Originally Posted by anm
Also - how to figure out the speakers' power ratings? Some speakers mention continuous and peak power figures. So I guess the amp headroom should be above peak power?
Never look at peak power.. Rule of Thumb. A speaker can only do peak power for a few minutes (10-20 minutes, depending on quality of speaker/magnets/ect.) Always go by the continous watts. For example, I'm going to get off topic just a hair, for car speakers. Your door speakers should be regularly between 50 and 75 watts RMS (continuous) and 200-300 (peak) watts. When do you ever achieve 200 watts? Never. Same with home theater speakers, your watching a movie, and continuously for 2 hours, the speakers will pump out their continuous watts. Now lets say theres bombs dropping and planes flying, bullets shooting, lots of action..... your speakers will push out a little more power to emphisize the action, especially the subwoofer.
Bottom line, always use Continuous Watts. Same applys for your Amp. The cooler the temperature of your speakers and the amp, the better efficiency the power has, leading to better sound.