Open Baffle Speakers

Interesting never heard of such a thing…

Open baffles are pretty sweet. I actually have a pair of spatial x5 myself, pretty excellent speakers. I also like the pure audio project open baffles as well

Edit: and also have enjoyed caintuck and decware open baffles too. But honestly the open baffles that have impressed me the most have often been one off designs


any affordable open baffle speakers out there?

If you’re looking for max affordability then the diy options out there are likely worth exploring (typically pretty simple too), but the decware or caintuck are pretty affordable for prebuilt options imo. I do think that the spatials and pure audio products offer excellent value per dollar but I don’t know if that counts as affordable in the traditional sense

Technically magnepans are open baffle, the LRS are incredible for the price. Although the cost of source gear to get those sounding good is very high in exchange (honestly same with the spatials)

1 Like

so…decware / caintuck are the same company or related somehow? they seem to share / advertise each others products.

also, how good is flea watt equipment and what kind of prices do they command?

and as a curve ball…does anyone make a desktop open baffle? :wink:

The Spud Kit is an interesting and affordable DiY setup. @M0N have you ever heard one? I wonder how it would sound taking line level out of my Zen…or if that would introduce to much warmth, LoL!

I’m not actually sure, I think they are separate but do advertise together

So sensitivity is misleading on open baffle stuff. It might seem sensitive, but in order for them to actually interact well with the room you really want more power than what you imagine, it’s not like a horn speaker or high efficiency traditional design. Depending on the speaker and the room and listening position you sometimes can get away with very low power amps, but I do think you make some trade offs with some of the ultra low power amps. For most efficient open baffle I wouldn’t want to be under 10 watts based off my experiences with some

Nothing stopping you from just putting one of these on a desk. There’s also diy kits for more bookshelf sized open baffle. But I have to wonder if you would really want that. These speakers interact with the room a ton, and really love being in the middle of the room. Confining them to a desktop where they won’t have much room to breathe I’d imagine would make them very lackluster

Unfortunately not

Open baffles are pretty interesting, and second everything Mon has said.

The issue, IMHO, is they’re very not consumer friendly. They rely a lot of room position/size/treatment and other factors, You can’t just throw them in a room, you need to size your speakers for the room, make sure treatment is perfect, position is proper, and be willing to play with more power and volume. There’s also other issues like there’s a “golden area” after taking all the above factors in where the speakers sound “as properly designed” but under and over that area can sound different/not-as-good.

I’ve played around with DIY open baffles. Main issue I found is lack of bass–that’s why many DIY folks who like open baffle actually have cabinet-ted subwoofers/woofers, and mid-bass/mids/highs are open baffle designs. We’ve found that bass can be a wonky factor in it all, both reflection in the room and output in competition with the other drivers, but also changing the rest of the frequency range due to the open design. Probably the best implementation of open baffle design, IMHO, is dual sealed sub as the base of the speakers, and then either a large coaxial/full-range driver or mid-bass-mid and high combo in open baffle.

Yep for sure, they basically fully take advantage of your room, so their performance will pretty much depend on it. Interestingly I did find my spatials more room forgiving than I expected, but you still basically want to have them in the middle of a well treated room to really get what you want out of them. Moving them around will wildly change how they sound and how impressive they are, there’s not much compromise here

Yep, the spatial x series have a build in powered sub that actually really does a solid job so I didn’t need separate subs in my case. Although in smaller rooms I didn’t find their M series to need a sub either but you might want one anyways. Some of the huge PAP like the quintet don’t really need one either from my experience, but again even speakers that don’t need a sub sure do benefit from one lol

Bass in a room is always a pain in the ass lol

I would agree if you are going multi driver, but idk I think the bass tradeoff is worth it in some of the single driver open baffle designs to get that extreme coherency and remove crossovers from the equation

1 Like

I took a trip down to Spatial Labs here in SLC just before thanksgiving… got a chance to meet Clayton Shaw… his sales rep let me hang out for a couple hours and demo the same speakers sent to Guttenberg for review.

They have the M4 and M3 sapphires that I’m looking at. Somewhere in the next month or two they will have a rev2 m3 sapphire and both will be getting wood fronts (walnut cherry and 1 other can’t remember). The wood was far more attractive for my preferences and I’ll be buying a pair sometime Feb/Mar after they release it.

IMO the do not need a sub as they play down to mid 30 hz in room. Subs would help add impact but these things are way way better than my Maggie LRS were. You will need a decent size room and you will need to pull them out 4-6 feet from wall boundaries and you will need room treatments.

Actually the spatials are much easier to drive than LRS. They had the M4 running off an LTA Zotl40 and then we flipped em to a single Vidar. The Vidar sounded better IMO.


A couple more reviews:

if I ever get a place of my own…a dedicated sound room will be a requirement. :wink:

1 Like