This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this speaker cabinet design pdf by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. In this photo, only one driver is mounted.
A cabinet with loudspeakers mounted in the holes. Number 1 is a mid-range driver.
Number 2 is a high-range driver. Number 3 indicates two low-frequency woofers. Below the bottom woofer is a bass reflex port. Enclosures may range in design from simple, homemade DIY rectangular particleboard boxes to very complex, expensive computer-designed hi-fi cabinets that incorporate composite materials, internal baffles, horns, bass reflex ports and acoustic insulation.
Loudspeaker enclosures range in size from small “bookshelf” speaker cabinets with 4″ woofers and small tweeters designed for listening to music with a hi-fi system in a private home to huge, heavy subwoofer enclosures with multiple 18″ or even 21″ speakers in huge enclosures which are designed for use in stadium concert sound reinforcement systems for rock music concerts. The primary role of the enclosure is to prevent sound waves generated by the rearward-facing surface of the diaphragm of an open speaker driver interacting with sound waves generated at the front of the speaker driver. Because the forward- and rearward-generated sounds are out of phase with each other, any interaction between the two in the listening space creates a distortion of the original signal as it was intended to be reproduced. As such, a loudspeaker cannot be used without installing it in a cabinet of some type, or mounting it into a wall or ceiling.
Additionally, because the sound waves would travel different paths through the listening space, the sound waves in an unmounted speaker would arrive at the listener’s position at slightly different times, introducing echo and reverberation effects not part of the original sound. Sometimes considered part of the enclosure, the base, may include specially designed “feet” to decouple the speaker from the floor. Speaker enclosures designed for use in a home or recording studio typically do not have handles or corner protectors, although they do still usually have a cloth or mesh cover to protect the woofer and tweeter. These speaker grilles are a metallic or cloth mesh that are used to protect the speaker by forming a protective cover over the speaker’s cone while allowing sound to pass through undistorted.
Speaker enclosures are used in homes in stereo systems, home cinema systems, televisions, boom boxes and many other audio appliances. Small speaker enclosures are used in car stereo systems. Speaker cabinets are key components of a number of commercial applications, including sound reinforcement systems, movie theatre sound systems and recording studios. When paper cone loudspeaker drivers were introduced in the mid 1920s, radio cabinets began to be made larger to enclose both the electronics and the loudspeaker.
These cabinets were made largely for the sake of appearance, with the loudspeaker simply mounted behind a round hole in the cabinet. It was observed that the enclosure had a strong effect on the bass response of the speaker. A Lansing Iconic multicell horn loudspeaker from 1937.