I'm looking to create software which will simulate the overall effect of different styles, sizes and openness of speaker grills on the audio received by the listener. So far I have the following potential effects:

  • comb filter which would simulate reflections of sound back into cone.
  • helmholtz for additional audible harmonics that are created
  • chuffing with bass speakers?
  • absorbsion by grill?

It's my understanding that the most noticeable effect is that the grill acts as a low pass filter. How could I calculate the frequency response of the filter based on knowledge of the system components?

  • Some air compression must occur too (not sure if thats covered by "chuffing" ;-) ). Imagine the worst case grill: a solid plate with a single pinhole in the center. That will certainly compress things. Also the hardness of the grill and its properties as a secondary membrane must be accounted for I guess... Jul 27, 2015 at 11:25
  • Chuffing covers the effect of air compression on low hole density surfaces as you describe . In terms of membrane, I agree for plastic grills but metal grills should not deform
    – John
    Jul 27, 2015 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


Theoretical models may or may not exist for these effects, and may or may not accurately reproduce the actual effect -- there are so many variables and so many loose manufacturing tolerances. You may want to consider developing a model from empirical data. Set up a reference PA system, interpose several grilles, and measure the effect as you vary material, hole size, and hole density. Your interpolated model, built upon empirical data, will likely be as predictive as a theoretical model. Publish your results, retire on the royalties.

  • This is what I found in the end. Using actual data is much more productive than trying to start from theoretical models only.
    – John
    Mar 16, 2016 at 10:04

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