Computer Speaker Wattage

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joshua Wilcox, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Joshua Wilcox

    Joshua Wilcox Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey guys, sorry for bringing such a newbie question but I've been wondering about this for a long time. I have a Creative Labs DTT2200 surround sound system. Each satellite has like 5 or 6 watts with a 20 watt sub. I acquired a decent set of home theater speakers which have 45 watt mains and center, 22.5 watts surround. I have plugged them into the sub from Creative. Does the sub only feed these larger speakers what it would have given the smaller speakers? Or does it draw more power to run the better speakers? In other words, would I be able to say that I have a 45 watt system or a 200 watt system? Thanks!:b
     
  2. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Watts don't really mean much.

    The power consumption is inversely proportional to the sensitivty of the speaker (e.g., 90db)

    And the speakers wattage never mean anything, that's just that max amount they're supposed to be driven at (which doesn't really matter) -- the wattage (power) of the amplifier is what is important. If a minimum is listed, that can be much more important.

    If the amp provides an actual 6 watts to each of the speakers and they havea sensitity of 92db 1w/1m that means that at 1 meter you'll have the following power, theoretically:

    1w = 92db
    2w = 95db
    4w = 98db
    6w = ~99db

    In other words, each time you double the power output you increase the loudness by ~3db.

    So take a really efficient speaker with a sensitivity of 96db (like my HT speakers):

    1w = 96db
    2w = 99db
    4w = 102db
    8w = 105db
    16w = 108db
    32w = 111db

    And my amp claims to be 120w channel. But to get the peak output that any sountrack should produce within reference level, I need under 32w of power for each of my front channels.

    A warning though... Manufacteurs tend to cheat on their speces, whether from plain old embellishing to providing questionable statistics. The speakrs may have sensitivty measured in an odd way (the usual manner is 1 watt @ 1 meter) and the amp may have it's power output claimed @ 1khz as opposed to 20hz-20khz, which is much more realistic.

    Honestly, the better speakers you have are likely going to play softer and may even be underpowered to a point of causing distortion. An underpowered speaker is much more likely to blow than an overpowered one.
     
  3. Joshua Wilcox

    Joshua Wilcox Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've got a lot to learn... thank you!
     
  4. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Does the sub only feed these larger speakers what it would have given the smaller speakers?"

    YES

    However, if the smaller Creative speakers are rated at 4 ohms resistance which I think is highly likely, then your home theater speakers may actually be getting less watts if they are rated at 6-8 ohms.

    So instead of sending 5-6 watts to your HT speakers they might have more resistance so it may end up being 3-4 watts.
     

Share This Page