Do Speakers Use A Lot Of Electricity? (Explained)

Do Speakers Use A Lot Of Electricity? (Explained)
Written by Corey Morgan

Do Speakers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

I am very sure I am not the only person who falls asleep with my speakers on, right? My mom keeps scolding me for this. She’s always like “turn off those speakers boy, you don’t pay the bills!” But they are just speakers, right? How much electricity could they possibly consume?

Speakers often don’t consume a lot of electricity. The typical power consumption of speakers is 100 Watts, which isn’t much when compared to the vast majority of other electrical and technological devices we use. The volume of the speaker amplifier, the sensitivity of the speaker, and the volume of the audio being played all affect how much electricity a speaker requires.

What Accounts for Speaker’s Power Consumption?

When in use, a speaker doesn’t need a constant quantity of power. The amount of energy that it uses is primarily influenced by three things. These are the loudness of the speaker, the volume of the amplifier, or the speaker’s sensitivity. Let’s examine the three primary factors that affect how much electricity a speaker uses in more detail.

  • The loudness of the Audio Signal

You probably already know that various audio has varying volume levels if you listen to a lot of music or audio in general. In contrast to jazz or even country music, pop music is generally significantly louder, if you’ve paid any attention at all.

I want to emphasize that speaker power consumption is influenced by how loud the audio is. Pop music and other genres with heavy bass damage speakers.

Speakers must draw current from the amplifier they are attached to play any sound. The speaker cones move back and forth as a result of this current to produce sound.

The volume of the audio transmission determines how much electricity the speakers will draw. If all else is equal, a speaker will use much less current for a quieter audio signal and much more current for a louder audio signal.

In essence, a speaker’s output is directly proportional to the amount of electricity it draws. To mimic the audio’s dB level as closely as possible, it draws current dependent on the loudness level of the audio.

Electrical current and power are directly inversely correlated (P = I2 x R), thus even if you don’t recall anything else from high school, you’ll remember this. This implies that a speaker will use more power the more current it draws.

  • Volume

Speaker power usage directly relates to volume. The speaker uses more electricity the more you dial up the amplifier’s level.

The amplifier delivers more electricity or power to the speakers when you increase the volume. As a result, the speaker plays louder since the speaker cones move back and forth much farther than they did previously.

This implies that if you enjoy turning up the volume on your amplifier, be aware that playing loudly will require more power from your speakers. In essence, a speaker plays louder the more power it receives.

  • Speaker Sensitivity

A key element that accurately predicts how much electricity a speaker will use is speaker sensitivity. I’ll give a basic explanation of speaker sensitivity for those who are unfamiliar.

The sensitivity rating of a speaker measures how many decibels it can emit at a distance of one meter using one watt of power. A speaker’s sensitivity rating is typically listed on its spec sheet. They are also available online on speaker product sites.

For instance, a speaker with a sensitivity of 60 dB will play audio at a volume of 60 dB at a distance of one meter from the speakers with a power input of one watt. You will therefore hear 60dB of loud audio if you are standing one meter from the speakers.

However, you must double the power if you want to raise the decibels by three. What am I referring to here? Let’s revisit our example.

You must provide the same speakers with 2 watts if you wish to raise the volume from 60 dB to 63 dB at a distance of one meter from the speakers. The speaker needs 4 watts to raise it from 63 dB to 66 dB. It needs 8 watts of power to go from 66 dB to 69 dB, and so forth. I think you see what I mean. Thus, as you can see, the power can quickly build up to a significant sum.

Each speaker has a unique rating for sensitivity. Additionally, the amount of power the speakers will need will depend on both how loud you want them to play and how sensitive they are. Let me give you an illustration.

Assume you have Speaker A and Speaker B, two distinct sets of speakers. Speaker A’s sensitivity rating is 74 dB, while Speaker B’s rating is 85 dB. Say we want to crank up the volume on these speakers to 95 dB.

It will need 128 Watts of power to drive Speaker A, which has a 74dB sensitivity rating, to play at 95dB. On the other hand, Speaker B, which has a sensitivity rating of 83dB, will only need 16 watts of power to play them at 95dB.

To play two speakers at the same dB level is a significant variation in power. Certain speakers use more power than others. A speaker’s electricity consumption decreases with an increasing sensitivity rating.

Therefore, if you are the thrifty type, you should pay particular attention to the sensitivity rating while you are looking for a speaker.

How to Find How Much Power a Speaker Consumes

This part of the article is for you if you’re interested in how much power your speakers are using. This is because I’ll show you two methods to determine how much power your speaker uses. Let’s get started right now and not spend any more time.

  • Use Kill-A-Watt Meter

A Kill-a-Watt Meter is the simplest way to determine exactly how much electricity your speakers are using.

This is a portable metering gadget that precisely measures how much power a device is consuming, for those who are unfamiliar. For around $30, you can purchase it on Amazon. Let me demonstrate how easy it is to use.

You just plug your speaker or amplifier into the Kill-A-Watt Meter after first plugging it into a socket outlet.

The power consumption of the speakers will now be gauged by the meter. For however long you leave the speaker plugged in, the meter will continue to record its power usage. The overall amount of power used by the speaker while it is operating will then be determined automatically. The calculation will be done in kWh. There is no easier situation than that.

To find out exactly how much your speaker’s electricity bill will be, multiply the kWh number from the Kill A Watt meter by the cost of electricity per kWh. The average electricity price in the United States is 13.19 cents per kWh, according to Electric Choice.

The Kill A Watt Meter has the advantage of allowing you to examine the power usage of any electrical or electronic appliance or equipment, including your TV, refrigerator, air conditioner, and anything else you can think of. You should purchase one if you are concerned about power consumption because it is really useful.

  • Manually Calculate Speaker’s Power Consumption

You’ll need to make some calculations using this technique. Additionally, it’s possible that you won’t know the speakers’ specific power requirements. You’ll nevertheless learn roughly how much electricity it is consuming. Here’s how you approach it.

  • Determine the power ratings for the speaker. This information is available online on the speaker’s product page, on the speaker’s label, or in the user guide.
  • Determine the number of hours you typically spend using the speakers.
  • To determine the kWh readings, multiply the speaker power ratings by the number of hours you use the speakers.

For example, 150W is the speaker’s power rating.

The average usage time is 6 hours.

Speaker power consumption is 150W x 6 hours, or 900Wh, or 0.9kWh.

Once you get the kWh measurements, you can multiply them by the price of electricity per kWh to see how much your speakers are costing you in electricity. Although this method won’t provide you with exactly the figures you need, it will come close.

Do Speakers Use Power When Not In Use?

Yes, to answer simply. When speakers are turned on but not in use, power is used. However, it just uses a small amount of power. When playing audio, speakers use more power, and when the volume is turned up, they need even more power.

Back then, Class A amplifiers were fairly common, but they used a lot of power. They weren’t made with energy efficiency in mind. Whether or not they are in use, these amps require the same amount of power. These amps soon become hot because they require energy even when not in operation. Class A amplifiers are still produced, but they are less common and well-known.

All speaker amplifier classes other than Class A amplifiers are significantly more energy-efficient. They will nevertheless continue to use some power.