How did portable speakers become so powerful?


Back in the 80s or 90s you would have needed 2 car batteries in row to get a bass heavy sound like the kids are blasting today on their little blutooth speakers. What gave the technological boost, better batteries or better speaker tech?

In: 10

Batteries played a huge role. 35 years ago, I was into R/C cars. The most common battery was a 7.2 volt 1200 mAh pack with 6 sub-C cells. Now they use a comparably sized 5200 mAh LiPo battery; over four times as much power. You can now have something the size of a paperback book that can jumpstart a car.

If you want a 60 watt speaker that lasts more than a few minutes, modern batteries can provide that at a far more reasonable size than the batteries of the past.

Class D amplification has come on leaps and bounds. You can achieve a much greater amount of power from a much smaller package.

And as the other commentator points out, power storage is much more dense now with lithium batteries as opposed to the old NiCads.

You should also consider that small speakers can also be made much cheaper now so what would have been prohibitively expensive back then is much easier to do now. This can include more efficient speakers designs, including ones with neodymium magnets that are more sensitive (louder for a given amplification).

A combination of higher capacity batteries and more efficient amplifiers / speaker drivers.

As others already stated, amplification is more efficient and power storage has improved heavily.

I would also like to add that the case/enclosure design has gone really far too!
The speakers are not just screwed into a wooden box – the enclosure is really well designed to amplify the soundwaves on just the right frequencies..