The best technique to use while choosing an amplifier for your speaker is to choose one that has at least the same wattage rating or continuous power that your speaker can handle. However, it is advisable to go with an amplifier that has approximately twice as much power as your speaker for you to have more headroom.
If you are a beginner in building your systems, then you will have to learn a lot of tips and tricks to come up with something that suits your preference. For example, you will have to research how best you can select an amplifier for your speaker, as this is essential in building your system. Though the most important feature to look at when selecting an amplifier is the wattage rating, there is more to look for if you want an amplifier that is compatible with your speaker. Read on to discover more.
How to choose the perfect amplifier for your speaker
Amplifier specifications and reviews
First, before attempting to match the amplifier to your speaker, check the manufactures specifications of the amplifier. Additionally, look at the reviews of the amplifier before even thinking about selecting it. This is because though the amplifier might be compatible with your speaker, you might realize its efficiency is not what you are looking for from both the reviews and the manufacturer’s specifications.
Headroom of the amplifier
Headroom refers to the amount of power your amplifier can continuously produce without pushing it to its limits or clipping point, which distorts the sound. This is vital to consider, mostly if your speaker produces loud sounds. You always have to ensure that the amplifier you have has enough power to work continuously when the speaker is at its full potential.
This is because an amplifier without enough headroom cannot deliver the sound effectively and fully. Additionally, an amplifier with enough headroom works within its ideal area continuously without distorting the sound. To select an amplifier with adequate headroom, it has to have at least twice as much power as your speaker.
The impedance of the speaker
A speaker’s impedance is vital when choosing an amplifier as mismatching creates too much load for the amplifier, eventually stopping working or overheating. If your speaker impedance matches that of your amplifiers, there is clear sound production without any friction or resistance from your amplifier.
For example, suppose you connect an amplifier to a speaker with a low impedance of 2 or 4 ohms. In that case, the amplifier needs to produce a higher current hence why it overheats and eventually stops working. This explains why lower impedance speakers hardly consume power and are difficult to drive.
On the other hand, if you connect the same amplifier to a speaker with high impedance, say 16 or 8 ohms, the amplifier produces less current or requires less power to drive the speaker. Therefore, if you want your amplifier to serve you for a long time, you have to ensure that the speaker’s impedance matches it.
The power rating of the amplifier
Lastly, when looking for an amplifier, you want one that has two times the amount of power your speaker can continuously handle. This gives you more headroom as you won’t push the amplifier to its limits. However, even though a powerful amplifier gives you more headroom, be very careful when increasing its volume since it could easily burn the speakers’ coil due to its high wattage.
Additionally, you can choose an amplifier with at least the same wattage rating as that of your speaker if you are not comfortable with using one that has twice your speaker’s rating. When you use an amplifier with the same wattage rating as your speaker, you have to ensure not to run it at the clipping point.
Overview of recommended amplifier power for speakers with different power
|The power rating of the speaker||100 watts||200 watts||300 watts||500 watts||1000 watts|
|Recommended amplifier (minimum power rating)||100 watts||200 watts||300 watts||500 watts||1000 watts|
|Recommended amplifier (ideal power rating )||200 watts||400 watts||600 watts||1000 watts||2000 watts|
In conclusion, choosing the best amplifier for your speaker can be an uphill task, but there is no doubt anyone can achieve it. You just have to know the basics and specifications of both your speaker and any amplifiers within your options range. You have to also consider the specifications of the manufacturer before settling for an amplifier. This is because you do not want an amplifier that mismatches with your speaker despite it having maybe the correct wattage. A key feature to look at when analyzing your speaker is its impedance; if the impedance is low, choose an amplifier that outputs a higher current and vice versa. Additionally, depending on your speaker, an amplifier with double wattage is recommended as it will give you more headroom.
Should the wattage of my amplifier be higher than the power rating of my speaker?
Yes, it is advisable to use an amplifier with approximately two times higher wattage than that of the speaker.