AVS Addicted Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Probably not (blowing your speakers,) but it depends on the speakers and your receiver. Some seem to feel those power handling numbers don't mean much.
It's mainly about heat. The voice coils in speakers can only handle so much heat. Exceed the thermal limits on your speakers and they will eventually fail.
Normal spikes, as when watching movies are likely not a problem. Listening to music at or near the speakers limits will blow the speakers.
Another factor is clipping. Clipping can result in excessive power being sent to the tweeter. That's never a good thing.
You could also exceed the mechanical limits of your woofer. Nice thing about that, is that it's likely audible. I used to be able to create terrible sounds by playing Dark Side of the Moon to my small ACI Emerald bookshelf speakers. I was almost certainly exceeding the small woofer's excursion limits. This was not a subtle sound, believe me.
I have blown one speaker in my home system in my life, and one car speaker. I believe both were the result of very loud music played into them.
Odds are good that avoiding loud music will keep your speakers working perfectly for many years. By loud music, I am talking at least 90 dB at your listening position. If you DO plan on playing loud music a lot, try 5 or 7 channel modes to distribute the load. Or buy bigger speakers. Or just take your chances, it's hard to tell.
"But this one goes up to 11"