Does Adding More Speakers Make It Louder?

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How Do Speakers Work?

There are some basic physics principles at play. Most speakers are moving some sort of diaphragm. When electricity is applied to the diaphragm, it moves. The moving diaphragm excites the air around it, and this moving air is the sound you hear. More speakers means more air being pushed, creating a louder sound. Here's a quick video to demonstrate the principle:

It's easier to illustrate the point when everything is moving very quickly, though. Try comparing this to loudness: if there are two, ten-inch woofers moving up and down at 10 Hz in your car, you'll feel the vibrations from the rapid movement a lot more than if it's the same movement (diaphragm displacement) from one ten-inch woofer.

Thus, it's not quite the inverse square law, but there's a clear relationship where volume is proportional to the number of speakers.

The other thing to consider is that, although increased speaker count has a linear effect on loudness, it's not always a linear effect on sound quality.

There are many factors that come into play when it comes to sound quality. That being said, if you just want to get louder, a new set of speakers will help.

Does Adding More Speakers Make It Louder?

You can find the question "How many speakers do I need to reach my goal of o-o decibels?" popping up almost daily on online forums.

I find most of the replies to this question, sadly, misinformed and don’t address it in a satisfactory manner. That is why there is a need to re-address this age old question, and settle it once and for all!

In order to properly answer the question, one of the first things you need to do is decide on a realistic, achievable target volume. Raising your volume to an unhearable level is not a good idea and will get you nowhere.

Start with checking your speakers’ sensitivity rating. Sensitivity measures how efficient your speaker is at converting electrical energy into acoustic energy, in other words, how loud your speaker can go for a given level of input voltage. The lower the sensitivity rating, the louder a speaker will have to play. If you have a 2-way speaker system, then you have two speakers (woofer and tweeter), each with its own sensitivity rating. Adding an efficient speaker like the Peavey Max 425, with it 10-ohm impedance, in parallel with a less efficient speaker, with a 4-ohm impedance, will not change the overall sensitivity of the speaker system.

Measuring Loudness

The volume of sound is dependent on both the amplitude and frequency. The unit of measurement to show how loud a sound is, is called the decibel (dB). Humans can perceive sounds anywhere from 0 dB to 120 dB.

Loudness is directly related to the sound pressure amplitude. The greater the amplitude, the higher the perceived loudness.

The loudness of sounds over 85 dB can cause hearing loss.

Going Beyond Loudness For Your Home Speaker

Finally, this unit stands out due to its ability to offer increased output. It has the power to provide a realm of bass that will make your whole listening area move and rumble. It has been designed with technology that will help you to truly experience music the way it was meant to be heard.

But there are other reasons why you might be interested in this particular unit. For instance, in spite of its high level of sound, it is not manufactured with the aim of maximum decibels.

Bose has designed the system to provide realistic, high, and low-range frequencies that are sure to please even the pickiest listeners. It is built to offer clarity and robustness while still being easy on the ears.

The main reason why the unit is suited to high-range frequencies is the wide media variety that it can support. This means that you can innovate your listening experience by experimenting with new ways to enjoy music.

For this unit, high-range frequencies are the way of the future because they produce the sounds that you look for in a listening experience. They allow you to hear voices clearly, and they allow you to enjoy music even more than you do already. This unit is sure to amaze you given all of the features that you haven’t even considered yet.

Match Your Speakers

Adding more speakers to a system doesn’t increase the total volume. The loudness is determined by the amplifier or receiver. Adding more speakers to an amplified or low impedance signal will only result in a loss in sound quality.

A common misconception amongst guitar players is that they need to upgrade their amp or buy a more expensive amp when changing pickups.

Take a look at your amp/receiver and check the resistance. Most are 4-ohm, but can also go as low as 8-ohms and as high as 32-ohms. For your new pickups, then, ensure they are of equal or lower resistance than the information printed on the back of your amp. Remember that impedance can fluctuate, so if you’re not sure, make an appointment at the music shop to get it checked.

Adding more speakers to a system distributes the signal equally amongst the speakers. As long as each speaker has the same impedance or higher, you will experience the intended volume.

Follow Proper Speaker Placement

Yes, a pair of speakers can be louder than a single speaker. The key is matching the appropriate speakers to your amp and the space where they will be positioned. If you get that right, your new stereo or multi-channel home theater can be truly amazing.

The first rule for a great audio experience is to start with a good amp and good speakers; then make adjustments from there.

When jumping from one speaker to multiple speakers, concentrate on the frequency range you want to fill. A pair or stereo speakers in the 2.1 configuration (two speakers front/side with a subwoofer) presents a great range for most homes and won’t overwhelm your space.

One consideration is speaker placement. The location of your system will affect the sound quality. Even though you can get better sound by placing more speakers throughout the room, lets save that for a later date.

For now, follow our speaker placement checklist for a great sound.

For a multiple speaker stereo system, create a triangle between the front two speakers and the subwoofer ….

Just like an equilateral triangle… but make the speaker placement close enough that no one listening at the ideal listening position is outside the triangle.

Place your speakers on stands, or on the wall if you don’t plan to wall-mount the TV.

Remedy Reverberations

Add speakers to a venue and you might think the music at the event will get louder. But this isn’t always true. In fact, adding more speakers make it LOUDER in the room, but it doesn’t necessarily make the sound CLOSER to your ears.

Sound volume and the perception of the distance the speaker is from you are quite different things.

A good example is a live music venue with a stage and a center aisle. You may have noticed that when you are seated in the back of the venue, the sound seems to come from the sides. And if you're seated in the front of the venue, it sounds like it is coming from the stage.

Although there are sound waves filling the room, they fluctuate in amplitude; the distances between the highs and lows change. Add another speaker to the mix and unless it is an exact distance and angle from the other speaker, you won’t hear a difference in volume.

Add A Quality Subwoofer, Central Channel and Amplifier

A common misunderstanding about home audio systems is that adding more speakers will result in a louder sound. It’s easy to see how this myth came to be. Take our home theater system as an example: most home theater systems come with five or seven speakers, while smaller sound bars usually have only two or three. So it seems logical that adding more speakers would produce more volume.

But the problem is that not all speakers are the same. Some are designed for producing high frequencies (such as treble), while others are designed for producing low frequencies (such as bass). A combination of quality speakers produces a fuller sound, but adding more speakers will not necessarily make every sound louder.

To make a stronger, sharper, and more powerful sound, your best option is to add a quality subwoofer and amplifier. Experts recommend 2.1 or 5.1 channel surround sound systems as the best thing to use.

Quality speakers and amplifiers not only improve the fullness and strength of the sound, they also increase the clarity and volume. With strong bass, you can hear all types of musical sound effects from the throbbing of a drum to the rumble of a car. You can even hear the tread of a footstep on the stage next to the vocalist.

Conclusion

No

So why do we perceive music to be louder when we have more speakers? The sensation of loudness or volume is relative and is measured by the squares of the speaker output levels. If each speaker doubles its output level, the perceived level only increases by 6 dB. But if you add more speakers, each speaker adds relatively less to the total sound level. This makes the listening experience seem less comfortable. Also, your ears naturally perceive the higher speaker level, placed in front, as louder, because that is where the sound is coming from. To fix this, add speakers to the back and ground instead of to the front. You'll save space and get a more balanced sound.

So why do we perceive music to be louder when we have more speakers? The sensation of loudness or volume is relative and is measured by the squares of the speaker output levels. If each speaker doubles its output level, the perceived level only increases by 6 dB. But if you add more speakers, each speaker adds relatively less to the total sound level. This makes the listening experience seem less comfortable. Also, your ears naturally perceive the higher speaker level, placed in front, as louder, because that is where the sound is coming from. To fix this, add speakers to the back and ground instead of to the front. You'll save space and get a more balanced sound.

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