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What is the Best Material for Pro Audio Speaker Cabinets?

Views: 389     Author: Sanway Audio     Publish Time: 2021-03-25      Origin: Sanway Audio


What is the Best Material for Pro Audio Speaker Cabinets?

Today, we are going to talk about the materials for the pro audio speakers cabinets. As you may know, all Sanway Brand loudspeaker cabinet boxes are made of Russian birch plywood. Why the birch plywood is the best? How about others? You could find the reasons after reading this article.


The relationship between cabinet box materials and acoustics


The mechanical properties of the speaker cabinet material directly affect  the performance of the speaker. Among them, the density of the material is related to the sound insulation, and the mechanical strength (rigidity) of the material is related to the self-vibration of the cabinet, and it is also related to the bass tone.

The material damping characteristics are related to the Q value and filtering of the air in the box. The lower material density, the worse sound insulation effect, and the lower resonance efficiency of the speaker; the worse mechanical strength of the material, the higher natural vibration rate of the case, the more speaker noise; the worse rigidity of materials, the worse low-frequency elasticity .


Material types of speaker cabinet boxes

Birch plywood

Birch plywood

Birch plywood has good acoustic properties. We know that for musical instruments with wooden cabinets like acoustic guitars, the cabinets must be able to enhance the string vibration to form greater resonance; while the speaker cabinets are just the opposite, requiring cabinets not to follow the unit's Vibrate and vibrate to avoid distorted cavity resonance. Birch plywood is the best choice for speaker cabinets because of its ability to meet the acoustic requirements of speaker production.


Birch plywood is also a dense wood product that does not interfere with the tone of speakers. In general, plywood has proven to be successful. This is a common choice for those architectural speaker boxes to improve clarity and sound quality.


Of all the plywood options, birch plywood has proven to be the highest quality, as it relates to speaker output and performance. It is known for its hard and durable wood, which allows it to be used for a longer period of time and remains intact. Although it is dense, it is lightweight and makes transporting the speakers easier and requires more frequent movement.


Here are some reason why we choose birch plywood for Sanway Audio speaker box


Durability: Its composition, strength and versatility make birch plywood a high-quality material that will last for a long time. When you consider more lasting results, the initial investment becomes more economical.

Less distort: Compared with other plywood, birch plywood does not distort as frequently as other plywood, especially when the fragments are thicker.

Aesthetics: Birch plywood is also an attractive wood work. It can be left exposed, depending on the style of its room or easy handling to suit any desired appearance. Stains, dyes and finishes can be added easily, or simply finished with a transparent top.

 Russian Birch Plywood

Different birch plywood from different countries, quality is also different. Colder weather make birch trees stronger. Compared to our domestic birch plywood, Russian plywood birch is better. Because Russian weather is colder, the birch tress is stronger and more density. Sanway Audio speakers are made of Russian birch plywood.


Birch plywood will be more expensive than other wood substitutes, but the price increased will also make up for the improved sound quality. Other plywood may be cheaper, but they will not provide the superior sound and tonal effects of birch plywood. 


In professional audio industrial, you will use the speakers in different application. Sometimes you may use them hot weather or raining or chill weather in outdoor, sometimes you may transport the system to different places for touring performance. So the birch plywood is a perfect choice for making the speaker boxes.



Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF board

MDF is an artificial board made of wood fiber or other plant fiber, applied with urea-formaldehyde resin or other suitable adhesives.
Benefits of using MDF for speakers include:

Economy: The amount spent on the speaker box will depend on the size you need and the number of speakers you plan to cover. This is a fairly cheap material compared to other wood.

Dense and uniform: As we mentioned, these characteristics are most important for clear and consistent sound.

Easy to cut: Because there are no wood grains like natural wood and throughout. This allows you to use a larger board and easily customize the size of the speaker box.


But for professional audio speaker, MDF isn’t a good choice.


Some of the disadvantages to consider when using MDF for speakers include:


First, in terms of material mechanics, MDF is uniformly distributed in the internal structure of the plate. Although it can exert a certain strength support from the thickness, it is subject to the mechanical strength index, which eliminates, avoids or reduces the performance of the box shell's self-vibration. Still quite limited. Especially when producing high-performance, high-quality or through-the-box speakers, this weakness is insurmountable.


Second, in terms of material technology, latex or screws are often used for connection and locking of density panel speakers. Especially for the installation of loudspeaker units, self-tapping screws are often used to lock the unit basin frame on the cabinet. Due to the poor nail-holding force of the density board, if the speaker unit is locked with metal screws, as the number of times the speaker is used, the screw locking strength will gradually decrease until it becomes loose, thereby reducing the overall rigidity of the speaker. The sound quality will gradually decrease.


Third, the biggest drawback of this type of material is that it is not moisture-proof and swells when exposed to water.




Generally, low-priced vinyl resins such as polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, etc. are made by special processing with low foaming. It can also be cut, drilled, nailed, screwed, cemented, etc., and has the advantages of uniform physical properties, light weight, non-absorbent, stable size, corrosion resistance, insect column resistance, and easy coloring. But the weather resistance, strength, and touch are poor. Another type of plastic speakers adopts injection molding process, and the shape can be changed at will. Due to the influence of processing technology, the wall thickness of injection molded speakers is greatly restricted. Because the wall thickness is limited, the rigidity of the box is affected, so plastic Materials are often used to make low-end speakers, whose sound quality cannot be controlled by higher standards.


Overall, birch plywood is the best choose for professional speaker, line array, and subwoofers. because of its multiple thin layers,  absence of voids, rigidity and rich density that facilities better clarity and tone. Also Its durability ensure you could keep the speaker for long time, and good for touring performance in a bumpy roads.


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