2 Ohm vs 4 Ohm Speakers and Subwoofers – Which is better?
For those who are unfamiliar with the subject, the numerous specifications and words used in relation to audio equipment might be bewildering.
Understanding the difference between 2ohm and 4ohm speakers and subwoofers is one of the most crucial specifications.
We’ll go into depth about the distinctions in this post to assist you in selecting the choice that best suits your requirements.
A speaker with an impedance rating of 2 ohms will require twice as much power from an amplifier as one with a value of 4 ohms. This theoretically allows you to push your system harder, but you will have to make a few concessions. I would still choose 2 ohms if I could.
What is Impedance in Speakers or Subwoofers?
A circuit’s resistance to the passage of electrical current is measured by its impedance. The crossover network and speaker drivers in speakers and subwoofers produce impedance.
To obtain a particular power level, the more current is needed the greater the impedance. This is the reason why wattage (or RMS watts) rather than voltage is used to rate amplifiers.
You must take into account both the amplifier and the load it will be driving when selecting speakers or subwoofers. The speaker or subwoofer’s load impedance must be larger than or equal to the power output rating of the amplifier.
For instance, an amplifier that can output 100 watts RMS into a four-ohm load will also be able to do so into an eight-ohm load.
But, connecting two eight-ohm speakers in parallel would result in a total resistance of four ohms, which would require your amplifier to provide twice as much current in order to produce 100 watts RMS.
This is why it’s crucial to match your speakers’ and subwoofers’ impedance to the amplifier’s recommended range.
We can explore the differences between 2 and 4 ohms now that we are aware of the impedance.
2 Ohms vs 4 Ohms for Speakers – Which is better?
A speaker with a 2 Ohm impedance will require twice as much power from an amplifier as a speaker with a 4 Ohm impedance, which is the fundamental distinction between the two. As a result, if your amplifier has a low power output, you might wish to use speakers with a 4-ohm impedance to prevent harm to your amplifier.
There is no difference in sound quality between speakers with a 2 Ohm and a 4 Ohm impedance. It’s a common misconception that speakers with higher impedance provide better audio quality than those with lower impedance, however, this is untrue.
Power is yet another crucial aspect to take into account. Some users desire to push their amplifiers to their absolute limits.
Hence, with a mono amp:
- It is rated at 1000w at 2 Ohms.
- It is rated at 600w at 4 Ohms.
Hence, you would want a speaker set at 2 Ohms if you wanted to get the greatest power out of it.
It’s important to bear in mind that greater power produces more heat, and we all know that heat is the enemy of components. Hence, even though you could obtain greater power at 2 Ohms, they might not last as long if you routinely play your speakers at maximum volume.
Lastly, think of impedance as a golf score: if the amplifier is steady at 2 ohms and the speakers are 4 ohms, the amplifier is suitable. If the amplifier is steady at four ohms and the speakers are two ohms, the amplifier is broken.
If required, you may always upgrade to a higher impedance. Running an impedance below the bare minimum entails significant risk.
In response, since 2 ohms provide greater power, you may push your speakers a little further. 4-ohm speakers, on the other hand, won’t let you down either. Really, everything comes down to personal taste.
2 Ohms vs 4 Ohms for Subwoofers – Which is better?
The impedance of speakers and subwoofers closely resembles one another. So, most of what was said above will apply to subwoofers.
The damping factor is one significant consideration.
The subwoofer’s ability to regulate the driver’s movement is gauged by the damping factor. It is crucial because it aids in reducing driver distortion and undesired resonances.
Because there is more resistance to the driver’s movement when the damping factor is large, the driver will essentially be better able to maintain control and generate cleaner, more precise sound. Less resistance to the driver’s movement due to a low damping factor might result in undesirable resonances and distortion.
The damping factor should ideally be 10 or higher. Yet, the difference is barely noticeable after age 50.
There are several calculators available to determine your damping factor.
As was already noted, there is considerable overlap in the advantages and disadvantages of speaker and subwoofer impedances. The damping factor, however, should be taken into account when using a subwoofer. You’ll have greater power with 2 ohms.
Does lower impedance mean more power?
Well, in general, higher power corresponds to lower impedance. However, there are certain aspects to take into account.
Initially, a speaker’s power rating is often determined at a certain impedance, typically 8 ohms. Hence, if you have a speaker with a lower impedance rating than, say, a speaker with an impedance rating of 8 ohms, you might be able to get more power out of it.
But, it’s crucial to verify that your amplifier is capable of handling the speaker’s lower impedance and won’t overload or burn out when trying to output too much power.
Second, just because your amplifier is capable of driving a speaker with a lower impedance doesn’t imply you should always utilize that setting.
If you do, the speaker’s sensitivity will be decreased and the sound quality will suffer. Instead of utilizing a lower impedance setting on your amp, use a higher one to get more power out of the speaker while keeping its sensitivity high.
What is a Speaker or Subwoofer’s Sensitivity?
The capacity of a speaker or subwoofer to transform electrical power into a sound pressure level is referred to as sensitivity (SPL).
Decibel ratings are used for subwoofers and speakers (dB). The speaker or subwoofer is more sensitive the higher the rating.
Because it defines how loud the speaker will be at a specific power level, sensitivity is a crucial factor to take into account when choosing a speaker or subwoofer.
For instance, you would want a system with a greater sensitivity rating if you were seeking a louder system. Go for something with lesser sensitivity if you want a more subdued sound.
Sensitivity is crucial for estimating the amount of power an amplifier will need to supply to the speakers or subwoofers in your car’s audio system in order to generate a specific volume level.
You’ll need an amplifier with a larger power output if you wish to play your music louder.
What is a Speaker or Subwoofer’s Frequency Response?
The standard frequency range for speakers and subwoofers is 20Hz to 20kHz, which corresponds to the outer limits of human hearing.
A speaker or subwoofer may properly reproduce a wider range of frequencies and sounds with a higher frequency response without distortion or loss of quality.
The frequency response of a speaker or subwoofer is crucial to take into account when selecting one for your car’s audio system.
There should be no gaps or holes in the frequency response of a speaker or subwoofer, which means that no sounds should be absent from the audio spectrum.
In order to avoid distortion or loss of quality, it’s crucial to pair the speakers and subwoofers with an amplifier that can provide adequate power at each point along this curve.
The primary distinctions between 2 ohms and 4 ohms are as follows. First off, if you want louder music, 2 ohms will often produce more power (watts) than 4 ohms, making it a preferable option.
Second, since 4 ohms is more prevalent, it could be simpler to find in stores.
Finally, if you’re going to acquire new equipment, keep in mind that utilizing 2-ohm speakers often requires a greater amplifier than using 4-ohm speakers.