If you are finding that your speakers are distorting, using an EQ (equalizer) to dial down some of the bass will help. This will not only make your speakers sounds better, but it will also make your speakers last much longer.
For iOS Devices
All iOS devices have a built in EQ, so you just have to find it in Settings. We've posted a short article on it HERE.
For Android Devices
There are a ton of music players on Android, many of which have equalizer settings built in as well. Player Pro is one music player that has EQ adjustments and you can find out more about those settings HERE.
Streaming content vs. Local
Quality makes a huge difference in acoustic performance. It's especially noticeable on small devices. A ripped song off Youtube is going to sound horrible by comparison to a high quality AAC file. Even some MP3 files have very low quality that may reduce volume and performance.