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how important is signal to noise ratio?


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in another post i asked about some speakers, they have a rating of 96db on the snr scale. Theres three models to choose from, A, B and C. C being the 50 dollar speakers which i what i got. Im sitting here looking at there big brothers (A and B) who cost hundreds more (almost 500 and 130) and although theyre alot louder, there snr is lower. (93db and 85db). From what i understand, they will not sound as good as the ones i got. Am i right here? Do they just market those for more because they are louder and not becuase there "better"? just wondering
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Signal to noise is a important consideration, but not the only one. As with all specs, it's a compromise thing... usually to make something better, you have to compromise somewhere or something... frequently, that compromise will be "cost". IOW, you can make something really good, but that usually means it is going to cost more - better parts, more materials, etc.

 

Posting the full specs of each speaker would be helpful. ;)

 

However, specs alone can never tell you the whole story... Specs are sometimes skewed. Sometimes there is no reference or deviation given, which makes the spec next to worthless. For example, you might see a frequency response given as "20 Hz - 20 kHz", but without knowing if that's "+/- 1 dB" or +/- 10 dB", it doesn't really tell you much. Also, when comparing specs, you have to make sure you're comparing apples to apples... sometimes, a reference point is completely different on one spec than it is on another, and unless you're careful and know what you're reading, one might LOOK better on paper, but in reality ultimately be worse.

 

At the end of the day, specs can give you some useful information, but you have to know how to read them... and you then have to use your EARS to make the final determination. :)

 

BTW, S/N ratios are normally not something you see applied to speakers... unless they are powered.

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Logitech X-530 specs

 

Technical Specifications

 

Total RMS power: 70 watts RMS

Satellites: 45 watts RMS (2 x 7.4 watts front, 15.5 watts center, 2 x 7.4 watts rear)

Subwoofer: 25 watts RMS

Total peak power: 140 watts

Frequency response: 40Hz - 20kHz

Drivers:

Satellites: (2) 2" drivers per satellite

Subwoofer: 5.25" ported driver

Speaker dimensions (H x W x D):

Satellites: 8" x 2.5" x 3"

Subwoofer: 9" x 6" x 9.25"

Signal-to-noise ratio: >96dB

 

Logitech Z-5300

 

Technical Specifications

 

Power:

Total RMS power: 280 watts RMS

Satellites 180 Watts RMS (2 x 35.25W front, 2 x 35.25W rear, 39W center)

Subwoofer: 100 Watts RMS

Total peak power: 560 watts

Frequency response: 35Hz - 20kHz

Signal to noise ratio: >85 db

 

Logitech Z-5500

 

Product Specifications

 

Total RMS power: 505 watts RMS

Satellites: 317 watts RMS (2 x 62 W front, 2 x 62 rear, 69 W center)

Subwoofer: 188 watts RMS

Total Peak power: 1010 watts

Maximum SPL: >115 dB

Frequency response: 33 Hz 20 kHz

Amplifier: Ultra-linear, high-capacity analog

Signal to noise ratio: >93.5 dB, typical 100

Input impedance: 8,000 ohms

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i noticed as you get up, the freq response gets a little better as well, but 10hz on low end isnt a big deal here, cause i dont listen to rap and all that extra power buries things when you turn it up in my opinion, but i think im kinda getting side tracked, im still curious as to if 3db in snr is a big difference, alot of the speaker (not these) i looked at had snr's of 80, so is 26db a big difference? thanks for the help
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When you have the speakers up to the volume that you will be listening at most of the time, and then the music stops, do you hear hiss/hum, and is it objectionable to you? If not, then your signal-to-noise ratio is acceptable.

I purchased my Yamaha home stereo years ago based on the signal-to-noise ratio, rather than total watts, total harmonic distortion, etc. To this day when a CD finishes, and neither the furnace nor the refrigerator are running, no cars or planes going by, my speakers remain dead silent. :thu:

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

Signal to noise is a important consideration, but not the only one. As with all specs, it's a compromise thing... usually to make something better, you have to compromise somewhere or something... frequently, that compromise will be "cost". IOW, you can make something really good, but that usually means it is going to cost more - better parts, more materials, etc.

 

Posting the full specs of each speaker would be helpful. ;)

 

However, specs alone can never tell you the whole story... Specs are sometimes skewed. Sometimes there is no reference or deviation given, which makes the spec next to worthless. For example, you might see a frequency response given as "20 Hz - 20 kHz", but without knowing if that's "+/- 1 dB" or +/- 10 dB", it doesn't really tell you much. Also, when comparing specs, you have to make sure you're comparing apples to apples... sometimes, a reference point is completely different on one spec than it is on another, and unless you're careful and know what you're reading, one might LOOK better on paper, but in reality ultimately be worse.

 

At the end of the day, specs can give you some useful information, but you have to know how to read them... and you then have to use your EARS to make the final determination. :)

 

BTW, S/N ratios are normally not something you see applied to speakers... unless they are powered.

What Phil said, plus:

When I owned a retail stereo shop, audiophiles hooked on specs would always come in and ask what the s/n ratios were of various amps. They would ooh and aah over the lowest rated equipment. I always felt it was a certain amount of bolderdash. It always comes down to the ear. Can you hear a difference in something that is rated at say .005 and .001? Also, is all equipment rated using the same exact perameters? NO! What then do ratings mean? They are just a starting point. Something to get an idea of the level the manufacturer is trying to acheive, then it's up to your ears. If it's your money, it should be up to your ears only, but feel free to ask friends to listen also. Friends enjoy budding in on others decisions. :D (me too)

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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