Wednesday 7 September 2011

How to Pair Speakers With an Amplifier.

It would be an understatement to say there are many different varieties of speakers and amplifiers on the market today. Finding speakers that pair well with a particular amplifier can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to pair speakers with an amplifier.

Choose Speakers First

When you’re shopping for a new sound system, making your decision based on the amplifier can limit your choices and ultimately restrict you from experiencing the kind of audio you would expect from your system. By choosing a set of speakers that sound the best to you, you will have a much better idea of what to look for in an amplifier.

Fit the System to the Space Where It Will Be Used

When considering speakers and amplifiers, take time to consider where you plan to use them. Are you providing audio for a large venue, or a home office? Do you really need the kind of equipment capable of shaking the walls of a bowling hall in a space barely large enough for your furniture?

Match the Specifications

Pairing speakers to your amplifier is best when your amplifier is rated to handle your speakers. Using speakers that are rated at different ohms than your amplifier can cause unnecessary draw on your amplifier and shorten its life span considerably. For example, if you plug a six ohm speaker into an eight ohm amplifier, the speaker will draw more power from the amplifier than it is built to handle. As a result, your amplifier can overheat and the likelihood of failure increases dramatically.

Also, you’re going to want to make sure that your amplifier has all the connections necessary for your speakers to function. Mismatched connectors, splitters, and other components can impact how your amplifier delivers power and sound to your speakers, which can also cause technical issues down the road.

Try to Match the Brands Whenever Possible

Just because you have equipment from two well-known brands doesn’t mean that they are built to operate the same way. Purchasing an off-brand speaker to replace one that failed in a matched set doesn’t always guarantee consistent sound. Speakers from different manufacturers sound different, no matter how similar the specifications make them out to be. An odd speaker can throw off the sound and conflict with how the amplifier operates.

It’s also a good idea to take a close look at amplifiers that have the same brand as the speakers to which you want to pair them. While you may very well find a better combination elsewhere, the speakers and amplifier are tested together during development and manufacturing, so you should have a consistent sound throughout the product line.

What are your tips for finding a good set of speakers and pairing them with the perfect amplifier? Is there a specific combination that has worked for you? Comments welcome.

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