Optimal design of acoustic loudspeaker design elements, such as waveguides and phase plugs, often requires extensive experience by the designer. Numerical simulations and optimization algorithms can aid in reducing the design-test-optimize cycle that is traditionally applied. A general mathematical framework for numerical optimization techniques is introduced and three algorithms of design optimization are reviewed: parameter optimization, shape optimization, and topology optimization. This paper highlights strengths and drawbacks of each method with the use of real-world design of a waveguide and two phase plugs. Where possible, the results are confirmed with prototypes and measurements. The work shows that excellent results can be achieved in just one design iteration with the help of numerical optimization methods.
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