Acoustic simulations using Finite Elements have been used in loudspeaker development for over 20 years, with complexity and accuracy accelerating in tandem with the increases in computing power generally available on the engineering desktop. Using user-friendly, modern FEA software, the author presents an overview of methods to build virtual prototypes of both 2D and 3D horns as well as loudspeaker transducers featuring coupled magnetic, electric, mechanical, and acoustical physics without the use of lumped parameter approximations. The high accuracy of the simulations allows a significant reduction in the number of physical prototypes, as well as reduced development time. A comparison of simulated vs. measured data proves the validity of the methods.
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