When buying speakers systems, AV enthusiasts rightly spend much time examining specifications in an effort to gauge what level of performance to expect once a new system is installed. Frequency response, sensitivity and power handling, if reported accurately, help inform decisions based on the needs and wants of the buyer. These are important considerations, especially if you are the sort who likes it loud and typically pushes their speaker system to its limits.

Some audio enthusiasts have a tendency to lean heavily on the volume knob, turning it way up to get that "live" sound, or even beyond. Others treasure hearing detail, but are content to go for a low noise floor over raw peak output. It's axiomatic that larger speakers generally are more capable than smaller models (especially of a similar design) since there are unbreakable laws of physics at work. And this raises a simple question... Do you push your speaker system to its limits?

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For this poll, I'd define the "limit" as audible distortion or noticeable dynamic compression resulting from exceeding the motor or excursion limits of any driver in the speaker. If what you hear is 100% clear and punchy no matter what, then you are likely not pushing its limits.

While it would be ideal if all systems had speakers and amps that were perfectly matched, this of course is not how it works. So when you do hit the limits of your system, it could manifest as clipping (not enough power) or reaching the mechanical limits of your speaker (too much power). Both situations can result in thermal failure, too. Either way, if you run into a barrier when it comes to getting more output from your system, that means you do push it to its limits.

Take the poll and share your thoughts...


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