What Hits Harder a 2-Ohm or 4-Ohm Subwoofer?

The technology around the entertainment system has drastically upscaled itself in the last few decades. As such, the number of options that average customers get as soon as they walk into the electronic stores can be bamboozling at times to reckon with. Especially when their product descriptions come in cryptic scientific terms.

We know the difficulty of having to read through such cryptic descriptions with a number and a Greek word that make little to no sense to anyone who does not have a degree in the sciences. This is why we are here today to explain to you, in simple words, the difference between a 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofer.

Basic Physics of Subwoofers

The keyword that we are looking at when we are comparing a 2 ohms subs and a 4 ohms subs is their resistance or impedance ratings depending on what kind of current is flowing through them.

The resistance or impedance, as the name suggests, is the amount of resistance that the subwoofer offers against the flow of electric current through the subwoofer. The flow of this electric current produces the sound and as such the resistance that the subwoofer offers against it regulates the quality of the sound.

If the resistance offered is low, the electric current flows through the subwoofer easily, whereas if the resistance offered is high, the electric current flows through the subwoofer with difficulty.

The easier flow of electricity means more power that is generated quickly and results in a louder sound. However, in this case, since the subwoofer operates at higher power and louder sound, meaning it deals with frequencies coming at a higher intensity. This makes it difficult for the subwoofer to handle lower frequencies at the same time.

This results in a low quality of the bass that is produced in speakers or subwoofers that have a lower resistance rating and provide for an easier flow of electricity leading to high power.

Likewise, the case for subwoofers or speakers with a higher resistance rating is the opposite. While they are not as loud as the low resistance rating devices due to the low flow of current, they can produce a finer bass output because they are able to handle the low frequencies much better than their low resistance counterparts.

What Hits Harder? 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm?

In terms of which subwoofer hits harder, drawing from the explanation as given above, the 2-ohm subwoofer produces a louder sound than the 4-ohm subwoofer. So in that sense, technically speaking, the 2-ohm subwoofer hits harder than a 4-ohm subwoofer.

However, if you are to define “hitting harder” not in terms of how loud your subwoofer is but rather on what is the quality of bass produced, then the 4-ohm subwoofer hits harder in that respect.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Bridging Amplifier Lower Ohms?

Short answer: yes. For a detailed answer to this question, we again go back to high school physics. When a bridge amplifier is used, each of the amplifier outputs of the bridge amplifier gets only half of the total load impedance.

In other words, if a bridge amplifier is used with a 4-ohm speaker, the effective load impedance on each of the amplifier outputs of the amplifier bridge will be 2 ohms only. Therefore, effectively the bridging amplifier lowers ohms.

Do Ohms Affect Sound Quality?

The sound quality of a speaker depends on a number of variables. While the impedance that is the value in ohms is indirectly responsible for a couple of these variables, however, it does not directly affect the quality of the sound.

The key role that the impedance really plays in the whole process is the regulating factor in the amount of power that the speaker can produce, which is directly related to how loud the speakers can be provided all the rest of the characteristics are the same.

Are Higher or Lower Ohms Better for Speakers?

Again, there is no straight answer to this question. The speakers have an impedance rating which is calculated in ohms and is really a measure of how difficult it is to power the speakers. Therefore, the lower is the impedance, the easier it is for electric signals of the music to pass through the speaker.

However, an easy passage does not always imply that the speakers are better. What it really means is that the speakers with lower ohms are easier to produce loud music while the speakers with higher ohms are slightly difficult to do so as they require more power to do this.

Does Higher Ohms Mean More Resistance?

Named after the German physicist Georg Ohm, ohm is a derived SI unit for measuring electrical resistance. One ohm is defined as the amount of the resistance that a conductor offers to the flow of electricity through it when a current of one ampere is flowing through it at a potential difference of one volt.

Therefore, it is a unit of measurement that has a direct mathematical relationship with resistance. In other words, a higher ohm rating means more resistance and a lower ohm rating means lower resistance.

What Ohms Are Best for Speakers?

It has been observed that for most common needs, speakers with an ohm range from 4 ohms to 8 ohms do the job for most users. Usually, a 6-ohm or 8-ohm speaker is the most prevalent device that you find across the board because they line up particularly well with how most of the audio-video receivers are designed nowadays.

Do 4 Ohm Speakers Sound Better?

The term “better” is a subjective category. What the science says is that a 2-ohm speaker needs to draw more power from an amp than a speaker that’s 4 ohms to produce a sound that is the same amount of loudness. This could be better or worse depending on the user. There is no objective answer to this question.

The reason behind this, however, is high school physics. For a given voltage, the lower the impedance is, the greater is the current and therefore, the values for a 2-ohm speaker and a 4-ohm speaker differ in this respect even if all the rest of their specifications are the same.

Can You Mix Speakers with Different Ohms?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: while it is at your discretion to mix and match speakers with varying resistance ratings and you are absolutely free to do so, the results when such mixing and matching is done tends to produce sub-par results if you do not have a particularly well grasp of how electric circuits work and how to optimize them.

How Many Ohms Is Considered a Short Circuit?

Usually, in circuits, if there is a very low resistance such as a speaker having a resistance rating of 2 ohms or lower, the current flow in the circuit becomes too unperturbed and this might lead to a short circuit.

Therefore, since low resistance rating speakers can lead to a short circuit very easily, the circuits that use such low resistance speakers need to be delicately balanced to avoid such short circuits.

What Happens If Resistance Is Too High?

Contrary to the case just above, if the resistance rating of the speaker is too high, the current flow would be severely low resulting in sub-optimal performance due to the lack of sufficient power required by the speaker.

Although there are several reasons why this could happen, the most common reason behind this is damaged conductors. All conductors, as electricity passes through them, get corroded and heated over the course of time leading to damage and overheating which can increase the resistance rating of the speakers.

Does Higher Ohms Mean Better Sound?

Again, as we have previously spoken, “better sound” is a purely subjective category. The only area where speakers with a higher resistance rating have an edge over speakers with a lower resistance rating is that they can produce clearer bass.

If that is a quality that you attribute to a better sound, then yes, higher ohms mean better sound. However, if you are not too concerned about the bass definitions of your speaker, then the speakers with higher ohms may not necessarily mean better sound.

Are Speakers Louder in Series or Parallel?

We go back to high school physics to answer this question as well. When resistors or conductors are connected in a series, the total impedance or resistance that is offered by the circuit increases which results in a net decrease of the flow of electric current through the circuit.

Essentially meaning, if speakers are connected in a series, the power output of the speakers will be lower resulting in sub-optimal performance. Therefore, in most circumstances, when speakers are connected in a parallel connection rather than in a series connection, they are generally louder due to the increased current flow.

What is the difference between a 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofer?

The two main differences between a 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofer are the voice coil and weight. A 2-ohm subwoofer has a smaller voice coil with fewer winding turns, which makes it lighter than a 4-ohm subwoofer. Additionally, a 2-ohm sub offers louder output than a 4-ohm subwoofer because it offers the least resistance to the incoming amp power.

A 4-ohm subwoofer has a bigger voice coil with more turns, which makes it heavier than a 2-ohm sub. While both subs offer great sound, a 2-ohm subwoofer is the better option for those looking for louder output and lighter weight.

What hits harder 2ohm or 4ohm?

The answer to this question is subjective and depends on what you are looking for in a subwoofer. A 2-ohm subwoofer will offer louder output than a 4-ohm subwoofer, making it the better option for those looking for higher volumes. However, a 4-ohm subwoofer may offer better sound quality.

Final Word: Which Is Better? 2 Ohm vs 4 Ohm?

There is no conclusive argument that could be made that the 2-ohm subwoofer is better than the 4-ohm subwoofer or vice versa because both of them are better in different aspects of their output.

While one is louder, the other produces cleaner bass. It ultimately depends on the users what they want and we have just made that task easier by providing all the information that is required for them to make this decision.

 

Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by Danny Reid