How does the input sensitivity work on Genelec speakers?
Input sensitivity can be controlled with a combination of a rotary controller and level range switches on the products. The sensitivity on SAM (Smart Active Monitoring) products can be set more precisely using the GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software and a computer.
The nominal analogue input sensitivity in Genelec studio monitors is -6 dBu which produces 100 dB SPL audio output at 1 meter in an anechoic room.
The nominal digital input sensitivity is set so that a 0 dB FS digital input produces a theoretical 130 dB SPL sound level at 1 meter in an anechoic room.
The actual maximum SPL depends on the product capabilities and may be lower than 130 dB SPL.
What should I have the Genelec sensitivity control set at?
Basically you would like to set the input sensitivity so that the output voltage of the source device is able to push the speaker up to its limits.
The input sensitivity setting in Genelec speakers is defined as the level of the input signal required for 100 dB SPL at 1 meter distance. So if you set the sensitivity setting to the maximum i.e. -6 dBu, it means that the speaker outputs 100 dB SPL at 1 meter distance with -6 dBu input signal level. In another words, when the maximum output of the speaker is 110 dB or more, you will need at least +4 dBu signal to push the speaker up to its limits. With + 6dBu sensitivity setting (min) a level of +16 dBu would be required. If your source device isn't capable of outputting such signal levels, you should increase the sensitivity setting on the speaker.