If you have a louder bike and an audio system installed in it, you usually want your speakers or the sound to be louder, not cover the engine’s sound but make its music stand out. We will also want a louder speaker on long trips, especially in heavy traffic. If so, the first question that comes to us is, how to make motorcycle speakers louder?
To make a motorcycle speaker louder, use passive speakers with higher sensitivity and handle the extra power. Now that you are using or assuming that you have active speakers installed in your bike, you can use a good, high-efficiency, and high-power external amplifier. And if you want to add more excitement to your audio system, you can also add a small subwoofer for a bass boost.
There are two types of speakers, active and passive. As for motorcycle speakers, these are typically active. Now, what do we mean by active and passive speakers? Active speakers are speakers with a built-in power amplifier and only require a power source or battery. In contrast, passive speakers need an external power amplifier to function.
Make motorcycle speakers louder.
If you want to make the sound louder, you can replace the speakers with higher sensitivity. When the speaker has a high sensitivity rating, it has more audible sound output. Average speakers typically have sensitivity around 87 dB to 88 dB. However, if you want an excellent speaker with good sharpness, it must have over 90 dB.
If you already have higher sensitivity speakers, an obvious way to make the speakers louder is to use an external amplifier. Now, how many amps for motorcycle speakers are required? Well, for active speakers, no need for an external amplifier; just its built-in amplifier is enough. You can still use an external amplifier to an active speaker, but it is not advisable. Remember, active speakers have their built-in amplifier for a reason. Connecting it to an external amp will ruin your powered speaker and, if not your amp itself. (To understand what we mean about this, later, we will talk about power + power = disaster) If you are using a passive speaker and it’s currently working, we can expect that it has at least one amplifier installed, and one is sufficient no need to add more. You can upgrade the amplifier for much higher power and efficiency.
Keep in mind that passive motorcycle speakers design to handle a certain amount of not very high power. Most amplifiers are said to have a 20W output but most likely a 20W peak and not continuous work. About half of its value is its constant output. It’s understandable what happens when you use a much powerful amplifier with the same loudspeaker diver units. After increasing the amplifier’s amount of power, it is also necessary to increase the amount of power the speakers can handle. You can accomplish this by getting a new set of passive speakers with a higher ability to withstand the extra power.
For choosing speakers for a higher power amplifier, you can have many options in the market depending on the type of sound you are looking for or need for your budget. When it comes to sound quality, you will need not only loudness, as sometimes you will also want a heavy bass sound system that is good, especially for bikes with grooving engine sound. You can also consult the local motorcycle audio installer, if possible, for specific advice on what gears you need and why they are suitable for you or your bike.
For louder bikes, speakers will sound different, which is understandable since the more rev there is, the more engine sound will take over the speakers’ sound. The speakers’ sound from your position also depends on the position, size, and number of speakers on your motorcycle. Others install speakers with one or two to different places or areas on the bike, front, back, and even sides.
To add more bass boost, you can also use a small subwoofer unit to the motorcycle’s front or back. It is optional; however, if you want to extend your music’s sound, this is essential—the low frequencies produced by the subwoofer help for richer, complete, and dimensional sound.
Power plus power is equal to disaster (power + power = disaster)
This “golden rule” (power + power = disaster) is essential to know, especially if you plan to connect external amplifiers to active speakers. You have power from your active mixer/amplifier and power from your active speakers. Now the question is, what happens if you plug power overpower? Maybe what we can think of is that power will multiply. But if power multiplies, will everything blow up? No, but one or both pieces of equipment may be damaged.
Do not plug the power amp into the active speaker. It is the rule we should keep in mind when working with sound if we don’t want to break any of them. What will happen is that the extra current coming from the powered output reaches the input, and the excess current coming from the loudspeaker amplifier will be the reason for it to break or blow up.
Connecting a power amplifier to active speakers
Now that we mentioned the golden rule above, we tell you that there’s no reason to be sad about not being able to connect your active speakers to your power amp. That is because there is a right way to do it. We won’t leave you hanging here; we are riders, right?
If you have an active speaker and want to connect it to a powered amp, we can use mixers; there are available audio mixers for motorcycles. Some are both a mixer and an amplifier. Why do we need a mixer? Well, mixers, or at least the majority of them, have more than one output.
If your mixer has more than one output, go ahead and grab the manual and see if there are balanced and non-amplified outputs. Most of the active mixers today will have an unamplified line out that you can connect to your active speakers. Other mixers also have amplified outputs for the front and other line-outs without amplification for monitoring.
So there you are; if you want to connect the powered amplifier to your active speaker, you can use an active mixer as a mediator. By the way, we are referring to active mixers here. There are also passive mixers, but we only need to know about active mixers, for now, to get started.
As you can see, those are the things to add or install along with your currently installed motorcycle speaker if you want to make them louder, whether they are active or passive speakers. However, before we use a powered amplifier, sometimes we have to replace the existing speakers. So before you decide to upgrade your motorcycle audio system, keep all the considerations in mind.