Speaker Box Porting: Modern Technology
No one single speaker is going to cater to everyone's needs, therefore speaker options vary in shape, design and size greatly.
What makes a bigger speaker sound more full in the bottom end? What makes some speakers of the same size act better in certain room positions? Lots of the technology that allows smaller speakers to sound and act like larger speakers is in the port.
Speaker ports are a carefully measured and designed hole and internal air chamber in the frame of the speaker box which alters the air movement of a speaker, and therefore its sonic characteristics.
Speaker ports can be found on all kinds of loudspeaker cabinets, ranging from small satellite speakers to large subwoofer units. These are placed in a range of positions on the speaker box.
You may have heard the terms "front-firing port" or "rear ported" in reference to a speaker or subwoofer. These terms mean just that.
While rear and side ported speakers can be effected heavily by placement, some speaker options are less prone to this effect. Base ported speakers, or bottom ported speakers, will likely be far less effected due to their 'control' over the surroundings of the port. In the feature image of this post, you will see a Focal Aria 926, up next to a Sopra no.3. While the Aria has a front-firing port, these both utilise a down-firing port in the enclosure which is suspended above, yet fixed, to an overall base below the port. This is basically always going to have the same effect on the speaker's bottom end response, as the port is a set distance away from its closest other surface (the fixed base).
Some subwoofers, and similarly loudspeakers, can be completely sealed. This means no port at all. This, in most cases, is the most controlled type of enclosure when it comes to room placement and its effect.
Why Does All This Matter?
The placement of a speakers' port can play a massive role in determining how it'll be effected by your room. For example, being placed close to a wall behind, or placed in a corner of a room can be 'constructive' or 'destructive' to a speakers performance.
Selecting the right speaker for you MUST include how the speaker will perform where you plan to put it within your living space. This is a question we ask customers all the time in the showroom, because it can guide us to a preference of a certain design, just the same as how the visual aspect of loudspeakers can, if that's an important consideration to you.
To find out what is going to work well in your living space, or to talk to us about options for subwoofers and loudspeakers, either pop into the showroom if you're local, or call us on (02) 8088 3088.