How Loud Is a 1000-Watt Speaker?
People often look at 1000-watt speakers and think that they are going to be incredibly loud. After all, more wattage means more power, right? Well, sort of. However, it isn’t strictly true. A poorly designed 1000-watt speaker could easily end up being quieter than a well-designed 750-watt speaker.
On this page, we are going to try and clear up the misconception that a 1000-watt speaker is always going to be loud. While we won’t be able to tell you specifically how loud a 1000-watt speaker will be, we will give you the tools that you need to try and work it out. This will make comparing speakers a little bit easier.
How Loud Is a 1000-Watt Speaker?
This question is almost impossible to answer. This is because the 1000-watts doesn’t technically relate to the amount of sound that the speaker is able to pump out. It relates to the amount of input that a speaker can take from an amp. So, a speaker that is rated at 1000-watts can take an input of 1000-watts from an amp.
Now, in practice, a speaker with a massive wattage difference from another speaker (we are taking thousands of watts difference), will be louder. However, when there is minimal difference in wattages, the lower wattage could be a louder speaker. It is all dependent on how well the speaker system has been designed.
How Sensitivity In dB Works With Speakers
When considering how loud a speaker will be, one of the main considerations will be how sensitive they are. This will be measured in decibels or dB.
As you may well know, decibels are how loud something can potentially get. This figure is essentially the noise level coming from the speaker if it was powered with 1-watt and you were listening at a 1-meter distance. However, do bear in mind that manufacturers of speakers tend to play about with the specs a little bit to make the decibels seem higher than they really are.
As we said, dB will be the loudness of the speaker with 1-watt of power. Every 3 dB will require a doubling of wattage. So, if you had something with a 90 dB rating, you would need 2-watts to get it to 93db, and 4-watts to get it to 96 dB.
This means that when you are trying to work out how loudspeakers can go, you will need to look at the following:
A speaker that is rated at 83dB will be quieter at 1000-watts than a speaker that is rated at 90db.
Good speakers will be in excess of 90dB. The lower the dB figure, the quieter those speakers are going to get.
RMS On a Speaker
Not only do you need to think about the dB when you are looking at a speaker and how loud it can potentially get, but you need to look at a figure called RMS, or root mean square.
Now, your speaker may be labeled at 1000-watts, but it is only able to deal with 1000-watts of power for short bursts of time. If you constantly blasted 1000-watts of power through those speakers, they would burn out pretty quickly.
RMS is essentially the amount of continual power that the speaker can take before it will start to distort. This figure is going to be considerably lower than 1000-watts. In fact, it is likely to be closer to the 300-watt to 400-watt level.
This means that the higher the RMS and the higher the dB, the louder the speaker will be without there being any distortion.
How To Choose The Right Amplifier For Your Speakers
The key driver on how loud your speakers get will be the amplifier. After all, the speaker doesn’t produce power itself. It takes a feed from the amplifier. This means that if you have a 10-watt amplifier signal feeding into a 1000-watt speaker, that speaker is only going to have a loudness rating based upon the 10-watts coming from the amplifier.
There are a few things that you will need to think about when you are choosing the amplifier.
Firstly, you will want to ensure that the wattage from the amplifier is close to the RMS on the speaker. In many cases, your speaker will also have a ‘minimum power’ rating on it. Of course, you will need to ensure that the amplifier beats that minimum power rating or it won’t work.
Remember, if the amplifier is pumping in more power than the speaker can handle, then the sound is going to be distorted. You also run the risk of burning the speaker out. So, for example, you wouldn’t use an amplifier rated for 1000-watts on a 1000-watt speaker. Not unless you can control the wattage of the amplifier to bring the power output closer to the RMS.
Secondly, you are going to want to look at the ohms of the speaker and the amplifier. They need to match up. Thankfully, the ohms will be clearly listed in the specs for both the speaker and the amplifier.
Conclusion – How Loud Is a 1000-Watt Speaker
Having a 1,000-watt speaker doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to be loud. While a 1,000-watt speaker is likely going to be louder than a speaker with half the wattage, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to be the same loudness as other 1,000-watt speakers.
Your main consideration when working out how loud a speaker can get will be the dB. The higher the dB, the louder the speaker can potentially get.
You will also need to look at the RMS of the speaker. It is all well and good having a 1,000-watt speaker, but if that RMS is too low, then that speaker is never going to get loud before you start to hear distortion.
We recommend that you try to pick up speakers with a dB rating over 90dB. You will want to pick up a matching amplifier that is able to hit the RMS of the speaker. The closer you can get to that figure, the louder the speaker will be.
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