View Full Version : Underpowering speakers

08-06-2005, 08:29 AM
I searched this and saw many topics on it. So sorry for asking again... But I have seen a million different answers and would like to come up with a set answer. Is under powering speakers bad for them? I have been told way too many different things.

I do not have my speakers hooked up to an amp right now and they are 100W rms speakers. I figure each speaker is only truly getting about 22W from the HU. That is underpowering them by a lot. If I turn my volume up like this, they start to distort and sound like they could blow. I don't take the risk by turning it up any higher but if I do, will something go wrong? And is under powering speakers actually bad for them? When I get my new amp installed and running about 50 more watts to each speaker, will I be alright?

08-06-2005, 08:38 AM
I don't take the risk by turning it up any higher but if I do, will something go wrong?

Maybe. Most likely, you'd send the internal amplifier into clipping, which would have the potential to damage the speakers.

And is under powering speakers actually bad for them?

As long as the signal is unclipped, you physically cannot damage the speaker from underpowering, no matter how underpowered it is.

08-06-2005, 09:09 AM
Jack said it. People say it is bad because you dont get the sound you want, so you turn up the volume or pump up the EQ, and that will lead you to a clipped signal, and a clipped signal, if strong enough (which in this case it is) WILL blow your speakers. It causes malfunction and thermal failure with your driver. Underpowering them however, will not. It creates LESS heat than properly powering them so how COULD it damage them? There is also less suspension travel, in most cases, so again there is no harm.

08-06-2005, 01:51 PM
so it sounds like I will be fine until I get an amp? My friend did crank my volume up pretty far and 1 speaker sounded really bad when he did that. I hope it did not blow or damage that speaker.

08-09-2005, 06:03 AM
yeah, you really can't hurt them unless you got totally stupid, even then it would be a challenge, so don't worry too awful much, just use basic common sense. Don't TRY to break them and you'll be ok.

08-09-2005, 12:16 PM
When that amplifier is FULLY clipped (raw square wave almost) it will be putting out a steady 30-40W RMS -- this would just sound akin to 'warble warble' -- and would blow most '100 W' speakers after awhile but you'd have to leave it there a good long while... Under normal listening though your speakers are fine :) -- but an amp would give you more headroom and would sound better because of it -- and the whole lowering of the THD thing helps too... higher damping factor is also a plus -- and the slew rate would likely be nicer too... all kinda improvements in quality and quantity over a head unit's internal amp...