Are you looking for a speaker that’s loud enough and asking whether 50 watts can do the job? For most people, this wattage is enough. However, it would help to consider a few factors before concluding that you don’t need anything higher than a 50-watt speaker.
How loud is a 50 watts speaker? Well, a 50-watt speaker is rated at 101dB at 2.83V. This means they are extremely loud when driven by a good amplifier. Once the speaker is receiving all the 50 watts it needs from an amplifier without distorting, it will be loud and clear.
To give you a clear idea, a 50 watt speaker is about as loud as a motorcycle, chainsaw, blender or rock band. To learn more, check out this decibel chart. You can also check out our guide on how many watts do I need for my speakers?
Let’s dive into the details that you need to do this.
Is a 50-Watts Speaker Loud Enough for Your Home Theater?
For most people, 50-watts speakers are more than enough for a small room. They are typically rated 101 dB at 2.82V. So, for example, if you’re using the least expensive Denon receiver, the AVR-1513, which is rated 110 watts per channel, you can get extremely loud and clear sound even with an exact 50 watt amplifier attached.
Keep in mind that you do have powerful 500 and 1000 watt home theater systems for an immersive movie experience. However, for a little flat party with a few friends, a small 50 watt speaker is normally ok.
The speaker will work well as long as it’s receiving slightly above 50 watts. That means if you are using the Denon receiver, you might need to keep the volume moderate for the best result.
Ensure that your speaker and amplifier power ratings are fairly close so that you can get the best audio performance.
Is a 50-Watts Speaker Loud Enough For a Party?
Yes, that can be true in some instances. A 50-watts speaker is ideal for small and some medium-sized venues and backyard gigs. If you are planning a large party, consider adding other quality 50-watts speakers. If you double the power out, you add 3 dB to the sound output. If you are keeping a party, you need a loud portable speaker and a 50 watt speaker will do for smaller parties.
How Loud Should a Speaker Be?
Speaker sensitivity is an important consideration. An average speaker should come with a sensitivity of between 87 dB and 88 dB. If your 50-watt speaker comes with a sensitivity of over 90 dB, you can consider it excellent.
As we said, 50-watts speakers should have a sensitivity of close to 101 dB @2.82V, which means most of them can offer excellent value for your money.
Are you still wondering how loud 101 dB is? Below are some common sounds that you are familiar with and can understand with ease. They are within their decibel ratings. The sounds will help you to understand what this rating means.
- A whisper: 15-25 dB.
- Normal speaking voice: 65-70 dB.
- Car horn: 110 dB.
You can see from the figures provided above that a quality 50-watts speaker can be more than an average speaker for you.
Should I Need to Worry About Underpowering My 50-Watts Speaker?
If you have a 50-watts speaker, you should power it with a slightly more powerful amplifier. While some say underpowering it won’t cause damage, you need to do due diligence. It can damage the speaker, especially if you overdrive the amp.
If you crank the amp up, it can start clipping faster than a higher-powered amp. So, if you are using a 20-watts amplifier with a 50-watts speaker, avoid cranking the amp’s volume until it distorts. If you follow this basic rule, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your 50-watts speakers. You’ll still get quality sound from your home theater or public address system.
Does More Wattage Mean More Volume?
We have said wattage can help you to determine the volume of your speaker. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean more volume.
Before choosing a 50-watts speaker, you should consider speaker sensitivity. This refers to how efficiently speakers create volume from the power it draws from the power outlet.
To find your speaker’s sensitivity, you should measure its volume with one watt of power from one meter away. For example, if you stand one meter away from your speaker, input a single watt of energy, and get 90 dB of sound, your speaker sensitivity is 90 dB.
If you double the wattage input into your speaker, you’ll get an increase of at least 3dB volume. So, in this case, 2 watts results in 93 dB. 4 watts will produce 91 dB, and so on.
Other than speaker sensitivity, it would be best if you considered your speaker impedance. Typically, speakers are rated 4, 8, and 16 ohms. The lower the impedance, the higher the amount of power required. To get the best quality, ensure you match the impedance of your 50-watts speaker and the amp. If you go for higher impedance amplifiers, you risk damaging your audio equipment. This is particularly true if you overdrive the amp.
What Shouldn’t You Sacrifice in the Pursuit of Loudness?
We’ve seen several things that you should do to get the most out of your 50-watts speaker. So, the loudness depends on factors such as speaker sensitivity and your ability to match impedance. However, you shouldn’t do certain things to pursue your speaker’s loudness if you want your sound to be clean and distinct.
One thing you should don’t do is to continue increasing your speaker’s volume once the distortion hits 1%. To ensure the music comes through as required, ensure the distortion is below 1%. You can test run the speaker before buying it to establish whether you can receive loud and distortion-free music.
You must avoid using a 50-watts speaker that sacrifices the quality at lower volumes. You should have the freedom to increase and decrease the volume as you wish.
So, ensure there is a balance between the lows, mids, and highs. You might also require some equalizer capability to tweak up the bass to suit your needs.
Your choice of cabinet also matters. Since cabinets affect the loudness of your speakers, you should choose one that best suits your listening needs.
Is a 40-Watts Speaker Loud Enough?
If you ask whether you can opt for a 40-watts speaker, consider that they are also quite loud. Most people regard them as adequate for small-to-medium-sized rooms.
Depending on your listening and entertainment needs, you can also find that they are too loud in small spaces. However, it would help if you didn’t crank up the volume to the maximum. If you do, you’ll likely distort the sound. The small size may hinder these speakers from correctly ‘filling’ large rooms.
Overall, the difference between 40-watts speakers and 50-watts speakers is negligible. You can test each of them before choosing one that best suits your needs.
A 50-watts speaker rated at approximately 100 dB can sound as loud as a car horn. So, it can be loud enough for small and medium-sized venues and backyard gigs. All you need to do for the best result is choose the right speaker and avoid the temptation to sacrifice sound quality in pursuit of loudness.