Every vehicle audio enthusiast has glanced at their amplifier and subwoofer specs, wondered over how to connect them together, and how to control the total impedance load. Is impedance a factor in sound quality? In the first place, what exactly is impedance? What is the significance of this? More importantly, what hits harder: 1 ohm or 4 ohm?
What Is the Impedance Load of a Subwoofer or Speaker?
In general, a speaker is rated at the impedance it is designed to handle. This is measured in ohms and it is the speaker’s resistance to electricity flow that is the cause of loss. A higher impedance means that there is more resistance to flow of electricity. The higher the resistance, the greater the impedance.
The impedance rating is based on the level of power the speaker is designed to handle. The higher the power, the higher the impedance.
Impedance is the opposition to the flow of electrical current. The lower the impedance, the easier it is for an electrical current to flow.
Standard impedances for subwoofers are 2 ohms, 4 ohms, and 8 ohms. You may verify what you’re having right now on the magnet where it’s printed.
So that the amplifier does not overheat, the overall impedance of the subwoofers coupled together must be very low.
To clear up any confusion between amplifier and subwoofer impedance, the key issue that emerges is: What hits harder 1 ohm or 4 ohms?
Do Lower Ohm Dual Voice Coils Hit Harder Than Higher Ohm Voice Coils?
What Hits Harder 1 Ohm or 4 Ohm?
Because the resistance is substantially lower, a 1-ohm impedance load subwoofer will hit harder and provide more output than an equal 4-ohm subwoofer with the same input power.
A speaker with a resistance of 1 ohm can drive a 2.5 volt signal through it with no problem. A speaker with a resistance of 4 ohms can only deliver 1 volt per watt. This means that for the same power applied, the larger the resistance, the lower the volume.
So, if you are driving a small speaker with 4 ohm load, then you would have to increase the voltage of the signal you are sending into the speaker to make the speaker work. This will mean that you may need to increase the current (power) you are sending into the speaker. In other words, the speaker will not produce as loud an output because it will be working hard at producing that small volume.
The Relationship Between Impedance Load and Power Load
You must be conscious of the dynamics between impedance load and power when connecting a pair of subs to your amp.
When a speaker or subwoofer has a high impedance load, it can only withstand a certain amount of current. As a consequence, the load and power consumption are reduced. A low-impedance sub, on the other hand, allows for increased current flow and load control, leading in increased power output.
Ideally, your sub’s impedance load should match your amplifier’s impedance rating, such as 4-ohm subs for a 4-ohm amplifier. You may, however, connect higher-impedance subwoofers to lower-impedance amplifiers, such as 2-ohm subs with a 1-ohm amp.
However, don’t pair low-impedance subs with high-impedance amplifiers. Connecting 1-ohm subs to a 4-ohm amp requires the amp to generate more power than it is capable of in order to match the subwoofer’s low impedance pass. It can quickly overheat the amp, causing it to blow out in the worst-case situation.
What is the Difference Between 1 Ohm and 4 Ohms?
A voice coil is found in every speaker and subwoofer. This is the device that generates electrical resistance and accomplishes the work. Its resistive quality is known as impedance. The lower the impedance of a speaker, the easier it is for an amp to power it.
So, theoretically, the only difference between 1 ohm and 4 ohm is the amount of resistance applied by a speaker’s voice coil to the audio current supplied by the amplifier.
When the amp’s output encounters extremely little resistance (low impedance) and attempts to produce more power than it is capable of, problems develop. One of the most common reasons of amplifier overheating is this.
It should be noted, however, that you are incorrect if you believe you can only connect a 4 ohm speaker to a 4 ohm amplifier. For best effects, the sub and amplifier should be perfectly matched, however a 4 ohm speaker may theoretically be coupled with a 1 ohm amplifier as well. Only then would the loudspeaker be unable to cope with the amp’s maximum power output.
It also works the opposite way around, but you should proceed with caution. When a 1-ohm speaker is connected to a 4-ohm amplifier, the latter will be overworked. Your amplifier will be overwhelmed and maybe blown out.
Can You Run a 4 Ohm Speaker on a 1 Ohm Amp?
A speaker is rated by its impedance, which is measured in ohms (Ohm). A 1 ohm amp is capable of driving a 1 ohm speaker. If you have a 4 ohm speaker and connect it to a 1 ohm amp you will get an audible distortion. The reason why the speaker sounds distorted is because the amplifier is trying to drive a load that is not its rating.
When you connect a speaker to an amplifier the amplifier will try to drive the speaker, however the speaker has an impedance that is greater than the amplifier’s rating. When you connect a speaker to an amplifier with a different impedance the amplifier can’t drive the speaker, so it will distort and produce an audible sound.
The speaker will sound distorted because the amplifier is trying to drive a load that is not its rating. This is because the amplifier is designed for a particular load impedance, and when you connect a speaker to an amplifier with a different impedance, the amplifier will not be able to drive the speaker. The amplifier will distort and produce an audible sound.
It is clear that both 1 ohm and 4 ohm subwoofers can produce powerful sound. However, when it comes to comparing the two, the 1 ohm subwoofer seems to be the clear winner. It produces more bass and sounds louder than the 4 ohm subwoofer. So if you are looking for a powerful subwoofer that will make your music sound great, then go with the 1 ohm option.