Powered Speaker

Do i need an amplifier to power speakers?

I plan on getting speakers but I am new to all this, I don't know the difference between the two but I've been searching the web and I've seen stuff about needing amps to power speakers, so must I buy an amp if I am to buy a speaker? And what is an amp, what's it for

Speakers are MOTORS. They need watts of power to create mechanical motion.

Many people are familiar with computer speakers. You just plug the headphone jack into your computer or mp3 player and it works.

What is "hidden" is a small amplifier inside the computer speakers. This is what the power cord connects to. So it all just looks like 'speakers' to you - but there is a small amp inside.

These days - most people buy something called an AV Receiver. This big, black box has electronics and a 5-speaker amplifier. You run inputs into the receiver, wire up the speakers and the AV Receiver does all the work.

If this is your first system - try looking at your local Craigslist under Electronics for "AV Receivers". You want to look for Yamaha RX-V series, Denon, Pioneer Elite and perhaps Onkyo.

I picked up a nice Yamaha receiver last year for $150.

You want to look for power numbers about 80 watts per channel - honestly measured. You may find some crappy $299 'systems' that claim "1,000 WATTS OF POWER" - but they assume you wont read the fine print.

"Channel" means "1 speaker worth of sound".

Example: Yamaha will report 80 watts per channel using 8 ohm speakers.

Assume a 8 ohm speaker is like a normal car holding 8 people.

The cheap systems hide that they tested power with ... 3 ohm speakers. This is like putting 3 people in the car to show power, compared to everyone else putting 8 people in the car.

There is a LOT you could learn but ask here or on one of the other fourms and people (who bought the wrong stuff years ago) will help you avoid making mistakes.

Hope this helps.

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