Ported versus sealed speakers: is one type better?

Have two systems of wildly different scale and cost.  My main rig features Wilson Watt/Puppy 7's, while at my vacation cabin the system features Totem Rainmakers.

Got me thinking recently that both are ported designs.  And many box speakers are indeed ported designs.

However some of the best and most costly speakers are sealed - not ported.  Examples include Magico and YG Acoustics among others.

 I realize ports are just one aspect of the overall design but I'm seeking opinions on whether one is inherently worse than the other (ported versus non ported)?

Thus would a Magico or YG have an inherent advantage over a Wilson, Rockport,  Von Schweikert or other top ported design?

Any thoughts?

Hsu makes a line of subs you can alter the configuration from ported to sealed.  The difference is minimal in measurements.  You can find measurements here:


The thing that makes a bigger difference is matching the room.  Ported speakers go down deeper and tend to excite those modes more. In this case a speaker with a higher cutoff will often sound better.

Port noise MAY be an issue, but it's usually dealt with by using larger ports and/or using port surfaces which minimize this.
It’s all about the design and materials used. If the designer builds around Infinite baffle, passive radiator, port, or open baffle, the driver has to be tuned to the enclosure, anyway. If you’re lucky, that enclosure has the ability to be tuned to YOUR room. Hopefully without EQing the enclosure(s) to death. That’s the tough one sometimes..

Passive radiators, can tune the box per room, add or subtract mass, to a very fine degree They can correct dampening issues between different power amps via mass addition or subtraction.

Ports are usually fixed, though I’ve seen inserts, and trombone ports. I like trombone bass enclosures too.
I think, "homewreckers" are that way, 

It's all in the implementation. The short answer is that acoustic suspension (sealed) designs trade efficiency for bass definition.
Sealed speakers are just as efficient as ported, but don't go as deep. The efficiency is a function of the driver, not the cabinet.
Depends on total speaker design and each designer takes a different approach.  Wilson, Wilson Benesh and Vivid port.  Magico and YG do not.  

One thing that is common to Magico and YG is they are both aluminum.  Not sure if that has anything to do with it.  Could be there is a problem in maintaining damping if you port an aluminum speaker.  I haven't worked with that cabinet material and it is pure speculation on my part but it is something to note.  

It the port is tuned properly to the driver and enclosures you will find that bass response will be tight and accurate.  If placement is wrong or the port(s) are too long or short, cabinet volume is too small for the driver, ultimately you will get poor results.  

Room placement is also critical.  If the port is too close to the wall, sound gets muddy.  With a small bookshelf speaker, I find getting closer than about 18" from the wall leads to a dramatic reduction in clarity.  With a 12" sub, proximity to the wall becomes more problematic.  Think about how much air flows through the port in a 12" sub vs a standmount with a 6" driver.