Open Baffle

Thinking about having a go with OB’s. Never really heard any apart from at Scalford.

How do they interact with room boundaries compared to ‘boxed’ speakers?

@Adpully is your man

@AmDismal loves them. I never heard a single pair I could live with.


@edd9000 is a connoisseur and @AmDismal is the best OB designer I’ve met. That man can really design a baffle.



Due to the nature of open baffle speakers, is their dipole radiation which looks like a figure of eight, so they can be placed next to side walls.

To get any low bass, you are going to need very big baffles, big or lots of bass drivers or lots of power, pick two. A way to ‘cheat’ with bass, is chose drivers with a high ‘Qts’ (above 0.5) which will give an elevated bass response in open baffle to compsensate for the early roll off, the downside is you will have less bass control but it is a lot cheaper than lots of power and EQ.

Going Active helps, especially for a first time project as you can experiment on the go, with the MiniDSP 2x4 processor for example, or the built in DSP Plate amps from MiniDSP and Hypex.

To get a taster, a simple baffle with a full range driver is worth a play. A lot of people use wide range/full-range drivers in open baffle as it gives you dipole radiation up through the midange into the treble range. Dipole tweeters can be expensive, or DIY modifications only.

You want to keep them out of corners - about a metre out maybe?

They are quite a lot more difficult than box speakers to site in most rooms - I have found generally you need them a metre out from the back walls. Big baffles work easiest and 15" bass drivers are really needed to get a decent bass.

They do bring an openness to the sound and very tuneful but slightly sloppy(or relaxed) bass.

That might scupper my plans. I can only manage about 6/700mm max from a rear wall to the front of the baffle without having a speaker on the sofa.

That’s exactly the impression I got when I heard some at Scalford, but wasn’t sure if that mght be down to the size of the room they had to fill.
I can get even the smallest speakers booming in my room which is why I thought about going for OB and ditching the amplification of the box at LF.
I expect a trial might be a good idea. I’ll see if Ross wants to drag his monsters down here for a few hours.

I used a folded open baffle with a 15" driver. Worked well.

Are you planning to build something?

Physically building something is well within my means but I’d need a lot of help with crossovers and driver choice etc.
Ideally I could do with a listen to some in a normal sized room before deciding how far to go.

Still living in the same place, Rick?

Yes mate. The search goes on lol. Either that or I must be bored and wanting to try something completely different.

I was asking cos I remember your room. Wondering if open baffles would work in there.


I built some Lampizator P17 speakers, which worked really well at a bake off in the kids’ play room, which is small - maybe 12’ by 11’ or so.

Pete’s Coral system had open baffle bass, and that easily filled one of the large rooms in Scalford.

Go figure!

There’s no exact science, this I know. I’m only going on past experience in that Yam NS1000 are rumoured to be bass light. Not in here! I’ve not measured my room apart from using a test tone cd some years back but I believe my resonance problem is at about 40hz. That said, I’ve had speakers claiming to go down to 20hz that caused me no problems apart from physical size.

Same. Always up for trying new stuff.

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I know Vic of Trans-fi used his OB system 400mm or so from the rear wall and in his fairly large town house living room the sound was very decent and projected a large 3d soundscape. He has evolved his system to a baffle less design. His OB log is worth a read if you haven’t already.

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Thats a really great link Andy, not seen that before :+1:

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