Companies are constantly bragging about the amount of power their speakers and subs can handle. They throw out these huge numbers especially those who are in the budget range. Some of these more affordable speakers heavily advertise their peak power. But it is incredibly important to understand the distinct difference between peak and RMS power.
We wrote an article regarding this subject two years ago, but it is important to revisit this subject because there are a lot of misunderstandings about it.
Peak power is only the maximum power level your speakers are able to utilize. It is never recommended to play your speakers at the peak power level. You could easily blow your speaker if you use your speakers at their peak power level for a long period of time.
RMS power is the level of power your speaker will be able to comfortably perform at for countless hours. This means that you can play your speakers at the RMS power rating without the risk of blowing your speaker.
Why Companies Display Peak Power
Companies display the peak power rating simply as a way to market to their consumers. Customers will see this massive number and not look into it any further and end up overpowering their speakers and blowing them. It’s like selling a car based off its top speed. Some car companies may try to brag about their car’s top speed when in reality you are never really supposed to go that speed. What really matters is something like the car’s acceleration and it’s 0-60 time. How fast a car accelerates would actually be helpful on an everyday basis while its top speed would not. Peak power is a large number that sounds cool, just like a car’s top speed, but it is something you will not use on an everyday basis while RMS power is.
It is also important to note that many companies offer warranties on their products if the speaker gets blown. However, they will not cover a blown speaker if you actually exceed the RMS rating.
Continue to educate yourself about car audio and more by visiting our blog and our learning center. Furthermore, always remember to pay attention to the RMS power when you are in the market for something new whether that be speakers, subs or even amps.