For those with experience in electronics, you’ll understand precisely what resistance is, but for our (somewhat simplified) purposes it’s not vital to have in-depth knowledge. For example, let’s take a look at, the Q Acoustics Concept 40 floorstanding speakers, if we imagine that we’re pairing them with Onkyo’s popular A9010 Stereo Amplifier, we see that Onkyo’s amplifier offers 44 watts (8 ohms) of power to each channel. It would be easy to match amps and speakers if all you had to do was pick an amp with the same power rating as a given loudspeaker, but sadly it’s not that simple. Speakers are designed to handle fluctuations in power levels, so this extra bit of juice won’t cause any issues. Credit: forum member Steve81 . Almost all of the time, that’ll ensure a safe speaker and amplifier pairing, and it takes out most of the complicated maths. But after I heard what you said, I got confused. It’s crucial to ensure your speakers have a high enough sensitivity that your amplifier can effectively drive them. - remembering account, browser, and regional preferences The three terms we’ll be tackling in this article are impedance, power and sensitivity. In regards to speakers, many manufacturers have their own way of displaying recommended amplification (wattage) levels. Detailed information can be found on our Privacy Policy page. This remains true despite the fact that amplifiers are almost as crucial to the tone and overall presentation of your audio as your speakers are. Bigger brands try to make products that are even-handed, and won’t sound too different regardless of what they are partnered with, but there is always an interaction between the amp and the speaker, because the former has to drive and control the latter. By checking the specs of your amp and speakers, you can find out whether they’re compatible. If you have a great amplifier then it makes sense to have speakers of the same quality. Well, it’s directly linked to how loud your speakers can get. There’s an excellent SPL calculator available here, which will help you work out your sound pressure levels, taking into account a wide variety of variables. Inconveniently, sensitivity is not the only important specification; the other one is impedance. - showing relevant, targeted ads on and off our web properties It’s possible to damage a speaker by playing it at high levels for too long even if the amp can cope, but you’ll be able to hear that all is not well before things go pear shaped. - to limit how many times you see an ad It may feel as though you’ve just stumbled into an unreasonably complicated world of technical jargon, but really, matching speakers to amplifiers is largely just common sense and a little maths. Another good example is Q Acoustics 2010i bookshelf speakers. Just like any electrical item, power in HiFi and home cinema equipment is measured in watts. This is because power ratings for speakers are an indication of the minimum and maximum power a speaker requires. We’ll kick things off with ‘impedance’. Fortunately most of the more affordable amps and speakers on the market can work together from a power, sensitivity and impedance point of view, and it’s only when you get into the high-end that things get more tricky. If in doubt, revisit our ‘impedance’ section above. Speakers haven’t changed much in the past 20 years. There are also some brands that are owned and developed by associated companies, for instance Naim Audio is a sister company of Focal, while Bowers & Wilkins is in the same group as Rotel. They have, however, been paired with a slew of receivers. As such, this guide is going to be something of an essentials piece, giving you all the information you need without the complicated maths or advanced terminology like slew rate, dampening or electromotive force, so you can get back to what matters – your music. All of this sounds needlessly complicated, but trust us when we say it isn’t, really. So, why should you care about sensitivity? However, other manufacturers may provide you with Minimum Recommended Power, Maximum Continuous Power, and Maximum Short-Term Peak Power ratings for your speakers.

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