Are you wondering what speakers will work best with your audio amplifier? We’re here to help you answer that question by guiding you through the meaning and significance of the various speaker specifications including sensitivity rating, impedance, power handling, frequency response, as well as size and placement. As an example for compatibility, we’ll reference all of these parameters in relation to optimal pairing with the Juke-6 and Juke-8, which output 40 watts per channel (20 watts RMS) and are stable from 8 ohms down to 2 ohms.
Sensitivity: The sensitivity of a speaker refers to the amount of sound that it can produce for a given amount of power. A speaker with higher sensitivity will require less power to produce the same volume level as a speaker with lower sensitivity. Therefore, it’s recommended to select speakers with high sensitivity to ensure maximum output power from the amplifier. In the case of Juke, we recommend 86 decibels (dB) or more and preferably 90 dB+ to ensure optimal performance. Increasing dB by 3 has the same effect as doubling the power output of an amplifier, so this parameter is of great importance for achieving maximum output.
Power handling: The power handling capacity of a speaker is the maximum amount of power that it can handle without damage. Since the Juke amplifier is capable of outputting 40 watts per channel at 8 ohms, it is required to select speakers that can handle at least 40 watts of power, with a higher power handling capacity for added headroom & performance. Ideally we recommend speakers with a power handling of 100 watts to 220 watts. The video you’ll see in the tutorial below is done with a speaker with a power handling rating of 160 watts.
Impedance: The Juke amplifier is capable of supporting speakers from 8 ohms down to 2 ohms, with the most common for architecturally based speakers being 8 ohms. If you double up 8 ohm speakers on a zone meaning you run 2 speakers onto the left channel and 2 speakers on the right channel, it will bring the load down to 4 ohms which Juke can support, however it will make it work harder and not be sustainable if looking to play audio across every zone that way. If you connect 4 ohm speakers onto a zone, you’ll get nearly twice the output level from that speaker as you would from 8 ohm speakers, so we recommend that option for outdoor / landscape speakers as they typically require more juice.
Frequency response: The frequency response of a speaker refers to the range of frequencies that it can reproduce. It’s recommended to select speakers with a wide frequency response range to ensure accurate and balanced sound reproduction. To get a full range response, meaning the range of what human’s can effectively hear, the ideal specifications are 20 Hz to 20 kHz (20000 Hz).
Size and placement: The size and placement of the speaker will also affect the sound quality. It’s recommended to select speakers that are appropriate in size for the room and placement, and consider factors like room acoustics and the distance from the listener to the speakers. In the case of pairing with the Juke-6 or Juke-8 amplifier, we recommend using at least 2 speakers for every room/area up to 15ft by 15ft, and adding additional pairs for any rooms bigger than that like a living room or open floor concept.
With these factors in mind, an optimal speaker for the Juke-6 and Juke-8 would have the following specifications:
- Sensitivity: at least 86 dB (preferably 89db+)
- Power handling: at least 40 watts RMS (preferably 100 watts to 220 watts)
- Impedance: within the range of 8 ohms to 2 ohms
- Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (or wider)
- Size and placement: appropriate for the room and placement, taking into account room acoustics and listener distance.
See the following YouTube tutorial below showcasing the Juke-8 amplifier being utilized with 8 ohm 6.5 inch speakers with a power handling rating of 160 watts: