Purpose:Demonstrates diffraction and interference of sound waves
A small loudspeaker plays music with lots of bass, but the bass is not very loud. When the speaker is held up behind a hole the size of the speaker in a board about two feet square, the sound becomes much louder to the audience; this is particularly noticeable in the lower (bass) frequencies.
A loudspeaker produces two distinct sound waves: one from the front and one from the back, which are out of phase with respect to each other. In the absence of the baffle, these sounds both diffract in all directions, and, because they are exactly out of phase they interfere destructively, especially the bass. The baffle forestalls the diffraction and thus reduces the magnitude of the interference.
This effect is used in constructing speakers and their enclosures, to ensure that the maximum of output energy is passed to the listener. It can also be observed in nature, as some insects have been noted to use such surfaces to effectively amplify their calls in the wild (see references below).