What Is The Baffle Speaker?

- Jan 16, 2020-

The old British HiFi magazine-HiFi World is published in 42 countries around the world. It has a technical column on speaker design and explains the bass of baffle speakers. Here we extract and share with you after translation to eliminate those prejudices that ‘the baffle box has no bass’.

"In our memory, the speaker always has a cabinet. But this is not a comprehensive understanding. Except for electrostatic flat speakers, we seem to think that the closed cabinet and the speaker unit are inseparable. But if we look at In the early history of speaker design, you will find another classic design method-called 'baffle speakers'.

I also grew up under the concept of "HiFi speakers must have a cabinet". When I first found out that an antique radio from the 1930s actually had a holed back panel, I was amazed. How can such a "blind hole" extended baffle speaker produce bass? Will the sound waves in front of the horn and the sound waves in the back not completely cancel each other out?

Antique radio

However, this antique radio does have bass, which may not be so deep, but the bass does exist!

Later, with my understanding of the speaker design, I was able to understand: "A baffle with a diameter of 21.5 cm can theoretically produce bass below 80 Hz!"

However, bass is not just talking about the frequency value of sound waves in theory. For listeners, what is more important is the "body feeling" of bass. My wife, who has no knowledge of audio technology, said very well-"Orchestral music sounds a lot better in church because your body can feel the strength of the bass." I understand her very well. What is missing from most HiFi systems is this 'bass somatosensory that moves air'.

You must use very large-caliber units to produce such a "moving air" bass somatosensory.


Church organ

Since most people like to put small bookshelf boxes at home, why bother with baffle speakers? The answer is, now I tell you, because the baffle box has no box! No matter how loudspeaker designers design complex cabinets, guides, plus horns, sound-absorbing cotton, etc., they can never completely solve an inherent defect of the cabinet: that is-adding a cabinet behind a speaker unit is inevitable Resonance appears! We all grew up listening to this kind of resonant speakers, so we are used to this flawed artificial sound.

I have come to the conclusion that we have been listening to this kind of cabinet resonance artificial sound for so long that after the resonance sound caused by the inherent flaws in the design is eliminated, we actually think, ‘Oh my god, the sound is wrong! ’

This phenomenon may explain why the sound of flat-type electrostatic speakers is sometimes described as 'sound thin' or 'not strong enough'. People who like flat-panel speakers then describe the box-type speaker as 'a bloated tone dye'.

Almost all speaker units on the market today are designed for use in cabinets. However, in the design of early speakers, the design of the speaker unit was not the case. The antique speaker units from the 1940s to the 1950s were designed to be used in large enclosed enclosures or mounted on baffles without losing its bass appeal.

Antique Bass Large Caliber Horn Unit

Today, you can also see that the design of the integrated bass guitar amplifier / speaker stage equipment is similar to the aforementioned antique radio. It has an open baffle on the back and a large diameter of 10 to 12 inches on the front. unit. These bass guitar amplifier / speaker integrated devices are still on the stage around the world, delivering a real, transparent and highly infectious 'live' music experience to fans around the world with almost destructive high volume. .

Your HiFi system is to reproduce this "live music" experience in your home listening room!