Open Baffle vs Closed Box

Last year I built an open baffle speaker using horn and 12” PA driver. Generally, it sounded good, but I always wondered how they would sound in a closed box or bass-reflex enclosure. Closed box also allows me to place the speaker near front wall and save some space in the center of my living room. For dancing ;)

I ordered two boxes of the same height as my open-baffle speakers. I placed the horn at the same height as with open-baffle speakers. I preserved the plexi panel from previous project since it seems to smooth the sound.

Closed-box and open-baffle comparison

Compared to open baffle, the closed box sounds more natural, more correct. In both cases on-axis frequency response was the same. However, the closed box feels differently. It’s more smooth, more even. The bass is more solid, easier to feel.

Imaging depth is much shallower than with open-baffle speakers. Probably, farther from wall placement will improve the depth of imaging, but I haven’t tried. Stereo-imaging (left to right) is nice both with closed boxes and open boxes.

Here are a couple of recordings of closed-box speakers:

Boz Scaggs - Thanks To You:

Marcin Wyrostek - Janosik

You can compare these to open-baffle speakers here.

Speakers components

I built closed box speakers using the same drivers as open-baffle speakers:

Midwoofer enclosure

I placed Beyma midwoofer in a ~90 litres enclosure according to this project: enclosure project

Crossover settings