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Kiran Thomman » Blog Archive » How many watts blow your speakers?
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How many watts blow your speakers?


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It can be the audio setup in your car, your home or your pro audio setup countless people blow up their speakers because they really don’t drive their speakers properly. Typical example, you get yourself a 200 W speaker and then you buy amps that deliver lower wattage anywhere lower than 200 watts so that it doesn’t “jarr” or distort . But still you find your speakers do distort, prob even more. Reason? You are driving it wrong. You think more wattage kills your speakers. Think again.

I am a DIY sort of a guy and I was also bought up on the common logic that you drive speakers with the same wattage or less than rated. While designing the sound system for my church my studies on the internet revealed a totally different theory, in fact the right one. We use world class brands in our church like Eminece and B&C and I couldn’t understand why such great brands were not taking the recommended power. When I applied what I found on the internet which actually happens to be the right practice all along my speakers started to work like a dream.

But later I found that lots of friends were still buying a lot of expensive audio in their car and still getting very distorted sound in their car. This post is just to let you know how to get it right. To address the problem we have to ask how many watts can a speaker take? But the solution to your problem would be asking what power your amps should pump out. In order to get an idea you have to know how your speakers are normally rated. You should check out the RMS wattage of the speaker (no PMPO please!). Most speaker specs give Normal/Continuous rating and the peak level rating. What we are interested is the normal RMS rating.

The RMS rating represents the thermal power limit of the loudspeaker. To make it very simple and basic it is measured using pink noise. Pink noise is all the frequencies driven at the same levels. I read someone comparing it to a plane in your living room when really loud. Now your typical music with your bass kick or drums at the same amplitude would be twice as loud (technically 3db louder). Your speakers of X RMS rating handling pink noise of X RMS continuously means it has the power to accommodate your typical music with bass or drums that kick in at twice the power. So technically your speaker can handle and requires 2X power to actually play regular music of the same amplitude as the rated RMS pink noise.

When you match speakers of X watts to an X wattage amplifier. It will comfortably deliver your mid to high frequencies. However when actual music with your bass kick and drums comes in you require 2X power from your amps. Your amps wouldn’t be able to deliver this and it would clip sending out a dc pulse at the output which would simply blow your speakers. Most times the tell tale signs that you are underpowered are the ‘jarr’ and the distortion when you start driving your speakers.

Rule of thumb use an amplifier that is twice the rating of your loudspeaker. If you cant find one with specifically with that rating then multiply this by 0.8 and then by 1.25 and go for an amp that fits this range. Example if you have a 100 watt RMS speaker your correct amp would be 200 watt. However if you cant find an amp with this power rating go for an amp with a power rating of 200X0.80 to 200X1.25 or 160 watts-250 watts.

Maybe most of what I said went over your head. But if you want to drive your speakers right just follow the two paragraphs above and your speakers will tell you the difference.

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2 Responses to “How many watts blow your speakers?”

  1. remarkable Says:

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kiranthomman.com/public_html/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 82

    remarkable…

    remarkable…

  2. Prince Says:

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    thanks for the help with the speakers and Amp in Chamatkar church, Amritsar. The Ahuja guys here were trying to sell us speakers with 200 watts rating each for a 400 watt sterio speaker. The guy didn’t know the basics, just a salesman, and they are the people who ruin you. Thanks Kiran

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