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Sensitivity of Speakers?

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

Audio_Freek

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Hello friends,

Most recently one of our Fm's was mentioning about the Sensitivity of the Speakers, before that i thought "Its a dry area" to look on speaker selection.

Later i read some articles and understood some information on Sensitivity and How Sensitivity can impact the speaker selection equal to the importance of Watts handling.

So below is my observation

Sensitivity of speakers are measured in Decibels in short DB or db and more than say 115 db Would be more turn into noise normally(this is just approx value)
Rule of Sound reproduction: Volume need to be doubled i.e W*2 to attain +3 in Sensitivity or DB
i.e When my speaker is 85 DB @ 1W in 1 meter
so to increase the DB from 85 to 88, i need to supply (1*2 w)=2 Watts


For Example: I have two 100 Watts speakers with one SP1: 86 db and other SP2:90 db sensitivities.

SP1- Response

So on playing with 100w amplifier with SP1 i would achieve
(Increase in watts supplied 1+2+4+8+16+32+64
Increase in DB according to watts 86,89,92,95,98,102,105)

SP2-Response

(Increasing in watts supplied 1+2+4+8+16+32+64
Increase in db according to watts 90,93,96,99,102,105,108)

So what is observed\understand is

Speaker with 90db@63W = Speaker 86db@127W

Friends and Guru's Please give your share your views and correct my mistake\understanding
 

corElement

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gurgaon / Delhi / NCR
Hello friends,

Most recently one of our Fm's was mentioning about the Sensitivity of the Speakers, before that i thought "Its a dry area" to look on speaker selection.

Later i read some articles and understood some information on Sensitivity and How Sensitivity can impact the speaker selection equal to the importance of Watts handling.

So below is my observation

Sensitivity of speakers are measured in Decibels in short DB or db and more than say 115 db Would be more turn into noise normally(this is just approx value)
Rule of Sound reproduction: Volume need to be doubled i.e W*2 to attain +3 in Sensitivity or DB
i.e When my speaker is 85 DB @ 1W in 1 meter
so to increase the DB from 85 to 88, i need to supply (1*2 w)=2 Watts


For Example: I have two 100 Watts speakers with one SP1: 86 db and other SP2:90 db sensitivities.

SP1- Response

So on playing with 100w amplifier with SP1 i would achieve
(Increase in watts supplied 1+2+4+8+16+32+64
Increase in DB according to watts 86,89,92,95,98,102,105)

SP2-Response

(Increasing in watts supplied 1+2+4+8+16+32+64
Increase in db according to watts 90,93,96,99,102,105,108)

So what is observed\understand is

Speaker with 90db@63W = Speaker 86db@127W

Friends and Guru's Please give your share your views and correct my mistake\understanding


Yep, you've got it :)
 

Audio_Freek

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Yep, you've got it :)

"Most recently one of our Fm's was mentioning about the Sensitivity of the Speakers, before that i thought "Its a dry area" to look on speaker selection"

Cor you should identify that , You are the One of the FM(In my initial post/head post), who gave a hint on knowing some factor(Sensitivity) which is very Special\ vital than a normal features like Watts,Size and Impedance :) to be noted while looking speakers or Matching speakers for Amp

Thanks again:):yahoo:
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Basically, a more sensitive speaker sounds louder for the same number of watts power feeding it. How much louder, and the maths behind it, has been covered.

My question is... Does a more sensitive speaker sound better at lower volumes? Or is this just another of those "wrong questions?" :eek:
 

corElement

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"Most recently one of our Fm's was mentioning about the Sensitivity of the Speakers, before that i thought "Its a dry area" to look on speaker selection"

Cor you should identify that , You are the One of the FM(In my initial post/head post), who gave a hint on knowing some factor(Sensitivity) which is very Special\ vital than a normal features like Watts,Size and Impedance :) to be noted while looking speakers or Matching speakers for Amp

Thanks again:):yahoo:

Ha, thank you. :eek:hyeah: See, this is exactly the kind of result I try to aim for when I try to explain something on hfv. I try my best not to say THIS IS GOOD THIS IS AMAZING THIS IS BAD THIS SUCKS. I try to nudge a person into thinking dynamically for themselves instead of going by what someone else says. I'm glad you did your own research and arrived at a junction.

Sensitivity is indeed an important factor in good pairing/matching. Higher sensitivity does not always mean better sound. Just like lower impedance speakers does not always mean better sound.
 

Audio_Freek

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Location
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Basically, a more sensitive speaker sounds louder for the same number of watts power feeding it. How much louder, and the maths behind it, has been covered.

My question is... Does a more sensitive speaker sound better at lower volumes? Or is this just another of those "wrong questions?" :eek:

Might me, but IMHO ,Low db SPEAKERS should sound clean and good at lower volume and may clip at max volumes and High would be open will reasonable volume and might not clip at max volumes.

So choosing the Mid level db 87 , should be best for decent bedroom listening and also rock the Hall:)

Take an example initially minimum 1 W required for speaker to function.

85db sensitive speaker would open with "Little" sound and gradually increase when we turn on the Volume Knob.

In case of 89db the sound will be more when it opens and gradually increase.

Is so the reason the HT,mini hi-fi system has very less DB speakers and Professional speakers (PA System)have more DB?:indifferent14:
 
Last edited:

ravi_d

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My speaker sensitivity specification is 90 dB (at 1 meter distance when fed with 1W power). At normal listening volume with a dB meter app on my android phone when I measured the output at 2 meters away from both the speakers the reading was roughly around 60 dB to 70 dB.
I think the sensitivity reading is taken with a 1kHz Sine wave. With normal music covering the whole spectrum what would be the rough power required by the speaker to put out 90 dB?
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Audio_Freak, I think I should have said "sound better when producing the same SPL."

Your answer is in accordance with the Great Audio Law that Louder, unless already too loud, always sounds better.

Perhaps I should have asked, which will sound better: an amplifier feeding more power into a less sensitive speaker, or an amplifier feeding less power into a more sensative speaker?
 

corElement

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Basically, a more sensitive speaker sounds louder for the same number of watts power feeding it. How much louder, and the maths behind it, has been covered.

My question is... Does a more sensitive speaker sound better at lower volumes? Or is this just another of those "wrong questions?" :eek:

This depends a lot speaker to speaker, more specifically on the crossover design that combines the drivers. Because two drivers may be two different sensitivities and the crossover has to be designed with how the designer wants it to sound like.

A full range high sensitivity driver will sound very different than a speaker where tweeter is 91db and woofer is 88db and the crossover has to manage that. Similarly it will again be different when the tweeter is 88db and the woofer is 94db.

But in a perfect world, 91db sensitivity may reveal mids and highs at low volume but lows will catch up once the volume is increased a little bit, while Lows mids and highs will appear "All together" at a respectable volume level on 86db speakers. And by low volume I'm talking 30db. By respectable I mean around 50db.
 
Last edited:

ravi_d

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Basically, a more sensitive speaker sounds louder for the same number of watts power feeding it. How much louder, and the maths behind it, has been covered.

My question is... Does a more sensitive speaker sound better at lower volumes? Or is this just another of those "wrong questions?" :eek:

I think the low volume performance is to do with the mid/bass woofer loading technique than the speaker sensitivity.
From what I heard reading various forums the sealed cabinet ones does not sound balanced at low volumes. The transmission line speakers sound balanced when at low volumes. The ported cabinet speakers sound in between the sealed and TL designs at lower volumes.

I have tried the ported and the TL designs. The TL's work for me at low volumes.
 

Audio_Freek

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I think the low volume performance is to do with the mid/bass woofer loading technique than the speaker sensitivity.
From what I heard reading various forums the sealed cabinet ones does not sound balanced at low volumes. The transmission line speakers sound balanced when at low volumes. The ported cabinet speakers sound in between the sealed and TL designs at lower volumes.

I have tried the ported and the TL designs. The TL's work for me at low volumes.

Yes Ravi, thats right.

I used to listen music in Full range speakers, which are really good sounding for low and moderate volumes.And two or three way are not better at same volume."This could be a feel that my ears give to me.

I have started listening music from Vacume tube radio-->80's deck players--> three way and at present in 2 way.

But still i can be sure that the vocal and high frequencies are perfectly neutral in those tube radios and deck players than what i use today for minimal sound.

Does this happens only to my ears? have anyone noticed these difference

Does cross overs,and woofer+Mid range+Tweeter has impact on the sound quality.

As the supplied watts or power is split into various components in 3 or 4 way with different range of responses,
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Of course, the response curve built in to our ears affects low-level listening --- but I'm sure you're taking that into account alrready
 

Audio_Freek

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I dont know whether this is On or Off question to the topic.

When a distance is doubled the DB is decreased by 6db-By science
So
When a distance is reduced by half the DB should increase by 6 db?--Me:)

Was that question right, or more confusing

If my argument is right then,

When a water dipping sound from a tap to sink is measured as 20 db/less say at 1M.so at distance of 1/2 meter it should be 26db

But i feel that 26db (Water dripping) is hell out of noise but able to resist even say 87db\1m, I have some issue with my hearing ,but does it really worth consulting the doctor? or its a common feel that happens to all?
 

Thad E Ginathom

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I believe that sound intensity halves when the distance from the source doubles --- but the real life experience is not always easy to correlate:

When the singer sits back from the mic, we want to shout, "Can't hear you!"

When we move from one end of our listening room to the other, the difference is not really dramatic.

One explanation is that the mic receives very little of the singer's voice by reflection: it is almost all direct, whereas with the hifi, and with noises in our lives, we get them from all around, not from a point source.

For experiment, SPL-meter apps can be installed on android phones. Even without calibration, they will show relative sound levels.
 
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