Neodymium, a material found in a handful of low-profile loudspeakers, may experience a price-hike soon due to mining restrictions and reduction of export quotas for rare-earth minerals by China. In turn, rising costs may compel manufacturers to increase prices of loudspeakers incorporating neodymium magnets as well.
CEPro - In addition to skyrocketing prices for petroleum and copper that have affected the cost of cabling, there is another looming crisis for the custom electronics industry: the increasing price of neodymium, a rare-earth metal. The magnets are instrumental in the manufacturing of some low-profile loudspeakers from Definitive Technology, Earthquake, Wisdom Audio, Totem Acoustic, BG Radia, and MartinLogan. Not all manufacturers use neodymium drivers, some use magnets made of ferrite, which has the same properties as neodymium but requires a larger magnet.
Apart from home entertainment speakers, neodymium drivers are also commonly found in some in-ear monitors who may encounter a similar price crisis. Read up more on this story here.