Distributor Sued For False RMS Ratings

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Rockville Audio RMS Suit

A class action lawsuit was filed last month against a NY-based distributor for advertising inflated RMS power ratings on its private brand of car audio equipment.

The suit claims that E-Distributors, Inc (also known as Rockville Audio, Rockville Pro Sound and Audiosavings) deceptively advertised RMS ratings, sometimes doubling the true rating, so that a speaker advertised as handling 600 watts RMS, had a true rating of only 300 watts.

The suit alleges that Rockville was aware of its false claims and caused consumers to blow out their speakers. The company also failed to accept blown speakers under its warranty policy, according to the plaintiffs in the suit filed September 16 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of NY by Travis Serafini, On Behalf of Himself and Others Similarly Situated.

“Accordingly, Defendant’s advertised statements about its ‘RMS’ ratings are false and deceptive and constitute a breach of express and implied warranties,” said the suit.

Products covered include Rockville amplifiers, subwoofers and speakers such as the Rockville K9 and K6 lines and many RVP and RVW pro audio products.

Rockville products are sold on Walmart.com as well as on eBay, and other websites.

It particular, Serafini cites his purchase of two Rockville W10K9D4 10-inch, 6400-watt subwoofers with an enclosure for $254.95 through Rockville on the Audiosavings eBay page in April 2018. Two weeks later, he purchased two additional W10K9D4 subwoofers with an enclosure.  He installed them, took the trouble to “break in” the subwoofers gradually. But when he tried to operate them at their advertised RMS rating, they soon failed completely.

The plaintiff went so far as to test the speakers’ power handling and found it to be significantly less than the advertised rating.

The suit cites numerous similar complaints by users posted on Amazon such as that of Dawn Taylor, dated January 7, 2020, stating, “The speaker blew days after installed. So for the price I paid it was a waste of my money.”

The claim was filed by law firm Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, NY, NY. It seeks a jury trial and damages.

Source: TruthinAdvertising.org via CarAudioNow

Note: The W10K9D4 appears to be rated at 800 “CEA-rated watts RMS” on Rockville’s website.

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44 Comments

  1. I think you all are crazy. A lot of company’s lie about the true rms it can handle bc not many will buy a SMD or equivalent meter to check said power. Clipping is everyone’s problem who doesn’t even understand how the rca cables work. You can have 2 “1500watt” amps, one 800$ish and one 250$ish and 100% hear the difference or notice the quality even if the same rms is supposedly the same. I don’t c how everyone loves cheap shit then bitches….

  2. wish there was a way to show a pic here so i could show you all what travis said BEFORE money was involved , dude lied so so much , anyone that wants the Real story pm me , also anyone from rockville that wants the proof that travis in this article lied message me and ill gladly send you the screeshots of him claiming to be running 10 rockville k9’s for 3 years without any problems and how he loves them .

    #BUSTED

    1. Did you double check the facts before posting? Here’s a good story for you , a competitive brand/store is behind the lawsuit ! And the 2 guys in the article both made claims they have had rockville for years without any issues and can be seen recommending rockville only months ago . You guys should do more research before posting cuz now it seems like you are in on it too .

  3. For those into car audio, Rockville is notorious for this especially. Yes, the consumer knows of cea compliant brands, but the problem is Rockville claims Cea compliant specifically for rms wattage, so thats kind of a double lie. This isnt about misleading ads, these are blatant lies. So all the comments defending Rockville, maybe check your facts before opening your pie hole, because otherwise you come across as an ignorant mouth breather. Boss, pyle, and the likes dont claim cea complaint, they say peak wattage. Their name that sounds like a familiar brand should hint at their motives of riding on the backs of bigger well known companies to fool the new car audio enthusiast.

  4. Easy lawsuit that will be settled.
    I noticed that when the calculations was done on their amp..it clearly shows that they overstated the rms.

  5. Gotta love the geniuses who say “that’s what you fools get”. I have been doing car audio for 20 plus years and have seen how things have changed. Obviously I would never go for this product but I can see how some unsuspecting newbies might drink the purple kool-aid so to speak.

  6. You are all forgetting the most important thing here. 90% of the time it is distortion that melts voice coils, not wattage ! It will be fun proving there was not distortion involved in court. We always set up inline fuses with all our installations calculated below the correct wattage rating for the drivers so the amplifiers never reached clipping IE : distortion ! We had some of the lowest returns on purchases in the industry.

    1. You have no idea what your are talking about. Please keep your uneducated opinions to yourself. I am a loudspeaker engineer.

      1. While it is obvious that you’re not an English major, it is less obvious that you are a Loudspeaker Engineer since you didn’t add anything to the discussion. With that said, distortion and clipping, exceeding mechanical limits, and overpowering voice coils with inadequate cooling can kill speakers. Hell, I paused an Outkast song and literally smoked two tweeters with the tiny pop – it was just the last straw. However the nonsense that most manufacturers call “ratings” are a damn joke with even the CEA standards being BS. Most Sundown and EMF woofers are tough as nails and handle way over rated power. JL Audio never changed to ridiculous ratings like most of the market. “Program” power on PA equipment being 2x the output that a wall outlet could provide – maybe this is the first step in crushing the lies that are told to consumers. Caveat emptor is for the Flea Market or the guys in a white van that flag you down to sell you “extra” speakers – not large online retailers, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.

        A little legal precedent would be nice.

        1. 2 emf subs , #1 , banhammer magnet fell off the sub while playing and is trash , #2 the lowballer burned up on clean 700rms , rated for 900rms, pulled apart and has the exact same coil as rockville k6 ….. please explain

    2. Multiple people have tested these subs on YouTube with clean rated power and they failed within minutes. The evidence Is already out there.

  7. Thebestyet218 repair shop and upgrades.There is a lot of car audio subwoofers and amplifiers over rated and underrated for there tru rms handling or peak power handling (kicker) is known for its power as well as Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, DD audio ,Fi Audio,Orion hcca , kove Audio ,American bass and several more.. With that being said I do subwoofer voice coil replacements, cone replacements, surround replacements, and amplifier repairs. Thebestyet218 located on floodwood MN,55736

  8. Thebestyet218 repair shop for car audio.There is a lot of car audio subwoofers and amplifiers over rated and underrated for there tru rms handling or peak power handling (kicker) is known for its power as well as Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, DD audio ,Fi Audio,Orion hcca , kove Audio ,American bass and several more.. With that being said I do subwoofer voice coil replacements, cone replacements, surround replacements, and amplifier repairs you ship to me and I ship back once complete thanks Thebestyet218 located on floodwood MN,55736

    1. I have 2in Rockville subs 3200 watts the model number W10k9D4 are they any good ? They haven’t been hooked up yet should l get my money back

    2. Most speakers are blown by under powering them. You always run more watts than they are rated. Adding a high farad capacitor really helps. Its probly not the speakers….yall have too much time and not enough brains…

      1. You clearly need to research before speaking about things. These speakers are faulty and used faulty adhesive on the voice coils and they fail consistently with clean rated power. Capacitors are an old fad and are useless. You don’t blow speakers by under powering them otherwise you would have to keep the volume turned up all of the time to keep from blowing your subs lol. You blow speakers by turning up the gain to high and clipping the signal.

  9. My rockville punisher isn’t rated right either… the excursion isn’t no where near what it says…
    I had a k9 10 and it was starting to smell and had no where mere the power it holds

  10. I wonder if they do that with all their products?? Ive had a pair of 6.5in “500”watt studio monitors, that ive had for about a year now. When I first got them I remember thinking how crazy it was because they made my krk rokit 5’s sound like a portable bluetooth speaker…. But this has my attention, I will be doing some checking on thangs

  11. The issue is RMS doesn’t apply to car audio. There can be a standard but enclosure and application are key. JL and Image Dynamics list a power range. This is because most woofers will handle different power ranges based on the enclosure design. If we make the manufactures afraid of law suits your numbers will just be fudged into the opposite direction again listing 600/w rms on a 1000w nominal woofer. Safe specs are just as bad as BS max power specs for musical clarity and definition. Amplifiers are not arc welders so I hope we can set a new legitimate testing standard but I feel the law suit is easily lost. My woofer lists 600W RMS but also lists 375 Ported my amp does well over 1000w and its been running fine for 2 years. This is math and physics. Music is transient not just 1 constant sign wave, so good luck getting a court to side against science when RMS doesn’t actually apply to music.

  12. I am not familiar with this website.
    Is there an official source known?
    Just to check the facts.

    To be honest, it would be completely awesome when manufacturers from all over the world only give official numbers on their spec lists.
    All brands rated at the same way.
    I know the “CE” stamp used in Europe was meant for this but it seems all brands use their own way to get these ratings, so it is still useless for potential (and unaware) buyers to compare.

    Keeping an eye on this one.

  13. If something is too good to be true. Yes it probably is. But a common goal should be, Must be truth in advertising. I dont care how long its been going on or care to hear any bullshit reasons as to why its become common practice. I havent purchased these subs or any of these products without doing the research. Unfortunately you have to in this day and age. This lawsuit is a step in the right direction. If companies are held accountable for thier outrageous claims and outright lies and forced to suffer the consequences… The industry as a whole would begin to improve. When there are no consequences there is no motivation to adhere to any regulations, or guidelines. Quit carrying products that fail to deliver what they have claimed. Dont be part of the problem. Man up and be part of a solution. There is enough money out there to make a living without shitting on the people purchasing your products.

  14. Check out “eardrum assassin” on YouTube .
    He was saying the Rockville subwoofers were rated wrong from the beginning . Rockville even went as far to blame him and said he ran his amplifier wrong .

  15. How many remember the days of the 600 watt Muntz power booster. Ray? Bet you never had one of those…

  16. Gonna sue mcdonalds for getting fat next.

    That being said, I hope Rockville loses and that this opens the floodgates for all these POS liar companies to be sued as well. Remove the car audio tumors.

  17. One of the issues is how RMS is measured and quoted. A tone or sine wave is not music so a reference of the signal frequency etc is required to qualify the rating.

  18. At this time in this business for the answer to be “Buyer Beware”…, we should not then complain when the buyers become wary and begin to stop buying.

    The 12 volt industry has talked forever about developing (the easy part) a standard and then enforcing (the hard part) such a standard. It can be done. If voluntary compliance (self certification) as called for in the “CES 2006” standards is the path way then vendors, distributors and retailers would have to discipline themselves to hold to the standard and educate consumers and be prepared to “walk away from the sale” when the consumer insists on ignoring the education attempt. Of course many of us have a hard time educating the consumer and “walking away from the sale”.

    If compliance must be certified, then we have to be prepared to financially support a certifying body and submit to certification standards on a regular periodic basis. That certifying body would have to be professional, not political and emotional. It would have to be very fair and predictable in its delivery of standards, measurement of standards and certification methods. Then of course, enforcement predictability would be a necessity.

    After that the only question is, are we ready?

    Ray Windsor

    1. Seems we both are still tilting at windmills!
      For those not old enough to have read a book,
      “tilt at windmills (Don Quixote) To waste time fighting enemies or trying to resolve issues that are imaginary, not as important, or impossible to overcome”

  19. This is a ongoing systemic problem in our industry with very few exceptions, virtually every manufacture points a finger at their competitors and say if they (pick your brand) over rate it then we must over rate ours or it wont sell. There is no easy answer short of having a federally mandated rating system similar to the home audio industry using the FTC rating. I for one think its time to move our industry out of the dark ages and use an honest verifiable system to rate both amplifiers and speakers.
    Chuck Allen
    Warehouse Car Stereo (since 1981!)
    Stockton Ca.

  20. I bought a k9 d2 15in says it will handle 1250rms fried at 1000 rms and I paid 150 for the speaker and only had about 2 months so it was under warranty but never got a response from them so moved on

  21. I agree something must be done to standardize specs but you have to take some blame for being so naïve to think that you just found the smoking deal of the century.

  22. All manufacturers fudge their numbers, you get what you pay for.. theres no way a $75 subwoofer is gonna handle a true 600watts rms.

    1. Wrong, companies like SKAR Audio have bad ass “budget subs” that do well over there rated rms power and have been “proven” to do it with reputable youtubers time and time again. I have a SKAR SDR-15 (in the correct box) on a Fosgate P1000 and it’s been fine for over a year now. You do get what you pay for, but there are some companies like SKAR who do it right on both ends

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