When it comes to audio equipment, there are a lot of different specs and terms that can be confusing for people who are not familiar with the topic.
One of the most important specs to understand is the difference between 2ohm and 4ohm speakers and subwoofers.
In this article, we will explain the difference in detail and help you decide which option is best for your needs.
The main difference between 2 ohms and 4 ohms is that a speaker with 2 will draw twice as much power from an amp than one with a 4 ohm impedance rating. This technically means you can push your system with more power, but there are a few compromises to make. If I had a choice, I’d still choose 2 ohms.
What is Impedance in Speakers or Subwoofers?
Impedance is a measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to the flow of electrical current. In speakers and subwoofers, impedance is created by the speaker drivers and the crossover network.
The higher the impedance, the more current is required to produce a given power level. This is why amplifiers are rated in terms of wattage (or RMS wattage) rather than voltage.
When choosing a speaker or subwoofer, you must consider both the amplifier and the load it will be driving. The amplifier’s power output rating must be greater than or equal to the load impedance of the speaker or subwoofer.
For example, an amplifier with a rating of 100 watts RMS into an impedance of four ohms will produce the same amount of power into an eight-ohm load.
However, if you were to connect two eight-ohm speakers in parallel, they would create a total resistance of four ohms and require twice as much current from your amplifier to reach 100 watts RMS.
This is why it’s important to match the impedance of your speakers and subwoofers with the amplifier’s rating.
Now that we know what the impedance is, we can discuss the difference between 2 ohms vs 4 ohms.
2 Ohms vs 4 Ohms for Speakers – Which is better?
The main difference between the two is that a speaker with a 2 Ohm impedance will draw twice as much power from an amplifier than a speaker with a 4 Ohm impedance. This means that if you are using an amplifier with limited power output, you may want to choose speakers with a 4 Ohm impedance to avoid damaging your amplifier.
In terms of sound quality, there is no difference between 2 Ohm and 4 Ohm speakers. Some people believe that speakers with higher impedance sound better than those with lower impedance, but this is simply not true.
Another important factor to consider is power. Some users want to strain every decibel out of their amp.
So in the case of a mono amp:
- At 2 Ohms, it is rated at 1000w
- At 4 Ohms, it is rated at 600w
So if you want to get the most power out of your speaker, you’d want one set at 2 Ohms.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that more power means more heat, and as we all know, heat is the bane of components’ existence. So while you may get more power at 2 Ohms, they might not last as long if you’re playing your speakers at full power consistently.
Finally, consider impedance to be akin to a golf score: if the speakers are 4 ohms and the amp is 2 ohms stable, the amplifier is adequate. The amp is defective if the speakers are 2 ohms and the amplifier is four ohms stable.
You may always upgrade to a higher impedance if necessary. You’re taking a major chance by running an impedance lower than the minimum requirement.
Answer: There is more power with 2 ohms, so you can push your speakers a bit more with the higher power. However, you won’t be disappointed with 4-ohm speakers either. It’s really down to personal preference.
If you’re also curious about whether 4 or 8 ohms is better, I have a post here.
2 Ohms vs 4 Ohms for Subwoofers – Which is better?
There is a lot of overlap between impedance for speakers, and for subwoofers. So most of what was written above will be valid for subwoofers.
One important factor to make note of is the damping factor.
The damping factor is a measure of how well the subwoofer can control the movement of its driver. It’s important because it helps to prevent unwanted resonances and distortion in the driver.
A high damping factor means that there is a lot of resistance to the movement of the driver, which basically means that it will be better able to stay in control and produce cleaner, more accurate sound. A low damping factor means that there is less resistance to the movement of the driver, which could lead to unwanted resonances and distortion.
Ideally, the damping factor should be 10 or more. But After around 50 the difference is negligible.
There are lots of calculator’s to work out your damping factor.
Answer: As mentioned above, there is a lot of overlap between the pros and cons between the impedance of a speaker and a subwoofer. However, the damping factor is an important thing to consider with the subwoofer. 2 ohms will give you more power.
Does lower impedance mean more power?
In general, yes, lower impedance means more power. But there are a few things to consider.
First, the power rating of a speaker is usually measured at a certain impedance—usually 8 ohms. So if you have a speaker with a lower impedance rating, you might be able to get more power out of it than if you had a speaker with an impedance rating of 8 ohms.
But it’s important to make sure that your amplifier can handle the lower impedance of the speaker and doesn’t overload or blow out when trying to output too much power.
Second, even if your amplifier can handle the lower impedance of the speaker, it doesn’t mean that you should always use the lowest-impedance setting on your amplifier.
If you do, then the speaker’s sensitivity will be reduced and it won’t sound as loud or clear. Instead of using 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 sensitivity of a speaker or subwoofer is its ability to convert electrical power into sound pressure level (SPL).
Speakers and subwoofers are rated in decibels (dB). The higher the rating, the more sensitive the speaker or subwoofer is.
Sensitivity is important to consider when selecting a speaker or subwoofer because it determines how loud the speaker will be at a given power level.
For example, if you are looking for a louder system, you would want one with a higher sensitivity rating. If you are looking for a more subtle sound, then look for something with lower sensitivity.
Sensitivity is also important in determining how much power an amplifier will need to produce a given volume level from the speakers or subwoofers in your vehicle’s audio system.
If you want to play your music at a higher volume, you will need an amplifier with more power output.
What is a Speaker or Subwoofer’s Frequency Response?
The frequency response of a speaker or subwoofer is the range of frequencies that it can reproduce accurately.
Speakers and subwoofers are typically rated from 20Hz to 20kHz, which refers to the extreme ends of human hearing.
The higher the frequency response, the greater range of frequencies and sounds that a speaker or subwoofer can reproduce accurately without distortion or loss in quality.
When choosing a speaker or subwoofer for your vehicle’s audio system, it is important to consider its frequency response.
The ideal frequency response for a speaker or subwoofer is one that has no gaps or holes in it, meaning there are no sounds missing from the audio spectrum.
It’s important to match the speakers and subwoofers with an amplifier that can produce enough power at each point along this curve so as not to cause distortion or loss of quality.
There are a few main differences between 2 ohms and 4 ohms. First, 2 ohms will generally create more power (watts) than 4 ohms, so it’s a better choice if you’re looking for louder sound.
Second, 4 ohms is more common and therefore may be easier to find in stores.
Finally, using 2-ohm speakers usually requires a bigger amplifier than using 4-ohm speakers, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to buy new equipment.