In his editorial this month, Alan Taffel hits a strong point on how the two-channel listening experience is woefully inadequate in giving us a realistic soundscape. This situation could be *greatly helped* if speaker makers stopped boxing their (box) speaker designs and opened them up. Sigfried Linkwitz has been saying this for years...and it's high time that more started doing it.
Four big questions loudspeaker designers should have asked, then tried to answer:
1. Do recordings capture space ?
2. Are drive units natural dipoles ?
3. Why don't speakers sound good in a (direct-sound only) anechoic chamber ?
4. What's the time arrival of live sound vs. that from a boxed radiator ? (hint: the box is MUCH faster)
Once we answer these (simple) questions, then we see how wrong most speakers are at sound radiation in a room. Apparently, realism wasn't a priority - building a better box was.
The argument that open-baffle speakers "need a lot of space" doesn't take away the point that many audiophiles have dedicated rooms that can easily harbor dipole radiation. Plus, dipoles don't have a deep box in the first place !!
I think it's time we started thinking "outside the box" with dynamic-dipole radiators and rear-firing tweeters........