a 3M warranty for it (some folks are not qualified to install their fancier films).

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Do not apply any oil or varnish-like product as the appearance of your beautiful speakers will be seriously impaired. I have used the French product recommended by Frenchrooster on oak doors and it certainly works well, but I wouldn’t put it anywhere near speaker veneers. If you can’t filter out the uv passing through your windows, I would suggest some form of cover over the speakers when they are not in use. These would also protect from dust and help preserve their original pristine condition.


UV protection is a waste of time. If the wood is subject to direct sunlight (even partially), it will fade. The UV films are not the answer. UV protection is good for delicate items that are not exposed to direct sunlight.

You have to physically block the direct sunlight hitting the wood. Just a word of caution about covers. If you do use them, make sure they are vented or one-sided, as if you cover speakers up too much, there’s not enough ventilation and mold can occur.

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Mold? I guess if you live in a old cold Chateau … and only come out at night to listen… Ooops sorry Count D

As many of you must know, Valencia, in Spain, is a particularly sunny region; for this reason, practically since I was given the keys of the house, facing North-South, and before embarking on hi-fi systems, I swap all the crystals in all the windows for special ones with anti-noise and athermic (UV) treatment; In addition, in all windows facing South, quality UV films, which on the outside look like mirrors and inside “only” subtract about 20% of light. Of course, in the increasingly short winter a little more natural light is missed; but in the increasingly widespread summer the greater thermal stability is greatly appreciated, in addition to the better conservation of furniture, objects and systems. However, the darkening of the finish of all the speakers by the mere exposure to light is inevitable, especially in the finishes in “cherry”, such as the three pairs of ProAc, and “oak”.