Originally Posted by BobPond
This thread is worth reviving.
It seems that a lot of money is spent on in-ceiling and in-wall speakers yet there appears to be no strong consensus on whether it makes sense to build enclosures for them.
One of the above postings refers to the following technical article:http://www.cepro.com/article/how_to_...peaker_systems
This article points that out that wall cavities are extremely leaky. This can be even more true of ceiling speakers. Yet, wouldn't in-wall / in-ceiling speakers be engineered with this in mind? It seems that whatever enclosure you build around such a speaker (even $100 dynamats!) would be too small for such a speaker.
Has anyone really demonstrated that it helps to build speaker enclosures around in-wall or in-ceiling speakers?
Note: My in-ceiling speakers will have an attic above them from where I can install any enclosure that I like. If an enclosure would really help, why not simply use a large styrofoam box with or without a plywood bottom and with or without insulation inside?
Bob, I think the biggest challenge with open baffle is there is simply no way to engineer an open baffle for each and every room. There are too many unknowns with regards to the wall itself, such as, taller or shorter walls (did they build the open baffle to accommodate 7' ceilings, 8', 10', etc?) What about walls or ceilings that have ductwork, pipes, etc running through them? How much insulation is factored in for the open baffle design, and for what R value? As the article mentions you also have speaker bleedthrough to the tune of 20db. For some people this may be a concern if you have a room beside or above the area where the open baffle speaker is installed.
For me it makes commonsense to have an engineered enclosure as many of us simply do not know what is buried in our walls and how it may interact with our speakers. As the author of the article researched, gypsum board makes a poor speaker box.
Based on my own personal experience with in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, I have found that the best sounding speakers had engineered enclosures. With my favorites being from Triad, Atlantic Technology, and RBH. The engineered enclosures are designed to a specific volume based on the components and are usually made with the same material that they would build a cabinet speaker with.
This is not to say that open baffle speakers sound bad. I have heard many that sound quite good, but, to me, enclosed speakers are preferred. That said, they tend to cost more