Thiele Small Speaker Measurements – Using T/S Parameters & Build Speakers Better

So you’ve run head on into Thiele Small speaker measurements (parameters) and don’t know what they are, or why you should care? Can you break the Thiele Small speaker measurements or rules?

Sure it’s done all the time. But its not a good way to start out, and you have to know what you are doing first. Breaking rules on purpose is one thing.

Breaking them because you didn’t do your homework will not offer positive results.


Take an hour or so and get to know these terms. Understand that it takes some time to understand what you are doing with speaker building.

So don’t expect to ‘get it’ the first time through.

For example: in some cases a high Q system is wanted or even necessary to limit driver excursion by using high pressures within the cabinet.

They have less low bass output, but that is not where the speakers were designed to play. The point is, to know what you are doing and why you are doing it, only then can you arrive at an excellent design while also knowing why you made those choices.

Some often missed measurements you need to build a speaker Sealed cabinets are not nearly as fussy when it comes to the amount of air volume behind the driver. That’s not to say that you can ignore the T/S parameters, do so at your own expense… But you can design the box to work best for your specific purposes. Rather than bore you with the details…

Wikipedia article on Thiele Small Parameters and how to understand them

Source: Wikipidea – Thiele Small speaker measurements When you understand why Thiele Small speaker measurements are important you can start to use them in your designs. The more information you have when designing speakers the better chances you have for success.

Still, some builders don’t have the patience to learn all about Thiele/Small parameters. That’s fine, just stick with a sealed box and use drivers that are best suited to sealed cabinets. You can do a lot worse, believe me. Just know that taking your time will result in a much higher quality enclosure and one that mates well with the drivers being used.

Sadly, many speakers on the market are designed without any knowledge of T/S parameters. (many mass market speakers available at your big box stores)

But, if you are after the last degree of resolution, low distortion, most transparent bass, and a high quality music experience, you have little choice but to learn about measuring speakers and using Thiele/Small in your speaker designs.
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