A Look At The Term “Power” Of Small Amplifiers

Considering a few of the technical specifications of todays power mini amplifiers, one cannot help but be at a loss in trying to compare different products as well as technical jargon, e.g. "t-amp", "THD" etc. Then again, it is frequently misunderstood. Some of the terms which amplifier suppliers make public often are confusing and do not necessarily give a decent indication of the true performance of the amp. It is essential to look quite closely at how the manufacturer shows this rating. "Wattage" is every now and then also called "Power" or "amplifier output power". The higher this number the louder your loudspeakers. Most amplifiers will show rising music distortion as output power increases. This is going to assure that you will never drive the amp into regions of big distortion.

"Peak" means that the amplifier is able to deliver the output power for a short amount of time only while "Watts rms" means that the audio amplifier is going to continuously provide that amount of power. Music and voice is not constant regarding loudness. Having a high peak power spec is going to ensure enough headroom for audio peaks that are common in music signals. This is because at certain points in time the signal is going to have peaks of power that by far surpass the average power of the signal.

An audio amplifier which has a set internal supply voltage will have a maximum output signal swing that is restricted by that supply voltage. As a result frequently highest output power is given for a specific loudspeaker impedance.

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