Difference in continuous power and rms?


Bronze Member
Username: Bigred2069

Post Number: 45
Registered: May-05
is there a differnce in continuous power output and rms power?

Gold Member
Username: Suleman36

Maryland U.S.A.

Post Number: 1603
Registered: Feb-05
nope, both the same thing.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 8217
Registered: Dec-03
same meaning rally.. RMS values only apply to AC votlages. RMS power is a bit of a misnomer for some applications, so continuous is often used, being a more accurate term depending on context.

like people say the "gain" on an amplifier, when in actuality it's not really a gain, but an "input sensitivity" setting.
different things, but gain is easier to say.

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3586
Registered: Nov-04
I say gain cause I don't feel like overtyping. :-)

Silver Member
Username: Mixneffect

Orangevale, Ca. USA

Post Number: 295
Registered: Apr-05
RMS = Root Mean Square

It is a percentage of the continuous power estimated by the lab. In electronic audio, speakers for example; They supposedly bench test speakers at random off of the assembley line and run them for 600 hours at an estimated level to prove that they can play at those volumes without difficency.

That would be great if in fact they would actually do that. In reality they only do mathematical formulas, and maybe test a random driver in the lab for a few hours, and call it a day.

Max Power = 1/1000th of a second shot of power (usually 1khz pink noise)

Continous Power = estimated power using mathematical formulas/600 hours of benchtest, then averaged out.

RMS = Root Mean Square, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3A+RMS&X=1

P.S. Glass, I was not aware that it was only in effect in AC circuitry.

Gold Member
Username: Fishy

Tamarac Ft.Laud, FL USA

Post Number: 1429
Registered: Sep-04
The Root of the Mean of the Squares (usually shortened to Root Mean Square) - The equivalent DC value of an AC waveform. An example would be the equivalent DC voltage that would cause a lamp to shine at the same brilliance as the applied AC voltage. This value is the square root of the mean (average) of the squared values of points along the curve of the waveform. For a sine wave the result is 0.70717 and (for interest) a triangle wave is 0.645 and a square wave is 1.0

The RMS value of a sinusoidal signal is simply (2^.5)/2 or .707 times the amplitude or peak value of that signal.

When used with regards to a power spec it really is redundant and simply means that power is determined using RMS values of voltage or current which are the correct values to use when computing power using Ohms's Law(P=I*V, P=I^2*R, P=V^2/R).

Like Glass said, "Continuous Power" is a much better term. Power is Power. It doesn't matter whether its "RMS" or not. "Peak", "Music", "Max", or any other "power ratings" are simply marketing BS.


Bronze Member
Username: Bigred2069

Post Number: 47
Registered: May-05
ahh got it, thanks guys

Silver Member
Username: Phuktupbasshead

Scottsdale, Arizona United State...

Post Number: 131
Registered: May-05
whoa! That's seriously good information. Thanks you guys, a little too technical to understand at first, but I got it. Thanks.
So, should we ever trust the RMS ratings given by companies or just dismiss them as overrated or inaccurate? I'm sure some companies are accurate, right? If so, who?

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 8470
Registered: Dec-03
for amplifiers, trust CEA ratings without exception.
For speakers, the same holds true for DUMAX ratings.

they are systems of measure that are standardized so you won't be misled by fudge factors or misinformation.

RMS power handling for speakers is only a thermal limitation though and no indicator of the power the speaker needs to reach full output, which is usually less than the RMS rating.
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