How come Horn + woofer designs are not more popular?

A couple guys on my audio discord really love the JBL synthesis 4367 and feel that all traditional 3 way tower speakers suck because they have poor bass response and are generally shy sounding. What I wonder is how come the majority of speaker makes do floor standers that are 3 way as oppose to the Horn +woofer design of JBL?

Is there any downsides to the horn + woofer design? Can a horn convey microdetail as well as a Be tweeter like say from magic A or S line? They claim 3 way floor standers are just trendy. But is there anything more to it then that?
Horn speakers distort sound.  Some love this--go to a typical 150 db (exaggeration except for YES!)  rock concert and there are a million horns. 

Go to a ball game at the local VFW or where they play summer American Legion ball and listen to the announcer on the horns mounted on the poles around the field.  You will see what I mean!  By the way, Legion summer ball is amazingly good!


@shadorne wrote:  "Horns tend to have an uneven radiation pattern with frequency."

It depends on the horn.  Many horns (such as tractrix or exponential) tend to have a wide pattern down low and a narrow pattern up high.   Often PA horns have a constant pattern in the horizontal plane but then the pattern narrows aggressively in the vertical as we go up in frequency.  But some horns have very uniform patterns across their passbands.  Radiation pattern control is actually the main reason that I use horns, but they are a specific type:  Constant-directivity, waveguide-style (the latter term signifying that they don't use diffraction or slots as part of their pattern control).   

"[Horns] can be perceived as shouty or unbalanced."

Good waveguide-style horns don't have this problem.  The "shouty" thing is often a characteristic of diffraction horns especially at high SPLs.   Most PA horns are diffraction horns, and most people's primary exposure to horns has been crappy PA systems, so most people think horns are inherently shouty, but that is not at all the case.   Horns that are shouty are ones that have been optimized for things other than sound quality. 

If any of you will be at T.H.E. Show in Long Beach in early June, stop by room 519, especially if you would describe yourself as someone who "hates horns".  We'd like to have a go at shifting your paradigm.



Comparing a quality horn speaker with the PA horns mounted on the poles around a sports field isn't really apples with apples me thinks.Yes, some horns distort and some box speakers sound like, well, boxes.There's no mystery. Good designers whether it be horns, boxs, planars, or electrostatics, design to manage their strengths and weaknesses.
I think modern horn speakers are getting pretty good at getting rid of the honk and beaming which have long been the criticisms thrown at them. But the market perhaps hasn't given them the chance yet to prove the point.
I've tried a lot of traditional speakers and really liked all of them at the time I had them. Each was an upgrade and evolution of my system. I now have Avantgarde Duo horn hybrids and I'd never go back. But that's me.
I have a pair of Rethm Saadhana, a beautiful (in sound AND looks) horn speaker with built in powered bass modules, so you get great bass that is well matched to the horn output. Those interested in horns should listen before deciding as I think many would be big fans.
I feel the speaker choice is relitive to the music.  I like Klipsch Forte and Hersey for what I feel is a more in your face rock hard speakers.  These can take some punishing while preserving the original detail.  The new JBL's have been on my horizon, as they look and sound tasty.