I wouldn't swear to it, but I believe the Bearcat BC898T has a top fire speaker. It's predecessor, the BC890xlt has a top fire speaker, and aesthetically they are about identical. Nice scanner at a good price. Only thing it really lacks is digital and alpha tagging, both of which most people can live without.
I have a pro-433 and the bottom firing speaker is a pain and IMO a poor design. I hooked a small uniden speaker to it and mounted it on top, and it is much better now. I guess it's just a personal preference, but to me the speaker placement and sound quality can be a major decision during purchasing a base scanner.
This is indeed a strange thread, simple solution buy an external speaker, put it where YOU want it, also you may be amazed how much better an external speaker sounds when compared to that tiny 1-1/2 to 2" speaker sounds like, to quote an old tv commercial "Try it you'll like it".
Of course you can always get an amplified external speaker, very handy with a small hand held scanner, trust me, you can actually hear the audio on the other side of the room and understand it. You already spend hundreds of dollars for a scanner spend an extra 20 or 30.
Apart of the Texas ranger logo, does this one remind anyone of anything? http://www.walcottcb.com/ranger-sra168gb-gray-external-speaker-metal-case-loud-p-105.html
A lot of the scanners that have bottom mounted speakers are also made to be mounted. This being either in a mobile or under a desk shelf or something. That is the only way the bottom sounding speakers could even begin to make any sense, when mounted. Thats the only thing I can think of as to why they would place it underneath instead of on top. Personaly, I use external speakers no matter what. So even if they put the dam thing in the rear next to the bnc jack it wont make a difference to me. I LOVE my external speakers...