Audio Question

By acacia666avenue ยท 4 replies
Aug 5, 2007
  1. Ony my home reciever i have 100 watts per channel. I have some speakers that I wanted to buy that could go up to 150 watts. Could I just buy an amplifier to achieve the speakers full potential, or is there another way.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Your receiver is a solid state device, therefore, unless you're an electronics designer, I wouldn't think about upgrading it. Better to just buy a more powerful receiver.

    Why do you want something that loud? Are you in the DJ biz?
  3. acacia666avenue

    acacia666avenue TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    no, i was just looking at speakers. Now that I think about it, I dont need speakers that loud. Thanks
  4. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Are they rated at 150 watts continous power? I doubt it, post a link to the ones you are talking about if you can. You don't have to drive speakers at their full power handling capacity to acheive their "full potential" as you asked. And there is no need to buy a more powerful receiver either. Remember, its just about as easy to blow a speaker with an undersized amp as it is with an over sized one.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,973   +2,527

    Audio Specs, Now There's a Can of Worms.......

    A loudspeaker's power handling capability (in watts) is simply the amount of power that the components can dissipate safely without failing. partly it consists of the heat that can be removed from the speaker voice coil, the power handling of the components in the crossover network, (some capacitors and such), and the physical limits of the voice coil travel.

    The point is mostly moot, since it's the design of the speaker system that determines it's volume (loudness) per watts of input. Most loudspeakers give the "efficiency rating" in volume "DB" @ 1 Watt of power input, the higher the DB number the louder, (given the same input). You can't get volume out a speaker system by simply adding a higher wattage amplifier, since it takes about 10 times the wattage to produce twice the volume. Also volume is perceived by the human differently at different frequencies. At 1 thousand cycles (midrange) 1 watt of input generally produces a fairly loud sound. At 30 cycles (or Hertz if you like) which is in the very low bass, it would require about 30 times the power input to produce the same volume to your ears. This is why the amplifiers have as much power as they do, so that the whole audio spectrum can be reproduced while maintaining low distortion.

    So, the speaker that gets louder sooner on less power is the one likely to survive. Speakers that have low efficiency, would typically produce less than 89 DB @ 1 Watt @ 1 meter. A high efficiency speaker would produce above 90 DB preferably into the mid nineties.

    Audio stats such as noise and distortion are weighted to accommodate the limitations of the human ear, and are pretty much simply a numbers game unless you have a background in psychoacoustics and electronics.

    As Halo71 points out power handling can be measured in many ways, "music power" and such. Music generally gives the voice coils time to cool a bit in between peaks. However, if you were to use the same speaker on an electric organ, you would have to cut the power handling outlook by at least half since the organ's output is continuous. The "RMS" which was mentioned, or "root mean square", which I could explain but I won't.
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