Tag: 4 ohm

What is the Difference Between 2 and 4 Ohms?

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Ohms are the measure of resistance to the flow of electricity in an electric circuit. Think of it like a freeway, the more cars congesting the freeway, the slower everyone will move due to traffic. Electricity, like the cars, can be slowed down in the circuit due to higher resistance.  The higher the ohm value, the more difficult it is for current to flow through a circuit. Likewise, the lower the value, the easier it is for current to flow. Based on this, is there any other differences between the most common 2 and 4 ohm impedances?

Certain amplifiers are designed to power subwoofers at different impedances (ohms). For example, a 2 ohm rated amplifier will power a 2 ohm subwoofer, so long as the woofers “final impedance (ohms)” is 2. You can connect multiple subwoofers together and run them off an amplifier, so long as their final impedance is equal to the amplifiers impedance. We cover this in a different article. If you have 100 watts at 2 ohms, and 100 watts at 4 ohms, is there a difference? The answer is subjective, you will hear people say there is a sound difference, and some say there isn’t. It depends on how efficient the amplifier runs at the specified ohm level, as well as the speaker itself.

If you get technical, the different resistance values of a speaker will change the sound slightly, assuming wattage is the same. A lower impedance subwoofer has a voice coil with fewer windings, meaning less weight. A higher impedance subwoofer will have more coil windings, meaning more weight. It has more windings to counter act the resistance, so it’s like adding more lanes to the freeway to ease up traffic. This slight difference in weight will produce a slight sound quality difference. At 2 ohms you tend to have more projection of sound (louder), which causes poorer sound quality. At 4 ohms you will have less mid bass frequencies then at 2 ohms; however the sound quality is slightly improved.

If you’re not an audiophile, does this matter? Honestly, no it does not. Do not let this be a make or break when looking for sound system components. Two of the same subwoofers, just with different impedances, will produce almost the same sound if they are run at the same wattage. The difference in sound is so slight that it has little impact, especially when dealing with subwoofers, that you likely can’t tell the difference.

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How to Wire a Subwoofer in Parallel (From 4 ohm to 2 ohm load)

Wire in Parallel

Required Tools:

  • 12 Gauge Speaker Wire
  • Wire Stripper/Crimper
  • Screws
  • Power Drill
  • Solder Gun

In this article we will provide a step by step guide for wiring a dual 4 ohm subwoofer in parallel for a 2 ohm load. This technique is really quite simple but will make a big difference in terms of the power that your car subwoofer receives. For subwoofers that are 2-ohm steady, using this wiring technique will maximize the amount of power that your sub receives from your amplifier.

Step 1

Use a solder gun to attach 2 feet of 12 gauge speaker wire to the box terminals, which are located at back of the subwoofer enclosure. Using a solder gun will create a secure connection.

Step 2

Cut two strands negative (black) wiring and two strands of positive wiring; one 1’ strand and one 2’ strand. We will use the 2′ strand to connect the subwoofer to the box terminal, and the 1′ strand to connect the subwoofer’s voice coil terminals together.

Step 3

Use the wire stripper tool to strip off 1/8” to 1/4” of the wire insulation in order to expose the internal wire.

Step 4

Open the first negative terminal by pressing the top of it. Now run the stripped end of the negative wire strand through the opening. Then repeat this step with the first positive terminal and the first strand of positive wire.

Step 5

Now go back to the first negative terminal and press on the top to open it. Run one of the stripped ends of the second negative wire through the opening, then take the opposing end and run it through the second negative terminal.

Step 6

Next press on the first positive terminal and run one of the stripped ends of the second piece of positive wire through the opening. Then take the opposite end and run it through the second positive terminal.

Step 7

Verify that all of your wiring is securely connected.

After the loaded subwoofer enclosure is securely mounted and connected to an amplifier, you are ready to rock. The parallel wiring configuration will give your subwoofer more RMS wattage from the amp.

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