If you want a speaker to make your home theater experience better, you’ll consider what wattage soundbar do I need. A soundbar’s wattage indicates how much power it can use and how loud it can get.
Higher wattage soundbars will be able to produce louder, more powerful sounds. However, they may also be more expensive. Before you purchase a soundbar, make sure to consider your budget and your needs.
- What Do the Soundbar Specs Mean?
- How Soundbar Specs Can Get Confusing
- How to Know if a Soundbar is Good
What Do the Soundbar Specs Mean?
Soundbar wattage does not refer to the soundbar’s sound quality. We will discuss other soundbar terminology terms later in this guide. The overall sound quality of the normal speakers is not affected by the total watts.
Before looking at the various soundbars specs, you must understand their soundbar watts meaning. There are many specifications for soundbars as well as regular speakers. I will try to make it easy.
Soundbar Watts Explained
Watts are the power output of an amplifier. Watts is the measurement of power output by class d digital amplifiers. The power input for regular speakers is expressed in watts.
Speakers will be limited in their ability to handle power without damage. The manufacturer will provide this figure for regular speakers.
The good soundbar specifications will be slightly different as most of them will include an amplifier. Connect the power line to the soundbar, and the amplifier will run your speakers. Some manufacturers will provide the output watts of the amplifier, while others won’t.
Passive soundbars can also be made without a built-in amplifier. This soundbar can be powered by an external amplifier or a typical receiver. Passive soundbars are more expensive because they use premium speakers. They are rare, however.
There is no distinction between high and low wattage amps. You can choose a high-wattage amp if you desire a free bass from distortion.
The relationship between soundbars and wattage is intertwined. A soundbar with watts is also known as a volt/voltage convertor. Wattage is the amount of electricity produced. It shows how much electricity is being used at any given time.
Speaker Sensitivity (dB or Decibels)
The sensitivity of the speakers refers to how much power a speaker can convert power to sound. The sensitivity spec is expressed in dB. You can also refer to it as the best sound pressure level (SPL).
You can calculate the dB specification by giving the speaker a 1-watt input power and then measuring the decibels from 1 meter.
Let’s take, for example, a speaker with a sensitivity rating of 85dB. At a distance of one meter, a speaker with a sensitivity rating of 85dB should be audible at 85dB volume.
The increase in watts applied does not mean that there will be an increase in the volume. The volume will increase by 3 decibels every time you double the soundbar wattage.
Below is a chart showing the watt-to-dB conversion using the sensitivity rating. This does not apply to sound bars, as the specifications are often comprehensive. However, it is essential to understand how specific specs are measured.
Although some soundbar manufacturers may provide a dB specification, it can be challenging to determine what it means. It is not clear if this is the actual sensitivity rating or how loud the soundbar can get with the built-in amp.
Understanding dB Levels
Most soundbars that claim to have up to 90 dB audio may be misleading. Most people won’t understand the meaning of this statement. This handy chart shows how dB levels relate to familiar and easily recognized sounds.
Frequency is the gap between a speaker’s lowest and highest frequencies. Frequency refers to the pitch of a sound.
- It is measured in Hertz (Hz). The bass is a low-frequency sound, around 20Hz to 200Hz. Subwoofers mainly produce these frequencies.
- The midrange frequencies range from 200Hz to 2000Hz. These frequencies are produced mainly by woofers and midbass speakers.
- The higher frequency and pitch ranges can be between 2000Hz to 20000Hz (2kHz-20kHz). They can also be achieved by using tweezers.
Remember that multiple speakers have difficulty producing the lowest and most extreme frequencies. It is similar to how speakers struggle to produce a deep or high-pitched sound with their voices. They both sound best and operate at the middle of their range.
Most soundbars are not known for their low-frequency capabilities. Soundbars don’t have a lot of depth. They are not large enough to accommodate a separate subwoofer of standard size (8”).
A majority of soundbars can connect to a subwoofer. This function is essential if you want your system’s powerful bass booms to sound terrific.
Nearly all standalone soundbars can have two or three channels. A soundbar with two channels has right and left channel speakers. A 3 channel soundbar will have left, middle, right, and center speakers.
Modern units also include wireless subwoofers. The system could be equipped with a powerful subwoofer to increase its low-frequency capability by making the channels 2.1 or 3.0.
Some systems use wireless satellite speakers and a subwoofer. This is a surround sound system with a 5.1 surround sound. Read about how the 2.1 and 5.1 soundbars are different if you want to learn more about soundbars with better sound.
How Soundbar Specs Can Get Confusing
Soundbar specs can be found all over the place. When I say all over the place, I mean it. Manufacturers usually specify the output power of the speaker wattage or the decibels (decibels) it can produce.
It isn’t the same for all models and makes. One manufacturer may provide one specification, while another might provide the other. Some models will not even provide any specifications at all. It can be challenging to find a suitable soundbar for you.
These are just a few examples so that you can compare soundbars according to the specifications:
- Polk MagniFi Max: The soundbar’s system power is 180W.
- VIZIO SB2920C6 Sound Bar Watts Meaning: Produces 95 dB with less than 1% total harmonic distortion. It also indicates the soundbar’s frequency range as 70Hz to 19KHz.
- Sonos PLAYBAR: This is a fantastic thing. No specifications are given for the frequency range of output power. None!
- Samsung Electronics Sound+ Premium soundbar does not specify the output power or dB. However, it lists that the frequency response of its soundbar is between 40Hz and 20KHz.
It’s a bit confusing that the four manufacturers’ soundbar specifications are different. To accurately compare their products, all four manufacturers should use the same approach of determining capabilities. They don’t.
The Sonos Playbar (on Amazon) is the clear winner of all four options. They have immersive sound! I’ve installed several of them.
The problem is how average consumers will know that the Sonos Playbar sounds better? Even though it costs more than other soundbars, it doesn’t seem to have better sound quality for your home theater system.
Sonos did not respond to my question. They responded that their speakers’ audio output specifications don’t correctly reflect their capabilities. To get a feel for the speakers, we recommend that you test them out.
How to Know if a Soundbar is Good
Continue on this theme; reading reviews is the best way for soundbar users to determine if they are satisfied with their purchase. While you can’t test every soundbar, you can do your research to find out the results of others’ tests.
Some relevant posts:
- Can You Use A Soundbar As A Center Speaker?
- Can You Connect A Soundbar To A Receiver?
- Soundbar Vs Speakers 2023
How many watts does a soundbar use?
An individual soundbar can use 20-50 watts. You can increase the wattage by adding subwoofers or rear speakers.
Does wattage matter for soundbars?
For advanced soundbars, wattage is irrelevant. A higher watt soundbar does not necessarily equal better sound quality, but it can contribute to it. It’s still a good idea to verify other specifications, such as speaker sensitivity or audio format decoding system.
Do more watts mean better sound?
In some cases, a higher wattage can mean better sound quality. This is because speakers that can handle more power will sound louder and better.
Do more watts mean more bass?
If you use an external subwoofer, more watts will result in more bass. You get a boost in the bass if you have a subwoofer with more wattage.
Are 300 watts loud enough?
Three hundred watts is enough to power soundbar systems. This wattage is usually associated with more speakers, which makes the sound more immersive.
The amount of wattage you need is dependent on the type of soundbar wattage for room size you live in. If your home theater is boisterous, a bigger wattage soundbar is better for producing a clearer and louder sound.
However, a smaller wattage soundbar will produce a much richer and more perfect sound if you live in a quiet home.
If you are replacing an old system, you should also think about the wattage rating of the speakers.
So, Hooke Audio hopes this article has helped you determine the correct wattage for a good quality soundbar. Good luck!