The Best Small Loudspeakers Are Now The Greenest!

Breathe easy with our formaldehyde-free, Eco-friendly and Health-friendly speakers

With the increasing use of speakers in near-field situations such as desk tops and other intimate settings, and the broader problem of global environmental pollution, toxic off-gassing in general and formaldehyde off-gassing in particular have become very important health and environmental issues. It is these issues that we seek to address by introducing non-toxic, formaldehyde free "green" speakers."

For us a "green" loudspeaker is one that is produced with the least amount of non-toxic lumber that is made from recycled materials or lumber harvested from sustainable forests, glued with non-toxic glues, painted with certified "green" paints, loaded with the most efficient set of components, packaged in packaging made from recycled and non-toxic materials, and requires the least amount of non-renewable energy to ship. Our "green" speakers offer the best performance and have less than half of the environmental impact of conventional speakers.

A Holistic View of Green

What is a "green" or "Eco-friendly" or "environmentally friendly" loudspeaker? These terms are used interchangeably to refer to (1) speakers made in energy efficient or renewable energy facilities, or to (2) speakers with cabinets made from recycled materials, or to (3) speakers that consume lower energy, and so on. The concern has been focused primarily on the impact of loudspeaker manufacturing on resource depletion. We take a more holistic approach that protects both people's health and the environment. Ultimately all our concerns about the global environment are rooted in the sustainability of life on the planet and the impact of environmental degradation on human life itself. To focus on the global environment from only a depletion of resources point of view can be misleading. A case in point is the use of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), the material used to make most speakers.

Eco-friendly is not necessarily Health-friendly

Ironically, when MDF became the most commonly used material to make speakers in the 1970s, it was touted as good for the environment because it was made from recycled materials, including lumber byproducts and excess and waste materials from lumber mills. The use of MDF addressed the problem of resource depletion, but because there was less focus on the toxicity inherent in the process of making MDF, the impact of formaldehyde (a key in the manufacturing of MDF) on human health and the environment was mainly overlooked. 

Formaldehyde, which is used to manufacture most plywoods and MDFs, is an allergen and a carcinogen. It is a volatile organic compound (VOC) which vaporizes under normal conditions into the environment. It poses a severe risk to people with with pulmonary problems. Moreover, formaldehyde residues are major components of smog and thus have a broad impact on health and the environment. In finished lumber products, such as furniture and speakers, formaldehyde, paints, and glues which are VOCs can release vapors (off-gas) into indoor air. This is a significant and growing concern for consumers who want healthy products in their homes and in their working and leisure environments and who also want to protect the global environment.

Here at Role, we have a holistic idea of what constitutes a "green" loudspeaker. It takes into account not only the amount of materials and other resources used to manufacture a loudspeaker, and hence the impact of the process on the depletion of scarce resources, but we are also concerned about the toxicity of those materials and their immediate impact on the health of our customers, our workers, and on the global environment. Our holistic approach takes into account the entire process or loudspeaker manufacturing -- from design and manufacturing to shipping and transportation, to the impact on the consumer and the environment in which the consumer will use our products.

Role Audio's Green speakers

​We are manufacturing the "greenest" and most environmentally- and health friendly, formaldehyde free, non-toxic speakers.

However, there are no absolute solutions. Even certified green paints and lumber may contain minute quantities of formaldehyde. Indeed, minute quantities of formaldehyde can naturally occur in wood.

Our speakers are manufactured from formaldehyde free plywoods that are made with PureBond® formaldehyde-free technology, and from MDFs that use no urea or formaldehyde in the manufacturing process. We assemble them with non toxic glues, non-toxic sealers to prevent off-gassing, and paint them with non-toxic paints that are certified by the Greenguard Environmental institute. We manufacture our grills from no urea or formaldehyde added  MDF, non-toxic glues, and nylon fabrics.

Role Audio has always been green.

The driving principle for Role Audio has always been minimalist: to use the least amount of resources: lumber, drivers, crossover parts, and other materials -- coupled with the latest loudspeaker design technology to deliver big speaker performance from the smallest possible cabinet designs. Our small speakers require less energy, paints, lumber, and other materials to manufacture. They also require less energy and packaging materials to ship. Our speakers have the smallest carbon footprint of any known loudspeaker manufacturer. This dedication to manufacturing small, low-toxicity speakers has already established us as the greenest loudspeaker manufacturer.

All things being equal, our standard small speakers present significantly less risk of off-gas and a significantly smaller carbon foot print than larger speakers. Nevertheless, with the increasing use of speakers in near-field situations such as desk tops and other intimate settings, and the broader problem of global environmental pollution, toxic off-gassing in general and formaldehyde off-gassing in particular have become very important health and environmental issues. It is these issues that we seek to address by introducing "formaldehyde free" speakers.

While the revolution in the miniaturization of high end electronics is proceeding at a rapid pace, progress in the miniaturization of high end speakers which will reduce the impact of loudspeaker manufacturing on the global environment and health lags behind. Role Audio has been at the forefront of the trend to deliver  the greatest performance from the smallest possible speakers that have the smallest carbon footprint. We believe our small potent speakers when used by themselves or in combination with small "green" subwoofers, such as the NSMT speakers EXP and 15EXP, are compelling alternatives to many large speakers. The transition to producing exclusively green speakers is a formidable challenge, but once again we are at the forefront of a very important and vital change. Our goal is to offer the best small speakers that are 'green" and health friendly and have the least impact on the environment.

As of 10/20/09, we have offered environmentally and health friendly, formaldehyde free speakers for our full line of critically acclaimed small speakers.

Note: As we transition to exclusively using non-toxic materials to manufacture our speakers it is possible that some of our speakers may contain materials that are not absolutely non-toxic. If this is an important issue to you, you should consult us.

Health friendly Green Loudspeakers