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What does Watt mean?

Some people talk about Watt when they want to evaluate the quality of a loudspeaker.

Watt is a unit for measuring electrical power and the Watts of a loudspeaker is the effect that a loudspeaker can withstand under specific conditions.

It is good to know how many Watts a loudspeaker will tolerate, but it is equally important to know that:

* Watt does not tell you how loud the loudspeaker can play. You have to know the loudspeaker's operating power, in order to convert it to dB (deciBel = sound pressure).

* Watt does not tell you if the amplifier can damage the loudspeaker. Loudspeakers are more often destroyed by distortion than electrical power.

* Watt does not inform about sound quality. The sound quality is difficult to measure and power handling has under no circumstance any influence.

* Watt does not inform about the loudspeaker's expected lifetime (durability).

* Watt does not tell you whether the loudspeaker is a good match with the rest of your music system.


It is good idea to buy good loudspeakers but information about Watt tells you nothing about the quality. Loudspeakers that are tested to the same standard can be directly compared. But tests can be made to different standards and therefore some loudspeakers can not be compared.

Ole Witthøft
Ole is the founder of System Audio. His 3 greatest passions are music, design and technology. Every day, Ole is working on some kind of projects, and you find him in the workshop, in the production, behind a computer or on one of his many presentations around the world.
System Audio A/S
Langebjerg 35A
4000 Roskilde. Denmark
CVR no. 13862788
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