Upgrading a speaker system is a good way to improve the overall quality of a home or car stereo system. Replacing speakers requires some knowledge of the basic components of the system. Each brand offers a variety of options, but some features remain the same for all speakers. The top features to look for in replacement speakers all relate to the quality of sound.
Sensitivity of Replacement Speakers
A speaker's sensitivity level describes how well the unit converts power into sound. Average speakers fall into the range of at least 80 decibels; speakers of at least 90 decibels offer a higher quality of sound. Speakers in the lower decibel range require more power to produce louder sound. Amplifiers boost speakers' sensitivity levels by adding more power to the overall system.
Replacement Speaker Impedance
The speaker's impedance refers to how much the unit impedes the flow of power. The standard impedance rating for most speakers is 8 ohms. More advanced products, such as Bose speakers, receive ratings between 4 and 6 ohms. Speakers with low impedance put more strain on the amplifier, which can lead to damage. Speakers with low impedance and a high sensitivity rating offer a powerful sound combination. Buyers should match the impedance to the power provided by the amplifiers or upgrade their stereo amplifiers to match the new speakers' requirements.
Replacement Speaker Sound Power
Sound power refers to how the speaker sounds when its frequencies interact the surroundings. Speakers receive their ratings in special chambers that eliminate factors, such as sound reflections that speakers experience in homes. When testing speakers, buyers should use a favourite CD or film in order to listen to familiar sounds on the system. For music, buyers should listen for clear and natural sounds. A speaker with too much bass drowns out other instruments, and muffled or shrill sounds indicate a lack of balance. For films, buyers should listen for intelligible dialogue at a range of volumes. If the dialogue becomes garbled as the volume increases, buyers should test another speaker.