Speaker power capacity

  • 8 December 2007
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 2
I am looking at installing 3 sets of 4 ceiling speakers ie one ZP100 per set of 4 speakers as below, however I note that the ZP100 out put is 50W per channel. Can anyone advise if this will blow up the speakers or the amp in the ZP100 unit?

each speaker has the undernoted spec:-

Power 30W rms, 60W pk-pk
Frequency Response 48Hz to 20kHz
Impedance 8Ω


1 reply


You can directly connect two pairs of 8-Ohm speakers to each ZP100. These speakers are compatible with the ZP100.

Since there is no generally accepted method of determining the maximum safe operating power level for a speaker, the published power ratings are mostly useless. In general, if you try hard enough, you can blowup any speaker with any amplifier.

In practice, more speakers are damaged by low power amplifiers than high power amplifiers. While this does not seem fair, it is part of the physics. An amplifier is rated for a certain power and will deliver this power at low distortion. If the amplifier is driven beyond the rating, distortion products are generated that can damage speakers. The cure for a situation where speakers are regularly damaged is more amplifier power.

If you gave me a job, "please blowup this speaker", I would pick an amplifer in the 50-100 Watt range because it will minimize the time required. Oddly, a ZP100 will not be on my list of amplifiers because I can't push them beyond their rated power. (the SONOS protection mechanisms will take action by lowering the volume or shutting down the amplifier)