Hooking up 8-ohm speakers to a 4-ohm amplifier is highly possible as long as you play your cards well. However, there are some considerations that you should put into practice for the artwork to be successful. Audiophiles will tell you how it is amazing to try out something new with your electronics.
For this reason, our article should help you to understand how these speakers and amps work. Besides, you will know how the issue of impedance goes about. If you are not careful, this action may result in issues like amp, or speaker damage and excessive clipping.
After going through our research, you will realize that it’s possible to use 8-ohm speakers with 4-ohm amps in parallel. There will be no clipping if you choose this way and therefore your speaker won’t be damaged. The speakers will output reduced power, meaning that there will be less distortion.
Significance of Impedance and considerations
Impedance is simply the ability of an electronic or a circuit to resist electrical current. Generally, the resistance of the amp should be equal to that of your speakers; that’s what we refer to as impedance matching. Therefore, higher ohm indicates that the circuit can deliver significant electrical power flow opposition.
Should you be worried about the impedance? That’s what we are going to cover under this section. Whenever you buy a speaker or amplifier, you are likely to find the (Ω) sign which represents the impedance. You should therefore be in a position to understand the sign and its significance. For this reason, you must be able to differentiate between 8 ohm and 4 ohms speakers.
Speaker wiring and impedance (parallel and series)
Wiring is another factor that may affect your speaker’s impedance. Series wiring adds up the whole impedance of the speakers. On the other hand, parallel wiring tends to reduce the impedance of the speakers. In parallel format, you are required to divide the impedance by the number of speakers connected. In such a case, if you’ve two 8-ohm speakers connected in parallel, divide 8 by 2 to get 4 ohms.
Amp damage and speaker impedance
In situations where your system requires reduced current to run, the higher impedance resistance current flow can be noble news. On the other hand, ignoring the basic impedance matching rules can supply excess electrical current to the speakers. However, these speakers will never cease from demanding the required current.
This is a clear indication that reduced speaker impedance can channel heavy load to your amp since the low impedance speaker tends to drain excess power from your amp.
Nominal value is another essential consideration that you should note, which implies that the rating is a half of the minimum impedance. The current flow resistance varies based on the frequencies of the speaker at different instants.
Can I hook up 8-ohm speakers to a 4-ohm amplifier?
After understanding the basics about impedance and matching, let’s now try to answer ‘Can I hook up 8-ohm speakers to a 4-ohm amplifier’ question. Yes, your 4 amplifier can support 8-ohm speakers because it’s a single 8-ohm speaker. Alternatively, the general impedance of the several 8ohm speakers is either 4 ohms or more.
In case you have several 8-ohm speakers, there’s a need to determine the total impedance. Occasionally, some people can connect 8-ohm speakers to the same 8 ohms. Mostly, the general impedance will exceed 8 ohms in case the speakers are linked in series form. On the other hand, the impedance will be less than 8 ohms in case you choose a parallel format.
You need to understand that the impedance of your speakers and amplifier are two separate things. However, considering the load amount that your speaker can exert on the amplifier, the action may be safe.
Low amp impedance
In case the speaker’s impedance is higher than the amp’s impedance, the amplifier will supply more energy, more than whatever the speaker calls for. With modern speakers, nothing will happen if you connect the speakers to the amplifier. The sound quality you get here will be impressive.
High amp impedance
Amplifier having higher impedance doesn’t matter at all. What you should know is that the basic impedance is the nominal value. The ohm of the amplifier will significantly increase. This similarly applies to your speakers since the impedance tends to vary when the frequencies increase or drop.
The fact that there exists a small difference between 8-ohm and 4-ohm, there is no need to worry about the optimal sound pressure level (SPL). It’s possible that the speakers can accommodate the supplied electrical current. However, I would urge you to maintain the low volume since the 8 ohm does not fall in the range of the amp’s impedance.
In such cases, improper impedance may end up damaging the coil of your speaker or sometimes blow the amplifier. This issue happens mostly after you fail to regulate the frequencies. Impedance matching is therefore important; don’t ignore it.
- How can ohms affect the sound quality?
The main purpose of the ohms is to provide equal power across the wide impedance range and input volts. Therefore, any subwoofer, featuring impedance ranging from 1.5 to 4 ohms, will receive equal power. Additionally, sound quality differences can be negligible.
- Which one is better between 4 ohm and 8 ohms?
You should understand that low impedance speakers tend to accommodate more power. For instance, 4-ohm speakers will attract a significant amount of power from the amp compared to the 8-ohm speaker. The main problem comes in when you fail to correctly combine the speaker safely; that’s when you don’t understand the speaker impedances.
- Do more ohms imply better sound?
Yes, higher ohms are better since they enhance impressive sound experience. However, this fact is based on if you own an appropriate and reliable amp to supply necessary power.
From our discussion above, you can realize that it is possible to hook up 8-ohm speakers to a 4-ohm amplifier. We have provided you with useful considerations to ensure the hook up process is successful.