Are you thinking about purchasing a loudspeaker or amplifier? If so, then you need to learn some new power output terminology right now.
Don’t assume that all loudspeakers and amplifiers can amplify any level of electrical energy after it is turned into sound energy. If the electrical energy quantity doesn’t align properly with your device, then the audio signal will be damaged or distorted when it comes out of the loudspeaker.
Also, a lot of heat is produced by amplifiers and loudspeakers as you continue to use them. If you were to transmit too much electrical energy to a device that is not equipped to handle it, then all of the generated heat will end up damaging the device. The mechanical excursion limit of the device must be considered.
RMS is an acronym that stands for root mean square. PMPO is an acronym that stands for peak music power output. They both relate to the power output rating of audio equipment and devices, such as radio and speakers.
The amount of voltage going into the speakers is the RMS. The sound quality does not matter in this case. You need to look at the PMPO value to determine the highest voltage limit for your speakers. That way, you don’t end up damaging your speakers by sending the incorrect amount of voltage to them.
When you look at the packaging of an amplifier or loudspeaker, you should see something like “RMS Power Rating” printed on it. There should be a number or amount next to the rating. The RMS Power Rating represents the highest amount of power that can be transmitted at a continuous rate without any kind of failure. Some experts refer to this as continuous power.
Imagine turning on your amplifier and keeping it on for an indefinite period of time. If it were to deliver enough power to match the RMS Power Rating continuously, then it would never get damaged no matter how long you keep on the device. But if the continuously delivered power exceeds the RMS Power Rating, then the device could very well get damaged.
Most people have seen “PMPO” on the packaging of computer speakers. You’ll often see a number in Watts, such as 500 Watts PMPO or some variation of that. The average consumer doesn’t actually know what PMPO means. They just see a high number of Watts in the hundreds and assume it means the speakers are powerful.
Do not confuse peak music power output with peak momentary power output. Some people see the PMPO acronym and might think one or the other. Peak music power output has a different measurement of power. PMPO (peak music power output) refers to the sound quality coming from your loudspeaker or amplifier. There is no clear technical definition for this term, but it is basically the peak power limit for an audio device.
PMPO is meant to warn you that you can only use this much power for a short amount of time. The power output limit should be used in intervals rather than at a continuous rate like the RMS. If the PMPO is sustained for long periods of time, then it could damage your speakers or amplifier. Then you’ll have no choice but to get a new one.
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The RMS Power Rating is more reliable than the PMPO rating. Electronics manufacturers like to inflate the PMPO rating to make their product look more powerful than it really is. The RMS Power Rating does a better job of specifying the amount of sound power output from loudspeakers and amplifiers. That is what you should pay attention to the most.