ANSWERS: 5
  • The volume is a function of two parameters: the amplifier power and the speaker sensitivity. One might think that doubling the amplifier power (e.g., 20W to 40W, 100W to 200W) would double the volume, but that is not the case. Doubling the amplifier power increases the audio level by 3dB, which is audible to the human ear. Most people cannot detect a change of less than 1 to 2 dB, so an increase of 3dB may not sound like much of a change. Doubling the apparent volume level requires an increase of 10dB or ten times the power (e.g., 10W to 100W). If you replace your speakers with ones that are more sensitive, you will also increase the apparent volume level without increasing the amplifier power. If you replace a speaker that has a rated sensitivity of 85dB with one of 88dB (+3dB), it is equivalent to doubling your amplifier power (e.g., 10W to 20W). If you replace those same speakers with ones with a rated sensitivity of 91dB (+6dB), it is equivalent to quadrupling the amplifier power (e.g., 10W to 40W). To increase the volume you may change either or both of these parameters. However... You want to avoid the situation where your amplifier is pushed hard enough to make it clip, because clipping can damage your speakers. In fact, most speakers are 'blown' because of clipping - a situation that often occurs when a too-small amplifier is pushed too hard. The amplifier's THD (total harmonic distortion) may easily jump from under 1% to 10% or 20% when the signal clips. This is bad news for your ears, even if it only occurs during transients. It may also be a disaster for the speakers and your pocketbook. In addition, pushing a speaker too hard will increase its distortion levels significantly. Speakers have the highest distortion of any audio component to begin with - 5% THD in a speaker is pretty good - and pushing them too hard will make them perform poorly. This is why manufacturers almost never publish distortion ratings for speakers. You want to use speakers that can handle the power levels they are being driven with. Which leads us to the dodgy ratings many manufacturers use to sell their products. Wildly overstated power and performance ratings are all too common, particularly with boom boxes and car audio products. But that is a whole discussion in itself. Take the time to choose products carefully when making any changes in your audio system. You can't tell good sound from a ratings sheet, only by listening to a product. Listen to equipment while the volume is low, as well as high, because many products do not perform well at the extremes - low volume, high volume, or both. You should get reasonable advice on products in a shop that specializes in audio products, because you won't get much in big box stores or retailers that sell more washers and dryers than amplifiers.
  • First, raising the volume level may ruin your hearing, in your later years. be careful of the decibles. Second, your stereo system may only be able to produce a certain amount of volume, depending on its amplifier size, speaker size, and maybe wiring complications. Ask a knowledgable stereo friend to look at your system. If all else fails and you are still not satsified with the volume and sound quality, you may have to purchase a larger sounds system.
  • The surefire --and affordable-- way to get a stereo system louder is to get more sensitive speakers. Those don't have to be expensive. Sensitivity is given in "dB (1W/1m)", meaning the sound level in dB one meter in front of the speaker if the signal is 1 Watt pink noise. 87dB is intermediate, 90dB is good, 93dB is excellent, four times louder than 87dB. With the same amp!! Look at Klipsch or Kef products, high sensitivity, very affordable.
  • Try headphones.
  • not sure but i wouldnt do that, you might annoy some neighbors

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