Ratings on amplifiers vary so greatly that consumers are left wondering why a 1,000 watt amplifier can cost as little as $69 or as much as $1,000. The Vehicle Technology Division of the Consumer Technology Association may do something about it.
Within the next two months, the Vehicle Technology Division, consisting of about 20 industry leaders, is due to vote on a new standard for amplifier power ratings called CEA 2006-C. It includes stricter guidelines for rating amplifiers and more oversight of those who use the CEA 2006-C logo.
John Ivey, Chairman of the Division said the great majority of car audio suppliers inflate their amplifier ratings in what amounts to consumer fraud.
His hope is that more amplifier makers adopt the new standard and educate consumers as to its purpose. Then the standard might gain recognition among consumers, resulting in a wider adoption of the standard by suppliers.
The new CTA 2006-C standard ensures that all manufacturers are testing in a similar manner. It requires they maintain a power level of a minute or more in achieving their power output. With the earlier CEA 2006-B standard, they could hit the power level for only a few seconds, as long as they reached it. The newer standard reflects more true-to-life usage, said Ivey.
Suppliers have submitted comments on the “C” standard and some changes may be made to it to reflect the comments.
Ivey said, “We’re not giving consumers the experience they were expecting. You can go on Amazon or Google and find a 2,000 watt amplifier for a couple of hundred dollars. We know, as professionals, that’s not really a 2,000 watt amplifier, but consumers don’t know till they’ve installed it. My goal in the next couple of years as the Vehicle Technology Division Chairman is that the product delivers on its performance.”
He added, “I’m hoping I can get my friends in the industry to really support 2006-C…There are fraudulent sales out there. I think it’s consumer fraud that people are buying 4,000 watt amplifiers that really put out 400 watts.”
The original amplifier standard, CEA 2006, was published in 2004, and amended later as CEA 2006-B.