Banner
Banner
cookie-banner

Sensitivity

spl-display-final


WHAT IT TELLS US

Sensitivity tells us how loud a loudspeaker will go, given a certain amount of power (i.e. at a particular volume setting). So, set the volume control to 4, let’s say, and a 90dB loudspeaker will go very loud, whilst an 82dB loudspeaker will be appreciably quieter.


High sensitivity is a good thing. Sensitive loudspeakers need little amplifier power and usually sound fast and clean (there are good reasons for this).


What may surprise you is that small loudspeakers are insensitive whilst large ones are very sensitive. A small bookshelf loudspeaker will typically produce 82dB from one watt, for example, whilst a giant Tannoy will produce 95dB sound pressure level from one watt.


HOW WE MEASURE IT

We measure the sound pressure level (SPL) at one metre from the loudspeaker, whilst injecting  one nominal watt (2.8V) of pink noise into it, measured using an rms meter. This is a voltage sensitivity value (across a nominal 8 Ohms), not a true efficiency measurement, where a true watt would be injected (but that can be re-calculated from the figures using 2.8V and our measured impedance value). It provides a useful guide to how much ‘power’ (voltage) will be needed  by a loudspeaker. An 82dB sensitive loudspeaker will need a powerful amplifier (at least 60W) for decent volume levels; a 92dB sensitive loudspeaker will need  around 20W or less.


 

Add your comment

Your name:
Subject:
Comment:
  The word for verification. Lowercase letters only with no spaces.
Word verification:

Search

Hi-Fi World, Powered by Joomla!; Hosted by Joomla Wired.