Why are there so many wooden box speakers out there?

I understand that wood is cheap and a box is easier to make than a sphere but when the speaker companies charge tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for their speakers, shouldnt consumers expect more than just a typical box? Are consumers being duped?

Back in the 70’s a speaker engineer found that a sphere was best for a speaker. A square box was the worst and a rectangular box was marginally better.

The speaker engineers have surely known about this research so why has it been ignored?

Cabasse is the only company doing spheres. Should wooden boxes be made illegal


Why have a box or even an enclosure of any kind. Magnepan figured it out long ago. 


So what shape are my Rockport Avior ii speakers considered to be ? 

Oh wait never mind. I don’t care what shape they are considered to be because they sound really F…..G good to me! 

Happy holidays everyone and happy listening!

KEF Blade

B&W (multiple)

Sonus Faber Venere 

Wilson (multiple)


Bang and Olufsen


Estelon Forza


And so on. Many play with shape but sometimes it's inside a box as well.  When the original tests on box speakers were done, much of the issue was that it was just an open box inside,  then stuffing was added (acoustical treatment). Then internal baffling,, and so on. Rear loaded horns don't sit well so often boxes are added. But in general a box is easier to work with,  and for many straight Clean lines are preferred.  So the "box works ". And if the ears are happy the soul is happy.  

Have read the referenced study and have a few comments.

The study references both diffraction and sound impedance of the enclosure for the speaker, but then creates enclosures where the volume of the enclosure and the distance of the speaker/piston to the furthest rear surface varies quite a bit, from 2 foot to 6 inches.   Without going through the full math of the impedance and reflection pressure on the speaker/piston for each shape used, the study is only partially conclusive.

Since the study does not include reference to any sound dampening material used within any of the enclosures, we have to assume that there is none. This should be required information for complete and accurate understanding of the results.

The material used for the various shapes, and the construction methods used are not detailed, so the shape information is only partially informative. The absorption and reflection properties of the material used and joining methods will affect the diffraction and impedance of each enclosure.

There is no charting/graph of the sample speaker free standing (no enclosure) for reference, so the charts graphs can only the used as comparison to each other. We do not know what the free air response of the sample speaker is for comparison to the enclosures.

The shapes/volume of enclosures for the size of speaker used would mostly argue for freestanding speakers. A speaker of 7/8 inch diameter (a tweeter) requiring a sphere of 2 foot diameter for a relatively flat response or a cubic volume of over 2 feet for a similar response would appear to require a massively sized enclosure for a full range speaker that would include at the minimum a second driver of at least 5 1/4 inch diameter. Thus one would conclude that freestanding speakers with a bare minimum of mounting surface would be best.

What the study does show is that enclosure volume will affect response curve. Distance from speaker to rear surface will affect response curve. Internal shape of enclosure will affect response curve. And the study hints that minimal front mounting surface may be beneficial to the response curve, but is confused by the various internal shapes and volumes to provide a clear conclusion.

Most all of this is known, and most all high end speakers use cabinet shaping, material, volume, and dampening for each individual driver to optimize the response curve of each driver, and the response curve of the speaker as a whole as a single point sound source. For those whose room volume, configuration and dampening are optimal then full planar or freestanding speakers can be the best, otherwise it is all compromise.