Distinct Beat 122 S. Oakland St., Gastonia NC Phn: 980.285.8888

Car Audio Definitions and Terms (The Lingo)
Enclosure:
An enclosure is often used when discussing subwoofers. Almost every subwoofer is going to require some sort of enclousre to opperate. The type of enclosure you use will be up to your application, and can range widely in shape, size and type. The types most often used are sealed, and band pass (ported) enclosures. Both types are fairly similar in construction. Both are rigid built boxes that contain an appropriate volume of air for the subwoofer, and are sealed tightly from leaks. The difference is that the band pass design uses a port hole tuned to desired frequency.
Current:
Is the flow rate of electricity, and is measured in ampere (amps). In car audio this is the electrical charge that supplies the components energy to work. The more current flow, the larger the ampere rating.
RMS Power:
Root Mean Square - RMS. This is the measurement used to rate signal power in car audio amplifiers and speakers. The higher the RMS number the higher the power. In speakers this rating is used in refference to thermal power handling. This is the true power rating of an amplifier or speaker, and should always be reffered to when building a system. This rating is what the amplifier or speaker can hanle continuously.
Peak Power:
Peak power is a misleading measurement in car audio. This rating is measured in a burst of energy and cannot produce or handle this power continuously. This rating should not be considered strongly, if even at all when evaluating audio equipment.
Decibel (db):
A decibel is a quantative measurement of loudness in the form of sound pressure. The higher the db rating, the louder the noise. Car audio speakers, and total system performance are measured in decibels. A normal conversation is measured between 60-70db, loud rock cocerts are often measured at 110-115db. The loudest sound measurement possible is 194db.
Ohm:
An Ohm, is a measurement of resistance in a circuit. A very high level of resistance allows a small amount of current to flow. A very low level of resistance allows a large amount of current to flow. In car audio the lower the Ohm rating the higher the power. Speakers rated at 2 Ohms, can extract more power from an amplifier, than speakers rated at 4 Ohm. Aplifiers with a 2 Ohm load can produce more power than with a 4 Ohm load, because the resistance is lower. This is an important factor when matching amplifiers to speakers is system building.
Amplifier Sensitivity::
The sensitivity adjustment on an amplifier, is not a volume control. Amplifier sensitivity is a control on most all amplifiers to adjust the rate of loudness in concert with the head units rate of volume control. This control adjusts how quickly the amplifier acheives full power via the signal input from the head unit. Adjusting the control to it's highest setting does not increase the power of the amplifier, and it will only over drive the amplifier and the speakers connected to it. Please use this tutorial for tuning your amplifier: Amp Install Tips
Speaker Sensitivity:
The sensitivity (efficiency) rating of a speaker gives you a rough idea of how loud the speaker will play given a certain amount of power. The higher the sensitivity rating the more effecient the speaker will be when converting electrical energy into sound. This rating is often highly considered when building high powered and SPL designed systems. In short, the higher the sensitvity, the louder it will sound.

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