By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor
Have you ever read the line that says “CEA-2006 compliant” on an amplifier’s features and thought to yourself, “I wonder what that means..”? CEA-2006 compliant is not just an advertising claim. If an amplifier is CEA-2006 compliant, that means that this amp has been tested by the Consumer Electronics Association to verify its ratings. By meeting the CEA 2006 standards, you can trust that the amplifier’s ratings are accurate. CEA 2006 tests the two most important amplifier ratings (and the two ratings that are the most likely to be fabricated): RMS Power (how loud it plays) and Signal-to-Noise ratio (how clearly it sounds). Both car amplifiers and car stereos undergo CEA 2006 testing in order to verify their external amp power rating. The CEA logo will appear on the boxes of products that meet the standards.
Are manufacturers required to submit their products to the CEA-2006 testing? Unfortunately, the answer is no. CEA-2006 testing is voluntary, so not all manufacturers send their products in for testing. Some manufacturers may overstate an amplifier’s power ratings to make it seem more powerful, and as a result, appear more valuable. This is why CEA-2006 testing is so important. In order to avoid buying amps with inflated power numbers, you should only believe the ratings of CEA tested products.
In order to make the testing uniform, CEA uses a standard that measures an amplifier’s RMS power and signal-to-noise ratio. This allows consumers to compare amplifiers across the industry. The consistency of the testing guarantees that all car amplifiers are measured equally, and most importantly, that they have accurate ratings. The CEA logo is officially licensed by the Consumer Electronics Association to guarantee that the product ratings comply with the CEA 2006 standard. Besides a CEA logo, CEA tested products mention CEA compliancy in the manual and on the manufacturer website. Avoid false marketing schemes and buy CEA tested products.